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Muslim scientists have made all discoveries of the current age, said Arabic and Islamic Studies prof George Saliba of Columbia University at a seminar at the Government College University (GCU) [in Lahore] on Monday. The seminar, titled The Problems of Historiography of Islamic Science, was held at Fazl-e-Hussain Hall. Saliba gave a critique of the standard classical accounts of the rise of Islamic science. He detailed problems in the accounts and explained alternative historiography that described the rise of an Islamic scientific tradition as a result of social and political conditions within the nascent Islamic empire. He said Muslim philosophy was the impetus behind Islamic science that had contributed to various disciplines including botany, zoology, algebra, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, astronomy, physics, chemistry, physiology and mathematics in the pre-industrial era. He said the use of decimal fractions was not a Western invention and that it was discovered by a Muslim scientist. He said the binary system, on which the computer was based, was also invented by a Muslim scientist. He said Arab/Islamic science was not an intermediary between Greek science and European science, but was rather the Renaissance that integrated the Islamic science with European science. Saliba also visited the English Language and Literature Department where he engaged faculty members in a conversation on the Islamic and Renaissance paradigms.
(Posted on November 8, 2007)