US Rediscovers Islamic Science

The exhibition, which may make other stops in the US, focuses on nine disciplines: astronomy, engineering, exploration, flight, medicine, optics, water control, mathematics and art and architecture.

US Rediscovers Islamic Science

A model of a flying machine that was developed centuries later to be a plane, a magnetic precursor, the basis of today's high-tech Marine compasses, and a groundbreaking diagram of the human circulatory system, the prototype of the modern pulse sensor, are but a few of Islam early contributions to science that are on display at a New Jersey exhibition.

"This show is basically about science and technology," Wayne LaBar, the Vice President of the Liberty Science Center, told The New York Times on Sunday, August 12.

The "Islamic Science Rediscovered" is organized by the Cape Town and Dubai-based MTE Studios, a consultancy firm specialized in themed architecture and interactive learning experiences.

The exhibition, which may make other stops in the US, focuses on nine disciplines: astronomy, engineering, exploration, flight, medicine, optics, water control, mathematics and art and architecture.

The organizers use state-of-the-art interactive display tools so that guests can have a hand-on experience of the device invented by Muslim scientists from A.D. 700 to 1700.

The magnificent tools and devices are accompanied by portraits of the Muslim scientists and briefs of their accomplishments on touch screens.

On display is a model of the flying machine successfully launched by Abbas Bin Firnas in 880 CE.

There are 13th-century surgical tools that influenced many of today's medical instruments.

The fair also features the diagram of the human circulatory system, which was invented by Iraqi physician Ali Ibn Nafi in 1242 CE.

It further showcases Persian astronomer Al-Kwharizmi's equipment that traced the movements of celestial bodies hundreds of years ago.

There are also Ibn Ismail al-Jazari, the 12th-century Syrian engineer with a miscellany of mechanical inventions, and Iraqi Abul Ali Ibn Al-Haytham, who made significant contributions to the principles of optics and ophthalmology.

Additionally, there is the marvelous magnetic compass invented by Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng in the 13th century.

Great Civilization

LaBar, the vice president of the Liberty Science Center, said the fair shows the greatness of the Islamic civilization and is an effort to offer a balanced perspective on Islam.



"…it is also a show that allows us to create an understanding of a different culture that in some ways is demonized these days," he said.

"Where we are today is based on a lot of different people and a lot of different cultures and the show offers a way of connecting our modern cultures."

Historians say the Islamic civilization has made enormous but largely neglected contributions to the way people live in the west.

"Islamic Science Rediscovered" and similar shows have actually dusted off such indelible contributions.

One of the Muslim science fairs that drew international headlines is the "1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage of Our World," which was hosted by London last year.

The fair uncovered the Islamic civilization's overlooked contributions not only to science and technology, but art as well.

It lifted the veil on hundreds of innovations - from kiosks and chess to windmills and cryptography — that are often popularly associated with the West but actually originate from Muslim scholars and scientists.

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Last Mod: 13 Ağustos 2007, 09:42
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