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About Drosophila

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  1. Who Brought The Slaves To America?

    As we do not have a reference for that report we don't know that it is actually authentic or contemporary. The very fact that there is no reference is pretty good evidence that it is neither. The fact that there are other details that fit with no scholarly investigation suggests that nothing on that site can be believed without further evidence. While we are on the topic of slavery, who took the slaves to Arabia? Who marched slaves across the Sahara? Who sold the slaves for america?
  2. in post 14 above I referred to "the fall of Baghdad to the muslims". I meant the fall of Baghdad to the mongols of course. Please correct. In that partciular topic- optics- there's still the question of why the muslims who had access to alhzen's work didn't apply his theories in practise.
  3. Thank you, Ibn sina- I'll look at the site. The camera obscura was known to Aristotle, actually. It's interesting that al-Hazen was possibly mentally ill. Newton was paranoid, perhaps because of mercury poisoning from his alchemical experiments. Not being an expert I'd always assumed that mediaeval Islam was less intolerant than christianity: was this sort of thing common? If the averroean tradition was persecuted rather than merely disapproved of it would have a pretty stifling effect. a friend said the Islamic world became less tolerant after the fall of Baghdad to the muslims- perhaps as Europe became more open to inquiry it became harder to study freely in the muslim world. There's still the question of why no-one followed up on Al-Hazen's work- could the comparative importance of orality and writing in Islam and christianity have had something to do withit? A muslim sc holar would know the koran by heart whereas a christian wouldn't be expected to know the bible and so would depend on reading more, perhaps. Harvey did discover the circulation of the blood- the much earlier chinese discovery wasn't known about in Europe [and had been forgotten in much of China] until the last century.
  4. Determinism

    According to Islam, surely no-one has any choice: they choose to do what god has already decided they will do. Unbelievers are unbelievers because god has closed their eyes and will remain so unless god opens their eyes. Believers are only believers through god's decision before the universe was made.
  5. The Notion Of An Allah

    Probably not- including the whole later history of Islamic civilisation.
  6. Not for more than about five hundred years actually. For one thing, science, as we understand it today, is a very recent development. Even men as recent as Galileo and Newton weren't scientists and didn't think of themselves as sacientists in the modern sense. The muslim contribution seems to have been preserving and collecting together texts from all over the world: an obvious example is Alhazen's book on optics, which brought everything known about the subject together, yet neither Alhazen himself nor any other muslim made any further development. It was Europeans who developed the telescope, the microscope and even the fairly obvious reading-spectacles. One reason why muslims don't seem to have actually learned as much as they could given their opportunities may be the rejection of the Averroan tradition, with its emphasis on Aristotelian logic, and the acceptance of Ghazili's Destruction of the Philosophers with its emphasis on the first cause- god- and diminution of the importance of other more immediate causes. Cause and effect was the most important aspect of science and scientific thinking for a long time and if all the emphasis is on very remote and distant causes or arbitrary (from a human outlook) causes- which is how Ghazali saw god as being- people just aren't going to be as good at it.
  7. The Notion Of An Allah

    I'll be interested to learn about the city. I don't think the ottomans worked on those lines, though. Certainly, I agree that we should not dwell on the past- but how far back does the past go and how recent is a lot of it? The Bosniak muslims- many of whom were not muslims except nominally- co-operated with the nazis, the Croats and the communist government of Tito in persecution of Serbs. When Bosnia-Herzevogins seceded from what was left of Yugoslavia the Serbs (and the Croats too) in BH in turn seceded from it. If the one act was legal, so was the other. The problem came with splittting up the land. The muslims were more urbanised, so if the territory was divided according to actual population on the ground they would have had not much but Sarajevo and a few suburbs. If BH was divided up in proportion to population the serbs would lose their ancestral lands. In addition, the Croat genocide in Word War II- which the muslims assisted or acquiesced in- reduced the Serbs from the largest part of the population in BH, so if the division was made on traditional living patterns the muslims would have even less.
  8. Up to about five hundred years ago, actually. There's the further complication that science- as we think of it now- is a very recent development. Even Galileo and Newton aren't fully scientific. One of the most important contributions of muslim civilisation was gathering all that was known together; but they didn't seem to further and try to find out more or even apply what they knew. For example, the Kitab-al-manadir [?sp] was an extraordinary book gathering just about everything that was known about optics together. the muslims had a start on reaching conclusions and applying that knowledge, yet the actual advances- the invention of the telescope, the microscope, even spectacles, which was an obvious next stage- didn't come from muslims but much later in Europe. The other damaging factor, I think, was the rejection of Averroes and his Aristotelean theories of cause and effect and the emphasis on al-Ghazali's Confusion of the Philosophers, which emphasised the final cause- god- in relationship to all events. This means that muslim philosophers ignored the connexions- obvious cause and effect- between events which lead to inductive logic and modern science.
  9. The Notion Of An Allah

    The forcible recruitment of christian boys into the janissaries. You're obviously talking about a different jizyah: in eastern Europe the jizyah was supposed to be enough to enable muslims to pay the zaakaat and to support the janissaries. In addition, via the Timariot system, the natives were expected to support Turkish cavalrymen. Please give examples of the Ottomans- or other muslim rulers- leaving anywhere when they were asked to. Why did the Greeks, Bulgars, Wallachians etc have to revolt to persuade the Ottomans to withdraw their protection, instead of their merely accepting the decision of the locals? Indeed, if ottoman rule was so kindly, why did they have to conquer the countries concerned before they could offer their humane rule? I don't. The Serbs do. Like Gallio, I care for none of these things. However, what is the muslim view of people who became christians in countries under french or british colonial rule and served the empires? When Bosnia-Herzevogina became part of the Austro-Hungarian empire the Bosniaks were solely concerned with their privileges, such as owning the last serfs in Europe, not with their co-religionists.
  10. The Notion Of An Allah

    Wjhile they weren't given the choice of conversion or death offered to pagans, I don't think the boy tax was exactly voluntary. As well as direct force there are more subtle means of persuasion, such as jizyah, the powers of the timariots and the rights given to muslims. I think one reason for the hostility felt by the Serbs to the Bosniak muslims is because they are regarded as ancestral turncoats. Actually, there were quite a few more muslims living there when it was under Ottoman rule. The entire civil service- the Sultan's own men- janissaries and other estate holders. Most of them were not of Greek ancestry so there was even less compunction about killing or expelling them in the wars of independence. Certainly: but the Austrians remember it still.
  11. The Notion Of An Allah

    I don't think Spaniards, Sicilians, Greeks, Romanians, Serbs, Croats, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Austrians- to name just a few Europeans- would agree with you, from direct historical experience.
  12. The Notion Of An Allah

    Take a look at a history of Java. The early coastal Islamic states spread forcibly across the interior. Compare with Ceylon, where the only attempts tp spread Islam were peaceful and largely unsuccesful. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, if it is the fastest growing religion in the world, because muslims have a high birth rate. In fact Islam isn't spreading very fast in the USA: see Jeffrey Lang's Even angels Ask.
  13. The Notion Of An Allah

    A better date for a cessation of spreading by the sword- in the west at least- would be the siege of Vienna in 1689, actually. No, but the Dey of Tripoli was that "intellectually challenged". He also thought his army could march to america. Faqer seems to think it important whether any muslim army ever attempted to invade America, so I gave him a not very successful example.
  14. The Notion Of An Allah

    where? how dfo you suppose the muslims spread across Java and sumatra, actually? as for S E asia have yoiu heard of Timur or Aurengzeb? No-one has suggested one Has, have they? In fact, the ruler of Tripoli, after the USA destroyed his pirate fleet in 1804, ordered his army to prepare to invade the USA and bring back the king of America in chains. When they couldn't find America on any of their maps they decided not to.
  15. The Notion Of An Allah

    That was the question you asked me to answer. I'm pleased to see you accept my answer as correct. Now, then, pal, how about answering my own question: How about Asia, North Africa, Persia, Afghanistan, India, Spain, the Middle East and eastern Europe, though?