1550-1900 OTHER SCIENCE

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Primitive steam engine of Hero of Alexandria was copied by Taqi al-Din.

STEAM ENGINE
In 1551 in the Ottoman Empire, Taqi al-Din (1526 – 1585) copied the primitive “steam engine” invented in the 1st century by Hero of Alexandria, but increasing the number of bent pipes. Hero had used it to rotate a stage of dancing statues in a temple. Taqi al-Din merely used it to turn a small spit for cooking food.

WATER PUMP
Taqi al-Din copied the pump Ctesibius built in the 3rd century BC, but increased the number of cylinders from 2 cylinders to 6 cylinders, probably increasing the efficiency of the pump.This device used one water wheel [not a Muslim invention] to power 6 primitive pumps (to pump irrigation water from the river) similar to the pumps at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_pump


AMICABLE NUMBERS
Muhammad Baqir Yazdi (1510? – 1570?) discovered 9,363,584 and 9,437,056 to be a pair of amicable numbers (two different numbers so related that the sum of the proper divisors of each is equal to the other number). Amicable numbers were known to the ancient Greeks. Muhammad Baqir Yazdia probably used the general formula (invented by a pagan Sabian star worshiper living in Baghdad named Thabit ibn Qurra) to discover this pair of amicable numbers.


TAJ MAHAL
The very beautiful Taj Mahal in India was probably designed by the architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri and construction began in 1632. The dome of the Taj Mahal is 60 feet in diameter but the dome of the Hagia Sophia built by Byzantine Christians 1100 years earlier is 102 feet in diameter. The Taj Mahal did not set any height record, being less than half the height of the Lincoln Cathedral built in England 300 years earlier.

OIL WELLS
An oil well 35 meters deep was dug in what is now Baku Azerbaijan as early as 1594, but the Chinese (using primitive rotating drill bits) were far ahead of the Muslims in oil well technology.
The Muslims merely used a device similar to a pile driver to drive a pointy object to break up the soil.  [Both were creating wells though soil, not through rock.]

IMPROVED MILITARY ROCKETS?
Websites claim Tipu Sultan (1750 – 1799) or his father improved upon military rockets by making the tube out of iron. This was not a Muslim invention. The Chinese were making rockets out of iron long before any Muslims built any rockets.

HISTORIAN
The Somali Muslim scholar Abd al-‘Azīz al-Amawī  (1838 – 1896) debated Christian missionaries and wrote about the Muslim government of what is now Zanzibar.

SMALLPOX VACCINATION
The “smallpox vaccination” performed in the Ottoman Empire in 1717 was merely variolation (a method invented in China or India which uses the dangerous smallpox virus). True vaccination (using the safe cowpox virus) was invented in 1796 by Edward Jenner (a Christian in England).


PHYSICAL THERAPY
Sake Dean Mahomet (1759 – 1851) was a Bengali-British medical doctor who established “shampooing” therapeutic massage baths in Great Britain. The en.wikipedia list of Muslim scientists accidentally put him in the physics category instead of the physical therapy category.

CLINICAL RESEARCH
Frederick Akbar Mahomed (1849 – 1884) did not invent clinical trials. He received his medical training in England and Belgium. At Guy’s hospital in London he continued the research that had been started decades earlier at the same hospital by Richard Bright (1789 – 1858) on the correlation between high blood pressure and acute inflammation of the kidney.
[The ancient Greeks wrote about hypertension and hardening of the arteries.] Mahomed invented a device for measuring blood pressure, and kept detailed records of the progression of the general health and blood pressure of his essential hypertension patients and compared that to the data of his secondary hypertension patients, including death rates from hardening of the arteries and kidney failure. He asked other physicians to collect the same data on their patients, establishing a precedent of a medical study being conducted at multiple locations.
He noticed that patients with high blood pressure often had pressure pulses, but he could not explain why.

EVOLUTION
In the late 19th century, political activist Jamal-al-Din al-Afghānī initially denounced Darwin’s theory of evolution, but later claimed the theory of evolution was devised by Muslims of the Islamic Golden Age. Al-Afghānī misunderstood Darwin’s theory of natural selection that competition within a species determines which random changes are passed on to later generations.
Scholars of the Islamic Golden Age wrote that animals of different species competed as predator and prey, not that animals competed within a species.
The “evolution” writings of 13th century Persian astronomer al-Tusi were copied from Aristotle’s incorrect “ladder of life” theory, but changing the Greek god Zeus to Allah, and adding angels as the last stage. Al-Tusi wrote that Allah created exactly one species of life at each rung of the ladder, with rocks being the lowest rung, and black people, white people, and angels being the top 3 rungs.  [This contradicts Quran verse 2:30, which says Allah created angels before he created man.] Each stage was a separate act of creation. The theory did not say rocks evolved into living things. Black people did not evolve into white people, but instead white people were created in a separate act of creation. This implies that blacks are subhuman animals, not humans. In this theory, Adam (a white person) was the first human. See details in the Islamic Golden Age section.
Some Muslim websites interpret that al-Afghānī said that each of the rungs of the ladder evolved from the rung immediately below it. Such an interpretation violates common sense [coral evolved from rock because it looks like rock] and contradicts the Quran [man evolved from animals].


Image by “Knight’s American Mechanical Dictionary”, 1876, via Wikimedia Commons.
image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aeolipile_illustration.png#mw-jump-to-license

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