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LINK A Thousand Years Before Darwin, Islamic Scholars Were Writing About Natural Selection

Whaddaya know, Islam didn't always suck.

There is no evidence that Darwin knew of Islamic scholars from the 9th or 10th centuries, said Salman Hameed, the director of the Centre for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts—but the purpose of including mention of past scholars isn't to say that Darwin copied them, or drew from them, or to in any way diminish his legacy.

“I think it's good for students to know that other societies have thought about these things," Hameed said. "I think it enriches our story of science. The story of science in some sense should be a story of humans, not a story of a couple of individuals coming up with these great things—but a human endeavor."

altschmerz 9 Jan 9

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What's the difference between Arab scholar and Islamic scholar?


Unfortunately, now for most of Islam, natural selection is killing you if you disagree.


They invented mathematics, for one......

Most of the stars one can see at night were named by them.


There appear to be progressives and free thinkers in various religious societies mixed in among fundamentalist and repressive non-thinkers. Many great thinkers in the past, while being identified with culture of religion, were probably much more focused on using their minds to both preserve and develop scientific knowledge. Ancient cultures around the world appear to have understood that humans and animals evolved through natural selection, though they didn't explain that in Darwin's way. The modern scientific canon has belittled ancient knowledge of natural selection and has called it myths, "scholarly writings, oral history and folklore" rather than admit that natural selection was known a long time ago by various ancient thinkers. Let's hope the ancient thinkers will be thanked.


I believe that the world's oldest university in Morocco was founded by an Arab woman over 1000 years ago. It would be inconceivable for any Muslim woman to achieve such success according to today's (Muhammad's) Islamic doctrine.

Ryo1 Level 8 Jan 9, 2022

This does not surprise me that Islam had a great period long ago as did the Greeks. It seems that Societies flourish and pass. I read that while Mohammed was alive he lived in a city that had a lot of what we would call modern. Women voted, everyone was fed and treated equally, of course, this did not last long.

Hi dalefvictor. If the Meccan forces defeated Muhammad in the Battle of Badr, Islam would've taken a quite different path. We can only speculate.


I don’t get the comment. Most societies have given something to the collective human knowledge. But, islam still sucks…

@altschmerz that is true, for many reasons.


Are we distinguishing between ideas about evolution and the specific mechanisms of natural selection? There were many competing ideas about evolution dating pretty far back in history, and associated with different cultures and beliefs, but I believe Darwin’s real achievement was to identify natural selection specifically as the engine that “drove” the process and to describe it in detail with evidence drawn from direct observation.


If there is a truth to be found, more than one person will discover it at different places and different times.

But you can also be sure some bunch of religious zealot crusaders will decry it as witchcraft because it disagrees with their holy book and burn the lot on the orders of one pope or another.


The current trend in going backwards seems to me to be because people want an answer to something right now and they believe that their religion has all the answers. The desire to know instantly is not explained by science, so many have returned to religion. I recall Islamists claiming that black holes are the vacuum cleaners of space and proving it with the Koran. This only works if you are alive after vacuum cleaners were invented and therefore you see the analogy.


Similarly, in the third century, the ancient Chinese scholars set their focus on the universe and established the concept of cosmology instead of settling with the belief that some unexplained divine being created the entire universe.

Ryo1 Level 8 Jan 9, 2022

Printing was not invented by Guttenberg in 1439 but was actually invented by the Chinese in AD 700. See Joseph Needham, Science And Civilisation In China.


At one time they were a seat of learning


Most people do not realize that Muslim countries had their age of enlightenment long before Europe did. I remember reading some accounts in of the Crusades wherein Muslim doctors were appalled by situations among the crusaders. Unfortunately, their dark ages followed their enlightenment.

Sadly some muslims are living in a dark age today.

@xenoview indeed, they are. (And so are some people in the USA!)


Who did the islamic people copy from for natural selections?

No-one, not even Darwin, 'copied' from anyone or anything else, it was all done by observation, examination, researching and thought processes.
One might say, EXACTLY how Atheist discover that they are Atheists.


kinda, but I have to mention this most of those scholars came from PERSIAN culture NOT Islam. Islam added nothing to science. Persian empire had a great background of knowledge in both science and philosophy, just as an example check the Baghdad Battery ( today Iraq was part of the Persian empire )

Diaco Level 7 Jan 9, 2022

@altschmerz Persians were more intelligent and open-minded, but during the time Islam fucked their mind, I know this history simply because I'm a Persian. 🙂

Wasn't Islam the dominant belief system in Persian culture of that time period? Assuming you are correct that many of those names came from Persian Culture, how does this contradict, at all, the idea that those scholars were working in a predominantly Islamic culture?


@kmaz it's not necessary to assume anything, go and check the Islam Golden age. The issue is you know Nothing about Islam, when they conquered Persian lands, Persians had to be silenced about their beliefs, and during the time they changed Islam to another branch called "SHIA", and this's why even today the original Islam "Sunni" has a huge problem with them, Shia is a mixture of Islam and Persian's Ancient Religions and belives, and NO I didn't say all of them were Muslims since I know some of them were more spiritual.
and this's why today Iranians speak Farsi/Persian NOT Arabic like other conquered lands such as Egypt or Syria ( they arent Arab ).

pls check this video :
" Zoroastrianism "
the Prototype of all main religions!


@kmaz, @Diaco regardless, Islam had its Enlightenment. This is Wikipedia and not academic, but it outlines some aspects:


And on medicine practiced in Islamic countries:


@Gwendolyn2018 Again I have to repeat myself, Islam had/has no Enlightenment but it's conquered lands. it's like you say NASA belongs to Christianity!!

@Diaco you can repeat yourself as much as you like, but I will still go with what scholars say and they refer to "Islam" when they discuss the issues I have mentioned.



@Gwendolyn2018 So... you don't believe in religions and think there isn't any single fact in them it But at the same time you categorize Humanity, History, Culture, Science, Philosophy, and Nations based on Religions! just because scholars say!!! Perfect 🙂

@Diaco I have spend decades studying myth and religion. Am I an expert on the history of the Mideast, nope, but I have an MA in literature and know how to research AND recognize biased sources. As for believing in "religions"--no, I do not have a god belief. However, that is not what your question asked: I know that religions exist and have an influence on the countries in which they are practiced. This is true from every country from Egypt/Sumer onward. There are some facts in religions, i.e. historical allegory, but that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

If I want to know about the culture and religion practiced in a country, I will research unbiased sources; you are not unbiased.

Be well.

@Gwendolyn2018 There isn't any unbiased historical reference, simply because humans WROTE it. Good Luck

@Diaco you have no clue as to what I was saying about unbiased sources and I am not going to try to explain. Again, be well.

@Gwendolyn2018 Maybe, Again, Good Luck! btw, we can continue this ( Good Luck<->Be Well ) Forever 🙂


I will not have my Sunday ruined by your semi-incoherent points and assumptions about what I know or don't know, but I will leave it at this for now:

  • It is somewhat hard to tell what you are going for, but if what you were going for is to say that while certain regions and time periods may be labeled by laymen and academicians as predominantly Islamic, in reality there is another school of thought that the achievements coming from those regions and time periods should not be attributed to Islamic culture, but to other oppressed cultures despite Islam and despite the usual historical labels, then for goodness sake, why not just say that in a calm and rational way?? I"m sure you could have found some common ground with those here, and if you have knowledge to offer it would have been nice to read it..

  • In any event, I read for Zoroastrianism in the link I provided, before I provided it, and before you started going on about it, and for the issue of whether the culture in Persia at the time of the claimed science achievements was predominantly Zoroastrian. To some extent that may have been true (up through 1000 AD?) but from what little I know so far, it appears to be overly broad brush, at best, to make such comments as "Islam added nothing to science."

  • I"m not going to do 17 minutes of assigned viewing about yet another religion. If you have a portion of a video that is particularly relevant to making some important point, please let me know.

@kmaz my Friend, pls don't ruin your life for any (especially for past and history ), I tried to use simple and polite language, I don't know where you found anything irrational, semi-incoherent, wrong, and vague in my replies! IDK, but just in case, My BAD! 🙂

100% correct, until the Muhammed INVENTED Islam the PERSIANS were at the forefront of the Sciences, etc, etc.
Imo, what we are seeing today with Islam is almost a mirror image of what occurred in Europe when Christianity took hold via the Roman Catholic Church, i.e. the Dark Ages.

@Diaco is English your first language?

@Gwendolyn2018 Nope, but I can Understand it 🙂

@gwendolyn2018 @Diaco I believe I understand the point that Diaco is making. The so called christian world is actually not monolithic, it has many different facets based on what ethnic group is practicing it. What you are saying is Islam is also not monolithic and has different facets based on which ethnic group is practicing it also. Apparently, Persians contributed greatly to science in the past, even though they were islamic. When Genghis Khan was out making the worlds largest empire, he conquered Persia for it advanced math, science and art. He never put major effort in the conquering Europe, as Europe was far too backward and uncivilized to waste time with it.

Fundamentalists in both the so called christian world and in the islamic world feel science is bad for their religious view. The fundamentalists in both religions do their best to drown out the more moderate and open minded members of their religion who would support and believe in science. FACT- in both christainity and islam, there are some open minded and progressive thinkers. The fundamentalists work hard at trying to suppress those voices. In the USA we are in real danger of becoming a christian fundamentalist dictatorship.

@Diaco that might be an issue--I teach writing and you appeared to be ESL. I said that you did not understand my points; it could be an issue of semantics and language.

@creative51 I see Diaco as making the point that Persian science, medicine, etc., was not related to Islam, but during the Islam enlightenment/Renaissance, Persia was Islamic.

@Gwendolyn2018 I think (but could be mistaken), is that Diaco is saying it is his opinion that Persia was the driving force in the Islam enlightenment/renaissance. I do not know enough history of that region and time frame to either agree or disagree. The only evidence I have that he might be correct is my knowledge of Genghis Khan (I have studied him quite a bit), really wanting Persia, and upon taking it, sending as many scientists and artisans back to China as he could. Genghis wanted that knowledge very much.

@Gwendolyn2018 Renaissance happened in Christian countries! by your logic, the Renaissance and all of its Achievements were from Christianity?! really?! There isn't any credit for Islam or any Religion relative to Science, religions are Anti-Science by their own nature!

@creative51 I think that Diaco is saying that Persia was a hotbed of science before it became Muslim and that Islam was the religion of the area had little to nothing to do with the advancement of science--however, I could be wrong on his assessment. I said earlier that I am am not a scholar of the Mideast, as well, but quick reference appears to day that Muslims conquered Iran in the mid 600s. The Islamic age of enlightenment was from about the 8th to 14th century. Even if Persia were the driving force, it was still an Islamic state.

@Diaco I said, "Be well" and that means that I will not discuss this issue with you any longer.

@Gwendolyn2018 and I said Good Luck! ( that means, Ok you're right! ) but seems you like this pointless cycle! PLS. go and see what Arabs were doing before Islam and compare it to Persian civilization! there are great reasons to call Cyrus the Great!
search for the " first human rights declaration "

@Diaco I think you might have more idea what it means to be Persian than a white woman.
who learned about Persians in school.


Ok, well, sorry if I was a bit strident. Will try to get what I can from your comments on this topic.

@kmaz It's Ok, 🙂 btw, I think you will find this interesting :
World's Oldest Animation.


Islam, or should we say, Middle Eastern scientists and scholars had their own Renaissance of sorts - lots of math and astronomy whilst Europe sunk into Dark Ages with their religion.
Just look at the names of stars and much of math.
An aside - a poll taken of evangelicals showed a vast majority were against teaching Arabic numerals to children.

I just posted much the same!

It's okay, Arabic numerals aren't really Arabic 😂 they are Indian but I don't know if that helps

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