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Islamic Achievements in Math was 500 Years Ahead of the West

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posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 03:30 AM
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Islamic Achievements in Math was 500 Years Ahead of the West


Source Link: today.reuters.co.uk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Magnificently sophisticated geometric patterns in medieval Islamic architecture indicate their designers achieved a mathematical breakthrough 500 years earlier than Western scholars, scientists said on Thursday.

By the 15th century, decorative tile patterns on these masterpieces of Islamic architecture reached such complexity that a small number boasted what seem to be "quasicrystalline" designs, Harvard University's Peter Lu and Princeton University's Paul Steinhardt wrote in the journal Science.

Only in the 1970s did British mathematician and cosmologist Roger Penrose become the first to describe these geometric designs in the West. Quasicrystalline patterns comprise a set of interlocking units whose pattern never repeats, even when extended infinitely in all directions, and possess a special form of symmetry.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Related News Links:
news.bbc.co.uk
news.independent.co.uk
www.physics.harvard.edu

[edit on 24-2-2007 by khunmoon]




posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 03:57 AM
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You are totally correct, and the uneducated religious fanatical Catholic Christians walked down and launched the crusades completely disrupting the tolerant scientifically liberal moslem society taking over for almost 200 years.

Now fast forward to today. We are the scientifically advanced liberal culture about to get our butts handed to us after the U.S. leaves Iraq and the Moslems unite under the "13" caliphate.

History repeats itself constantly.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 04:06 AM
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From the article:



Joshua Socolar, a Duke university physicist, said it is unclear whether the medieval Islamic artisans fully understood the mathematical properties of the patterns they were making.

"It leads you to wonder whether they kind of got lucky," Socolar said in an interview. "But the fact remains that the patterns are tantalizingly close to having the structure that Penrose discovered in the mid-70s."


I think the far more likely explanation is that these craft tiles are simply the work of brilliant artists, not brilliant mathematicians. While it's true Islamic scholars did continue to build on Greco-Roman, Egyptian and Babylonian mathematics while Europe was in the dark ages, their work remains and I don't think there's anything that indicates that they made any true breakthroughs. Trying to divine that they knew far more about math from patterns of tiles than what's revealed in their writings seems like a pseudoscience to me.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 04:38 AM
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Here's an image from the 15th Century archway of Darb-i Imam shrine, Isfahan, Iran, so people can see what we are talking about.


For Djohn I'll say patterns like these don't come about by trial and error, it's obvious a deeper understanding must be behind. An understanding at the time when Europe was occupied by religious wars and witch burnings.

The difference is the application. All math and science we do for innovation; the Muslims did it for beauty and the arts. They had an understanding when ours didn't extend much beyond the wheel.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 05:11 AM
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Originally posted by khunmoon
Here's an image from the 15th Century archway of Darb-i Imam shrine, Isfahan, Iran, so people can see what we are talking about...

They had an understanding when ours didn't extend much beyond the wheel.


In the 15th Century?

Hmm, educate yourself.

15th century




posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 05:37 AM
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Oh yeah, our greed had become that big we ventured cross the seas in search for gold. Very appropriate it gave the opportunity to slaughter a few heathens too.

And banking your link says. Yes the diaspora drove the Jews to the furthest corners of the continent now they no longer had any refugee in the Moorish Kingdom of Granada.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 05:41 AM
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Never heard of Leonardo da Vinci then?



I think venturing across the sea in search of gold, requires a little more understand that that of the wheel, no?

I am talking about scientific understanding, not the morality of the people of the time.

You can cherry pick any examples you like, to illustrate any point.

The fact is what you stated above with regards to the scientific knowledge of those in the 15th century is completely false. I think if you are going to talk about the subject, a little knowledge would put you in a better position.

Lest, God forbid you come across as completely ignorant.


[edit on 24/2/07 by Implosion]



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:04 AM
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Yes I know also know Michelangelo and Galilee and the renaissance as such, you don't have to educate me.

What happened to Galilee btw? ...when he was telling a mathematical truth.

(edit to add)

May I suggest you stick to the subject ...so you don't come across so arrogant.

[edit on 24-2-2007 by khunmoon]



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:15 AM
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Nothing that hasn't happened to countless others.

Ever heard of Wilhelm Reich?

No matter how smart you try to come across as now, it doesnt stop what you stated above from being dead wrong. Either you ddn't know that what you stated was incorrect, or you were purosely distorting the truth.

Which was it?



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:26 AM
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Pardon me... what do you see as incorrect? (beside from twisting words)

OK, you come up with an invention of the 15th century that wasn't based on the wheel... ahh, there's the sling, that's right.

Leonardo was far ahead of his time, as was Galileo.

You ever heard about C.G.Jung?



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:34 AM
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I've had enough of this pissing contest.

I couldn't give a goddamn if you think I'm arrogant, and you obviously have no desire to answer my question.

It's all there, in white on black.

It makes no odds that in your opinion da Vinci was ahead of his time, the fact remains; he was designing machines that only in recent times we have seen realised. He was breaking new ground in many different areas of mathematics, science, and the arts.

When?

The 15th century.

No matter. Keep on misrepresenting the facts to support your opinions.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:41 AM
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Thank you.

Fyi, the halberd came into common use in the 15th century (now you don't want to answer questions).



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:46 AM
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Yes I've heard of Carl Gustav Jung.

What's your point?



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:55 AM
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Archetype.

What was yours bringing up Reich?



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 07:00 AM
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Originally posted by khunmoon
Archetype.


Completely meaningless in this discussion.


Originally posted by khunmoon
What was yours bringing up Reich?



Originally posted by khunmoon
What happened to Galilee btw? ...when he was telling a mathematical truth.


The persecution of a scientific figure by the establishment who's work had obvious merit.

This was in the 1950's

Of course, if you knew the first thing about him, you would have realised this.

[edit on 24/2/07 by Implosion]



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 07:13 AM
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Sorry, I only saw the shrink.


Originally posted by Implosion
Of course, if you knew the first thing about him, you would have realised this.

Well, Makajejev's Mysteries of the Organism is one of my favorit movies.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 09:10 AM
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Trying to bring this thread back on topic it might be suitable with a brief history of science.

Present day science has its foundation in the old Greek philosophers, but to understand Islam's role in the development of science it should be pointed out that the rise of Islam coincide what we know as "the dark ages" in Europe, a time of war, famine and near complete loss of the knowledge of the Antiquity.

After the fall of the Roman empire, the migrations of Eurasian tribes into Europe, the continent was plunged into a backward trend that lasted 800 years until the renaissance came up.

All the while Islam was born and through trade routes going from Indonesia to the Mediterranean picked up ancient knowledge from the Chinese and Greeks alike. Development of math was a central part of their science. At a time were Pythagoras was literally forgotten in Europe Arab scholars build on his teachings and others from the Ancient World they became acquainted with through the Byzantine Empire's preservation of Greek and Egyptian text.

A good entry about it can be found in Wiki


Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Greek philosophy was able to find some support by the newly created Arab Caliphate. With the spread of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries, a period of Islamic scholarship lasted until the 14th century. This scholarship was aided by several factors. The use of a single language, Arabic, allowed communication without need of a translator. Access to Greek and Roman texts from the Byzantine Empire along with Indian sources of learning provided Islamic scholars a knowledge base to build upon.

From the Indians they got the zero and developed the ciphers of ten, without any of the achievements we have reached today wouldn't have been possible.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by khunmoon
The difference is the application. All math and science we do for innovation; the Muslims did it for beauty and the arts. They had an understanding when ours didn't extend much beyond the wheel.

And of course the arabs were illiterate goat herders in the desert when the europeans were at the height of classical civilization, so whats it really matter?
And the islamic acheivements in science and the arts were all based on having received and preserved classical knowledge in the first place, so again, whats the point?



Darb-i Imam shrine

But thats not a 'qusaicrystalline' pattern, they are saying that a quasicrystalline pattern is one where when its extended in all directions, it doesn't repeat itself.

ALso, considering that the islamic arts of the time forbid the drawing of living things, and instead demands that only geometric shapes be used, is it all too surprising that they'd stumble upon any number of unusual geometric patterns???



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
And of course the arabs were illiterate goat herders in the desert when the europeans were at the height of classical civilization, so whats it really matter?

Only goes to show what is up today is down tomorrow and viceversa.


And the islamic acheivements in science and the arts were all based on having received and preserved classical knowledge in the first place, so again, whats the point?

That someone was curious enough to preserve it. Where've we been today if it had gone completely lost?


But thats not a 'qusaicrystalline' pattern, they are saying that a quasicrystalline pattern is one where when its extended in all directions, it doesn't repeat itself.

Look again! No area within the overall pattern repeats itself.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 10:09 AM
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The black arrows are areas that are the same pattern, BUT, one is rotated. The red arrows are another area that is repeating, BUT, one is overlain by another repeat of the pattern.

Why does this require an advanced understanding of mathematics? Why isn't it simply an articistic choice? It looks like they selected a few circlular patterns, and then just overlaid them on each other and rotated some of them.




And if this is the result of a mathematical breakthrough, where are the texts that affirm it? They are saying that it was in Iran and Uzbekistan and throughout the islamic world. That kind of knowledge doesn't spread through word of mouth. If they were doing anything other than randomly jiggering geometric designs, then who was teaching them to do it, when was it discovered, how was it discovered, etc?


today.reuters.co.uk... DC.XML&pageNumber=1&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc=NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage1

Joshua Socolar, a Duke university physicist, said it is unclear whether the medieval Islamic artisans fully understood the mathematical properties of the patterns they were making.

"It leads you to wonder whether they kind of got lucky," Socolar said in an interview. "But the fact remains that the patterns are tantalizingly close to having the structure that Penrose discovered in the mid-70s."
[emphasis added]

It looks like they are just saying that it looks like a quasicrystalline design. And if anything this means that they have an artistic style that wasn't ever replicated in the west, not an actual mathematical theory and understanding that didn't exist in the west.


Here's another article that describes it:

www.sciencenews.org...
The patterns on the Islamic buildings reminded him of Penrose tiles, which are two simple geometric shapes, usually a kite and a dart or a fat and a skinny rhombus (diamond). When laid down in a tiling, these pairs of tiles can cover a plane in a pattern that never repeats.

So the design is simply a consequence of using these kinds of tiles. Given that they don't permit themselves to create lifelike illustrations, its not surprising that they'd be trying lots of differeny geometric shaps to make tiles, and find that there are larger patterns that emerge from this.


As a Penrose tiling spreads across a larger and larger surface, the ratio between the numbers of each type of tile approaches the golden ratio. The golden ratio (or mean) is the irrational number 1.618

If it was anything other than random chance at trying different tiles, then surely it came from an investigation of the golden ratio, which had philosophical and 'scientific' (this being a pre-scientific era) and even theological import in the old world.

It looks like he is saying that, rather than drawing an entire design with a square and compass onto a wall, they were experimenting with using differently shaped tiles to create overpatterns in the design, allowing them to make a design that can cover any sized wall.


Here is the Science article:
www.physics.harvard.edu...



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