Talk:Avicenna

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good sources/Rfc[edit]

[this] and [this] Notice that the editor who did all this is by far the top contributor to the article, with 350 edits. A great deal of what we have here is original research. There is a large group of articles at Iranica [1] its more neutral than what we have here. Also a good source is Goodman, Lenn Evan (1992). Avicenna. Routledge. ISBN 9780415019293. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 

"Atheist"[edit]

This is a poor translation of the pejorative used by Al-Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyyah, etc. to attack Avicenna. The world ملحد is used to mean "atheist," especially today, but a more literal translation like "deviant" or "heretic" would be appropriate here. He wasn't attacked for nonbelief in a deity, but for other metaphysical beliefs that his critics considered to be at odds with the teachings of Islam. "Atheist" gives the wrong impression. 108.4.27.205 (talk) 18:49, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

What would be a better version then? Something along the lines of "he was accused of heretical teachings"? Can you provide a secondary source which puts it better? --Merlinme (talk) 09:46, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
The statement was without any reliable citation to it, so I just removed it. Khestwol (talk) 10:44, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
From what i know from many sources in arabic (like History of atheism in islam by Abdel Rahman Badawi) is that he wasn't only "against islamic teachings" but he didn't believe in revelation at all just like Abu bakr arrazi. So i think the article should be more precise about his beliefs than just saying he was a devout muslim — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.93.180.42 (talk) 12:31, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
the "devout Muslim" thing is just fluff. He was a Muslim philosopher, writing on stuff including theological speculation. "Devout" as an adjective doesn't really cover theological speculation, but it is here only used for emphasis to drive home the point that he was a Muslim (which he was). Of course, Muslim theology of the 10th century would today be almost universally considered heretical and blasphemous. He was shot down as a heretic in the 12th century, and after the 13th century it was theological thought itself that came to be seen as heretical. Of course this is of no interest to the people who just want a figurehead on which they can tag the labels "devout Muslim and great thinker". The article airily claims that "Avicennism" became a "leading school" in Islamic philosophy. Well, when and where, and more to the point until when? After 1200, I am quite sure you will be hard put to find any argument invoking Avicenna's scheme of emanations. --dab (𒁳) 14:25, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Date of birth and death[edit]

According to the Encyclopædia Iranica article, only his year of death is known, even his age is very uncertain; 980 is the traditional estimate for his birth year but said to be "untenable". So how could the precise day of birth and death be known? I must assume that somebody made those dates up completely out of thin air. For medieval personalities, such exact dates are almost never known. Nice job for not catching this, watchers. No wonder Wikipedia degenerates into Disinfopedia if obvious falsehoods like these are just shrugged off. We have responsibility, folks! Wikipedia is supposed to be reliable, not to spread "truthiness". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:48, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Ah, but we have eight refrerences to prove he is the "Father of Early Modern Medicine", so it's not all bad! It was this edit by an IP on 17 October 2014 that added the falsely precise dates, probably copied (incorrectly) from ru:Ибн Сина. Unfortunately, the number of people wanting to add fluff exceeds the number prepared to oppose it. Johnuniq (talk) 22:54, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Traces of WP:BOMBARD antics[edit]

seriously?[2]

He has been described as the "Father of Early Modern Medicine". [Colgan, Richard. Advice to the Healer: On the Art of Caring. Springer, 2013, p. 37.(ISBN 978-1-4614-5169-3)] [Juergensmeyer M., Kitts M., Jerryson M. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence'. OUP USA, 2013, p. 625.(ISBN 9780199759996)] [Paul E. "The Emperor Is Buck Naked: Why Medical Evidence Is Not Necessarily Proof" Abbott Press, 2014, p 12. (ISBN 9781458216410)] [Herlihy J. "Islam for Our Time: Inside the Traditional World of Islamic Spirituality" Xlibris Corporation, 2012, p 108.(ISBN 9781479709953)] [Ma'oz M. "The Meeting of Civilizations: Muslim, Christian, and Jewish" Sussex Academic Press, 2009, p 243. (ISBN 9781845193959)] [Ganchy S. "Islam and Science, Medicine, and Technology" The Rosen Publishing Group, 2009, p 30. (ISBN 9781435850668)] [Galvin T. "Come from the Shadows: The Long and Lonely Struggle for Peace in Afghanistan" Douglas & McIntyre, 2011, p 34. (ISBN 9781553657828)] [Ishiyama J., Breuning M. "21st Century Political Science: A Reference Handbook" SAGE Publications, 2010, p 573. (ISBN 9781452266367)]

These "father of X" epithets are of dubious notability or stylistic merit at the best of times. Here, the father not of "medicine", nor of "modern medicine", but of early modern medicine? Why not "late late medieval" or "early early modern"? And even if there is any merit in this epithet, the has been called passive statement isn't made any better by slapping half a dozen references on it, not a single one of which makes clear who has called him by this title and when. Was it Colgan (2013)? Or rather "The Emperor Is Buck Naked" (2014)? Or maybe "Islam for our Time" (2012)? Or maybe "Meeting of Civilizations" (2012)? Or perhaps "Islam and Science" (2009)? Or how about the work on "Peace in Afghanistan" (2011)? Or perhaps the handbook on 21st-century political science? That sounds like a relevant candidate now?

This kind of statement needs one reference which establishes who said so, when they said so, and by weight of their credentials that it is relevant to repeat the statement. What has been done here instead is just a pathetic (because I assume unintentional) parody of shoddy Wikipedia editing. --dab (𒁳) 11:08, 20 February 2015 (UTC)


I think I see what is going on here. Citogenesis. This explains why such an extremely lame and unlikely title could stick around, and why it is only found in suspect and lazy literature beginning about 2009. The claim was introduced like that, "he is considered the father of medicine" cited to one Cas Lek Cesk, who apparently said in some paper back in 1980 "The father of medicine, Avicenna, in our science and culture". Then, the claim "father of medicine" or "father of medicine" spent some times in the lead and/or infobox of this page. Then it was taken down. Then it was added back with the weird "early modern" addition, because clearly he cannot be "the father of medicine", nor "the father of modern medicine", so let's make him the father of something. Apparently by using google books and just heaping up all the hacks who used this "father" quip since 2010 or so. I realize this article has always been rather poor, and very difficult to maintain, but this is really the opposite of how articles should be written (obsessive WP:BOMBARD attention on hyperbole in the lead, pretty much unsupervised sprawling prose in the body).

Of course, this is what always happens on Wikipedia as soon any historical character can be argued to be Persian: His "Persian" identity will be BOMBARDed with at least four footnotes (even when it is completely undisputed! guys! you love Persians, I get it, but why would you do that?), and then the hyperbole will be piled up by cherry-picked google-books search results, but all this loving attention will be firmly limited to the lead and infobox, because hey, who will ever read more than that. --dab (𒁳) 11:32, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Too funny, the original "source" of the "father of medicine" thing, "Cas Lek Cesk", is actually Casopis Lékaru Ceských "Journal of Czech Physicians". It was cited as "Cas Lek Cesk (1980). "The father of medicine, Avicenna, in our science and culture: Abu Ali ibn Sina (980-1037)", Becka J. 119 (1), p. 17-23." So, this was a guy called J. Becka writing in Cas Lek Cesk in 1980, and not vice versa. Of course, whoever added this never saw the paper, they googled "father of medicine" and found this page where the title of a Czech paper of 1980 is given in English translation. Then they confused the author with the journal name.

So this entire "father of" thing boils down to, in communist-era Czechoslovakia, a paper on Avicenna once dubbed him "the father of medicine in our science and culture". Only on Wikipedia could something as marginal as this keep festering until it becomes "he has been described as the father of early modern medicine", tagged with a half-dozen footnote to random publications from the 2010s, right up there in the lead paragraph on Avicenna. --dab (𒁳) 11:46, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for raising that. I put my thoughts at the user's talk and I will repeat here: Suppose someone tried to justify the statement "Avicenna is regarded as the father of modern medicine". Is there any objective test that could be applied? What work known to have been done by the person would justify such a statement? For example, if the person worked to establish hygiene, that could be noted; if they established evidentiary-based treatments, that could be noted.

Thanks also for your analysis of the history of the phrase. There has been a wide push (not just at Wikipedia) in recent decades to boost the status of certain historic individuals, and a massive case of boosterism editing is still slowly being cleaned up. At any rate, let's stick to recorded facts and omit the father of decorations. Johnuniq (talk) 23:20, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

I dispare of ever getting a good article here or any where in wikipedia about Muslims and science, but keep up the good work J8079s (talk) 18:17, 21 February 2015 (UTC)