Talk:List of inventions in the medieval Islamic world

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Gun Powder[edit]

Please stop vandalizing the article. You can either bring up whatever you have an issue with here (especially the sources), or just not vandalize. Reverting "because you need better sources" isn't gonna cut it. Λuα (Operibus anteire) 10:11, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Users have every reason to be suspicious of these articles, which are infamous for blatant misrepresentation and falsification of cited sources. If there is some contested information on the article, it needs to be worked out here before being reinstated. :bloodofox: (talk) 11:32, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
It looks like this is your first comment on this talk page so I'm not sure why it is a little heated. Also, an experienced editor should be aware that it is not appropriate to use rollback for good-faith edits, or to say that other editors are performing vandalism (see WP:ROLLBACK and WP:VAND). Johnuniq (talk) 11:54, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Johnuniq (talk · contribs), If my history on these articles matters to you, there's always my contributions log, within which, if you dare, you will find that I am not new to the situation plaguing many of these articles. As for the "heat"; are you unfamiliar with Jagged 85 (talk · contribs)'s "contributions"? If not, I recommend you check into that before proceeding: see the infamous RFC, and note that other users are still cleaning up after Jagged's falsifications. In the mean time I again recommend that the solution here is to talk out exactly what the problem is on this talk page before proceeding. :bloodofox: (talk) 12:11, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for any confusion, but my indent was supposed to indicate that my comment was for Aua (you have not used rollback on good-faith edits or claimed edits were vandalism). I totally agree that in view of the extraordinary examples available at WP:Jagged 85 cleanup that good reasons (with sources) need to be thoroughly discussed before adding kitchen sink claims to articles. Johnuniq (talk) 12:21, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you kidding me? You can be suspicious, sure, but to revert my edits without any reason is wrong. There is no reason (nor is it WP policy) to get a consensus on every single addition to the article on this talkpage before adding it. Additionally, just because Jagged added some things does not automatically make them wrong and excluded from future addition.
Here is the issue again, you have a problem with what I inserted? Please bring it up here. Tell me why you disagree and think the sources are wrong. If your only complaint is that a previous user abused the article, then you clearly have no understanding of WP rules.
I'll give this some time before reverting it back in case I don't get a response that actually addresses the material.
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 12:57, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Oh, and just for the record, nothing was reinstated intentionally. I have no idea what Jagged added and no interest in putting a red tape around whatever he did. If it's true, and he misrepresented it, then it deserves to be put back regardless.
Your guys overzealous approach, while admirable, is definitely over the top here.
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 13:21, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
As others have said, the removal of the recent additions was not vandalism. Addressing the specific claim of gunpowder, see the [discussion on the hand cannon article talk page]. Ahmad Hassan's claim is cited to two self-published articles, contrasted to the published scholarly history used to support the claim of invention in China. Hassan's work certainly does not meet the standard of exceptional sources to support extraordinary claims, as scholarly consensus situates the origin of gunpowder in China.
The 'earliest documentary evidence' wording used in Aua's addition is also in this instance something of a weasel word, as this document referred to postdates direct archeological evidence - an actual gun - from China. Dialectric (talk) 15:01, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Great. That is something I can work with.
Well, the claim was never gunpowder, but rather the hand cannon. I think everyone agrees the former was invented in China. Hassan claims the Arabs used it first, and that is contested. I doubt people on this page with their strict standards will allow it to be on the page even if you mention how contested it is. I will withdraw that. There is of course the possibility of having a "Contested" section, but I am doubtful how much support I can get for that.
Alright, how about other claims?
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 15:59, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi Aua. Have you checked yourself the claims you've reintroduced? I don't have access to The Legacy of Muslim Spain right now, but I remember quite clearly that all references to Ziryab's innovations were overinterpretations of the type Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Jagged 85#Cause of concern #3. As for algorithms, there has not been provided a source so far. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 16:37, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi,
Again, that is something I can work with (as opposed to just an outright deletion).
I do have access to it as well as the library system of a major US university. Here is a quote from the book, page 117:
"[Ziryab] introduced....under-arm deodorant and new short hair styles..."
For now, that's what I have and what the source says. I understand your guys' frustration with previous vandalism, but you need to balance your response. Take a look at other lists and see how many things are not sourced. I am not saying that's right; I, myself, plan to clean the Chinese list and removed unsourced claims since it seems to be a prime example of "national pride run amok", but let's be more cooperative as opposed to critical.
As a disclaimer, I have no horse in this race, but I seriously want to improve this.
Finally, I will look up the algorism ref for you.
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 17:44, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
You may be surprised but I am actually a prime critic of the Chinese list, although it is still better than most lists. I was right about Ziryab. This is too weak a statement. The context merely refers to Al-Andalus and the author here does summarizes the view of Arab (=primary) sources historography on him as much as he gives his own opinion. For an invention claim, we would need a much stronger basis, not just a four-word sentence. If the Arabs really did invent deodorant by mainstream consensus, it would be no problem to cite a multitude of scholarly references and peer-reviewed articles, wouldn't you agree? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 17:54, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
@ User:Aua, every single invention on the Chinese list is sourced, not a single unsourced claim is present. You appear to be under the mistaken assumption that User:Gun Powder Ma is Chinese/a pro China editor. He has spent most of his edits downplaying Chinese achievements. If you came to the List of Chinese inventions article with the intent of deleting sections because you want revenge on Gun Powder Ma, I can assure you that he would be happy to see most of the article deleted.DÜNGÁNÈ (talk) 02:07, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

First things first, what do you guys think of this? We can milk a few things out of it and the Independent is pretty credible last time I checked (that is, of course, assuming there is a real intent to have a comprehensive list rather than just being dicks about it). @DÜNGÁNÈ, I realized Gun Powder Ma is equally critical of all non-Western lists. Whatever happened to honest contributing! Cheers! Λuα (Operibus anteire) 08:09, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Comments should aim to encourage collaborative editing, and should not be phrased in terms that suggest that people who don't fall into line are dicks or dishonest.
Re the invention of under-arm deodorant: not all sourced material is suitable for inclusion in an article. I am not ready to reach a conclusion on that issue, but some WP:REDFLAG skepticism would appear appropriate for a claim regarding who invented a deodorant 1160 years ago. It seems likely that attempts to produce some form of deodorant would have arisen at multiple locations in multiple periods—are the sources available sufficient? I'll have a look at the linked article in due course, but some care is needed given the industry apparently involved in claiming ancient inventions (i.e. much more than a media report is needed). Johnuniq (talk) 10:59, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Newspaper reports like that are never credible sources. That is just some journo hack putting together a swift article, not a reliable source William M. Connolley (talk) 11:10, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Cool then, here we go (apologies if some of these things already appear on the article; I was too tired/bored after compiling this to double-check):

  • Algebra: [A, while its roots can be traced to Babylon, its beginning as a discipline is, like its name, Arabic]
How the Arabs Invented Algebra: The History of the Concept of Variables by Tika Downey;
Sociology: Introductory Readings by Anthony Giddens, Page 212;
The birth of plenty: how the prosperity of the modern world was created by William J. Bernstein, page 274-275;
Universe on a T-Shirt: The Quest for the Theory of Everything by Dan Falk, page 28; :Voices from the Heights by Mark Williams, page 46;
The miseducation of the West: how schools and the media distort our understanding of the Islamic world by Joe L. Kincheloe, page 156;
Separated brethren: a review of Protestant, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox & other religions in the United States by William Joseph Whalen, page 265.
The TV Arab by Jack G. Shaheen, page 10;
The Military Factor in Social Change: The state as revolution by Henry Barbera, page 118
The Military Factor in Social Change: The state as revolution by Henry Barbera, page 118;
Progress of science: its origin, course, promoters, and results by J. Villin Marmery, page 43;
Story of civilization: showing how, from earliest times, men have increased their knowledge and mastery of the world, and thereby changed their ways of living in it by Carl Lotus Becker & Frederic Duncalf, page 228;
  • Pendulum clock [B, the date given is after what we have here, so I'm willing to bet it's wrong on the article since we have an earlier example]  :
Progress of science: its origin, course, promoters, and results by J. Villin Marmery, page 43;
Holy Warriors by John J. O'Neill, page 133;
A Muslim primer: beginner's guide to Islam, Volume 2 by Ira G. Zepp, page 153.
  • Distillation [B, no source was given the Arabs copied it, but the greeks used it for water distillation, the Arabs used it for chemical reactions] :
The Arabs in Spain; an historical narrative, page 213;
Regional cuisines of medieval Europe: a book of essays by Melitta Weiss Adamson, page 113;
Unity in nature: an analogy between music and life by C. E. Stromeyer, page 561;
In a World Of...Friends, Foes & Fools by James Merritt, page 90;
Medicine Through Time by Fiona Reynoldson, page 46.
  • Greek fire [B, definitely same time the source below attributes it to Arabs] :
A history of Greek fire and gunpowder by James Riddick Partington, page 22
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music History by Michael Miller
  • Arabic method/method by figures:
Arithmetic on the productive system: accompanied by a key and cubical blocks by Roswell Chamberlain Smith, page 28
  • Lute [B, debated] :
The Military Factor in Social Change: The state as revolution by Henry Barbera, page 118
  • Aerometer [B+, source given in parent article is weak] :
Progress of science: its origin, course, promoters, and results by J. Villin Marmery, page 43
The Military Factor in Social Change: The state as revolution by Henry Barbera, page 118
The Military Factor in Social Change: The state as revolution by Henry Barbera, page 118
  • Solar Return Solar return charting:
The Fated Sky: Astrology in History by Benson Bobrick, page 67
  • Pasta ascuitta/Pasta [A, Pasta (other than noodles) and especially dry pasta is invented by Arabs] :
Midnight in Sicily: On Art, Feed, History, Travel and la Cosa Nostra by Peter Robb, page 123;
Pasta: the story of a universal food by Silvano Serventi, Françoise Sabban, page 11.
Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science--from the Babylonians to the Maya by Dick Teresi, page 70.
The Scent Trail: How One Woman's Quest for the Perfect Perfume Took Her Around the World by Celia Lyttelton, page 102.
It's broken, let's fix it: the Zeitgeist and modern entreprise by Gerard M. de Beuckelaer, page 27.
Plane and spherical trigonometry by Leonard Magruder Passano, page xiv, 165;
Capitalism and freedom: the contradictory character of globalisation by Peter Nolan, page 248. (Here, it is claimed that Sine was invented by them too)
World Faith by Ruth Cranston, page 168;
The Spirit of Islam: A History of the Evolution and Ideals of Islam by Syed Ameer Ali, page 391.
A Muslim primer: beginner's guide to Islam, Volume 2 by Ira G. Zepp, page 153.
World Faith by Ruth Cranston, page 168;
A short history of technology by Harold G. Bowen and Charles F. Kettering, page 30;
A Muslim primer: beginner's guide to Islam, Volume 2 by Ira G. Zepp, page 153.
Medical history from the earliest times: a popular history of the healing art by Edward Theodore Withington, page 172.
  • Soap bars (NOT soap, the Babylonians are to credit for that] [E, not mentioned] :
The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance by Jim Al-Khalili, Chapter 4.
Chaucer's cultural geography by Kathryn L. Lynch, page 171
  • Argool:
The new international encyclopæeia, Volume 1 by Daniel Coit Gilman, Harry Thurston Peck, Frank Moore Colby, page 793;
Holy Murder: The Death of Hypatia of Alexandria by Charlotte Kramer, page 215;
Boats of the World by Sean McGrail.
Philosophical Investigations from the Sanctity of the Press by Henry Dribble, page 166

Contested/Unknown:

  • Zero [A, can be safely said to be Arabic] :
There is some discussion about the zero, but I don't think we can attribute that to the Arabs. I think the Indians have that honor. Personal opinion aside, these sources argue the Arabs created the Zero while only introducing 1 through 9 to Europe:
The Fated Sky: Astrology in History by Benson Bobrick, page 67-68;
Sociology: Introductory Readings by Anthony Giddens, Page 212;
Holy Warriors by John J. O'Neill, page 133;
Voices from the Heights by Mark Williams, page 46;
Telecommunications and data communications handbookby Ray Horak, page 275
Aquarius now: radical common sense and reclaiming our personal sovereignty by Marilyn Ferguson, page 33-34;
The miseducation of the West: how schools and the media distort our understanding of the Islamic world by Joe L. Kincheloe, page 156.
  • Black powder: Was it Chinese? Arabic? Roger Bacon (known to read Arabic and said to have copied the formula)? [C, Chinese claim is solid]
Probabilistic safety assessment in the chemical and nuclear industries by R. R. Fullwood, page 273;
Firearms, the law, and forensic ballistics by Tom A. Warlow, (Chapter 1: the beginning) page 1;

I know you guys are skeptics, so please plow through. They all clearly state that Arabs invented the thing, and that is reason for inclusion. I'll put it here first for you to take a closer look at it. I shall -again- ask people to take their POV's out of this.

Happy checking!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 13:11, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Did you verify these sources for credibility? I looked at 3 entries, and one of the 3, Cheque: Philosophical Investigations from the Sanctity of the Press by Henry Dribble, page 166, comes from a self-published work of satire, which should have immediately read as non-scholarly. Dialectric (talk) 14:03, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
For the most part, I did. Can't believed that slipped under the radar. You are right though. Will remove.
Cheers!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 14:13, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Alright, added two more sources. Again, please feel free to double-check and bring up whatever you have a problem with. I urge you to read them, actually. Like I said before, I have no interest in attributing to them whatever; I just want to give them a fair (historically accurate) shake.
I want to do this in batches, so I won't overwhelm you guys with sources/claims. For now, the above is the first of those batches and I'll wait for some input before this moves to the article.
Cheers!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 18:08, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Skepticism is reasonable. Bear in mind that there is no agreement about who invented the radio or the telephone, so it may not be possible to clearly establish the identity of inventors from many centuries in the past. Johnuniq (talk) 00:21, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Definitely agree, which is why I'm asking people to take a look at what I compiled before moving to the article. If there is anything contested/unknown, it still deserves a mention if we have enough credible sources contradicting each other without clear consensus.
Cheers!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 09:37, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Aua, I suggest you to look at the wikipedia articles for each of the items on your list, and remove those of your claims for which the relevant article contains an earlier, pre-Islamic, claim to invention or use, cited to a reliable source, as it appears you have not yet done this. Dialectric (talk) 12:14, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Cool, will do. Here is the legend of what I will attach to each entry:
[A]: Confirmed by the article
[B]: Unknown/Debated
[C]: Contested by the article
[D]: No article exists
[E]: No mention of its history is mentioned on its page
Cheers!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 13:18, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Aua, could you clarify which definition of Serpentine you are referring to? Also, what is 'Argool'? Dialectric (talk) 14:40, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Hi,
I am working on figuring out what serpentine they were talking about in the original source. Here is the quote:

"Modern distillation takes place in factories, but the process is essentially exactly the same as it was when the Arabs invented the serpentine."

As for Arghul, the source listed here says it was invented in the "post-Mohammedan period by Arabs," while the article has Egyptian hieroglyphs representing it. I am utterly confused about this one and trying to consolidate those two facts together, although I am leaning towards an earlier invention by Egyptians.
Cheers!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 15:41, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Aua, I suggest that you go through your sources again and remove those that are not works of history / by historians. The first book on your list, How the Arabs Invented Algebra: The History of the Concept of Variables by Tika Downey, is a 32 page children's book. In general, it appears that the books you have found just make passing mention of "Arabs invented X" or "Muslims invented X" without elaboration, and without references. Even if drawn from a book by a reliable author, such claims will be subject to skepticism and are likely to be removed unless a source with more detail is provided. Dialectric (talk) 21:42, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Multiple sources are there so claims can be double-checked or triple-checked before moving to the article. If people have a problem with a claim, they can check the sources. That said, only the reputable sources will be eventually used in the article.
Additionally, I will not use sources if they are not scholarly. However, as per WP:SOURCE and WP:IRS, we don't only use works of historians; putting such a precondition on this article- and this article only- amounts to civil POV pushing. I have tried to stay away from SPS and QS, but I'll be glad if people point out to things that have slipped through.
Finally, I need to move this batch so I can propose the next batch and so on.
Cheers!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 14:46, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

That is a long list, but it seems to be entirely pointless, as your checking has been so non-rigorous. Zero, for example, clearly fails; yet you've checked it William M. Connolley (talk) 15:33, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Zero is a special case, because although the name is Arabic, its origins are Indian like I stated. It was not to be included, so that was a mistake.
Anyways, I went through Jagged cleanup, and nowhere does it state we need to double check claims on the talk page before being added to articles he Jaggedized. The same policies that apply elsewhere apply here. Claims can be (re-)introduced if (new) sources back them up, and if people have a problem, they can list a source here saying something to the contrary. In that case, we can discuss the matter here, and if both claims are equally verifiable, we can say it's contested.
Anyways, now, I don't want to overwhelm with more lists, so any other issues before a mass move to the article?
Cheers!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 21:00, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Please don't do any mass moves before people have actually said something favourable. Lute and Guitar look wrong too (no, I haven't checked all the others) William M. Connolley (talk) 21:07, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Lute and Guitar look wrong, sources?
Cheers!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 21:10, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
If you agree, why ask for sources? But the answer is: our articles on them, the history sections William M. Connolley (talk) 21:11, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Agreed to the not mass moving, but not the claim.
I referred back to the articles:
Lute: "The origins of the lute are obscure, and organologists disagree about the very definition of a lute"
We know that the word is derived from Arabic, and we know that the Moors brought the Oud to Spain with them.
That doesn't really contradict the claim here.Additionally, the whole section is not sourced. I can put that the Arabs invented it, and I have sources to back me up.
Second, Guitar: name also derived from Arabic.
We are also told that "the precise lineage of the instrument is still unclear," and that it is "first mentioned in literature in the 13th century." Coincidentally at around the same time the source says the Arabs came up with it.
Both articles need to be changed to reflect that. You did bring up a good point, so armed with the sources, I'll do that soon.
Cheers!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 21:20, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Rename article[edit]

What about "MiddleEastern inventions".

If you can come with better names please add them here. "Inventions of Medieval Islamic World" mentions all the inventions made in that era. But what about all the other inventions before the age of Islam? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.165.214.180 (talk) 12:36, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Deletion[edit]

The composition of this list is an argument unto itself- and no different than the fictional "inventions in the medieval Christian world", or, "inventions made by white people", or "inventions of the male world" -and I propose its deletion for being not more than an advocacy tool. Mavigogun (talk) 06:36, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

See Category:Lists_of_inventions_or_discoveries. The only anomaly about this article compared to the rest of "list of inventions by XXXX" articles is that it's very poorly maintained.
Cheers, Λuα (Operibus anteire) 14:01, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I wonder why there is no List of Persian inventions or List of Arab inventions. Would that be better?--Ninthabout (talk) 02:47, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Fair points, though I'd much better have it renamed to something like "middle eastern inventions," which would greatly expand its scope rather than the geographical and temporal restrictions currently imposed on it.
Cheers, Λuα (Operibus anteire) 05:27, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Factual accuracy[edit]

I question some the entries in this list, as Sonja Brentjes of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science has debunked them.

  1. Arabeque debunked as not an invention, but a 'cultural item' [1] (p128)
  2. Lusterware and possibly other pottery claims, debunked [2] (p131)
  3. Attempt at gliding debunked [3] (p 140-141)--Diamondbuster (talk) 21:19, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Will check and cross-reference, removing/modifying as appropriate. Thanks for your input!
Cheers, Λuα (Operibus anteire) 21:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Does minaret belong here? I argue it is not an invention, but a cultural item, which under the skin is chimney, lighthouse, tower, or spire.--Diamondbuster (talk) 00:47, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Based on other lists, it seems a solid argument can be made for including it.
On another topic, I'm working my way removing what you listed above as I verify both the sources you listed and what we as well others.
On a third topic, I think the details for coffee can be included even if they appear elsewhere. It's important to have some details about the inventions. See List of Chinese inventions for an example of a great list (and I have done some work around there and can assert all lists should rise up to its standards).
Cheers, Λuα (Operibus anteire) 04:24, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Questions[edit]

  1. Should we include discoveries? If so we should move the page.
  2. Sal ammoniac is an ancient discovery, therefore does not belong here I assume?
  3. Are the things attributed to Gerber from pseudo Gerber?

All the best, Rich Farmbrough, 11:52, 7 April 2014 (UTC).

  1. I have no opinion on this. Discoveries can be included I suppose and a move would be appropriate.
  2. Makes sense!
  3. I suggest restoring the chemistry section. Many sources do attribute those discoveries to Gerber and I think it'd be OR on our part to attribute them to pseudo Gerber. We can always append a note to that effect in the article though.
What do you think?
Cheers, Λuα (Operibus anteire) 02:25, 20 April 2014 (UTC)