Talk:Ibn al-Haytham

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Former good article Ibn al-Haytham was one of the Natural sciences good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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August 2, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
September 24, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
September 14, 2010 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article


The replacement of Persian with Arabic as ethnicity is wrong. It is like replacing Irish with Celtic or Russian with Slavic. Dmcq (talk) 11:49, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

See Arab and Panethnicity "Arabs (Arabic: عرب‎, ʿarab) are a major panethnic group whose native language is Arabic, comprising the majority of the Arab world." Dmcq (talk) 13:09, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

That is your opinion. FYI, Wikipedia can not be used to reference Wikipedia. Whereas I have sources stating he was Arab:
  • Science, Medicine and Technology, Ahmad Dallal, The Oxford History of Islam, ed. John L. Esposito, (Oxford University Press, 1999), 192;"Ibn al-Haytham (d. 1039), "..known in the West as Alhazan, was a leading Arab mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. His optical compendium, Kitab al-Manazir, is the greatest medieval work on optics."
  • Ibn al-Haytham, J. Vernet, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. III, ed. B. Lewis, V.L. Menage, C. Pellat, J. Schacht (Brill, 1996), 788;" "IBN AL-HAYXHAM, B. AL-HAYTHAM AL-BASRI, AL-MisRl, was identified towards the end of the 19th century with the ALHAZEN, AVENNATHAN and AVENETAN of mediaeval Latin texts. He is one of the principal Arab mathematicians and, without any doubt, the best physicist."
  • David J. Hess, Science and Technology in a Multicultural World: The Cultural Politics of Facts and Artifacts, (Columbia University Press, 1995), page 66;"It is known that Galileo had a copy of "Opticae Thesaurus" of Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), an Arab scholar who is praised today for his experimental method, although views on what this method entails and which importance it has in Ibn al-Haytham's work differ. (Omar 1979:68)." --Kansas Bear (talk) 13:15, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
I am not saying he was not an Arab. I am saying that calling him an Arab is like saying he is a Slav rather than a Russian. I see from previous discussion that the eis sufficient doubt over a more precise categorization so I now agree with the Arab but your links are simply confirmation not an attempt at finding out if there is something more precise. Dmcq (talk) 13:24, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Your comparing and constrasting is meaningless here. We state what the sources say, not what we interpret(or want) them to say. I could care less what his ethnicity was, what I will argue is the blind removal of referenced information without a discussion and blantantly ignoring what university sources state. Wikipedia:RS & Wikipedia:OR are quite relevant in this case. --Kansas Bear (talk) 13:33, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
I put the reference back in as it corroborated that he was well known. I agree that he was Arab. However a quick search on Wikipedia gave lots more references at 112000 on 'Alhazen Persian' than 86000 for 'Alhazen Arab' and just producing references that say 'Arab' does not show anything much because others say Persian and Persian is more specific. Saying Russian rather than Slav or Irish instead of Celtic is better. As I was saying the discussion that went on before showed there was real doubt about the Persian part despite what Google shows about higher numbers. I can easily get sources saying Persian so that sort of stuff is just bias confirmation without the evidence shown at the previous discussion. Dmcq (talk) 16:56, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Blanket searches are not going to prove anything. Ignoring university sources, gives the impression you are a nationalistic POV pusher. Another "new user" has brought:
  • Renaissance Theories of Vision, by Charles H Carman and John Shannon Hendrix
Charles H Carman, is a professor of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art[1]
John Shannon Hendrix is a professor of Architectural History at the University of Lincoln, UK, and an Adjunct Professor of Art and Architectural History[2] --Kansas Bear (talk) 17:24, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Neither seems qualified to make a statement concerning Alhazen or his ethnicity.
Whereas Encyclopaedia of Islam is made up of academics whose field is Islam and the areas it inhabits.
John Esposito, is an American professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies. --Kansas Bear (talk) 17:24, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
So you descend to name calling when I point out problems. Well that's a great way to get improve an article. I had User talk:Khestwol (talk · contribs) come along to my talk page and call me a vandal too. Might I suggest you pair try pointing out the previous discussion at [3] to the person you are warring against on the article page rather than making up your own arguments or reverting without saying anything useful to them? I shall not bother you further in your nice playground here but I would point out WP:CIVILITY and WP:OWN to you both. Dmcq (talk) 18:25, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

It's always good to look at subject-specifc encyclopedia's for these cases. The eminent Dictionary of Scientific Biography (online) gives a detailed account of the primary sources, never explicitly ascribes an ethnicity and summarizes it with "About Ibn al-Haytham’s life we have several, not always consistent, reports, most of which come from the thirteenth century." The The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam gives a similar account, but summarizes the whole article as "Ibn al-Ḥaytam was an eminent eleventh-century Arab optician, geometer, arithmetician, algebraist, astronomer, and engineer." Unless some similarly authoritative source would explicitly claim he wasn't I would therefore simply go with "Arab". Sources such as Renaissance Theories of Vision, which only mention an ethnicity in passage, instead of giving a detailed account of the primary sources are not appropriate. —Ruud 19:28, 29 October 2015 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hello everybody, Kansas Bear invited me on my talk page to give an opinion on the sources. Since I am an uninvolved editor, I hope you will give it due consideration. As far as I can see, it is probably difficult to be sure of anything, and it is definitely worth fighting over. If Basra was a Persian-speaking region at that time, it is very likely that he grew up speaking Persian, but Arabic was certainly the lingua franca and all his work would have been written in Arabic. I agree with Ruud Koot that the best sources to resolve the issue would be biographies. Scientific books, no matter how reliable, would only gloss over the issue. Perhaps you can agree to punt the issue and note his ethnicity as "Persian and Arabic." Notice what we do with Al-Biruni. - Kautilya3 (talk) 20:07, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Can we just call him Muslim, so we don't have these Arab-Persian wars on Wikipedia. We know at least for sure that he was Muslim.[1] (talk) 22:04, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
The Persian Wikipedia calls him "Arab and Iranian" (according to Google Translate, and I guess it could also be translated as "Arab and Persian") -- fa:ابن_هیثم. So I think it is reasonable to call him "Arab and Persian" using the same citations given on the Persian Wikipedia. I don't think Caliphates had "no nationalities" in them. Of course there are some cultural groups which exist today which existed before and after a Caliphate was in control. For example, Kurds and some other Persian groups. Many people inside Caliphates were not Muslims. While we know Alhazen was a Muslim, making a 1:1 relationship with cultural identity and religion is just as outdated and wrong as not describing him as a scientist (the archaic equivalent would be "natural philosopher"). --BurritoBazooka (talk) 23:02, 14 January 2016 (UTC)


Most sources list him as Persian, which would not be surprising given the era he lived in. Still a lot list him as being Arab. But there is certainly clear agreement that he was Arab, as the main editor shows proclivity towards. It should be changed to 'Arab or Persian (or Persian or Arab)'. I think this is as reasonable as other contributors do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:882:100:EF90:386A:843D:F048:641C (talk) 05:43, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

What sources? I have seen NO reliable sources stating he was Persian. Instead I see you removing quote(s) from reliable soruces that state he was Arab. Which is disruptive editing. --Kansas Bear (talk) 05:57, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

How are quotes 90000 quotes stating he was Arab, more reliable as the 120000 that refer to him as Persian? You have provided extremely arbitrary sources, which themselves do not provide any specific justification for his 'Arab' ethnicity, just as many sources who refer to Al Haytham as 'Persian', do not. Various scholarly sources, list him as being either Persian or Arab - mind you this has been the case for, at least, several decades now. There is no way anyone can determine his ethnicity with good confidence, and it may never be determined. For that, it would only make sense to change his ethnicity to 'Arab or Persian', as another contributor, above, has suggested.2601:882:100:EF90:386A:843D:F048:641C (talk)

I still see NO evidence backed by reliable sources calling him Persian. Your opinion or those of other IPs, most likely the same person, have no influence on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is written using published reliable secondary sources, not the opinion(s) of editors. --Kansas Bear (talk) 16:24, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

You are wrong. There are NO reliable sources which make it clear that he was Arab. You are clearly biased against any suggestion, no matter how reaonable, that Al Haytham was Persian. You are going against the majority viewpoint which cites him as Persian, and you are not even allowing for the suggestion that he may have been Persian. Your edits are entirely baseless. Please revert to "Arab or Persian". Jpz1979 (talk) 17:23, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

Illiterate much?
  • "There are NO reliable sources which make it clear that he was Arab."
Can't read?
  • Ibn al-Haytham, J. Vernet, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. III, ed. B. Lewis, V.L. Menage, C. Pellat, J. Schacht (Brill, 1996), 788;" "IBN AL-HAYXHAM, B. AL-HAYTHAM AL-BASRI, AL-MisRl, was identified towards the end of the 19th century with the ALHAZEN, AVENNATHAN and AVENETAN of mediaeval Latin texts. He is one of the principal Arab mathematicians and, without any doubt, the best physicist."
  • "It is known that Galileo had a copy of "Opticae Thesaurus" of Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), an Arab scholar who is praised today for his experimental method, although views on what this method entails and which importance it has in Ibn al-Haytham's work differ." -- Hess, David J. (1995), Science and Technology in a Multicultural World: The Cultural Politics of Facts and Artifacts, page 66.
Reasonable? You have produce NO reliable sources! LOL. --Kansas Bear (talk) 17:29, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

Those are not sources that make it clear he was arab, but rather, sources that clearly state he was an arab. But such statements are ubiquitous and, unfortunately, always ungrounded. There are plenty of scholarly sources, which similarly suggest, that he was Persian. Ignoring the body of conflicting opinions, can only be described as Cherry picking. At this point, there is no sound basis for excluding Persian as his possible ethnicity.

Maybe you should direct your energy towards research instead of baseless, ignorant accusations directed at another editor.
"There are plenty of scholarly sources, which similarly suggest, that he was Persian."
And yet you haven't presented any. Instead you have attributed your lack of reliable sources to accusing me of bias and cherry picking.
"there is no sound basis for excluding Persian as his possible ethnicity."
Except you have NO reliable sources. LMAO.
"Those are not sources that make it clear he was arab, but rather, sources that clearly state he was an arab."
I believe Wikipedia:COMPETENCE is coming into play here. BOOM! --Kansas Bear (talk) 03:15, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

Just go back through a few hundred of your corrupt edits, and I'm sure you will find all the sources supporting he was Persian. There have already been countless references for this, and you have mindlessly removed them. "I believe Wikipedia:COMPETENCE is coming into play here." More like your incompetence in grasping the English language. 2601:882:100:EF90:B569:5681:F528:93CB (talk) 04:26, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Why the hell should we care what his ethnicity was? I mean, seriously! The only reason this would matter to anyone would be either: (a) to feed their own hubris, and/or to (b) cause further racial tension and division. Well, guess what? Neither of those reasons have any value whatsoever. They only serve to tarnish the image of this amazing man. grolltech(talk) 20:08, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Not to mention that currently the vast majority or 80% to 90% of both Iraq and Basra population is Arab. (talk) 03:54, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Persian ethnicity[edit]

Hi everybody, i added Persian for his ethnicity as Institute of physics states so. I would like to say that one must consider the historical situation at that time: Arab language was just like English today, and all scholars at that time used to write in Arabic, this is why they are often listed as "Arabs". For example, Britannica lists the Persian scholar Nasir ibn al-Tusi as Arab: "Several Arab scholars, notably Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (1201–74) and al-Bāttāni, continued to develop spherical trigonometry and brought it to its present form." Of course some "Arab" scholars were true ethnic Arabs, my aim is not to minimise Arab contribution which is great. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:09, 15 June 2017 (UTC) is not a reliable source for Islamic history. --Kansas Bear (talk) 21:41, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Hi @Kansas Bear:, i can see you're reverting all sources without any explanation, Ibn Al-Haytham was a scientist and i think that the IOP of London is a more reliable source that your sole opinion. They are dealing with all physicians and not only muslims, that's not a reason to say they are not reliables...It's easy to revert all changees just because you don't want to admit that the ethnicity of that scholar is NOT clear and doing so means you don't respect the rules of Wikipedia, and apparently you just don't care about that. So could you please give me an explanation for that ? or maybe it's because you just don't like Persians ??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Not a single mention of Ibn al-Haytham in this recent 448 page book about the Persians by an Iranian scholar. Case closed? Famousdog (c) 17:03, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
Lets not jump the gun, as there is only obscure sources, and limited historical account of Al-Haythams ethnic background. At this point, there is not nearly enough sources to resolve this question, so the dogged stance of this article is not justifiable. I would definitely recommend to leave it as "Arab or Persian".
Unfortunately for you Famousdog, i don't think that this book is an extensive list of ALL famous Persians...
Sorry, the case is all but closed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E34:EE9D:A200:DC77:68BC:C00B:D13C (talk) 02:26, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
There is another source (seemingly reliable) stating he was a Persian:
and this other one sponsored by California Department of Education:
— Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E34:EE9D:A200:DC77:68BC:C00B:D13C (talk) 03:35, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
(indenting comments for readability) Not to sound like a broken record, Anonymous Users, but that first link is written by an organisation promoting science and technology, not a historian, and as far as I can see it doesn't contain any mention about his ethnicity (even in the history section it simply refers to him as 'Muslim'). The second link is a self-published article written by two British mathematicians, again: not historians or specialists in Islamic culture or history, and the article doesn't explicitly state his ethnicity, just that he was born ("possibly") in Basra, which is now in modern-day Iraq. These are unbelievably weak sources. I realise that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but if this is the best you can do then this conversation is over. Famousdog (c) 08:05, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

In the title of my first link, it's stated: "Ibn al-Haytham’s “Noor” Filmmaking Contest, A Revival of IRANIAN Scientific Dignity" Isn't that clear enough ?

About the second link, it's stated (again) in the description (on the right of the page...):

"This resource, from the Illuminations-reviewed HISTORY of Mathematics Archive, features biographical information about ancient PERSIAN mathematician Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham."

This one is a historical source, so i don't understand your comment about it...

Anyway, you want more sources? ok :

1) "Understanding History" by John Child, Paul Shuter, David Taylor - Page 70

2) "Science and Human Destiny" by Norman F. Dessel, Richard B. Nehrich, Glenn I. Voran - Page 164.

3) The Journal of Science, and Annals of Astronomy, Biology, Geology by James Samuelson, William Crookes - Page 497.

4) Killeen, Kevin (2014). Thomas Browne. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 940 (I think that Oxford University Press is known to be a reliable source, isn't it ?)

5) This one is from Missouri state University:

6) If you can understand french, this is from "Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon":

7) This is from

I'm not saying he was a Persian or an Arab, i just say that we don't know his ethnicity because many reliable sources are divergent about him. The wast majority of contributors about this topic are saying that we should just say "muslim" or "Arab or Persian". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E34:EE9D:A200:31E1:8A5B:D657:EB04 (talk) 00:32, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

Hi every body, Some users are stating that ecyclopaedia of islam is a very reliable source, this is only partly true. Just have a look on what wikipedia says about it : "EI is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies.[1] Each article was written by a recognized specialist on the relevant topic. However, unsurprisingly for a work spanning 40 years until completion, not every one of them reflects recent research."

SO, THIS SOURCE "MAY NOT REFLECT RECENT RESEARCH"... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

  • There is no recent academic research when it comes to his ethnicity, if there was those works would already have been presented. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 13:22, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

I think that Oxford University Press is a recent academic source :

Killeen, Kevin (2014). Thomas Browne. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 940  — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E34:EE9D:A200:3CD5:26C9:40EC:8CF5 (talk) 20:56, 14 August 2017 (UTC) 
So instead of the Encyclopaedia of Islam(ie. Juan Vernet, historian of Arab science), we should use a Professor of English Literature(Killeen)? Sounds like POV pushing to me. Refusing to listen to FamousDog, repeating the same tired sources that have been debunked before, example:
  • "Regarding the list of publications by Child, Hodge, Shuter, and Taylor provided above. I note that many of their works are published by Heinemann Educational; Heinemann's web page describes them as:
    "Heinemann is the UK's most trusted education partner and publishes resources for Primary and Secondary schools, FE colleges and training providers."
    Considering this fact and the broad topic range of the authors' works and the general nature of their titles, it seems we are dealing with authors of introductory textbooks for the school market; hardly the kind of works we would look at for scholarly research into Islamic history."
    --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 20:13, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Please notice that there is NO biography concerning the authors of the sources presented by the IP(s), whether they are mathematicians, physicists, English professors, Professors of Photography, etc. Because, as long as their "source" says what they want then the source could be written by a monkey.
So written by "someone" is a reliable source compared to Juan Vernet's article which was edited by Bernard Lewis, V.L. Menage, Charles Pellat, and Joseph Schacht?
Is taken from Jim Al-Khalili, who is Professor of Theoretical Physics;and Anthony Carpi, PhD in Environmental Toxicology;and Anne E. Egger, professor of Geological science.
Norman F. Dessel, earned a B.S. in 1957, an M.S. in 1958, and a Ph.D. in Physics in August 1961.
Richard B. Nehrich, chemist
Glenn I. Voran, appears to have only written the above book and "Atomic light".--Kansas Bear (talk) 03:06, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

I aggree that Vernet is a reliable source about this topic but that's not the question. The question is are there other reliable sources stating he was a Persian, and the answer is yes. You say Killeen is a professor of english literature and that's not true. Just have a look at your own link, it's said on his profile : "I have research interests in early modern science and INTELLECTUAL HISTORY" So he is an historian and a legit source. Another point is that he has been published by Oxford University Press which is a very reliable source. The prestigious ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEUR of France is also stating he was a Persian... These Sources are reliable and don't publish false informations usually... is not writen by "someone" as you say just have a look at the "about us" link : "As the Internet's premier collection of online encyclopedias, provides you reference entries from credible, published sources like Oxford University Press and Columbia Encyclopedia." Please, avoid carcaturing other contributors work to make Wikipedia being a true reliable source and not a battlefield of POV... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Killeen, has no specialization in the field of Arab studies, Persian studies, Islamic studies, or Islamic history. Your insistence to place the "historian" tag on him in no way makes him a reliable source.
Killeen's book, Thomas Browne, has nothing to do with Islamic studies or Islamic history. An arbitrary comment about Ibn al-Haytham hardly qualifies as a source for Islamic history.
  • "The Browne volume in the 21st-Century Oxford Authors series offers a comprehensive selection of the work of the author of some of the most brilliant and delirious prose in English Literature. Lauded by writers ranging from Coleridge to Virginia Woolf, from Borges to W.G. Sebal, Sir Thomas Browne's distinct style and the musicality of his phrasing have long been seen as a pinnacle of early modern prose. However, it is Browne's range of subject matter that makes him truly distinct. His writings include the hauntingly meditative Urn-Burial, in which the broken shards of urns found in a field lead him onto a history of mortality and oblivion, and the elaborate Escheresque architecture of The Garden of Cyrus, a work that borders on a madness of infinite pattern. Religio Medici, probably Browne's most enduringly famous work, is at once autobiography, intricate religious-scientific paradox, and a monument of tolerance in the era of the English civil war. This volume also includes his Pseudodoxia Epidemica, an encyclopaedia of error which contains within its vast remit the entire intellectual landscape of the seventeenth century - its science, its natural history, its painting, its history, its geography and its biblical oddities. Across this range of material, Browne brings his lucid, baroque and stylish prose to bear, together with a carefully poised wit. This volume contains almost all of the author's published work, as well as much of his posthumous writing, together with detailed endnotes and an expansive introduction to Browne's work and life."
I see nothing that has to do with Islamic history.
  • "As the Internet's premier collection of online encyclopedias, provides you reference entries from credible, published sources like Oxford University Press and Columbia Encyclopedia.""
That's amusing coming from the person that just condemned the Encyclopaedia of Islam.
And since you continue to fail at fact checking

""Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon":"

  • Jauzein Françoise, Associate Professor of Life and Earth Sciences
  • Jean-Pierre Changeux, French neuroscientist
Still nothing to do with Islamic history.
Here is something you need to read:
  • "The word "source" when citing sources on Wikipedia has three related meanings:
The piece of work itself (the article, book)
The creator of the work (the writer, journalist)
The publisher of the work (for example, Random House or Cambridge University Press)
Any of the three can affect reliability. Reliable sources may be published materials with a reliable publication process, authors who are regarded as authoritative in relation to the subject, or both. These qualifications should be demonstrable to other people." --Kansas Bear (talk) 18:11, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for the time you spent explaining me some rules about Wikipedia... I would never allow myself to "condemn" Ecyclopaedia of islam which is a reference in that field, i just said that it´s a quite old work (about 40 years old...) and it may not include recent researches. I think that is reliable source which checks the 3 points you indicated to me... Most of Wikipedia articles don't have sources with so much conditions, i don't know why this one is so much disputed... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:17, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

When i look to the talk page, i can see that although editors are far away from a concensus about his ethnicity, it's written that he was an Arab, why ? if it's because some editors are saying that sources claiming he was a Persian are not reliable, it's seems that this is not true (see above). (talk) 12:33, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Please see Rüdiger Thiele's obituary of Matthias Schramm (1928-2005). It's a complex subject for reasons internal to the subject of History of science, namely that this kind of history is balkanized by topic and culture. One historian specializing in one topic cannot read materials in another topic. Schramm's reason for espousing Arabic science rather than Islamic science was that one might then apply this label to Christian, Jewish, and Muslim scientists alike (Thiele 2005 p.273). (In order to widen a label further, one might then assign such a label as say, southwest Asian scientist! Or to be both more general and more precise, southwest Asian scientist of the Buyid age might do.) Thiele closes Schramm's obituary with "Today’s historian with all his contemporary knowledge but with possibly incomplete understanding of the past must avoid easy judgments and strive instead with historical rigor to give the past its full due.". Remember, Schramm's view was that Ibn al-Haytham is the true founder of physics in the modern sense of the word, anticipating Galileo by six centuries (Schramm 1963 Ibn al-Haythams Weg, Summary), as cited by (Thiele 2005). --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 11:50, 25 October 2017 (UTC)

Atmospheric science. Alhazen shows that the density of the heavens is less than the density of the atmosphere[edit]

"The body of the heavens is rarer than the body of air" -- Alhazen

Alhazen deduced that the heavens (including outer space), being transparent bodies, like the atmosphere, and like water, cause a change in the direction of a light ray propagating between Earthly media, and non-terrestial bodies. This phenomenon is due to the change in direction of a light ray from a fixed star, as the light ray propagates through the transparent body, at the interface between the material in the transparent bodies, such as between air and outer space. Alhazen had previously seen this refractive phenomenon at the interface between water and air, as described by Ptolemy 800 years before him. But being an astronomer, Alhazen applies the reasoning to the stars. Alhazen describes an experiment to quantitatively measure the degree of bending of the light ray between air and outer space using an astrolabe or armillary sphere,

armillary sphere

to measure the angular position of a fixed star, tracking that star from its rising to its zenith.[1] See: ALHACEN ON REFRACTION: A Critical Edition, with English Translation and Commentary, of Book 7 of Alhacen's "De Aspectibus," the Medieval Latin Version of Ibn al-Haytham's "Kitāb al-Manāzir." Volume Two. English Translation by A. Mark Smith Transactions of the American Philosophical Society New Series, Vol. 100, No. 3, Section 2 (2010), pp. 213-331, 333-397, 399, 401-451, 453, 455-491, 493, 495-535, 537-550. Published by: American Philosophical Society

Stable URL: in JSTOR Page Count: 335

Alhazen points out that the fixed stars travel in circles centered on the celestial sphere.

Smith 2010 translation, De Aspectibus, paragraph [4.28] p.271: .. Track one of the large fixed stars that appear on the zenith for your location. Track it at its rising in the east. Take an armillary sphere and set it up in a high location from which you can see the horizon. Arrange the armillary apparatus so that its meridian circle is posed with its pole [pointing] above the earth according to the altitude of the celestial pole on the horizon. When the star rises, turn the ring that rotates about the equinoctial pole until it is in line with the star. Determine the star's location on the ring. This will give you the angular distance of that star from the celestial pole. Track the star until it reaches the meridian circle. Adjust the ring as you have adjusted it before, until the ring is in line with the star. This gives the [angular] distance of the star from the celestial pole when the star lies directly overhead. You will find that the [angular] distance of the star from the celestial pole at its rising is less than the [angular] distance of the star at its zenith.

[4.29] This is so because the fixed star always moves on the same circle among circles parallel to the equator. ...

--Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 03:32, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

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How do we solve this?[edit]

The never-ending tit-for-tat edit-war over Alhazan's ethnicity is one of the reasons why this article was removed from the list of good articles. I would like everybody genuinely interested in making this article the best it can be and getting it relisted as a good article to join me in making some concrete suggestions for how we can settle/sidestep this obviously contentious issue. I know which way I fall on the issue, and how I would write the article if I could tyrannically dictate such a thing, but I genuinely think that there must be a way to phrase the lead that acknowledges that different perspectives exist, acknowledges the controversy, but does not pander to politically or religiously motivated viewpoints. Let's try to solve this. We're clever people, right? Famousdog (c) 11:40, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

I pending-protected the article, but I will toss an idea into the ring here: at Nicolaus Copernicus, whose ethnicity is famously fought over (German/Polish), we came up (after about 10 years (!), the talk-pages make fabulous reading) with leaving the ethnicity out of the lede, and just label him "a Renaissance- and Reformation-era mathematician and astronomer". Might a comparable era our timescale serve in the case here? Lectonar (talk) 11:54, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
  • The problem, as I see it, is that him being an Arab is sourced to multiple reliable academic sources written by acknowledged experts in the fields of Islamic history and Islamic science, while those who claim he was Persian provide links to blogs and sources written by "laymen", like the edit I just reverted, which is sourced to a blogpost about photography, with only a passing mention of Ibn Al-Haytham. Which IMO means that claims about him being Persian should be seen as an unsourced fringe claim, not meriting any mention at all in the article. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 12:45, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I appreciate that. But the presence of a mention of his (probably) Arab ethnicity in the lead is obviously twisting the knickers of a whole bunch of people, albeit people who cannot find a reliable source to counter it. This issue is preventing a pretty comprehensive article from being elevated to the nirvana of good-articleness. Is there a way that we can prevent further edit-warring while still maintaining WP's principles? Famousdog (c) 13:39, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I have no problem moving his ethnicity to the body of the article, although I do not believe this will stop IP POV pushers from using unreliable sources for their interpretation of his ethnicity. --Kansas Bear (talk) 13:50, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

(please don't top-post) Famousdog (c) 14:08, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Hi everybody and thank you very much for your work. I would say to Thomas.W that it's not true, the sources stating he was Persian are not only blogs, for example this one :

This is from Institute of physics based in London which states he was a Persian, please, tell me if you really think it's a blog ? There is another big difference between me and those saying he was Arab, it's that i do not remove sources stating he was an Arab, i just add sources stating he was a Persian and i think this is my right as long as my sources are reliables, don't agree ??? I think like one contributor who said that as his ethnicity is unclear, we should just say "muslim scientist" this could solve the problem. More, i would report rudeness from Kansas Bear on his talk page, treating a user of liar and sockpuppet, please just go on his talk page and see by yourself. Thanks again for your job guys (and ladies of course).— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Anonymous User, that sadly IS a blog, albeit a blog from a fairly prestigious source. The problem is that this prestigious institution is an institute devoted to physics, not history. It might be possibly be considered a reliable source for physics but not history. That is the problem with this source as I see it. Physicists, clever though they are, are not historians. Famousdog (c) 14:05, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Also, the fact that you do not remove reliable sources is not really a point in your favour. If you did, it would hardly be considered proper behaviour. Famousdog (c) 14:10, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for you for your answer Famousdog, but other sources (including historical ones) are listed above on this talk page, and a single user, Kansas bear, removed all of them (saying he does not want articles writen by "some Brits" who write only generaly...) being by the way rude with some users who just wanted to upgrade the article fairly (this is my case), i thought this was forbidden on Wikipedia which is a usualy reliable source very usefull for me as well in my professionnal life than my personnal one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Judging from the attitude and actions of this IP, it is clear this is a blocked user here to right great wrongs. Incapable of bringing reliable sources for this article, said IP resorts to accusation of racism, lying, and distortion of facts. I see no reason to continue a dialogue with this type of "person" and that we have this talk page "semi-protected" against IPs. That said, moving Alhazen's ethnicity out of the lead, will not remove the problem of disruptive IPs. --Kansas Bear (talk) 14:40, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Hi Kansas bear, Thank you for your answer, i never accused you of racism, i just said you were rude and not very respectfull with britsh writers (and by the way, being British is not a "race" but this is another story...). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

This is your post kansas bear:

"I am saying a historian with an academic background in this particular area should be considered. Not some Brits that have written a generalized history. --Kansas Bear (talk) 21:59, 16 October 2016 (UTC)"

So please keep the word "liar" for youself.

But that's not the point here, the point is "are the sources unanimous about the ethnicity of that man ?" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

What about these sources stating he was Persian :

• Understanding History by John Child, Paul Shuter, David Taylor - Page 70

• Science and Human Destiny by by Norman F. Dessel, Richard B. Nehrich, Glenn I. Voran - Page 164

• The Journal of Science, and Annals of Astronomy, Biology, Geology by James Samuelson, William Crookes - Page 497

I would like to know if they are RS. Thanx. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Go do your own work, since your latest edit is not a reliable source either, it's a blog.
Also, this statement links your current IP to the one that posted the lie on my talk page
  • "More, i would report rudeness from Kansas Bear on his talk page, treating a user of liar and sockpuppet, please just go on his talk page and see by yourself."
You stated:
  • "Hi Kansas bear, i can see you're reverting all sources without any explanation"[4]
That is a lie. I explained three times, twice in edit summaries[5][6] and once on the talk page[7]
  • "So please keep the word "liar" for youself."
First off, considering you have taken my statement out of context(ie. distortion of facts), have not read any of the discussion concerning Child, Shuter, and Taylor and have blatantly ignored what SteveMcCluskey stated, this just proves you are not here to build an encyclopedia.
And while you continue to embarrass yourself, learn to spell and do research.
You also stated:
  • "i never accused you of racism"[8]
  • "So could you please give me an explanation for that ? or maybe it's because you just don't like Persians"[9]
This is a personal attack and an accusation of racism. Appears you have lied, again. --Kansas Bear (talk) 23:05, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

A proposal[edit]

The page may need semi-protection (i.e. blocking IP editors).

I have no idea what ethnicity this man was. I'm not entirely sure why it's necessary to include this in the article. But any determination of his ethnicity should be done on the talk page. None of you have any direct knowledge of this man; he has been dead for over 500 years. Please discuss this with decor. Power~enwiki (talk) 23:12, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

I think that the proposition of Power-enwiki is clever and that's exactly what i say, i don't know that man, he died 1000 years ago, but when i search on google about him, sources are not unanimous.
For kansas bear : you don't know me neither, i'haven't been rude with anybody here, this does'nt make sens for me to be rude with people, all that i say is that you and me do not know him and sources appear to be divergent.
If i make some mistales when i write, please forgive me, this is because english is not my mother tongue as i'm french, and i l'ive in Paris, but i love wikipedia as i use it since a long time and i've allways been honest even if you think i'me not.
I've made some articles on french wikipedia on historical topics, and they are still here, allmost unchanged, years after, maybe it's because they are not so bad or at least i hope so.
Honestly, i've tried to search about these people (Child, Taylor, etc...) and i've found a wide range of propositions (rugbyman, professor, etc...) i do not know them, but some of them have been published in prestigious souces (like Kevin Killeen Oxford University press if do not make a mistake, who is a historian in the field of intellectual history and stating Ibn al-Haythzm is Persian).
As i said, i don't know ibn al-Haytham, and if you are absolutely certain that he was an Arab, so it's ok for me but the problem is that the majority of "reliables" sources states he's Arab but a few ones states he's Persian and if you look on other famous people with controversially ethnicity (Copernicus, Geber...) their ethnicity is either not mentionned (Copernicus) either double mentionned (Geber), correct me if i'm wrong.
I hope i haven't bored you with my long long speech... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:32, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Semi-protection may deal with the short term problem, but I think User:Famousdog's suggestion that we follow the Copernicus procedure, and remove discussions of ethnicity from the lede and place a balanced discussion of the scholarly view of the claims that he is Arabic or Persian in the body of the article has real merit. In 2010 I added (as an IP) the following note to editors, based on a similar note in the Copernicus article, as hidden text after a similar discussion on Talk.
"NOTE TO EDITORS: Please read the talk page before editing the introductory paragraphs. These paragraphs represent a consensus on how best to present the essential information in the introduction. Other issues are discussed later in the article. Whether nationality should be attributed to Alhazen is in dispute among editors (see the Talk page and its archives)."
The note to editors was removed in 2015, apparently inadvertently, when Persondata migrated to Wikidata. As a step to restore some calm to the article, I'll restore the note to editors. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 00:42, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment Kansas bear, i just went on the Al-Razi talk page to ask other contributors if my sources are reliables or not.
It's true that that source is a blog but i checked the author of it and he's a member of "american academy of innovation", so i thought his blog was reliable.
Anyway, contributors will decide on the talk page of Al-Razi. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:04, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
I doubt if the discussion at al-Razi will be very productive, as you raised your question in a section where the most recent comment was made in 2005. You should rely on the insights of this, currently active, discussion. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 14:20, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Hi SteveMcClusky and thanks for your answer.
My remark about Al Razi was just an answer to Kansas Bear's statement above and not directly linked to Ibn Al Haytham, i continued on Kansas's talk page after that but he erased my question about the reliability of sources.
Trying to solve this issue, i would like to know if these sources are reliables according to you:
  • Understanding History by John Child, Paul Shuter, David Taylor - Page 70
  • ^ Science and Human Destiny by by Norman F. Dessel, Richard B. Nehrich, Glenn I. Voran - Page 164
  • ^ The Journal of Science, and Annals of Astronomy, Biology, Geology by James Samuelson, William Crookes - Page 497
  • Killeen, Kevin (2014). Thomas Browne. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 940
Another user than me (Scienceis) has listed more sources stating that Ibn al-Haytham was Persian.
I agree that most sources list him as Arab but some sources list him as Persian.
If you look to Jabir ibn Hayyan's article, there are 3 sources stating he was Arab and 12 stating he was Persian, and in his article it's stayed "Arab or Persian".
Thanks for your work.
Ooh yes, i've seen al Razi's talk page and the last coment is effectively very old. My appologize. I can write my comment in "alcohol again" but even there the last comment is quite old... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:15, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Speaking as a historian of science, I would have to say that the sources you cite are not reliable sources on the historical question of the ethnicity of Ibn al-Haytham. There certainly are reliable historical studies out there for someone who wishes to do the research. A good starting point would be A. I. Sabra's discussion of the original sources on his life in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography:
I really have nothing more to add on the topic. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 16:03, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
I understand your point of view,
but i'm a mathematician and i love logics.
I studied a PhD in the field of stochastical calculus at the Pierre et Marie University in Paris and had the honour to publish a few articles for the CNRS. I am saying that because in one of my articles, i proposed some historical facts to introduce my work whose facts were wrong, so the CNRS asked me to remove them from my article, otherwise they would refuse to publish me.
What i want to say is that prestigious organisms (like CNRS, Oxford University and many others) will not publish works with false informations even if these false informations are not linked with the main subject of that work.
The last source above is from a historian and published at Oxford University Press, that's why i think it's reliable.
I followed your article link from Sabra and haven't found any information about Ibn al-Haytham's ethnicity, so if i understand well your proposal, you mean his ethnicity shoud be removed from the article ?
Thank you for the time you spent for reading me, i have nothing else to add neither except if someone else want to discuss further about this issue.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────, when you say, "Another user than me (Scienceis) has listed more sources...," are you claiming that you and User:Scienceis are not the same person? I would appreciate a clarification. Thanks. grolltech(talk) 22:48, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Hi, I'm only an IP user, i don't have an account on Wikipedia and i have never had one. I'm NOT Scienceis. Many other users proposed to remove Arabic ethnicity (and Persian as well), i think it's the only way to reach a concensus on this article (see above Lectonar, Dmcq, power-enwiki and others). Have a look at the sources and share your POV about them. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Is this source reliable enough : — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

My opinion is that your source is a reliable one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:43, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
The source cited is excerpted from a volume of a 7-volume encyclopedia set on the history of science: Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery, vol. 2. The Google Books page for that volume notes that it could not find any reviews in the usual places and describes the editor, Neil Schlager, as "a chemical engineer who has run factories in Nashville, Tennessee; Winnipeg, Canada; and Bahrain". A WorldCat search shows that the series is held by only 16 libraries, worldwide. I'm not certain this holds up as a reliable source on Ibn al-Haytham's ethnicity and, as I've said several times before, I don't feel his ethnicity is a significant element for this article. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 00:38, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

I appreciate your answer but the fact is that is believed to be legit : — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Your link just reproduces content from the 2001 book by Schlager, the identity of the server hosting it is irrelevant, and Schlager's book isn't a quotable source. --dab (𒁳) 14:30, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

There are many such cases on Wikipedia. They are difficult to fix because the nationalists (on either side!) usually come in tag-teams and recruit support in their respective online communities. They aren't here to play fair or to write an encyclopedia. The solution usually is:

  • to semiprotect
  • to disregard all contribution by anonymous editors or fresh accounts
  • to take a step back and either remove mention of ethnicity in the lead, remove the WP:BOMBARDment with crappy google results presented as "references" and instead give a balanced paragraph on the question, with references to scholarly sources, further down in the article
  • it usually boils down to "meh, could have been either, we can't be sure and it isn't important"

--dab (𒁳) 14:30, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

case in point:
"Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance- and Reformation-era mathematician and astronomer"
further down, the ocd treatment of his Polish ancestry and his fluency in German betray that people do care very much about his ethnic affiliations, but the lead is clear of this nonsense, and most trolls don't read past the lead anyway, so they aren't triggered by prominent mention of the "wrong" ethnicity. --dab (𒁳) 14:33, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree that Alhazen's ethnicity should be moved out of the lead of the article. No one has given any reason(s) not to remove Alhazen's ethnicity from the lead, so I will be doing that. --Kansas Bear (talk) 03:04, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

I propose putting "Iraqi-muslim" or "Iraqi-egyptian" in the lead. I thik that is more appropriate and quite acceptable. what do you see?!

When i look at this (very) long talk page, I think just like Kansas bear and Dbachmann that we should not mention his ethnicity in the lead to stop this endless edit warring in which POV pushers are engaged... Wikaviani (talk) 16:49, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

It seems to be rather undisputed that he was Arab. At least the article puts it like this positively, we seem to have half a dozen credible references calling him "Arab" and not a single one calling him "Persian". But of course once the Persian nationalists have decided they want him to be Persian, there will never be peace, so it will be best just to avoid calling him Arab in the lead, because his ethnicity is clearly not relevant to his notability (this also holds true of his religious affiliation of course). --dab (𒁳) 10:21, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Support following the best sources. If non-Arab features can't be gleaned from his writings or name, it's reasonable to assume he was an Arab. Although we should be consistent across different articles. Perhaps an RFC similar to the Ethnic Galleries would be sufficient. Wiqi(55) 11:59, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
I don’t know if somebody has mentioned this before, but I just want to point out that even Encyclopædia Iranica recognize his Arab identity. You could check it here in their article about optics. Encyclopædia Iranica is regarded as the most prominent authority on Iranian history and civilization. So we have the three biggest sources about the topic; Encyclopedia of Islam, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Encyclopædia Iranica all agree that he was an Arab, still some insist on questioning this using modern, non-scholarly sources. To give you an analogy, there is literally hundreds of books - including recently published ones - which wrongly refers to Persian scholars like Avicenna, and Al-Razi as Arabs. Ofcourse nobody will confuse the ethnicity of such figures based on theses references, which shouldn't even be considered in the first place. The double mention of ethnicity should only be reserved for cases where two contemporary sources give two different accounts about the subject’s ethnicity, or even the place of birth, just like is the case with Al-Farabi and Geber. I hope this would clear things up and end this discussion which was clearly raised for nationalist agenda rather then scholarly research. (talk) 08:29, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
See, this is the problem with articles such as this. Productive discussion and the IPs just go and remove what they don't like([10]) and then a "different" IP replaces it with whatever they want.([11]) So much for a productive discussion. Perhaps semi-protection from meddlesome IPs would be prudent. What is even more pathetic is the IP's removal of Arab after this discussion and knowing full well this was and still is sourced!
This IP, which apparently hops around has edited under:
I have restored the referenced information removed under false pretenses and have asked for semi-protection for this article. Clearly having a discussion with this IP has been a waste of time and energy. --Kansas Bear (talk) 01:37, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

"Ptolemaeus secundus"[edit]

It is correct that Corbin (1993/1964) claims he was "nicknamed Ptolemaeus secundus". No source is given, and I cannot verify this anywhere else. Is Corbin a credible source? Why are there no footnotes substantiating this, were they removed in the English translation or is this just a book aimed at a "popular audience"? Similarly, it is completely unsubstantiated that al-Haytham was called "The Physicist" as a title. How would this even have been phrased in Latin, physicus or something? This is attributed to Lindberg (1967) and I cannot verify it, but in any case it seems to have been repeated nowhere else. It is really doubtful if either of these epithets have sufficient notability to figure in the lead section. --dab (𒁳) 10:21, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

The issue here seems to be that "Alhazen" was not received in Latin tradition as an identifiable individual. His works were only received indirectly, and not consistently attributed to him. Apparently, the identification of "Alhazen" with Ibn al-Haytham is only a result of late 19th century scholarship. Now, John Peckham, writing in the late 13th century, attributes various opinions to either "the Philosopher" or "the Physicist", which eventually turn out to go back to Alhazen (ed. Lindberg 1972 p. 48, fn. 57). This is apparently the nucleus of the claim he was so "nicknamed", but the way this is presented in the article is extremely misleading.
Here Corbin attributes the Ptolemaeus secundus to Carl Brokelmann's Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur. It appears to be true that Alhazen was called this at least once by some Latin author. We will need to consult Brokelmann to find out more. --dab (𒁳) 10:46, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
I found Brokelmann's entry here. No mention of "Ptolemaeus secundus", apparently this appears only in one of the supplementary volumes to the 2nd edition -- seems less and less relevant. --dab (𒁳) 10:53, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
See Lindberg and A. Mark Smith. The scholarship of the influence of Alhacen stretches not just from the 19th c., but also from 1976 to this day, including Smith (2015) From Sight to Light. See Lindberg,1976 p.86. David Lindberg, Mark Smith and Nader El-Bizri note Alhazen's considerable influence on the Perspectivists:
It's a pretty dramatic story: from anonymity in Christendom, to a dedicated search for more knowledge via translation from the Arabic, to intellectual victory over preachers in the cathedrals, because it fit their ideology. The scholars took the optics to heart, and Kepler figured it out, so that he could continue his astronomy and physics. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 17:01, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

We are not talking about the same thing. I am asking you to do research into medieval Latin tradition before you make claims about medieval Latin tradition. "See Lindberg and A. Mark Smith" does not cut it, I am asking for an evaluation of the reception of Alhazen in the 13th and 14th centuries. What is your quote saying? Can you explain what exactly Kepler has to do with this? --dab (𒁳) 18:03, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Please Google A. Mark Smith, Curators' Distinguished Professor of History, University of Missouri, who has spent 40 years on the topic you are requesting, Medieval history of science. Smith proves that Alhacen's example showed Kepler just how to complete the chain of visual perception begun by Alhacen, thereby fulfilling Lindbergs' program. Lindberg did precisely what you are requesting, the evaluation of the medieval Latin tradition in optics, called perspectiva. Smith 2015 From Sight to Light is a summary of this 40 year study. Please see the Smith citations in Book of Optics, which are a series of Smith's translations of all seven books, from Latin to English of De Aspectibus, the Latin translation of Kitab al Manazir. The well-known compilation by Friedrich Risner was one data point in Smith's research, who also surveyed the extant 18 Latin manuscripts that are complete, of De Aspectibus. The Latin manuscripts outnumber the Arabic manuscripts. This was an advantage, because the different manuscripts had different illustrations.
Although Alhacen started the revolution in visual perception, Smith, in a number of survey articles, shows that Kepler completed, and solved, the geometrical problem of how we see, which Kepler needed to solve for his astronomical researches. That is why Kepler complained about Witelo (Alhacen's ape), for not solving the puzzle of visual perception, which forced Kepler to take his detour. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 03:29, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
I would be happy to amplify the Latin-to-English coverage of De Aspectibus in the Book of Optics article. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 03:54, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
From the Science_in_the_medieval_Islamic_world#Optics_and_ophthalmology: "Al-Haytham proposed in his Book of Optics that vision occurs by way of light rays forming a cone with its vertex at the center of the eye".
Kepler's contribution was to model the eye as a water-filled glass sphere, which was Giambattista della Porta's idea, and showed that light entering an aperture (the entrance pupil) is imaged as a point on the back of the sphere. Alhacen's influence was embodied in the idea to use an aperture ("holes in darkened rooms"). See Treatise on light as well as Book of Optics
Before the telescope, we had naked eye astronomy. We need to fix the timeline of telescope technology because Kepler's contribution was 1604, not 1609. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 17:57, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

Father of modern optics[edit]

Alhazen has been dubbed the father of modern optics by the UNESCO.Three reliable references were given for that,but the whole content (along with the references) was removed by dab .I want to know the reason for its removal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:19, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

Here is a citation for 'father of optics': Irina Bokova (Director-General of the UN's education organization, UNESCO), message upon the program opening of the international year of light 2015, commemorating the 1000 year anniversary of al-Haytham's 'Kitab al manazir' (book of optics). The sponsoring institutions included optics or physics institutions (think photonics), such as the society of photo-optical instrumentation engineers (SPIE), and the events listed 5 Nobel laureates, including a laureate from the photonics field. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 14:33, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

@Ancheta Wis This citation is good and more reliable - see: '[12]' .The website was launched by UNESCO.Look at the last para,its is clearly written that the UNESCO in Impact of Science on Society - Volumes 26-27 – (1976) Page 140, 1st Edition 1950 dubbed Alhazen as the father of modern optics.[1] It also says that there are many sources describing Ibn al-Haytham as the father of modern Optics.Yes there are many reliable sources that describe Alhazen as the father of Modern optics.I dont know why other users remove contents that describe him as the father of modern optics

In the optics field, his position is recognized as fundamental. He did not recognize the function of the retina; it took Giambattista della Porta's invention of water-filled glass spheres as optical elements, and Kepler's use of these spheres as a model for the eye to explain the optical chain. But that's the paradigm: it takes patient work, acceptance of those who have built what has come before you, and adding what you are able. No optiker would dispute al-Haytham's significance. Even Isaac Newton's experimental optical setup used al-Haytham's setup. Just look at the societies who signed up for his 1000-year commemoration. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 16:21, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

UNESCO has nothing to do with Arabic literature,it is at best pop culture or politics . So yes, mention this under "modern reception" or something, but it certainly has no place in the lead section. This is a serious topic and not some random collection of trivia. --dab (𒁳) 17:59, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

(𒁳) UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.Its purpose is to promote educational, scientific, and cultural reforms .This page is not about Arabic literature.Its about a famous philosopher,scientist and mathematician.This page has to do with History of Science.You are saying it is at best pop culture or politics,this is your personal view.I dont care about your personal views.I dont think it should be mentioned under "modern reception" or something.UNESCO first described him as 'the father of optics' in 1976.It described alhazen 'without question the father of modern optics'.He has been regarded as the father of optics by many prominent historians and physicistst.It should appear in the lead section.The lead should stand on its own as a concise overview of the article's topic. It should identify the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the important points, including any 'prominent controversies'. --edit by user:


  1. ^ "Impact of Science on Society". UNESCO. Volumes 26-27: page–140. 1976. 

10 October 2017[edit]

I am mostly confused because according to physics, his death year is 1039 and here is 1040. Please confirm the correct date. (talk) 13:58, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

The article says 'around 1040', in Latin circa 1040 abbreviated 'c. 1040' --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 14:33, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 October 2017[edit]

Change: Ibn al-Haytham was a mathematician, astronomer, and physicist of the Islamic Golden Age. To: Ibn al-Haytham was an Arab mathematician, astronomer, and physicist of the Islamic Golden Age.

We should not obscure his Arab identity; it is a historical fact which is a source of pride for the Arab people. Objective Historian (talk) 04:11, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

This was discussed and consensus was to remove any mention of ethnicity from the lead. I would suggest starting a new discussion and gain consensus for a change. --Kansas Bear (talk) 04:48, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
Actually, there rather seems to be a consensus over his Arab ethnicity not only in all authoritative modern sources, but also through examining all circumstantial evidence of his biography like his name, place of birth, native language..etc. The fact that even Encyclopædia Iranica [13] agrees on this should put this case to rest.
However, if we are to remove mention of ethnicity from the lead of this article, than we should be consistent and remove any mention of Persian ethnicity from the lead of Avicenna and al-Khwarizmi articles as well, since there are also modern non-scholarly sources which refer to them as Arabs like [14] and [15].
I mean we either comply with wikipedia policy of reliable sources, or be consistent in editing material otherwise. Acquiescing to nationalist-motivated vandalism is not a solution. (talk) 16:52, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Have you checked the latest history of this article? Where an IP that was closely involved in the discussion removed Arab using the edit summary, "unsourced claim", knowing full well that Arab ethnicity was sourced. This is the problem Wikipedia continues to have. Disingenuous IPs/editors that can not and will not accept what reliable sources state. Anyway, I am digressing. If you want Persian ethnicity moved out of the lead of those articles, start a conversation and get consensus. --Kansas Bear (talk) 18:38, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
I am well aware of this pathetic edit-war that has been going on here for a while. My point is that we should not bow to this persistent vandalism by removing well sourced material without a legitimate reason calling for it.
I was wondering if there was any way through which we could prevent such disruptive edits in future. Something like immediate, permanent ban of the IP, or maybe moderated editing of some sections, or staff lake that ?. I doubt that a platform like Wikipedia would not have precautions against such behavior.
And no, I'm certainly against moving out the Persian ethnicity from the lead of those articles, just as i am against removing the Arab ethnicity from this one, since both are well sourced, and there is no reason to question any of them. I just brought up those examples to showcase the absurdity of the reasoning behind questioning the authoritative sources of this article, and how the same procedure could be applied on many articles if we were to consider non-scholarly sources, which is absolutely absurd and against Wikipedia policy.-- (talk) 21:09, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
I hear you. I’m not exactly happy about it, but when faced with constant IP vandalism this was supposed to be a way to cut down on it. Clearly, that failed. --Kansas Bear (talk) 21:18, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Not done: The page's protection level has changed since this request was placed. You should now be able to edit the page yourself. If you still seem to be unable to, please reopen the request with further details. —KuyaBriBriTalk 18:02, 23 October 2017 (UTC)