Wednesday, 1 October 2014

What Happened?

" ... A similar attitude settled in the Ottoman Empire. Having conquered most of the world they knew, the Ottomans turned inward, into religious fundamentalism and centuries of stagnation. Mahathir Mohammad, the former prime minister of Malaysia, has said,

”The great Islamic civilization went into decline when Muslim scholars interpreted knowledge acquisition, as enjoined by the Qur’an, to mean only knowledge of religion, and that other knowledge was un-Islamic. As a result, Muslims gave up the study of science, mathematics, medicine, and other so-called worldly disciplines. Instead, they spent much time debating on Islamic teachings and interpretations, on Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic practices, which led to a breakup of the Ummah and the founding of numerous sects, cults, and schools.”

In Europe, however, a great awakening was beginning. Trade brought in fresh, revolutionary ideas, accelerated by Gutenberg’s press. The power of Church began to weaken after a millennium of domination. The universities slowly turned their attention away from interpreting obscure passages of the Bible to applying the physics of Newton and the chemistry of Dalton and others…

Soon, the rise of science and technology in Europe began to weaken the power of China and the Ottoman Empire. The Muslim civilization, which has prospered for centuries as a gateway for trade between the East and the West, faltered as European sailors forge trade route to the New World and the East – especially around Africa, bypassing the Middle East…

The answer to the question “What happened?” is clear. Science and technology happened. Science and technology are the engines of prosperity. Of course, one is free to ignore science and technology, but only at your peril. The world does not stand still because you are reading a religious text. If you do not master the latest in science and technology, then your competitors will.”

Future of Wealth (Physics of the Future by Dr. Michio Kaku)

1 comment:

  1. "... we had to wait for a dozen centuries in the Western world to espouse critical thinking again. Indeed, for some strange reason during the Middle Ages, Arabs were critical thinkers (through their post-classical philosophical tradition) when Christian thought was dogmatic; then, after the Renaissance, the roles mysteriously reversed."

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness - 2004)