The Galileo Myth

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The Galileo Myth

As the story goes, an obscurantist church, blinded by dogma, hounded and condemned Galileo because church officials could not square the idea that the Earth moved around the sun with such scriptural declarations as “€œThou didst set the Earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken.”€ Reality was not quite so pat. In fact, Jesuit astronomers were among Galileo’s earliest and most enthusiastic supporters. When Galileo first published supporting evidence for the Copernican heliocentric theory, Cardinal Maffeo Barberini sent him a letter of congratulations. When Galileo visited Rome in 1624, Cardinal Barberini had become Pope Urban VIII. The pope welcomed the scientist…

Inventing Islam

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Inventing Islam

if Muslims really did make innovations in aerodynamics, astronomy, and other fields long before Europeans did, what happened then? Why were the Europeans the ones who made use of these discoveries for technological advancement? Even if Copernicus (who came from a devout Catholic family and may have been a priest himself) was influenced by Ibn al-Shatir, which is not universally accepted, why didn”€™t Muslims make use of his insights the way Copernicus did?

Allah the Unbound

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Allah the Unbound

Muslims believe that Allah’s hand is unfettered”€”he can do anything. The Qur”€™an explicitly refutes the Judeo-Christian view of God as a God of reason when it says: “€œThe Jews say: Allah’s hand is fettered. Their hands are fettered and they are accursed for saying so.”€ (5:64) In other words, it is heresy to say that God operates by certain natural laws that we can understand through reason. This argument was played out throughout Islamic history.


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