Islamic Contributions to Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues
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The normative practice in the history of science in the West is to start with the Greeks and then jump to the European Renaissance, both studied as a background for the emergence of modern science in the seventeenth century. More considerate works devote a few pages to the Islamic scientific tradition, as a harbinger of the Greek legacy. This practice, based on the nineteenth-century Orientalism, has seriously harmed the emergence of an accurate history of science in general and the nature of contributions made by the Islamic scientific tradition to science in particular. These accounts continue to produce a caricature of a tradition that lasted longer than the Greek and the modern scientific traditions. When placed in its own historical matrix, the nature of Islamic contributions to science is a totally different story.