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November 22, 2011 / itsnobody

The History of Science in the non-European world

We’ve all heard about science in Europe, but what other civilizations came closest to science?

What I consider to be “science” or close to “science” is anything close to the scientific method or Newtonian physics.

The other most developed civilizations besides the European were the Islamic Empire, China, and India.

China however didn’t really come close to achieving the scientific method or Newtonian physics, they just had machines and inventions, which is engineering and not science. They also had believed that the Earth was flat and square up until the late 16th Century and early 17th Century when Jesuit priest astronomers introduced the spherical round Earth idea to them. So China is not included in this list.

Science in the Islamic Empire

– The Arab Alhazen had invented the scientific method before Europeans did. Alhazen’s Book on Optics was very influential and influenced Roger Bacon and Kepler.

Many other Islamic scientists had made many experimental and mathematical achievements, but they don’t stand out as much as Alhazen does, since Alhazen had actually invented the scientific method.

Although Alhazen had known of the scientific method long before Europeans, other Arabs did not see the greatness in Alhazen’s ideas and the scientific revolution did not occur in the Islamic Empire.

The Arabs also had not invented Calculus and or anything like Newtonian physics, but it is conceivable that they could have eventually developed Calculus and higher mathematics.

Science in India

– The Indian mathematician Brahmagupta had come up with a gravity concept, but his statement was vague and not very clear. Another Indian mathematician Bhaskara IIalso talked about a gravity concept. But neither Brahmagupta or Bhaskara II had developed the mathematics for gravity, like Newton did.In India the Kerala School developed mathematical analysis (which is close to Calculus) and a partial heliocentric astronomical model similar to the Tychonic system, detailed in an astronomical treatise called the Tantrasangraha. This astronomical model had been the most accurate until the time of Kepler in the 17th Century.

It is conceivable that in India they would’ve eventually came up with a heliocentric model and something similar to Newtonian physics, since they had mathematical analysis. But I’m not sure if they would’ve developed the scientific method.

The scientific revolution didn’t occur in India because they failed to develop the scientific method and a model of the universe similar to Newtonian physics, although they had an advanced astronomical model and mathematics.

The Arabs had developed the scientific method, and the Indians had developed an advanced astronomical model, but the Chinese hadn’t developed anything like the scientific method or an advanced astronomical model.

So if the scientific revolution didn’t occur in Europe it would’ve most likely occurred either in the Islamic Empire or in India, but definitely not in China.

The main reason China did not approach science is specifically because of a lack of religion. In Europe, the Islamic Empire and in India religion directly encouraged people to do science (specifically astronomy).

The Chinese were definitely capable of doing science, but a lack of religion prevented them from developing anything close to science.



Leave a Comment
  1. Anonymous / Nov 7 2013 10:27 am


  2. Anonymous / Nov 7 2013 9:02 am

    Lol you’re absurd.

  3. Alejandro Rodríguez / Oct 16 2012 11:10 am

    What are you talking about? China was very religious: Taoism, folk beliefs, Buddhism, Confucianism.

  4. Anonymous / Feb 7 2012 6:52 pm

    You chose some criteria of how ‘close to science’ is defined without any further explanation. That strongly looks like they are picked in that way you can come easier to the conclusion you want.

    ‘Lack of religion’ in China
    Were the Chinese not religious? I personally don’t know how religious China was in those days and I don’t have to research it. It’s your duty to back it up.

    So finally you try to make the point, that the lack or religion is the cause that mainly prevented the Chinese from developing anything that fits your definition? You haven’t even attempted to show that this claimed causality exists.
    It’s just a baseless assertion, because all you tried (in a poor way, because of said reasons) is to show a correlation.

    It’s strange to read such a poor reasoning from a self-proclaimed logic master.

  5. Chris P / Feb 5 2012 11:33 pm

    The reason why science developed in Europe was because conditions for farming were such that there were spare resources to go around. The wealthy could commission works of art or science.

    It’s wishful thinking on your part to think that it was religion. Religion didn’t promote Darwin’s travels.

    You religious people are so ignorant that you don’t know how ignorant you are. Always claiming higher knowledge but in fact knowing nothing of any use. You waste your time at church – the Chinese are eating us alive because they are busy working and not praying.

    • itsnobody / Feb 8 2012 2:36 am

      What are you talking about?

      I guess atheists must enjoy denying history.

      The scientific method arises from philosophy.
      Newtonian physics arises from astronomy.

      So why were people studying philosophy and astronomy for?

      Atheists are so gullible, historians have already established that during the “Dark Ages” not even one person had been killed for doing science.

      • GreenDiamond / Jul 19 2012 11:10 am

        So now you are saying that that scientific method arises from philosophy, not religion. Well, it would follow then that Chinese culture, with its ancient tradition of philosophy, could have developed scientific method. Thanks for continued consistency!

  6. pozycjonowanie stron / Dec 10 2011 10:21 pm

    I blog often and i really in love with your web site. The post has really peaked my interest. I am going to save your stuff and keep searching for new content.

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