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heli_port
5th Jan 2009, 09:04
Isaac Newton is, as most will agree, the greatest physicist of all time.
At the very least, he is the undisputed father of modern optics,* or so we are told at school where our textbooks abound with his famous experiments with lenses and prisms, his study of the nature of light and its reflection, and the refraction and decomposition of light into the colours of the rainbow.
Yet, the truth is rather greyer; and I feel it important to point out that, certainly in the field of optics, Newton himself stood on the shoulders of a giant who lived 700 years earlier.
For, without doubt, another great physicist, who is worthy of ranking up alongside Newton, is an Iraqi scientist born in AD 965 who went by the name of al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham.
BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | The 'first true scientist' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7810846.stm)

Parapunter
5th Jan 2009, 09:09
This is of course not news of any description. It is instead a cynical marketing exercise roping in BBC news in support of a documentary to be shown tonight in which Dr. Al Khalili expounds on the subject of Islamic science & scientists through the ages.

Your licence fee at work.

ZEEBEE
5th Jan 2009, 09:22
For, without doubt, another great physicist, who is worthy of ranking up alongside Newton, is an Iraqi scientist born in AD 965 who went by the name of al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham.

Yes, good scientist, but in terms of "First", Not even close !!!!

Many good scientists long..LONG before that.

One example for instance would be Erathosthenes 200BC who not only knew that the Earth was round, but calculated the diameter quite accurately by the use of differential observations of the Sun's displacement down two wells some distance apart.

Checkboard
5th Jan 2009, 10:23
I thought the first scientist was UG the clever. :8

smo-kin-hole
5th Jan 2009, 16:29
Did you ever wonder that maybe before there was mass media, there was only time and books and many long hours to fill?

Did people have more time to think back then and many of their great breakthroughs came because they weren't so distracted? Were they just as "smart" as we are, but lacked the broad-based education to pull in all the variables? Or they got it right, but only lacked a small technological detail.

Every once in awhile you see a story about some ancient invention that was way, way ahead of its time and you just wonder......

ORAC
5th Jan 2009, 16:39
The Antikythera Mechanism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism) :ok::ok:

shedhead
5th Jan 2009, 16:45
Saw a programme a couple of years back on this, same bloke I think. very interesting stuff, Boris Johnson covered similar ground recently on a BBC documentary.
The sad part is that, a few centuries ago, Islam encouraged scientific enquiry in the belief that if you better understood the universe you would better understand the mind of God.Not a bad philosophy really, shame it didn't catch on!

Mac the Knife
5th Jan 2009, 19:11
"Great advances were made in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physics, chemistry and philosophy."

Indeed. But religious conservatism smothered most of 'em and what could have been an Arabic Renaissance died stillborn.

Catholicism in the West tried the same trick but happily ultimately failed.

:ok:

Capt.KAOS
5th Jan 2009, 19:20
And then there were the ancient Chinese scientists (http://library.thinkquest.org/23062/frameset.html)...

tony draper
5th Jan 2009, 21:00
Then of course there was the Geordie chap Charlie Mops the man who invented Beer.
:)

Brian Abraham
6th Jan 2009, 02:07
Half joking (perhaps) but I'd of thought the greatest scientist would be who ever it was that invented the wheel - or maybe who invented the knife aka sharp edged bit of flint, to cut his steak.

con-pilot
6th Jan 2009, 02:58
Then of course there was the Geordie chap Charlie Mops the man who invented Beer.


Actually Mr. D the fact is that the recipe for beer is one of the oldest in history, perhaps the oldest. Beer dates back to 3500 to 3100 BC from the area of, believe or not, Iran. :eek:

Of course the beer of those days is no where similar to beer as we know it today.

ZEEBEE
6th Jan 2009, 03:13
Brian Abraham wrote;

Half joking (perhaps) but I'd of thought the greatest scientist would be who ever it was that invented the wheel - or maybe who invented the knife aka sharp edged bit of flint, to cut his steak.

Brian,
I suspect that you'd have to classify these guys (whoever they were) as "engineers", though I believe that true engineers ARE scientists.

Howard Hughes
6th Jan 2009, 03:39
L Ron Hubbard?

Controversial I know...:ooh:

CATIII-NDB
6th Jan 2009, 05:11
Ibn al Haytham - "The First Scientist" - Alhazen - pioneer of scientific methodology born in Basra in about 965 AD.

CAT III