Thursday, February 27, 2014

PART TWO: The Scientific Research Requirements and the Arabic Language.

By Sodium

Although the scientific research requirements, for any language to succeed in coping, with the scientific requirements, are well known in academia and research community through out the world, I have chosen to quote what Bradley Steffens has written about the requirements, because I have sensed genuine objectivity and admirable scientific integrity in his writing. In a well written and easy to understand article titled, " Who Was the First Scientist ? " Bradley Steffens has stated the following statements and cited the following list of requirements, as quoted below:

Science is the study of the physical world, but it is not just a topic, a subject, a field of interest. It is a discipline--a system of inquiry that adhere to a specific methodology--the scientific method, In its basic form, the scientific method consists of seven steps:

1) observation;
2) a statement of a problem or question;
3) formulation of a hypothesis, or a possible answer to the problem or question;
4) testing the hypothesis with an experiment.
5) analysis of the experiment's result;
6) interpretation of the data and formulation of a conclusion;
7) publication of the findings.

One can study phenomena without adhering to the scientific method, of course. The result, however, is not science. It is pseudoscience or junk science.


Bradley Steffens covers then what Aristotle, in ancient Greek civilization, had theorized about falling bodies to be challenged and proven wrong by the experiments of falling bodies which was done by Galileo Galilei of Italy. Because of that, " Galileo is considered by many to be the first scientist."  However, Steffens has also written the following statements to prove that was not the case:

" Galileo was not the first person to conduct experiments or to follow the scientific method, however, scholars had been conducting experiments for three hundred years, ever since a British-born Franciscan monk named Roger Bacon advocated experimentation in the thirteenth century. In part five of his Opus Magus Bacon challenges ancient Greek ideas about vision and includes several experiments with light that include all seven steps of the scientific method.

Part five of Opus Magus is not an original work, however. It is a summary of a much longer work entitled De aspectibus ( The Optics ). Bacon follows the organization of De aspectibus and repeats its experiments step by step, sometimes even word for word. But De aspectibus is not an original work, either. It is the translation of a book written in Arabic entitled Kitab al-Manazir ( book of Optics ). Written around 1021, Kitab al-Manazir predates Bacon's summary of it by 250 years. The author of this groundbreaking book was a Muslim scholar named Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan al-Haytham.

Born in Basra ( located in what is now Iraq ) in 965, Ibn al-Haytham--known in the West Alhazen or Alhacen wrote more than 200 books and treatises on a wide range of subjects. He was the first person to apply algebra to geometry, founding the branch known as analytical geometry.

By insisting on the use of verifiable experiments to test hypotheses, Ibin al-Haytham established a new system of inquiry--the scientific method--and earned a place in history as the first scientist."

My Views:
~ Since the scientific method has been performed, in the Science of Optics, a highly technical and difficult field, by Ibn al-Haytham who had written all his works in Arabic, as shown so clearly by Bradley Steffens, it would be hard to accept the claim made by some individuals that the Arabic language was/is incapable of coping with the technical modernity of the 20th and 21st centuries. The claim does not really make any sense, since the scientific method being used, in the 20th and 21st centuries for new scientific researches and discoveries, is fundamentally the same scientific method that has been used by Ibn Al-Haytham who wrote his book, " Kitab Al-Manather " meaning, " The Book of Optics " in the Arabic language from which the Franciscan monk, Roger Bacon, had based his published works in, " Opus Magus, " as shown by Bradley Steffens of present time.

~ The translation from the Arabic book, " Kitab Al-Manather " meaning, " The Book of Optics " by Ibn Al-Haytham to " Opus Magus " by Roger Bacon, is a solid proof that the Arabic language is just as capable as any other language being used in today's scientific researches. In other words, without the technical experimentations and scientific analyses described in Arabic language by Ibn Al-Haytham in " Kitab Al-Manather " Roger Bacon could not have succeeded in describing his scientific works in " Opus Magus. "

~ Taking into consideration all of the foregoing, along with what has been achieved in scientific researches in more difficult languages to learn than the Arabic language, ( Chinese and Japanese languages ), it has become clearer that the claim which says that the Arabic language cannot cope with technical modernity remains what it actually is: JUST A CLAIM.

~ Any reader who is interested in reading the whole article entitled, " Who Was the First Scientist ? " by Bradley Steffens, dated 2/23/2014, can do so by checking the following link on the Internet: -Scientist?&id=637076

Final Words:
Bradley Steffens has recently written a book entitled, " Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist. " I intend to obtain a copy of the book to review. If I find the whole content of the book worth outlining a review of it for publication, I shall be delighted to do so and offer the review for the benefit of the readers of this website-and as usual, free of charge.

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