Cultural Lies

Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī was a Muslim mathematician and astronomer whose major works introduced Hindu-Arabic numerals and the concepts of algebra into European mathematics. He was appointed astronomer and head of the library of Bagdad’s House of Wisdom around 820 AD.

Until this morning, I had never heard of him. I wonder how many other Arabic scholars whose contributions to mathematics and science and astronomy and the like I have never heard of?  And I wonder why I have never heard of them? I think I know. I think Western culture has purposely ignored the contributions of scholars outside European and pre-European society. Just like the systemic racism that forms many of our institutions today, systemic “culturism” forms our understanding of the history of science and the other “hard” sciences.

This is just a guess, of course. But I’m growing increasingly skeptical of the common explanations of the foundations of modern civilization. And I’m growing increasingly skeptical of documented history. Much of documented history, I fear, is based on doctored evidence. Evidence manipulated to put Western civilization in a more favorable light and Eastern civilization in a less favorable light.

I’m growing less interested in knowing the truth about the “Big Bang” and the evolution of species and more interested in knowing the truth about what has been done to paint a picture of history based not on facts but on culturism. I know; culturism is not a “legitimate” word. But it’s my word, so it’s legitimate to me. I suspect it’s not a word because its legitimacy would lend legitimacy to the idea that cultures lie about themselves and paint others with ugly brushes.

This subject deserves more thought. And I will give it more thought, though I wish it did not merit it.

 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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