Numerous technologies and innovations that appeared in Europe could not but have an impact on other parts of the world. However, anyone who looked at the world in the first centuries would see that modern science most likely originated not in Europe but in the Islamic world. Therefore, it is especially interesting to observe how the Middle East, already rich in culture and a certain scientific base, reacted to discoveries from the West.
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For example, consider several European inventions and the reaction in the Middle East to them. In 1608, Hans Lippershey, an eyeglass maker from the Dutch city of Middelburg, invented the telescope (Mansfield 58). In a couple of years, an invention from Europe spread worldwide and reached the Ottoman Empire. Telescopes appeared in Istanbul at least in 1626 and were quickly adopted by the Ottoman navy. However, despite the outstanding achievements of Muslims in the field of optics in the fourteenth century, the scientists of the Ottoman Empire did not show much interest in the telescope. (Mansfield 59) They were content with the Ptolemaic view of the universe and did not attempt to translate the works of Copernicus, Galileo, or Kepler.
The Muslim world suffered from a deficit of curiosity related to the natural world, which can be attributed to lower education levels. Moreover, the reaction to the telescope shows that by the beginning of the 17th century, fundamental differences had already emerged in the social behavior of the four civilizations and the institutions that embodied it (Mansfield 58). European societies have become prone to innovation, aimed at contacts with other countries, ready to develop and apply new knowledge, and open and receptive enough not to let the old order suppress the new (Mansfield 60). The Middle East was, as before, burdened with traditional religious structures and too dependent and servile to support free thought and innovation.
Mansfield, P. (2019). A history of the Middle East. Penguin UK.