Throughout this period, Muslim intellectuals presented minimal resistance to the diffusion of Western scientific ideas.For example, the major opposition to Darwinian ideas of evolution came not from Muslim scholars but from Eastern-rite Christians. In the 1914-45 period, Muslims slowly, and often in frustration, attempted to strengthen indigenous science against the imported variety.Other measures -- annual expenditures on research and development, numbers of research scientists and engineers -- confirm the disparity between populations and scientific research.This situation leads to some hard questions: Is Islam an obstacle to modern science?
Science was an afterthought, at best embedded in scientific technologies but not transferred explicitly as knowledge or method.
While Islam has yet to reconcile faith and reason, other factors such as dictatorial regimes and unstable funding are more important obstacles to science and technology's again flourishing in the Muslim world.
Significant progress, in other words, depends on changes in values and institutions -- no small order.
The deficiency in Muslim science and technology is particularly intriguing given that Muslims were world leaders in science and technology a millennium ago -- something that distinguishes them from, say, the peoples of Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa. As Muslims vied with Chinese for intellectual and scientific leadership, Christian Europe lagged far behind both.
This golden age was definitely Muslim in that it took place in predominantly Muslim societies, but was it Islamic, that is, connected to the religion of Islam?