It is true that there were translations from Arabic and that some of these did have some impact in Europe. It would be historically inaccurate to claim otherwise. But although this translation movement was significant, we should focus at least as much on how these different civilizations used this information.- - - - - - - - -
In this case, we are dealing with an example where three different civilizations, the Islamic world, the Christian East (the Byzantine Empire) and the Christian West had access to much of the same material, yet where the end results were quite different. I have read a lot about the history of mechanical clocks and eyeglasses, both of which were invented in Europe in the second half of the thirteenth century AD. These inventions had no counterparts in any other civilization and were important for later scientific and technological advances, which often benefited from more accurate timekeeping. The creation of microscopes and telescopes was to some degree an extension of the invention of eyeglasses and the use of glass lenses.
I cannot point out any significant piece of information that Europeans had access to at this time which Muslims didn’t also have access to. If anything, Middle Easterners had more knowledge at their disposal since they had regular contacts with the major Asian civilizations and could supplement Greek natural philosophy with Indian and Chinese inventions. Europeans were prevented from having extensive direct contacts with these civilizations because they were geographically isolated from them by a large bloc of hostile Muslims. The only possible conclusion why Europeans invented mechanical clocks is that they were more efficient and creative than Muslims in using the body of information they had at their disposal. Muslims could have done the same, but they didn’t. They failed, pure and simple.
Read the rest at Dhimmi Watch.