But what surprises many even more is that a ninth-century Iraqi zoologist by the name of al-Jahith developed a rudimentary theory of natural selection a thousand years before Darwin. In his Book of Animals, Jahith speculates on how environmental factors can affect the characteristics of species, forcing them to adapt and then pass on those new traits to future generations.Some interesting debate in the ensuing comments, too. And some foaming at the mouth.
30 January 2008
It's time to herald the Arabic science that prefigured Darwin
by Peter Mc
and Newton. So says Jim Al-Khalili in today's Guardian. Reeling off a list of neglected Arabic scientific scholars, Prof Khalili notes: