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« We are all neoconservatives now | Main | World, heal thyself? »

February 23, 2005


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"Albedo" not beautiful? Hmn. It's from Arabic, along with alchemy/chemistry (al khemi), algebra, etc. You could do a pretty long essay on the wonderful contributions of Islamic society to world science before they became subsumed by superstition and bigotry. A lesson there for all of us, bedeviled as we are by the Creationists, the anti-stem cell'ers, et al.

It was a Muslim who probably looked at moonlight reflecting off a sand dune and, while appreciating its beauty, also decided to calculate why it seemed to glow of its own accord when it wasn't actually generating any light. A thousand years later we use the same math to figure out the surface composition of other bodies in the solar system.

They did it before and they can contribute again.

Breathtaking insight, there, old boy. I'm shivering with delight. Thanks so much.

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