IBN FIRNAS FLYING MACHINE

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Synopsis:
The story of ibn Firnas flying by attaching feathers to his arms and flapping his arms up and down is similar to the Greek myth of Icarus. The “1001 Inventions” exhibition changes the myth to the invention of the hang glider, The movie they show to children at the exhibition is even more dishonest, tricking children into thinking Ibn Firnas invented the airplane.
His “planetarium” was what the word meant in the 1800s: a model (but showing the sun and planets traveling around the Earth).
Ibn Firnas built a machine to make the sound of thunder, but Hero of Alexandria had done that 800 years earlier
Ibn Firnas copIed a water clock built by a Greek, and built something to keep time in music.
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ROBOTICS AND GADGETS

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Al-Jazari (1136 – 1206) mostly made small modifications to devices invented by the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines.
Instead of a Roman god slaying a bull, a statue of a servant handed a towel and a comb to the king.
Al-Jazari’s float valve was copied from a Jewish inventor named Philo of Alexandria.
See other posts for his pumps and water clocks.
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BANU MUSA BROTHERS DEVICES

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Donald Hill was a British engineer who retired from working for Iraq Petroleum Company. He was paid by the Pakistan Hijara Council and UNESCO to translate books written by Islamic Golden Age inventors, and neglected to mention that most of these devices were copied from the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines.

The Banu Musa brothers were 9th century Muslim astronomers who worked in the same building that contained a huge collection of Byzantine books written in Greek.
They misidentified an illustration of a Roman dredge as a “mechanical grab”.
A trick device invented by Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria, to change water into wine at pagan temples, is misidentified.
A device likely used by the host at Byzantine parties to trick the guests into thinking no more wine remained was misidentified as the invention of a fail-safe device to cut off the flow if a water pipe breaks.
Their float valve was copied from a Jew named Philo of Alexandria.
Donald Hill concocted a false story of a breathing mask from an illustration of Roman bellows.
The Romans, not the Banu Musa brothers, invented the ratchet.
Other authors and en.wikipedia have copied the misinformation provided by Donald Hill.
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TRIMMING THE WICK

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In his translation of a book by the Banu Musa brothers, Donald Hilll possibly modifies an illustration of an oil lamp (which actually showed a knob and a rack and pinion gear) to add a float pulling a chain to pull out more wick as the flame burns. Donald Hill’s fictitious chain pulls in the wrong direction. In another book, Donald Hill replaces the fictitious float with a fictitious vacuum device.
An illustration of another lamp shows what might or might not be a wind barrier.
Donald Hill claimed this as the Muslim invention of the hurricane lamp, but modern hurricane lamps do not look like this.
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MUSLIM WEBSITE BOTCHES EXPLANATION OF GEBER’S SCALE

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Geber’s scale could weigh with an accuracy of one grain (of wheat) Someone at muslimheritage.com accidentally switched the number of grains in a gram as the number of grams in a grain, and then put the decimal point in the wrong place. claiming that Jābir ibn Hayyān “built a precise scale that weighed items 6,480 times smaller than the kilogram (anticipating Dalton by ten centuries)”.
The mention of Dalton is dishonesty bordering on being an outright lie.
implying the scale could measure with nearly the accuracy of plus or minus a dalton (approximately the weight of one proton or neutron).
Actually, a kilogram is not roughly 6480 daltons but approximately 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 daltons.
There was a Muslim contribution to building scales, made long after the time of Geber. The hydrostatic scale weighed an object in air, and then weighed the object in water. This was a more accurate way to compute the specific gravity of an object than the displacement of water method invented by Archimedes.
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WEAPONS

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The handheld crossbow that was cocked by using a crank was invented not by Muslims, but by the Chinese or by the Greeks.
The counterweight-powered trebuchet was invented by “Dark Ages” Catholic armies of the First Crusade.
The Chinese invented cannons and could shoot a cannonball across a river.
The rocket was invented by the Chinese, and spread westward. In 1270, Hasan al-Rammah precipitated out an impurity in saltpeter.
During the 1270’s Hassan al-Rammah designed a napalm-like “torpedo” that propelled itself across the surface of the water.
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LOOMS, SPINNING WHEEL, MAKING PAPER AND THE PRINTING PRESS

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Muslims did not invent the treadle loom. It was in use in China in 2000 BC. The spinning wheel was probably invented in India.
Both the manufacture of paper, and the use of a drop hammer to pound the wood into pulp were Chinese inventions.
Muslims did not invent the flywheel or crankshaft or the crank combined with a connecting rod.
The Chinese invented the printing press and movable type.
A Muslim pen with an ink reservoir in the year 973 may not have worked well.

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NUTCRACKER, WHEELBARROW, BLOCK AND TACKLE AND TONGS

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An article at MuslimHeritage.com
falsely gives credit to Muslims for contributing to the invention of the nutcracker, wheelbarrow, block and tackle, and tongs. Their reasoning is a claim that a Greek book about the 5 simple machines of the ancient Greeks (lever, windlass, pulley, wedge, and screw) was translated into Arabic and led to the invention of those devices.
Actually, wheelbarrows, the block and tackle and tongs were used in pre-Islamic times. The nutcracker was invented in the 15th century in what is now Germany, but it is a stretch to claim this invention was a result of 12th century Latin translations of Arabic translations of Greek books about levers.
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WHEELED VEHICLES

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The book published for the “1001 Inventions” exhibition falsely claims bicycles would not be possible without Muslim-invented gear ratios, cranks, and chains.
Actually, the Romans and the Chinese used cranks before Muslims did. Chains like those used in bicycles were used in ancient Roman devices for lifting water for irrigation, and by Hero of Alexandria in a device to hurl arrows. The Roman hodometer distance-traveled measuring “computer” and Greek water clocks in the pre-Islamic Roman colony of Alexandria Egypt used gear trains with gear ratios before Muslims did.
[Donald Hill falsely claimed that the (Roman-invented) hodometer was a Muslim “fixed-wired knowledge processing machine”. It was merely a device with gears, that dropped a pebble into a bowl each time the wheel of a cart traveled a mile.
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