L.A. Exhibit Highlights Muslim Contributions to Science and Technology


If "1001 Inventions" does nothing else, it teaches that "Dark Ages" is a misguided moniker.

The period between the seventh century and the Renaissance was, in fact, a time of explosive creativity in the expansive Muslim world, which stretched from Spain to China. The breakthroughs in science, math, astrology and medicine continue to be influential.

The "1001 Inventions" exhibit, visited by more than 1 million people during its stops in the United Kingdom, Istanbul and New York, currently resides at the California Science Center. A 376-page companion book includes additional facts about the era.

The seven main sections -- each represented by a multisided kiosk -- are home, school, hospital, market, town, world and universe. Each details well-known inventions that many people probably don't realize came from the Muslim world.

"This is a gap in our education, both in the U.K. and in America," said Maurice Coles," who has worked on the a new curriculum to develop resources for schools and colleges that stems from "1001 Inventions."

"I don't think it's a conspiracy. But it's like we were all taught that nothing happened between ancient Egypt and the Renaissance." (More)