Thursday, June 04, 2009

Myths Avoided (Well, Maybe Not)

Today President Obama spoke at Cairo University.

Back in 2006 myself and others blogged about an exhibit at the Science Museum in Manchester which perpetuated false claims about Islamic inventions. President Obama's account of Islamic inventions avoided all of these incorrect ones.

Perhaps President Obama's list is also erroneous (I only know enough to spot the error in his claim about "order of algebra"). But even if it is, his speech writer did well to avoid past yet still-common misconceptions.

UPDATE: Oh, well. I gave him too much credit. He did mention fountain pens, which were debunked in that earlier series of blog posts. The magnetic compass and printing press were invented by the Chinese. So the only discovery he got correct was the spread of disease.

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