Syncategoremata (talk · contribs · count · logs · block log · lu · rfa · rfb · arb · rfc · lta · socks)

This is my main account, which I now use for content work. I have another account, Unsyncategoremata (talk · contribs), which I (only occasionally) use for maintenance work.

I did come here to do content work and I would still like to do content work, but I seem to have got stuck in various anti-vandalism efforts, partly as a clean-up from this. I plan to empty my watch list in a week's time and just clean-up and content work for a month.

Well, I managed to empty my watch list on 00:00, 7 June 2010 (UTC).


I'm currently interested in the history and philosophy of science and mathematics, and more specifically, in the beginnings quantification in science. I'm currently looking at the laws of motion and the development of modern chemistry as test cases, though I mostly focus on the late antique and medieval periods, both Islamic and Christian.

To-do list
  • Check on the discussion of Galileo's odd idea of 'circular inertia' and comparisons to al-Birjandi.
  • Check on the remaining uses of Yaqūb ibn Tāriq's planetary data from Abu Rayhan Biruni's Indica
  • Check whether the discussion of Islamic astronomers attitude towards uniform circular motion in the heavens is the right way round (they criticised Ptolemy for not abiding by it).
  • Check the historical claims in the celestial coordinate system article.
  • Spelling: Equatorium vs equitorium
  • Do a thorough check through and rewrite of the material on impetus theory, wherever it may hide.
  • Go through all the claims on the history of the astronomical unit.
  • A "saphea" (not "saphaea") is not a universal astrolabe but rather the design of the grid used to make such an astrolabe (amongst other instruments); s.v. "shakkāziyya", EI2, Vol. 9, p. 252a; see also:
    • Poulle, Emmanuel (1969). "Un instrument astronomique dans l'Occident latin—la "saphea"". Studi medievali. 10: 491–510.
  • Give the account of Biruni's calculation of the length of one degree of the meridian some tender loving.
  • Mark Jābir ibn Hayyān's ethnicity as unknown or disputed, following the lead of his article.
  • The article on Maslamah Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti has, as is common, got the two al-Majrīṭī's confused. See p. xv n. 1 of Majrīṭī, Maslamah ibn Aḥmad (1986). Picatrix: The Latin Version of the Ghāyat Al-Ḥakīm. Studies of the Warburg Institute. David Pingree (trans.). London: Warburg Institute.
  • The antiperistasis article could start with antiperistasis as a the theory of motion and only then discuss it as "the supposed increase in the intensity of a quality as a result of being surrounded by its contrary quality". Could even add a note there on its use as a name for a rhetorical device.
  • The history section of the alum article could be improved from Levey, Martin (1958-06). "Alum in Ancient Mesopotamian Technology". Isis. 49 (2): 166–169. ISSN 0021-1753. Retrieved 2010-05-16. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Do something about the claims that various medieval Islamic philosophers "refuted" astrology.
  • Find another source for the claim about "al-Qazwini's futuristic tale, written around 1,250 a.d. about 'Awaj bin Anfaq', a man who came to earth from a distant planet" from Khammas, Achmed A. W. (2006-10-10). "The Almost Complete Lack of the Element of "Futureness"" (Magazine). Telepolis.
  • Give prima materia a generous prod and a little more context on Aristotle's position.
  • al-Kindi on the tides from Dunlop, D. M. (1971). Arab Civilization to A.D. 1500. Arab Background Series. Longman. p. 224.
  • Biographical information for 'Basil Valentine' from Parrington (1961).
  • Find all remaining discussion of evolution based on Draper, John William (1877). History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science. The International Scientific Series (10 ed.). London: Henry S. King..
  • Check FSTC Research Team. "Astronomical Observatories in the Classical Islamic Culture". Retrieved 2010-05-24. given its use at here.
  • Check on the use made of Vallely, Paul (2006-03-11). "How Islamic inventors changed the world" (Newspaper). The Independent. Retrieved 2010-05-28.. The url is also sometimes given as, though that seems to be a dead link. (Non-specialist author, unsourced article, multiple factual errors.)
  • Go through the sources on Jabir ibn Aflah's supposed invention of the torquetum. My memory is that the consensus is he described (not invented) a rather different instrument and that the inventor of the torquetum is unknown (and may be either Islamic or European).
  • Correct the 'philosphy' and 'philsophy' misspellings.
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Also see User:Philcha#Tools.

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Problematic sources

/Unreliable sources
Wikipedia links to
Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 18#History of Science
Not sure on the reliability of this site, but at least one of the articles there is unsourced and rather dubious. The same text appears at,,, and half the blogs on the net.
Wikipedia links to
This site has massive WP:COPYVIO issues (for example a huge number of articles from the current Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy and a copy of Rosenthal's 1958 translation of Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah) and thus has WP:COPYLINK problems.
Wikipedia links to
Follow-up list
{{failed verification}}

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (21:55, 5 April 2010 (UTC))

Physics in medieval Islam for al-Farabi and vacuum experiments (22:02, 11 April 2010 (UTC))

Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (13:36, 8 April 2010 (UTC))

Shadow square (13:31, 8 April 2010 (UTC))

Life expectancy claims; I also labelled these with {{Cn}}, {{Rs}}, {{Vn}} and WP:OR (12:00, 8 April 2010 (UTC)):

History of medicine
Life expectancy
Muslim Agricultural Revolution
Medicine in medieval Islam
Islamic Golden Age

Abu Rayhan Biruni on "Biruni made the first real distinction between a scientist and a philosopher" (20:04, 6 April 2010 (UTC))

{{citation needed}}

Abū al-Wafā' Būzjānī (00:58, 6 April 2010 (UTC))

{{verify credibility}}
Dargan 2006

The Gary Dargan quote on Al-Jahiz from the following program:

Margaret Coffey (Contributor), Chris Middleton (Guest), Richard Rymarz (Guest), Rick Tudor (Guest), Nicholas Coleman (Guest), Brian Edgar (Guest), Andrea Horvath (Guest), Roger Fernando (Guest), Gary Dargan (Guest). "Encounter – Intelligent Design – 11 June 2006". Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National. {{cite episode}}: Missing or empty |series= (help)

It appears on the following pages: (22:15, 5 April 2010 (UTC))

Covington 2007

The following article:

Covington, Richard (2007-06). "Rediscovering Arabic Science". Saudi Aramco World. 58 (3): 2–16. Retrieved 2010-03-16. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)

on the following pages:

Islamic cosmology
Astronomy in medieval Islam
Timeline of astronomy
Maragheh observatory
Science in medieval Islam
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