National Geographic recently posted an article by Book Talk editor, Simon Worrall. I was struck by this paragraph:
There is a tendency on the part of some Muslim scholars to exaggerate the accomplishments of Islamic science. And they don’t need to be exaggerated. During the golden age of Islamic science, which ended somewhere between A.D. 1100 and 1200, Muslim scientists were way ahead of their contemporaries in Christian Europe.
Although it is true that the Muslim scientists were ahead of the Christian Europeans at this point, the article might have mentioned how Muslim tribesmen learned scientific method. They read Arabic translations of scientific works, which were translated by Syriac Christians from the pagan, ancient Greeks. So ironically, Christians were responsible for those medieval Arabs knowing their scientific texts, which had been lost to the Christians in Europe (though not likely lost to the Christians in Byzantium).