Human memory and the Muslim Heritage!

Professor Richard Dawkins describes every human as a composite of four memories, nothing less and nothing more:

1.  Human DNA a memory and repository of ancestral survival techniques.

2.  Human immunity as a memory of all the challenges his or her white blood cells have responded to.

3.  The common place memory of our daily experiences.  He then goes onto describing a fourth memory:

Furthermore, the third memory, the one in the brain, has spawned a  fourth. The database in my brain contains more than just a record of the  happenings and sensations of my personal life — although that was the limit when  brains originally evolved. Your brain includes collective memories inherited  non-genetically from past generations, handed down by word of mouth, or in  books or, nowadays, on the internet. The world in which you and I live is  richer by far because of those, who went before us and inscribed their impacts on the database of human culture: Newton and Marconi, Shakespeare and Steinbeck,  Bach — and the Beatles, Stephenson and the Wright brothers, Jenner and Salk, Curie and Einstein, von Neumann and Berners-Lee. And, of course, Darwin.

All four memories are part of, or manifestations of, the vast super-structure of apparatus for survival which was  originally, and primarily built up by the Darwinian process of non-random DNA  survival.

This is a brilliant description of the human condition by Dawkins, but he missed one little detail, underpinning paramount consequences!  If he had completed the list by mentioning a few more names like Averroes, Avicenna, Al Biruni, Al Khwarizmi, Rhazes and Al Hazen, then not only it will highlight the Muslim Heritage, but, will fully define both the Westerners and Easterners and give them cause to shed their myopic views and have a more wholesome and fulfilling understanding of themselves and others.  In denying these names many a Westerners only end up throwing a part of themselves, like a man handicapped by blindness in one eye or paralysis in half of the body.  Carl Jung calls these cultural memories that define the human condition as archetypes and by denying names like Averroes and Avicenna, many in the West grow up with only limited, fragmented and disjointed understanding of themselves and others.

Reference: Prof. Richard Dawkins. The Greatest Show on Earth. Free Press, 2009. Page 408.


To review some of the achievements by the Muslim scientist, see a short movie — starring Sir Ben Kingsley as Al-Jazari:

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