How odd… Even though I did not use the word “invented,” and it’s plain for all to see what I said and what I didn’t say, Lochdale quotes me as saying “invented.” I’m very puzzled by such an obviously nonfactual assertion about me. I still do not know what you’re objecting to.
There were ancient Greek alchemists, true, but an important point to remember in the history of science is the dichotomy in ancient Greek society, where the intellectual theoreticians did not get their hands dirty actually doing experiments. Archimedes seems to have been an exception in this regard. The most famous ancient Greek alchemist actually wasn’t Greek at all, she was a Jewish woman: Maria of Alexandria, the inventor of the balneum Mariae. Did the Greek scientists invite her to their symposia and ask about the insights she’d gained into the nature of matter? Or did they prefer to theorize about matter in the realm of pure ideas while ignoring the people who worked with actual matter? What am I saying?.. the Greeks had all-male parties. Women were not invited as equals in ancient Greek society. They may have been present at the symposia as servants and whores, but not intellectual equals. Aspasia was an exception, a woman who could hold her own with the male intellectuals at parties.
The claims I made for Islamic science were not extravagant, and I’m prepared to defend my modest assertions with facts if challenged. No one has made a real challenge to my post, though, only a bit of a non sequitur. I said, and these are accurate quotes:
“Their work led directly into modern chemistry.”
This is not controversial. Europeans in the Middle Ages studied Islamic works on alchemy translated into Latin. The work of Jabir ibn Hayyan, for example. Muslim scientists had no qualms about doing lab work and writing it up for other intellectuals to consider and try out. Muslim scientists took what they learned from Greek and other sources, and developed new ideas on top of those. Their lab techniques and equipment continued to be used into the era of modern chemistry.
“I don’t think their motive was to get more drunk. It was to get more knowledge.” The OP seemed to assume that the reason for Muslim scientists distilling wine was to have more potent booze. Based on what I understand of the history of Islamic science, I doubt that was what motivated them. They studied the nature of matter for the same reason any scientist would: to find out how the world is put together by taking it apart. I’m sorry if I hadn’t explained myself clearly and left it open for misinterpretation.