World History - 6th Edition

By William J. Duiker and Jackson J. Spielvogel 

Published by Wadsworth Cengage Learning

ISBN-13: 978-0-495-56901-5
ISBN-10: 0-495-56901-1
Review by Glen E. Simmonds and Bill Humpf



This history book is extremely biased on several fronts.  Most obvious is a pro-Islam and anti-Christian, anti-Bibilical bias. The accuracy of the Bible is contested repeatedly. No other Holy Book from any other religion is attacked - only the Bible. Secondly, it is anti-European, anti-Western. Thirdly, it is pro-socialist and anti-capitalist. In many cases these biases are evidenced through the use of descriptive language.  In other cases only one side of an event or series of events is presented.  In still other cases, omissions of critical information lead the reader to a conclusion that may not be historically correct and is definitely incomplete. There are instances that the information is simply false. Below is a list of excerpts that reveal the serious shortcomings of this book that make this book unreliable for students.


Page 17 -  The Great Flood. The great epic poem of Mesopotamian literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh, includes an account by Utnapishtim (a Mesopotamian version of the later biblical Noah), who had built a ship and survived the flood unleashed by the gods to destroy humankind. . .”

COMMENT: The authors claim the Mesopotamian account was written before the Biblical account - implying the Bible copied the Gilgamesh tale. The Great Flood occurred about 3000 BC. Many ancient civilizations had their own version of The Great Flood, so The Flood was world wide. There are 12 Clay tablets that contain the Gilgamesh tale but the 12th tablet contradicts the other eleven. They are dated to about 650 B.C., so they were written about 2,300 years after the event. The Genesis account was written about 1450 BC, about 800 years before the Gilgamesh tale.

So which account accurately recorded the Great Flood? The Genesis account of The Flood is unique. It has specific details with only one version and it is all logical. In Luke 17:26–27, Jesus makes a reference to The Flood. The Genesis account written by Moses was the original and pagan myths arose as distortions of that original account.(A)

The Ark described in the Gilgamesh tale was to be 660 X 660 feet and 6 decks high. According to the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory, the strength of a wooden beam weakens as it gets longer. The Gilgamesh ship would not survive in the ocean. 

Noah’s Ark was 450 x 75 x 45 feet. The measurements of Noah’s Ark are on a 1:6 ratio. Naval architecture reveals that this is a stable ratio for an ocean-going vessel. It could have easily survived even big ocean waves and would be next to impossible to capsize. 

Mountains have waterborne fossils.(B) However, this does not mean the waters had to be deep enough to cover modern Mt. Everest and other high mountains. Mountains were uplifted by the pressures on the earth's mantle as a result of a world wide flood. It is unfortunate that most students of geology do not take the Great Flood into consideration as they attempt to interpret the geological data.(C)




Page 27:  In a section titled “The Hebrews: The Children of Israel” there is a statement that “Many scholars today doubt that the biblical account reflects the true history of the early Israelites. They argue that the early books of the Bible, written centuries after the events described, preserve only what the Israelites came to believe about themselves and that recent archaeological evidence often contradicts the details of the biblical account. Some of these scholars have even argued that the Israelites were not nomadic invaders but indigenous people in the Canaanite hill country.”  

COMMENT: Note that the Bible is the only Holy Book the authors charge with misinformation. This accusation isn’t made against any other religious book. To make a general statement like this without identifying exactly where they believe the Old Testament is wrong is irresponsible writing. Archaeology verifies the validity of the Bible.(D)

Non Jewish kingdoms in the ancient world did not record bad things that happened to them or else they lied about it. The Old Testament is unique in recording Israel’s defeats in battle and God’s condemnation of the Israelites when they practiced ungodly behavior. “The fulfillment of biblical prophecy has always been a great embarrassment to the critics of the Bible, and their only escape route is to believe that the prophecies were written long after the event predicted. One significant problem with this conjecture is that no one has been able to explain how the “prophetic con men” managed to pull off their “deception” so consistently, convincingly, and completely over so many centuries!(E)

There have been claims in the past that archaeological discoveries have proven the Bible wrong, but additional findings have proven the Bible to be correct. For instance, in 1985, the Biblical Archaeology Society declared that the Biblical city of Ai did not exist. “The problem of Ai is simply stated. The Bible tells us that an important battle in the Israelite conquest of Canaan occurred at Ai. . . However, extensive and sophisticated archaeological excavations have produced no evidence of human occupation at the site during the period when the Israelites supposedly settled in Canaan. In short, the evidence shows that there was no city at Ai for the Israelites to conquer.”(F)

However, more recent excavations have shown that the location of Ai was .6 miles west, at Khirbet el-Maqatir, proving the Bible is correct.(G) This discovery and others also proves that the Israelites invaded Canaan and were NOT indigenous to the land of Canaan.




Page 164-5 - “Islam’s contributions to the human experience during this period were cultural(1) and technological (2) as well as economic. Muslim philosophers preserved the works of the ancient Greeks for posterity, Muslim scientists and mathematicians made new discoveries about the nature of the universe and the human body,(3) and Arab cartographers and historians mapped the known world and speculated about the fundamental forces in human society.”


1. Moslem cultural ‘achievements’ was - and is - nothing to admire. 
It is very inferior to Western Civilization.

Rules for Muslim society varies depending on how liberal or conservative the government is.

* Muslim countries then, and now, are essentially religious dictatorships - a Theocracy.
In Muslim theocracies freedom of speech and of the press are limited. The Rule of Law is absent. Sharia Law runs society. Caliphs are the final authority. Women are treated poorly and have few rights. 

* Muslim countries then, and now, are essentially dictatorships - Muslim theocracies. Freedom of speech and of the press are limited. The Rule of Law is absent. Sharia Law runs society. Caliphs are the final authority. Women are treated very poorly and have virtually no rights.

* Muslim society endured many wars - both civil wars and foreign wars. Following the death of Muhammad in 632 AD, a dispute arose over who would succeed Muhammad which divided the Muslims into two primary competing groups - Sunnis and Shias.

Sunnis believed the method of electing leaders should be by consensus of the the Muslim community. Sunnis wanted Abu Bakr, the father of Muhammad's wife Aisha, to succeed Muhammad. Shias believed their ruler must come through Mohammed’s bloodline and that Muhammad divinely ordained his cousin and son-in-law Ali Ibn Abi Talib to be the next ruler. This dispute resulted in the the first muslim civil war and a 1400 year schism between Sunni and Shia Islam. 

As the years went on, Islam continued to divide into many smaller groups.


* Islam had slavery. The inhumane conditions provoked the biggest slave rebellion in history - the Zanj Rebellion in southern Iraq against the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate. The Zanj were Blacks imported from East Africa and used for agricultural labor in southern Iraq. There had been slave revolts in 689–90 and in 694 but both of these revolts were crushed. The Zoṭṭ, an Indian people, rebelled from 820 to 835. The Zanj revolt of 869 lasted 14 years until the rebel ‘capital’, al-Mukhtarah was captured after a two and a half year siege. The number of people killed in the conflict range from 1.5 million to 2.5 million.(H)

Muslims were involved in the slave trade for centuries and in fact it is still present in some areas. In 2017 it was discovered Libya was selling blacks at slave auctions.(I)

H. The Case of Rhyme Versus Reason: Ibn Al-Råumåi and His Poetics in Context By Robert C. McKinney, p 468


* If your wife is disobedient you can strike her: Sura 4:34


“Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.”


NOTE: All verses from the Quran are from:



* Islam sanctions polygamy(J) - especially for Mohammed. Allah managed to hand down quite a few "revelations" that sanctioned Muhammad's personal pursuit of sex at the expense of those around him. Sura 66:1


“O Prophet! why do you forbid (yourself) that which Allah has made lawful for you; you seek to please your wives; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Shakir)

Sura 33:50: "O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who fled with you; and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to marry her-- specially for you, not for the (rest of) believers; We know what We have ordained for them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess in order that no blame may attach to you;” (Shakir)


See also Sura: 33:51, 33:37, 66:2-5, 4:25, 23:32


Polygamy is outlawed under Christianity. Polygamy is not followed by Muslims in many Western democracies.


* Pedophilic Islamic Marriages.

Islam approves of adults marrying children. This is outlawed under Christianity. 

Hadith: Book 008, Number 3309:


'Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Messenger (May peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house at the age of nine. She further said: We went to Medina and I had an attack of fever for a month, and my hair had come down to the earlobes. Umm Ruman (my mother) came to me and I was at that time on a swing along with my playmates. She called me loudly and I went to her and I did not know what she had wanted of me. She took hold of my hand and took me to the door, and I was saying: Ha, ha (as if I was gasping), until the agitation of my heart was over. She took me to a house, where had gathered the women of the Ansar. They all blessed me and wished me good luck and said: May you have share in good. She (my mother) entrusted me to them. They washed my head and embellished me and nothing frightened me. Allah's Messenger (May peace be upon him) came there in the morning, and I was entrusted to him.(K)


See also Hadith: Book 008, Number 3310, 3311.(J)

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenini, the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Islamic revolution in 1979 stated: 


“A man can marry a girl younger than nine years of age, even if the girl is still a baby being breastfed. A man, however is prohibited from having intercourse with a girl younger than nine, other sexual acts such as foreplay, rubbing, kissing and sodomy is allowed. Sodomizing the baby is halal (allowed by sharia). A man having intercourse with a girl younger than nine years of age has not committed a crime, but only an infraction, if the girl is not permanently damaged. . .”(L)


There are NO Quranic verses that specifically ban pedophilic marriages.

Even today, in “modern” Islam, child marriage is defended.(M)(N) Pedophilic Islamic Marriages are not done by Muslims in many Western democracies.

L. Killing the Quran by Jake Neuman, pub 2015, p 233
The Code of Practice for Muslims in the Western World are as follows: Forbidden music is the music that is suitable for entertainment and amusement gatherings. It is permissible to visit public places where music is being played, even if it is suitable for entertainment and amusement gatherings, provided that one does not intentionally listen to it: for example, waiting areas for visitors, public parks, restaurants and cafes, etc. Even songs of praise dedicated to Muhammad and Imams or the songs that lift the spirits and morale of the fighters and the like are not permitted.(P) “Whoever listens to the entertainment (song and music), lead will be melted inside his ear on the day of judgment.”(Q) 

So if you enjoy music, forget it under fundamental Islam and Sharia law. However, most Muslims in Western countries and some majority Muslim countries ignore this edict and listen to Arabic music.

Q. As-Sayyid al-Khu'I, al-Masa'ilu 'sh-Shar'iyya, vol. 2, p. 22.

2. Islam’s technological achievements:

This book claims many technological achievements by Muslims but doesn’t mention any specifics. In contrast, this book mention five different technologies invented in China.

3. Muslim claims of discoveries about the nature of the universe and the human body 
 are ALL wrong:

All of the scientific ‘revelations’ about the human body and the Universe in the Quran are NOT true.  

Where does milk come from: Sura 16:66 says:  


“We pour out to you from what is within their (the cattle’s) abdomen, between excretions and blood, milk - pure and agreeable to the drinkers.” 


Really?? The raw materials for milk production are transported via the bloodstream to the mammary glands. The mammary glands produce milk. Milk is NOT made in the blood stream. It is separate from the intestines and blood.


Where does the Sun go at night and rise in the morning?  


Sura 18.86:  “Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness." (Yusef Ali)

Sura 18: 90 “Till, when he reached the rising-place of the Sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter from it.”


These errors by Allah was based on the belief that the earth was flat. Mohammed did not know that the earth was a sphere which revolved around the sun. Modern muslims attempt to dismiss this as poetry - but this is not part of a poem.


The Sun and Moon orbit around the earth. 


Sura 21:33:

Sahih International: And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all [heavenly bodies] in an orbit are swimming.

Pickthall: And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit.

Sura 36:38-40:

“Sahih International: And the sun runs [on course] toward its stopping point. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.(38) And the moon - We have determined for it phases, until it returns [appearing] like the old date stalk.(39) It is not allowable for the sun to reach the moon, nor does the night overtake the day, but each, in an orbit, is swimming.(40)

Pickthall: “And the sun runneth on unto a resting-place for him. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise.(38) And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf.(39) It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit.”(40)


The Quran is stating that both the Sun and Moon have their own orbits.

In recent years, Muslims have claimed that modern science has proven verse 36:40 correct - that the Sun is on an orbit. We now know that our Solar System is in the Milky Way Galaxy and the Milky Way makes one revolution about every 240 million years - one galactic year. The Milky Way Galaxy is believed to have completed 18–20 revolutions during its existence and 1/1250 of a revolution since the origin of humans.    

However, Muslims ignore verse 36:38 which is in agreement with verse 18.86 - above - which states the Sun stops at a ‘resting place’ which shows belief in a flat Earth. The Sun does not stop since the Earth is not flat. Verses 36:40 and 21:33 are talking about the orbit of the Sun in relationship to the Moon - which is an error by itself. It is not talking about the 240 million year rotation of the Milky Way. The fact is, the Quran’s “scientific revelations” are nothing more then guesses based on human observations.

Now THIS is scientific revelation.  Job 26:7,8 in the Bible: 

7: “He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.”
8: “He binds up the water in His thick clouds, Yet the clouds are not broken under it.”

Barrier between salt water and fresh water: 

In the Quran, verses 55:19-20 and 25:53 state that salt water and fresh water do not mix because there is a “barrier” between them.  


Sura 55:19-20 - “He has given freedom to the two great bodies of water, so that they might meet; [yet] between them is a barrier which they may not transgress.” (Asad)

Sura 25:53 - “And He it is who has given freedom of movement to the two great bodies of water - the one sweet and thirst allaying, and the other salty and bitter - and yet has wrought between them a barrier and a forbidding ban.” (Asad)


The oceans are all salt water. When fresh water from a river empties into the ocean, it doesn’t immediately mix because salt water is denser than fresh water. But over time, it does mix together. There is no barrier. If the Quran was correct, we would have large bodies of fresh water separate from salt water in the ocean. 



Development of human embryo: 

Muslims claim the Quran describes five stages of fetal development which are: 1) sperm (nutfa) 2) clot (‘alaqa) 3) piece or lump of flesh (mudagha) 4) bones (‘adaam) 5) dressing the bones with muscles. The following verses show the Quranic description of the 5 stage development of the human fetus: 23:12-14(stages 1 through 5), 75:37-39(stage 1, 2), 40:67(stage 1, 2), 22:5(stages 1 through 3), 96:1-2(stage 1). 

Modern science knows there is no clotting stage in the development of the fetus. We also know that muscles are formed several weeks before there are calcified bones.  So where did this “revelation” come from?  Greek medicine was highly regarded in Arabia at the time of Mohammed - especially a Greek doctor named Galen. These stages of prenatal development are in agreement with the medical beliefs from Greek medicine at the time the Quran was written.

This leads us to a scientific ommission in the Quran. There is no mention for the female contribution - the female eggs. Primitive peoples - including Arabs - thought that the whole child was in the “seed” of the man. The woman was regarded as the ‘oven’ for the process to be completed. It wasn’t until the 1660s that science began to discover the two components of human reproduction – eggs and sperm. 



The Water Cycle: 

Water (1) evaporates from the seas and the earth; (2) becomes clouds; which (3) give rain; which (4) causes the land to bring forth, and (5) replenishes the water table, which reveals itself by gushing springs and full wells. Many verses in the Quran show steps 2, 3 and 4: 50:9-11, 35:9, 30:48, 7:57, 25:48-49, 45:5.  Step 5 is claimed in verses 23:18-19, 15:22, and 39:21.  There are no verses in the Quran showing step l.    

Interestingly, steps 2, 3, 4 and 5 were all known facts during and well before this time.  Step 1 was not understood until much later in history and this is the step that there is no “foreknowledge” of from the Quran.

Now consider the Bible in Amos 5:8 (written about 1000 years before the Quran).  This verse shows steps 1 and 3.  From the book of Job in the Bible, (about 1000 years before the Quran) verses 36:26-28 shows steps 1, 2 and 3.  The book of the Prophet Hosea from the Bible, verse 13:15 clearly show step 5.  



The following pages all claim that Islam was a tolerent religion which is absolutely NOT true.

Page 165 -  “…and while Islam sometimes followed the path of Arab warriors, they rarely imposed their religion by force on the local population.  In some instances, as with the Mongols, the conquerors made no effort to convert others to their own religions. By contrast, Christian monks, motivated by missionary fervor, converted many of the peoples of central and eastern Europe.”

Comment: Not true. Forced conversions throughout the history of Islam are well documented and are even mentioned in passing later in this book. Non-Muslims had no rights. They could not testify in Court and Non-Muslims can be killed or women raped and nothing happens to the Muslim attackers. Non-Muslims are forced to pay a special tax for their refusal to become a Muslim. This is why as time goes by, non-muslims convert to islam for self-protection for their family and economic survival. 

There are no instances where Muslims did not force people in conquered lands to convert to Islam. The Mongols were not religious.

The authors are critical of Christian Monks for coverting many people. They don’t tell you the conversions to Christians were all voluntary while Islam was by force. For instance, Christianity became the dominant religion throughout the Roman Empire entirely by voluntary conversion over several hundred years.

Even today, the brutality of Islam when they take over a country is well documented.(P) Claims that Islam resulted in a stable government is not true and this is proven by the huge number of revolts within the Muslim empire. 




Page 190, 191:  In the introduction to the chapter on The Rise of Islam there is this statement;  “The initial triumph may have been primarily political and military, based on the transformative power of a dynamic new religion that inspired thousands of devotees to extend their faith to neighboring regions” and “The ideological and emotional appeal of Islam remained strong throughout the Middle East…” 

COMMENT: The triumph of Islam was solely through military power. The emotional appeal of the ‘dynamic new religion’ of Islam was to be part of a conquering army so you could take whatever or whoever you wanted. 

The message of the Prophet Mohammed to the Omani people:

"Peace be upon the one who follows the right path! I call you to Islam. Accept my call, and you shall be unharmed. I am God's Messenger to mankind, and the word shall be carried out upon the miscreants. If, therefore, you recognize Islam, I shall bestow power upon you. But if you refuse to accept Islam, your power shall vanish, my horses shall camp on the expanse of your territory and my prophecy shall prevail in your kingdom."(1)



Page 192: “Returning to his birthplace at the head of a considerable military force, Mohammed conquered Mecca and converted the townspeople to the new faith.”  

COMMENT: After receiving his first “revelation” in 609 AD, Mohammed spent the next 13 years trying to peacefully convert the people of Mecca to Islam. The peaceful and tolerant verses were “revealed” to Mohammed during this time. In 622, Mohammed was run out of Mecca with no more then 150 followers - probably less. This flight to Medina became known as the Hijra, or ‘flight.’ After settling in Medina, the militant “revelations” came to Mohammed and he turned to the sword to convert people to Islam.       

In 630 AD, Mohammed and his army forced Mecca to surrender. In 635, Damascus and Syria were conquered and the following year, Muslims armies reached Persia, modern day Iran.  In 641, Egypt was conquered and by 647, Muslims armies reached Armenia in northern Turkey.  The Muslim conquests continued on into Europe, where they were defeated in two epic battles.



Page 193: In the Film & History block, the authors praise a movie on Islam called “The Message” released in English in 1977. The film was financed by Libyan dictator and international terrorist Muammar Gaddafi. 

“The film seeks to present an accurate and sympathetic account of the life of the Prophet from his spiritual awakening in 610 to his peaceful return to Mecca in 630.(1)   ….it stresses many of the humanistic elements of Islam, including respect for women and opposition to slavery as well as the equality of all human beings in the eyes of God.(2) Mohammed and his followers are shown as messengers of peace who are aroused to violence only in order to protect themselves”.... ”Viewers come away with a fairly accurate and sympathetic portrait...”

COMMENT: This is a propaganda film with many factual errors.

Mohammed marched on Mecca with an army ten thousand strong. The people of Mecca realized they were hopelessly outnumbered and surrendered.

Muslims were big into the slave trade. Islam is against the enslavement of Muslims, but it is okay to enslave non-Muslims, which led to massive importation of blacks from Africa and whites from southern Europe for 14 centuries. Eventually these slaves would accept Islam to free themselves from slavery and the cycle would repeat itself. The Arab slave trade predates the European slave trade across the Atlantic by 700 years. 

Inhumane conditions by Muslims provoked the biggest slave rebellion in history - the Zanj Rebellion in southern Iraq against the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate. The Zanj were Blacks imported from East Africa and used for agricultural labor in southern Iraq. There had been slave revolts in 689–90 and in 694 but both of these revolts were crushed. The Zoṭṭ, an Indian people, rebelled from 820 to 835. The Zanj revolt of 869 lasted 14 years until the rebel ‘capital’, al-Mukhtarah was captured after a two and a half year siege. The number of people killed in the conflict range from 1.5 million to 2.5 million.(H)

Muslims engage in the slave trade in remote areas even today. In 2017 it was discovered Libya was selling blacks at slave auctions.(I)

H. The Case of Rhyme Versus Reason: Ibn Al-Råumåi and His Poetics in Context By Robert C. McKinney, p 468




This 19th-century engraving depicts an Arab slave-trading caravan transporting black African slaves across the Sahara. The trans-Saharan slave trade developed in the 7th and 8th centuries as Muslim Arabs conquered most of North Africa. The trade grew significantly from the 10th to the 15th century and peaked in the mid-19th century.



Page 196:  In the segment on Creation of an Empire:  “Once the army had prevailed, Arab administration of the conquered areas was generally tolerant……Conversion to Islam was generally voluntary….Those who chose not to convert were only required to submit to Muslim rule and pay a head tax in return for exemption from military service….”  

COMMENT: There is no condemnation of Islamic aggression against other countries. If fact the authors of this book are supportive of Muslim imperialism. The authors ignore forced conversions, complete subjugation of those who would not convert, and slavery of the conquered.  The statement minimizes the reality involved with “submitting to Muslim rule” wherein non-Muslims were treated as only slightly better than slaves.  They could not (and still can not) testify against a Muslim, defend themselves against accusations made by a Muslim, or protect their children, particularly girls, from being forcibly taken by Muslims.  This complete subjugation ultimately intimidated many into conversion for their survival.