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

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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. 

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)

A. http://creation.com/noahs-flood-and-the-gilgamesh-epic
B. https://www.thoughtco.com/geology-of-mount-everest-755308  
C. http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2005/12/11/A-Universal-Flood-3000-BC.aspx

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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.

D. https://answersingenesis.org/archaeology/6-archaeological-finds/
E. https://answersingenesis.org/is-the-bible-true/is-the-old-testament-reliable/
F. https://www.baslibrary.org/biblical-archaeology-review/11/2/4
G. http://www.biblearchaeology.org/page/Is-the-Bible-Wrong-About-the-City-of-Ai-in-Joshua-7-8.aspx

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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.”

Comment: 

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

* 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: http://corpus.quran.com

 
 

* 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

I. http://fortune.com/2017/11/29/libya-slave-trade/

J. https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/muhammads-sex-life.aspx

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/as-africa-tackles-child-marriage-young-survivors-speak-out/2017/10/28/8698edc0-bbbf-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html?utm_term=.ea8056eb5fdf

Polygamy is outlawed under Christianity.

 
 

* 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)

K. http://hadithcollection.com/sahihmuslim/136-Sahih%20Muslim%20Book%2008.%20Marriage/11408-sahih-muslim-book-008-hadith-number-3309.html
L. Killing the Quran by Jake Neuman, pub 2015, p 233
M. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1027742/settled-matter-bill-aiming-to-ban-child-marriages-shot-down/
N. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/17/saudi.child.marriage/index.html?iref=newssearch
 
 

2. Islam’s technological achievements:

Muslims are given more credit for technological advances then they deserve. In 2009, obama gave a speech in Cairo, making many erroneous claims about the technological achievements of Islam: 

 

“It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed.” 

 

Claims that are true: The word algebra comes from the Arabic word meaning completion or "reunion of broken parts.” The brilliant Islamic scholar Al-Khwarizmi built on the discoveries of Greek and Indian mathematicians in developing the basis for algebra. He was a member of the House of Wisdom in Bagdad. 

Other mathematical advances by muslims included Abu Kamil, al-Karkhi, Omar Khayyám, Sharaf al-Dīn, and al-Kashi. By the 1200s, advances in mathematics began to shift to Europe.

Moslems invented three devices essential for ocean navigation: the Kamal, a celestial navigation device that determines latitude, a quadrant and the astrolabe.

Claims that are false: The Chinese invented the magnetic compass and it was further developed by Europeans. The sextant was invented by the British. The Sunstone, invented in Iceland, is a type of mineral that allowed sailors to locate the sun in a completely overcast sky. 

The origins of the Lateen sail is debated today. Current evidence indicates that the Arabs used the sail in the 3rd and 4th centuries - several hundred years prior to the rise of Islam.

Woodblock Printing and other advances in printing was invented in China and later in Europe. Moveable type was invented in China around 1041 AD.  Gutenburg invented metal movable type printing technology in Europe in 1450, which ended the laborious task of copying books and documents by hand. Gutenburg’s invention is directly responsible for the proliferation of printed books and the spread of learning to the masses.

Paper making was invented in China and spread to the rest of Asia and then to the Islamic World around the eighth century AD. Muslims refined the paper making process.

Europeans developed pens starting in the 1600s. The Quill pen was used from antiquity until the 1800s. The US Constitution and some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were written with a Quill pen. In 953 AD, the Moslem Fatimid Caliph of Egypt demanded a pen with a reservoir but there is only one mention of the need for this pen in muslim history and no evidence that one was ever produced. If they ever existed, none of these pens have ever been found.(O) 

O. Journal of Semitic Studies, Volume 26, Issue 2, 1 October 1981, Pages 229–234

 
 
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. These supposed revelations from Allah are ALL fraudulent. We will only expose the most obvious.     

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.

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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.”

 

Try and figure that out.

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The Sun does NOT orbit around the earth. Sura 36:40

 

“It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit.” (Pickthall:)

“It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the Day: Each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law).” (Yusuf Ali)

 

From ancient times it was believed that Heavenly bodies orbited around the Earth. The Quran is in agreement with this misconcenption. Copernicus challenged this belief in 1543 with the publication of ‘On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres,’ which posited that the Earth and the other planets instead revolved around the Sun.

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.”
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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. 

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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. 

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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.