In an early February 2015 issue of The Observer, an endeavor was made to show that black people bequeathed civilization to humankind.
Here, my intention is to indicate that Africans have always been at the center of sophisticated ideas that have revolutionized our intellectual outlooks as civilized human beings. My sources are Martin Bernal, and Charles Finch (The African Background to Medical Sciences) and Ivan Van Sertima (Golden Age of the Moor).
When Martin Bernal wrote his world-famous book Black Athena: the Afro Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, in his own words, the political purpose of Black Athena is to lessen the European culture of arrogance.
The purpose of writing this article is to humbly contribute towards the campaign against racial prejudice and send some message to Africans to rebuild their self-confidence and esteem.
From historically verifiable sources, an irrefutable case can be made to effect that as universities were being established in Europe, so were similar institutions founded in Africa.
However, it is pertinent to show that Africans were acquainted with epoch-making ideas long before Greek civilization, Newtonian physics, and Albert Einstein. Black people were equal to the task of addressing abstract, complex laws of mathematics and physics.
Isaac Newton is regarded as the founder of mechanics, in modern times. In his book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he stated that he was convinced ancient Egyptians were acquainted with atomicity gravitation and heliocentricity.
Heliocentricity, as readers will recall, is the notion that it is the earth which moves round the sun, and not the other way around. Although it is now taken for granted, before Newton and Nicholaus Copernicus in Europe, the matter was very sensitive and controversial.
Ancient Egyptians were acquainted with the nature of the solar system thousands of years before Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). A study of the sizes of the pyramids at Giza near Cairo shows that the largest three among which is the Great Pyramid named after Khufu (Cheops in Greek) are in a descending order with Khafre’s pyramid and Menkeure’s, following.
They are in the same proportion in size as Earth, Venus and Mars. The comparison indicates that the black Egyptians had developed knowledge and capability to calculate the sizes of planets.
Further scrutiny of the pyramids indicates that the measurements of the base of the Great Pyramid are a comparison with the distance traced by Venus in its orbit round the sun.
The great pyramid was constructed about 3000 BC; thus, the Egyptians beat Copernicus by at least 4000 years since Copernicus and Galileo lived 1473-1543AD and 1564-1763AD respectively.
In Western/Eurocentric epistemology, discovery of gravitation is associated with Isaac Newton. His acknowledgement that ancient Egyptians were conversant with the theory of gravitation was well founded. It can be discerned from the Egyptian knowledge of the Great Year, in addition to the ordinary year the earth takes to orbit the sun.
Egyptians knew earth tilts from its axis by 23.5 degrees, and the tilt causes it to wobble in its rotation round the sun and moves “incredibly” slowly, and eventually returns to its original position after approximately 25,868 years. This is the Great Year. When 25,868 years are divided by 12, we get 2,155 years which constitute one age, approximately.
This is the age after which great cataclysmic events were believed to occur. In February 2015, we pointed out that ancient Egyptians believed heavenly bodies influence events on earth. Many people still believe that every 2,000 years, drastic changes occur on earth.
This explains the panic that engulfed many places of worship at the end of December 2000 AD. It is evident Africans discovered gravitation before Isaac Newton.
Since the ancient black Egyptians believed in astrology, they divided the observable sky into 12 arcs above the earth. By observing the position of the heavenly bodies in one of the divisions, they believed they could predict events on earth.
This is the basis of the zodiac we see in the newspapers daily. Astrologers claim that by observing the position of stars and other heavenly bodies against one’s date of birth, the subject’s fortunes can be predicted.
But, of course, in planning our activities here on earth, we can use the 365-day year satisfactorily, without invoking astral phenomena. Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon believed in astrology.
Greek classical scientists, philosophers and writers such as Plutarch (45-120 AD) and Hipparchus (190-120 BC) referred to the notion of the Great Year.
They accessed information in the Great Library at Alexandria, founded by Aristotle with collections mainly from Egypt after Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) occupied Egypt and made it part of the Greek Empire.
Napoleon was accompanied to Egypt by Count Volney who in objective scholarship reminded Europeans that by then Africans were slaves of white people, but European civilization was built on knowledge acquired from Africans.
Next, I hope to show that atomicity was known to Africans before the era of Greek classical civilization and a black man worked with Albert Einstein (1879-1955) as his equal or deputy. The African American is Lloyd Quarterman (1918-1982) honored by US government for his efforts in designing the atomic bomb with Einstein.
The author is Retired Judge.