White admired the contributions of Jewish and Muslim scholars to the development of science in the Middle Ages. In his Warfare of Science with Theology (1896), he wrote:
“Germs implanted by Greek and Roman thought were warmed into life. The Arabian schools seem to have been less fettered by the letter of the Koran than the contemporary Christian scholars by the letter of the Bible; and to Avicenna belongs the credit of first announcing substantially the modern geological theory of changes in the earth’s surface… While the inherited ideas of Church leaders were thus unfavourable to any proper development of medical science, there were two bodies of men outside the Church who, though largely fettered by superstition, were far less so than the monks and students of ecclesiastical schools: these were the Jews and Mohammedans” (chapters V and XIII, passim).
Notebook of Cornell Student and Future Businessman Llewellyn Elsbree, class of 1873
Cornell University Library, Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts, #37-5-1435, notebook #5