The scientific method and the proof by induction method and hence algebra came from the Middle-East. They seem to have the most advanced number system in the world, and in algebra, many techniques involve adding 0 (the usefulness of 0).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_rule#Proofs
A classic is the derivation (hence, proof from first principle) of the essential product rule of calculus. For the first proof, at line 3, 0 was added to the equation, 0=f(x)g(x+Δx)-f(x)g(x+Δx)

In my opinion, it comes down to incompetent dynasties that wasted away the potential of the entire empire, the Ottoman Empire. That's all it takes. I would argue the same for China, that is, severely incompetent people ruining an entire empire. That's the problem with dynasties, and why it should always remain a meritocracy.