“The laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.”
Science has been with us for some time. While our generation, as all generations before, may claim that the greatest scientific discoveries have been on our watch, perhaps we are simply participants in a greater mission that began centuries ago. It is our turn to carry the baton in the scientific relay race that seeks reasonable answers to our world, the universe and, to life itself. For when we look back centuries into the ancient, there is a good deal of scientific thinking at work.
Archaeological records show that the Babylonian and Sumerian civilizations possessed knowledge concerning medicine, astronomy and applied mathematics. The Egyptian pyramids are ample proof of the existence of engineers. Whatever bragging rights we claim should be based on what has come before and what will be known in the future. We are the conduit from the past to the potential. Our decisions, as others before us, will set the course of world history.
The first scientific revolution came about in the sixth century B.C. I can only imagine the fracas that it created throughout the ancient “status quo” society. It started in Greece. Some ‘thinkers” did not believe the gods had all the answers to the cosmos. Thales of Miletus argued that the prime substance was water while Anaxagoras believed it to be air. Xenophanes decided that mud was the answer. And then there was Democritus who gave us the word atom, which is derived from the Greek atomon meaning indivisible.
We may smile at these ideas, but I would argue that there are very few who would challenge both the gods and society at the same time. The stage was set for the advent of Euclid and Archimedes.
“And the whole (is) greater than the part.”
Euclid, Elements, Book I, Common Notions 5