The Amalgamation Of Science And Technology: An Essay About The Factors And Events That Lead To The Development Of Science From The Greek Period To The Scientific Revolution

4258 words - 18 pages

Science has changed significantly since its beginnings. Some of these changes have been due to differences in our requirements others have been the result of dissatisfaction with old theories. Modern science did not happen in a single day - it took time to make an impact on people's thinking and on institutions, with added difficulties because, when experimental science started, most facts were still uncertain. The key characteristics of modern science only become clear when modern science is compared with Western Science in earlier periods.The ancient Greek alphabet was a marvelous piece of mechanism, the result of thousands of years of intellectual effort. It distinguished itself from the ...view middle of the document...

In addition to the concise alphabetical system another factor that helped in the progress of the sciences in Greek culture was the creation of an economically stable and orderly state. Another factor that can be attributed to this prosperity of the sciences and philosophical advances in the Greek culture was the fact that the Greeks had contact with other cultures, including Egypt, the Far East, and the rest of Europe2. This enabled a constant exchange of ideas.An example of this association is evidenced in shaping the development of Thales of Miletus's mind who had gained at least the rudiments of his knowledge of geometry in Egypt.3 The crucial contribution of Thales to scientific thought was the idea that the natural phenomena we see around us are explicable in terms of matter interacting by natural laws, and are not the results of arbitrary acts by gods4.An essential part of the Milesians' success in developing a picture of nature was that they engaged in open, rational, critical debate about each other's ideas. It was understood that all the theories and explanations were directly competitive with one another, and all should be open to public scrutiny, so that they could be debated and judged. This is still the way scientists work.In the fourth century B.C., Greek intellectual life centered increasingly in Athens, where first Plato and then Aristotle established schools, the Academy and the Lyceum respectively, which were really the first universities. They attracted philosophers and scientists from all over Greece. They provided a place where people could listen to lectures and discussions at no charge. These schools also started the trend of cooperative research specifically in the area of natural philosophy. A few hundred years before the birth of Christ, the great philosophers of Greece were proposing natural explanations for phenomena that had previously been explained only by reference to supernatural myth or tradition.More than 2,000 years before the rise of modern thermodynamics and field theory, for instance, Aristotle had already recognized the difficulties of explaining changes in physical state (e.g., melting and evaporation) within a purely atomistic theory of matter5. Even earlier, Plato had demonstrated the possibility of a unified mathematical explanation of the differences between different kinds of material substance. In the 20th century the theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg cited pre-Socratic arguments regarding the ultimate constitution of nature as relevant to contemporary problems.6Much of human understanding and belief about nature for the centuries that followed was based on the writings and teachings of the great Greek philosopher-scientists.The ancient Greeks also managed to develop an astronomy that was based on recorded empirical observations (passed on from the Babylonians), used geometry, and was capable of verification and correction by prediction and observation.7 This astronomy became the model of...

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