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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Contribution of Ancient Greeks to Mpdern Science Summary

Contribution of Ancient Greeks to Mpdern Science

Article Summary   by:dannyblue     Original Author: eborime ohioma
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CONTRIBUTION OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS IN THE EVOLUTION OF SCIENCE
The ancient Greeks where phenomenal in their contribution to science over the course of time. Since the beginning of history man has always been an inquisitive being, trying to gather information on everything in his surrounding to gather information on everything in his surroundings. The Greeks took this characteristic of man to the highest level possible. Ancient Greek thinkers began speculation about the universe and its nature, not convinced by religious explanations. They believed strongly that the world could be explained through observation and clear thinking resulting in a natural explanation of the working of the world instead of a supernatural one given by religion.
 
Early Greek thinkers such as Anaxagoras could express his views freely as he claimed that lightning was caused by clouds being split by gust of wind rather than thunder bolts being hurled by Zeus, freedom of speech and the lack of powerful priesthood allowed such views exist.
 
 Ancient views held commonly by Greeks said the world was primarily composed of four elements namely; earth, wind, water and fire. But after careful observation of nature, it was seen that there were in fact a large number of different elements, and by 400B.C, it was commonly believed that these elements existed as indivisible particles called atoms.
 
Ancient Greek writing showed some Greek thinkers that nothing could be known for certain because everything changes overtime. Others however wrote that nothing changes; there is only one infinite, eternal and indivisible reality, despite our senses presenting us with the illusions of a changing world.
Some Greek thinkers believed the universe to be infinite and eternal; others suggested it grew like a seed from boundless chaos. Many believed that there was a more abstract reality that existed beyond what sense can perceive. One early thinker suggested that this ultimate reality was based upon mathematical relationships his name was Pythagoras. These caused each generation to challenge their predecessors. This gradually caused the evolution of science.
 
Over the centuries there have been enormous contributors to the various branches of science but these advances evolved from the foundations laid by ancient Greek thinkers.
 
Thales of Miletus is widely regarded as the father of science; he Greek thinker that sought to explain the world in terms of natural instead of supernatural causes. Science in ancient Greece was based on technology and everyday life. The ancient Greeks had an inquisitive nature and wanted to know about the world and its constituents. Eratosthenes of Alexandria, who died in 194 B.C, wrote on astronomy and geography. He is credited with being the first person to measure the earth’s circumference.
 
Greek influence on agriculture caused the establishment of the science of botany which is the study of plant life, how the live and grow. Aristotle a Greek philosopher is believed to have collected information about most of the plants known at that time; he had a student Theophrastus, who is called the father of botany. He named and classified plants with Aristotle. He and Aristotle developed an important type of science, due to its importance in feeding of animals and humans it is being studied all over the world.

One of the ancient Greek influences was the water works. This system was invented by hippodamus of Miletus and was admired throughout the Hellenistic and roman periods. Many great thinkers such as Archimedes, Hero, and Eupalinus discovered extraordinary ways to draw water more economically to the cities of Greece. Of all the inventions of this era there were three that stood out and made an impact on water supply of Greece.
 
The Archimedes screw was developed by one of ancient Greece ancient thinkers Archimedes; he developed this invention to lift water from a lower elevation to a higher elevation by means of a tube that is internally threaded.
 
The aqueducts and bridging, the Greeks thought that the water could only be moved if it was moving downward or on a straight path so to keep it moving the built aqueducts through mountains and bridges over valleys.
 
The siphon principle, Hero a Greek who lived after 150 B.C, was the first hydraulic engineer he modernized the obtaining of water through a method known as the siphon principle. This method allows the pipes that carry the water to follow the terrain of the land.
 
In the aspect of biology many contributor such as Hippocrates, Aristotle, Theophrastus, Dioscrides, Pling, and Gulen. Greek biologists were interested in how living things began, how they developed, how they functioned, and where they were found         

Published: November 15, 2008   
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