Early History of Science

Ages and Stages The Greeks Early Technology

Human Evolution

The Stone Age – Lower and Middle Paleolithic 2.6Mya-1.2Mya


 First

stone tools

Upper Paleolithic (40kBC to 8kBC)

 800,000

erectus  600,000 B.C.: Earliest major stone tool manufacturing site by H. erectus (India)  400,000 B.C.: Earliest presence of a vocal tract in H. sapiens  300,000 B.C.: Earliest dated spear (England).

B.C.: Homo

Upper Paleolithic (40kBC to 8kBC)

150,000 B.C.: Evidence of controlled use of fire  100,000 B.C.: Intentional burials by Neanderthals at Teshik-Tesh Cave in Uzbekistan in Central Asia.  48,000 B.C.:  Homo sapiens sapiens everywhere except North & South America.  Early flake stone tools appear on islands in Southeast Asia.

Neolithic (8000BC)
 Most

sophisticated stone tools  Bronze and Iron Ages follow  Major cities and civilizations rise later


Ages and Stages
 Stone

tools (2.5Mya, EAfrica by H. habilis)  Fire (1.5Mya?)  Language (150kya, EAfrica)  Numbers on bones (30kBC W+C Europe)  Farming, domestication of wolves (10kBC), sheep (9kBC)  Wheat farming (7kBC) → beer?  Goats (6.5kBC) → milk → cheese, yogurt  War weapons (5.5kBC Turkey), walled communities
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Chronology/30000BC_500BC.html http://www.sciencetimeline.net/prehistory.htm

 Decimal

number system (5kBC Egypt)  Astronomical calendars (4.8kBC Sudan)  4kBC-3.5kBC
 Horses

(Eurasia); plows, irrigation (Iraq)

 3.2kBC:

wheeled vehicle (Russia), sailboat (Egypt)  3kBC: cotton (India); draft oxen, potter’s wheel (Iraq); abacus (ME, Med); hieroglyphs (Egypt)

5 2




Earliest Civilizations 2. Mesopotamia – 5kBC 3. Egypt – 3kBC 4. India – 2.5kBC 5. China – 2kBC 6. Greece* – 1.5kBC

What they had: • Major* rivers → agriculture What they all achieved: • Arithmetic, writing, astronomy What about other places? • Smaller fragmented settlements

The Greeks
 Thales

(~600 BC) – first Greek philosopher; invented deductive math; said to stop a war by predicting an eclipse; said water is the ultimate substance; the first futures trader?  Pythagoras – started a cult based on numbers: geometry, irrational numbers, music

More Greeks and Their Elements
 Anaximander

(apeiron or “the infinite”), Xenophanes (earth), Anaximenes (air), Heraclitus (fire, strife or change), Parmenides (change is an illusion),  Empedocles (water, air, fire, earth)  Democritus (eternal, indivisible atoms of different kinds)

More G(r)eeks
 Zeno

(~450 BC, Elea) – invented the Achilles and tortoise paradox; reason, not senses, is the way to truth  Socrates, Plato – mainly social philosophers;
 Plato:

abstract math reflects heaven’s perfection

 Hippocrates

– diseases have natural causes (imbalance of vital fluids); Hippocratic Oath

Aristotle (384-322 BC)
 Revived

natural philosophy  Lectured in his Lyceum, a peripatetic school  Collected manuscripts later to become the great Library of Alexandria  His lectures fill a 150-volume encyclopedia; only 50 survive  Contributions to science: symbolic logic, biological classification  Did little experimentation; often wrong but influence extended for two millennia

Aristotle’s Physics
 Empedocles

(water, air, fire, earth) plus quintessence, stuff of stars and planets  Natural states:
 

Earth objects stay at rest Heavenly bodies revolve in perfect circles

 Four
 

causes – “explanations”

 

Material cause – bronze causes statue, silver causes cup; x is what y is [made] out of Formal cause – account of the essence; form and pattern; formal cause of bowl is “bowl-shaped”; x is what it is to be y Efficient cause – father causes child; x is what produces y Final cause – the end or “sake of”; x is what y is for

More Big Names
 Euclid

(b. 325 BC) – codified geometry; proved that √2 was irrational; optics  Archimedes (287-212BC) – buoyancy; simple machines; estimated π  Eratosthenes (276-196BC, Cyrene) – librarian of Alexandria in Egypt; “Beta” – second best in everything; estimated size of the earth

Eratosthenes’s Method

Θ = 1/50 or 7.2°, D = 5000 stadia, 1 stadium = ~160 m C=?

Other Greek Technology
 Calculating

machine  Geared machines, simple clocks  War machinery  Steam power  Magnets

If the Greeks were so smart, why didn’t the scientific revolution start with them?
 Too

much war?  Too academic (ivory tower), no popularization?  Too few scientists?  Slaves and disdain for menial work?  Too much Aristotle (and other irrational ideas)?  Too much theorizing, too little experiment?

After Aristotle (~0 AD)
 Strabo

(ca. 100 BC) Geographika: 17volume atlas  Pliny (23-79 AD) Natural History: 37volume error-filled encyclopedia  Ptolemy (ca. 130 AD), Almagest; wrong model, but excellent observations  Galen (ca. 170 AD), medicine; pneuma (senses, reason, imagination, memory), “seeds of disease” (germs?)

Two Questions:

What about the women? What about the Philippines?

Women in Early Science
       

En Hedu'Anna (2354 BCE) Aganice (1878 BCE) Aglaonike (Greece) Arate of Cyrene (Greece) Diotama (Greece) Gargi (India) Hipparchia (Greece) Hypatia (370 - 415)

      

Lasthenia, (Greece) Lilovarti, (India) Maritrayee (India) Perictione (Greece) Shi Dun (China) Theano (Greece) Themista ( Greece)


Hypatia (370 – 415 AD)
 Educated

by her father Theon, Alexandria scholar  Socrates Scholasticus (b.380) in Ecclesiastical History:

Hypatia “made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions.”

 Head

of Neo-Platonists; considered a heretic by Cyril, Christian Patriarch of Alexandria, whose followers later kill her

They allegedly burn later the Library of Alexandria, though there are other suspects Her death and destruction of the Library mark the start of the Dark Ages in Western History

Philippine Prehistory
 Wave

theory (H. O. Beyer): Negritos (25kBC) → Indonesians (3k-1kBC) → Malays (200BC onward)

Almost certainly wrong!

 Current
 


“Express Train” (P. Bellwood) left S. China in 7000 BC, in RP ca. 4500 BC “Slow Boat” (S. Oppenheimer) from Polynesia

 Philippine

prehistory still unclear

More archaeological data need to be collected and reconciled with linguistic, and genetic data

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