What is the Scientific Method and Who Created Science
Who Created Science and the Scientific Method is settled - It was Aristotle's brother Postulatus. See ancient Greek documentation.
Who Invented Science - A Debate of Semantics
*Note from the Curmudgeon's desk: this hub was in answer to a hubber's question that was removed before the hub could be published. The original question is in bold, and here it is anyway.
Like the question; "What color is the sky?," the question "Who invented science?." seems to have no definitive answer - mainly because it is an abstract descriptor, rather than a thing. From the writings of early 10th century Muslim scholars, through history to the times of the great Greek and English thinkers, the creation of science has been given many fathers. But in truth, it has only one.
And that one was not a Muslim scholar, or an Italian thinker like Galileo, or even the prominently published Englishman Thomas Bacon. In fact, it was Aristotle's younger brother Postulatus1.
What is Science
Loosely defined, science is merely the acquisition of provable knowledge, either the discovery of new knowledge, or the understanding or confirmation of known knowledge - that is why it appears so hard to credit its invention to one man. But if science were to be defined by the process, instead of trying to define a concept, then the better question would be; "Who invented the scientific method?," and that is a more easily answered question.
The processes involved in "scientific method" have evolved as man's knowledge evolved. In essence the scientific method consists of steps;
- Pose a question, make an observation, or state a prediction
- Determine a method to; answer the question, explain the observation, or support the prediction
- Perform the steps to; find an answer, or prove the observation, or achieve the prediction
- Analyze the results and data from step 3
- Postulate an explanation derived from step 4 (essentially - a conclusion)
Over time the method of the scientific method has changed, from theoretical reasoning, to deductive reasoning, and finally the more universally accepted inductive reasoning.
The March of Science
What do you think...
What is the best scientific reasoning?
In the beginning...
If the definition of science is accepted as "the acquisition of knowledge," then the first man to understand something, ie. a caveman discovering the cutting ability of the sharp edge of a rock, could be named the "father" of science, but that really isn't the creation of science.
If science were defined as "the attainment of knowledge," then any one of the many early 10th to 14th century Muslim scholars could be credited with "creating" science, but the ambiguity of that definition precludes accrediting any one man. Although the Muslim scholar, al-Haytham is regarded as the earliest architect of a process similar to today's scientific method.
Then there is the influence of the early Greeks. Aristotle is often named as the "inventor" of science, mainly due to his works and contributions to man's knowledge through a process of theoretical reasoning, but once again, this would not be correct, as theoretical reasoning has been proven to be insufficient as a tool for real, not esoteric science.
But, as the process of science, the use of scientific method, evolved, from;
- the theoretical reasoning of Aristotle; my body needs nourishment to live, when it craves nourishment I feel hungry for food, therefore food must be nourishment
- to the deductive reasoning of the early Muslim scholars, ie. all men are mortal, I am a man, therefore I am mortal
- to the inductive reasoning; ie. I released the apple, the apple fell to the ground, something caused the apple to fall, of Newton, or astronomical observations of Galileo
But, reaching closer to modern times, a combination of inductive reasoning and structured testing of its validity have become the "standard" of the one true scientific method that creates valid science.
So alter the question from " Who created science?," to "Who created the scientific method?," and you have a choice of many father's of science: Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and on and on with any of the hundreds of noted "scientists" of man's history.
In the end, if one name must be chosen, then the common consensus would be that Francis Bacon is the inventor and creator of the true scientific method that defines the science of modern man, because his was the first experimental scientific work to be officially published - in England's Royal Society.
Ancient Greek records do record the creator of Science
Coming full circle, back to the original question, there does exist anecdotal evidence that there really is one man that can be credited with creating the term "science" to define both the acquisition and understanding of knowledge. And that man was Postulatus, Aristotle's younger brother.
Like many siblings, the two brothers were alike, and different, in many ways. Like Aristotle, Postulatus too was consumed with the quest to understand and explain things. But unlike Aristotle, who was out-going and articulate, Postulatus was an introvert, and not only had problems articulating his thoughts, also had an impediment, which made his speech sometimes difficult to understand.
Where Aristotle roamed the world outside the doors of his abode, searching for, and explaining answers, Postulatus seldom left his rooms. Preferring to spend his time researching, analyzing, and discovering things. Drawing his knowledge from real observations and tests. There are writings and accounts of visitors to their home finding Aristotle welcoming and and free with conversation, while Postulatus was just the opposite, always seen seated at a corner table, hunched over his work, seemingly oblivious to anything other than what he was directly focused on at the time.
It is from these ancient Greek writings that the proof that it was Postulatus that created science is drawn. One account in particular, from a friend and frequent visitor of the brothers, offers proof in the form of a narrative of his visits. Constalious wrote in his diary:
During my visits and discussions at their home, Postulatus would occasionally raise from his work, and speaking with great gravity, would state whatever observation or result he had just achieved. But given his speech impediment, it was sometimes difficult to understand him. he would stand and say, "I, Postulatus, have discovered that...," but to those of us listening, it would sound like he was saying, "I postulate that...," so we could never be quite sure of his meaning.
...and we dared not interrupt or question him before he was ready to engage with us. At any intrusion he would loudly scream "Silence!" but again, his impediment made his articulation sound more like "Si Ence!" At which whoever it was that had spoken would retreat to the more amiable conversation with his brother, Aristotle.
Thus it was that when any of their visitors were inquired about their visits to the home, a frequent reply was that Aristotle was a welcoming host, but you know Postulatus, "he was in his sci ence, and we only received the occasional postulate."
Greek Scholar Postulatus is the Creator of Science
Thus it is, and has been recorded, that although not the first to indulge in the concept...
It was Postulatus, brother of Aristotle, that is the true, and one, creator of... Science.
- Constalious, diaries of, Aristotle, University of Thessaloniki, 1956
- Islam, Scholarly History of, Cairo National Library, 1932
- Galileo, The universe as observed by, Library of Rome, 1924
- Ibid, et al. History of Science texts, Library of London, Royal Society, 1624 - 1988
About the Author
"Seeing it does not make it real, and reading it does not make it true. Use a little common-sense and trust your instincts." - GAA
I may not always be right, but I always have an opinion. See more of my writings at:
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