What were five key events in the Historical Development of the Natural Sciences?
Advent of writing: This allowed people to record their knowledge for all, rather than storing information through memory and using it for purposes outside of survival. It also made it possible for knowledge to be preserved and passed on even after death.
Pre-Socratic philosopher Thales: He was dubbed the ‘father of science’ and was the first to postulate non-supernatural explanations for natural phenomena. He broke from the use of mythology to explain the world and the universe, and instead explained natural objects and phenomena by theories and hypotheses. This can be seen as the basis for the scientific method that we know and use today. Almost all of the other Pre-Socratic philosophers followed him in explaining nature as deriving from a unity of everything based on the existence of a single ultimate substance.
Plato and Aristotle in the Greco-Roman World: They produced the first systematic discussions of natural philosophy, which contributed to the shaping of later investigations of nature. They developed deductive reasoning which was important and useful to later scientific inquiry. Aristotle brought about the concept of empiricism, where scientific ideas had to be tested and could not purely be based on personal knowledge.
The invention of the microscope and telescope: The invention of these two particular scientific equipment allowed people to look past the visual spectrum of things and look into the microscopic world, leading to further experiments and discoveries with areas such as medicine, and the structure and behaviour of the atom.
Newton/Ibn al-Haytham’s development of the scientific method: The scientific method is one of the crucial aspects of the natural sciences, as it allows people to develop hypotheses, conduct experiments and draw conclusions, fuelling the rise of scientific theories and laws.
Is it inevitable that the Historical Development of the Natural Sciences has lead us to our current way of doing Natural Science? Why or why not?
I believe that it is not inevitable that the historical development of the natural sciences has lead us to our current way of doing natural science. This is because of the need for previous generations to do research, conduct experiments, draw conclusions and set the basis for future generations to carry on, prove and disprove, and build upon existing ideas and theories. It is only with the cultivation of knowledge and information from the past, whether right or wrong, that we are able to be where we are today.
On the other hand, I also believe that it could be inevitable to a certain extent. Even if one person did not exist and was not present to discover or create what they previously did, it is possible that someone else could have stepped in to produce the same ideas and come to the same stage that we are at today, regardless of the timeframe.