Like always, ideas and thoughts come to my mind when I'm taking a shower. I heard that it was because your mind is able to roam around while you're relaxing or taking a shower. Divergent thinking it is.
Anyway, it must have been excruciatingly hard for people who lived in ancient times to realize the principles of science as we now know.
Consider this: You were born into an ancient society. It has extremely strict culture as to forbade challenging the wisdom of the elders.
Well, science is doomed in that case. And that was the case for all human societies at the time. Of course, the elders knew more than the young. But what the elders knew wasn't science, but mere collection of common sense and biased conclusions from experiences.
Not only that, you would have to realize that what seems the simplest thing to humans is not really the simplest thing there is. What I mean by this is that you might think that water and dust are atoms (as did ancient Greeks). But it was impossible to think of a thing so small that you can't see, because you can't see it. Since you don't know the existence of real atoms, you do not feel the need to develop microscope or other device to really see it.
Paucity of really scientific knowledge and the interference of religion, common sense, and biases render scientific endeavor in ancient times extremely difficult.
It is truly amazing how we humans managed to break out of such biases and impediments to achieve the great science of our age.
Jin Woo Won
An undergrad at Columbia University, studying Computer Science and in particular artificial intelligence.