What History Lessons has Science Taught us?

Nicolaus Copernicus | Biography.com

When we think of all the feats that science has achieved, touching all aspects of human life and its relation to the universe, it seems to us that humanity is in a linear and steady march towards a “better” future. But this progress could easily get stuck and some already see our kind wandering around in figurative circles.

When Copernicus and Galileo discovered that the Earth was not the center of the universe, they were scorned. This discovery was instrumental in the foundations of physics and led us to harness forces such as gravity to our benefit. Where would we be without science?

The sciences will have to look back at past discoveries in order to move forward.Click To Tweet

Human Sciences Might be in Crisis

Human sciences, all disciplines combined, are often presented generically as an accumulation of knowledge in a process of linear progression.

For some critics who see science as a sum of its parts, science has reached its limits and failed its first and foremost mission: making the universe’s best resources accessible and life in it harmonious and full of purpose.

While modern sciences have been in high gear for at least a century, is still struggling to get rid of burdens that weigh heavily on humanity and convolute its progress. Especially true in the 20th century, sciences advanced life-saving medicine and weapons of mass destruction at the same time.

The most pessimistic visions of scientific humanity see us collapsing back into the dark ages or extinction based on our inability to mature beyond past errors. War, famine, epidemic disease, industrial disasters, climate change, and resource scarcity undermine our advancing world view and take our attention away from the future.

Tapping Into the Past to Open new Perspectives

Revisiting ancient sciences and concepts is of an incontestable utility today. Perhaps we would find solutions to many modern predicaments through a careful and methodical study of ancient philosophical and scientific conceptions, going back to the Middle Ages and beyond.

If only to get a fresh perspective, we must look back on scientific thought, filter it, make it accessible to the modern rationale and then build on it. Or, if possible, we could extract any elements that would translate into a contemporary application and lead us to boost scientific progress further.

Ancient civilization might have lacked our modern facilities, tools, and artistry to manipulate the nitty-gritty of phenomenal ideas, yet many argue that ancient cultures maintained a superior conception of and connection to nature. These days, people live their whole lives inside city lines. Many argue that humanity has regressed as more of its members have lost touch with the more natural world.

We don’t want to seem alarmist, but modern sciences–after having replaced mythification and superstition–will now have to be adapted itself to ensure our survival.

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