The Evolution of Science

Dhir Patel, Editor in Chief

From ancient civilizations to modern times today, science has changed in a way where we have not only learned and discovered more, but also improved analysis and functioning. Many of the biggest scientists have changed the world as their theories and ideas were proven to be true.

Many of the first scientific discoveries were founded during ancient times. People like the Greek philosopher and polymath Aristotle, who invented the field of formal logic and contributed to the scientific method with measurement and observation, had created foundations for the other discoveries in this era and also today in the modern world. Some other findings include discoveries in modern science because of Theophrastus, who was the first botanist in the world, the discovery of geometry because of Thales of Miletus, and the calculation of pi and discovery of the law of exponents because of Archimedes, an important Greek mathematician.

Many mathematical laws and rules were created that we use today in school during ancient times as well, and although it is not exactly a science, math can be used to help with chemistry and physics in the modern world. They can be considered science because of the benefits they bring to specific sciences that involve math and calculations.

A big breakthrough after ancient times were ideas of the earth and astronomy in the universe. Aristarchus, a Greek astronomer, had prompted the idea that the earth follows a circular orbit around the sun, which is in the center of the universe. It wasn’t until the time of Galileo Galilei and Nicolaus Copernicus, however, that these ideas were presented once again and made known to the world. 

Copernicus had first created his own model of the solar system with his ideas of how he thinks the earth moves and where it is, which is called the Copernican model. Galilei later made the belief that this system of the solar system was indeed correct, claiming that the earth was not at the center of the universe and it revolved around the sun, which is at the center. Copernicus’ heliocentric theory was first supported by Galileo after he observed four moons in orbit around Jupiter. The study of astronomy has evolved to the point where we now have detailed knowledge of our solar system, but new ideas in physics and chemistry were about to break through.

Starting with chemist Robert Boyle, a pioneer of modern chemistry we have today. Boyle discovered that the volume of a gas decreases with increasing pressure in the 1600s. Lavoisier, a French chemist, had also discovered the law of conservation of mass and the role oxygen has in combustion, which is the process of burning something. Around the same time, Dalton created his atomic theory which said that all matter is made of indestructible atoms that all have different properties and he discovered atoms exist. These chemists are known as the fathers of chemistry in the world, but this field has many new discoveries in the modern world of science we have today.

Moving on to physics, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are regarded as some of the most impactful physicists in history. Newton developed his three laws of motion, discovered the theory of universal gravitation, and the principles of visible light. These are all fundamental ideas that many students learn about when in school and they provide building blocks for future discoveries. Einstein was regarded as “the smartest person in the word” by many people. He is most known for his formula that shows the relationship between mass and energy, his theory of relativity, the quantum theory of light, and the photoelectric effect. While physics has been impactful, biology has also changed a lot.

Although it does use math at times, unlike other sciences, biology does not use math often for certain discoveries. Biology was first discovered by Aristotle as he is known as the father of biology. He discovered zoology, which is the study of certain aspects of animals, and also made the classification of species. Other important biologists include Charles Darwin, who discovered the theory of evolution and natural selection, Gregor Mendel, who discovered the fundamental laws of inheritance and genetics, and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, who discovered protists and bacteria. 

Today, astronomy, physics, biology, chemistry, and a number of other scientific fields have evolved with even more discoveries and different ways of thinking. New sciences are still being discovered. Some more recent discoveries include nuclear fusion, advancement of cancer treatments, and the human genome. Scientists of the world are continuing to help for our future and there is no doubt science will continue evolving and growing.