Part of human activity related to gaining, classifying and improving knowledge about the world. There exist commonly adopted rules and requirements to make a method scientific. The history itself is one of humanity sciences.

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How common is “decades ahead of his time” in real history?

The idea of a super-scientist who invents things that no contemporary is able to equal because he's just that smart is a common trope in works of fiction, especially of the sci-fi or superhero ...
8
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2answers
162 views

How did religions interpret rainbows before science explained it? [closed]

A rainbow this morning to work made me think of how religions used to interpret these colorful appearances. Signs from the gods? Repent for your sins? A gift? I want to know how different ...
13
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4answers
974 views

Why was decimal time unsuccessful?

Under the metric system (and later SI), units of weight can be related to each other based on multiples of ten (e.g. 1 metric tonne = 1,000 kg = 1,000 × 1,000 g). Likewise with length (e.g. 1 ...
19
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2answers
3k views

What is the name of the theory that says an early discovery can stop technological development?

Some time ago I read a claim that an early discovery can lead to a great scientific stagnation. The example given was the Chinese porcelain, that resolved all the known problems, and stopped the ...
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2answers
93 views

When was the last book containing a table of logarithms was published? [closed]

My question is when the last book containing a table of logarithms was published. For example, I know that the CRC Standard Mathematical Tables doesn't contain the logarithmic tables any more, but ...
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1answer
143 views

Alignment of South American and Egyptian Pyramids [closed]

I don't remember when and where I hear, but I remember something like this: several pyramids in Egypt are aligned with pyramids in South America . That is, in South America are several (if correctly ...
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1answer
192 views

Why was Europe so technologically and culturally advanced? [closed]

In history, why were European populations so advanced, if compared to other populations, such as native Americans? What's the reason why Europeans were so good in technology and science? Why did ...
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1answer
129 views

Codes:Hardest Code Ever [closed]

Which is the strongest/code that is unbreakable and exists? I have recently been reading a book called: The Code Book" by Simon Singh and It doesn't specify what was/is the most unbreakable code ever ...
8
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1answer
383 views

Did Andrew Jackson think the earth was flat?

You will occasionally see references to the possibility that Andrew Jackson believed the earth was flat. One source for this claim is a well-respected history of the period by Edward Pessen: ...
13
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3answers
3k views

What happened in 1914 that ended the golden age of microbiology?

I was reading a microbiology textbook and all it said was "The work that began with Pasteur started an explosion of discoveries in microbiology. The period from 1857 to 1914 has been appropriately ...
10
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1answer
123 views

How was birth control realized in ancient times? [closed]

In ancient days, there were no birth control methods like condoms or contraceptive pills available. How did they control pregnancy?
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5answers
1k views

When was it discovered that the stars are not all lying on the same plane?

In Ptolemy and Copernicus' systems, the stars were believed to rest upon a single plane, the 'celestial sphere'. People thought they were all the same distance away from earth. Kepler's insight was ...
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4answers
188 views

When did scientists first postulate that Earth's atmosphere might have an upper limit?

In plenty of myths and stories from ancient (and not-so-ancient) history, people are able to fly or climb all the way up to the "dome of the sky," breathing all the way. But even once science had ...
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5answers
2k views

What was the first Solar Eclipse that was demonstrably predicted in advance?

There is a famous story going back to Herodotus according to which Thales of Miletus predicted the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 BC, which interrupted a battle. Given that we have not a single ...
8
votes
5answers
574 views

The Needham Question: What stunted China's technological and proto-scientific advancement?

According to Joseph Needham Why did modern science, the mathematization of hypotheses about Nature, with all its implications for advanced technology, take its meteoric rise only in the West at ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Is there a general term for epicycles, deferents, and eccentrics in Ptolemaic astronomy? [closed]

According to Ptolemy's (c. 150 CE) account of the motions of planets, planets moved in circular paths ("epicycles") around center points that in turn moved around the center of the earth along a path ...
3
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2answers
114 views

Newton, Galileo, and Gravity

One of the few things I remember from my high school physics class is my teacher telling me that Newton discovered things like the universal law of gravitation simply because his initial premise was ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Why was Newton's observation of the falling apple significant?

As described in this article at Wikipedia, in 1666, Newton was in a garden when he noticed an apple falling. Surely, Newton could not have been the first person to notice that things fell when ...
4
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1answer
225 views

How much did we know about heredity pre-Mendel?

As is common knowledge, the founder (more-or-less) of modern genetics was Gregor Mendel, who first laid down the laws of Mendelian inheritance. In particular, he discovered the existence of dominant ...
2
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1answer
89 views

How long has western civilization known the body contains a significant fraction of water?

Body water is the water that makes up more than half of the average human body. Before the advent of modern physiology, humorism associated Phlegm with water, and my (relatively limited) ...
8
votes
2answers
545 views

Why did Stalin deem Quantum Mechanics 'counter-revolutionary'?

I've read that in the late 1940s Stalin planned to hold a conference to discuss the ideological difficulties of physics in the Soviet Union, but called it off (presumably because of the successful ...
0
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2answers
708 views

Why did Renaissance come first only in the Europe? [duplicate]

When we read about the history of Scientific Revolution during the Enlightenment, we come to know that the roots of Scientific Revolution first started in Europe during the Renaissance. But can you ...
3
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0answers
82 views

On the epistemological repercussions of 1492

Lecture 11 of Yuval Harari's online course A brief history of humankind is titled "The discovery of ignorance." In it he presents the thesis that by arriving at a land mass entirely different from ...
8
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1answer
178 views

Has the strength of the historical-archaeological method ever been tested experimentally?

Historians routinely draw quite far-reaching conclusions about all aspects of society from archaeological artifacts and textual documents that – naturally – represent only a minuscule fraction of all ...
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3answers
182 views

Did books from classical times delay scientific progress in the middle ages?

When seeing some documentary about the history of medical science in the middle ages, I got the impression that many doctors were happy to merely study the works of Galen, rather than do their own ...
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0answers
168 views

How did Isaac Newton support himself in the period of self-study that he conducted at 23?(after he received his B.A.)

I quote wiki : Soon after Newton had obtained his B.A. degree in August 1665, the university temporarily closed as a precaution against the Great Plague. Although he had been undistinguished ...
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0answers
27 views

How did Newton support himself during his research? [duplicate]

It is said that Isaac Newton, at the age of 23, came home and made his famous discoveries. Who sponsored him? Or did he farm while doing his research?
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3answers
511 views

Why only in the last few hundred year has science and technology progressed like it has [closed]

Man has been on the Earth for millions of years. But in only the last few hundred years, science has made major advances: the average life expectancy expanded, electronics, transistors, ...
63
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10answers
19k views

Why does the United States keep using “old” date representations and imperial system, while being in the minority?

Other than the US (and a few other countries), the vast majority of countries use International System of Units (SI). Celsius temperature scale. DMY or YMD date format¹. 24-hour clock when written². ...
4
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0answers
97 views

When was the first recorded use of hospital readmissions as a summary statistic?

When was the first recorded use, or the first recorded intention of use of hospital readmissions as a summary statistic? A hospital readmission (also called a rehospitalization) is defined as a ...
1
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1answer
126 views

Is Maxwell really owner of Maxwell's Equations?

Maxwell's equations are four equations known to Maxwell; but it seems to me that they are GFAM's (Gauss-Faraday-Ampere-Maxwell's) Equations. Why are they then called only Maxwell's Equations!?
2
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0answers
64 views

Was the take off of neural computing research in the 80's due to Japan? [closed]

Chow, Tommy WS, and John Sum. "Guest editorial: special issue on the emerging applications of neural networks." Neural Computing & Applications 20.7 (2011): 923-924. says: The take off of ...
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1answer
64 views

Specialist for dates? [closed]

Does some branch of history as a science specialized in dates (in the sense of time, not romantic involvement)? Or is it a task too small and too important for not being everybody's business?
7
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1answer
114 views

When did home weather thermometers become popular/common?

Today we look online to determine the weather. When I was little, I remember people had big thermometers hanging outside, or suctioned to the outside of, for example, the kitchen window. But when did ...
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2answers
1k views

Did the Tamil People discover that the earth was round 2000 years ago?

I heard "Tamil People found that the earth was round 2000 years ago. They named the planets 2000 years ago." Is this true? The Tamil poet Manikkavachakar wrote about the earth in Tiruvacakam: By ...
2
votes
1answer
235 views

Would modern aerodynamic design be recognizable to a vehicle expert 100 years ago?

Which is a stronger constraint on vehicle appearance: aerodynamic theory or manufacturing? If we gave Henry Ford a peek at our modern cars, would he fail to recognize it as a car? Or would it his ...
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2answers
108 views

Why are scientific and medical training so different?

As part of a history project for the New York Academy of Medicine, I'm investigating the formalization of the divide between science and medicine. I've begun by looking at the difference in how ...
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1answer
233 views

What similarities exist between the Kalapas theory from Subcontinental Indians, and the modern theory of atom?

There is an assertion here that the Ancient Indians had a theory of a model of the atom. (In the Ancient Greek sense of Atomos rather than the Bohr model). This document also makes this claim. My ...
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2answers
1k views

Prominent examples of scientific racism in ancient Greece

Benjamin Isaac in his book The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity provides a prime example of scientific racism in ancient Greece: The idea that dark people are cowards, and light people ...
3
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1answer
83 views

More Scientific Discoveries Outside Academia Past 50 Years? [closed]

I heard someone claim there have been more scientific discoveries outside of academia, in industry, the past 50 years than in academia. Is this true? Has anyone tried to quantify this?
2
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1answer
128 views

What is the history of Research and Development laboratories?

When did Research and Development laboratories (R&D labs) emerge? What was the institutional and intellectual context? Have they undergone major changes in their nature? What role have R&D ...
7
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2answers
631 views

Why did science flourish in Germany after the First World War?

It occurred to me that Germany was extremely productive in (at least) physics in the first thirty years of the twentieth century, and especially in the period between the end of the First World War ...
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votes
1answer
162 views

Is that true that somebody was punished by the Catholic Church for believing that a fly had six feet? [closed]

It is often claimed that Catholic Church punished scientists who relied on the experiment rather than just believing certain approved thinkers. As an example, it is often put forward that in one of ...
7
votes
1answer
195 views

Has anyone scanned ancient structures with x-rays or similar? And if so, were any major discoveries made by doing so?

Inspired by curious' question; I now have my own: Has anyone actually* scanned the pyramids or similar ancient structures with x-rays, gamma-rays, muons, ultrasound, thermal diffusion, gravity waves ...
6
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2answers
437 views

How did the Egyptian engineers of the Third and Fourth Dynasty construct the Pyramids and Sphinx without modern science and mathematics? [closed]

What was the "state of the art" in engineering, science, and mathematics in Ancient Egypt when the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids were built during the Third and Fourth Dynasties? How did they ...
13
votes
1answer
436 views

What were the responses to Copernicus' heliocentric theory?

Popular explanations often mention that the "Catholic Church" had a problem with Copernicus and his heliocentric theory, neglecting that even a scientific disagreement at that period would likely have ...
6
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2answers
198 views

Why was A.K.Gastev purged in 1939?

Gastev was the chief Soviet proponent of Taylorism, aka scientific management: In the Soviet Union, Taylorism was advocated by Aleksei Gastev and nauchnaia organizatsia truda (the movement for ...
2
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1answer
185 views

What role did Fourcroy play in Lavoisier's execution?

Wikipedia is very sketchy and hazy on this subject: By his conduct as a member of the Convention, Fourcroy has been accused of contributing to Lavoisier's death. Baron Cuvier, in his Eloge ...
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3answers
344 views

How did the “Standard Model” physics theory get that name?

I want to know how the Standard Model theory got such "generic" name. (I've made this question in Physics StackExchange, but it was considered off-topic, and someone suggested to reask it here.)
12
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1answer
195 views

Was the State of Indiana's legislation changed to fix the value of Pi?

Is the following an anecdote? Mathematicians describe Pi as an irrational number, that is, a number that cannot be expressed as the ratio of any two integers. This was an irksome fact to the State ...