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Picture of Thales
The Bettmann Archive. From engraving by A. Tardieu from sculpture found at Tivoli.

Thales

Thales was a Greek philosopher who lived between 624-546 BC. Although none of his writings survive, we have learned of his work through the writings of others.

Thales is considered the father of Greek science, mathematics, and philosophy. He is the first person to have asked questions about the nature of the universe and considered the answers without thinking of gods or demons. His renunciation of mythology was a crucial step in scientific reasoning and led to an intellectual explosion which lasted hundreds of years.

Thales believed in an ordered universe composed of fundamental particles, which he mistakingly believed to be water molecules. He also used Egyptian and Babylonian astronomical records to predict an eclipse in 585 BC.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA