Picture of Thales
The Bettmann Archive. From engraving by A. Tardieu from sculpture found at Tivoli.
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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
Archimedes was a Greek mathematician and engineer who lived between 287-212 B.C. His greatest contributions are in the field of geometry, where he identified the relationship of a sphere and cylinder's...more
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who lived between 384-322 B.C. He was one of the greatest thinkers of the world and his written works encompassed all major areas of thought: logic, science, metaphysics,...more
Democritus was a Greek philosopher who lived between 470-380 B.C. He developed the concept of the 'atom', Greek for 'indivisible'. Democritus believed that everything in the universe was composed of atoms,...more
Eratosthenes was an ancient Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician. He lived from 276 to 194 B.C. Eratosthenes is most famous for making the first accurate measurement of the circumference of...more
Plato was a Greek philosopher who lived between 427-327 B.C. In 387 B.C., he founded the Academy in Athens, a school which flourished for about 1,000 years and made many important scientific and mathematic...more
Ptolemy was a Greek astronomer who lived between 85-165 A.D. He put together his own ideas, those of Aristotle, and Hipparchus' system of epicycles and eccentric circles, to formulate the geocentric theory....more
Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher who lived between 580-520 B.C. He founded a philosophical and religious school in Croton, which made outstanding contributions to the field of mathematics. Pythagoras...more