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. This was a crucial step in scientific reasoning and led to an intellectual explosion which lasted hundreds of years.
Thales also used Egyptian and Babylonian astronomical records to predict an eclipse in 585 BC.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
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 and in the development of war machines. Legend has it that Archimedes...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. Aristotle mistakenly believed...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 made up of atoms,...more
Eratosthenes was a Greek scientist who lived from 276 to 194 B.C. He studied astronomy, geography, and math. Eratosthenes is famous for making the first good measurement of the size of the Earth. He spent...more
Plato was a Greek philosopher who lived between 427-327 B.C. He founded the Academy in Athens, a school which made many important scientific discoveries during ancient times. Although Plato made no important...more
Ptolemy was a Greek astronomer who lived between 85-165 A.D. He put together his own ideas with those of Aristotle and Hipparchus and formed the geocentric theory. This theory states that the Earth was...more
Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher who lived between 580-520 B.C. He founded a school in Croton, which made outstanding contributions to the field of mathematics. Pythagoras and his cult members believed...more