Contributions Of Pythagoras And Astronomy
Pre-Scientific Views of the Universe
Before the natural philosophers taught about the Universe, most of the ancient Greeks believed that the world was …show more content…
(Couprie 2001) (Gribbin et al., p.22, 1996)
Anaximander's greatest contributions to astronomy are his theory of the earth floating unsupported in space (Shuttleworth, 2010), his idea that the universe could be unbounded (Shuttleworth, 2010), and his method of theorizing abstractly about the universe without resorting to divine explanations.
Pythagoras and Astronomy
It is said that Thales and Anaximander were able to influence and encourage an interest of astronomy and geometry in Pythagoras of Samos, the legendary philosopher and mathematician. (O'Connor & Robertson, 1999d) As a young man, Pythagoras visited Thales in Miletus, and Thales had been able to create “a strong impression” upon Pythagoras. Pythagoras also attended Anaximander's lectures on cosmology and mathematics while in Miletus; these also influenced him. (O'Connor & Robertson, 1999d)
Pythagoras taught that the earth was a sphere, and he is claimed to be the first man to do so. (Mcclung,2011) However, according to Mcclung, there seems to be no concrete basis for this theory except that “he thought spheres were the most perfect …show more content…
This practice, originated by the Ancient Greeks, is still used in modern science, where a theory can only be held tenable if it can be verified by lab work, data, experimentation, or research.
Aside from contributing to the scientific method in general, the Greeks left a wealth of discoveries- some spot on, and some that were admittedly either blatantly erroneous or merely flawed- that helped to fundamentally and ultimately shape the way humanity viewed the cosmos. From heliocentricity to measuring celestial distances, and star catalogs to equants, the Greek astronomers and philosophers paved the way for future astronomers, who refined or disproved Greek discoveries that were technically incorrect, or utilized and built upon the discoveries that were proven to be