Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft –ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from?
The amazing Antikythera Mechanism found in a shipwreck off the island of Antikythera in Greece. (Tilemahos Efthimiadis / CC BY 2.0)
The Days and Nights of Knowledge
1500 years ago, people generally believed that the earth was flat and rectangular. However, as early as the 6th century BC Greek philosopher Pythagoras theorized that the earth must be a sphere and in the 3rd century BC the Greek mathematician and astronomer Eratosthenes had deduced that the earth was round and computed its circumference.
Oddly enough, peoples further back in time had greater scientific knowledge than the European nations of Byzantine and Medieval times. Until the second part of the 19th century, scholars in Europe thought that the Earth was just a few thousand years old. Yet ancient Brahmin books estimated the Day of Brahma, the life span of our universe, to be 4,320 million years – not very far off from modern calculations. Modern science emerged from the medieval darkness during the renaissance. By studying classical sources humanity re-discovered old-truths that had been known by the Babylonians, Ionians, Egyptians, Hindus, or Greeks for many centuries.