By Joel Davis
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Additional resources for Alternate Realities: How Science Shapes Our Vision of the World
Aristotle, however, believed in his system's physical reality. He was truly offering a serious physical, protoscientific explanation for the movements of stars and planets as seen by observers on the earth. Aristotle's scheme had a total of fifty-six crystalline spheres and counterspheres, moving in complex patterns to explain the real-life movements of heavenly bodies. Like most other people of his time, Aristotle knew that the earth was round and not flat. He lived in a sea-faring nation. He could see with his own eyes what happened when a ship sailed off toward the horizon.
Science is a process of explanation. It begins with our attempts to explain why the world or the universe is the way it is. To uncover the laws governing the forces that shape and run the world may offer a way of controlling those forces. If control is not possible, then perhaps prediction is. Science is not the inevitable result of the ability to think abstractly. s Abundant evidence exists of their artistic ability and immersion in spiritual rituals, and we are their direct descendents. Religious thought, spiritual constructs of reality, and creations of ritual and ceremony all require a sophisticated level of abstract thought.
He thought that substance was water. This made sense from Thales's point of view. He and other Greeks could see with their own eyes that the world was surrounded by water-the great ocean that we today call the Mediterranean Sea. The band of stars he could see in the night sky, which we call the Milky Way, was a heavenly analogue of rivers and streams. Moreover, water was the source of life; a man can go many days without eating, but deprived of water for only a short time he will quickly die. Ergo, it was logical to conclude that the world had been created from water.