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Experiment!: Planning, Implementing and Interpreting by Oivind Andersson

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3.2 Ionian Dawn

Our voyage to the roots of science begins on the shores of the Aegean Sea. Today, the Greek archipelago is mostly known as a destination for tourists. We go there to relax, but many of us also get a strong feeling of being on historic ground by the Mediterranean. The ancient Greeks are associated with wisdom and are said to have laid the foundations of modern civilization, but who were they? Why do we still speak so reverently about them? We know that they were an enterprising, seafaring people that had an intense exchange of goods and culture with other peoples. Those who walked in the ancient docklands of Greece experienced an impressing buzz of foreign languages and new ideas – a cultural draught of rare occurrence.

Maybe it was this diversity that led to a special awakening on the coastlands of Asia Minor a few hundred years before the Common Era (BCE). Here, there were suddenly people who held that everything consisted of tiny building blocks called atoms. A man lived who lived here reasoned that humans must have developed from other animals and thought that life must have occurred spontaneously in the seas. There were people who believed that illnesses were not caused by gods or evil spirits but by natural causes. One of these islanders thought that the earth was a planet orbiting the sun, and not vice versa. Here were people who stated that the world's countries had come about not by intervention by higher powers but by natural, geological processes. Today, ...

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