I am and have always been curious. Curiosity fuels investigation and discovery. This morning I was reading from my latest non-fiction book, which begins with brief history of how theologians discerned the age of the earth and continues with a brief history of geology and earth scientists and how they came to discover fossil composition and the earth’s structure.
The Bible, Rocks and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth
These scientific discoveries burgeoned in the 1600’s. But there was a curious lack of scientific exploration and discovery prior to that time. By anyone’s calculation, thousands of years passed before someone discovered stratigraphy and the principles of original horizontality and superposition. Stratigraphy is the study of the layers of earth’s sediment, while the other two principals explain that sediment is deposited in horizontal planes and the layers at the top are younger than the bottom layers. There, you’ve learned some geography. But all of that seems self-evident in the 21st century.
Here’s my millennial question: why did it take so long? The Egyptian pyramids were built around 2600 BC. The library at Alexandria was a center for scholarship beginning in 300 BC until it was destroyed, possibly around 48 BC. When the Egyptian architects excavated the blocks for the pyramids was no one curious about stratification? When the scholars gathered in the Alexandrian library, did no one debate fossil finds? Were they simply not curious?
I can imagine many reasons why an individual would not delve into scientific inquiry. Their job might be so demanding that it leaves room for little else. An ancient mother might be completely occupied by home management and child card. A man might be put on the line hauling stones for those pyramids. But, what about the scholars who designed the pyramids or the scholars who frequented the library? Was no one willing to investigate natural science?
Granted, some discoveries could only occur after the invention of the microscope. But one scientist learned much by dissecting animals in the 1600’s. Were there no sharp knives prior to that time? How then did someone slice an onion or a tomato?
I am curious.
Can anyone satisfy my curiosity?
Bear By Bobtomasso (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Pyramids By Ricardo Liberato (All Gizah Pyramids) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons