Nobody invented the scientific method.

I would recommend that if one reads this fantastic article, they venture down to the comments as well. The responses provided by the author may be of worthwhile quality for many of those interested in the article itself.

The Renaissance Mathematicus

In the past I’ve written posts explaining why the terms “father of” and “the greatest” should be firmly avoided when writing about the history of science. James Sumner has also written an excellent post The F-Word explaining why the term “the first” should also be banned from the vocabulary of any serious historian of science or technology. Today I’m going to explain why the expression “XY invented the scientific method” should also be regarded as a hanging offense!

Rather like the terms the greatest or the father of, inventor of the scientific method is an attribute that has been applied to a myriad of scholars down through the ages, Aristotle, Archimedes, Ibn al-Haytham, Galileo, Bacon (both Roger and Francis), Descartes and Newton are just some of the more prominent historical figures who invented the scientific method. Makes for kind of a crowded field doesn’t it?

The real problems start when…

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