Who Invented Science?

Many historians credit ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle with inventing science. The history of science includes a number of other notable people who advanced it, most notably by introducing and refining the scientific method.

Aristotle described nature and the way it worked unlike any before him. He was the first to use observations to describe the world around him, which is the foundation of empirical science. However, whether he invented science is debatable to some extent as he did not use the scientific method.

Many know Roger Bacon as the originator of the scientific method, which emphasizes observation and experiments to confirm hypotheses and the use of measurable empirical data. However, many historians now credit Muslim scholar Ibn al-Haytham for developing the same ideas 250 years before Bacon did. Born in what is now Iraq, al-Haytham outlined the process of stating a problem, coming up with a hypothesis about it, then setting up a rigorous series of experiments to test this hypothesis.

Roger Bacon, however, can be credited with introducing inductive reasoning to the scientific method. Inductive reasoning makes broad generalizations from observations, and these generalizations are known to be probably, if not certainly, true. Francis Bacon further refined the scientific method during the Enlightenment Era. His contributions are most notable in the concepts of cause and effect.