A few months ago I sat at a banquet in a room of mirrors. The group of guests communicated with one another by spoken words. But as I sat and looked down the corridor of reflected images of ourselves, I could not help but feel that a vision of the great past of the human race was presented to my eye. As far as one could see, a vast assemblage of human forms was visible and I felt that in this little instant of the present time we were accompanied by the shadows of all those who had lived before us. There in a distant image I caught a glimpse of the lofty figures of the Athenian school, Aristotle walking among the olive trees; Hippocrates, probing into the cause of human ills from which he formulated an oath that in later times was to be adopted as one of the most idealistic principles of the race. A little nearer we view the scholars of the great University of Alexandria. There is Euclid reflecting upon the theorems in his immortal "Elements." We see also the image of Aristarchus, measuring the distance to the sun and moon, and Eratosthenes, centuries ahead of his times, proving that the earth is spherical and measuring its diameter. And there is Archimedes laying the foundations of mechanics, and Hero with his steam engine, and Ptolemy reflecting upon the mystery of the planets. A little nearer our own times we see the mystic figure of Galileo, defying the prejudice of his age and proving that the earth is but a moving atom in a universe of unimaginable magnitude. And there is Newton penning the immortal passages of his "Principia." And there also are Faraday and Maxwell, Wallace and Darwin, Koch and Pasteur, Lamarck and Werner, and all the other immortals who by their careful studies and brilliant generalizations were to found that thing which we have called by the simple name of Science.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 1939 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Davis, H. T.
"The Philosophy of Science,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 46(1), 39-69.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol46/iss1/8