Owen Gingerich is research professor of astronomy and the history of science at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and author of The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus (Walker).
The colleague with whom I teach astronomy likes to challenge our students with the question, "Are we any smarter than the ancient Greeks were?" We surely have a great deal more knowledge—especially about technology, medicine and the natural world—than Plato, Aristotle or Aristarchus had, but few of us equal them in brain power or logical reasoning.
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