Scientific Knowledge is the Only Thing That Gets Better

No history of civilization can be tolerably complete which does not give considerable space to the explanation of scientific progress. If we had any doubts about this, it would suffice to ask ourselves what constitutes the essential difference between our and earlier civilizations. Throughout the course of history, in every period, and in almost every country, we find a small number of saints, of great artists, of men of science. The saints of to-day are not necessarily more saintly than those of a thousand years ago; our artists are not necessarily greater than those of early Greece; they are more likely to be inferior; and of course, our men of science are not necessarily more intelligent than those of old; yet one thing is certain, their knowledge is at once more extensive and more accurate. The acquisition and systematization of positive knowledge is the only human activity which is truly cumulative and progressive. Our civilization is essentially different from earlier ones, because our knowledge of the world and of ourselves is deeper, more precise, and more certain, because we have gradually learned to disentangle the forces of nature, and because we have contrived, by strict obedience to their laws, to capture them and to divert them to the gratification of our own needs.


Art, religion, and scientists are all of the same caliber throughout history, the only difference is the wealth of knowledge they have access to grows larger all the time.

Folksonomies: science culture knowledge

/science/social science/history (0.446588)
/science (0.435197)
/business and industrial/company/merger and acquisition (0.375915)

Better Art (0.918485 (positive:0.560917)), earlier civilizations (0.912510 (positive:0.352127)), considerable space (0.903428 (neutral:0.000000)), essential difference (0.887859 (positive:0.352127)), earlier ones (0.868102 (neutral:0.000000)), small number (0.853304 (neutral:0.000000)), Scientific Knowledge (0.849826 (positive:0.560917)), strict obedience (0.849206 (negative:-0.389953)), scientific progress (0.848724 (neutral:0.000000)), early Greece (0.839316 (negative:-0.416854)), great artists (0.827939 (positive:0.459726)), human activity (0.822701 (positive:0.811616)), positive knowledge (0.789087 (positive:0.811616)), history (0.697379 (positive:0.327332)), thing (0.634027 (positive:0.560917)), saints (0.575216 (negative:-0.503605)), course (0.574591 (neutral:0.000000)), men (0.573518 (neutral:0.000000)), science (0.573376 (neutral:0.000000)), systematization (0.531900 (positive:0.811616)), gratification (0.528766 (neutral:0.000000)), caliber (0.525968 (positive:0.327332)), doubts (0.523799 (negative:-0.354800)), wealth (0.505743 (positive:0.272912)), religion (0.498308 (neutral:0.000000)), scientists (0.498193 (positive:0.327332)), access (0.497427 (positive:0.272912)), time (0.497198 (positive:0.272912)), explanation (0.490374 (neutral:0.000000)), period (0.486432 (negative:-0.222461))

Greece:Country (0.783680 (negative:-0.416854)), thousand years:Quantity (0.783679 (neutral:0.000000))

Science (0.945548): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Scientific method (0.777628): dbpedia | freebase
Epistemology (0.672062): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Mathematics (0.555195): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Society (0.534725): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Nature (0.520689): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Renaissance (0.518376): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Human (0.513204): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Introduction to the History of Science
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Sarton , George Alfred Léon (1931), Introduction to the History of Science, Retrieved on 2012-06-21
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    04 JAN 2013

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    Folksonomies: virtue ethics
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    Folksonomies: enlightenment optimism
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