One of the World's First Statements About the Scientific Method

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Sometimes it's a good idea to remember the wisdom of the ancients, especially when they are criticizing the wisdom of the ancients.

The famous scientist Ibn al-Haytham, or Alhazen, lived for most of his life in Cairo during the tenth and eleventh centuries. There, he did research that established him as the world's first theoretical physicist, as well as the founder of modern optics. He also advanced the idea of the scientific method. That's clear in this statement he made about scientific truth, in his book Doubts Concerning Ptolemy:

The seeker after truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them, but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration and not the sayings of human beings whose nature is fraught with all kinds of imperfection and deficiency. Thus the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of of its content, attack it from every side. he should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency.

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