Mythology refers to several legends, stories, or convictions, especially those which show a religious or cultural tradition. Myth stories often deal with or explain events or the origins of a person or culture. In many cases, the life of gods and goddesses is mythological. We know, that mythology has always helped science. Almost any civilization began developing myths of creation and nature, with some natural phenomena on Earth explained to the people of that time in a meaningful way.
Old myths are not only a huge source of thought-provoking stories but also some of them have proven themselves in science. But what do we mean by science? Science is simply the knowledge of natural processes in all humanity. It exists since the beginning of human life.
Kepler’s laws, the absolute space of Newton, and Einstein’s rejection of quantum mechanics’ probabilistic nature are all based on philosophical theories and not scientific. Regardless of what people argue, belief is the ultimate reasoning of the creator of the world that could stimulate any scientific work.
There are various instances in different civilizations where a myth or a story has evolved into a practical scientific explanation for a phenomenon. The diverse interpretations of philosophical texts into scientific ones are discussed below:
Science evolved in Greek Mythological Period
The Greek civilization has developed complex theologies that served to answer the greatest questions concerning the place and destiny of mankind.
- Thales of Miletus was a geometer, military engineer, astronomer, and logician. He has predicted a solar eclipse in 585 BCE and invented the formal study of geometry in showing the circle’s diameter bisecting. Most notably, he tried to understand the changes of a single element i.e., water, as solid, liquid, and gaseous material, which occur in all the observed natural phenomena. However, he was wrong.
- Pythagoras discovered that musical notes produced by the monochord are simply related to the length of the string. So, he started persuading the primacy of the number. Qualities (tones) were reduced to quantities (numbers in integral ratios). Hence, Mathematical physics was born, which was an essential link between the physical and numerical spheres.
- Plato’s Phaedo shows the concept of a sphere for the Earth, but Aristotle elaborates and estimates how big it is. He is the father of zoology and classified animals. He researched life cycles that ranged from simple to complex and from plant to animal.
- Archimedes is a brilliant Mathematician, who prepared the way for later calculus invention with his work on conical sections and the area of the circle. His work on hydrostatics introduces a method by which physical properties such as specific gravity’ are in mathematical form. It helped to produce mathematical conclusions that can then be traduced into physical terms by quantitative methods.
- Galen developed Physiology. He discovered sensational and moving nerves and established a medicine theory that doctors used for centuries. In addition to neurons and the brain, the heart and vascular system were studied. It described the organs of the thoracic cavity and tried to discover their functions.
Science in Medieval Europe Mythological Period of Beliefs
Science was seen primarily as a way of understanding the creation of God and thus the Godhead. The medieval study of optics is the best example of this attitude. The light was among God’s first creations, as Genesis makes clear.
- The clerical scholar Robert Grosseteste from the 12th to 13th centuries saw the first creative momentum in light. When light extended, it created both space and material, and gradually solidified into the celestial spheres in its reflection from the outermost circle of the cosmos.
- To study motion, Thomas Aquinas used the Dictator of Aristotle. He argues that everything that moves is moved by something else, to show that God exists. Otherwise, there would be an infinite reversal of prior casual movements.
Science in Hindu Mythological Period
In various ways, Hindu mythology helped in the development of Science. Here are the events and historical incidents that were considered in the context of mythology from the Hindu epics, i.e., Ramayana and Mahabharat.
- Lord Krishna explained the multiverse and the existence of the parallel universe to Lord Brahma by the reiteration of himself with the calves and cowherds. Scientists also have supported the concept of relativity and the parallel universe with the logic that for all possibilities of certain events, there is a whole new universe.
- In mythology, Spirituality mentions the word “soul” in many occurrences. And it is said that the soul cannot be created (born), or destroyed (dead). Transformation is achievable only from one manifestation into another. Modern science depicts a similar concept. It mentions that human creatures are energy. Again, the formation or destruction of energy is not possible just like a soul.
- Ram Sethu is a masterpiece of engineering in Ramayana. In scientific terms, there used to be technology for stone floating on water. The archaeologist like Nal and Neel advanced the construction of a bridge from India to Sri Lanka in five days.
- Looking at ancient texts, many time travel references can be found. King Raivata Kakudmi travels to meet creator Brahma. Even though this tour didn’t last long, 108 yugas passed over Earth. Each yuga is about 4 million years old. Brahma gave Kakudmi the clarification that time runs on different planes of life differently.
Therefore, all these occurrences show that modern western society has significantly been influenced by mythologies of different civilizations. Numerous references are present throughout modern life in science. Hence, it will be right to say that science needs myth to thrive. And mythology has helped science to grow. Since these myths are based on realities, it propels scientists to research more and unravel the facts behind them.