Originally posted by yogibear
For one thing People like Archimedes,Aristotle, Plato,Plotinus and others were only a tiny fraction of the entire population as a whole.
It doesn't mean that the majority of their countrymen were of similar brilliance.
Good point... let me comment by adding this: in the past, there were fewer people, as well. So, statisticly, then, since there are a great deal more
people living today, we should have a larger number of persons (modern) to draw from...
Let's see... Edison, Tesla, Einstien, Hawkins... umm... ahh... anyone know anybody else we can add to this?
I understand where you are coming from. In those ancient days, there was no education for the masses (at least, in our sense of the word). There
probably was more illiteracy (but seeing how my 14 year old sister-in-law writes and talks... and her friends...). You may even want to add life
expectancy, too... can't develope as many great ideas in 30 years as you can in 50 or 70. So yes, the ancients should have been, for the lack of a
better word, dumb by our standards... but this wasn't the case.
I am not intending that ALL of the ancient people were smarter than us, using the examples you gave. Even today, with the workings of Tesla to
Hawkins, with our level of education, are we as smart as they are? NO. Same thing with the past... the masses will always be behind the smarter
Maybe I was over-reaching. Maybe the ancient people were "smarter" because there was less in the world. It would be very easy to invent something,
or have an origional idea, when there is nothing in the world... unlike today, where you have to research the patent offices, only to find your idea
was done by 20 people before you in the past 100 years.
Or maybe the "alien contact" theorists are right, that the ancient people were idiots, and only the help of aliens brought us from the caves. This
would explain the great role religion played in their lives, and how their dieties were usually always present to help or offer aid.
Or (again), people back then were smarter because they were not constrained by modern thought or society. It would be a lot easier to be a free
thinker and take chances when you are not required permits, special lisences, zoning regulations... not to mention the neighbors reactions.
Have we, upon becoming more civilized, more modern, lost something of our inquisative nature? Have we been pounded into believing we are nothing
without a college degree, thus limiting ourselves? Or is it that we rely too heavily on technology?
I say the ancient world was smarter than us for many reasons. Maybe smarter is too harsh a term... perhaps open-minded to new ideas would be
It doesn't even have to be with the odd artifacts discovered, or the inventors or scientists. Just look at the structures they left behind.
Whole cities unearthed (or atop mountians) that predate anything resembling "settlement building society". Roman archways, bridges... hell, even
the Collisium... still standing, yet our sidewalks have cracks and grass growing from them in a year or too... house foundations sinking away,
crumbling into nothing.
The ancient people saw a world full of mystery, and sought to understand it. We see... the world full of others who (we hope) will do things.
Maybe that is the difference after all.