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We keep inventing new sciences. These sciences are built on old sciences, combined with new technologies. For example, a few hundred years ago we had alchemists, not chemical engineers. We also had animal husbandry, not bioengineering. We will continue to develop new fields as we invent new technologies.
As others have commented, once the Scientific Revolution got underway in the 1600's, the inductive method of scientific reasoning took hold and has never let go. For the last 400 years we have been the beneficiaries of the understanding that Mankind, through the use of reason, can comprehend how the physical universe works.
The rate of scientific change, with all its attendant problems, seems to be increasing. Sixty-six years between motorized flight and Moon landing is astounding, but as the rate of scientific changes continue to increase, the ability of people to adjust has and will become seriously taxed.
If you think about it, science has been around as long as people ask the question, "why"? And, science progresses on a daily basis as new ideas and hypotheses replace old ones. As far as I'm concerned, science has been able to detect and find cures for germs, allowed us to travel out of our orbit to other planets, and continuously makes leaps and bounds in the computer and technology fields.
The quick answer would be "yes," and I think it's the correct answer as well. However we define the "inception" of science, I think that there's little doubt that science is one of the few areas in which humans have made undeniable and indisputable progress.
I would have to agree with pohnpei in regards to what exactly is defined by the inception of science. I do know that depending upon what aspect of science you are speaking of will change the answers you receive dramatically. I can say that in my own lifetime, science has changed very dramatically. If you are referring to medical science, technological science, or general science, each has changed in its own way.
I also agree that as science "changes as it develops." People are simply to driven to accept things as they are (when a success is made/or when defeated) and they wish to push on.
What was the inception of science? The first time a Homo sapiens wondered what caused fire? It's hard to say when the "inception" was so it's hard to answer this question. I'd say the most important change was with the Scientific Revolution when science came to be equated with what we now call the scientific method of systematic testing of hypotheses.
There are so many ways to answer this question. There will be many different opinions. In view of this, I would like to answer this question in a counter-intuitive way by referencing a historian of science, Thomas Kuhn. He is one of the most important intellectuals in the last 100 years according to many people. His book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions has been hailed as a ground-breaking and vital contribution to the history of science.
The basic thesis of the book is that there are paradigm shifts in scientific communities. He actually coined the words, "paradigm shift." Some theories that seemed airtight and beyond a doubt true are discarded when there are what he calls, "anomalies." These anomalies create further study and a new paradigm emerges. This shows that science is not as objective as it claims to be. He gives many examples of this point.
In light of this, we can say that science changes as it develops. New theory replaces old ones. What seems so true in one epoch winds up being discarded. In a word, science is not as "objective" as it claims to be.
In 1903, the Wright brothers just managed to get their clunky, clumsy, putt-putt-putt plane to lift off the ground for 12 seconds and flew for 120ft.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped from his spaceship and walked on the moon.
Has science progressed???
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