But actual physical science was held up by the element theory, I mean, can you imagine where we'd be right now if we'd gone with Atom theory in the first place? That's potentially 1500 more years of progress!
What Atom theory? The one developed by Dalton, Lavoisier and others in the eighteenth century? I can agree, if we had had that 1500 years before its time that'd have been a major
But Greek atomism was at least as antiscientific as the element theory. In hindsight, it was closer to the correct model than the theory of the elements was; but that was not something that anyone
could have known at the time.
If it had been pursued instead of the element theory... well, it's difficult to predict what would have happened, especially since no original works by Democritus survived; but the transition from Greek atomism to modern atomic theory would not have been trivial in any case.
edited 6th Dec '11 10:41:16 PM by Carciofus