"This shall be a book of 'unkempt historical details'—a tale of the non- Western roots of science. I began to write with the purpose of showing that the pursuit of evidence of nonwhite science is a fruitless endeavor. I felt that it was only responsible, however, to attempt to find what meager legitimate non-European science might exist. Six years later, I was still finding examples of ancient and medieval non-Western science that equaled and often surpassed ancient Greek learning.
My embarrassment at having undertaken an assignment with the assumption that non-Europeans contributed little to science has been overtaken by the pleasure of discovering mountains of unappreciated human industry, four thousand years of scientific discoveries by people I had been taught to disregard."
Science historian and journalist Dick Teresi, from the first chapter of his book Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science—from the Babylonians to the Maya, which was published this month by Simon & Schuster.
Vol. 22, Issue 12, Page 32Published in Print: November 20, 2002, as Worth Noting