Ancient Astronomers

If you read enough books you will get the idea that most modern scientists and astronomers, among other people, have developed a superiority complex when it comes to comparing themselves to the ancient people.

They feel that their work, their technology, their intelligence vastly surpasses those of the ancient world. Such people are greatly misguided. Yes we may have very powerful telescopes and the ancients did not but the ancients did not have to compete with all the space debris, reflective light, or air pollution.

The view of the night sky was very clear in ancient times. The more people study ancient records the more they discover that the ancients did calculations thought only possible in the modern age

The study of the stars and the universe is not new neither is the character trait of curiosity. Enough ancient people held a curiosity about the stars and the universe that great discoveries were made without the aid of a telescope.

The ancient world is a fascinating area of study as it tells us so much about people then and now. We learn a lot about God as well as we see that he made the ancient people exactly like the modern ones. There was no evolutionary development in thinking, or research but what God gave modern man, he gave to the ancients as well.

They may not have had all the technological advances we have today, and even that is in doubt given the ancient Greek computer discovered many decades ago,

but they had intelligence to figure out how to study the world around them. The accomplishments are recorded for all to see.

We cannot sell the ancient world short and we can learn much from their work. Solomon wrote in Ecc. 1 that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ and we can see that this verse is true by all the ancient inventions and discoveries made long before later civilizations ‘invented’ or ‘discovered’ them.

One fine example is found in Charles Pellegrino’s book Return to Sodom And Gomorrah as he records the following:

The people dwelling along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were the most advanced mathematicians and astronomers of their day. The baked clay ‘workbooks’ of schoolboys tell us that the Babylonians knew Euclidean geometry some 2,000 years before Euclid ‘invented’ it. (pg. 20)

Many people credit the Greeks with inventing or discovering many different items but as we study the past, those items were invented long before the Greeks even thought of them or were even a people.

The ancient world is full of surprises and studying it helps us keep everything in perspective and helps us avoid the sinful kind of pride. It also helps us remain humble as we know were not the first to make the discovery. Yes we can improve on ancient ideas because we have access to different types of technology but that ability should not be  allowed to go to our heads and inflate the nature of our accomplishments.

We need to make sure we give credit where credit is due.  As believers we are to do all things, as Paul says in Corinthians, for the glory of God. That action also helps us keep things in perspective as it reminds us that our intelligence, our abilities were given to us by God thus we need to give credit to God for our accomplishments.

We are not to have a superiority complex over anyone but we are to be humble and a great way of remaining humble is giving the glory to God.