CREDOS: Western thought — II

Thales had to discard the then prevalent mythological worldview and believe in man’s ability to rationally understand the world. Although Thales paved the first stones for science the line between science and religion remained blurred, most distinctly with Pythagoras, a student of Thales’ school of thought. Pythagoras, well known for discovering the Pythagorean Theorem, was the founder of the semi-religious cult of Pythagoreans.

The secretive Pythagoreans believed there as a fixed mathematical order and form to the world with which they sought to become and remain in harmony with. Established around 500 B.C., the Pythagoreans lasted for well over half a millennium during which time they developed a philosophy strikingly similar to those of Hinduism and Jainism. The terms ‘Philosophy’ and ‘Philosopher’ was first coined by Pythagoreans. They are credited to have visited ancient India and were largely responsible for the creation of mathematics. They are also recognised to have been the discoverers of the relationship between numbers and musical notes. For the Pythagoreans numbers were everything, the world was a perfect balance and order of mathematical ratios. The essence of everything was a number, which made it possible to express anything numerically. The Pythagoreans influence remains today with the development of mathematics and the prevalence of mathematical equations in all the sciences.