Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
Bacon is far from the first scientist. To pick just one example: Al Hasan ibn Al Haytham did a lot of genuinely scientific research on optics centuries before Bacon.
Well, yes and no. There are those who contributed to science before Bacon and the scientific method as far back as ptolemy and archimedes but it's not quite accurate to call them scientists, as such. Certainly brilliant men, well ahead of their time, but Bacon was the first to posit that -all- of the knowledge that men wield should come from empiricism and bring the disparate fields together under one umbrella idea of science in a way that became largely accepted by his peers.

Haytham certainly had the right idea though. I won't deny that what he did was great work that contributed to science but I wouldn't call him a scientist.

Though, in the end, I suppose there's an argument to be made that this is a distinction without a difference.