Graziano and Raulin (8th ed)Graziano & Raulin
Research Methods (8th edition)

Anaximander (611-547 B.C.) was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer. He succeeded Thales as leader of the Ionian school of Greek philosophy. 

Anaximander made naturalistic observations and employed reasoning to arrive at conclusions about nature. He proposed that all life originated from the evaporation of water by the sun, that higher order animals, including humans, developed gradually from lower animals, such as fishes, and that the earth is freely suspended in space. At a time when prevailing belief was that humans were created by the Gods and the flat earth floated on water, Anaximander’s conclusions were startling. Indeed we can see the echoes of his thoughts even today, more than 2500 years later, as some people still debate whether humans developed through evolution or were created by God. Anaximander is also credited with preparing the first map, which apparently grew out of his travels.

We can see in Anaximander’s work a very early notion of biological evolution and the combined use of observation (the empirical component of science) and reason (the rational component) in drawing conclusions about nature. It was not until Aristotle, some 200 years later, that a body of observed fact about natural phenomena was systematically developed. Thales and Anaximander were the forerunners of that development.

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