Natural and Supernatural in Ancient Science
Lehoux, Daryn R
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This chapter challenges the widespread claim that science in antiquity is, at least in part, characterized by a move to naturalistic explanations from mythological or supernatural ones. By looking closely at both the contents and the historical development of the sciences in antiquity, the chapter shows that theology plays important roles in ancient science, and does so along three distinct lines: the creationist (where the cosmos was made or shaped by some kind of superhuman agency), the divine-governmental (involving some kind of immanent deity, but not necessarily a creator), and the teleological (in which external forces guide or direct the universe).