The history of science in early cultures refers to the study of protoscience in ancient history, prior to the development of science in the Middle Ages. In prehistoric times, advice and knowledge was passed from generation to generation in an oral tradition. The development of writing enabled knowledge to be stored and communicated across generations with much greater fidelity. Combined with the development of agriculture, which allowed for a surplus of food, it became possible for early civilizations to develop and more time to be devoted to tasks other than survival, such as the search for knowledge for knowledge's sake.
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... However, Needham and most scholars recognised that cultural factors prevented these Chinese achievements from developing into what might be considered "modern science". ...
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“Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years.”
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