Timeline of Science

This timeline targets scientific and medicinal milestones (including invalidated ones) while comparing them to pseudo-science and religious claims--thereby showing the level of science and technology in all places of the world when they were made, thus making their faults more apparent. Other selected major historical events have been added to add perspective. Each historical event is linked to a Wikipedia entry that describes the event in detail.

Year

Event

13.7 bil c

The Universe begins.

3.7 bil c

Life on Earth evolved.

128000 c

Homo sapiens evolved.

26500 c

Pottery is first made.

15000 c

Domestication of the first animals occurs.

9500 c

Agriculture is first used.

8000 c

The most recent major Ice age ended.

5500 c

Early Hinduism begins.

5000 c

Alchemy begins in Egypt.

4241

The 360 day Egyptian calendar is first used.

3952

The exact date of the universe's creation according to Abrahamic religions.

3000 c

Cuneiform script, the earliest form of writing is created by the Sumerians.

2200 c

Circumcision is first practiced in Egypt.

1900 c

Judaism is established.

 

Pi is calculated properly to 1 decimal place by the Babylonians.

1500 c

Astrology is first documented in Babylonia.

1100 c

Chakras are described in the Vedas.

0650 c

Jainism is established.

0500 c

The brain is predicted to be the seat of the mind by Alcmaeon of Croton.

 

Humorism is conceived by Alcmaeon of Croton.

0450 c

Buddhism is established.

 

Atheism is established.

 

Zoroastrianism is established.

 

Blast furnaces are first used in China.

0430 c

Smallpox is first described.

0400 c

Bloodletting is in common use.

 

Humorism is popularized by Hippocrates.

 

Alchemy falls out of use in Egypt.

 

Qi is first seen in a publication by Mozi.

 

Influenza is described by Hippocrates.

0332

Alchemy begins in Greece.

0330 c

A spherical earth model is argued by Aristotle.

 

Aristotelian gravity is developed by Aristotle.

 

Acupuncture is discussed in length in the book "Huangdi Neijing".

0275 c

Shinto is established.

0240

The circumference of the earth is measured by Eratosthenes with a 2%-20% margin of error.

0150

A Geocentric universal model is described by Claudius Ptolemaeus in his book Almagest.

0001

Common Era begins.

0040 c

Christianity begins.

0075 c

The first codexes (books) are written.

0142

Alchemy begins in China.

0263

Pi is calculated to 3 correct decimal places by Liu Hui.

0525

The Anno Domini time system is created by Dionysius Exiguus.

0550

John Philoponus successfully disproves Aristotelian gravity, but his work is hidden by the church until 1200.

0630 c

Islam begins.

0642

Alchemy falls out of use in Greece.

0705

The first ever psychiatric hospital is built in Baghdad.

0800 c

Chemistry begins in Arabia

1000 c

Modern Surgery is documented by Abu al-Qasim in his "Kitab al-Tasrif".

1021

The Scientific method is greatly advanced by Ibn al-Haitham's "Kitab al-Manazir".

1150 c

Blast furnaces are first used in Europe.

1242

The circulatory system is accurately described by Ibn al-Nafis.

1247

The Bethlem Royal Hospital becomes the first psychiatric hospital in Europe.

1350 c

Pi's infinite series is discovered by Madhava of Sangamagrama.

1450 c

Modern dowsing becomes popular.

1478

The Spanish Inquisition begins.

1500 c

Sikhism begins.

1525 c

The Age of Discovery begins.

1543

The Scientific Revolution begins.

1543

A Heliocentric universal model is explained in Nicolaus Copernicus' book "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres".

1567

Viral inoculations become popular in China.

1580 c

The first documented influenza pandemic affects Africa, then Asia and Europe.

1609

An early optical microscope and optical telescope is created by Galileo Galilei.

1628

The circulatory system receives significant knowledge thanks to William Harvey's book "An Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Living Beings".

1646

Electricity and Magnetism are scientifically discussed in Thomas Browne's book Pseudodoxia Epidemica.

1661

"The Sceptical Chymist" by Robert Boyle is published.

1674

Protists are first seen under a microscope by Anton van Leeuwenhoek.

1676

Bacteria is discovered by Anton van Leeuwenhoek.

1677

Spermatozoa are discovered by Anton van Leeuwenhoek.

1687

Gravity is explained by Isaac Newton is his book "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy".

1711

Calculus is created independently by both Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz.

1718

Viral inoculations are brought to Europe.

1747

The first clinical trial is held by James Lind who finds an effective treatment for Scurvy.

1750

Alchemy gives way to chemistry.

1780

The brain is discovered to use electronic impulses by Luigi Galvani.

1787

"Elements of Chemistry" by Antoine Lavoisier is published.

1796

Viral vaccinations are first conducted scientifically by Edward Jenner.

1803

"Atomic Theory" by John Dalton is published.

1807

Homeopathy is invented by Samuel Hahnemann.

1811

Placebos are first published in Hooper's medical dictionary.

1834

The Spanish Inquisition officially ends.

1838

Work on quantum mechanics is first started by Michael Faraday's work with cathode rays.

1842

Chromosomes are first observed by Karl Wilhelm von Nägeli.

1844

The Bahá'í Faith begins.

1846

The planet Neptune is discovered thanks to the mathematical calculations of Urbain Le Verrier.

1850

Bloodletting falls out of popular use.

1859

Evolution and natural selection are explained in Charles Darwin's book "The Origin of Species".

1860

Germ theory is explained by Louis Pasteur.

1865

Genetics is explained by Gregor Mendel in his book "Experiments on Plant Hybridization" which was widely ignored until the 20th century.

1868

Pangenesis is described by Charles Darwin in his book "The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication".

1869

Amino acids are isolated by Friedrich Miescher.

1869

The periodic table of elements is published by Dmitri Mendeleev.

1890 c

Classical conditioning is discovered by Ivan Pavlov.

1898

Malaria is found to be transmitted by mosquitoes by Ronald Ross.

1900

Blood types A, B, and O are discovered by Karl Landsteiner.

1900 c

The term "Agnosticism" is used by Thomas Huxley.

 

Quantum Physics has work started on it.

 

Humorism falls out of popular use.

1914

World War I begins.

1915

Reflexology is invented by William H. Fitzgerald.

 

The Theory of General Relativity is published by Albert Einstein.

1918

"Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body" by Henry Gray is published.

 

The Spanish flu kills around 45 million.

1920

The placebo effect is detailed by T.C. Graves.

1928

Penicillin is discovered by Alexander Fleming.

1930

The dwarf planet Pluto is discovered by Clyde Tombaugh.

1939

World War II officially begins.

1953

DNA is accurately described by James Watson and Francis Crick.

1960 c

String theory is developed.

 

Prions are theorized by Tikvah Alper and J.S. Griffith.

1961

Nocebo is coined as a counterpart to a placebo by Walter Kennedy.

1971

Viroids are first discovered by Theodor O. Diener.

1977

Smallpox no longer exists outside of laboratories.

1984

Prions are isolated by Stanley Prusiner.

While it is proper to display the circa symbol of 'c' before a date, I've placed it after the date to keep the flow of the year column. Rows without a year should use the year above it.