Quiz about Best of the Best  Giants in Science
Quiz about Best of the Best  Giants in Science

Best of the Best: Giants in Science Quiz

Isaac Newton wrote, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants". Some believe the comment was an attack on an opponent. However, it may have been a statement of modesty. To which scientific giants might Newton have referred?

A photo quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
8 / 10
Top 20% Quiz
photo quiz
1. "The First Teacher" - Alexander the Great - Lyceum Hint


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2. "Elements" - Father of Geometry - Axioms Hint


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3. "Almagest" - Geocentric - Alexandria Hint

Liu Hong
Claudius Ptolemy
Rabbi Nehemiah

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4. Eureka! - Lever - Calculus Hint

Pappus of Alexandria
Hero of Alexandria
Archimedes of Syracuse

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5. Four Humors - Anatomy - Circulatory System Hint

Galen of Pergamon
Eudemus of Rhodes
Strato of Lampsacus
Philo of Byzantium

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6. Doctor Mirabilis - Scientific Method - Optics Hint

Pope Sylvester II
William of Ockham
Roger Bacon
Constantine the African

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7. "Liber Abaci" - Numbers - Pisa Hint

Adelard of Bath
Guy de Chauliac
William of Saliceto
Leonardo Fibonacci

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8. Scholasticism - Father of Thomism - "Summa Theologiae" Hint

Giovanni Dondi dell'Orologio
John Arderne
Thomas Aquinas
Richard of Wallingford

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9. "Mishneh Torah" - Medical Works - The Second Master Hint

Peter Abelard
Maslamah al-Majriti

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10. Bishop of Lincoln - Resolution and Composition - Founder of Modern Science Hint

Nicole Oresme
Albert the Great
Robert Grosseteste
John Duns Scotus

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. "The First Teacher" - Alexander the Great - Lyceum

Answer: Aristotle

The sobriquet of "The First Teacher" leaves little doubt as to the importance of Aristotle's work to subsequent scholars. While he was interested in many different subjects, from physics to logic to politics and beyond, he was primarily interested in biology. Considered to be the earliest natural scientist whose work has survived, he wrote numerous accounts of his research and observation, such as "History of Animals" and "Parts of Animals".

His method of classifying organisms influenced scientists for centuries; unfortunately, some of his conclusions were incorrect and scientists respected him so much that they were extremely slow to admit that he had made mistakes.

Some believe that because of this, Aristotle actually held back scientific advancement - in some areas it was after the Renaissance and Scientific Revolution that people finally agreed to change their thinking. Aristotle was born in Macedonia, and his father was the court physician to Philip II, Alexander's father. Being selected as the private tutor for Alexander gave Aristotle much opportunity for learning and resources.

He was able to incorporate a library at his school, The Lyceum, and, with specimens collected from his famous pupil, was able to establish the first zoological and botanical garden in existence.
2. "Elements" - Father of Geometry - Axioms

Answer: Euclid

Euclid's "Elements" is considered to be one of the most important works in the history of mathematics. Although many of the ideas in his book were gathered from other sources, Euclid consolidated them altogether; his book was used to teach geometry for centuries, earning his the title "Father of Geometry". An axiom is "a statement (in mathematics often shown in symbolic form) that is so evident or well-established, that it is accepted without controversy or question".

The axioms deduced by Euclid formed the basis of his work and are why his contribution is called Euclidean geometry.
3. "Almagest" - Geocentric - Alexandria

Answer: Claudius Ptolemy

A Roman citizen who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, Ptolemy wrote the "Alamagest", which was an essay about astronomy; it contained a star catalogue, along with Ptolemy's geocentric model of the earth in relation to other planets and the sun. His geocentric theory, however, was not a new discovery; it dated back at least as far as Aristotle and probably all the way back to ancient Babylon. For over a thousand years astronomers would cling to the incorrect notion that the earth was the center of the universe.
4. Eureka! - Lever - Calculus

Answer: Archimedes of Syracuse

Archimedes was quite the ancient Renaissance man; he was an engineer, mathematician, inventor, physicist, etc., etc.! Perhaps better known for his discovery of determining the volume of an object with an irregular shape (Eureka!), known as the Archimedes Principle, he was also the first to explain the principle of the lever, although he did not invent it. Several inventions are named after him, such as the Archimedes Claw, that could lift attacking ships out of the water, and the Archimedes Screw, which was developed to remove bilge water from ships.

His discoveries in calculus, however, helped paved the way for Newton's integral calculus.
5. Four Humors - Anatomy - Circulatory System

Answer: Galen of Pergamon

Influenced by Hippocrates, Galen taught there were four humours whose balance controlled a person's health - black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. Because human dissections were not permitted, his reports concerning anatomy were based on the dissections of monkeys and pigs. Nevertheless, for 1,300 years, his writings concerning anatomy were used in the teaching of physicians, and unfortunately, led to many wrong assumptions about how the human body worked.

As for his beliefs concerning the circulatory system, Galen believed there were two separate one-way systems that distributed blood.

The thirteenth century Arab physician, Ibn al-Nafis, was the first to describe pulmonary circulation, three hundred years before the famous William Harvey.
6. Doctor Mirabilis - Scientific Method - Optics

Answer: Roger Bacon

A Franciscian monk, Roger Bacon, or "Wondrous Doctor", was regarded by some as a wizard due to the story about his ownership of an automation, which was a brazen head that could correctly answer any question asked. He expanded on the use of the scientific method first discussed by Aristotle, urging scholars to use experimentation to test their beliefs and theories. Bacon's study of Arab works concerning optics and light led to the addition of new subjects to medieval curriculum, as well as the future development of eyeglasses.
7. "Liber Abaci" - Numbers - Pisa

Answer: Leonardo Fibonacci

Consider to be one of the most important medieval mathematicians - if not THE most important - Fibonacci wrote "Liber Abaci" in 1202, introducing Hindu-Arabic numbers to Europe, replacing the old cumbersome Roman numerals, making business calculations easier, and ultimately leading to the rise of banking.

In the book he also wrote the sequence of numbers, commonly called the Fibonacci Sequence, where each number is the sum of the two previous numbers. A native of Pisa, Italy, Fibonacci was honored in 1240 by being granted a salary for "the services that he had given to the city as an advisor on matters of accounting and instruction to citizens".
8. Scholasticism - Father of Thomism - "Summa Theologiae"

Answer: Thomas Aquinas

Scholasticism was a medieval movement which attempted to blend Christian teachings, "faith", with the scientific principals set forth by the ancient Greeks, "logic", such as Aristotle and Socrates. This "blending" sparked a debate among academics as to which was more important - faith or logic. Thomas Aquinas, the Father of Thomism, resolved the debate in his book, "Summa Theologiae", by saying that both faith and logic are gifts from God, and therefore, there could be no conflict between them. Venerated as a saint, and considered to be the model teacher for those entering the priesthood, Thomas Aquinas is still viewed as one of the greatest philosophers and theologians of the Catholic Church.
9. "Mishneh Torah" - Medical Works - The Second Master

Answer: Maimonides

During the Middle Ages, Maimonides, a Torah scholar in Spain, wrote the fourteen volume "Mishneh Torah", which is still considered to be an important work concerning the oral laws of Judaism. Revered by both Jews and Islam, Maimonides was not only a rabbi, but also a religious scholar and physician, writing ten known medical works. Being known as "The Second Master" was quite a compliment, when "The First Master" was Aristotle!
10. Bishop of Lincoln - Resolution and Composition - Founder of Modern Science

Answer: Robert Grosseteste

One of the most influential medieval scientists, Robert Grosseteste was Bishop of Lincoln and Chancellor of Oxford University. One of the first to understand Aristotle's method of scientific reasoning, which he called resolution and composition, Grosseteste is often called the Founder of Modern Science because of his study of natural phenomena and emphasis on the importance of using mathematics in scientific study. Like many of the scientists of his time, he sought to reconcile his scientific discoveries with Christian thinking.

His famous student, Roger Bacon, continued his work.
Source: Author ponycargirl

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