• Question: if you only found out about the water cycle in the recent years, how come it is mentioned in the Holy Quran which was revealed 1400 years ago?

    Asked by pasha1 to Indi, Jarv, John, Ken, Vicky on 14 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by pasha5, aneesasharif.
    • Photo: John Prytherch

      John Prytherch answered on 14 Mar 2012:

      I think people have known something about the water cycle for a long time. Scientists nowadays want to understand all of the tricky bits and get more accurate estimates of it.

    • Photo: Vicky Young

      Vicky Young answered on 14 Mar 2012:

      I agree with John on this one. People have had knowledge about the water cycle for thousands of years but it is only the last 50-100 years that we have the technology to study it in detail and learn more about it.

    • Photo: Jarvist Moore Frost

      Jarvist Moore Frost answered on 14 Mar 2012:

      There’s lots of amazing observations in ancient texts. People back then were just as clever as we are now, it’s only that their technology wasn’t well developed (which made doing science hard) and they hadn’t put their knowledge on a rigorous basis (they didn’t really have any idea about hypothesis testing, or statistics, let alone double-blind trials!). So though some things were correct, perhaps surprisingly so, other stuff was completely off.

      A hilarious example of this is Aristotle (who lived 2350 years ago). He offered a carefully argued reason as to why men have more teeth than women, based on them having more blood. But he never thought to check that women do in fact have more teeth than men!
      Of course, men and women have exactly the same number.