I was looking into the extent of the unfortunate use of statistics from the social & behavioral sciences by particle physicists when I found this little gem in a footnote:
“Although the notion of what constitutes a satisfactory theory has changed over the centuries, it has always been considered desirable that the number of basic elements out of which everything is constructed should number at most “A FEW.” Since for the Greeks the basic elements were Air, Fire, Earth and Water, it is clear that they not only understood the basic principles of Science, but also had an excellent command of the English language.”
Lyons, L. (2008). Open statistical issues in particle physics. The Annals of Applied Statistics, 887-915.
Do I disagree with the claim that the Greeks understood the basic principles of Science? Sure (no empiricism, no science). Did I laugh like the biggest, most pathetic nerd in history upon reading this? Maybe.