(Taken from Ray Fontaine’s book My Life With God IN and OUT of the Church)
During the next two years at Catholic seminary, philosophy would teach me what the mind can know about the basic principles of being without using telescopes, microscopes and divine revelation. Later during theology, I would acquire knowledge based entirely upon revelations reputedly from God. For the moment, however, I must rely solely upon reason.
In his opening class, the professor reviewed what humans believed about the origin of the
world for thousands of years before the first philosophers appeared in Greece during the fourth century BC. Over a million years ago, humans expressed their thoughts and feelings in spoken language. Their descendants communicated their beliefs and achievements to future generations - all by word of mouth.
Around 3000 BC the Sumerians, who lived along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, invented
the art of writing which spread to other cultures and races. Now humans could record in stone and clay or on parchment and papyrus their thoughts including those about the origin of the world.
Without scientific instruments, just from visual observation, humans found no explanation
for the world: lightning and thunder, earthquakes and typhoons, floods and drought. In society, things happened when rulers gave orders and when craftspeople got to work. In nature, beings that were smarter and more powerful than humans must be directing the elements and forces. To explain the mysteries of the world, the Sumerians created thousands of deities. So did the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians and most civilizations for thousands of years.
The first people to seek non-divine explanations for natural phenomena were Greek