What’s the Big Idea?
If Western philosophy begins with the Greek philosopher Thales, it begins with the question of whether humans can ever arrive at the dream of “knowing all there is to know.” Thales had his answer. Water held the key to understanding the universe. It was believed to be the substance from which everything that exists is derived.
As knowledge has marched triumphantly forward ever since, scientists have continued to look for ways to simplify all knowledge with a unified theory, and grown ever-confident in our ability to develop such a theory.