The idea that Francis Bacon in any way laid the foundation of the experimental sciences, or indeed did anything more than give a literary statement of the philosophy of the experimental science, though he himself proved utterly unable to apply the principles that he discussed to the scientific discoveries of his own time, is one of the inexplicable absurdities of history that somehow get in and cannot be got out. The great thinkers of the medieval period had not only reached the same conclusions as he did, but actually applied them three centuries before; and the great medieval universities were occupied with problems, even in physical science, not very different from those which have given food for thought for subsequent generations.

James J. Walsh, The Popes and Science (1908)

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