100 Greatest Discoveries

100 Greatest Discoveries

2004, Science  -   34 Comments
Ratings: 7.79/10 from 39 users.

100 Greatest DiscoveriesScientists have transformed the way we think and live throughout the centuries.

What are the most important scientific discoveries of all time? In no particular order, we present the top 100 in eight different categories.

Explore the universe, the world around you, the world under a microscopic, the Earth under your feet, the past, what makes you, developments in health, and how stuff works.

Episodes included: Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Evolution, Genetics, Medicine, Physics, and Top Ten.

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34 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Dylan Burke

    Oh my goodness it's Bill Nye :D

  2. Mohamed Hassan Dakkam

    So far I watched the episodes of astronomy, biology, chemistry and earth science. Actually I didn't understand the biology episode so good because of my poor background about this subject. However, these episodes are so wonderful and I like their easy-english language.

  3. Liebewitz

    in response to 'super grey alien' below-infra

  4. Liebewitz

    ---addendum I'm Irish.

    I guess his first little neural response or 'brain fart' would be 'a slur on jews'.

  5. SuperGreyAlien

    The Irish were planing a trip to the SUN,to avoid the problems with heat and radiation they were going at night!

    1. Liebewitz

      oh well done! that was dull when uttered circa 1970. I was hurt by such comments then. 40 years on-after a career in the aerospace industry from Pasedena-and Palmdale California-to Geneva-with JPL and NASA-and CERN ---
      I would like to say and do more -about this evidently ' moronic inadequate' '

      but life is increasingly getting shorter-

      and my .45 is in one of my other houses.

  6. Farid Hotel

    Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. The verse means, "In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the most Merciful."

    Surah 36, Ayah 40 "It is not permitted to the sun to catch up the moon, nor the night outstrips the day: Each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law)"

    Surah 21, Ayah 33 "It is He Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon: All (celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course (orbit)."

    Surah 55, Ayah 5-7 "The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed; And the star and the trees - both (alike) bow in adoration. And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice)"

    Surah 24, Ayah 35 "Allah is the Light of heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a niche and within it a lamp. The lamp enclosed in glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star (planet)"

    (and there are many more)

    Allah did not create this except in truth and righteousness. And He explains His signs in detail, for those who understand. (Glorious Qur'an 10:5 )
    (Glorious Qur'an is a Book of Signs)
    peace be upon you

    1. Epicurus

      you do know the sun does not move in an orbit right???

      also a star and a planet are two different things, so you cant call a "brilliant star" a planet.

      this just confirms that the quran doesnt hold any information that wouldnt have been already known at the time it was written.

      my goodness religious people are so gullible.

    2. Minh Duong

      "you do know the sun does not move in an orbit right???"

      BTW our sun orbits the Milky Way's Galactic center ( which is possibly a black hole).

    3. Epicurus

      but clearly in the text of the quranic verse it is meaning that the sun and moon orbit the earth. Context is important.

    4. Minh Duong

      it is absolutely true that context is important. If the meaning of the Quranic verse is clear, then you and I wouldn't have been able to make our comments to the contrary.
      Interpretations are only ever self evident to the interpreter. They have to be explained to everyone else.

    5. Bobby Mitzel

      Doesn't the Quran also say that salt water and fresh water don't mix? Doesn't that negatively affect its credibility as a source of scientific knowledge in your mind?

  7. Hoa Minh Pham

    It is a known fact that if "a great discovery" finding is never released on western papers, it might has well never existed.

  8. Ian Kirkpatrick Van Gaal

    how come a lot of these documentaries don't cover African contributions?

  9. Nancy

    What about the Moon Landing. I heard a lot about this that it was totally a drama. Why no more missions sent to the Moon ? Why other developed countries not tried to step on Moon ?

    1. Gweedoz 8

      I'm not entirely convinced the moon landing actually happened. There seems to be more technology in today's cars than in a spaceship of the 60's. Plus there seem to be loads of radiations from here to the moon, and ultimately, it happened precisely when it was supposed to happen, during the cold war. Why spend so much money and resources on a spacestation that remains whizzing around in orbit like a satellite and not do that on the moon, if it was possible to get there 50 years ago?

    2. Epicurus

      actually gweedoz, the technology was good enough to get us to the moon, just not as easily as it is today.

      second the radiation that the astronauts were exposed to is just more proof that they actually went. if you look it up you will find that almost all the astronauts that went to the moon had complications with their health due to radiation poisoning.

      finally, the fact that during the cold war the russians even admitted that the americans went to the moon should be enough for anyone else to admit it. the Russians wouldnt have let that go easily if they thought for a second that the USA was lying.

      and a space station is MUCH more practical than a base on the moon. first its easier and cheaper, second its closer, and we probably will set something up on the moon when we need to.

  10. Jeigh

    @ Nick_kcin

    I sympathize with, you but argue that the discovery of Peyote about two-thousand years before the invention of acid was/and will be, more important that LSD. Your claim kind of gives more validity to what Dread was commenting on. Great stuff, LSD, but doesn't hold a candle to the sacred Peyote succulent.

  11. nick_kcin

    or, much better than beer, LSD.
    been tripping again, after staring at a leaf blowing in the wind unable to comprehend what the f--k an air particle is, and how seemingly minor differences in numbers of protons and electrons completely change the nature of a substance to allow the different elements of air to become gasses and mix together while unable to have any kind of interaction with the carbon atoms that make up the leaf, I decided to learn everything everyone knows about chemistry. this may take a while, lucky I've got another tab for this weekend...

    the chemistry one only has 4 parts, the last 2 are on the same youtube channel

  12. jtl1985

    They missed the gratest discovery ever, beer.

  13. Wulumulu

    you also forgot that they figured out(Eratosthenes(280ish BC)) earth's tilt, and circumference in which they only erred by 1-10%(depending on whether they used the egyptian stadia as a measuring unit or the greek stadia))
    in addition we could add heliocentrism(aristarchus 'round 300BC though it was omitted), that the earth is round and even the steam engine(though the discovery was later labeled as useless and omitted) and those are just the discoveries i remember from the top of my head... and we'll not even go into the discoveries of india, china and the likes

  14. Riley


    those are entirely legitimate objections. i suppose the thinking is that until a discovery is registered in the current of cultural continuity, it sort of doesnt matter.

    for example, lucretius (roman) and some of the greeks clearly saw and 'wrote down' their ideas of evolution and the intuition that higher animals were related, for example, to fish. and men before darwin (including his own grandfather) speculated on the plasticity of species, but darwin is credited as the originator of the concept of
    evolution, despite these predecessesors, because he
    a] provided a plausible mechanism (natural selection)
    b] provided plausible evidence to support the notion
    c] brought it to the attention of the world, at large

    so, we see that there are a number of factors which go into
    the crediting of things which are not accounted for only on the basis of, perhaps, racism or cultural chauvinism.

    nevertheless, it probably would be more appropriate to bring everyone who had contributed - but that does make the picture more complicated.

    to a person who comes from a culture which acheived major insights, but was not integrated into the european enlightenment and industrial & scientific revolution, these accounts probably come across as self-serving rationalizations.

    howsoevermuch that may be considered, the perception may be defended that a discovery which is not widely known, or made use of in such a way as to result in its becoming widely known, how relevant or useful is that flash of insight? in some respects, its like a light which is never brought to the candle.

    put another way: the wheel may well have been originated more than once, but the only time that first counted was when it got put onto a cart and mustered onto the battlefield.

    1. Will Conley

      A good answer to Ram's objections. I would also add that all historical canon is more like a story, which is simple, than a representation of reality, which is complex. History follows archetypes, not facts. As such, history should never be taken at face value, but merely a lens, or a starting point, or perhaps a haiku -- a shorthand, aesthetically pleasing impression of a memory of an event which may or may not have happened.

  15. dread

    White mans Propaganda.........

    The Ancients knew about Earth rotation,.. two thousand years before Copernicus.

  16. Ram

    I'm fed up with this Astronomy section repeatedly indoctrinating just the European advancements. Is the observation of Super Nova by Chinese in 1054 not an achievement? The first heliocentric theory was proposed by Aryabhata in 500 AD way before Copernicus. I wonder if these people are ever interested in looking beyond the western history

    1. Susan Donovan

      I agree this documentary should have been called "Great western discoveries" --

  17. cg

    the earth science one was blocked in my region. what ARE they hiding? lol

  18. mike

    Awesome. The only part that bothered me was at the end of the medicine one. The guy being interviewed downplayed AIDS and even suggested that its overall had more positive impacts than negative.

    Watch "Origin of Aids" documentary and you'll understand more. Its one of the best docs on this site.

  19. Boudiay

    i don't to ask that if the earth is in between Venus and Mars is that mean Venus is underground and Mars is upside( sky)? please reply me i don't understand.

  20. Quark

    Thanks, Epicurus!

  21. Quark

    if planets have an eliptical path around the sun, how come do they keep the same speed? Naturally the planets should be quicker around/closer to the sun, and slower in the "outer space", away from the sun...
    Anyone? Thanks

    1. Minh Duong

      My guess is that it's because the sun is orbiting around the galactic center. That is, If the sun was truly stationary, then the orbit of the planets orbiting it, would be more or less circular. But since the sun is not stationary, those orbits are "stretched" into an elliptical shape. (similar to the "teacup" rides at amusement parks.) It's a matter of perspective.

  22. Monza man

    Why is the part about genetics "blocked in my region"?? Wierd.. what information is being withheld from me and why???

  23. Chris

    I didn't learn anything new but it's amazing how far we have come in our understanding. We are truly privileged to be alive during this age.