A notable feature of Western culture is its strong emphasis and focus on innovation and invention through science and technology, and its ability to generate new processes, materials and material artifacts with its roots dating back to the Ancient Greeks. The "scientific method as "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses" was almost entirely fashioned by the Italian "Galileo Galilei.
The Western World has been the leading force in the technological and scientific disciplines: whether measured in people or events, 97 percent of accomplishment in the scientific inventories occurred in Europe and North America. The "Dictionary of Scientific Biography (DoSB) sponsored by the "American Council of Learned Societies, concluded that Eighty-one percent of the most significant scientists and mathematicians come from Europe compared to 76 percent in the Human Accomplishment set, numbers that rise to 94 and 91 percent respectively when the United States and Canada are included. The "United Kingdom, "France, "Germany and "Italy alone account for 72 percent of all the significant scientific figures in science from 1400 to 1950. Add in "Russia and the "Netherlands, and 80 percent of all significant figures are accounted for.
By the "will of the "Swedish inventor "Alfred Nobel a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances known as the "Nobel Prize were established in 1895. The prizes in "Chemistry, "Literature, "Peace, "Physics, and "Physiology or Medicine were first awarded in 1901. The percentage of ethnically European noble prize winners during the first and second halves of the 20th century were respectively 98 and 94 percent. A study by the "Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) - Japan's equivalent of the "Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) concluded that 54% of the world's most important inventions were either British. Of the rest, 25% were American and 5% Japanese.
It was the West that first developed "steam power and adapted its use into "factories, and for the generation of "electric power. The electrical "motor, "dynamo, "transformer, and "electric light, and indeed most of the familiar electrical appliances, were inventions of the West. The "Otto and the "Diesel "internal combustion engines are products whose genesis and early development were in the West. "Nuclear power stations are derived from the first "atomic pile constructed in Chicago in 1942.
Communication devices and systems including the "telegraph, the "telephone, "radio, "television, "communications and "navigation satellites, "mobile phone, and the "Internet were all invented by Westerners. The "pencil, "ballpoint pen, "Cathode ray tube, "liquid-crystal display, "light-emitting diode, "camera, "photocopier, "laser printer, "ink jet printer, "plasma display screen and "world wide web were also invented in the West.["citation needed]
Ubiquitous materials including "concrete, "aluminium, clear "glass, "synthetic rubber, "synthetic diamond and the plastics "polyethylene, "polypropylene, "polyvinyl chloride and "polystyrene were invented in the West. Iron and steel ships, bridges and "skyscrapers first appeared in the West. "Nitrogen fixation and "petrochemicals were invented by Westerners. Most of the "elements, were discovered and named in the West, as well as the contemporary "atomic theories to explain them.["citation needed]
The "transistor, "integrated circuit, memory chip, and "computer were all first seen in the West. The "ship's chronometer, the "screw propeller, the "locomotive, "bicycle, "automobile, and "airplane were all invented in the West. "Eyeglasses, the "telescope, the "microscope and "electron microscope, all the varieties of "chromatography, "protein and "DNA sequencing, "computerised tomography, "Nuclear magnetic resonance, "x-rays, and light, ultraviolet and infrared "spectroscopy, were all first developed and applied in Western laboratories, hospitals and factories.["citation needed]
In medicine, the pure "antibiotics were created in the West. The method of preventing "Rh disease, the treatment of "diabetes, and the "germ theory of disease were discovered by Westerners. The eradication of "smallpox, was led by a Westerner, "Donald Henderson. "Radiography, "Computed tomography, "Positron emission tomography and "Medical ultrasonography are important diagnostic tools developed in the West. Other important diagnostic tools of "clinical chemistry including the methods of "spectrophotometry, "electrophoresis and "immunoassay were first devised by Westerners. So were the "stethoscope, "electrocardiograph, and the "endoscope. "Vitamins, "hormonal contraception, "hormones, "insulin, "Beta blockers and "ACE inhibitors, along with a host of other medically proven drugs were first utilized to treat disease in the West. The "double-blind study and "evidence-based medicine are critical scientific techniques widely used in the West for medical purposes.["citation needed]
In mathematics, "calculus, "statistics, "logic, "vectors, "tensors and "complex analysis, "group theory and "topology were developed by Westerners. In biology, "evolution, "chromosomes, "DNA, "genetics and the methods of "molecular biology are creatures of the West. In physics, the science of "mechanics and "quantum mechanics, "relativity, "thermodynamics, and "statistical mechanics were all developed by Westerners. The discoveries and inventions by Westerners in "electromagnetism include "Coulomb's law (1785), the first "battery (1800), the unity of "electricity and magnetism (1820), "Biot–Savart law (1820), "Ohm's Law (1827), and the "Maxwell's equations (1871). The "atom, "nucleus, "electron, "neutron and "proton were all unveiled by Westerners.["citation needed]
In business, economics, and finance, "double entry bookkeeping, "credit card, and the "charge card were all first used in the West.
Westerners are also known for their explorations of the globe and "outer space. The first expedition to "circumnavigate the Earth (1522) was by Westerners, as well as the first journey to the "South Pole (1911), and the first "moon landing (1969). The "landing of robots on Mars (2004 and 2012) and on an "asteroid (2001), the "Voyager 2 explorations of the outer planets ("Uranus in 1986 and "Neptune in 1989), "Voyager 1's passage into interstellar space (2013), and "New Horizons' flyby of "Pluto (2015) were significant recent Western achievements.
"Pythagoras, Greek mathematician
"Hippocrates, Greek physician
"Euclid, Greek mathematician
"Archimedes, Greek polymath
"Hypatia, Greek mathematician and astronomer
"Leonardo da Vinci, Italian polymath
"Galileo Galilei, Italian polymath
"Johannes Kepler, German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer
"Isaac Newton, English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist
"Sophie Germain, French mathematician and physicist
"Pierre de Fermat, French mathematician
"Émilie du Châtelet, French mathematician and physicist
"Leonhard Euler, Swiss mathematician, physicist, astronomer, logician and engineer
"Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist
"William Herschel, British astronomer and composer
"Ada Lovelace, English mathematician and programmer
"Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician
"Gregor Mendel, German scientist
"Louis Pasteur, French biologist, microbiologist and chemist
"Sofia Kovalevskaya, Russian mathematician
"Charles Darwin, English biologist, naturalist and geologist
"Agnes Pockels, German pioneer in chemistry
"Michael Faraday, English scientist
"Marie Curie, Polish physicist and chemist
"Max Planck, German theoretical physicist
"Albert Einstein, German theoretical physicist
"Nettie Stevens, American geneticist
"Thomas Edison, American inventor
"Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor and electrical engineer
"Carlos Chagas, Brazilian sanitary physician, scientist and bacteriologist
"Gerty Cori, Czech-American biochemist
"James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics
"Rita Levi-Montalcini, Italian neuroscientist
"Dorothy Hodgkin, British chemist
"Annie Jump Cannon, American astronomer
"Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand-born British physicist
"Barbara McClintock, American scientist and cytogeneticist
"Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American inventor, engineer and physicist
"Rosalind Franklin, English chemist and X-ray crystallographer
"Grace Hopper, American computer scientist
"Gertrude B. Elion, American biochemist and pharmacologist
"James Watson, American molecular biologist, geneticist and zoologist
The "Western media refers to the "news media of the "Western world. The roots of the Western media can be traced back to the late 15th century, when "printing presses began to operate throughout "Western Europe. The emergence of "news media in the 17th century has to be seen in close connection with the "spread of the printing press, from which the publishing "press derives its name.
In the 16th century, a decrease in the pre-eminence of "Latin in its literary use, along with the impact of economic change, the "discoveries" arising from trade and travel, navigation to the ""new" world, science and arts and the development of increasingly rapid communications through print led to a rising corpus of vernacular media content in Western Europe.
After the launch of the satellite "Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in 1957, satellite transmission technology was dramatically realised, with the U.S. launching "Telstar in 1961 linking live media broadcasts from the UK to the US. The first digital broadcast satellite (DBS) system began transmitting in America in 1975.
Beginning in the 1990s, the Internet has contributed to a tremendous increase in the accessibility of media content. Departing from media offered in bundled content packages ("magazines, "CDs, "television and radio slots), the Internet has primarily offered unbundled content items ("articles, audio and video files).
The native religions of Europe were "polytheistic but not homogenous—however they were similar insofar as they were predominantly "Indo-European in origin. "Roman religion was similar to but not the same as "Hellenic religion—likewise the same for "indigenous Germanic polytheism, "Celtic polytheism and "Slavic polytheism. Western culture, for at least the last 1000 years, has been considered nearly synonymous with "Christian culture. Before this time many Europeans from the north, especially Scandinavians, remained polytheistic, though southern Europe was predominantly Christian from the 5th century onwards.
Western culture, throughout most of its history, has been nearly equivalent to "Christian culture, and many of the population of the Western hemisphere could broadly be described as cultural Christians. The notion of ""Europe" and the ""Western World" has been intimately connected with the concept of ""Christianity and Christendom" many even attribute Christianity for being the link that created a unified "European identity.
As in other areas, "Judaism is found in the Western world. Minority groups, and Jews in particular, often had to contend with discrimination and "persecution. This could include being subjected to violence and/or destruction of property (this may be referred to as a "pogrom) as well as being expelled or banned from various polities, hoping to find havens in other places.
Religion has waned considerably in "Europe, where many are today "irreligious, "agnostic or "atheist and they make up about 18% of the European population. In terms of "irreligion, over half of the populations of the "Czech Republic (79% of the population was agnostic, atheist or irreligious), the United Kingdom (~25%), Germany (25-33%), France (30–35%) and the "Netherlands (39–44%) are agnostic, atheist, or otherwise non-religious.
However, per another survey by "Pew Research Center from 2011, "Christianity remains the dominant religion in the "Western world where 70–84% are "Christians, According to this survey, 76% of "Europeans described themselves as "Christians, and about 86% of the "Americas population identified themselves as "Christians, (90% in "Latin America and 77% in "North America). And 73% in "Oceania are self-identify as Christian, and 76% in "South Africa is Christian.
According to new polls about religiosity in the European Union in 2012 by "Eurobarometer, "Christianity is the largest religion in the "European Union, accounting for 72% of the EU population. "Catholics are the largest "Christian group, accounting for 48% of the EU population, while "Protestants make up 12%, "Eastern Orthodox make up 8% and other Christians make up 4%. "Non believer/Agnostic account 16%, "Atheist account's 7%, and "Muslim 2%.
Throughout the Western world there are increasing numbers of people who seek to revive the indigenous religions of their European ancestors, such "groups include "Germanic, "Roman, "Hellenic, "Celtic and "Slavic, polytheistic reconstructionist movements, likewise, "Wicca, "new age spirituality and other "neo-pagan belief systems enjoy notable minority support in Western nations.
Since "classical antiquity, sport has been an important facet of Western cultural expression. A wide range of sports were already established by the time of "Ancient Greece and the military culture and the development of sports in Greece influenced one another considerably. Sports became such a prominent part of their culture that the Greeks created the "Olympic Games, which in ancient times were held every four years in a small village in the "Peloponnesus called "Olympia. Baron "Pierre de Coubertin, a Frenchman, instigated the modern revival of the Olympic movement. The first modern Olympics were held at "Athens in 1896.
The Romans built immense structures such as the "Colisseum in Rome to house their festivals of sport. The Romans exhibited a passion for "blood sports, such as the infamous "Gladiatorial battles that pitted contestants against one another in a fight to the death. The Olympic Games revived many of the sports of "Classical Antiquity—such as "Greco-Roman wrestling, "discus and "javelin. The sport of "bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France, and some Latin American countries. It traces its roots to prehistoric "bull worship and "sacrifice and is often linked to "Rome, where many human-versus-animal events were held. Bullfighting spread from Spain to its Central and South American colonies, and in the 19th century to France, where it developed into a distinctive form in its own right.
"Jousting and hunting were popular sports in the Western Europe of the "Middle Ages, and the aristocratic classes of Europe developed passions for leisure activities. A great number of the popular global sports were first developed or codified in Europe. The modern game of "golf originated in Scotland, where the first written record of golf is "James II's banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction to learning "archery. The "Industrial Revolution that began in Britain in the 18th Century brought increased leisure time, leading to more time for citizens to attend and follow spectator sports, greater participation in athletic activities, and increased accessibility. These trends continued with the advent of mass media and global communication. The bat and ball sport of "cricket was first played in England during the 16th century and was exported around the globe via the "British Empire. A number of popular modern sports were devised or codified in Britain during the 19th Century and obtained global prominence—these include "Ping Pong, modern "tennis, "Association Football, "Netball and "Rugby.
Football (also known as "soccer) remains hugely popular in Europe, but has grown from its origins to be known as the world game. Similarly, sports such as cricket, rugby, and netball were exported around the world, particularly among countries in the "Commonwealth of Nations, thus India and Australia are among the strongest cricketing nations, while victory in the "Rugby World Cup has been shared among the Western nations of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England.
"Australian Rules Football, an Australian variation of football with similarities to "Gaelic football and "rugby evolved in the British "colony of Victoria in the mid-19th century. The United States also developed unique variations of English sports. English migrants took antecedents of "baseball to America during the colonial period. The history of "American football can be traced to early versions of "rugby football and "association football. Many games known as "football" were being played at colleges and universities in the United States in the first half of the 19th century American football resulted from several major divergences from rugby, most notably the rule changes instituted by "Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football". "Basketball was invented in 1891 by "James Naismith, a Canadian physical education instructor working in Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States. From these American origins, basketball has become one of the great international participation sports.
Professionalism in sport in the West became prevalent during the 20th Century, further adding to the increase in sport's popularity, as sports fans began following the exploits of professional athletes through radio, television, and the internet—all while enjoying the exercise and competition associated with amateur participation in sports.
Themes and traditions
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Western culture has developed many themes and traditions, the most significant of which are:
- Greco-Roman classic letters, arts, architecture, philosophical and cultural tradition, which include the influence of preeminent authors and philosophers such as "Socrates, "Plato, "Aristotle, "Homer, "Virgil, and "Cicero, as well as a long "mythologic tradition.
- "Judeo-Christian ethical, philosophical, and "mythological tradition, the Jewish and Christian "Bible
- Monasteries, "schools, "libraries, "books, book making, "universities, teaching, "education, and lecture halls.
- A tradition of the importance of "the rule of law.
- "Secular humanism, "rationalism and Enlightenment thought. This set the basis for a new critical attitude and open questioning of religion, favouring "freethinking and questioning of the church as an authority, which resulted in open-minded and reformist ideals inside, such as "liberation theology, which partly adopted these currents, and secular and political tendencies such as "laicism, "agnosticism and "atheism.
- Generalized usage of some form of the "Latin or "Greek alphabet, and derived forms, such as "Cyrillic, used by those southern and eastern Slavic countries of "Christian Orthodox tradition, historically under the "Byzantine Empire and later within the Russian "czarist or "Soviet area of influence. Other variants of the Latin or Greek alphabets are found in the "Gothic and "Coptic alphabets, which historically superseded older scripts, such as "runes, and the Egyptian "Demotic and "Hieroglyphic systems.
- "Natural law, "human rights, "constitutionalism, "parliamentarism (or "presidentialism) and formal "liberal democracy in recent times—prior to the 19th century, most Western governments were still monarchies.
- A large influence, in "modern times, of many of the ideals and values developed and inherited from "Romanticism.
- An emphasis on, and use of, "science as a means of understanding the natural world and humanity's place in it.
- More pronounced use and application of innovation and scientific developments, as well as a more rational approach to scientific progress (what has been known as the "scientific method), as opposed to more empiric discoveries in the "Eastern World. This is especially noticeable when compared to Eastern culture's historical lack of scientific innovation and advancements.
- "Classical tradition
- "Culture during the Cold War
- "Eastern world
- "European diaspora
- "Western religion
- "Western world
- Role of Judaism in Western culture and civilization, "Judaism has played a significant role in the development of Western culture because of its unique relationship with Christianity, the dominant religious force in the West". Judaism at "Encyclopædia Britannica
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