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In classical antiquity, there was no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, philosophers engaged in the philosophical study of nature called natural philosophy, a precursor of natural science. Though Thales (circa 624–545 BC) was arguably the first scientist for describing how cosmic events may be seen as natural, not necessarily caused by gods, it was not until the 19th century that the term scientist came into regular use after it was coined by the theologian, philosopher, and historian of science William Whewell in 1833.
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