But in my view the most revolutionary innovation of all to come to us from the ancient world was the idea that natural events were neither punishment nor reward from the capricious gods. The working of nature could be explained without invoking the supernatural. To first person to express this thought was a man named Thales. When the thunder clapped or the earthquaked, it was not because something you did had somehow displeased the very demanding gods. No, it was result of natural processes that we were capable of understanding.
- Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Episode 6