Monday, February 16, 2009

The Wisdom of Aristotle

"...all the comets that have been seen in our day have vanished without setting, gradually fading away above the horizon; and they have not left behind them either one or more stars." -- Aristotle, philosopher, Meteorology, 350 B.C.

"Democritus however, insists upon the truth of his view and affirms that certain stars [namely Venus] have been seen when comets dissolve." -- Aristotle, philosopher, Meteorology, 350 B.C.

"...the stars...fell from heaven at the time of Phaethon's downfall." -- Aristotle, philosopher, Meteorology, 350 B.C.

"...the time must come when this place will be flooded again." -- Aristotle, philosopher, Meteorology, 350 B.C.


Raptor Lewis said...

I find one of the most surprising part of human thinking is that even though they consider Aristotle to be one of the wisest men in history, they don't even agree. Remember he said that in 350 B.C.! Despite interest in the ancient greeks, people, even in the Rennaiscance (not sure how to spell that), still believed that the Earth wasn't as active as we, now, believe it to be. This might contribute to the controversy of Evolution, It also might have contributed to Baron Georges Cuvier's ideas on extinction....well, the controversy anyway.

OilIsMastery said...


No doubt that history, observation, and the scientific method contributed to Cuvier's ideas.

On the other hand, Lyell's ideas and those of the uniformitarian sheep that follow him would seem to be based upon illiteracy, ignorance, amnesia, and myopia.

Louis Hissink said...

Charles Lyell's legacy is entrenched and pervasive throughout the Western world, but in order to refute this one equally needs to show that radioactivity is variable, and thus cannot be used as a clock.

Louis Hissink said...


That legthy quote reads like Lyell, not Aristotle, but you attribute it to Aristotle.

OilIsMastery said...


Yeah I noticed that too. The lengthy quote has lots of "gradualism" bs in it. I wanted to include it because he says Homer is recent and also because he says civilizations get wiped out by war and famine. What he doesn't say is that the war and famine were caused by a comet and meteorite impacts.

Jeffery Keown said...

There is no controversy where evolution is concerned.

OilIsMastery said...


There is plenty of controversy if you look for it.

For example, plate tectonics and subduction hypothesis say evolution is impossible:

"Biogeographic arguments for a closed Pacific (just like biogeographic arguments for a closed Atlantic and closed Indian) are based on evolutionary theory. Specifically, according to the theory of evolution, you can't have a host of closely-related, poor dispersing taxa suddenly appearing on opposite sides of an ocean -- when it is highly improbable for any of the ancestral taxa to cross oceans. So according to the referenced paper above, unless plate tectonic theorists want to rely on divine intervention, a slew of creation stories or a myriad of impossible trans-oceanic crossings of terrestrial taxa, their paleomaps are wrong. Panthalassa could not have existed between all of the hundred plus referenced taxa, which is to say, it didn't exist." -- Dennis D. McCarthy, geoscientist, October 2003

Jeffery Keown said...

I do not think a few oddly-placed taxa renders evolution a creationist fantasy. Again, any controversy related to evolution is the work of fringe theorists, creationists and stealth creationists such as the intelligent design movement.

Where can I get this list of oddly distributed taxa?

I'll go looking for it, but if you have a handy reference, I'd love to se it.

OilIsMastery said...


"I do not think a few oddly-placed taxa renders evolution a creationist fantasy."

Nor do I. Rather, it is the great number of poorly dispersing disjunct sister taxa that renders plate tectonics a fantasy.

"Again, any controversy related to evolution is the work of fringe theorists, creationists and stealth creationists"

I agree with your analysis of plate tectonics.

"Where can I get this list of oddly distributed taxa?"

You can find the list on the sidebar at left. But I'll provide the links here since you're not interested in the sidebar:

McCarthy, D.D., The Transpacific Zipper Effect: Disjunct Sister Taxa and Matching Geological Outlines That Link the Pacific Margins, Journal of Biogeography, Volume 30, Issue 10, Pages 1545-1561, 2003

McCarthy, D.D., Biogeographical and Geological Evidence for a Smaller, Completely-Enclosed Pacific Basin in the Late Cretaceous, Journal of Biogeography, Volume 32, Issue 12, Pages 2161 - 2177, 2005

McCarthy, D.D., Biogeography and Scientific Revolutions, The Systematist, Number 25, Pages 3-12, 2005

Tom Marking said...

@OIM "I wanted to include it because he says Homer is recent"

What is the exact quotation from Aristotle that says that Homer was recent? According to the Greek historian Herodotus who composed his famous book in c. 440 BCE, Homer lived about 400 years earlier than he did.

"But whence each of the gods came to be, or whether all had always been, and how they appeared in form, they did not know until yesterday or the day before, so to speak; for I suppose Hesiod and Homer flourished not more than four hundred years earlier than I; and these are the ones who taught the Greeks the descent of the gods, and gave the gods their names, and determined their spheres and functions, and described their outward forms."