Monday, February 28, 2011

Imhotep = Joseph

Interpreter of Dreams

"And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more." -- Genesis 37:5

"And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words." -- Genesis 37:8

"And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me." -- Genesis 37:9

"Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams." -- Genesis 37:20

"And it came to pass in the morning that his [Pharaoh Djoser's] spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh." -- Genesis 41:8

"And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret." -- Genesis 41:12

"And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it." -- Genesis 41:15

"And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." -- Genesis 41:16

7 Year Famine/Djoser Famine Stela

"And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine." -- Genesis 41:25-36


"And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:" -- Genesis 41:39


"Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt." -- Genesis 41:40-45

"And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth." -- Genesis 42:6

"Then Judah came near unto him, and said: 'Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant; for thou art even as Pharaoh." -- Genesis 44:18

20% Taxation

"And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part, except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's." -- Genesis 47:26


"And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel." -- Genesis 50:2

Lived to Be 110

"So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt." -- Genesis 50:26

I m hotep i.e. the voice of I am

"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." -- Exodus 3:14

"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." -- John 8:58

430 Years Between Djoser and Pepi II Neferkare

"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years." -- Exodus 12:40

"And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt." -- Exodus 12:41

Missing Mummy

"And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you." -- Exodus 13:19

Lord of his House

"He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:
To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom." -- Psalm 105:17-22

"... the Joseph story originated about the seventeenth [sic] century BC...." -- Solomon A. Birnbaum, historian, The Leviticus Fragments From the Cave, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Number 118, Pages 20-27, Apr 1950

Fielding J.W., The Status of Arthrodesis of the Cervical Spine, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery of America, Number 70, Pages 1571-1574, 1988
Probably the first reference to a surgical procedure performed on the cervical spine is found in the Edwin Smith Papyrus, which dates to the reign of Pharaoh Djoser (2686 to 2613 B.C.), the second Pharaoh of the Third Dynasty. This amazing document, more than 4,000 years old, currently the property of the New York Academy of Medicine, is attributed to Imhotep Vizer. With incredible accuracy, considering the time when the document was written. The author identified cervical sprains, vertebral displacements and dislocations, and even levels of damage to the spinal cord.
Ramsey, C.B., et al., Radiocarbon-Based Chronology for Dynastic Egypt, Science, Volume 328, Number 5985, Pages 1554-1557, Jun 2010
Our radiocarbon data indicate that the New Kingdom started between 1570 and 1544 B.C.E., and the reign of Djoser in the Old Kingdom started between 2691 and 2625 B.C.E.; both cases are earlier than some previous historical estimates.

Will Durant: On the Origin of Egyptian Science

"The scholars of Egypt were mostly priests.... According to their own legends the sciences had been invented some 18,000 B.C. by Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, during his thousand-year-long reign on earth; and the most ancient books on each science were among the twenty thousand volumes composed by this learned deity. So we are assured by Iamblichus (ca. 300 A.D.). Manetho, the Egyptian historian (ca. 300 B.C.), would have considered this estimate unjust to the god; the proper number of Thoth's works, in his reckoning was 36,000. The Greeks celebrated Thoth under the name of Hermes Trismegistus -- Hermes (Mercury) the Thrice-Great. Our knowledge does not permit us to improve substantially upon the theory of the origins of science in Egypt." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

"At the very outset of recorded Egyptian history we find mathematics highly developed; the design and construction of the Pyramids involved a precision measurement impossible without considerable mathematical lore." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

"Nearly all the ancients agreed in ascribing the invention of this science [geometry] to the Egyptians." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

"The oldest mathematical treatise known is the Ahmes Papyrus, dating back to 2000-1700 B.C.; but this in turn refers to mathematical writings five hundred years more ancient than itself." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

"Of Egyptian physics and chemistry we know nothing, and almost as little of Egyptian astronomy. ... Perhaps they knew more than they cared to publish ... the priests regarded their astronomical studies as esoteric and mysterious science, which they were reluctant to disclose to the common world. For century after century they kept track of the position and movements of the planets, until their record stretched back for thousands of years." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

"We cannot understand the Egyptian -- or man -- until we study his gods." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Admonitions of Khekheperre-Sonbu

Khekheperre-Sonbu, priest of Heliopolis: The Admonitions of Khekheperre-Sonbu.
Would that I had unknown utterances, sayings that are unfamiliar, even new speech that has not occurred (before), free from repetitions, not the utterance of what has [long?] passed, which the ancestors spake.
Khekheperre-Sonbu lived during the reign of Pharaoh Sunusret II, the fourth Pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty (Middle Kingdom) therefore his dates are unknown. Wikipedia places him in the 19th century B.C. however Will Durant places him in the 22nd century B.C. Thus as Plutarch says, chronology in general is uncertain.

Geomythologists Confirm Truth of Homer

"... while Meriones gave Odysseus a bow and a quiver
and a sword; and he too put over his head a helmet
fashioned of leather; on the inside the cap was cross-strung firmly
with thongs of leather, and on the outer side the white teeth
of a tusk-shining boar were close sewn one after another
with craftsmanship and skill; and a felt was set in the centre."
-- Homer, poet, Iliad, Book X, 260-255, 8th century B.C.

Geologists Investigate Trojan Battlefield, BBC, Feb 2003
Homer's description of the Trojan battlefield in his classic poem the Iliad is accurate, say scientists. ...

The researchers drilled sediments in northwest Turkey to map how the coastline would have looked around the city more than 2,000 years ago when Homer constructed his epic account of the war.

When they compared their findings with his descriptions of the Trojan plain, they found a match.

Speaking to BBC World Service programme Science In Action, John Luce from Trinity College Dublin, explained the study's significance.

"It has to be taken seriously that the Homeric picture of the fighting at Troy is in close accord with the geological findings," he said. ...

Reinterpreting the written material led Dr Luce to "swing the axis of fighting round to a different viewpoint west of Troy".

In so doing, Dr Luce and colleagues have shown that Schliemann's location for Troy does agree with Homer's accounts of the battle.

This research is described in the journal Geology.
Also see: Early Helmets, Middle Helmets, and Late Helmets.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Danaans

"... let your arrows make the Danaans pay for my tears shed." -- Homer, poet, Iliad, Book I, 42, 8th century B.C.

"Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches." -- Judges 5:17

"... Cadmus, was about sixteen hundred years before my time" -- Herodotus, historian, The History, Book II, 145, 440 B.C.

"Now the Gephyraean clan, of which the slayers of Hipparchus were members, claim to have come at first from Eretria, but my own enquiry shows that they were among the Phoenicians who came with Cadmus to the country now called Boeotia. In that country the lands of Tanagra were allotted to them, and this is where they settled. The Cadmeans had first been expelled from there by the Argives, and these Gephyraeans were forced to go to Athens after being expelled in turn by the Boeotians. The Athenians received them as citizens of their own on set terms, debarring them from many practices not deserving of mention here." -- Herodotus, historian, The History, Book V, 57, 440 B.C.

"These Phoenicians who came with Cadmus and of whom the Gephyraeans were a part brought with them to Hellas, among many other kinds of learning, the alphabet, which had been unknown before this, I think, to the Greeks. As time went on the sound and the form of the letters were changed. At this time the Greeks who were settled around them were for the most part Ionians, and after being taught the letters by the Phoenicians, they used them with a few changes of form. In so doing, they gave to these characters the name of Phoenician, as was quite fair seeing that the Phoenicians had brought them into Greece." -- Herodotus, historian, The History, Book V, 58, 440 B.C.

"It is found in writing, that the Lacedemonians and Jews are brethren, and that they are of the stock of Abraham:" -- 1 Maccabees 12:21

"... Cadmus brought letters out of Phoenicia, and was the first who taught the Grecians to pronounce them, and gave them their several names, and formed their distinct characters: hence these letters are all generally called Phoenician letters, because they were brought over out of Phoenicia into Greece: but afterwards they were called Pelasgian characters, because the Pelasgians were the first that understood them after they were brought over." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"... Danaus likewise took from thence another colony, and planted them in Argos, the most antient city almost of all Greece. And that the people of Colchos, in Pontus, and the Jews lying between Arabia and Syria, were colonies out of Egypt; and that therefore it is an antient custom among these nations to circumcise all their male children after the rites and customs received from the Egyptians." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"... it had an inscription upon it in Phoenecian letters, which were therefore called Phoenician, because, they say, they were first brought out of Phoenicia into Greece." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"But there are some who attribute the invention of letters to the Syrians [Jews], from whom the Phoenicians learned them, and communicated them to the Grecians when they came with Cadmus into Europe: whence the Grecians called them Phoenician letters." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"The Greek letters Mercury is said to have brought to Egypt, and from Egypt Cadmus took them to Greece." -- Gaius J. Hyginus, librarian, Fable 277, 1st century B.C.

"Minerva [Athena] first built a two-prowed ship for Danaus in which he fled from Aegyptus his brother." -- Gaius J. Hyginus, librarian, Fable 277, 1st century B.C.

"And Euripides too, in his Archelaus, says: 'Danaus, the father of fifty daughters, on coming into Argos, took up his abode in the city of Inachus, and throughout Greece he laid down a law that all people hitherto named Pelasgians were to be called Danaans.'" -- Strabo, geographer, The Geography, Book V, Chapter 2, 7

"This myth [of Danaus] records the arrival in Greece of Helladic colonists from Palestine, by way of Rhodes, and their introduction of agriculture to the Peloponnese" -- Robert Graves, poet, The Greek Myths, Volume 1, 1955

"Corinthian mythology has many close affinities with Palestinian." -- Robert Graves, poet, The Greek Myths, Volume 2, 1955

"In this instance, Herodotus seems correct in his general attribution." -- John W. humphrey, historian, Ancient Technology, 2006

"The Thebans honored him [Kadmos] as their founder, called the citadel the Kadmea, and were referred to as Kadmeans (Document 40). Thus it was that Kadmos and his Phoenician comrades introduced the Greeks of Thebes to their alphabetic script, while his brothers and the followers who accompanied them on the quest for Europa would found other eponymous places: Cilix established Cilicia, and Phoenix Phoenicia." -- John W. Humphrey, historian, Ancient Technology, 2006

"Some of the Phoenecian traders and settlers who brought the alphabet to Greece must have been from the tribe of Dan." -- Emmet J. Sweeney, historian, The Pyramid Age, 2007

"I would suggest therefore that the Cadmus mythus relates to a Phoenician settlement in Greece in one of the great population movements which followed the Israelite Exodus." -- Emmet J. Sweeney, historian, Gods, Heroes, and Tyrants: Greek Chronology In Chaos, 2009

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spartan Hebrew Relations

Menelaus of Sparta travelled to Phoenicia after the Trojan War.

"I [Menelaus] wandered to Cyprus and Phoenicia, and to the Egyptians,
and reached the Ethiopians, Sidonians, and Erembi [Arabs],
and Libya, where rams become horned suddenly,
for the sheep give birth three times in the course of a year.
There neither lord nor shepherd lacks any
cheese and meat, or sweet milk either,
but the sheep always produce ample milk for suckling."
-- Homer, poet, Odyssey, Book IV, 83-89, 8th century B.C.

"Hiram gave his daughter to Solomon about the time of the arrival of Menelaus in Phoenicia, after the capture of Troy, as is said by Menander of Pergamus, and Laetus in The Phoenicia. ... Solomon, in whose days occurred the arrival of Menelaus in Phoenicia, as was said above." -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, 2nd century

1 Maccabees 12:
1: Now when Jonathan saw that time served him, he chose certain men, and sent them to Rome, for to confirm and renew the friendship that they had with them.
2: He sent letters also to the Lacedemonians, and to other places, for the same purpose.
3: So they went unto Rome, and entered into the senate, and said, Jonathan the high priest, and the people of the Jews, sent us unto you, to the end ye should renew the friendship, which ye had with them, and league, as in former time.
4: Upon this the Romans gave them letters unto the governors of every place that they should bring them into the land of Judea peaceably.
5: And this is the copy of the letters which Jonathan wrote to the Lacedemonians:
6: Jonathan the high priest, and the elders of the nation, and the priests, and the other of the Jews, unto the Lacedemonians their brethren send greeting:
7: There were letters sent in times past unto Onias the high priest from Darius, who reigned then among you, to signify that ye are our brethren, as the copy here underwritten doth specify.
8: At which time Onias entreated the ambassador that was sent honourably, and received the letters, wherein declaration was made of the league and friendship.
9: Therefore we also, albeit we need none of these things, that we have the holy books of scripture in our hands to comfort us,
10: Have nevertheless attempted to send unto you for the renewing of brotherhood and friendship, lest we should become strangers unto you altogether: for there is a long time passed since ye sent unto us.
11: We therefore at all times without ceasing, both in our feasts, and other convenient days, do remember you in the sacrifices which we offer, and in our prayers, as reason is, and as it becometh us to think upon our brethren:
12: And we are right glad of your honour.
13: As for ourselves, we have had great troubles and wars on every side, forsomuch as the kings that are round about us have fought against us.
14: Howbeit we would not be troublesome unto you, nor to others of our confederates and friends, in these wars:
15: For we have help from heaven that succoureth us, so as we are delivered from our enemies, and our enemies are brought under foot.
16: For this cause we chose Numenius the son of Antiochus, and Antipater he son of Jason, and sent them unto the Romans, to renew the amity that we had with them, and the former league.
17: We commanded them also to go unto you, and to salute and to deliver you our letters concerning the renewing of our brotherhood.
18: Wherefore now ye shall do well to give us an answer thereto.
19: And this is the copy of the letters which Oniares sent.
20: Areus king of the Lacedemonians to Onias the high priest, greeting:
21: It is found in writing, that the Lacedemonians and Jews are brethren, and that they are of the stock of Abraham:
22: Now therefore, since this is come to our knowledge, ye shall do well to write unto us of your prosperity.
23: We do write back again to you, that your cattle and goods are our's, and our's are your's We do command therefore our ambassadors to make report unto you on this wise.
"And to all the countries and to Sampsames, and the Lacedemonians, and to Delus, and Myndus, and Sicyon, and Caria, and Samos, and Pamphylia, and Lycia, and Halicarnassus, and Rhodus, and Aradus, and Cos, and Side, and Aradus, and Gortyna, and Cnidus, and Cyprus, and Cyrene." -- 1 Maccabees 15:23

"Thus he [Jason] that had driven many out of their country perished in a strange land, retiring to the Lacedemonians, and thinking there to find succour by reason of his kindred:" -- 2 Maccabees 5:9

Ginsburg, M.S., Sparta and Judaea, Classical Philology, Volume 29, Number 2, Pages 117-122, Apr 1934

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Will Durant: On Atlantis

"We cannot entirely ignore the legends, current throughout history, of civilizations once great and cultured, destroyed by some catastrophe of nature or war, and leaving not a wrack behind...." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

"[Heinnrich] Schliemann, the resurrector of Troy, believed that Atlantis had served as a mediating link between the cultures of Europe and Yucatan, and that Egyptian civilization had been brought from Atlantis." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

"Possibly every discovery is a rediscovery." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

"Certainly it is probable, as Aristotle thought, that many civilizations came, made great inventions and luxuries, were destroyed, and lapsed from human memory. History, said Bacon, is the planks of a shipwreck; more of the past is lost than has been saved. We console ourselves with the thought that as the individual memory must forget the greater part of experience in order to be sane, so the race has preserved in its heritage only the most vivid and impressive -- or is it only the best-recorded?" -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

De Montaigne On Laertius

"Now those that write lives, by reason they insist more upon counsels than events, more upon what sallies from within, than upon what happens without, are the most proper for my reading; and, therefore, above all others, Plutarch is the man for me. I am very sorry we have not a dozen Laertii, or that he was not further extended; for I am equally curious to know the lives and fortunes of these great instructors of the world, as to know the diversities of their doctrines and opinions." -- Michel De Montaigne, author, Essays, Book II, Chapter X, Of Books, 1580

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ancient Flamethrowers

"The Boeotians presently sent for darters and slingers from [the towns on] the Melian gulf; and with these, and with two thousand men of arms of Corinth, and with the Peloponnesian garrison that was put out of Nisaea, and with the Megareans, all which arrived after the battle, they marched forthwith to Delium and assaulted the wall. And when they had attempted the same many other ways, at length they brought to it an engine, wherewith they also took it, made in this manner: Having slit in two a great mast, they made hollow both the sides, and curiously set them together again in the form of a pipe. At the end of it in chains they hung a cauldron; and into the cauldron from the end of the mast they conveyed a snout of iron, having with iron also armed a great part of the rest of the wood. They carried it to the wall, being far off, in carts, to that part where it was most made up with the matter of the vineyard and with wood. And when it was to, they applied a pair of great bellows to the end next themselves, and blew. The blast, passing narrowly through into the cauldron, in which were coals of fire, brimstone, and pitch, raised an exceeding great flame, and set the wall on fire, so that no man being able to stand any longer on it, but abandoning the same and betaking themselves to flight, the wall was by that means taken." -- Thucydides, historian, History of the Peloponnesian War, Book IV, Chapter 100, 431 B.C.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hebrew Influence on Greek Philosophy

"And Aristobulus, in his first book addressed to Philometor, writes in these words: 'And Plato followed the [Mosaic] laws given to us, and had manifestly studied all that is said in them.' And before Demetrius there had been translated by another, previous to the dominion of Alexander and of the Persians, the account of the departure of our countrymen the Hebrews from Egypt, and the fame of all that happened to them, and their taking possession of the land, and the account of the whole code of laws; so that it is perfectly clear that the above-mentioned philosopher derived a great deal from this source, for he was very learned, as also Pythagoras, who transferred many things from our books to his own system of doctrines. And Numenius, the Pythagorean philosopher, expressly writes: 'For what is Plato, but Moses speaking in Attic Greek?' This Moses was a theologian and prophet, and as some say, an interpreter of sacred laws. His family, his deeds, and life, are related by the Scriptures themselves, which are worthy of all credit...." -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XXII, 2nd century

"Thales was a Phoenician by birth, and was said to have consorted with the prophets of the Egyptians; as also Pythagoras did with the same persons, by whom he was circumcised...." -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XV, 2nd century

"Clearchus the Peripatetic says that he knew a Jew who associated with Aristotle." -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XV, 2nd century

"Of all these, by far the oldest is the Jewish race; and that their philosophy committed to writing has the precedence of philosophy among the Greeks, the Pythagorean Philo shows at large; and, besides him, Aristobulus the Peripatetic, and several others, not to waste time, in going over them by name. Very clearly the author Megasthenes, the contemporary of Seleucus Nicanor, writes as follows in the third of his books, On Indian Affairs: 'All that was said about nature by the ancients is said also by those who philosophise beyond Greece: some things by the Brahmins among the Indians, and others by those called Jews in Syria.'" -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XV, 2nd century

"... he [Pythagoras] sailed to Sidon, which he knew to be his native country, and because it was on his way to Egypt. In Phoenicia he conversed with the prophets who were the descendants of Moschus [Moses] the physiologist [natural philosopher], and with many others, as well as with the local hierephants. He was also initiated into all the mysteries of Byblus and Tyre, and in the sacred functions performed in many parts of Syria. He was led to all this not from any hankering after superstition as might easily be supposed, but rather from a desire of and love for contemplation, and from an anxiety to miss nothing of the mysteries of the divinities which deserved to be learned. After gaining all he could from the Phoenician mysteries, he found that they had originated from the sacred rites of Egypt, forming as it were an Egyptian colony. This led him to hope that in Egypt itself he might find monuments of erudition still more genuine, beautiful, and divine. Therefore following the advice of his teacher Thales, he left, as soon as possible, through the agency of some Egyptian sailors, who very opportunely happened to land on the Phoenician coast under Mount Carmel, in the temple on the peak of which Pythagoras for the most part dwelt in solitude." -- Iamblichus, philosopher, Life of Pythagoras, 3rd century

"Then Pythagoras visited the Egyptians, the Arabians, the Chaldeans and the Hebrews, from whom he acquired expertery in the interpretation of dreams, and he was the first to use frankincense in the worship of divinities." -- Porphyry, philosopher, Life of Pythagoras, 3rd century

Eusebius of Caesaria, theologian, Preparation for the Gospel, Book IX, Chapters V-VIII, 313:

[JOSEPHUS] 'BUT Clearchus the Peripatetic philosopher, in his first book Concerning Sleep, attributes to Aristotle the philosopher a statement such as follows concerning the Jews, writing word for word thus:

'But though it would be too long to tell the greater part, it will not be amiss to go through those of his statements which are alike marvellous and philosophical. Now, said he, understand clearly, Hyperochides, I shall seem to you to relate what is as marvellous as dreams. Then Hyperochides modestly replied, Yes, that is the very reason why we all desire to hear it.

'Well then, said Aristotle, according to the rule of the rhetoricians, let us first describe the man's origin, that we may not disobey the teachers of the narrative style.

'Tell it so, if you please, said Hyperochides.

'Well then, the man was by origin a Jew, from Coele-Syria. Now these are descendants of the philosophers of India; and philosophers, it is said, are called among the Indians Calani, but among the Syrians they are called Judaeans, having taken their name from the place. For the place which they inhabit is called Judaea: and the name of their city is very awkward, for they call it Hierusalem.

'This man then, who was hospitably entertained by many on his way down from the inland districts to the sea-coasts, was Greek not only in language but also in spirit. And as at that time we were dwelling in Asia, the man having landed in the same neighbourhood fell into conversation with us and some others of the studious sort, to make trial of their wisdom. And as he had lived in intimacy with many of the learned, he imparted somewhat more than he received.'

Such is the story of Clearchus.


THIS man is mentioned also by our Clement in his first Miscellany, in what he says as follows:

[CLEMENT] 'Clearchus the Peripatetic says that he knew a Jew who associated with Aristotle.'

And afterwards he adds:

'But Numa the king of the Romans, though he was a Pythagorean, received benefit from the teaching of Moses, and forbade the Romans to make an image of God in the shape of man or any animal. So in the first hundred and seventy years, though they built themselves temples, they made no image, neither in sculpture nor yet in painting.

'For Numa used to teach them in secret, that it was not possible for the Perfect Good to be reached by language, but only by the mind.'

Further than this, in what follows below, he speaks thus:

'But most plainly does Megasthenes, the historian who lived with Seleucus Nicator, write as follows in his third book On Indian Affairs.

'All that has been said about nature among the ancients is said also among the philosophers outside Greece, partly among the Indians by the Brachmans, and partly in Syria by those who are called Jews.'

Besides this Clement also mentions Aristobulus the Peripatetic and Numenius the Pythagorean, saying:

'Aristobulus, in his first book addressed to Philometor, writes in these words: Plato too has followed our legislation, and has evidently studied carefully the several precepts contained in it.

'And others before Demetrius, and prior to the supremacy of Alexander and of the Persians, have translated both the narrative of the Exodus of our fellow countrymen the Hebrews from Egypt, and the fame of all that happened to them, and their conquest of the land, and the exposition of the whole Law.

'So it is perfectly clear that the philosopher before-mentioned has borrowed much, for he is very learned; as also was Pythagoras, who transferred many of our precepts into his own system of doctrines.

'And Numenius, the Pythagorean philosopher, writes expressly: "For what is Plato, but Moses speaking in Attic Greek?" '

So far Clement.


ALSO from the Pythagorean philosopher himself, I mean Numenius, I will quote as follows from his first book On the Good:

[NUMENIUS] 8 'But when one has spoken upon this point, and sealed it by the testimonies of Plato, it will be necessary to go back and connect it with the precepts of Pythagoras, and to appeal to the nations of good repute, bringing forward their rites and doctrines, and their institutions which are formed in agreement with those of Plato, all that the Brachmans, and Jews, and Magi, and Egyptians arranged.'

So much then on these points.


ALSO in his third book the same author makes mention of Moses, speaking as follows:

'And next in order came Jannes and Jambres, Egyptian sacred scribes, men judged to have no superiors in the practice of magic, at the time when the Jews were being driven out of Egypt.

'So then these were the men chosen by the people of Egypt as fit to stand beside Musaeus, who led forth the Jews, a man who was most powerful in prayer to God; and of the plagues which Musaeus brought upon Egypt, these men showed themselves able to disperse the most violent.'

Now by these words Numenius bears witness both to the marvellous wonders performed by Moses, and to Moses himself as having been beloved of God.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pankration: The Devolution of Ultimate Fighting

McAllister, P., Manthropology, 2010

In 648 BCE a no-holds-barred combat sport event called Pankration "All Powerful" or "Anything Goes," was introduced to the Greek Olympic Games, eventually becoming so popular that it was turned into the games' finale. The Pankration was a brutal striking and grappling fight with no time limits, no weight divisions, and just two rules: no eye gouging and no biting (the Spartans, true to form, permitted even these). Everything else was allowed -- breaking limbs, strangulation, fish-hooking (inserting fingers into orifices and ripping), and the wrenching and breaking of fingers and toes. (A Greek vase dated to 520 BCE, for example, clearly shows one pankratiast kicking another in the testicles.) A careful reading of Greek literature shows that, as far as the Pankration was concerned, the "ultimate" tag was, in this case, completely justified: ancient pankratiasts really did often pay the ultimate price for entering the arena.

A volume of Olympian Odes by the sixth-century BCE Greek poet Pindar, for example, records that "very many [pankratiasts] died in the contests." A more specific reference is found in the later works of Philostratus, who records a letter from a trainer to his pankratiast pupil's mother, telling her that "many times [wrestlers and pankratiasts] endured to the death." Philo even cites the amazing tale of two pankratiasts who attacked each other so ferociously that both died simultaneously. This is possibly exaggeration, since Philo doesn't claim to have witnessed the fight himself, yet there is one undeniably genuine instance of a pankratiast dying just as he secured victory: the case of Arrichion, a three-time victor of the Olympic Pankration, who won his third crown by surviving strangulation just long enough to dislocate or break his opponents ankle (the sources here are unclear) but then died. Judges crowned his corpse the winner. Given that all these references were to deaths that took place at the actual Olympics (which, though famous, were just one of a multitude of Greek games at which the Pankration was fought), it seems likely that the mortality rate in ancient Greek ultimate fighting was very high indeed.

Perhaps the final proof of its lethality, though, is the feared pankriatist Dioxippus, who in 336 BCE won by default since nobody dared even to get in the arena with him. Clearly, would-be competitors understood that losing to this champion meant not just defeat but probably death.

Incredibly, however, Pankration was not even the most lethal ancient Greek Olympic combat sport. That honor, as in modern times, goes to boxing. One competitor in both the Pankration and the boxing, Kleitomachos of Thebes, for example, asked Olympic officials to hold the boxing after the Pankration, since he had a greater chance of being wounded or killed in the former than in the latter. Once again, the ancient Greek literature confirms the concerns were only too well founded. Four definite references to deaths in Greek athletic boxing have come down to us (the true number was certainly many more), some of them stunningly gruesome. One work by Greek writer and geographer Pausanias, for instance, describes the victory (but then disqualification) in the 496 or 492 BCE Olympic Games of the boxer Cleomedes, who killed his opponent, Iccus, by driving his hand into his stomach and disemboweling him.

... But perhaps the final proof of Cleomedes' gory feat is the fact that the very same thing happened again a century later (this time at the Nemean Games) when a boxer called Damoxenus killed his opponent, Creugas, in a penalty punchoff after a grueling, day-long struggle, with another disemboweling spearhand to the gut.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Aristotle's Law of Inertia?

"... a thing will either be at rest or must be moved ad infinitum, unless something more powerful get in its way." -- Aristotle, philosopher, Physics, Book IV, 350 B.C.

Despite the actual historical record, the Neo-Darwinist Carl E. Sagan believed that Sir Isaac Newton "discovered" the law of inertia in 1663.

"Newton discovered the law of inertia, the tendency of a moving object to continue moving in a straight line unless something influences it and moves it out of it's path." -- Carl E. Sagan, professor, Cosmos, 1980

However Isaac Newton himself knew this was false.

"All those ancients knew the first law [of motion] who attributed to atoms in an infinite vacuum a motion which was rectilinear, extremely swift and perpetual because of the lack of resistance... Aristotle was of the same mind, since he expresses his opinion thus...[in Physics 4.8.215a19-22], speaking of motion in the void [in which bodies have no gravity and] where there is no impediment he writes: 'Why a body once moved should come to rest anywhere no one can say. For why should it rest here rather than there ? Hence either it will not be moved, or it must be moved indefinitely, unless something stronger impedes it.'" -- Isaac Newton, alchemist/mathematician, Unpublished Scientific Papers of Isaac Newton, 1962

"Democritus' atomism in principle is built only on quantities, namely the number and size of the atoms and their velocities. Here Democritus was far ahead of his time in that he took, preceding Galileo in assuming something like a law of inertia, each atom's velocity to be constant, unless a collision with another atom prevents it's free motion. For Democritus, the cosmos is a world of quantities uniquely given which continue their motion according to their own inertia until they are perturbed by other particles of the same nature." -- Hans-Jürgen Treder, physicist, October 1987

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Magnetic Jellyfish

NASA IBEx: Catching Space Weather in the Act.

Close to the globe, Earth's magnetic field wraps around the planet like a gigantic spherical web, curving in to touch Earth at the poles. But this isn't true as you get further from the planet. As you move to the high altitudes where satellites fly, nothing about that field is so simple. Instead, the large region enclosed by Earth's magnetic field, known as the magnetosphere, looks like a long, sideways jellyfish with its round bulb facing the sun and a long tail extending away from the sun.

In the center of that magnetic tail lies the plasma sheet. Here, strange things can happen. Magnetic field lines pull apart and come back together, creating explosions when they release energy. Disconnected bits of the tail called "plasmoids" get ejected into space at two million miles per hour. And legions of charged particles flow back toward Earth.

Such space weather events cause auroras and, when very strong, can produce radiation events that could cause our satellites to fail. But until now no one has been able to take pictures of these fascinating processes in the plasma sheet.

"Earth’s magnetic tail and its charged particles are invisible to conventional cameras that detect light,” says Jim Slavin, a magnetotail researcher who is the Director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Events going on there have only been inferred based on other kinds of measurements."

Now, special cameras aboard the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft have snapped the first shots of this complex space environment. Instead of recording light, these two large single-pixel cameras detect energetic neutral atoms. Such fast-moving atoms are formed whenever atoms in the furthest reaches of Earth's atmosphere collide with charged particles and get sent speeding off in a new direction. Called Energetic Neutral Atom or ENA imaging, the technique captured unprecedented images of the plasma sheet.

"The image alone is remarkable and would have made a great paper in and of itself because it's the first time we've imaged these important regions of the magnetosphere," says Dr. David McComas, principal investigator of the IBEX mission and assistant vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. The results appeared online in the Journal of Geophysical Research on Feb. 16, 2011.

But when they looked closely, the group realized they didn't only have a picture of a quiescent plasma sheet. The various images appear to show a piece of the plasma sheet being bitten off and ejected down the tail. They think they've caught a plasmoid in the moment it was being formed. If they're correct, this would be the first time such an event was directly seen.

"Imagine the magnetosphere as one of those balloons that people make animals out of. If you take your hands and squeeze the balloon, the pressure forces the air into another segment of the balloon," says McComas. "Similarly, the solar wind at times increases the pressure around the magnetosphere, resulting in a portion of the plasma sheet being pinched away from a larger mass and forced down the magnetotail."

Because researchers believe this phenomenon generally occurs deeper in the magnetotail, the IBEX team is considering other explanations for the event, as well. One possibility is that the plasma sheet is being squeezed by the solar wind.

While not specifically designed to observe the magnetosphere, IBEX's vantage point in space provides twice-yearly (spring and fall) seasons for viewing from outside the magnetosphere. Since its October 2008 launch, the IBEX science mission has flourished into multiple other research studies as well. In addition to supporting magnetospheric science, the spacecraft has also directly collected hydrogen and oxygen from the interstellar medium for the first time and produced the first ENA images of the outer edges of the bubble surrounding the Sun, called the heliosphere.

"Based upon the IBEX mission and its revolutionary ENA camera technology," says Slavin, "future NASA science missions may be able to make high definition videos of the development of space weather systems around the Earth to advance our scientific understanding of these phenomena and, eventually, enable space weather prediction like Earth weather prediction."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Yet Another Idiotic Sentence By Carl Sagan

I realize it's childsplay and beating a dead horse to pick on late professor Carl Sagan, especially since most of his idiotic statements were catalogued by historian Charles Ginenthal in his book Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky. However this one is pretty funny:

"Science fiction was a new idea at the time of the Thirty Years War...." -- Carl E. Sagan, pseudoscientist, Cosmos, 1980

Let us analyze this Darwinist claim that has absolutely no basis in historical reality.

The Thirty Years War began in 1618 with the Defenestration of Prague and ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia.

So according to Carl Sagan, the Greco-Roman author Lucian who wrote science fiction in ancient times was actually writing science nonfiction?

"Once upon a time I gathered together the poorest people in my kingdom and undertook to plant a colony on the Morning Star [Venus], which was empty and uninhabited. Phaethon out of jealousy thwarted the colonisation, meeting us half-way at the head of his Ant Dragoons. At that time we were beaten, for we were not a match for them in strength, and we retreated: now, however, I desire to make war again and plant the colony." -- Lucian, author, True History, 2nd century

And again, if science fiction evolved in the 17th century, does that mean the Mahabharata is science fact?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Miraculous Spontaneous Evolution of Science

"As it turned out, Ionia was the place where science was born. Between 600 and 400 B.C., this great revolution in human thought began. The key to the revolution was the hand." -- Carl E. Sagan, pseudoscientist, Cosmos, 1980

Prior to 600 B.C. no human being had a hand?

After all, Carl Sagan should know since he was there.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Asimov's Alternate History

"... partly because his [Democritus's] views were unpopular, the books were not copied many times." -- Isaac Asimov, author, Atom, 1992

But in fact, Democritus's views were popular and the books copied so many times that it was the cause of complaint.

"And Aristoxenus, in his Historic Commentaries, says that Plato wished to burn all the writings of Democritus that he was able to collect; but that Amyclas and Cleinias, the Pythagoreans, prevented him, as it would do no good; for that copies of his books were already in many hands. And it is plain that that was the case; for Plato, who mentions nearly all the ancient philosophers, nowhere speaks of Democritus; not even in those passages where he has occasion to contradict his theories, evidently, because he said that if he did, he would be showing his disagreement with the best of all philosophers...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Lives and Opinions of the Preeminent Philosophers, Life of Democritus, 3rd century

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Research Suggests No Evolution

"It is somewhat disquieting to speculate on the fact that even 50,000 years ago, in the early Stone Age, the human family contained individuals with innate capacities for reasoning and self-expression approaching those of a Shakespeare, a Beethoven or an Einstein." -- Frederick Seitz, physicist, President of the National Academy of Sciences, The Scientist, 1962

"For the past 150 years, early humans have been regarded as inferior to us, unable to create art, think abstractly, or even to speak. In these two papers (Part I being The Graphics of Bilzingsleben), I demonstrate that this picture is not at all accurate and that early peoples such as Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, Neaderthals, and Homo heidelbergensis were just as intelligent as we are in today's modern world. The evidence provided in the two papers shows beyond any reasonable doubt that early people had highly-developed language and even mathematical ability 400,000 years ago." -- John Felix, archaeologist, 2006

Science Daily: Earliest Humans Not So Different from Us, Research Suggests.
ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2011) — That human evolution follows a progressive trajectory is one of the most deeply-entrenched assumptions about our species. This assumption is often expressed in popular media by showing cavemen speaking in grunts and monosyllables (the Geico Cavemen being a notable exception). But is this assumption correct? Were the earliest humans significantly different from us?

In a paper published in the latest issue of Current Anthropology, archaeologist John Shea (Stony Brook University) shows they were not.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Undiscovered Planet Lurking in Our Own Solar System?

The Independent: Up Telescope! Search Begins for Giant New Planet.

If you grew up thinking there were nine planets and were shocked when Pluto was demoted five years ago, get ready for another surprise. There may be nine after all, and Jupiter may not be the largest.

The hunt is on for a gas giant up to four times the mass of Jupiter thought to be lurking in the outer Oort Cloud, the most remote region of the solar system. The orbit of Tyche (pronounced ty-kee), would be 15,000 times farther from the Sun than the Earth's, and 375 times farther than Pluto's, which is why it hasn't been seen so far.

But scientists now believe the proof of its existence has already been gathered by a Nasa space telescope, Wise, and is just waiting to be analysed.

The first tranche of data is to be released in April, and astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette think it will reveal Tyche within two years. "If it does, John and I will be doing cartwheels," Professor Whitmire said. "And that's not easy at our age."

Once Tyche has been located, other telescopes could be pointed at it to confirm the discovery.

Whether it would become the new ninth planet would be decided by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The main argument against is that Tyche probably formed around another star and was later captured by the Sun's gravitational field. The IAU may choose to create a whole new category for Tyche, Professor Matese said.

The IAU would also have the final say about the gas giant's name. To the Greeks, Tyche was the goddess responsible for the destiny of cities. Her name was provisionally chosen in reference to an earlier hypothesis, now largely abandoned, that the Sun might be part of a binary star system with a dim companion, tentatively called Nemesis, that was thought responsible for mass extinctions on Earth. In myth, Tyche was the good sister of Nemesis.

Tyche will almost certainly be made up mostly of hydrogen and helium and will probably have an atmosphere much like Jupiter's, with colourful spots and bands and clouds, Professor Whitmire said. "You'd also expect it to have moons. All the outer planets have them," he added.

What will make it stand out in the Wise data is its temperature, predicted to be around -73C, four or five times warmer than Pluto. "The heat is left over from its formation," Professor Whitmire said. "It takes an object this size a long time to cool off."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What Democritus Saw and You Can Too

Democritean pedesis (from Greek: πήδησις "leaping") is the assumably random movement of particles suspended in a fluid (i.e. a liquid such as water or a gas such as air) or the mathematical model used to describe such random movements, often called a particle theory.

"... his [Democritus's] ... atoms are infinite in number ... and [he] compares them to the motes of air which we see in shafts of light coming through windows ...." -- Aristotle, philosopher, On the Soul, Book I, 350 B.C.

Lucretius described Democritean pedesis in his scientific poem On the Nature of Things written in 50 B.C.

"And of this fact (as I record it here)
An image, a type goes on before our eyes
Present each moment; for behold whenever
The sun's light and the rays, let in, pour down
Across dark halls of houses: thou wilt see
The many mites in many a manner mixed
Amid a void in the very light of the rays,
And battling on, as in eternal strife,
And in battalions contending without halt,
In meetings, partings, harried up and down.
From this thou mayest conjecture of what sort
The ceaseless tossing of primordial seeds
Amid the mightier void- at least so far
As small affair can for a vaster serve,
And by example put thee on the spoor
Of knowledge. For this reason too 'tis fit
Thou turn thy mind the more unto these bodies
Which here are witnessed tumbling in the light:
Namely, because such tumblings are a sign
That motions also of the primal stuff
Secret and viewless lurk beneath, behind.
For thou wilt mark here many a speck, impelled
By viewless blows, to change its little course,
And beaten backwards to return again,
Hither and thither in all directions round."
-- T. Lucretius Carus, philosopher poet, On The Nature of Things, Book II, 50 B.C.

In Democritus's lost botanical work titled Causes Affecting Seeds, and Plants, and Fruits, Democritus described pedesis observed under the microscope.

"It would surely be absurd to imagine that the men who could make these observations had not the curiosity or the ability to make many others of which the memory is lost. Indeed, the idea that the Greeks were not observers is ludicrously wrong, as is proved by the anatomical accuracy of their sculpture, which bears witness to trained habits of observation, while the Hippokratean corpus contains models of scientific observation at its best. We know, then, that the Greeks could observe well, and we know that they were curious about the world. Is it conceivable that they did not use their powers of observation to gratify that curiosity? It is true that they had not our instruments of precision; but a great deal can be discovered by the help of very simple apparatus." -- John Burnet, classicist, Early Greek Philosophy, 1892

"Democritus probably deduced the large size of the saline atom from observing that when saline water is filtered the salt is left behind on the surface." -- J.B. McDiarmid, philologist, Theophrastus De Sensibus 66: Democritus' Explanation of Salinity, The American Journal of Philology, Volume 80, Number 1, Pages 56-66, 1959

Ford, B.J., Brownian Movement in Clarkia Pollen: A Reprise of the First [sic] Observations, The Microscope, Volume 40, Number 4, Pages 235-241, 1992

Pearle, P., et al., What Brown Saw and You Can Too, American Journal of Physics, Volume 78, Issue 12, Page 1278, Dec 2010

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Does Atom Mean Uncut or Uncuttable?

Uncut and uncuttable have different meanings.

I say atom means not cut or uncut.

"At least those atoms whence derives their power
To throw forth fire and send out light from under
To shoot the sparks and scatter embers wide."
-- T. Lucretius Carus, philosopher poet, On the Nature of Things, Book II, 50 B.C.

To Democritus, the polymath, all magnitudes were infinitely divisible.

"... it is highly unscientific to believe that there is an indivisible magnitude. Epicurus would surely never have held that view had he chosen to learn geometry from his friend Polyaenus rather than make Polyaenus himself unlearn it. Democritus thought the sun was of great size, as befits a man of education, well-trained in geometry. Epicurus thought that it was maybe a foot across. He took the view that it was more or less as big as it looked. Thus when he changes Democritus he makes things worse; when he follows Democritus there is nothing original, as is the case with atoms ...." -- Marcus T. Cicero, philosopher, On Moral Ends, Book I, 1st century B.C.

"... divisibility comes about because of the void in compound bodies...." -- Simplicius, philosopher, On the Heavens, 6th century

"The difference between the two men, Democritus and Epicurus, was that Democritus was still modestly aware that he knew nothing, while Epicurus was very sure that he knew very little short of everything." -- Erwin Schrödinger, physicist, Nature and the Greeks, 1954

"Democritus was intensely interested in geometry, not as a mere enthusiast like Plato; he was a geometer of distinction." -- Erwin Schrodinger, physicist, Nature and the Greeks, 1954

"[Thomas] Heath esteems him [Democritus] highly as a mathematician." -- Bertrand Russell, philosopher, A History of Western Philosophy, 1972

"Their [Leucippus and Democritus's] point of view was remarkably like that of modern science, and avoided most of the faults to which Greek speculation was prone. They believed that everything is composed of atoms, which are physically, but not geometrically, indivisible; that between the atoms there is empty space;" -- Bertrand Russell, philosopher, A History of Western Philosophy, 1972

"Democritus invented the word atom...." -- Carl Sagan, professor, Cosmos, 1980

"He [Democritus] was knocking at the door of differential and integral calculus, that fundamental tool for understanding the world that was not, so far as we know from written records, in fact discovered until the time of Isaac Newton. Perhaps if Democritus' work had not been almost completely destroyed, there would have been calculus by the time of Christ." -- Carl Sagan, professor, Cosmos, 1980

"Suppose the following question is put: in what sense did Democritus hold the atom to be indivisible?" -- Stephen Makin, philosopher, How Can We Find Out What Ancient Philosophers Said?, Phronesis, Volume 33, Number 2, Pages 121-132, 1988

"... Democritus seems to have been fully involved in the mathematics of his day and to have been aware of the discussion of infinite divisibility and points with no magnitude, found, for example, in the paradoxes of Zeno. It seems unlikely that such a man would cheerfully hold that his atoms could have shape without having parts and without having magnitude. The different shapes of atoms was a major part of his physical theory, which makes it difficult to see how he could have held that they were partless and thus mathematically indivisible." -- Raymond Godfrey, philosopher, Democritus and the Impossibility of Collision, Philosophy, Volume 65, Number 252, Pages 212-217, 1990

"It is interesting that this contradiction has been exactly predicted by Kant's (1781, 1783) antinomy, namely, Democritus' atom is both indivisible and divisible. Therefore, the atom is a Kantian idea." -- Uri Fidelman, cognitive neuropsychologist, Cognitive and Neuropsychological Basis for Quantum Mechanics: Part II. Quantum-Mechanical Behaviour of Macroscopic Object, Kybernetes, Volume 33, Issue 9/10, Pages 1463-1471, 2004

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Electromagnetic Gravity of Lucretius

"Athwart the rain thou seest the lightning fly;
Now here, now there, bursting from out the clouds,
The fires dash zig-zag- and that flaming power
Falls likewise down to earth.
In these affairs
We wish thee also well aware of this:
The atoms, as their own weight bears them down
Plumb through the void...."
-- T. Lucretius Carus, philosopher poet, On the Nature of Things, Book II, 50 B.C.

Lucretius connected electricity and gravity in 50 B.C.

"One copy of this poem survived, and when printing was invented [sic] in the fifteenth century, it was one of the first ancient classics to be printed." -- Isaac Asimov, author, Understanding Physics, 1966

"Even so, one copy (only one!) survived through the Middle Ages and was discovered in 1417. It was recopied and then, half a century later, when printing came into use, Lucretius's poem was one of the first to be printed." -- Isaac Asimov, author, Atom, 1992

"When Lucretius, two hundred years later, turned the philosophy of Epicurus into poetry, he added, so far as can be judged, nothing theoretical to the master's teaching." -- Bertrand Russell, philosopher, A History of Western Philosophy, 1972

Since Epicurus got his science from Democritus the polymath, it follows that likewise Democritus made this connection between electricity and gravity.

"Epicurus too, I consider, in physics at least, a mere pupil of Democritus. He makes a few changes, or many if you wish. But on the majority of points, and certainly on the most important ones, he does not innovate. The same goes for the Stoics, who fail to acknowledge the extent of their debt to the real pioneers." -- Marcus T. Cicero, philosopher, On Moral Ends, Book IV, 1st century B.C.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Cosmology of Leucippus

Some notes on Leucippus.

1) Leucippus said we are born star dust and we return to star dust.

"He also says that the elements, and the worlds which are derived from them, are infinite, and are dissolved again into them...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Life of Leucippus, 3rd century

2) Leucippus said that galaxies are vortices.

"...that the worlds are produced in this manner: That many bodies, of various kinds and shapes, are borne by amputation from the infinite, into a vast vacuum; and then, they being collected together, produce one vortex; according to which they, dashing against one another, and whirling about in every direction, are separated in such a way that like attaches itself to like." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Life of Leucippus, 3rd century

3) Leucippus was aware of accretion by gravity.

"On the other side, there is produced another enveloping membrane, which increases incessantly by the accretion of exterior bodies; and which, as it is itself animated by a circular movement, drags with it, and adds to itself, everything it meets with; some of these bodies thus enveloped re-unite again and form compounds, which are at first moist and clayey, but soon becoming dry, and being drawn on in the universal movement of the circular vortex, they catch fire, and constitute the substance of the stars." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Life of Leucippus, 3rd century

4) Leucippus had a stellar theory that sounds identical to our modern Electric Universe Theory in the 21st century.

"[Leucippus said] All the stars are set on fire by the rapidity of their own motion; and the sun is set on fire by the stars...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Life of Leucippus, 3rd century

5) Leucippus was an Expanding Earth Theorist. Does this mean Leucippus had also read the Zend-Avesta prior to Democritus's instruction by Ostanes?

"Leucippus admits also, that the production of worlds, their increase, and their diminution, depends on a certain necessity, the character of which he does not precisely explain." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Life of Leucippus, 3rd century

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Atomism: Ancient & Modern

"Matter is constituted of particles, separated by comparatively large distances; it is embedded in empty space. This notion goes back to Leucippus and Democritus, who lived in Abdera in the fifth century B.C. This conception of particles and empty space is retained today ... and not only that, there is complete historical continuity." -- Erwin Schrödinger, physicist, Science and Humanism, 1951

"Is the ancient atomic theory, which is attached to the names of Leucippus and Democritus (born around 460 B.C.), the true forerunner of the modern one? This question has often been asked and very different opinions about it are on record. Gomperz, Cournot, Bertrand Russell, J. Burnet say: Yes." -- Erwin Schrödinger, physicist, Nature and the Greeks, 1954

"The difference between the two men, Democritus and Epicurus, was that Democritus was still modestly aware that he knew nothing, while Epicurus was very sure that he knew very little short of everything." -- Erwin Schrödinger, physicist, Nature and the Greeks, 1954

"... after Democritus the colours of physics were flown by philosophers who had no real interest in science ...." -- Erwin Schrödinger, physicist, Nature and the Greeks, 1954

"The question as to the origin of ancient atomism and to its connexion with modern theory is of much more than purely historical interest." -- Erwin Schrödinger, physicist, Nature and the Greeks, 1954

"We are facing here one of the most fascinating cases in the history of ideas. The astonishing point is this. From the lives and writings of Gassendi and Descartes, who introduced atomism into modern science, we know as an actual historical fact that, in doing so, they were fully aware of taking up the theory of the ancient philosophers whose scripts they had diligently studied. Furthermore, and more importantly, all the basic features of the ancient theory have survived in the modern one up to this day, greatly enhanced and widely elaborated but unchanged....." -- Erwin Schrödinger, physicist, Nature and the Greeks, 1954

"The connexions between Democritus and Newton are evident; and it would be absurd to deny the link between ancient and modern atomism; conceptually, there are narrow ties; historically, an unbroken (if curiously circuitous) line reaches from Leucippus to Rutherford." -- Jonathan Barnes, philosopher, The Presocratic Philosophers, 1982

"The revival of Democritus was what gave a thinker like Gassendi (who, unlike Galileo or Descartes, was no scientific inventor) such an important place in the theoretical grounding of modern science." -- José G. Merquior, philosopher, Foucault, 1987

"Concerning Schrödinger's question: is Democritus or Planck the founder of quantum theory?" -- Hans-Jürgen Treder, physicist, October 1987

"Democritus' atomism in principle is built only on quantities, namely the number and size of the atoms and their velocities. Here Democritus was far ahead of his time in that he took, preceding Galileo in assuming something like a law of inertia, each atom's velocity to be constant, unless a collision with another atom prevents it's free motion. For Democritus, the cosmos is a world of quantities uniquely given which continue their motion according to their own inertia until they are perturbed by other particles of the same nature." -- Hans-Jürgen Treder, physicist, October 1987

"Democritus's notion is compatible with our present belief." -- Leon M. Lederman, physicist, The God Particle, 2006

"... Democritus, held that matter was inherently grainy and that everything was made up of large numbers of various different kinds of atoms. (The word atom means 'indivisible' in Greek.) We now know that this is true -- at least in our environment, and in the present state of our universe." -- Stephen W. Hawking, mathematician, A Briefer History of Time, 2008

Democritus and the Scientific Method

"Democritus, however, does seem not only to have thought carefully about all the problems, but also to be distinguished from the outset by his method." -- Aristotle, philosopher, On Generation and Corruption, Book I, 350 B.C.

"Of all the more ancient systems, the Democritean is of the greatest consequence. ... Now for the first time do we have a rigorous, scientifically useful hypothesis." -- Friedrich W. Nietzsche, philosopher, The Pre-Platonic Philosophers, 1872-1876

"[Democritus was]... the first of the savants and natural philosophers of his time." -- Eduard Zeller, philosopher, Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy, 1881

"Aristotle consequently reckons Democritus, in spite of his moral sayings, among the Physicists...." -- Eduard Zeller, philosopher, Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy, 1881

"It is necessary to insist on the scientific character of the philosophy we are about to study." -- John Burnet, classicist, Early Greek Philosophy, 1892

"It would surely be absurd to imagine that the men who could make these observations had not the curiosity or the ability to make many others of which the memory is lost. Indeed, the idea that the Greeks were not observers is ludicrously wrong, as is proved by the anatomical accuracy of their sculpture, which bears witness to trained habits of observation, while the Hippokratean corpus contains models of scientific observation at its best. We know, then, that the Greeks could observe well, and we know that they were curious about the world. Is it conceivable that they did not use their powers of observation to gratify that curiosity? It is true that they had not our instruments of precision; but a great deal can be discovered by the help of very simple apparatus." -- John Burnet, classicist, Early Greek Philosophy, 1892

"For reasons that will appear soon scientists are very much inclined to regard the Ionians (Thales, Anaximander, etc.), and, above all, the great atomist, Democritus as their spiritual ancestors." -- Erwin Schrödinger, physicist, Nature and the Greeks, 1954

"The speculations of Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes are to be regarded as scientific hypotheses...." -- Bertrand Russell, philosopher, A History of Western Philosophy, 1972

"Anaximander of Miletus was a friend and colleague of Thales, one of the first people we know of to do an experiment. By examining the moving shadow cast by a vertical stick he determined accurately the length of the year and the seasons." -- Carl Sagan, professor, Cosmos, 1980

"The first recorded experiment on air was performed by Empedocles, who flourished around 450 B.C. ... Empedocles performed his experiment with a household implement people had used for centuries, the so-called clepsydra or 'water thief,' which was used as a kitchen ladle." -- Carl Sagan, professor, Cosmos, 1980

"Their [Leucippus and Democritus's] theory was indeed a scientific one, in the old Ionian fashion; it was not a myth, nor an abstract philosophy." -- Jonathan Barnes, philosopher, The Presocratic Philosophers, 1982

"Democritus was, indeed, the most successful of the Greek natural philosophers in the uncanny accuracy of his ideas (at least from our present viewpoint)...." -- Isaac Asimov, author, Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 1982

" is for his physics that Democritus is today most famed." -- Paul R. Cartledge, professor, Democritus, 1997

"Democritus (c. 460-370 B.C.E.), considered the father of modern science, was the last of the pre-Socratics and is best known for creating mechanical explanations for all of nature that surrounded him." -- Pamela Gossin, Encyclopedia of Literature and Science, 2002

"[Democritus was] the first particle physicist." -- Leon M. Lederman, physicist, The God Particle, 2006

In response to:

"Democritus went on to interpret the universe in atomic terms and came up with a number of suggestions that sound quite modern. However, it all rested on pure reasoning. He could suggest no evidence for the existence of atoms other than 'this is the way it must be'. ... One of those who came under the influence of Gassendi was the English scientist Robert Boyle (1627-1691), and with him atomism enters a new phase; it is no longer a matter of philosophy and deduction, but rather one of experiment and observation." -- Isaac Asimov, author, Understanding Physics, 1966

"It must not be supposed that their reasons for their theories were wholly empirical. The atomic theory was revived in modern times to explain the facts of chemistry, but these facts were not known to the Greeks." -- Bertrand Russell, philosopher, A History of Western Philosophy, 1972

"By good luck, the atomists hit on a hypothesis for which, more than two thousand years later, some evidence was found, but their belief, in their day, was none the less destitute of any foundation." -- Bertrand Russell, philosopher, A History of Western Philosophy, 1972

"It seemed to Democritus that the atoms of each element were distinct in size and shape and that it was this distinction that made each element different in properties. The actual substances we could see and handle were composed of mixtures of the atoms of the different elements, and one substance could be changed into another by altering the nature of their mixture. All this sounds remarkably modern to us, but Democritus had no way of appealing to experiment for corroboration. (The Greek philosophers did not experiment but came to their conclusions by arguing from 'first principles.')" -- Isaac Asimov, author, A Short History of Chemistry, 1979

"About this time [17th century], however, some scholars were beginning to perform experiments...." -- Isaac Asimov, author, Atom, 1992

"The first to perform experiments that seemed to have a connection with the question of atomism was the British scientist Robert Boyle (1627-1691)...." -- Isaac Asimov, author, Atom, 1992

"D's views - all his views - were purely theoretical and in no way empirically based or tested." -- Paul R. Cartledge, professor, July 14th 2009

I present the following refutations in particular:

"Nor is it true that the Greeks made no use of experiment. The rise of the experimental method dates from the time when the medical schools began to influence the development of philosophy, and accordingly we find that the first recorded experiment of a modern type is that of Empedokles with the klepsydra. We have his own account of this (fr. 100), and we can see how it brought him to the verge of anticipating Harvey and Torricelli. It is inconceivable that an inquisitive people should have applied the experimental method in a single case without extending it to other problems." -- John Burnet, classicist, Early Greek Philosophy, 1892

"There is no justification either for the idea that Greek science was built up by more or less lucky guesswork, instead of by observation and experiment." -- John Burnet, classicist, Early Greek Philosophy, 1892

"Whenever this kind of thing happens one has to envisage two possibilities. The first is that the early thinkers made a lucky guess which later proved to be correct. The second is that the thought pattern in question is not so exclusively based on the recently discovered evidence as the modern thinkers believe...." -- Erwin Schrödinger, physicist, Nature and the Greeks, 1954

"This record is far too good to be chalked up to lucky guesses. Such consistently successful results show that Democritus and his followers had developed a powerful new system for gaining knowledge -- they had begun to explore empirical science, and its methods, thousands of years before it rose up again...." -- Robert L. Oldershaw, cosmologist, Democritus - Scientific Wizard of the 5th Century B.C., Speculations in Science and Technology, Volume 21, Number 1, Pages 37-44, 1998

Nietzsche On Democritus

"The concept of number does not have the same significance [for Democritus] it has for Philolaus, his contemporary; with the latter, it seems, Pythagorean philosophy begins." -- Friedrich W. Nietzsche, philosopher, The Pre-Platonic Philosophers, 1872-1876

"Of all the more ancient systems, the Democritean is of the greatest consequence. ... Now for the first time do we have a rigorous, scientifically useful hypothesis." -- Friedrich W. Nietzsche, philosopher, The Pre-Platonic Philosophers, 1872-1876

Quoted in Nietszche:

"I will therefore not deny that the theory of Lucretius, or his predecessors, Epicurus, Leucippus, and Democritus, has much resemblance with mine." -- Immanuel Kant, natural philosopher, General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens, 1755

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lederman On Democritus

"[Democritus was] the first particle physicist." -- Leon M. Lederman, physicist, The God Particle, 2006

"... even for a genius, Democritus was far ahead of his time." -- Leon M. Lederman, physicist, The God Particle, 2006

"He [Democritus] is probably best known for two of the most scientifically intuitive quotes ever uttered by an ancient: 'Nothing exists except atoms and space, everything else is opinion'....." -- Leon M. Lederman, physicist, The God Particle, 2006

"Democritus's work on the void was revolutionary." -- Leon M. Lederman, physicist, The God Particle, 2006

"Democritus's notion is compatible with our present belief." -- Leon M. Lederman, physicist, The God Particle, 2006

"The British philosopher Bertrand Russell said that philosophy went downhill after Democritus and did not recover until the Renaissance." -- Leon M. Lederman, physicist, The God Particle, 2006

"Where do we stand today compared to Greece circa 400 B.C.? Today's experiment-driven 'standard model' is not all that dissimilar to Democritus's speculative [sic] atomic theory." -- Leon M. Lederman, physicist, The God Particle, 2006

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cretaceous Insect Reveals No Evolution In 100 Million Years

Science Daily: Rare Insect Fossil Reveals 100 Million Years of Evolutionary Stasis.
ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2011) — Researchers have discovered the 100 million-year-old ancestor of a group of large, carnivorous, cricket-like insects that still live today in southern Asia, northern Indochina and Africa. The new find, in a limestone fossil bed in northeastern Brazil, corrects the mistaken classification of another fossil of this type and reveals that the genus has undergone very little evolutionary change since the Early Cretaceous Period, a time of dinosaurs just before the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

BBC Tries To Sell For LHC

"It is claimed that the LIGO and LISA projects will detect Einstein's gravitational waves. The existence of these waves is entirely theoretical. Over the past forty years or so no Einstein gravitational waves have been detected. How long must the search go on, at great expense to the public purse, before the astrophysical scientists admit that their search is fruitless and a waste of vast sums of public money? The fact is, from day one, the search for these elusive waves has been destined to detect nothing." -- Stephen J. Crothers, astrophysicist, August 2009

BBC: Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to run into 2012.

The LHC was previously scheduled to run until the end of 2011 before going into a long technical stop necessary to prepare it for running the machine at its full design energy of seven teraelectronvolts (TeV) per beam.

However, the LHC is now expected to run at its current energy of 3.5 TeV per beam until the end of 2012.

Earlier this month, a plan to extend the lifetime of a US particle collider - the Tevatron - until 2014 were blocked because of budget problems.

The Tevatron is now due to run until September this year. Unless that machine turns up evidence for the Higgs boson, the LHC will be left as the only machine in the world capable of searching for the elusive sub-atomic particle.