Saturday, April 23, 2011
Leonardo Da Vinci: On the Expanding Earth
Above: Franco Rosselli's 1508 map showing the island of Atlantis (Antarctica).
"OF THE EARTH'S INCREASE
INSTANCES AND DEDUCTIONS AS TO THE EARTH'S INCREASE
Take a vase, fill it full of pure earth, and set it up on a roof. You will see how immediately the green herbs will begin to shoot up, and how these, when fully grown, will cast their various seeds; and after the children have thus fallen at the feet of their parents, you will see the herbs having cast their seeds, becoming withered and falling back again to the earth, and within a short time becoming changed into the earth's substance and giving it increase; after this you will see the seeds springing up and passing through the same course, and so you will always see the successive generations after completing their natural course, by their death and corruption giving increase to the earth. And if you let ten years elapse and then measure the increase in the soil, you will be able to discover how much the earth in general has increased, and then by multiplying you will see how great has been the increase of the earth in the world during a thousand years. ... For do you not perceive how, among the high mountains, the walls of ancient and ruined cities are being covered over and concealed by the earth's increase? Nay, have you not seen how on the rocky summits of the mountains the live stone itself has in course of time swallowed up by its growth some column which it supported, and stripping it bare as with shears and grasping it tightly, has left the impress of its fluted form in the living rock?" -- Leonardo Da Vinci, polymath, Codex Atlanticus, Of the Earth's Increase, 265 r.a., ~1478-1519