mercredi 15 novembre 2017

How wrong was Aristotle?


Day before yesterday, I saw this on CMI:

In the 4th century BC, Aristotle described the water cycle more accurately, but like Thales, remained convinced that subterranean water was the main source of stream flow. He wrote that it was absurd “if one were to suppose that rivers drew all their water from the sources we see (for most rivers do flow from springs).”1

Referring to Thales, Plato, and Aristotle, Dooge writes, “A common error in all their thinking was the firm conviction that rainfall was not sufficient to provide the flow of springs and rivers.”2 This mistake was perpetuated well into the following centuries. Leonardo da Vinci (writing just after AD 1500) pondered on the underground mechanisms that would lift water into the mountains. And Galileo (around AD 1600) said that he was personally frustrated because he couldn’t understand the source of stream flow.

A correct understanding of the water cycle didn’t emerge until late in the 17th century. In 1674, Pierre Perrault published his research on the water cycle.3 “He presented a study of a substantial section of the Seine River, beginning at its source, northwest of the city of Dijon. Using numerical estimates, he demonstrated that the river runoff annually amounted to only one-sixth of the volume of water falling over the drainage basin as rain or snow in a year.”4

In determining this, a more complete understanding of the hydrologic cycle finally emerged.

From : CMI : The water cycle
by Ron Neller
https://creation.com/water-cycle


And footnote 1 is Aristotle, Meteorology, Book 1, Part 13, 350 BC, Tr. E.W. Webster.

Now, I think I owe some Aristotelians - including today's Saint, Albert the Great, teacher of St Thomas Aquinas, for very long accused of having written books of Magic (which are arguably not by him) and therefore canonised very recently, by Pius XI - to check out that section and find out precisely how wrong or nearly right Aristotle was.

Part 13

Let us explain the nature of winds, and all windy vapours, also of rivers and of the sea. But here, too, we must first discuss the difficulties involved: for, as in other matters, so in this no theory has been handed down to us that the most ordinary man could not have thought of.

Some say that what is called air, when it is in motion and flows, is wind, and that this same air when it condenses again becomes cloud and water, implying that the nature of wind and water is the same. So they define wind as a motion of the air. Hence some, wishing to say a clever thing, assert that all the winds are one wind, because the air that moves is in fact all of it one and the same; they maintain that the winds appear to differ owing to the region from which the air may happen to flow on each occasion, but really do not differ at all. This is just like thinking that all rivers are one and the same river, and the ordinary unscientific view is better than a scientific theory like this. If all rivers flow from one source, and the same is true in the case of the winds, there might be some truth in this theory; but if it is no more true in the one case than in the other, this ingenious idea is plainly false. What requires investigation is this: the nature of wind and how it originates, its efficient cause and whence they derive their source; whether one ought to think of the wind as issuing from a sort of vessel and flowing until the vessel is empty, as if let out of a wineskin, or, as painters represent the winds, as drawing their source from themselves.

We find analogous views about the origin of rivers. It is thought that the water is raised by the sun and descends in rain and gathers below the earth and so flows from a great reservoir, all the rivers from one, or each from a different one. No water at all is generated, but the volume of the rivers consists of the water that is gathered into such reservoirs in winter. Hence rivers are always fuller in winter than in summer, and some are perennial, others not. Rivers are perennial where the reservoir is large and so enough water has collected in it to last out and not be used up before the winter rain returns. Where the reservoirs are smaller there is less water in the rivers, and they are dried up and their vessel empty before the fresh rain comes on.

But if any one will picture to himself a reservoir adequate to the water that is continuously flowing day by day, and consider the amount of the water, it is obvious that a receptacle that is to contain all the water that flows in the year would be larger than the earth, or, at any rate, not much smaller.

Though it is evident that many reservoirs of this kind do exist in many parts of the earth, yet it is unreasonable for any one to refuse to admit that air becomes water in the earth for the same reason as it does above it. If the cold causes the vaporous air to condense into water above the earth we must suppose the cold in the earth to produce this same effect, and recognize that there not only exists in it and flows out of it actually formed water, but that water is continually forming in it too.

Again, even in the case of the water that is not being formed from day to day but exists as such, we must not suppose as some do that rivers have their source in definite subterranean lakes. On the contrary, just as above the earth small drops form and these join others, till finally the water descends in a body as rain, so too we must suppose that in the earth the water at first trickles together little by little, and that the sources of the rivers drip, as it were, out of the earth and then unite. This is proved by facts. When men construct an aqueduct they collect the water in pipes and trenches, as if the earth in the higher ground were sweating the water out. Hence, too, the head-waters of rivers are found to flow from mountains, and from the greatest mountains there flow the most numerous and greatest rivers. Again, most springs are in the neighbourhood of mountains and of high ground, whereas if we except rivers, water rarely appears in the plains. For mountains and high ground, suspended over the country like a saturated sponge, make the water ooze out and trickle together in minute quantities but in many places. They receive a great deal of water falling as rain (for it makes no difference whether a spongy receptacle is concave and turned up or convex and turned down: in either case it will contain the same volume of matter) and, they also cool the vapour that rises and condense it back into water.

Hence, as we said, we find that the greatest rivers flow from the greatest mountains. This can be seen by looking at itineraries: what is recorded in them consists either of things which the writer has seen himself or of such as he has compiled after inquiry from those who have seen them.

In Asia we find that the most numerous and greatest rivers flow from the mountain called Parnassus, admittedly the greatest of all mountains towards the south-east. When you have crossed it you see the outer ocean, the further limit of which is unknown to the dwellers in our world. Besides other rivers there flow from it the Bactrus, the Choaspes, the Araxes: from the last a branch separates off and flows into lake Maeotis as the Tanais. From it, too, flows the Indus, the volume of whose stream is greatest of all rivers. From the Caucasus flows the Phasis, and very many other great rivers besides. Now the Caucasus is the greatest of the mountains that lie to the northeast, both as regards its extent and its height. A proof of its height is the fact that it can be seen from the so-called 'deeps' and from the entrance to the lake. Again, the sun shines on its peaks for a third part of the night before sunrise and again after sunset. Its extent is proved by the fact that thought contains many inhabitable regions which are occupied by many nations and in which there are said to be great lakes, yet they say that all these regions are visible up to the last peak. From Pyrene (this is a mountain towards the west in Celtice) there flow the Istrus and the Tartessus. The latter flows outside the pillars, while the Istrus flows through all Europe into the Euxine. Most of the remaining rivers flow northwards from the Hercynian mountains, which are the greatest in height and extent about that region. In the extreme north, beyond furthest Scythia, are the mountains called Rhipae. The stories about their size are altogether too fabulous: however, they say that the most and (after the Istrus) the greatest rivers flow from them. So, too, in Libya there flow from the Aethiopian mountains the Aegon and the Nyses; and from the so-called Silver Mountain the two greatest of named rivers, the river called Chremetes that flows into the outer ocean, and the main source of the Nile. Of the rivers in the Greek world, the Achelous flows from Pindus, the Inachus from the same mountain; the Strymon, the Nestus, and the Hebrus all three from Scombrus; many rivers, too, flow from Rhodope.

All other rivers would be found to flow in the same way, but we have mentioned these as examples. Even where rivers flow from marshes, the marshes in almost every case are found to lie below mountains or gradually rising ground.

It is clear then that we must not suppose rivers to originate from definite reservoirs: for the whole earth, we might almost say, would not be sufficient (any more than the region of the clouds would be) if we were to suppose that they were fed by actually existing water only and it were not the case that as some water passed out of existence some more came into existence, but rivers always drew their stream from an existing store. Secondly, the fact that rivers rise at the foot of mountains proves that a place transmits the water it contains by gradual percolation of many drops, little by little, and that this is how the sources of rivers originate. However, there is nothing impossible about the existence of such places containing a quantity of water like lakes: only they cannot be big enough to produce the supposed effect. To think that they are is just as absurd as if one were to suppose that rivers drew all their water from the sources we see (for most rivers do flow from springs). So it is no more reasonable to suppose those lakes to contain the whole volume of water than these springs.

That there exist such chasms and cavities in the earth we are taught by the rivers that are swallowed up. They are found in many parts of the earth: in the Peloponnesus, for instance, there are many such rivers in Arcadia. The reason is that Arcadia is mountainous and there are no channels from its valleys to the sea. So these places get full of water, and this, having no outlet, under the pressure of the water that is added above, finds a way out for itself underground. In Greece this kind of thing happens on quite a small scale, but the lake at the foot of the Caucasus, which the inhabitants of these parts call a sea, is considerable. Many great rivers fall into it and it has no visible outlet but issues below the earth off the land of the Coraxi about the so-called 'deeps of Pontus'. This is a place of unfathomable depth in the sea: at any rate no one has yet been able to find bottom there by sounding. At this spot, about three hundred stadia from land, there comes up sweet water over a large area, not all of it together but in three places. And in Liguria a river equal in size to the Rhodanus is swallowed up and appears again elsewhere: the Rhodanus being a navigable river.

From Meteorology, Book I
Translated by E. W. Webster
http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/meteorology.1.i.html


Now, let us break this down a bit.

Let us explain the nature of winds, and all windy vapours, also of rivers and of the sea. But here, too, we must first discuss the difficulties involved: for, as in other matters, so in this no theory has been handed down to us that the most ordinary man could not have thought of.


OK, this means, in the status of a question, Aristotle is taking into account ALL theories traditional, including that of common men. Looks like sth scientists could learn from.

Some say that what is called air, when it is in motion and flows, is wind, and that this same air when it condenses again becomes cloud and water, implying that the nature of wind and water is the same. So they define wind as a motion of the air. Hence some, wishing to say a clever thing, assert that all the winds are one wind, because the air that moves is in fact all of it one and the same; they maintain that the winds appear to differ owing to the region from which the air may happen to flow on each occasion, but really do not differ at all. This is just like thinking that all rivers are one and the same river, and the ordinary unscientific view is better than a scientific theory like this. If all rivers flow from one source, and the same is true in the case of the winds, there might be some truth in this theory; but if it is no more true in the one case than in the other, this ingenious idea is plainly false. What requires investigation is this: the nature of wind and how it originates, its efficient cause and whence they derive their source; whether one ought to think of the wind as issuing from a sort of vessel and flowing until the vessel is empty, as if let out of a wineskin, or, as painters represent the winds, as drawing their source from themselves.


He gives us 5 things here:

  • 1) Some think wind and water are the same thing (he is not disagreeing with that), air turning into water by condensation (literally thickening)
  • 2) Some push this to all winds being one wind, and he disagrees with that : here a scientist or philosopher has tried to say a clever thing, but his view is less worthwhile than the ordinary one - this means, ordinary man is sometimes superior, if not to all specialists past or present, at least to some (and presumably it could in certain times be to all specialists then and there or here and now, on a certain matter, in case such a man trying to say a clever thing has swayed most specialist). The refutation of this view is very simple : "you could just as well say all rivers are the same river".
  • 3) He gives an alternative : if all rivers / winds flow from same source, the clever thing is true, otherwise it is false. It looks as if he has clinched the case, but wait ...
  • 4) We must check out where winds draw their air from. Presumably he has already mentioned the "all winds are one wind" theory, now he gives alternatives : do winds flow out of containers, like wineskins? do they draw the air from themselves?
  • 5) As you see with imagery, he has no problem with preferring vivid images (wineskins, like the painters paint them) over dry and firm terminology.


We find analogous views about the origin of rivers. It is thought that the water is raised by the sun and descends in rain and gathers below the earth and so flows from a great reservoir, all the rivers from one, or each from a different one. No water at all is generated, but the volume of the rivers consists of the water that is gathered into such reservoirs in winter. Hence rivers are always fuller in winter than in summer, and some are perennial, others not. Rivers are perennial where the reservoir is large and so enough water has collected in it to last out and not be used up before the winter rain returns. Where the reservoirs are smaller there is less water in the rivers, and they are dried up and their vessel empty before the fresh rain comes on.


Let me highlight:

"It is thought that the water is raised by the sun and descends in rain and gathers below the earth and so flows from a great reservoir, all the rivers from one, or each from a different one. No water at all is generated, but the volume of the rivers consists of the water that is gathered ..."

In other words, the water cycle as now believed and as correctly described in the Bible is a common view in Aristotle's day.

Aristotle thinks it is wrong - he thinks it is wrong on the precise point of denying that water is routinely "condensed from air" both on high and below, under influence of coolness, as we shall see.

But the fact that Aristotle saw this as a common view did not absolutely determine his rejecting it. He has other reasons, as we shall see.

But if any one will picture to himself a reservoir adequate to the water that is continuously flowing day by day, and consider the amount of the water, it is obvious that a receptacle that is to contain all the water that flows in the year would be larger than the earth, or, at any rate, not much smaller.


Here he has a problem. He has no apparatus for directly measuring either water flow in rivers or water flow by rainfall. He resorts to imagining as a "virtual" measuring.

The thing is, his conclusion is, if "all the water that flows" means in all rivers taken together over earth, nearly correct, as we now understand things. The receptacle is not some limited reservoir cut off from the rest of the land. It is, instead, all of the land within each river's area of contributaries, between the ...

"A drainage divide, water divide, divide, ridgeline,[1] watershed, water parting, is the line that separates neighbouring drainage basins."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drainage_divide
[Too many wikipedia articles cited to give a link to each subsequent to his one. It would look cluttered and take extra time.]

And obviously, since the actual land is corrugated, the "reservoir" is indeed bigger, if not than Earth's actual surface as such (it cannot be bigger than itself), at least than the area on a flat map or a round globe, which does not take this "corrugation" into account.

Hence, the fault in Aristotle's imagined comparison.

Though it is evident that many reservoirs of this kind do exist in many parts of the earth, yet it is unreasonable for any one to refuse to admit that air becomes water in the earth for the same reason as it does above it. If the cold causes the vaporous air to condense into water above the earth we must suppose the cold in the earth to produce this same effect, and recognize that there not only exists in it and flows out of it actually formed water, but that water is continually forming in it too.


Ah, in other words, he is not contradicting the water cycle's known parts, he is just saying they don't suffice. Water must be "forming from air". He attributes rainfall to this. He probably has demonstrated it to his satisfaction in previous 12 parts of book one, or in some book on physics. He believes in a cycle of elements.

Again, even in the case of the water that is not being formed from day to day but exists as such, we must not suppose as some do that rivers have their source in definite subterranean lakes. On the contrary, just as above the earth small drops form and these join others, till finally the water descends in a body as rain, so too we must suppose that in the earth the water at first trickles together little by little, and that the sources of the rivers drip, as it were, out of the earth and then unite. This is proved by facts. When men construct an aqueduct they collect the water in pipes and trenches, as if the earth in the higher ground were sweating the water out. Hence, too, the head-waters of rivers are found to flow from mountains, and from the greatest mountains there flow the most numerous and greatest rivers. Again, most springs are in the neighbourhood of mountains and of high ground, whereas if we except rivers, water rarely appears in the plains. For mountains and high ground, suspended over the country like a saturated sponge, make the water ooze out and trickle together in minute quantities but in many places. They receive a great deal of water falling as rain (for it makes no difference whether a spongy receptacle is concave and turned up or convex and turned down: in either case it will contain the same volume of matter) and, they also cool the vapour that rises and condense it back into water.


Here, no modern would contradict his observation. Except, of course on the two points that water usually originates from air, and that this process also takes place in subterranean manner : while air containing water vapour would probably condensate in caves, this would, on the modern view, be a minute part of the rain fall, evaporating and condensating again.

Construction of aquaeducts was disused at beginning of Middle Ages, but I did not know it has originated so long before the greatness of Rome.

The reason for their disuse was, they were manned by slaves, and in the day of Clovis and Belisarius these proved unreliable. As the Early Middle Ages came on as a time of more and more war, aquaeducts were therefore quickly seen as a security hazard, and probably disused rather quickly.

A medieval reading this just had to take Aristotle's word for what usually happened in constructions of aquaeducts.

Hence, as we said, we find that the greatest rivers flow from the greatest mountains. This can be seen by looking at itineraries: what is recorded in them consists either of things which the writer has seen himself or of such as he has compiled after inquiry from those who have seen them.


This is one point in Aristotle, where modern scholars would frown : he is content to compile from itineraries, knowing they are themselves compilations.

But while frowning, they often do so without telling us.

While J. P. Holding would tell me "wikipedia is for idiots", presumably some of the experts (on another matter, NT scholarship) he prefers to them will at one point or another have compiled rather than make own observations (as in reading relevant texts), whether wikipedia or other (some of which are less reliable, since liable to depend on some scholars abusing their position to "try to say a clever thing", while a wikipedian article can receive corrections from outside such charmed circles).

Aristotle relies on compilations, and he gives them due credit.

In Asia we find that the most numerous and greatest rivers flow from the mountain called Parnassus, admittedly the greatest of all mountains towards the south-east.


Checking English wiki:

"Parnassus is one of the largest mountainous regions of Mainland Greece and one of the highest Greek mountains. It spreads over three municipalities, namely of Boeotia, Phthiotis and Phocis, where its largest part lies."

Was Aristotle counting Balkan as Asia? Or is some word, like "West of..." missing?

Or did he mean another very great mountain in Asia, which a copyist exchanged for Parnassus as highest in Greece?

I don't know, I don't even find ... wait ...

When you have crossed it you see the outer ocean, the further limit of which is unknown to the dwellers in our world.


I get a hunch, Himalaya could have been called Parnassus, by the Greeks, unless it is Ural or Afghanistan, or something. Let's check following instances:

Besides other rivers there flow from it the Bactrus, the Choaspes, the Araxes: from the last a branch separates off and flows into lake Maeotis as the Tanais. From it, too, flows the Indus, the volume of whose stream is greatest of all rivers.


  • the Bactrus, [we don't know what river it is, whether it is one in Bactria [which includes Afghanistan] or one only named after same person as Bactria is named for - or if some uf us do, at least I don't] the Choaspes, we have two alternatives:

    • The Karkheh or Karkhen (perhaps the river known as the Gihon[citation needed]—one of the four rivers of Eden/Paradise to the Bible and as the Choaspes[1] in ancient times; also called Eulæus; Hebrew: אולי Ulai[2]) is a river in Khūzestān Province Andimeshk city, Iran (ancient Susiana) that rises in the Zagros Mountains, and passes west of Shush (ancient Susa), eventually falling in ancient times into the Tigris just below its confluence with the Euphrates very near to the Iran-Iraq border.
    • The Choaspes (also called Zuastus and Guræus) is a river that rises in the ancient Paropamise range (now the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan), eventually falling into the Indus river near its confluence with the Cophes river (which is usually identified with the Kabul river). Strabo's Geography, Book XV, Chapter 1, § 26 incorrectly states that the Choaspes empties directly into the Cophes. The river should not be confused with the river of the same name which flows into the Tigris.


I think we have nailed it. Parnassus, the greatest mountain in Asia, is Hindukush.

Parnassus is a copyists error (before or after Aristotle, in or after his text) for Paropamise.

I am not sure the Indian Ocean (mistaken by Aristotle for the outer one) can be seen from Hindukush, but there could be a further error in confusing it with Himalaya?

Parapomise is also called, keep the ... wait. Parapomise is called Caucasus Indicus, but Araxes is from another range called "Caucasus", namely, the Lesser Caucaus:

"The Aras or Araxes is a river flowing through Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. It drains the south side of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains and joins the Kura River which drains the north side of Lesser Caucasus Mountains. Its total length is 1,072 kilometres (666 mi), covering an area of 102,000 square kilometres (39,000 sq mi). The Aras River is one of the largest rivers in the Caucasus."

As mentioned, it flows to the "southeast" or more properly, to the east somewhat south.

Don is here identified with a branch of Araxes, which is wrong. And yes, we are dealing with Don:

"The Don rises in the town of Novomoskovsk 60 kilometres (37 mi) southeast of Tula (120 km south of Moscow), and flows for a distance of about 1,870 kilometres to the Sea of Azov. From its source, the river first flows southeast to Voronezh, then southwest to its mouth. The main city on the river is Rostov on Don. Its main tributary is the Seversky Donets."

No, Aristotle, Araxes and Donets are not the same river...

Here we see Aristotle at his worst. His geographic information has become garbled, before it reached him, gathered by people of less reliability and methodology than himself and this makes it possible to understand why an age of goegraphic discovery would be an age looking down on Aristotle unduly. If you can go to the places (including with wikipedia) you can see this is not so.

From the Caucasus flows the Phasis, and very many other great rivers besides.


Which Caucasus is he talking about now ... Phasis? Wow, it seems it is the one we call Caucasus, despite the fact an ancient source is using the word!:

"The Rioni or Rion River (Georgian: რიონი Rioni, Greek: Φᾶσις Phasis) is the main river of western Georgia. It originates in the Caucasus Mountains, in the region of Racha and flows west to the Black Sea, entering it north of the city of Poti (near ancient Phasis). The city of Kutaisi, once the ancient city of Colchis, lies on its banks. It drains the western Transcaucasus into the Black Sea while its sister, the Kura River, drains the eastern Transcaucasus into the Caspian Sea."

Now the Caucasus is the greatest of the mountains that lie to the northeast, both as regards its extent and its height. A proof of its height is the fact that it can be seen from the so-called 'deeps' and from the entrance to the lake.


He is speaking of Lake Maeotis, i e Sea of Azov. Now, Greater Caucasus continues NW along Black Sea coast a bit beyond Sochi.

How far is Sochi from Sea of Azov?

"The air travel (bird fly) shortest distance between Crimea and Sochi is 473 km= 294 miles."

Problem is, that line is traced from a point on Crimea, namely Simpheropol, well further away from Sochi than Sea of Azov need be. Kertch, Slaviansk, would be more like it.

Kertch-Sochi, 324.66 km, 201.73 miles.
Slaviansk-Sochi, 222.47 km, 138.24 miles

So, if you can see Greater Caucasus from Kertch or Slaviansk, how high does that prove Caucasus to be?

And are you seeing Sochi region, or are you seeing sth further away but also higher up?

I don't know.

Again, the sun shines on its peaks for a third part of the night before sunrise and again after sunset.


I am not sure whether this is diffraction or summer nights being longer further North:

Sochi
Coordinates: 43°35′07″N 39°43′13″E

Stagira (where Aristotle was born)
Coordinates: 40°31′49″N 23°45′09″E

Hmmm, just three degrees further North ...

Its extent is proved by the fact that thought contains many inhabitable regions which are occupied by many nations and in which there are said to be great lakes, yet they say that all these regions are visible up to the last peak.


Wonder what peak of Greater Caucasus he is speaking about? Or have his sources garbled it with some other mointain range further North?

From Pyrene (this is a mountain towards the west in Celtice) there flow the Istrus and the Tartessus. The latter flows outside the pillars, while the Istrus flows through all Europe into the Euxine.


It seems he has confused Alps and Pyrenees. Tartessus is basically Guadalquivir, Ister (which very certainly rises in the Alps, in post-Flood times, however this was a sea shore in pre-Flood times) is of course the Danube.

And any Romanian will agree that Ister flows into the Euxine, since it means the Danube flows into the Black Sea.

Most of the remaining rivers flow northwards from the Hercynian mountains, which are the greatest in height and extent about that region.


Hercynian forest is Schwarzwald, and it is not the highest or most extensive mountain range.

However, Alps, West of it, are highest, and Carpathians, East of it, are very extensive.

"The Mittelgebirge seem to correspond more or less to a stretch of the Hercynian mountains."

As said, Mittelgebirge, like Black Forest, are lower than Alps, less extensive than Carpathians. (Bonus, here is another modern writer scratching his head about Aristotle's geographic information).

In the extreme north, beyond furthest Scythia, are the mountains called Rhipae.


That would be Ural?

The stories about their size are altogether too fabulous: however, they say that the most and (after the Istrus) the greatest rivers flow from them.


Let's check. Istrus or Danube is greatest in Europe?

"The Danube Delta ... is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta"

Kama, one contributary to Volga, starts in Ural, Oka has a tributary called Ugra ... no ...

Checked against better geographic data than those available to Aristotle, his scheme seems to be too schematic.

He is far better a bit higher up, where he said:

"On the contrary, just as above the earth small drops form and these join others, till finally the water descends in a body as rain, so too we must suppose that in the earth the water at first trickles together little by little, and that the sources of the rivers drip, as it were, out of the earth and then unite."

He did just not know how right he was.

So, too, in Libya there flow from the Aethiopian mountains the Aegon and the Nyses; and from the so-called Silver Mountain the two greatest of named rivers, the river called Chremetes that flows into the outer ocean, and the main source of the Nile.


And yes, the Blue Nile does arise in Ethiopia.

Of the rivers in the Greek world, the Achelous flows from Pindus, the Inachus from the same mountain; the Strymon, the Nestus, and the Hebrus all three from Scombrus; many rivers, too, flow from Rhodope.


Pindus, Scombrus, Rhodope.

Those would be the examples best known to him.

Rhodope is, btw, in Bulgaria, it is where Orpheus was from. He was a Thracian, not a Greek.

All other rivers would be found to flow in the same way, but we have mentioned these as examples. Even where rivers flow from marshes, the marshes in almost every case are found to lie below mountains or gradually rising ground.


I suppose this may have been confirmed after his time?

It is clear then that we must not suppose rivers to originate from definite reservoirs: for the whole earth, we might almost say, would not be sufficient (any more than the region of the clouds would be) if we were to suppose that they were fed by actually existing water only and it were not the case that as some water passed out of existence some more came into existence, but rivers always drew their stream from an existing store. Secondly, the fact that rivers rise at the foot of mountains proves that a place transmits the water it contains by gradual percolation of many drops, little by little, and that this is how the sources of rivers originate. However, there is nothing impossible about the existence of such places containing a quantity of water like lakes: only they cannot be big enough to produce the supposed effect. To think that they are is just as absurd as if one were to suppose that rivers drew all their water from the sources we see (for most rivers do flow from springs). So it is no more reasonable to suppose those lakes to contain the whole volume of water than these springs.


I put this down to a flaw in the geometrical imagination. The whole earth, between watersheds, is sufficient, if you take into account that it is never just flat but always "gradually rising" this or that way, and sometimes less gradually too.

That there exist such chasms and cavities in the earth we are taught by the rivers that are swallowed up. They are found in many parts of the earth: in the Peloponnesus, for instance, there are many such rivers in Arcadia. The reason is that Arcadia is mountainous and there are no channels from its valleys to the sea. So these places get full of water, and this, having no outlet, under the pressure of the water that is added above, finds a way out for itself underground. In Greece this kind of thing happens on quite a small scale, but the lake at the foot of the Caucasus, which the inhabitants of these parts call a sea, is considerable. Many great rivers fall into it and it has no visible outlet but issues below the earth off the land of the Coraxi about the so-called 'deeps of Pontus'. This is a place of unfathomable depth in the sea: at any rate no one has yet been able to find bottom there by sounding. At this spot, about three hundred stadia from land, there comes up sweet water over a large area, not all of it together but in three places. And in Liguria a river equal in size to the Rhodanus is swallowed up and appears again elsewhere: the Rhodanus being a navigable river.


And Rhodanus being navigable is very true, it is Rhône. I have been to Marseilles. I have made a boat hiking from Avignon to Lyons.

B U T whereever he gets it from that Rhodanus is first swallowed up and then reemerges as Rhodanus ...

As said, he was not a first hand explorer, for most of his geographical lore (he was of course when it came to accompanying Alexander), he relied too much on indirect ones.

Hard facts, so to speak atomic ones, survive several sources taking from each other from a first one much better than complex and therefore gliding scale accurate facts, like features of landscapes or animals.

Whether the real unicorn was a Rhinocerus or a Triceratops, the Unicorns found on heraldics are far removed from either source. So is the map we can contemplate in Aristotle.

But this is no way any problem in his method, he was just unable to properly apply it.

Now, the real inventor of the water cycle, as in detail:

"Pierre Perrault (Paris circa 1608– Paris 1680) was a Receiver General of Finances for Paris and later a scientist who developed the concept of the hydrological cycle. He and Edme Mariotte were primarily responsible for making hydrology an experimental science."

He was a Catholic. His brother Nicolas Perrault was a theology doctor of Sorbonne, which in Ancien Régime was certainly only Catholic theology. He was a Jansenist and as such excluded from Sorbonne - after having been there.

No Perrault is on the 1948 version of Index Librorum. Not Pierre Perrault, obviously, since hydrology is accepted and since Galileo was even taken off the index, decades earlier.

Not Charles Perrault, despite some modern day Jansenists (or likeminded in morals) who consider reading Tolkien falls under Trentine ban on books of magic. No, if that had been meant, Charles Perrault would be on the index too. Trent meant things like certain works falsely attributed to St Albert.

And, not even Nicolas Perrault and his denunciation of Jesuits.

Pascal's provincials are there, presumably because containing calumny.

Pascal's Pensées are there, but only in the 1789 edition, with notes by Voltaire. So, presumably it is the notes by Voltaire, not Pensées as such which is banned.

If Pascal's "Les provinciales ou les lettres écrites à un provincial de ses amis et aux rr. pp. jésuites sur le sujet de la morale et de la politique de ces pères." (Edition of 1657) had been just disagreeing with Jesuits, and not strawmanning them, presumably, like Nicolas Perrault, it would not have been banned. Or is Nicolas Perrault's work simply nowhere in print?

Nope, that's not it. "Il a notamment écrit la Morale des jésuites extraite fidèlement de leurs livres, etc (1667), ouvrage qui a fait en son temps beaucoup de bruit"

I cannot guarantee it is not bad and strawmanning, it could also be censors overlooked it.

Now, what about Catholic Aristotelians, have they been generally misled by Aristotle in matters where this man could not access accuracy?

No, since it has been very clear that they have tried to attain higher accuracy, on point after point, and this being the origins of science - from St Albert dissecting the bee to Steno inventing geology (and, on top of that, it was a Flood geology he invented, not a Sickar Point one ...) Pierre Perrault was obviously part of this, and owed nothing to Bacon of Verulam, since his work had not been read in France.

"Baco, Franciscus De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum libri IX. Donec corrig. 1668"

Donec corrigatur means the ban is "until it be corrected" - one is open to a reedition incorporating Catholic and presumably Scholastic corrections. The 1668 edition was presumably the earliest available to Catholic censors.

Also, I don't think the Aristotelian view actually contradicts the Bible.

One of the oldest books of the Bible, that of Job, provides a clear description of many aspects of the water cycle. These include evaporation, condensation and precipitation (Job 36:27–28), and the formation of clouds (Job 26:8). Other books provide additional insights, including verses about evaporation (Psalm 135:7), precipitation (Psalm 104:13), infiltration (Isaiah 55:10), the release of groundwater through springs (Genesis 16:7; Psalm 104:10), dew and rainwater (Deuteronomy 32:2), floods in desert streams (Isaiah 44:3–4), as well as cloud movement and the ongoing nature of such (Ecclesiastes 1:6–7).

But the Bible goes well beyond a list of the components of the water cycle. In addition to these concepts, the Bible notes that they are linked by laws and that the process is cyclic. These are two concepts that were not well understood by early scholars.


The fact is, none of the Bible verses, except Ps 104, directly or even obliquely contradicts Aristotle.

Nor does the concept of cyclicity bound by laws : he had his own somewhat different cycle between the elements.

But what is more, it is even better consistent (esp Ps 104) with a view that Aristotle mentioned, though he disagreed with it. While it is correct that the Bible is correct on the water cycle, this correctness in itself is not miraculous. Cumulative correctness is, if Young Earth, Young Universe, and Geocentrism (Joshua 10!) can be shown not to break this cumulation of correctness.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Albert the Great
15.XI.2017

Coloniae Agrippinae sancti Alberti Episcopi et Confessoris, ex Ordine Praedicatorum, cognomento Magni, sanctitate et doctrina celebris, quem Pius Papa Undecimus Doctorem universalis Ecclesiae declaravit, et Pius Duodecimus cultorum scientiarum naturalium caelestem apud Deum Patronum constituit.

Colonia Agrippina is not a disputable location, except at Carnival. It is Cologne in Germany.

Acknowledgements:

Apart two quotes from CMI and one from Aristotle, all other quotes are from wikipedia, except the distances to Sochi, which are from https://www.distancefromto.net/

Oh, the citations about index librorum are from this site, incorporating the 1948 version:

http://www.cvm.qc.ca/gconti/905/BABEL/Index%20Librorum%20Prohibitorum-1948.htm

vendredi 27 octobre 2017

The Carbon Related Question, Update


Trying to Get a Carbon Related Question Answered · The Carbon Related Question, Update · Things Could Get a Bit Complicated with Carbon Question

As you can see on the previous post, which has been updated, I made three tries to get this question answered.

None of them got me any answer.

My own answer is, I suppose the relationship is linear, which means that with 11 times as fast carbon production you got 11 times as many milliSieverts from cosmic radiation.

3.9
0.39
4.29

And 4.29 per year is of course within the kind of total background radiations you find on Earth today.

I am of course biassed, since if I had had to multiply by eleven squared to get the milliSievers, during the buildup in Babel event, we would have been very bad off:

39
07.8
00.39
47.19

I think 47.19 milliSievert per year would have been too much for us. It is nearly five times one of the highest local total background radiations.

But then, at no time do I suppose the speed of new carbon was 121 times as fast, at Babel it was 11 times as fast, sometimes (before Babel) perhaps a bit faster than that. And, as I have, if not confirmed, at least not refuted when giving opportunity, the milliSievert per year go by linear proportion, not by squared in relation to carbon 14 production.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Vigil of Sts Simon and Jude
27.X.2017

lundi 23 octobre 2017

Recorded History of China Too Old For Us?


I am not sure how many of you have heard a claim from RationalWiki or even read it there, but they do consider that human continuous historiography beginning about at Flood is seriously at risk, due to Martino Martini SJ writing that Emperor Fohius started ruling in China in 2952 BC, and due to Chinese history being so well buttressed by continuous and scientifically exact astronomical obseervations.

In fact, a Jesuit missionary, Martino Martini,Wikipedia's W.svg who was sent to China in the 1650s, was shocked to find that Chinese records chronicled the Imperial dynasty from the first emperor in 2952 BC. An emperor, of course, requires a large population to rule over, not a single individual. Even to a strict Jesuit the Chinese records appeared more reliable and detailed than those of the Jews, they contained no gaps, even the earliest entries were written by contemporary authors, they were strictly factual without any reference to myths or legends, and they could be cross-referenced to the dates of solar eclipses calculated by European astronomers.[91]


I don't know who their staff Latinist is, but it seems to be one who:

  • diagnoses surprise at so well made history so early without the words actually being epxressed by the author;
  • misses that while Martini sees this as absolutely irreconcilable with the newer Chronology (Ussher was becoming famous among Catholics too), had no problem reconciling this with the Flood with Septuagint based Chronologies.


In other words, while they are somewhat intermediate between a fullfledged site and a wiki with anonymous contributors, no staff of any kind at all, they seem they could use a staff Latinist. It won't be me.

Now, let us break down what Martino Martini actually writes, a bit!

  • Fohius is neither the first man nor the first to be in China, MM has not missed the mythology surrounding Pang Guo, he does not consider it as historic, though.
  • The pre-Fohian rulers could either be pre-Flood or coming to China after Flood but before Babel, in small groups living what we could call a palaeolithic lifestyle. Either way, their long added spans of rule are totally unrealistic.
  • Fohius, Xinnungus and Hoangtius are three regnal spans together spanning 355 years. I am not sure RationalWiki would like to defend that the astronomical observations in China are such a great clue to Chinese accurate historiography that we can safely conclude Fohius ruled 115 years, Xinningus 140 and Hoangtius 100 years. If they do, I think you might have to cross check their treatment of pre-Flood and especially post-Flood but pre-Egypt patriarchs. On RationalWiki, special pleading wouldn't do, would it?
  • Fohius begins writing, Xinnungus agriculture and medicine, Hoangtius administration and the cycle of years. 1 year of 1:st cycle is therefore year one of Hoangtius' reign - after Fohius and Xinnungus.
  • In none of these have I as yet seen any clear outlining of astronomical observations of eclipses, so I must conclude this independent confirmation is of a somewhat later date.


This said, let's check how this fits my chronologies, Syncellus and St Jerome. In the latter case, I'd have to identify Fohius with someone not totally unique to China, with Ham.

A Just
Martino Martini's words:

2952 BC
Fohius begins to rule.
2837 BC
Xinnungus begins to rule.
2697 BC
Hoangtius begins to rule.
2597 BC
Hoangtius died.

B Syncellus
or rather Byzantine Liturgic (8 years longer):

3366 BC
Deluge
2952 BC
Fohius begins to rule.
2837 BC
Peleg born
= 2837 BC
Xinnungus begins to rule.
2792 BC
Dispersion of Tongues
2697 BC
Hoangtius begins to rule.
2597 BC
Hoangtius died.

C St Jerome
with some reconstruction for Peleg:

2957 BC
Deluge
2952 BC
Fohius begins to rule!
2837 BC
Xinnungus begins to rule.
2697 BC
Hoangtius begins to rule.
2597 BC
Hoangtius died.

2556 BC
Peleg born
2511 BC
Dispersion of Tongues.


With St Jerome this becomes problematic enough to be interesting : Fohius starts ruling 5 years after Flood, who is he? Noah himself? Ham? Shem? A grandson born that year and said to begin ruling then?

Ham seems to be not quite unreasonable, since Peter Comestor places one "Zoroaster" originator of magic later brought to our civilisation by Pythagoras as identic to Ham.

And if Hoangtius died before dispersion of tongues, we would assume that his local rule (if at all such) in Chine would have been subsumed under a more general command centralised at Babel.

I could even imagine considering this a possibility, these three were transferred to China, their real names are Ham, Kush and Nimrod. Obviously this last would grossly gloss over the less flattering aspects of Nimrod's carreer.

Let us now briefly recall some factors of which we are aware, though MM was not yet so.

We have carbon dates for grains in China, at least I think millet being "20 000 BP" which is compatible with a pre-Babel and post-Flood date.

The lifestyle of Fohius, or generally up to Xinnungus (Fohius and previous) is described in fairly palaeolithic terms. This kind of makes it a bit relative to use "emperor" as indicator of a large population.

The idea that Chinese history embodies a memory of pre-Flood ancestry could be confirmed if Denisovan man was pre-Flood, because, as with fairly certainly pre-Flood Neanderthal, only traces remain of the Denisovan genome - and these among other places in China and in Americas.

Rational Wiki might be interested in hearing that Fuxi - I think that is the Pinyin spelling of Fu Hsi or Fo Hi - is now commonly considered to be mythological.

Nice they are rational enough to take mythology and legend seriously, I'd like them to start doing so on a larger scale. Maybe softly with non-Christian legend first ...

Before actually going on, one could imagine that the account of Xinnungus (Shennong) subduing a province by his sheer goodness, if really about a province, could be later, and that diverse rulers followed the three in diverse parts, but they were serialised as all ruling in all parts of China, and the later conquest of that province was pushed back to the time of Xinnungus to fit this scenario of long unity. That would of course make dates like 2952 BC spurious, inflated by serialising parallel dynasties.

So, let's look at the three emperors, supposing that the years given by Father Martino Martino are correct and that China is already geographically (but not politically or linguistically, of course!) separate in the time of Fu Xi and also that - as the two together require - Syncellus has the better chronology:

Using Syncellus
From Continuing Interim III to Joseph in Egypt
http://creavsevolu.blogspot.com/2017/06/continuing-interim-iii-to-joseph-in.html


X 2988 BC
15.616 pmc 18 338 BC

Eber *
2963 BC

Fu-Xi / Syncellus
2952 BC

XI 2947 BC
20.239 pmc 16 154 BC

XI 2947 BC
20.239 pmc 16 154 BC

XII 2906 BC
26.23 pmc 13 969 BC

XIII 2865 BC
33.994 pmc 11 785 BC

Shem +
2858 BC

Xinnungus / Syncellus
2837 BC

Peleg *
2829 BC

XIV 2824 BC
44.057 pmc 9600 BC

Arphaxad +
2791 BC

XV 2780 BC
49.459 pmc 8600 BC

Cainan +
2763 BC

XVI 2739 BC
51.476 pmc 8229 BC

Reu *
2699 BC

XVII 2698 BC
53.577 pmc 7857 BC

Hoangtius
begins to rule
2697 BC

XVIII 2657 BC
55.763 pmc 7486 BC

Shelah +
2633 BC

XIX 2617 BC
58.038 pmc 7114 BC

Hoangtius dies
2597 BC

XX 2576 BC
60.405 pmc 6743 BC

Serug *
2567 BC


Supposing on the other hand that St Jerome has the better chronology, either we must conclude that the three first emperors belong to the close family of Noah, or that their years are later than Martini got together.

Any of these solutions allows the CMI claim to remain correct and rebuts the RationalWiki rebuttal. And no, the words of Martino Martini SJ so far do not indicate that this very early history was already crossreferenced as said.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St John Capistrano*
St Theodore, Priest**
23.X.2017

Update, next day, Roger Pearlman, an observant Jew, told me:

under RCCF framework 5778 AM to date, Chinese year count calibrates statistically to birth year of Noach 1056 AM


Noah, a son and a grandson as Fohius and the rest? Possible, except that Noah would certainly have known of agriculture./HGL

* Apud Villackum, in Pannonia, natalis sancti Joannis de Capistrano, Sacerdotis ex Ordine Minorum et Confessoris, vitae sanctitate ac fidei catholicae propagandae zelo illustris; qui Taurunensem arcem, validissimo Turcarum exercitu profligato, suis precibus et miraculis ab obsidione liberavit. Ejus tamen festivitas quinto Kalendas Aprilis recolitur.

** Antiochiae item natalis sancti Theodori Presbyteri, qui, in persecutione impii Juliani comprehensus, et, post equulei poenam et multos ac durissimos cruciatus, lampadibus etiam circa latera appositis adustus, tandem, cum in confessione Christi persisteret, gladii occisione martyrium consummavit.

lundi 9 octobre 2017

Trying to Get a Carbon Related Question Answered


Trying to Get a Carbon Related Question Answered · The Carbon Related Question, Update · Things Could Get a Bit Complicated with Carbon Question

In 100 years, a carbon level in any sample except atmosphere goes down from 100 % modern carbon to 98.798.

100 - 98.798 = 1.202 %.

In the atmosphere, it does not go down, because 1.202 % of the modern carbon is added every 100 years.*

If instead for some period 2.404 % or 3.606 % of the modern carbon level were added in hundred years ...

  • would the cosmic radiation reaching the ground, as that above, be 2 or 3 times the normal one of 0.39 milliSievert per year?
  • would it instead be 4 or 9 times the normal one?
  • or would a square root suffice, would we deal with 1.414 * 0.39 or 1.732 * 0.39 milliSievert per year?**
  • or would the total background radiation at ground level be importantly contributing to the new carbon 14?


In cases one or three, I have tackled the challenge I was given at Nanterre University Campus grounds about 2 years ago.

The most drastic carbon rise I am at all dealing with as even a theoretical possibility would have been giving us new carbon 29.9 times faster than now. 2.133 milliSievert per year (below normal total background radiation in the case of square root) or 11.661 milliSievert per year (above the highest total background radiation, in the case of direct relation).

If on the other hand the cosmic radiation is adding little beyond half if even that of total new carbon, or if it is adding new carbon in relation to its square root, so that the radiation is squared by the factors of how much quicker carbon is forming, we would have been fried. 29.92 = 894.01 times. That would give 348.6639 milliSievert per year, 35 times the highest total background radiations we have now.

20 milliSievert per year is considered a threshold dose in nuclear security. In Japan, after Fukushima.

However, I have so far been presuming that the relation between radioactive dose and rapidity of carbon 14 production is a one to one, that the total background radiation at ground is only negligibly contributing to it, which would mean that most possible and all necessary*** carbon productions I have been dealing with are clearly inferior to this safety limit.

For instance, identifying Joseph with Imhotep (in the time of Djoser) will, in St Jerome's chronology, give us a carbon 14 level in atmosphere of 87.636 pmc : 2800 = 1709 BC. Identifying Kenyon's 1550 BC date for Jericho with the Biblical date acc. to St Jerome's chronology, 1470 BC, will give a carbon level of 99.037 pmc. This means that in 1709 to 1470, in 239 years, carbon has to rise 11.401 pmc units, while a dead stop of new carbon would have been giving us 97.15 % * 87.636 pmc, a level of 85.138374 pmc. So, in 239 years, total production of new carbon would have been 13.898626 pmc units. °

In 239 years, the normal decay and compensation in atmosphere is 100 - 97.15 = 2.85 pmc units. We are therefore dealing with a production 4.877 times as fast as normal. And the cosmic radiation dose would be 1.902 milliSievert instead of 0.39 milliSievert.

"French regulations set at 1 mSv (milliSievert) per year maximum permissible effective dose resulting from human activities outside the natural radioactivity and doses of medicine."


But cosmic radiation is not resulting from human activity. However, back then, there were no doses of medicinal radioactivity either.

And until I get a good reference or a clear proof this is not the 1:1 ratio I have so far been imagining, that it is for instance squared radiation dose for each factor of rapidity of carbon production, I will persist in believing I have shown the viability of the carbon rise model.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Denis bishop of Paris
and companions, martyrs
9.X.2017

PS, actually trying to get answers to the question beyond my confidence it is 1:1, 2:2 and not 1:1, 2:4 from resulting C14 production to causing cosmic radiation. I sent one the day after, giving him to tomorrow, then going on./HGL (16.X)

* 100 - 97.61 = 2.39 % each 200 years.

** 0.55146 and 0.67548 milliSievert.

*** necessary for getting Carbon 14 from c. 1.45 pmc (percent modern carbon) at a Flood 2957 BC to 100 pmc at 500 BC or earlier.

° See Creation vs. Evolution : Comparing Three Roads from Seven Cows to Seven Trumpets
http://creavsevolu.blogspot.com/2017/06/comparing-three-roads-from-seven-cows.html


Update(s) on check effort:

A Pre-Flood Sea? Or More Than One?


Noting for several aquatic animals locations, and for any location any non-aquatic animals:

Cetotherium rathkii
Taman peninsula, Russia

Cetotherium priscum
Kertsch, Ukraine. Austria (Szentmargita, Leitha Limestone Formation, Langhian); Moldova (Chisinau, Serravalian); Romania (Madulari, Serravalian); Russia (Kutsay Mountain, Serravallian); Turkey (Kurtchu-Tchekmedje, Up. Miocene).

Cetotherium pusillum
Chisinau, Moldova

Cetotherium ambiguum
Nussdorf, Austria

Nussdorf also has:
Praepusa Vindobonensis, a seal

Cetotherium klinderi
Mykolayiv, Ukraine

Cetotherium maicopicum
River Belaia, Russia

Cetotherium mayeri
Russia (River Belaia, Derbent, Kuban) and Georgia

Titanocetus sammarinensis
near the top of Mount Titano, Republic of San Marino, northern Appennines, Italy

Cetotheriopsis lintianus
Near Linz, Austria

Micromysticetus tobieni
Lank Latum, Germany

Ichthyosaurus communis
(3) Belgian Lorraine (Belgium) (4)Canton Aargau Switzerland

Brachypterygius extremus
Volga region, Saratov region

Saratov also has:
Hesperornis rossicus Nessov & Yarkov, 1993 (Rybushka Fm, Up. Cret. [Camp.] Volgograd & Saratov, Russia & Sweden)

Volgograd also has:
Cerebavis cenomanica Kurochkin & Saveliev, 2006 (Melovatka Fm, Up. Cret. [Cenom.] Volgograd, Russia)

Oligolactoria bubiki
Bystrice/Olsi, Moravia

Acamptonectes densus
Cremlingen area, Lower Saxony, Germany

Lower Saxony
also has:

Haptodus baylei
Niederhäslich, Saxony, Germany

Europasaurus holgeri
Lower Saxony basin, Oker near Goslar

Dorygnathus banthensis
Flechtorf (Lower Saxony)

Stensioella heintzi
Hunsrück slates of Germany


Many thanks to Palaeocritti team!/HGL