Posted by: Mark | July 18, 2017

De Rerum Natura : The End

Lucretius finished up his answers to life, the universe, and everything, with Meteorology and Geology. Surprisingly, it was more enjoyable than his writings on sex.

He was off on a number of matters, including that thunder is caused by clouds crashing together and lightning is from “seeds of fire” being squeezed out.

He was right about light moving faster than sound and the water cycle.

The idea that an angry Zeus was the source of lightning bolts was mocked unmercifully. Does Zeus only lose his temper during bad weather?

His explanation for earthquakes was that underground rivers and caves collapse. That sounds silly but we didn’t know much better until 100 years ago or so.

I gave Lucretius a lot of grief for some of his statements but I probably shouldn’t have. He was extremely full of himself but I  doubt if ten humans ever could have explained things as well as he did with his lack of information.

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