A Natural History of Time by Pascal Richet

By Pascal Richet

For many of heritage, humans relied on mythology or faith to supply a solution to the urgent query of the earth's age, even supposing nature abounds with clues. In "A normal historical past of Time", geophysicist Pascal Richet tells the interesting tale of ways scientists and philosophers tested these clues and from them equipped a chronological scale that has made it attainable to reconstruct the heritage of nature itself. the search for time is a narrative of ingenuity and resolution, and prefer a geologist, Pascal Richet rigorously peels again the strata of that background, giving us an opportunity to surprise at every one layer and really get pleasure from how a long way our wisdom - and our planet - have come.

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In the ancient world, where the gods tended to be numerous and fickle, and where scarcely any aspects of life or nature escaped their attention, this prophet broke completely with the age-old customs. He contracted an alliance with one single divinity, Yahweh, and he formed it on terms as between equals—even if we might point out here that one of the parties to the contract was a man, and the other God, the transcendent Creator of all things. This one God, as J. ” With this alliance, Moses turned his back on those gods who were nothing more than improved-upon men, and he freed himself from the ties that bound man with nature and with the cosmos.

Perhaps it was because the endeavor would have been in vain from the outset, since no trace of the beginning of the world was distinguishable. The lack of any real evolution had been asserted long before by Aristotle, in Meteorology, his treatise on natural history: It is therefore clear that, as time is infinite and the universe eternal, that neither the Tana¨ıs nor the Nile have always flowed, but the place whence they flow was once dry: for their action has an end, whereas time has none. But if rivers come into being and perish, and if the same parts of the earth are not always moist, the sea also must change correspondingly.

Thus, during this period of a few millennia, the divine nature of the revelation as delivered in the Scriptures provided for absolute faith. –232), one of the first Christian scholars, recognized that if the origin of the world could be determined, then the correctness of the Old Testament prophecies, which was constantly being confirmed, ought equally well to permit the prediction of the end of time. In his Chronicles, of which only fragments survive, Julius examined the biblical and pagan chronologies within the perspective of millenarianism, basing his reasoning not on the period of one millennium, as given by the Apocalypse for the time separating the Crucifixion from the Last Judgment, but upon a total duration of 6,000 years, deduced from a reading of the book of Daniel.

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