Space.com Credits Epicurus and Trashes Plato / Aristotle

  • Latest Space.com article referencing Epicurus and life elsewhere -.


    Quote

    The "cosmic pluralism" theory espoused by Anaximander, Epicurus and their followers didn't take off, unfortunately; it was quashed by the ideas of heavyweights like Plato and Aristotle, who held that Earth is unique.


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  • Cassius

    Approved the thread.
  • Two items from that article that are logical deductions that I think might well have figured into Epicurus' thinking:


    Quote

    After all, life appeared on Earth about 4 billion years ago — very quickly, considering that our planet formed just 4.5 billion years ago and remained hot and inhospitable for a long time thereafter. So, life's emergence doesn't seem miraculous, which, in turn, implies that it could have happened here more than once.

    That's one - life is continuously generating both here and elsewhere, so there is no "first living thing" in the universe - life has existed eternally like the universe itself

    Quote

    Over the eons, billions of Red Planet rocks have made their way here, after being blasted into space by powerful asteroid or comet impacts. A lot of Earth material has ended up on Mars as well, but the ledger is decidedly unbalanced; the sun's powerful gravity pulls more stuff inward, toward Earth. (This extensive rock-swapping, by the way, has led some scientists to postulate that life actually arose first on Mars, then made its way to Earth later.)


    And two - there's no guarantee that the life forms we see today started here on earth - they could have started elsewhere either primitively like the rock transfers or in a more advanced state just as we are about to spread life to other planets through advanced space travel.


    Both of these are of course speculative but would be entirely consistent with what we can read in Lucretius.