The moon on a sling!

I’m reading Arthur Koestler’s The Act of Creation. All about the creative process in the arts and sciences. Along the wayhe emphasises that many scientific advances and even revolutions often have many precursors. He gives a wonderful example of how the Roman historian Plutarch (c. 45 – 125 A.D.) anticipated Newton’s 1st law of motion by 1500 years!

.. The moon has a security against falling in her very motion and the swing of her revolutions, just as objects put in slings are prevented from falling by the circular whirl; for everything is carried along by the motion natural to it if it is not deflected by anything else. Thus the moon is not carried down by her weight because her natural tendency is frustrated by her revolution.
Plutarch – On the Face in the Disc of the Moon

About caspar

Caspar is just one monkey among billions. Battering his keyboard without expectations even of peanuts, let alone of aping the Immortal Bard. By day he is an infantologist at Birkbeck Babylab, by night he runs BabyLaughter.net
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