By Joel Davis
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Additional resources for Alternate Realities: How Science Shapes Our Vision of the World
In 2000 BCE, though, it took place on June 30. 12 By the time the discrepancies made the star's heliacal rising useless as a predictor, the connection had become permanently cemented into Egyptian life and religion. Sothis/Sirius continued to occupy an important place in ancient Egyptian life and traditions. Isis, the Egyptian goddess of agriculture and fertility, became associated with Sirius. At the same time the Egyptians were developing an agricultural calendar based on Sirius, they were also devising a more straightforward time-keeping calendar based on the movements of the Sun.
Water was alive, and mirrored the gift of life that comes from the goddess. Cold earth, too, was Her gift, and a sign of Her relentless but necessary pursuit of all living creatures. All must die and return to the ground, so that life may come again. Life and death waltzed eternally, as did water and earth, day and night, Sun and Moon, spring and fall, summer and winter. No modem human has caught the spirit of this ancient vision of reality quite as brilliantly as a nineteenth-century Roman Catholic priest and poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, who wrote of grandeur: "The world is charged with the grandeur of God"; of the night sky: "Look at the stars!
Some planets, like Mars, move more quickly along some parts of their paths through the night sky than through others. If Mars's deferent was centered on an eccentric rather than the earth, this movement made sense. The Ptolemaic Vision Even after the tragic destruction of the Alexandria library, Aristotle's work survived in the Middle East. Early Islamic scientists translated Aristotle's Greek into Arabic, and from there his work eventually made its way back to Europe in the early years of the second millennium.
Alternate Realities: How Science Shapes Our Vision of the World by Joel Davis