Below is a transcript of a professor speech about an ancient Greek philosopher. First look at the questions for 30 seconds and then read the script.
Answer the statements with, true, false or doesn’t say
Anaximander was older than Thales: False
Today we will be discussing Anaximander, one of, in my opinion, the most interesting of the pre-Socratic philosophers. He was born around 610 BC and lived to the age of 65. As most ancient philosophers of his time, he came from a distinguished family and also was a younger contemporary of Thales. Thales, by the way, was the philosopher who calculated the height of the pyramids by the length of their shadows and was able to predict eclipses among with other things.
One of the interesting things about Anaximander is that he was the first of the ancient Greek philosophers who was also an author and was quite noteworthy in his time for his knowledge of astronomy and geography. But, what I found most fascinating about him were some of his thoughts concerning the origins of the universe and the fact that they seem to coincide with current theories concerning cosmology.
Now, as concerns how matter came to exist, Anaximander differed from most ancient Greek philosophers because he did not believe that they came from any one of the four elements. He also didn’t believe that it came from a mixture of any one of them or something in between them, for example, something between air and water or air and fire. He believed that the substance which all matter comes from was both indefinite and infinite. In other words, it was a substance that is impossible to distinguish and that did not have an origin, is indestructible and will exist forever.
Now, this to a certain extent matches what astrophysicists are currently trying to find with CERN in Switzerland, you know, the co-called “God particle”. It makes you wonder how a man over two and a half thousands years ago had a theory that has only recently come to be thought possible. Other interesting postulations that Anaximander had were that there were alternating periods of destruction and creation in the universe, which we now know is true with the second generation stars like our sun being born from the remnants of a star that had exploded. Anaximander also believed that there were an infinite number of other worlds in an infinite universe, again something which is widely accepted nowadays.
Now, I don’t want give you the impression that all of Anaximander’s theories were accurate because many were way off, but even the ones that were way off did have a certain logic behind them. For example, he believed that the Earth was originally in a liquid state and later dried and cooled so life could begin. Current theories state that the Earth was in a very hot state originally for around one billion years and later cooled so as to make life possible. Also, Anaximander thought man came from the sea and the first human beings were fish-like creatures. Current beliefs are that life on Earth originated in the sea and later moved towards dry land.