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ZetaTalk: Curiosity
Note: written Jul 15, 1995

The ancient Greeks studied more than philosophy in their debates. They studied the ways of nature - physics, astronomy, and chemistry. In those days the going opinion was that the world was flat, and the heavens were doing a dance at the whim of the gods, whoever they may be. They had no microscopes, no accelerators or centrifugal machines, and were incapable of separating chemicals to test out their theories. They did not even have a concept of subatomic particles. How could they, when matter was only falling into categories of solid, liquid, vapor, and spirit.

Yet one man, Democritus, hypothesized that matter had the same base component, and that these were tiny balls in clumps of few or many. Tiny balls that moved swiftly or stood still, and clung to each other or had a life of independence - molecules! How did the concept rise in one never exposed to even the concept of a solar system, orbiting planets around a central sun, much less the elements in the Atomic Table and their theoretical subatomic structure. Democritus was given to quiet times in his garden, where he pondered such simple wonders as rain drops and the ripples they caused in puddles. In essence, he gave The Call, and was heard by aliens who spent many hours with him, on repeated occasions, demonstrating how things work. Democritus would be returned to his garden, where his wife thought he had been all along, to sort this all out. Where the aliens answering his call may have found a ready student, Democritus was not so lucky with his fellow man, who ridiculed him for what they considered his preposterous positions.

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