"Prometheus moulded men out of water and earth* and gave them also fire...."Interestingly enough, God didn't give us fire: not in Genesis, anyway. The Almighty didn't even tell us what the animals should be called:
(The creation of man: Apollodorus 1.7.1, via University of Houston Classical Studies)
"So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name."I'm no Biblical scholar, but it looks like God gives humans credit for being able to work out some details ourselves. That's hardly surprising, since we're made "in the image of God," and in charge of this creation. (Genesis 1:26)
(From Ironie, via Wikipedia, used w/o permission.)
Baghdad batteries: ancient joy buzzers?
More recently, folks have claimed, or assumed, that space aliens jump-started human civilization by showing us how to make things like the Baghdad battery and Antikythera mechanism. Cool as that would be, I think it's much more likely that folks in Roman times weren't all that different from us.
I remember when some scholars claimed that folks in earlier eras couldn't possibly have traveled far enough to leave evidence that others were finding. Some of the arguments seemed to be of the "I can't do it, so it can't be done" variety.
Then Thor Heyerdahl started using old technology to make those long trips, and that's almost another topic.
My guess is that the Antikythera mechanism was a high-end bit of technology that included a 19-year calendar. Tech like that was probably as common as Patek Philippe watches are today: and just as terrestrial in origin.
The Baghdad battery may have been the Persian equivalent of a joy buzzer: or, more likely, used in electroplating. Or it might be an unnecessarily complicated paperweight that just happens to work as a battery. Whatever those things were used for, I'm quite confident that folks in Baghdad made them locally: or got them from other equally-human folks.
"God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed - the sixth day."Things went downhill when we broke the lease. That's in the third chapter. Adam and Eve probably didn't look like Dürer's pale pare, but they acted very - human. When God asked what happened, the man blamed his wife: and God. (Genesis 3:12-13)
That didn't end well. We lost the harmony with all creation that we'd been given, but we were still human, made in the image of God.(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 31, 355-361, 374-379)
And we still had dominion over nature, with all the power and responsibility that goes with it. (Catechism, 373, 2402)
With a little research and massive infusions of imagination and coffee, I might weave that into a "Biblical" denunciation of clothing, the textile industry, and technology in general. It seems like a silly idea, though: particularly here in central Minnesota.
Besides, the Genesis story has God making leather garments, after that fig leaf thing and a discussion about Adam and Eve's status. (Genesis 3:21)
Oddly enough, I don't recall anyone claiming a Biblical mandate for wearing lederhosen: and that is another topic.
Matthew 5:43-44; Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31 Luke 10:25-30)
Loving neighbors didn't come easily, particularly considering implications of the good Samaritan story.
Since then we've developed movable type, moldboard plows, steam powered pumps, electric telegraphs; and sent robot dune buggies to Mars.
And the basic rules are still 'love God, love your neighbor; see everyone as your neighbor.' They're part of natural law, ethical principles built into the universe. Following them wasn't easy two millennia back, and still isn't. But in the long run doing what's right is a good idea. (May 12, 2013)
Two thousand years from now, we'll almost certainly have learned more about this creation, and developed new technologies.
And 'love God, love your neighbor; see everyone as your neighbor' will still be a good idea.
- "Warp Drive: Imagined and Real (Maybe, Eventually)"
(May 24, 2013)
- "Tornadoes, Trusting God, and Planning Ahead"
(May 22, 2013)
- "Spaceships, Robots, and Being Catholic"
(April 12, 2013)
- "Designed as Stewards"
(March 17, 2013)
- "Prayer, Technology, and Looking Ahead"
(February 24, 2013)