Anaxagoras

photo neededIn existographies, Anaxagoras (500-428 BCM) (IQ:180|#132) (Cattell 1000:703) (ACR:4) (FA:7) (EvT:4|21+) (CR:50) was a Greek philosopher, teacher of Socrates, who held the view that the sun was a hot or fiery stone, supposedly, based on the examination of fallen meteors, that moon light was reflected sunlight, and was said to have postulated the existence of the element “aether”, which he conceived of as being in constant rotation and carried with it the celestial bodies. [1]

Sun as stone | Moon light
In 77AD, Pliny the elder, in his Natural History encyclopedia, summarized Anaxagoras’ famous stone falling prediction as follows: [8]

“The Greeks boast that Anaxagoras, the Clazomenian, in the second year of the 78th Olympiad, from his knowledge of what relates to the heavens, had predicted, that at a certain time, a stone would fall from the sun. And the thing accordingly happened, in the daytime, in a part of Thrace, at the river Aegos. The stone is now to be seen, a waggonload in size and of a burnt appearance; there was also a comet shining in the night at that time. But to believe that this had been predicted would be to admit that the divining powers of Anaxagoras were still more wonderful, and that our knowledge of the nature of things, and indeed every thing else, would be thrown into confusion, were we to suppose either that the sun is itself composed of stone, or that there was even a stone in it; yet there can be no doubt that stones have frequently fallen from the atmosphere. There is a stone, a small one indeed, at this time, in the Gymnasium of Abydos, which on this account is held in veneration, and which the same Anaxagoras predicted would fall in the middle of the earth. There is another at Cassandria, formerly called Potidaea, which from this circumstance was built in that place. I have myself seen one in the country of the Vocontii, which had been brought from the fields only a short time before.”

Anaxagoras, based on this evidence, posited that the sun was a hot or fiery stone.
Evidence (labeled)
Left: the 2009 Leonid meteor, a type of measureable evidence, i.e. something that can be seen, studied, and quantified. Right: a depiction of the god Apollo pulling the sun on his flying chariot; an un-evidenced assertion about which Anaxagoras in 450BC said did not occur, being that he employed the evidence of observed fiery meteors to assert that the sun was a fiery rock moving in a rotating aether.

Atheism
When Anaxagoras, according to Voltaire (1764), claimed that the sun was not driven by Apollo mounted on a chariot he was called an atheist, and had to flee. [5]

“Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god, but a great rock, and the sun a hot rock.”
— Anaxagoras (c.450BC) (Ѻ)

“The citizens of Athens ... passed a law permitting impeachment of those who did not practice religion and taught theories about 'the things on high'. Under this law they persecuted Anaxagoras, who was accused of teaching that the sun was a red-hot stone and the moon was earth.”
Bertrand Russell (1961), History of Western Philosophy (pgs. 79-81) [9]

In c.450 BC, Anaxagoras was imprisoned, supposedly for a time, for claiming that the sun was not a god and that the moon reflected the sun's light.

Moon light
Anaxagoras proposed that the moon shines by reflected light from the "red-hot stone" which was the sun, the first such recorded claim. [9]

Evolution
Anaxagoras, supposedly, was the second person, behind Anaximander (c.610-c.564 BC), to state views on the general idea of the evolution of humans from earlier forms over time:

“The role of the hands in the evolution of man's intelligence seems to have been clearly recognized by the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras. He explained, according to Will Durant, that ‘man's intelligence by the power of manipulation that came when the forelimbs were freed from the tasks of locomotion’.”
Alfred Lotka (1925), Elements of Physical Chemistry (pg. 440)

“Neither creation nor destruction of life, according to Anaxagoras (510-428BC), was possible, and although, in his opinion, plants, animals, and man all come from the earth slime, nevertheless it was essential that this should be fructified by unchanging and infinitely small seeds (spermata), the ethereal embryos, which were carried into the earth from the air with rain water.”
Alexander Oparin (1936), The Origin of Life [7]

This latter statement may have been an early panbioism view type philosophy.

Homoeomeria | Anti-atomic theory
The following is a summary of Anaxagoras' homoeomeria theory, or all things are made up of like parts theory, of form composition:

“Now view Anaxagoras, his homoeomeria [“made up of like parts”] so the Greeks called it. To begin with, take bones: you see, they are made of little bones, wee, tiny ones; and from wee, tiny guts, guts are crated and blood comes into being and lots of little drops of blood foregather. And gold, he things, can be made out of grains of gold, and earth coalesce from baby earths, and fire from fire, and water come from waters, and all else likewise: so he theorizes. But nowhere in all his world dies he allow for void, or for an end to cutting things. Therefore, in both these matters, he’s wrong.”
Lucretius (55BC), On the Nature of Things (translator: Frank Copley) (pg. 20) (1:830-845)

His theory, accordingly, was against atomic theory:

“To another very eminent philosopher, Anaxagoras, best known to the world as the teacher of Socrates, we are indebted for the most important service to the atomic theory, which, after its statement by Democritus, remained to be done. Anaxagoras, in fact, stated a theory which so exactly contradicts the atomic theory of Democritus that the truth or falsehood of the one theory implies the falsehood or truth of the other. The question of the existence or non-existence of atoms cannot be presented to us this evening with greater clearness than in the alternative theories of these two philosophers.”
James Maxwell (1873), “Molecules” [4]

Whatever the case, the following view is often mis-attributed to Anaxagoras as well as to Empedocles: [2]

Birth is the aggregation of atoms, death is their disaggregation or destruction of atomic composite, without anything being derived from nothing and nothing going into anything in the process.”
Leucippus (c.460BC), often mis-attributed to semi-analogous views of Empedocles and Anaxagoras [6]

Anaxagoras, philosophy historian Giovanni Reale, like Empedocles, held the atomic theory view that “birth is the aggregation of atoms, and death is their disaggregation" or the destruction of the atomic composite, without anything being derived from nothing and nothing going into anything in the process. [2]

Nous | Noosphere
Anaxagoras was the originator of the concept of “nous”, or mind of the cosmos, conceptualized as an ordering force.

In 45BC, Cicero, in his On the Nature of the Gods, rips on Anaxagoras’ concept of god as “the disposition and due order of things delineated and brought to completion by the power and reason of an infinite mind”. [10]

In the early 20th century, Vladimir Vernadsky and Pierre Teilhard both later theorized about the concept of the “noosphere” or "sphere of human thought", the latter arguing that the universe was evolving towards this point (omega point), a godhead matter-energy like point in the future.

Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Anaxagoras:

“What still concerns the history of anthropomorphism, then, as I from Schopenhauer (The World as Will, third edition, part 2 page 369 gather), Anaxagoras gewefen the first to which "the well-known to us only from the animal nature and their purpose calculated only aids an intelligence herbeizog, which are added from outside, which used a time available and given the forces of nature and its laws smart to her to enforce this really strange purposes".”
August Kronig (1874), The Existence of God and the Happiness of People [3]

References
1. Freely, John. (2012). Before Galileo: the Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe (aether, pg. 287). Penguin.
2. Reale, Giovanni. (1987). A History of Ancient Philosophy I: From Origins to Socrates (pg. 120). SUNY Press.
3. Kronig, August. (1874). Das Dasein Gottes und das Gluck der Menschen (The Existence of God and the Happiness of People) (pgs. 386-390). Berlin: E. Staude.
4. Maxwell, James. (1873). “Molecules” (Ѻ), lecture delivered before the BAAS Bradford; in: Nature, 8: 437-41; in: Phil. Mag. (4):453-69; in: Maxwell’s Scientific Papers, Volume 2 (pg. 361-78); in: Maxwell on Molecules and Gases (editors: Elizabeth Garber and Stephen Brush) (§:16: “Molecules”, pgs. 137-40). MIT Press, 1986.
5. Voltaire. (1764). A Pocket Philosophical Dictionary (pg. 31) (editor: John Fletcher). Oxford University Press, 2011.
6. Reale, Giovanni. (1987). A History of Ancient Philosophy I: From Origins to Socrates (pg. 120). SUNY Press.
7. (a) Gomperze, Theodore. (1908). Greek Thinkers, Volumes 1-3 (Griechische Denter). Publisher.
(b) Oparin, Alexander. (1936). The Origin of Life (introduction and translation: Serguis Morgulis) (three phases, pg. vii). Dover, 2003.
8. Pliny (the Elder). (77AD). Natural History, Volume 1 (translators: John Bostock and H.T. Riley) (§:Contents, pg. xxiii-; Anaxagoras, pgs. 88-89). Henry G. Bohn, 1855.
9. Anaxagoras – MacTutor archive.
10. Cicero. (45BC). The Nature of the Gods (Introduction, translation, and notes: Patrick Walsh) (pgs. 12-13). Oxford University Press, 1998.

External links
Anaxagoras – Wikipedia.
Anaxagoras – Wikiquote.

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