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Ancient peoples developed a number of explanations
for fossils that they found.Â Some
thought fossils were the remains of mythical giants and animals.Â In
Hence it is clear that in the investigation of Nature, or Natural science, as in every other, there must first of all be certain defined rules by which the acceptability of the method of exposition may be tested
--Aristotle, Parts of Animals, Book I.I, p.53
Aristotle appreciated, as modern scientists do, that an understanding of the natural world often results from the study of seemingly insignificant organisms.
.it now remains to speak of animals and their Nature.Â So far as in us lies, we will not leave out any one of them, be it never so mean; for though there are animals which have no attractiveness for the senses, yet for the eye of science, for the student who is naturally of a philosophic spirit and can discern the causes of things, Nature which fashioned them, and provides joys which cannot be measured.
--Aristotle, Parts of Animals, Book I.v, p. 99
Â Â Â Â Aristotles extensive observations allowed him to appreciate the similarities between the anatomical structures of diverse organisms.Â Comparative anatomy is essential to the classification of living and extinct animals today.
I have now described the arrangement of the parts which are on the visible surface; and, as I said, they mostly have their own proper names and are well known through their familiarity.Â With the inner parts the reverse is true.Â They are for the most part unknownat least, those of man are, and hence we have to refer to those of other animals, the natural structure of whose parts those of man resemble
Aristotle, Historia Animalium I, p 57
Thus, if our description proceeds by taking the attributes for every species, we shall be obliged to describe the same ones many times over, namely, those which although they occur in different species of animals are themselves identical and present no difference whatever.
--Aristotle, Parts of Animals, Book I.I, p. 55
Unfortunately, after the fall of
the large size of the primitive human is often proved to the incredulous
by the exposure of sepulchres, either through
the wear of time or the violence of torrents or some accident, and in
which bones of incredible size have been found or have rolled out.Â I myself, along with some others, saw on the
Concerning the days before the Flood, the Glorious Historian has told us, There were giants on the earth, in those days, Could any undoubted ruins and remains of those giants be found under the earth, among the other subterraneous curiosities in our days, it would be an illustrious confirmation of the Mosaic History, and an admirable obturation on the mouth of Atheism!
Cotton Mather, from Semonin, p. 29
Johann Scheuchzer described a giant salamander fossil as Homo diluvii testis, Man, a witness of the Flood.Â Â
A giant fossil salamander which occurs abundantly in the Upper
Soften the heart and mind of recent sinful kin.
Hogben, 1930, p. 141
Some felt that fossils were the remains of dragons and other animals mentioned in the Bible.
1443, when foundations were being dug for St. Stephens Cathedral in