Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
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The Book of Abraham and Pythagorean Astronomy I 137 when further knowledge was given to him by revelation? This information might increase our understanding of the framework and terminology in which the new information was given. Notes 1Simplicius, as quoted by Thomas Heath, in Aristarchus of Samos, the Ancient Copernicus (Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1913), p. 97. 2See, for example, the introductory (and other) sections of J. A. Philip, Pythagoras and Early Pythagoreanism (Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 1966), and Walter Burkert, Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism, translated by Edwin L. Minar, Jr. (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1972). See also Giorgio de Santillana, Reflections on Men and Ideas (Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press), pp. 190-201, chapter entitled "Philolaus in Limbo, or: What Happened to the Pythagoreans?" For comic relief see also T. D. C. Kuch, "Metrodorus of Chios," The Worm Runner's Digest, 8, No. 2 (Nov. 1966), p. 89. 3Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (Garden City, New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1957), pp. 175-216. 4See Thomas Heath, op. cit., Chapter XII, especially pages 94-100; Morris R. Cohen and I. E. Drabkin, A Source Book in Creek Science (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966), especially pp. 93-97; J. A. Philip, op. cit., Chapter 7; D. R. Dicks, Early Greek Astronomy to Aristotle (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1970), Chapter IV; Walter Burkert, op. cit., Section IV. We have centered our attention on Pythagoras, rather than on Aristarchus (also of Samos) for obvious reasons. 5D. R. Dicks, op. cit., p. 66. Note that we are ignoring problems raised by claims that the Pythagoreans believed that the outer planets moved faster than the inner ones. (See Morris R. Cohen and I. E. Drabkin, op. cit., p. 96.) 6D. R. Dicks, op. cit., p. 74. See also Walter Burkert, op. cit., p. 346, noting Heraclides' claim that the Pythagoreans believed that "the stars are a kind of earth," as Burkert puts it. Note also Moses 1:33-35. 7Arthur Koestler, The Sleepwalkers (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1959 and 1963), pages 148-149 for Copernicus and pages 26-50 for Pythagoras. For Pythagoras see also J. A. Philip, op. cit., chapters 3 and 11; Walter Burkert, op. cit., Section II, Chapter 2. 8In The Pearl of Great Price (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1952). For an interesting comparison of The Pearl of Great Price with modern astronomy, see R. Grant Athay, "Astrophysics and the Gospel," The New Era, 2 (September, 1972), 14-19. 9Giorgio de Santillana, The Origins of Scientific Thought (New York: Mentor Books, 1961), p. 11; Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, Hamlet's Mill (Boston: Gambit, Inc., 1969), p. 3. 10See, for example, Giorgio de Santillana, op. cit., Prologue; Morris R. Cohen and I. E. Drabkin, op, cit., pp. 90-142; Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, op. cit., in general. "One should note the "Throne of God" figures in Fawn M. Brodie's attempt to relate the Book of Abraham to the writings of Thomas Dick. For a discussion of this controversy and references, see Edward T. Jones, "The Theology of Thomas Dick and its Possible Relationship to that of Joseph Smith," MA thesis, College of Religious Instruction, Brigham Young University, 1969. 12The current theory is that the source of solar energy is nuclear fusion within the sun. It appears to me that the existence of this scriptural passage taken by itself does not require rejection of the current theory. However, we should note that there are relevant matters concerning the sun which are not understood, as evidenced by the current neutrino problem. See, for example, Virginia Trimble and Frederick Reines, "The Solar Neutrino Problem—A Progress (?) Report," Reviews of Modern Physics, 45 (January, 1973), 1-5. 13One is tempted to identify this annual revolution with the annual (or nearly annual) revolution of the sun around the central fire in the system of Philolaus—or perhaps even with the much longer revolution of the sun around the center of the galaxy in the modern system. It appears possible that the Book of Abraham uses the term revolution in two senses—the revolution of one object around another, and the rotation of an object about its own axis. Glancing at verse 5, one is tempted also to compare the moon's days, months, and years with