We trace our scientific heritage to several, little-known but seminal moments, more like profound realizations, at the dawn of life-science, to do with metabolism & biological time, both over the short- & long-term (life-time):
"Both the body & its parts are in a continuous state of dissolution & nourishment, so they are inevitably undergoing permanent change."
- Ibn al-Nafis, The Treatise of Kamil on the Prophet’s Biography (c. 1270)
"... life ... is prolonged by means of cold ... a fact which deserves particular attention."
- Jan Swammerdam, The Book of Nature (1673-80)
Together, these two, including several other, early & seemingly inconsequential & unrelated insights speak volumes about the power of life to, sustain, reshape, enhance & project itself into otherwise impossible futures.
“In Sardo [Sardinia] certain people were said to sleep among the Heroes, i.e., among the gods. … These persons, returning to themselves, were not aware of the time which elapsed while they were thus absorbed; because that first instant in which they began to sleep they joined to the instant in which they awoke as if it were one instant – but the time that elapsed escaped them.”
– Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle's Physics (c. 1270)
This & previous observations were not overlooked by discerning types of flaneurs of the like of Réne A.-F. de Réaumur (Paris, France, 1736). De Réaumur managed to corner & catch life in the act of tinkering, actually more like tampering with the master clockwork mechanism & metabolic dimmer-switch, & express the sci-fi, not sci-fi, latent ability to dilate (slow) biological time & afford itself the luxury of skipping over too hash times & gain access & a foothold into otherways impossible futures. And, yes, there's an equation for that.
"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore."
– André P. G. Gide
Animalesque phenomenal capabilities existed well before the dawn of either middle-eastern or western life-sciences, one can trace its history way back to some 50,000 years ago, during the first colonization of the harsh Australian desert interior. This achievement required a systematic formulation of a body of esoteric & tacit knowledge about the nature of extreme environments & the austerity measures that went along with it, an uncommon survival know-how for venturing into truly wild places, knowledge that goes far beyond the norm &, evidently, leap-frogs even today's state-of-the-art special operations know-how.
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