Anaximander – Wikipedia

November 24, 2016

Anaximander was the first to conceive a mechanical model of the world. In his model, the Earth floats very still in the centre of the infinite, not supported by anything. It remains "in the same place because of its indifference", a point of view that Aristotle considered ingenious, but false, in On the Heavens.[30] Its curious shape is that of a cylinder[31] with a height one-third of its diameter. The flat top forms the inhabited world, which is surrounded by a circular oceanic mass.

Anaximander’s realization that the Earth floats free without falling and does not need to be resting on something has been indicated by many as the first cosmological revolution and the starting point of scientific thinking.[32][33] Karl Popper calls this idea "one of the boldest, most revolutionary, and most portentous ideas in the whole history of human thinking."[34] Such a model allowed the concept that celestial bodies could pass under the Earth, opening the way to Greek astronomy.