I imagine a man of little influence and above average intelligence sitting on his veranda in 3000bc. He is enjoying the setting of the sun after a long days of labors in his fields. His wife has placed out on his table some fruits along with his evening meal and among these fruits is a melon.
The man, now reserved from his day-long toils is pondering ideas of greater consequence. He looks out at the landscape, apparently flat laying out before him and ponders the nature of his world. The popular notion of the day is in fact that the world is flat and that the sun driven by the gods across the sky every day, and so on and so forth.
He looks across to the other horizon and sees off to one side the moon rising with a partial crescent of darkness on one side. A seemingly flat circle on the face of the heavens. He ponders this too a moment and reaches for his wine but has to turn his head momentarily as the melon amongst the fruit is obstructing his reach.
Upon observing the melon he can see the light of the setting sun bathing the one side and a partial dark crescent of the shade behind it. Epiphany!
He looks back up to the seemingly flat moon and again to the half-lighted melon. Again to the moon and again back to the melon. He calls to one of his boys to bring him a sheet of papyrus and a piece of charcoal. He stands up from the table and walks around the melon, drawing what he observes, then looks up to the moon and again draws what he sees.
Over the following weeks he observes the moon every night and again draws his observations and is now reasonably certain that not only is the moon round, but it too seems to be varying in position in relation to both his reference point and that of the sun.
As a man of little consequence, his ideas have no influence on the science of the day, but by way of objective observation and a healthy dose of reason he has managed to deduce a fundamental fact about his universe.

SWWood Scott Webster Wood
TheWild Webster

treii28@hotmail.com
Thoughts from the Wild
The ObjectOpus
Things You Ought to Know
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