Anaxagoras and the Origin of Panspermia Theory
Origin of Panspermia Theory is an overview of an ancient natural philosopher's revolutionary ideas on the origin of life in the conservative religious culture of fifth-century BC Athens. The obsession of Ionian philosopher Anaxagoras with natural science and his utter rejection of supernatural explanations for happenings in the physical universe violated deeply venerated religious norms held by Athenian society.
Indeed, his belief in the folly of the posture that humans could tease, flatter, enrage, seduce, chastise, and bargain with their gods to manipulate outcomes almost earned him a cup of hemlock, poured straight up by the Athenian multitude.
Anaxagoras' theory of panspermia is an example of the long-ago situation in which science and religion first collided.
This monograph is the first of a series that tracks the theory of panspermia from its origin to its modern counterpart, astrobiology.