When the giants inhabited the earth

When the giants inhabited the earth

Giant Trapani, engraving by an unknown artist published in 1648 in the Mundi Soptrani by Athanasius Kircher. MEPL Images/Bridgeman

IN ATTIC OF SCIENCE (2/6) – How old is humanity? From Adam and Eve, the Church responded long before the idea of ​​the evolution of species emerged. And this is how scientists, in the face of dinosaur fossils, were able to theorize giants …

What reaction will you have when you discover a gigantic bone, without ever having heard of the laws of evolution and natural selection? Since ancient times, these archaeological discoveries have fueled myths and legends, says American science historian Adrian Mayor in an untranslated work published in 2000, The first fossil hunter. Fossils of protoceratops, ruffled dinosaurs unearthed in the Gobi desert, gave birth to griffins, and mythical beasts that are half eagles, and half lions.

Then men consider that the living does not change. This certainty that will continue until the nineteenthe horn and work DarwinIt reached its climax from the fourteenthe century when antiques dealers fashion spread across Europe. These bones too large to belong to a known animal are necessarily the bones of giants hiding in forests or mountains, we think. Bones of excessive sizes created fears among the populationto analyze…

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