It is admittedly an idle question, but still, while I am here I might as well mention a minor enigma that has been puzzling me ever since I was a
Why is it that the ancient peoples (supposedly) saw shapes in constellations - and we can't?
(By "we" I mean every single person I've ever asked about this. And I've asked a lot of people.)
Honestly... when you look at, say, the constellation f Virgo, do you really see a sitting maiden?
When you see the constellation of Leo, do you really see a lion?
As a matter of fact, do you really "see" them even AFTER having been shown the outlines according to the perception of the Ancients?
I know I don't.
And nobody I've asked so far does either.
I don't think it's due to the probable fact that there were many more stars visible (because of the lack of environmental pollution) - which would
offer many more reference points - because when I look at the stars in sky maps I still don't see any such shapes.
And it cannot be simply because they had "more imagination", unless the surplus of "imagination" were somehow lost from the DNA of posterior
generations... A child small (but bright and/or imaginative) enough would still see the same things today that children - and adults - saw many
centuries ago. Seeing shapes in clouds is a very obvious everyday example. We can see them with almost no effort (and not just in clouds) - and yet we
don't "see" the formations that the ancient peoples saw in the starry skies.
Anyone else finds that puzzling?
P.S. I see this post landed in the "conspiracy" forum.
So, just for the record, I'd like to declare that I am NOT hinting at any "conspiracies".
[edit on 20-4-2008 by Vanitas]