Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who lived from 384 to 322 BC.

He thought and talked about how things worked or behaved -- he did not do experiments.

Aristotle described natural motion and violent motion -- motion with an outside mover, like your hand.

Remember, the Greeks thought everything was made of earth, air, fire, and water. According to Aristotle, these components determined the natural motion of an object:

A lump of clay was mostly earth, so it naturally fell to the Earth, its proper place.

Smoke was mostly fire and air, so it naturally rose into the air, its proper place.

Feathers were composed of earth and air, so they naturally fell -- but more slowly because they did contain some air!

Heavier objects contained more earth so they would naturally fall faster!

Aristotle's ideas were lost during Europe's Dark Ages and then found and reintroduced in the eleventh and twelfh centuries. Initially they were prohibted by the Catholic Church. And then they were accepted -- and given essentially the same importance as Scripture or other Church writings!

Aristotle greatly influenced thinking in Western Europe for the next five or six hundred years! Some -- or many -- of his ideas are the "common sense" ideas that many people grow up with today! Some of his ideas seem reasonable -- until you take a little time and think them through. Do heavier bodies really fall faster? That's still a tough question for some people TODAY!

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