In its inspiration this is sort of a science fiction story: I was reading about 17th century scientists and wondered, “What if they were right?”
The Aetherised Chamber
By Stewart Moore
17 October 1687:
The God-machine failed, and I destroyed it. With the wood-axe I smashed the glass vacuum pump, the encircling copper spring, the clockwork armature, and even the desk on which it stood. With a hammer I crushed the crystal at its heart as I would pith a frog’s skull. No one must know the extent of my humiliation.
Yet it was a worthy idea. The new science has shown that the universe is like an immense clock. By detecting its subtlest vibrations, may we not know the mind of its Creator? My method too was sound: I rarefied a jar of air to create a vacuum. Since of course a true vacuum is impossible, the pump can only have drawn in that finer substance, dissolved throughout the cosmos, supporting the planets in their courses: the aether. And what is the aether but the very essence of God? (Continue Reading…)