John Goad (1616-1691)

His 1686 lifework treatise, entitled "Astro-meteorologica; or Aphorisms and discourses of the bodies coelestial, their nature and influences." is still available at Stanford University's library archives. Goad was a Natural Philosopher who lived in London at the apex of the horrors of the plagues, pestilences, and political mayhem that I have come to associate with the post-Medieval Warm period, and the shift in Europe from Feudal Society to payment for Services Rendered. (It is all attributable to disease and death, as a result of climate cooling, and exchange of materials, pests, and people, from distant locations.)

A long-term general climate cooling seems to have run its course from around the mid 1100s until sometime in the late 1700s, depending upon where on Earth you were. Inside this phenomenon, was embedded the Maunder Minimum (1645 to 1715)  a period of low sun spot numbers, through which Goad lived 46 of his 75 years. Counting sun spots was a relatively new occupation, but many were looking up, and paying close attention to any odd phenomena.

John Goad was amongst the last of the millennia-olde convention of fundamentalist Astrology-based observers. Their prime intent was to explain the events and processes that affected society through careful and prodigious observations of various categories of events, and attempts to explain and forecast future events through careful logging of the relative positions of the various "coelestial bodies".

At the very end of we find a particularly poignant statement, which I will refer to as

John Goad's Goad

"It grieveth me to see learned men to speak of pressures of aire and thereby solve problems concerning the ocean's ebb and flow."


It must have been hell living at the end of a three or more thousand year old approach to observing and explaining the world by looking up. This became an unpopular concept in the mid-20th Century, as more 'educated' scientists looked deeper and deeper into more miniscule earthly processes. These folks led to the reductionist approach to science, and often led to the loss of focus on nested processes. Given how little we actually know about how we came to our role and responses within the larger context of natural phenomena, I think that it is probably just as silly to try to explain many or most things by not looking up, too, while trying to understand the various phenomena that affect our lives.

One has to wonder just how folks since Goad's time came to think and view the world so insensitively, as an isolated, self-contained, self-organizing system. One does not need to wonder why it is so very difficult to make headway with this behavior dominating intellectual developments, even within the very free world of Modern Science.

Milutin Milankovitch, the Serbian astrophysicist, gave us a new way to look at the role of the sun in relation to earth's many variations...


The same year that Natural Philosopher John Goad was born (1616)

Pocahontas, Miguel de Cervantes, and William Shakespeare Died!


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