From Ancient Greek myth to contemporary science in Australia: Cronus as an environmental hypothesis
MetadataShow full item record
This paper analyses the reception of Greek mythological figures in Earth system science. It concentrates on the so-called Cronus hypothesis (Bradshaw & Brook, 2009), using the myth of this Titan as an analogue to explain the processes of evolution and extinction. The study takes into account Hesiod’s poems, which offer an explanation of the origin and order of the world. Previous occurrences of Cronus in scientific disciplines are also considered, as well as the Gaia (Lovelock & Margulis, 1974a, 1974b) and Medea (Ward, 2009a, 2009b) environmental hypotheses. The analysis demonstrates that the contradictory features in Cronus’ character have been skilfully woven into the scientific rationale. Common concerns of myth and science are discussed, as well as how Classics can play a role when dealing with urgent scientific questions and even help in raising environmental awareness.
© 2019 the author