Genius springs from simplicity in reasoning: that extraordinary character, the 17th cent. Jesuit Father Athanasius Kircher, a precursor in everything, from the study of Chinese to modern spying techniques, going through the most disastrous attempt at deciphering the Egyptians hieroglyphs, wrote an amazingly clever book, Arca Noe (1675) in which he interprets literally the story of the Flood, giving it the most horrible and logical twist. We love him for this.

Athanasius Kircher calculates the dimensions of the Ark, in order to be able to carry all the animal species, shows drawings and possible blueprints, tackles the question of whether extra numbers of cattle were taken on the Ark as food for the carnivores and predators, and tries to find a solution for the cleaning of dung and other kinds of animal feces.

Bust mostly… the extraordinary Father took the story to its logic end and was the first to realise that in case of a planetary Flood, all species of fish would also die (!…), because of the lack of oxygen in the muddy, poisoned waters. His illustrations are thus the most sinister of anything ever imagined about the Flood… At first, we don‘t know why, but then we realise: they are full of dead fish!… Bravo, Father Kircher!… We should appreciate genius when we see it.



Why the Babel Tower was impossible to build (Athanasius Kircher gets clever and cleverer)…