Human Lifespans

I’ve been following The Daily Bell’s ‘Production versus Plunder‘  articles for a while and the edition for September 20th, 2015 discusses the setting up of universities in Europe, initially as private schools from human initiative. This started during the 12th century CE. The only anomaly I see is the reported chronological ages of the various ‘masters’, say the University of Paris which was set up during 1160 from the earlier schools by one Peter Aberlard (1079-1142 CE). The odd thing is that Aberlard started his intellectual journey by wandering throughout France and set up a school in 1101 CE at the age of 22. A callow youth starting an intellectual career during his teens?

Then we have the individual John of Salisbury (1120-1180) who somehow travelled from England to France in 1136 only 16 years of age, another anomalous instance of very young men being so intellectually advanced compared to this era’s young men who at the age of 16 are simply inexperienced callow youths.

This reminds me of Amadeus Mozart who also started composing at an extremely young age, an age these days most young men are silly, impetuous and highly immature.

While child prodigies are well attested facts in our modern times, there is a persistent problem nagging me with those Middle Age/Medieval personalities; which or what calendar(s) were in use when their ages were recorded?

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. I spent my professional life looking for mineral deposits, found some, and also located a number of kimberlites in NSW and Western Australia. Exploration geology is the closest one can get to practicing the scientific method, mineral exploration always being concerned with finding anomalous geophysical or geochemical data, framing a model and explanation for the anomaly and then testing it with drilling or excavation. All scientific theories are ultimately false since they invariably involved explaining something with incomplete extant knowledge. Since no one is omniscient or knows everything, so too scientific theories which are solely limited to existing knowledge. Because the future always yields new data, scientific theories must change to be compatible with the new data. Thus a true scientist is never in love with any particular theory, always knowing that when the facts change, so too must he/she change their minds.
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