The Cologne School of Ear Wiggling School

February 5, 2011

Concerning the physical features of the head in man, pygmy, and ape, he [Albertus Magnus] observes that these three are the only animals incapable of wiggling their ears.

Apes and Ape Lore – Horst Woldemar Janson

Albertus Magnus Trying to Wiggle His Ears

I can picture it now – Albertus Magnus hurrying across The Stone Bridge in Regensburg, being barracked by a young layabout, ‘Oi! Bert! Look! – *weke-weke – weke-weke* – Where’s yer innovative not to say revolutionary synthesis of diffuse Aristotelian anatomical information and current animal psychological and moral data via the form of religious exempla and encyclopedic aggregation, now! Eh! Your anti-Augustinian stance that reason is in fact, to a degree, linked with physical form, is not only potentially a most dangerous heresy, but at least partly based on a dodgy datum! Eppur si muove!’ (Big Bert could, I suppose, have answered that although incapable was perhaps rather strong, he was in fact referring to the comparatively small accessory nucleus, responsible for an ability to move the ears in humans, apes, and pygmies, in the brain stem. Furthermore, young fella-me-lad (he might have continued),what’s your name? Aquinas? Furthermore young Aquinas, I’ll have you know that although the data in my works of aggregation and synthesis may eventually be revealed to be on occasion somewhat shaky not to say backasswards, the processes by which I go about such works of synthesis and aggregation will maintain. My discoveries, although not always ‘true’ by the lights of a future age, will nevertheless break fruitful ground, which is to say the ground I break will be the ground in which much of the seeds of the development in the thought of man will be sown, something those responsible for the Scientification of Culture in the 21st century, with their near-deification of the Enlightenment, would do well to remember.)

Go on, give it another go, Albertus:

Nope? D’aw.

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