Those are fascinating and intriguing documents. There is a lot
of evidence of advanced learning that was usually kept secret.
The alchemists had deliberately confusing and misleading
terminology and symbols that were designed to be passed down
from master to apprentice, but not to outsiders.
Even in Plato's academy, there was certain "esoteric" knowledge
that was reserved for the "insiders", as opposed to the
"exoteric" knowledge that was openly discussed in public.
I notice the following passage in one of the files you cited:
> There were many scriptures about these sciences, many of which
> have been lost and many have disappeared with the people who
> knew them because we have always believed that knowledge should
> not fall into the hands of unrightfully people.
That kind of secrecy can enable small pockets of people to achieve
an advanced level of knowledge, but it is difficult to sustain the
development. And outside groups have to start from scratch in trying
to reinvent it.
The experimenters might discover a lot of recipes by trial and error,
but the theoreticians don't have access to the broad range of data
from which they might derive general principles and laws of nature.
That doesn't lead to the sustained growth of an integrated science
and technology that everybody can study, learn, and build on.
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx