JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
There is a great and powerful image of nothing in Thomas Burnet's The Sacred Theory of the Earth: Containing an Account of its Original Creation, And of all the General Changes which it hath undergone, or is to undergo, until the Consumption of all Things...printed in London ca. 1759, a hundred years after its first printing, in the glory and the magnificence of some very wide and biblical Bible thinking that was still in demand. I'm visiting the "dissolution of the Earth" section, here, showing the results of a very judgmental Creator taking aim at the whole of the Earth for its foul play, drowning everything and everyone for a lesson that could be learned only by the dead--save for a small group of related people and a bunch of animals in a wooden boat the size of which could not possibly have been built during this time period. I have pulled out this image of the ark, guided or protected or righted by a pair of faceless angels, keeping the ship steady on the top of Mt. Ararat. All around this boat are the peaks of other mountains, which for some reason are depleted of all living things, unless of course the image shows the waters receding, which is the route I would take if it were up to me to explain this.
This is a detail from the full engraving, below, which show the Earth completely covered by water--it would be an interesting thing to imagine as an actual physical process and what exactly would have to happen in order for such a thing to occur (and when you start to think of how, outside belief, this could come to happen, you have the makings of an interesting class):
If you expand the image the nearly-invisible continents shine through ever so slightly. I imagine that this would be a pretty scary image to show a kid, or to a believer who had doubts about the possibilities of a wrathful creator. In any event, this fits beautifully as a short post into this blog's "History of Nothing" series, as we see a big image of near-nothing--just water. (Did the fish drown?) Anyway, nothing was left except the boat. And landforms. And water, which evidently went somewhere.
This image was found at the wonderful and extraordinary P.J. Mode Collection "Persuasive Maps" hosted by Cornell University, here: https://digital.library.cornell.edu/catalog/ss:19343661 There are 800+ maps like this there--do not hesitate to visit and visit often--it is a fantastic place.