By Walter Bröcker
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390 But if, when plates have leaped apart, someone should think this happens when air is self-compressed, he’s wrong, for this makes void what was not void, and makes fullness of what was void before. 9 Therefore, despite your hesitance and evasions, you must admit that there is void in things. And I can give you proof on top of proof 400 to bolster up your faith in what I say. But, for a man of intellect, these small signs suffice: through them you’ll learn the rest yourself. For as hill-wandering hounds time after time sniff out the wild beast’s lair, though roofed with leaves, 405 once they have caught the clear scent of his trail, so you yourself, in things like these, will spy one thing from another and will work your way into dark coverts and drag out the truth.
The doctrine that sensation is the only source of knowledge and truth is reiterated again and again. The universe knows no limitation of time or space, contains an infinite number of worlds, and as a total entity is never diminished or destroyed. Within it lie individual worlds, each an aggregation of atoms and void, and subject to constant change, whether of growth, diminution, or ultimate destruction. Our world, too, is a compound of atoms and void, limited in the number of atoms it may at any time possess.
As a corollary, it must be asserted that the number of kinds of atoms is limited, for obviously, if it were not, some atoms would be big enough for the senses to apprehend, but we see that this is not the case. There is therefore a finite number of kinds of atoms, but of each kind there is an infinite number. No atom is large enough to be seen; conversely, no atom is so small as to have no dimensions at all. Of every size and shape of atom, from those with “least dimensions” to those lying just beyond the reach of the senses, there is an infinite number.