Viki Kollerová – On Being an Apple (2011)
After dinner, the weather being warm, we went into the garden &
drank [tea] under the shade of some apple tree; only he & myself […a]mid other discourse, he told me, he was just in the same situation,
as when formerly the notion of gravitation came into his mind. Why
sh[oul]d that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground,
thought he to himself; occasion’d by the fall of an apple, as he sat in
Why sh[oul]d it not go sideways, or upwards? But constantly to the
Earth’s centre? Assuredly the reason is, that the Earth draws it. There
must be a drawing power in matter. And the sum of the drawing power in
the matter of the Earth must be in the Earth’s centre, not in any side
of the Earth.
Therefore does this apple fall perpendicularly or towards the
centre? If matter thus draws matter; it must be proportion of its
quantity. Therefore the apple draws the Earth, as well as the Earth
draws the apple.
–William Stukeley reports an early version of Isaac Newton’s famous falling-apple-inspires-theory-of-gravity anecdote