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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Albertus Magnus (1205-1280?) He was Albert of Cologne, a wellborn Christian philosopher and Dominican who for a short time served as a bishop. He defended the writings of Aristotle in accordance with church doctrine, wrote about and experimented with alchemy, and theorized on magic. It was rumored that he had discovered the philosopher's stone and that he could control the weather. He was a very prolific writer.
      It was said that he had spent thirty years to produce what we today would call an android, a figure of brass in the shape of a man, with the power of speech. We are told that it was destroyed by St. Thomas Aquinas because its answers to his questions puzzled him.
      Albert's actual and potentially useful work consisted of discussions of herbal remedies, the effect of which, because of the intellectual limitations of his time, he could not differentiate from magic.



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