It seems not absurd to conceive that at the first Production of mixt Bodies, the Universal Matter whereof they among other Parts of the Universe consisted, was actually divided into little Particles of several sizes and shapes variously mov’d.
This (sayes Carneades) I suppose you will easily enough allow. For besides that which happens in the Generation, Corruption, Nutrition, and wasting of Bodies, that which we discover partly by our Microscopes of the extream littlenesse of even the scarce sensible parts of Concretes; and partly by the Chymical Resolutions of mixt Bodies, and by divers other Operations of Spagyrical Fires upon them, seems sufficiently to manifest their consisting of parts very minute and of differing Figures. And that there does also intervene a various local Motion of such small Bodies, will scarce be denied; whether we chuse to grant the Origine of Concretions assign’d by Epicurus, or that related by Moses.
- Robert Boyle, The Sceptical Chymist: or, Chymico-Physical Doubts & Paradoxes (1661) [full text]