This is such a basic part of life that our very bodies are built to function in a world where things fall. When astronauts go up into space, they have to exercise hard to combat the effects of a lack of gravity, and when they come back to Earth, their heads are swollen and their legs are thin for a few days afterwards.1
We’ve been dealing with the fact that things fall since the moment the first homo sapien came up with a word (or particular tone of grunt, maybe) to describe falling. Longer than that – we’ve been dealing with it since the time when our distant evolutionary ancestors began to be able to develop a dim distinction between up and down.
We knew that things fell long before we knew that the stuff around us was made up of little bits called atoms, before we knew what stars were, even before we knew how to rub two sticks together to make fire.
- I am not making this up. ↩