Stranger: Take animals and all mortal things, and even plants, those which grow from seeds on the earth or those which grow from roots, and those bodies without soul which form in the earth, both the ones that can be melted and the ones that can’t. Surely we are not going to say anything other than divine craftsmanship makes them come to be after previously not being? Or do we consult the saying and opinion of the masses that…
Theaetetus: That what?
Stranger: That nature produces them from some spontaneous cause and without an engendering thought, rather than with reason and divine knowledge that comes from a god?
Ξένος: ζῷα δὴ πάντα θνητά, καὶ δὴ καὶ φυτὰ ὅσα τ᾽ ἐπὶ γῆς ἐκ σπερμάτων καὶ ῥιζῶν φύεται, καὶ ὅσα ἄψυχα ἐν γῇ συνίσταται σώματα τηκτὰ καὶ ἄτηκτα, μῶν ἄλλου τινὸς ἢ θεοῦ δημιουργοῦντος φήσομεν ὕστερον γίγνεσθαι πρότερον οὐκ ὄντα; ἢ τῷ τῶν πολλῶν δόγματι καὶ ῥήματι χρώμενοι—
Θεαίτητος: ποίῳ τῳ;
Ξένος: τὴν φύσιν αὐτὰ γεννᾶν ἀπό τινος αἰτίας αὐτομάτης καὶ ἄνευ διανοίας φυούσης, ἢ μετὰ λόγου τε καὶ ἐπιστήμης θείας ἀπὸ θεοῦ γιγνομένης; [265δ]
“When one of my Platonists teachers told me that the soul-that-is-extended-through-the-whole-cosmos formed the (human) embryo, I thought that the the technical skill and power is worthy of it; but, I could not abide thinking that the world-soul formed scorpions, poisonous spiders, flies, conopses, vipers, grubs, worms and ascarides. I take it this kind of opinion comes near impiety. ”
εἰπόντος δέ τινος τῶν διδασκάλων μοι τῶν Πλατωνικῶν, τὴν δι' ὅλου κόσμου ψυχὴν ἐκτεταμένην διαπλάττειν τὰ κυούμενα, τὴν μὲν τέχνην καὶ δύναμιν ἀξίαν ἐκείνης ἐνόμισα, σκορπίους δὲ καὶ φαλάγγια, καὶ μυῖαν καὶ κώνωπας, ἐχίδνας τε καὶ σκώληκας, ἕλμινθάς τε καὶ ἀσκαρίδας ὑπ' ἐκείνης διαπλάττεσθαι νομίζειν οὐχ ὑπέμεινα, πλησίον ἀσεβείας ἥκειν ὑπολαβὼν τὴν τοιαύτην δόξαν.
Galen, On the Formation of the Foetus, 4.700—701 K
“Again, it is possible to discover the existence of a regular order even among evil things and things that come to be contrary to nature, like abscesses, wounds, inflammations, and periodic illnesses. But also the generation of some living things is in fact orderly, without being relative to an Idea, like the generation of grubs, gnats, and grubs.”
ἔτι τὸ εὔτακτον ἔστιν εὑρεῖν καὶ ἐν τοῖς κακοῖς καὶ παρὰ φύσιν γιγνομένοις, οἷον ἀποστήματα, τραύματα, φλεγμοναί, νόσων περίοδοι. ἀλλὰ καὶ ζῴων τινῶν γενέσεις τεταγμέναι μέν, ἀλλ' οὐ πρὸς ἰδέαν, οἷον σκωλήκων, ἐμπίδων, τερηδόνων.
Alexander of Aphrodisias, On Aristotle’s Metaphysics Α, 103,35-104-19 Hayduck