If nature had set no limit to the destruction of things, by this time the bodies of matter would have been so far reduced by the destruction of the past that nothing could be conceived out of them and reach maximum growth. For we see that anything is more quickly destroyed than again renewed. If this were the only rule governing matter, the infinite duration of past time could never be renewed again. Surely we see a fixed limit to this breaking! First beginnings therefore are strong in solid singleness and by a denser combination of these, all things can exhibit enduring strength.
-Lucretius (99-55 BC), 'On the Nature of the Universe'