Re: Total, complete & utter bullshit.
When I was in school this issue was used as an illustration of the problems with the way Aristotle did science. It was said that he wasn't an experimentalist but rather just thought out his experiments and decided that his thoughts were right. Well, he "thought" that hot water cooled faster than cool water so he said that hot water would freeze faster than cold water. Sounds reasonable...until you really think it through.
Then several (ten?) years ago I read an article in either Science News or Chemical and Engineering News that showed, when conditions are as they would have been if Aristotle was doing the experiment, that Aristotle was right. Hot (boiling) water DOES freeze faster than cold water.
Here are the conditions:
What would Aristotle have used to hold the water? Likely a wooden bucket, certainly not a glass vessel and probably not a clay pot (though that's possible if you heat the water in the pot), and probably not a metal container either (you'd probably use two identical wooden buckets and pour hot water into one and cold water to the same level in another - or use a third pot to get really identical amounts).
So, boiling water in a wooden bucket. What happens? You lose a considerable amount of the water through evaporation. The wood insulates the water and keeps it warm which keeps it evaporating. By the time the water reaches the temperature of the cool water it has a LOT less mass than the water that initially was cool. From there out the "warm" water gets colder and freezes faster because it has less heat to lose (due to its lesser mass).
So...Aristotle was right - if we use his same equipment.
But if we start with glass or metal containers they transmit the heat much faster and the hot water doesn't have enough time to evaporate much, which means that it takes longer to reach the original temperature of the cold water, which means that it will never catch up. Using our methods cold water does freeze faster than the same amount of hot water.
THAT'S why reproducible experimental methods are so important in science.
I thought that was a pretty cool article! What do you think?