Bjoern has already dealt with most of Jerry's misrepresentations, but I wanted to correct a few of them myself. First off, the era before the 1800's was before the establishment of professional training for scientists. Heck, physics, as a field by that name, really only dates to the 1850's or so. Before that was the age of the amateur. By the standards of their day and in their fields, Leeuwenhoek, Mendel, Darwin, Priestly, and Copernicus were part of the scientific mainstream. (addition: I'm surprised Jerry didn't include the discovery of oxygen (Lavoisier, tax collector) in his list. Of course, Lavoisier falls under the same category as Copernicus as being part of the mainstream in the pre-academic age of science. Then again, his career caught up with Lavoisier when he was beheaded during the French Revolution.)
Bjeorn has also dealt with Jerry's mistakes related to Onnes and the discovery of superconductivity. I'd like to point out one more.
Penzias and Wilson, discoverers of the CMB were not radio engineers. Both were Ph.D. physicists (Penzias from Columbia, Wilson from Cal Tech) as one can find in their CV's on the Nobel prize website. Yes, they were working at Bell Labs, and yes, they were working on radio comms with satellites. However, when they found the CMB they were taking advantage of Bell Labs then policy of allowing their staff to conduct "pure" research and were using the radio horn as a radio telescope. For the background check out Wilson's Nobel lecture. It makes it clear that they were doing radio astronomy with the apparatus. It wasn't a case of two engineers stumbling onto something by accident while they were doing something else.
Originally Posted by Jerry
So we have yet another case of Jerry not understanding the history of the field he claims to criticise.
Last edited by Eta C; 2007-Feb-08 at 10:09 PM.
Reason: Add another example
"I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind." - William Thompson, 1st Baron Lord Kelvin
"If it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be, but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic!" - Tweedledee
This isn't right. This isn't even wrong. - Wolfgang Pauli