peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Aug 23 20:21:59 EDT 2005
On 24/08/2005 00:43, Bill Rea wrote:
>>I wondered how many of these warning signs applied to Einstein's
>>science, in his miraculous year just 100 years ago when he turned the
>>scientific world upside down in a series of papers.. He was certainly
>>working alone, outside the scientific establishment who he probably at
>>least felt were conspiring against him by not giving him an academic
>>post. The scientific effects were indeed at the very limit of detection,
>>and he was proposing all kinds of new laws of nature. He did publish in
>>a respected and presumably peer-reviewed journal. But would any journal
>>have published such papers today, from an unknown patent clerk? I doubt it.
>Einstein was not working alone. He published in Annalen der Physik,
>journals in physics don't come any more respectable than that. ...
I accepted that.
>... Effects he described such as the photoelectric effect were easily
This effect was easily measured, but most of the predictions of special
relativity and his famous E=mc² were either barely or not at all
testable at the time.
>The view presented above is a romantic one of a lone genius making
>break-throughs. I don't know if ever was really true but its certainly
>not true today whether it be physics or Hebrew. ...
Einstein was not entirely alone, but he was certainly on the fringes of
the establishment. I accept that such lone geniuses have become rare, at
least in the physical sciences, over the last century, because of the
internationalisation of scholarship and the huge cost of experimental
science. But in some less studied fields this kind of work can still
come up with good results. I doubt if it is true of Hebrew, but it is
not impossible that someone working largely alone can come up with
significant new insights.
>... Even if we concede their
>might be a lone worker in Hebrew who discovers the true workings of
>the verbal system, they still have to be published and subject to
>the scrutiny of the community of scholars before it will be accepted
>as such. That's the way things are.
I accept that scholars will only accept a new theory if it has been
scrutinised by fellow scholars. That does not imply that all theories
which have not been so scrutinised and accepted are untrue. There are
other famous examples of theories, such as Wegener's continental drift,
which have been rejected as crank ideas for decades before becoming
accepted as scientific truth.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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