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Thread: who is your favourite scientist???

  1. #1 who is your favourite scientist??? 
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    this fourm is for history , but all ive seen is the am era!!! so ...

    am..
    discuss


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    Favourite scientist? I find this hard, as I do not see how a scientist can really be a favourite. I must honestly confess that I do not go as much to scientific conferences as I would like to, so I can't really say that there are any modern scientists I consider 'favourite'.

    What I do feel, however, is a strong preference towards Nietzsche. I just got two of his books, and though I am tempted to start in them right away, I couln't resist coming here for just a wee little time :P.

    Anyway, if we are saying scientists across all ages, I'm strung between Plato, Descartes, Thales, Plato, Nietzsche, but also Kant, and many others. That's, basically the problem.
    Sure, you can say that "Betty and Suzy; mudwrestlers 2" was better than "Betty and Suzy; Mudwrestlers", to name a weird example, but the second would not exist without the first. The same goes for philosophers, eventually, we do base a lot on the knowledge of those that came before us, and there really isn't a philosopher that was truly, completely, unique.

    Still, Nietzsche is my favourite .

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    My favorite scientist is the one who made exploxives. Why you ask, no reason, no reason at all...
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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    i see what you mean , there can be difficult to pick a favourite!!!

    explosives you say , it deends which kind.. t.n.t , h bombs?? :P
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    Paul Vidal de la Blache: a great geographer. Can't say I'm a total fanboy though, I don't know enough about his life n stuff.

    Wittgenstein: strange life he had. From extremely rich to extremely poor, from scientist to industrial labourer and back to science again. The classic semi-mad genius.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffstuff
    My favorite scientist is the one who made exploxives. Why you ask, no reason, no reason at all...
    Surprisingly enough, the inventor of explosives (well dynamite anyway) was Alfred Nobel. Yes the same guy who established the Nobel Peace Prize. Sorry, I know it would be more fun to believe in a crazy scientist living in a castle on a hill where its always night and always storming, but oh well, such is life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis
    Anyway, if we are saying scientists across all ages, I'm strung between Plato, Descartes, Thales, Plato, Nietzsche, but also Kant, and many others. That's, basically the problem.
    Hmm…I’ll give you Thales, but most of those people were just philosophers, not scientists.

    Descartes did a bit of physics, but when you dig into his philosophy he was actually very unscientific; he believed that the best way to figure things out was to simply sit and think about them, rather than trying to perform experiments. He didn’t believe that empirical data could be trusted, and thought that we should be guided by pure reason instead. That’s more or less the opposite of scientific thinking - the whole point of science is to check your ideas against empirical data to see if they hold up.
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    If I had to pick one... Richard Feynmann, he tells a great anecdote. It's also amazing (and a little annoying) how talented he was.
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    What I do feel, however, is a strong preference towards Nietzsche
    Freidrich was a scientist? If that's science then......we'd still be in caves.


    Geodisic:
    If I had to pick one... Richard Feynmann, he tells a great anecdote. It's also amazing (and a little annoying) how talented he was.
    YES!!!!

    A bon vivant!
    A curly haired leprachuan, he's the Wonka with a nuclear plant factory.

    Feynmann Rules!! If only scientists retained their childhoold magic as he did, the curiousity, the yen to know.
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    Heh. Yeah. That's pretty funny. Nietsche. A scientist. Where do they come up with this stuff?



    Anyway. I'd have to go with Tesla being my favorite scientist. He was bitter rivals with Edison, as some may be well aware, and was soundly defeated by Edison's business sense. But Edison was nothing compared to Tesla. Edison was a manager, not a scientist. Edison used scientists. Tesla was a scientist.

    And not just a scientist. Tesla was a man who loved digging into the nature of things. He played with the world in the way that only a true scientist can. And he took enjoyment from his work in the way that only a worthy scientist (or any other profession for that matter) does.

    Have you heard about Tesla's work with resonance frequencies? It got him evicted from his laboratory in Manhattan when he attached a device to a structural girder of the building and 'tuned' it to the frequency of his building.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>"I was experimenting with vibrations. I had one of my machines going and I wanted to see if I could get it in tune with the vibration of the building. I put it up notch after notch. There was a peculiar cracking sound.

    "I asked my assistants where did the sound come from. They did not know. I put the machine up a few more notches. There was a louder cracking sound. I knew I was approaching the vibration of the steel building. I pushed the machine a little higher. "Suddenly all the heavy machinery in the place was flying around. I grabbed a hammer and broke the machine. The building would have been about our ears in another few minutes. Outside in the street there was pandemonium.

    "The police and ambulances arrived. I told my assistants to say nothing. We told the police it must have been an earthquake. That's all they ever knew about it."
    Source.</BLOCKQUOTE>
    Now that is just... sweet. It takes a special kind of brilliant fool to be so reckless in the pursuit of knowledge.

    And how can one forget his later years in Colorado striving in vain to create his death ray? I'd love to have seen him stabbing the sky with lightning in the early days of this century.

    Tesla had balls.
    Big huge hairy Croatian balls.
    But no business sense.
    He died broke in a hotel room.
    Despite all the achievements he made throughout his life.
    Despite the fact that he invented the very type of electric current that you are using right now to power your computer.
    The man loved science.
    The man was science.
    The man was a scientist.
    My favorite scientist.
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    Favourite? Probably Johann Kepler for me, because I love planets.

    Or Isaac newton, because he was such a polymath as well as a ground-breaker.

    Or Carl Sagan, because I love his writing.
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    Richard Feynmann,
    Tesla is a good one, and
    Buckminster Fuller
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    I'll go with Bucky Fuller and Tesla.

    But my real favorite is the one that bioengineered me. :wink:
    It's not what you know or don't know, but what you know that isn't so that will hurt you. Will Rodgers 1938
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    But my real favorite is the one that bioengineered me.

    A test-tube baby!?
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    A test-tube baby!?
    Nothing incredible about that... perhaps a chimp/human hybrid? 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by craterchains
    I'll go with Bucky Fuller and Tesla.

    But my real favorite is the one that bioengineered me. :wink:
    Id have to say chris orum. he used to live down the road from me and was a mad scientist. and a farmer.
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    Id have to say chris orum. he used to live down the road from me and was a mad scientist. and a farmer.
    Maybe he created mad cow disease.

    I just had a new thought: my favourite scientist will be the one who proves GM farming can be done in an eco-friendly and economical fashion, thereby shutting up all the willfully ignorant paranoics who reject all GM food and vandalise it in the fields.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geodesic
    If I had to pick one... Richard Feynmann, he tells a great anecdote. It's also amazing (and a little annoying) how talented he was.
    Dammit! I was going to say him. Now I've read further down, and more of my favourites have turned up!

    Richard P. Feynman.
    Carl Sagan.
    I know enough about Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller to know that he'd be up there if I read enough of his stuff, just haven't had the opportunity.

    Or Isaac Newton, because he was such a polymath as well as a ground-breaker.

    Or Carl Sagan, because I love his writing.
    Change "Newton" to "Asimov", add an "and" and cut the "Or Carl Sagan" and you get "Or Isaac Asimov because he was such a polymath was well as a ground breaker, [and] because I love his writing," which pretty much covers it for me.

    Two others, more for being great popularisers and explainers of science rather than being great scientists themselves, Stephen Jay Gould and Martin Gardner.
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    Jimmy Hendrix ... uh, his paper on feedback?
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    Frank Sinatra - with his enlightened predictions about space travel ("Fly Me to the Moon"...) :P
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  23. #22 favorite scientist 
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    hamed gohar--> an egyptian marine biologist who dedicated his life to the sea, and rediscovered the existance of Dugongs in the red sea after a century of extinction.
    He's not well known, although he should be. He was a great scientist.

    I also like Isaac Newton because he proved people wrong.
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    It is hard to pick one, but if I had to choose:

    Leonardo da Vinci because he was as a inventor far behind his time.
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    My favourite scientists are both Joseph Louis Lagrange and Leonhard Euler

    http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~.../Lagrange.html <---Lagrange biography

    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Mathematicians/Euler.html<---- Euler's biography
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    1. Léonard De Vinci

    2. Copernicus

    3. Galileo

    4. Pasteur

    5. Joseph Lister

    6. Ben Franklin

    7. Thomas Edison
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    IN physics, Richard Feynman. Really, the best teacher and physicist who was American born. Much of 20th C. US physics was imported from Europe--Einstein, Fermi, Bethe, Szilard, and many others.

    For sheer technical genius, Tesla, who created the basis of the world's ENTIRE electric power generation from AC generators, to power lines, to the motors which would run on AC.

    For popularization & spokesperson for the sciences, Asimov and Carl Sagan.
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    I'll do a top three of my favorite, simply because they have been the most influencial to science.

    1. Galileo, the father of experimentation. Before him "scientists" believed they could just think about things, Galileo showed them there's a better way. He's the father of science.

    2. Isaac Newton. Probably the greatest mind of all time. His laws of motion are invaluable to humanity and science.

    3. Antoine Lavoisier. Among many important contributions to science, his most influential contribution came when he introduced quantitative analysis in chemistry, which was all pretty qualitative up until then. This opened a lot of doors.

    It is refreshing that essentially only 2 out of the 3 of them were killed by angry mobs. All 3 of them however, should have international holidays dedicated to them because you'd be hard pressed to find 3 men more important to mankind.
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    Since no one mentioned Linus Pauling and Charles Darwin, I will.

    Our modern concepts of chemical bonding largely derive from Linus Pauling's research, and his incredibly influential book The Nature of the Chemical Bond. Like Albert Einstein, he won both nobel science and peace prizes. The vast development of modern organic, inorganic and biochemistry has its foundation centered on Pauling's work.

    Charles Darwin, with his two influential books changed the course of biology and human culture forever. He is the father of modern biology.
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    What about Andreas Vesalius the man who challenged all paradigms of the human anatomy in the 16th century resulting in the basis of our modern healthcare.
    To do this he jeopardized his own career even his own live by performing dissections on death people which was considered as a great crime. But his drive to knowledge and scientific progress was bigger then law and the danger to his own live. (death penalty could be the consequence of his “crimes”).
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    I say, Leevenhoek. He's the finder of microbes, without him, we might have no cure for rabies. My second choice is Pasteur (curer of rabies and other harmful diseases)
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    Albert einstein for his genious and philosphies in life. His individualism and internationalism. I cant believe people havent even mentioned him.

    As for the thoeries. Darwin's natural selection, because i use it so much in my everyday life.
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    My new favorite is Thomas Young. Before that I would have said Newton.

    I just recently read the biography of Young called The Last Man Who Knew Everything. He was an amazing scientist who was actually an expert in many different fields. The Young Modulus in material science is named after him. He was the first to identify light wave interference. He identified the condition of astigmatism, came up with the 3-color theory of vision. He helped translate the Rosetta stone. Ever heard of Young's Temperament. It's still used for tuning pianos.
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  34. #33  
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    Fun thread, though I can't help notice that quite a few people don't know how to spell their favorite scientist's name. If (s)he is your favorite you probably know a lot about her/him. At the very least, wouldn't you know how to spell the name???

    Leonardo da Vinci, for his versatile ingenuity, imagination, and insatiable curiosity. A model scientist, so to speak, who embodied the unity of art and science.

    My favorite controversial scientist would be Isaac Newton, loved for his contributions to the methods of science, and despised for his self-blinding arrogance, especially when facing (and rejecting) great ideas that weren't his own, as well as his aggressive tendency to claim ownership of other scientists' ideas, once he realized they were good. He is my favorite example of an ingenious failure of character.

    Certainly Albert Einstein must be on this list, who could think "out of a box" that other scientists didn't even realize they were sitting in. He should be also credited for recognizing that scientists have certain responsibilities (as did Nobel after he realized what he had created)... he famously spoke out against war in general, and against nuclear weapons in particular.
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    My favourite is Gregor Mendel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel

    I am inclined to be liking the pioneers.
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    or what about Szilard for his understanding of the consequences of atomic theory, and his effort to keep research regarding it from the public sphere in the face of the threat of ww2, despite the pressures of publication.
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtakesLeHpargio
    My favourite is Gregor Mendel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel

    I am inclined to be liking the pioneers.
    Same here.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

    http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php

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    Tycho Brahe - a nose made of gold, a clairvoyant servant-dwarf, and a pet moose that died when it got drunk and fell down the stairs. How can you not love him!?

    Really, I don't have a favorite, but I enjoy Tycho. He really was impressive in the way that he made very accurate astronomical measurements without all the fancy tools we have today, so you have to give him credit for that.
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    Isaac Newton. It's hard to find a scientist who changed the course of Western history and science as much as him.

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    Dr. Karl Klager, chemist
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    Antoine Lavoisier, and not only because he is French. He bashed the phlogiston theory, recognized and named oxygen and hydrogen, and is really the father of modern chemistry.

    But there are others, many others, whom I admire. Notably: Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Isaac Asimov, Leonardo da Vinci, and Louis Pasteur.
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    I think it's obvious that one of the greatest of all time is Nikola Tesla.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_tesla

    He was scientific, rational, and philosophical. That's two over Einstein. In fact, if you read that page, he criticized Einsteins work. A very valid criticism that I believe was never attended to.
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    I find it difficult to call them favourites of mine. These names have not appeared before in the thread (just to mention 20th century ones):

    Marie Curie
    Niels Bohr
    Erwin Schrödinger
    Werner Heisenberg
    Wolfgang Pauli
    Paul Dirac
    Louis de Broglie
    Josiah Willard Gibbs
    ...

    Oh, yes, and this American who is the only person to win two Nobel prizes in Physics... (the answer here). Well...also that Briton who won two in chemistry (the answer here)...

    Also perhaps Alexander Fleming or Ramón y Cajal.

    It is really hard to choose.

    Best regards,


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    Modern: Richard Dawkins, for his work on genetics and his opposition of religeon
    All Time: Charles Darwin, for the obvious and for being so brave, risking social rejection for the sake of science.
    "When man contemplates his future death, it is as if, by thinking of it, he renders it immediate. His defence is to deny it. He cannot deny that his body will die and rot - the evidence is too strong for that; so he solves the problem by the invention of the immortal soul" Desmond Morris
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    Newton. No shame in the cliche; if anything, it's well deserved.
    A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry.
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    I have never understood how Einstein could have devised his revolutionary special and general theories of relativity whilst working outside academia and in such a brief time. I don't think that this necessarily makes him a "favourite" , but he was remarkably productive in a unique way during the early years of the twentieth century. His work contradicted much that was generally accepted as "obviously true" and had significant philosophical implications.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BioHazard
    Charles Darwin, for the obvious and for being so brave, risking social rejection for the sake of science.
    surprised that this is the first mention Darwin gets when this thread is more than 2 years old

    i agree with Biohazard, but for different reasons - it is rare for a scientist to have made so many major contributions in geology (formation of atols), evolution theory (natural selection), taxonomy (barnacles) and botany (orchids, climbing plants) that were so spot on that they have stood the test of time

    even when he was dead wrong, like when attempting to find the source of variation, his mistake did not matter for the essential truth of natural selection

    + what i admire about the man is that he could enter a field where he was by no means an expert and make original contributions just by his knack for asking the right questions
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Thoreau, Gibran, Einstein
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    Ben Franklin, Albert E., & Tesla. I think most would be Franklin then Tesla. Franklin was a perv ;P
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    “Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.”
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    Maxwell, Einstein, Sagan, Asimov, Hawking
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  54. #53  
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    Albert Einstein, Hawkings, The guy who dropped balls from the top of a building or something to see which one will drop down first o_O
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    Not really a scienbtist but the person I respect most in the world right now is Steven Hawking. He is an absolutely incredible person who has been going through a very hard physical deformation but his brain power is still far aabove anyone else on Earth since Einstein.
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    Marie Curie
    People who die for their work...oh yeah.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fool
    I have never understood how Einstein could have devised his revolutionary special and general theories of relativity whilst working outside academia and in such a brief time. I don't think that this necessarily makes him a "favorite" , but he was remarkably productive in a unique way during the early years of the twentieth century. His work contradicted much that was generally accepted as "obviously true" and had significant philosophical implications.
    I agree!! Actually he was called a 'Theoretical Physicist', which wouldn't buy you a cup of coffee today, much less get you a good job. BUT, it was that thinking outside the box, which should be admired and I do...From his 'outside the box', he gave us all things nuclear, a couple generations of futuristic thinkers (science fiction writers) and an abundance of things to develop on, work with or study on, for many years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Not really a scienbtist but the person I respect most in the world right now is Steven Hawking. He is an absolutely incredible person who has been going through a very hard physical deformation but his brain power is still far aabove anyone else on Earth since Einstein.
    I agree. Just finished watching some talks on TED and Steven Hawkings floors me with his intelligence.
    infoaddict.com is THE source for strange, weird, or just plain wacky web news.
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  59. #58  
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    I'll go with Louis Pasteur, for the invention of the rabies vaccine and proving biogenesis conclusively. I'm biased because of his influence on microbiology .
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    Roger Bacon because he taught to forget what tradition says and find out things on your own.

    Besides him, Darwin, William Smith, Lord Kelvin, and Oppenheimer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    surprised that this is the first mention Darwin gets when this thread is more than 2 years old
    I've actually been reading quite a lot about Darwin as of late. Darwin wasn't the first to come up with the idea of evolution, he was just the first to write a popular book about it. And I believe I read that he was originally working with someone else but the credit was given to Darwin. The other person agreed that Darwin should get the credit as well. This other indivdual later went crazy.

    There was a long controversy over whos idea evolution was originally. It was more of a change of perspective and way of thinking of society as a whole. Or at least a few select people from society. This controversy I was speaking about earlier was that of an indivual who actually published the ideas Darwin laid out in his books before Darwin actually did, and he showed Darwin. He however included it as a footnote at the end of his book rather than it being the main topic of the book.
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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    Alfred Russel Wallace

    Because he was sweet and he stood up to the establishment and did his own thing

    And he wasn't recognized for his contribution to the theory of evolution which he came up with at the same time as Darwin but Darwin pipped him to the post by issuing his paper before Wallace.
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    Leonardo Da Vinci , Max Blank
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  64. #63  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    Alfred Russel Wallace

    Because he was sweet and he stood up to the establishment and did his own thing

    And he wasn't recognized for his contribution to the theory of evolution which he came up with at the same time as Darwin but Darwin pipped him to the post by issuing his paper before Wallace.
    in fact both their papers were jointly read in 1858 at the Linnean Society
    what darwin subsequently did was to shrink his intended massive tome (which probably never would have been finished and/or read by anyone) on natural selection into the more readable book that became "On the origin of species"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    Alfred Russel Wallace

    Because he was sweet and he stood up to the establishment and did his own thing

    And he wasn't recognized for his contribution to the theory of evolution which he came up with at the same time as Darwin but Darwin pipped him to the post by issuing his paper before Wallace.
    in fact both their papers were jointly read in 1858 at the Linnean Society
    what darwin subsequently did was to shrink his intended massive tome (which probably never would have been finished and/or read by anyone) on natural selection into the more readable book that became "On the origin of species"
    Actually Darwin sat on the idea 20yrs prior to Wallace. When he discovered Wallace was on to it, he rushed his book On The Origin Of The Species (1859) into print in order to scoop the kudos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    Actually Darwin sat on the idea 20yrs prior to Wallace. When he discovered Wallace was on to it, he rushed his book On The Origin Of The Species (1859) into print in order to scoop the kudos.
    goes to show Darwin was only human, after all
    although to be fair to him, he was torn between losing priority on a lifetime's work and being seen to behave in a ungentlemanly way - the joint presentation was a compromise decided by Lyell and Hooker, as darwin felt in no fit state to decide either way

    having said that, when Darwin received Wallace's letter he was already working on what would have been a massive tome - it's just that his friends convinced him to issue an abstract (some abstract!), as the joint papers appeared to have sunk without any trace (remember that the president of the Linnean Society wrote in his annual summary that the year had not been marked by any ground-breaking events)
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Nikaolai Tesla and Mimar Sinan and Piri Reis and Heisenberg

    Mimar Sinan ,

    * 94 large mosques
    * 57 colleges,
    * 52 smaller mosques
    * 48 bath-houses
    * 35 palaces
    * 22 mausoleums
    * 20 caravanserai
    * 17 public kitchens
    * 8 bridges,
    * 8 store houses or granaries
    * 7 Koranic schools
    * 6 aqueducts,
    * 3 hospitals


    And Piri Reis drow a map which showed America . And he lived in 1470-1554
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