Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Science and Belief

Gaileo claimed that the Earth was not the center of the universe, that it wasn't even the center of our solar system. Earth was just a planet, circling the sun.

Well. All hell broke loose with that claim. Galileo had to recant, because he challenged the powers that were.

Newton, on the other hand, supposedly was sitting under an apple tree, saw an apple fall, and developed the theory of gravity.

There was no conflict with the ruling class with that claim, so Newton got knighted.

But suppose the apple hadn't fallen, but the apple tree had exploded, shooting tiny pieces of apple hundreds of yards onto neighboring apple trees, and then collapsed into a pile of twigs?

And the King immediately claimed that Robin Hood had shot an arrow into it, causing the collapse, so there was a full -out attack on Robin Hood and his Merry Men, and Englishmen were whipped into a state of fear that Robin Hood would shoot an arrow at them, with the ensuing anger being deftly used to get rid of the common law, the Magma Carta, and to increase the king's men.

But a few people pointed out that apple trees had never before collapsed from arrows being shot into them, so Newton was appointed the task of explaining why it happened this time.

It took him a couple of years, because this was not an easy task!

Finally, he explained that the arrow had knocked off all the bark on the tree, and everyone knows that trees can't live without bark, so of course twigs started to fall, and then the twigs fell onto the branches, knocking them down, and the branches knocked the trunk down.

It's called gravity!

He still would have been knighted, because his theory would have suited the ruling class.

And the bits of apples found hundreds of yards away on the other apple trees?

His theory didn't address that, did it?

How many people would believe such a story?


1 comment:

Daro said...

They got away with it... no lesson learned.