Science History

You know the idea of separation of church and state?

I propose another principle: 

Let's keep the church and science separate.


The church is the antithesis of science. While science is at its heart all about facts, the church does not like facts, but rather is focused on feelings and beliefs. The church has truths, but of course truths are not facts. Truths are what each individual person feels is right.

We got a perfect example of why mixing religion and science is incompatible this week when the Vatican held its first every scientific meeting on stem cells. We learned earlier this year that the church had committed $1 million to a high risk stem cell biotech company as well. 
Teacher turned artist Kelly Houle has set herself to the task of creating an illuminated version of the unabridged first edition of Charles Darwin's world-changing book. An example of such an illuminated page:

(Credit: Kelly M. Houle)

The project is intended to be completed by 2018, with a celebration event in 2019, in time for Darwin's 210th birthday and the 160th anniversary of the publication of his seminal work. 

For more information, be sure to visit the website of the project, where you can find more information on the process and the artist.

A year and a half ago, an article about cycads at the University of Giessen brought to my attention the University’s most famous member, about whom Wikipedia says:

The Icebreaker Yermak

Vice-Admiral S. Makaroff of the Imperial Russian Navy was primarily an oceanographer.   His paper On some Oceanographic Problems, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Vol. XXII, contains, amongst detailed reports of his oceanographic investigations, an explanation of why the icebreaker Yermak* was built.  Quite simply, the ship was intended to promote seaborne commerce where Arctic ice had always been a barrier.  It seems that Makaroff had an idea that perhaps, one day, after much experience had been gained, an icebreaker might just possibly reach the North Pole.
A Brief History of Arctic Warming

The Moon And The Telephone

In the history of the discovery of climate change and its causes, there are many pioneers whose work in relevant areas is all but forgotten.  Some of these people are not widely known.  Others are widely known, but their climate-related work tends to lie forgotten in the archives.  For example: Edison is famous as an inventor and Langley is famous as an aviation pioneer, but both men made little-known contributions to our knowledge of heat.
King Solomon is credited with a lot.   He knew everything, he could turn lead into gold, conjure demons and become invisible. Jamaicans even credit him with discovering marijuana.  If you know the Captain Marvel comic book superhero, the keyword he uses to change from Billy Batson to Captian Marvel is an acronym, SHAZAM - the S stands for Solomon and Solomon gave Cap wisdom.(1)

But he was also the prototype for Faust.  According to the Talmud, written around 500 A.D., Solomon cut a deal with the devil to build the great temple of Jerusalem – with disastrous consequences.
Journalism as an occupation with ethical standards was a 20th century invention.  For a brief, shining moment in time, journalists were interested in truth and newspapers flourished.  Truth is subjective, of course, and so are editors who set the tone of newspapers and during the time when the press had power across all society, editors were on the left and the right.   Newspapers reached everyone, multiple times each day.

Today, the 'fourth estate', as Edmund Burke termed it in the 18th century, still has considerable power - it makes presidents and brings down companies - but it is less trusted than it was two generations ago.
Émilie Du Châtelet - An Essay On Heat - 1739 - #3

This is a plain text transcription of Dissertation sur la nature et la propagation du feu - Part 2.

For introductory comments, please see Émilie du Châtelet - An Essay On Heat - 1739 - #1.

[edit - inserted image at page 55 and corrected a few minor typos.]

Transcription of part 2 follows below this page break.

    -  51  -

    DU FEU

Émilie Du Châtelet - An Essay On Heat - 1739 - #2

This is a plain text transcription of Dissertation sur la nature et la propagation du feu.

For introductory comments, please see Émilie du Châtelet - An Essay On Heat - 1739 - #1.

Transcription of part 1 follows below this page break.

Ignea convexis vis, & sine pondere coeli
Emecuit, summâque locum sibi legit in arce.