SV: NEW: Racist Newton didn't discover Gravity!
Lars Martin Fosse
lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Sun Apr 8 11:32:25 EDT 2001
Arun Gupta [SMTP:suvidya at OPTONLINE.NET] skrev 8. april 2001 16:34:
> 1. That Harappan culture declined for reasons other than Aryan invasions
> can be found in e.g., Jonathan Mark Kenoyer's book, and e.g., the Asia
> Society & Pakistan Govt. exhibition in New York (1997) on the Indus
> Valley civilization. There are hardly saffronites.
This has long since been recognized even by the "Invasionists" and is not a
bone of contention.
> 2. From Alberuni, chapter XXVI "So Brahmagupta says : "Scholars have
> declared that the globe of the earth is in the midst of heaven...we
> say the earth on all its sides is the same; all people on earth stand
> upright, and all heavy things fall to the earth by a law of nature..."
> The inverse square law occurred to people other than Newton as well,
> Newton's genius was in being able to use the law to calculate orbits.
In general terms, it seems evident to me that any natural law or
mathematical principle can be discovered by anyone anywhere (provided they
have the knack for that sort of thing). We do not have to assume one
specific point of departure for all discoveries and inventions. I strongly
suspect that whereever you find grand architecture, somebody must have
understood something of natural laws and mathematics, even if they did not
write scholarly books on the subject. I therefore politely suggest that the
quarrel about who invented what first is not a very interesting one. It is
far more interesting when the discovery of a natural law of of mathematical
principles "take off" in such a way that they become "world-shattering"
events. And here Newton, as suggested above, is a case in point.
Let me give another example from a different field, "the discovery of
America". It is a fact that Norsemen operating from Greenland discovered
America before Columbus. So what happened? They spent 500 years getting
their timber in America. That's all. End of story. Not much, really. But
when Columbus discovered America, we had one of those "world-shattering"
events. A great rush of people from over here to over there. Indian
civilizations come crushing down under the European onslaught. Millions die
of war and desease. The Americas are taken over by a totally alien culture.
New nations are born, and the US, the world's most powerful superpower
these days, were created. So why bother with Leiv Eirikson at all? He would
only be significant if his discovery prompted Columbus' voyage to the new
world. That has of course been suggested, but it most probably didn't
happen. I think Columbus was quite capable of discovering America without
the help of Leiv Eirikson. The Norse discovery of the Americas is an
historical footnote. The one that matters is Columbus'.
And I politely suggest that this goes for many other "firsts" as well.
Lars Martin Fosse
Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
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