Thursday October 17, 2019
SNc Channels:

Search
About Salem-News.com

 

Feb-08-2011 16:38printcomments

A Brief History of Truth

The pursuit of Truth is a perilous journey.

Pythagoras
Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher
Courtesy: windows2universe.org

(SALEM, Ore.) - One of the early stories that relates human nature and truth is about the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, for whom the Pythagorean Theorem is named.

He believed strongly in the power of rational (whole) numbers, that they controlled the behavior of the planets and the universe itself. One of Pythagoras' brighter students was named Hippasus, who discovered that the square root of 2 is an 'irrational' number, one that cannot be precisely calculated, like the value of pi. Pythagorus insisted that Hippasus retract his mathematical proof, but he refused. Pythagoras had him drowned for committing what he considered mathematical blasphemy.

Galilieo was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher. Stephen Hawking credits Galileo as being "responsible for the birth of modern science." Galileo was persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church because he defied the geocentric notion that the Earth was at the center of the universe.

His support of the heliocentric view was condemned as being contrary to Scripture. Galileo was tried by the Inquisition, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. Of course, his view was later adopted by the enlightened intelligentsia.

In centuries past, one woman out of six died of fever following childbirth. It was suggested by physician Alexander Gordon in 1795 that the fevers were curable, and caused by an infection. This wisdom fell on deaf ears; the scientific consensus refused to believe it.


Then in 1843, the professor, physician, and author Oliver Wendell Holmes presented evidence to the scientific community that the contagion known as puerperal fever was the cause of these deaths. Again, the consensus was unmoved.

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss, known as the 'savior of mothers', pioneered the concept of sanitary techniques, and in hospitals under his management, puerperal fever was eliminated. He was ignored and dismissed from his post.

Puerperal fever continued to claim the lives of woman until the beginning of the twentieth century.

The inertia of consensus, and the necessary social reform in the Southern states, kept a disease known as pellagra from being cured by improved diet until the 1920s. It was the work of Dr. Joseph Goldberger who defied the prevailing theory that pellagra was caused by germs.

Geophysicist Alfred Wegener proposed the theory of continental drift in 1912 because of the manner in which South America and Africa appeared to fit together. Although it seems obvious now, the revelation wasn't accepted by geologists until 1961.

Then we come to the case of George Taylor, who was stripped of his title of State Climatologist in 2007 by then-governor Ted Kulongoski because of his skeptical views on climate change. Taylor retired from the Oregon Climate Service in May of 2008. How things have changed from the years of climate fanaticism, when the mere suggestion of a scientific debate, and the healthy skepticism that is the foundation of the scientific method, was considered heresy and became career suicide for Taylor and other climatologists.

Current research has confirmed that many influences contribute to variations in climate, including magnetic fields, solar output, planetary wobble, and a plethora of other factors that we need to study and understand. An apology to George Taylor is in order, but Ted Kulongoski has already slipped out the door. The pursuit of Truth is a perilous journey.

Sources:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/29/terence-kealey-what-does-climategate-say-about-science/

http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Crichton2003.pdf
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/press/c-d/ClimateOR.html
http://blog.oregonlive.com/pdxgreen/2008/02/controversial_state_climatolog.html

_______________________________________________________________________

J. D. Adams was born in Salem, Oregon, a descendant of Oregon Trail pioneer William Lysander Adams. As a wilderness explorer, photographer, and writer, he sustains a kinship with the spirit of the Oregon country. JD inhabits Oregon's Silicon Forest as an electronics professional with degrees in Electronics Engineering Technology and Microelectronics.

He maintains a Web presence with a signature presentation in genres including travel, history, and technology.

You can write to Jim Adams at this email address: j1mcm0s@earthlink.net

Also, visit Jim's Website: home.earthlink.net/~j1mcm0s/




Comments Leave a comment on this story.
Name:

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.



JDA February 10, 2011 7:47 am (Pacific time)

What is wisdom without Truth? Obviously, if one looks at the reality of history, neither is in abundance.


Yomper Bob February 9, 2011 6:19 pm (Pacific time)

What is knowledge without wisdom? Why nothing more than the Ever Present State of Humanity. This IS the fundamental Human condition.


JDA February 9, 2011 4:41 pm (Pacific time)

A definition of wisdom is ‘the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting’, so wisdom is implied in truth, and knowledge is the first step toward wisdom. A mathematical theorem is something that has been proven in all cases, while a hypothesis is yet unproven, or incapable of being proved. Quite correct, Yomper Bob, such as “The truth of camping is to survive the crux of desolation in wet shoes."


Luke Easter February 8, 2011 9:36 pm (Pacific time)

What is knowledge without wisdom? Knowledge shows you how to load a gun but wisdom teaches you when to use it. That's why there are so many senseless killings. Standing on it's own, knowledge is useless.


Yomper Bob February 8, 2011 6:33 pm (Pacific time)

The pursuit of truth is ALWAYS a perilous journey because the status quo does not give care to be challenged. Knowledge does not wish to be dynamic in an established society - a dynamic knowledge threatens authority. Heaven forbid Those With Big Hats may not be correct in an established opinion. Let's drown all the thinkers and live quiet unchallenged lives watching TV.


jack February 8, 2011 7:46 pm (Pacific time)

ya mean hypoth_thes_s/?


Yomper Bob February 8, 2011 6:32 pm (Pacific time)

The pursuit of truth is ALWAYS a perilous journey because the status quo does not give care to be challenged. Knowledge does not wish to be dynamic in an established society - a dynamic knowledge threatens authority. Heaven forbid Those With Big Hats may not be correct in an established opinion. Let's drown all the thinkers and live quiet unchallenged lives watching TV.

[Return to Top]
©2019 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


Articles for February 7, 2011 | Articles for February 8, 2011 | Articles for February 9, 2011
Support
Salem-News.com:

Your customers are looking: Advertise on Salem-News.com!

Annual Hemp Festival & Event Calendar

Donate to Salem-News.com and help us keep the news flowing! Thank you.


googlec507860f6901db00.html