Sunday, May 22, 2005

Shit doesn't change

Reclaiming science:

In the third century B.C., the Greek mathematician Archimedes wrote the mechanical theorem and mathematical equations that contain the roots of modern day calculus and gravitational theory. Now, 2,200 years later, teams of scientists at John Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Rochester Institute of Technology are trying to restore Archimedes' work.

[. . .]

But the treatise isn't just old. This is maybe the first case of religious fundamentalism undoing science. They're still going strong.

[. . .]

But the task is very difficult because, in the 12th Century, someone scraped off most of Archimedes' writing and wrote a prayer book over top of it. For this reason, the manuscript is called Archimedes' palimpsest, from the Greek word for "scraped again".

[. . .]

As has happened throughout history, continuing to the present day, some holy man deemed prayer more important than learning about the world around us. While I don't discount faith, what the religious folks don't understand is that without science, we'd still be living like they did 2200 years ago.

No comments: