RIP John Wheeler

110 posts / 0 new
Last post
500_Apples
RIP John Wheeler

 

500_Apples

There goes one of the top minds of the twentieth century. At this point pretty much each of the greatest minds are gone pretty much... Einstein, Feynman (who was Wheeler's student), Gould, Keynes, Galbraith, Chandrasekhar, Bohr, Heisenberg... a few remain like James Watson, Francis Crick, Steven Weinberg and Noam Chomsky ... I feel like I want to go boxing now, to wash away the fear we won't be able to match them.

Here is an
[url=http://cosmicvariance.com/2008/04/13/goodbye/]obituary[/url] posted on cosmic variance today by a former student of Wheeler, Daniel Holz.

quote:

One beautiful Fall day seventeen years ago I wandered into an office and my life profoundly changed. I was an undergraduate at Princeton, and was looking for a thesis advisor. Jadwin Hall was an intimidating place. Plenty of names familiar from my textbooks. Nobel laureates scattered about. And we were expected to just barge into their offices, and ask to work with them.

One office door was always open. As you walked by you could peek in, and see its occupant hard at work. Hunched over his notebook, scribbling away. Or standing by his bookcase, deep in thought. Most often at the blackboard, chalk in hand. This was John Archibald Wheeler, one of the legends of modern physics. He did foundational work on quantum mechanics, collaborating with Niels Bohr on some of the earliest work in nuclear fission. He invented the S-matrix. He played important roles in both the Manhattan project (atomic bomb) and the Matterhorn project (Hydrogen bomb). He made major contributions to general relativity, co-authoring with Charlie Misner and Kip Thorne the bible of the field. He was legendary for his way with words, coining such terms as wormholes, quantum foam, black holes, and the wave function of the Universe (the Wheeler-DeWitt equation). He trained generations of students; one of his first was Richard Feynman.
.
.
.
John Wheeler died this morning.
[img]http://cosmicvariance.com/wp-content/uploads/john_wheeler.jpg[/img]


Here is his wikipedia page: [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Archibald_Wheeler]http://en.wikipedia....

And the obituary by the new york times science editor:
[url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/14/science/14wheeler.html]http://www.nyti...

The Wizard of S...

James Watson is a raving racist. He has now been totally discredited and no one in the scientific community wants to be seen within two hundred parsecs of him.

[ 14 April 2008: Message edited by: The Wizard of Socialism ]

500_Apples

Wizard, this thread is about Wheeler, show some respect and please edit your post.

remind remind's picture

Only the good die young it seems.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]Only the good die young it seems.[/b]

John Wheeler was 96...

The Wizard of S...

I'm sure John Wheeler was a swell fella. You're the one who brought up James "blacks are less intelligent than whites" Watson. Request denied.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by 500_Apples:
[b]

John Wheeler was 96...[/b]


Duh you think Remind didn't know that?

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by The Wizard of Socialism:
[b]I'm sure John Wheeler was a swell fella. You're the one who brought up James "blacks are less intelligent than whites" Watson. Request denied.[/b]

You're inconsiderate to try and nix an obituary with an argument. You have no respect. What you could have done would have been to pay some respects and then to add that comment, as opposed to trying to pick a fight. I really couldn't give a damn about their politics. What matters is their contribution to humanity and to the world. What matters here is Wheeler's contribution.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I didn't say nice things about Pinochet. Does that make me a bad person. If you haven't noticed this is a progressive board not a praise American scientist's board.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Although I will acknowledge that his "wormhole" is the basis for numerous Sci-fi shows and I like sci-fi.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b] Duh you think Remind didn't know that?[/b]

It's possible.

If she had an understanding of the man she would not have written that.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]I didn't say nice things about Pinochet. Does that make me a bad person. If you haven't noticed this is a progressive board not a praise American scientist's board.[/b]

1) We're not discussing Pinochet.
2) It doesn't matter whether a scientist is American or Canadian.
3) Progressives don't need to be luddites.
4) This is the Humanities and Sciences board. People come here to discuss the humanities and the sciences.
5) You're coming off as a bad person with that comment.

[ 14 April 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by 500_Apples:
[b]It's possible.[/b]

Nope, not in this lifetime.

quote:

[b]If she had an understanding of the man she would not have written that.[/b]

Of course I would have, I just did.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I have little respect for anyone who makes bombs designed to kill the maximum number of civilians. Can you show me where he apologized to the world for this horrendous crime against humanity. If he did apologize like others did who were complicit in this the worst war crime of all time I will forego my criticism since I know nothing about his alleged racism.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]I have little respect for anyone who makes bombs designed to kill the maximum number of civilians. Can you show me where he apologized to the world for this horrendous crime against humanity. If he did apologize like others did who were complicit in this the worst war crime of all time I will forego my criticism since I know nothing about his alleged racism.[/b]

alleged racism? I looked that up on google and there doesn't seem to be any examples. All I saw was a link to this thread.

Albert Einstein sent a letter to the president around 1938, advising him to build the bomb before the Germans do. Both the Germans and Japaneses had atomic bomb programs, but the USA finished first. You may be very judgmental about it, but it was a legitimate fear during 1938-1944 that the Germans would get the bomb first. They did have great technology. If it had happened, those of us alive would be speaking German.

Of course hindsight is 20/20, it turns out too many of the axis scientists had escaped to the USA and the German and Japanese programs were moribund. It allows you and I the comfort of this academic discussion.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]
Of course I would have, I just did.[/b]

I doubt you know a lot about the man's work but I'm prepared to be surprised. Let's see if you do:

1) What are the governing equations of general relativity?
2) What is an S-matrix?
3) What is quantum foam?

[ 14 April 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]I have little respect for anyone who makes bombs designed to kill the maximum number of civilians. Can you show me where he apologized to the world for this horrendous crime against humanity. If he did apologize like others did who were complicit in this the worst war crime of all time I will forego my criticism[/b]

Ditto!

500_Apples

For curious readers who may not be interested in ignorant armchair criticism of some on this board, several dozen people who knew the man personally have written replies to the cosmic variance obituary post linked above.

Here's a comment from writer Patricia Rife:

quote:

I loved John with all my heart! I was the biographer of Lise Meitner and in 1995, phoned him from University of Hawaii — “Do you remember me? I interviewed you ten years ago for my dissertation on Lise Meitner, and you were departing for Copenhagen — after being interviewed for NOVA by Carl Sagen! And I spilled a coke on you right after our video interview — how embarrased I was!” “Oh yes” - he replied, always the optimist, always the student of Bohr, broad-minded, cheerfully American “you are the beautiful historian! I would be happy to write the Foreword to your book on Meitner! Now let me tell you some stories about fission…” And then he would truly be off, sharing insights no historian may have ever known or written carefully about….

Johnny, we all loved you, we admired and respected you, but moreso, you were our ‘link’ to the Copenhagen Circle, the times before the war, and the reason we all work so hard for world peace. It was YOU who encouraged me, whispering in my ear “Now you keep up your good work, and always take a stand for peace!”

We will miss you — have a safe journey into the cosmos!
Patricia Rife


And from Carlo Rovelli:

quote:

My debt to John is immense. For the tremendous beauty of his ideas. For the sweetness with which he received me, talked to me, and asked me questions. Because most of my physics has been walking along his path. For a letter he wrote to me so long ago, which is still hanging on the wall of my office. Because John wanted to really know how the world is, and how we should change our thoughts to understand it. Because I think that that was the right path for physics. For his eyes when I met him last time. And for the things he told me at this last meeting, and I couldn’t hear his soft voice anymore. And so much I wanted to hear more from him. Dear, dear John, thanks for all this. Carlo

And one more, from John Baez:

quote:

I fell in love with quantum gravity as an undergrad after reading the last chapter of
Misner, Thorne and Wheeler’s Gravitation. This chapter was clearly written by Wheeler. He made quantum gravity seem like the coolest thing imaginable.

Years later I met him at a conference and was too tongue-tied to say anything more than hello. He looked at my name tag and asked if I was related to Joan Baez. I’m afraid that’s the only conversation I ever had with him, though he affected me tremendously.


remind remind's picture

apples, I understand you worshipped him however, we have every right to express our opinion of the man and we definitely have a right not to be called ignorant for it.

martin dufresne

It would be interesting to know if Wheeler ever made amends for his work on the A and H bomb and its unnecessary use against the Japanese civil population by his country, truly one of the greatest crimes against humanity in recorded history. It is also interesting to me - I am writing a screenplay about this - why nuclear physicists are essentially treated as saints in our culture. Is there a link between both phenomena? Do we revere those who threaten us most?

Proaxiom

One could point out that the fruits of the labour of Wilbur and Orville Wright has enabled the killing of vastly more people than the Manhattan project did.

martin dufresne

You are reaching.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b]It would be interesting to know if Wheeler ever made amends for his work on the A and H bomb and its unnecessary use against the Japanese civil population by his country, truly one of the greatest crimes against humanity in recorded history. It is also interesting to me - I am writing a screenplay about this - why nuclear physicists are essentially treated as saints in our culture. Is there a link between both phenomena? Do we revere those who threaten us most?[/b]

They're saints because they seem like the brightest collection of individuals who have ever lived. Feynman, Von Neumann, Einstein, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Bohr, Wheeler... unbelievable. Those people are giants and we are midgets. Look on wikipedia for their accomplishments sometime, they're incredible. I also recommend reading [i]Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman[/i]. My experience and those of my peers when learning quantum mechanics was.... how could these people be so fucking smart? They all made massive contributions outside of the Manhattan project, and without them the world would be way less advanced than it is.

Honestly, if I were alive in ~1940 in North America, living in fear of the Germans who were persecuting Jews and conquering Europe and allied with Stalin and his iron first over Russia, in fear of Japan which was conquering the Pacific, in a country suffering from the great depression... I would want to join the Manhattan project and contribute, in a hurry.

You may feel the A-Bomb was unnecessary, but a lot of people with strong and educated opinions felt that the cost was smaller than the cost of an invasion would have been. But even if they're wrong, that wasn't on Wheeler's mind when he signed up.

******

I'd love to hear more about your screenplay, when will it be on show?

[ 14 April 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by Proaxiom:
[b]One could point out that the fruits of the labour of Wilbur and Orville Wright has enabled the killing of vastly more people than the Manhattan project did.[/b]

Excellent point.
All technology can be used for both good and evil.
The Chinese used gunpowder to make fireworks.
The Wrights conquered flight for the sake of flight, not to create fighter jets or to accelerate global warming.
The Manhattan project was suggested so as not to be bombed into oblivion by the Germans.

And the list goes on.

500_Apples

Leading mathematician, science writer and author Peter Woit on John Wheeler:

quote:

News of the death of John Wheeler came yesterday, and many people have already written detailed, touching and informative pieces about the man, his life and scientific achievements. See for example here, here, and here. With Wheeler gone, physics loses one of its very few living contacts with the early days of quantum mechanics, since his career reached back to the early thirties when he went to study with Bohr.

My most extensive contact with Wheeler was surely through learning GR from the marvelous textbook he co-authored on the subject. By the time I got to Princeton as a student, he had recently left for the University of Texas, in order to evade Princeton’s mandatory retirement age policy. He still was a presence in the department though, returning to give talks (I remember one that was an advertisement for the importance of the notion of a complex: “the boundary of a boundary is zero!” was the slogan). My only conversation with him was at a meeting organized between graduate students and a visiting committee of people evaluating the department. I recall a very friendly older man who came up to talk to me, and listened attentively to my going on for quite a while about how things could be improved. Only after we had finished speaking and he had left did I realize who I had been talking to. My overwhelming feeling immediately was that if I had realized this earlier I’d have much more enjoyed keeping quiet and getting the chance to ask him a few questions.


[url=http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=678]http://www.math.colu...

[ 14 April 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]apples, I understand you worshipped him however, we have every right to express our opinion of the man and we definitely have a right not to be called ignorant for it.[/b]

Imagine there was a RIP Tommy Douglas thread,

And someone came in, who knew nothing about Tommy Douglas five minutes before, and said "He supported eugenics and said homosexuals should get psychological treatment. Did he end up apologizing? I can have little respect for such a person!"

How would you feel about such a post?

The Wizard of S...

Well if I also praised raving racist James Watson in the same post, I'd like to think someone would call me on it. Just like I did to you. But the question remains: what is it about James Watson you find so damn groovy? Do you agree with his ravings that blacks are less intelligent than whites? Do you dig his hypothesis that darker skinned people have higher libidos? Do you think his support of eugenics is bitchin? If not, why have you not denounced him like every other halfway decent person in the world?

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by The Wizard of Socialism:
[b]Well if I also praised raving racist James Watson in the same post, I'd like to think someone would call me on it. Just like I did to you. But the question remains: what is it about James Watson you find so damn groovy? Do you agree with his ravings that blacks are less intelligent than whites? Do you dig his hypothesis that darker skinned people have higher libidos? Do you think his support of eugenics is bitchin? If not, why have you not denounced him like every other halfway decent person in the world?[/b]

...

When people look up James Watson in the encyclopedia a thousand years from now, it won't be because of his the historical irrelevancy that are his racist conclusions on people of African ancestry such as myself.

If I made a mistake when listing James Watson and Francis Crick, it's that I neglected to include Rosalind Franklin among the list of dead giants, and didn't realize that Crick was dead rather than alive. I just realized I also forgot Emmy Noether and Bertrand Russel.

Big picture please. The discovery of DNA was very important, definitely a great advance of the last hundred years. My guess wizard is that possibly you only ever heard of Watson due to the racist comments and so you think they're of relative importance. I wasn't making a list of nice people - notice Mother Theresa was not in there. I was making a list of intellectual titans. Did you know why I listed Crick and Watson together?

********

Do you read Shakespeare? Do you think he was a literary genius? Doesn't it bother you how he portrayed Jews in the [i]The Mechant of Venice[/i] ... are you not a half-decent person?

[ 14 April 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by 500_Apples:
[b]Imagine there was a RIP Tommy Douglas thread,[/b]

Do not need to, he is dead.

quote:

[b]And someone came in, who knew nothing about Tommy Douglas five minutes before, [/b]

Who knew nothing of John Wheeler 5 minutes before?

quote:

[b]and said "He supported eugenics and said homosexuals should get psychological treatment. Did he end up apologizing? I can have little respect for such a person!"

How would you feel about such a post?[/b]


People say that all the time here abpout Tommy Douglas, and some people take exception to it, while others would, or do, feel it is those who say that have a right to hold their own opinion.

Dead is dead by the way.

And freedom of conscience is still freedom of conscience.

[ 14 April 2008: Message edited by: remind ]

jrootham

Remind, don't play dumb. It doesn't become you.

That Watson is an objectionable person seems to be fairly universally acknowledged. That he is smarter than hell and is responsible (with others) for a very significant advance in our understanding of the world is undisputed.

This is all less than admirable thread drift.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]Remind, don't play dumb. It doesn't become you.[/b]

I am not, but thanks for your concern anyway.

quote:

[b]This is all less than admirable thread drift.[/b]

Funny, I thought honouring a man who responsible for one of the most horrific acts against humanity was less than admirable.

ah, but that is freedom of conscience for you, eh?!

jrootham

To ignore the premise of a post which starts with "Imagine that this is so" is to play dumb.

The drift is about Watson, who is not responsible for that act.

500_Apples

[b]jrootham[/b], technically remind and I were discussing Wheeler. The tangent on Watson was with the wizard of socialism. It is the opinion of kroptokin and remind that anyone of a brilliant mind who worked to stop Hitler from conquering the world (aka involvement in the Manhattan project and nuclear weapons development) was necessarily an evil person who doesn't deserve to be mourned.

quote:

Originally posted by Remind:
[b] Who knew nothing of John Wheeler 5 minutes before?[/b]

It's obvious the history and philosophy of science is not your strongest field, as you weren't able to describe anything substantive about his work, and you think the scientists who worked on the Manhattan projects were terrible human beings.

[ 15 April 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]

500_Apples

Calvin Smith on John Wheeler:

quote:

That was a beautiful remembrance.

John Wheeler has long been my favorite physicist. I discovered him while reading popular physics books as a teenager, when again and again I would come across crazy-sounding quotations by Wheeler about the foundations of physics and quantum theory.

I’ve collected many quotations by and about John Wheeler over the years, and have added today some new ones that I had not yet come across. I hope you don’t consider this spam, but I thought you or your readers might be interested in perusing them: [url=http://tinyurl.com/4zb7cc]quotations by or about John Wheeler.[/url].

If that URL gets mangled, the last link at [url=http://strangewondrous.net/search]http://strangewondrous.net/search[/url] is also a query for everything by or about him.

Science has lost one of its greatest practitioners; those who knew him have lost a great man. My condolences to his family and friends.


[url=http://cosmicvariance.com/2008/04/13/goodbye/]http://cosmicvariance.com/...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I prefer it when I tell people what my views are so 500-RoadApples please don't bother expressing my views for me.

My view is that the ends do not justify the means. Guernica was an event that should never have been repeated especially by any government that claims to be democratic. Murdering innocent civilians is murdering innocent civilians and when you do it by the hundreds of thousands you deserve vilification not adulation. For your information the brave people of Stalingrad are who should be praised for defeating Hitler not a brilliant scientist who but his talents to figuring out how to murder vast numbers of civilians in one fell swoop. This was not an anti-Nazis bomb it was a bomb to kill civilians most who were not Nazis.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by 500_Apples:
[b]It is the opinion of kroptokin and remind that anyone of a brilliant mind who worked to stop Hitler from conquering the world (aka involvement in the Manhattan project and nuclear weapons development) was necessarily an evil person who doesn't deserve to be mourned.[/b]

Point of clarification, feel free to mourn him all you want, not all have to, nor want to, nor agree that he should be mourned when coming from a humanitarian perspective.

Now, the statements you have made regarding the his alleged helping in the defeat of Hitler, are a completely different subject matter in respect to the veracity of said position.

quote:

[b]It's obvious the history and philosophy of science is not your strongest field, [/b]

Point?

quote:

[b]as you weren't able to describe anything substantive about his work,[/b]

No, what really happened was that I did not respond to said demands you made of me, as that has no bearing on the matter at hand IMV.

quote:

[b]and you think the scientists who worked on the Manhattan projects were terrible human beings.[/b]

Yep.

[ 15 April 2008: Message edited by: remind ]

Nanuq

I do wish people could stay on topic once in a while without having it degenerate into name calling and verbal abuse.

Stephen Gordon

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
500-RoadApples

Nice. [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

N.R.KISSED

quote:


It is the opinion of kroptokin and remind that anyone of a brilliant mind who worked to stop Hitler from conquering the world (aka involvement in the Manhattan project and nuclear weapons development) was necessarily an evil person who doesn't deserve to be mourned.

and your criticizing other people for their knowledge of history? The Manhattan project didn't have anything at all to do with "stopping Hitler." The war in Europe was won without nucleur weapons. Japan was on the verge of surrender when the bombs were dropped. It doesn't matter how much you speculate what might have happened if the Germans or Japaneese had developed the bomb, the fact is they didn't. If you want to praise anyone for stopping Hitler you might wish to thank the Russians.

I'm not really one for "great men"(and I will note that your list is composed entirely of men) theories around history or the development of ideas, it tends to be both shallow and elitist and ignores the contributions of many unsung people in both contexts.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


5) You're coming off as a bad person with that comment.

quote:

You may be very judgmental about it,

quote:

who may not be interested in ignorant armchair criticism of some on this board


quote:

They're saints because they seem like the brightest collection of individuals who have ever lived


quote:

are you not a half-decent person?


Nicer [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I must admit that I took a road less traveled and really stop studying Physics seriously after 2nd year Mechanics. Not that I didn't have the Math for it - I did - but I had other interests.

I violently objected to the injection of philosophical views that I held in contempt in the Physics classroom and now, looking over some internet descriptions of debates in the philosophy of physics, I am coming to see that even the most mathematical science is far from being immune to the ideological battles raging on in the world. I remember the disappointment I felt when I heard an interview with Fenymann, for example, and his schoolboy chatter about social problems. However, my admiration for someone like Einstein have only grown with time, whether by his joint Manifesto with Bertrand Russell, or his fending off attempts to recruit him to the Zionist cause, and so on.

There isn't much about Wheeler's philosophy of physics in the wiki entry, other than a stray remark about the Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP), or other versions of the anthropic principle, which can be taken to be supporting intelligent design or supporting multiple universes, etc.. It's not clear to me what Wheeler's philosophy of physics was, beyond obedience to the "shut up and calculate" school of "thought". I really hope I'm wrong here, BTW.

[b]Perhaps a fan of Wheeler can make a few intelligent remarks about Wheeler's philosophy of physics.[/b] It's clear he was an outstanding teacher of physics, and was an innovator in the science for which he received many richly deserved awards. However, my idea of a really great scientist is someone like Albert Einstein, or Paul Sweezy, or Marie Curie (who blazed a trail for women scientists), and so on. It is no longer enough to be a great mind to be really great. One has to be a great fighter for humanity as well, to get the highest accolades and honours in my view.

Humanity is at a precipice. Who can deny this? The greatest minds must work on the greatest problems, else they're not the greatest minds at all.

jrootham

Careful with the revisionist history there. Here we must distinguish between the Manhattan project and Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At the time of the inception of the Manhattan project Nazi Germany was definitely the target. That was before the attack on Pearl Harbour.

Leo Szilard and other physicists tried to stop the attacks on Japan. Wheeler was not in that group.

Nanuq

So who decides what problems scientists should or shouldn't be working on? There's a place for basic research as well as applied research. And you can't condemn a scientist if his/her research is used for military purposes. All research is, sooner or later.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]Careful with the revisionist history there. Here we must distinguish between the Manhattan project and Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At the time of the inception of the Manhattan project Nazi Germany was definitely the target. That was before the attack on Pearl Harbour.

Leo Szilard and other physicists tried to stop the attacks on Japan. Wheeler was not in that group.[/b]


I don't see the distinction. Designing and building bombs of mass destruction that are specifically designed to murder hundreds of thousands of civilians and terrorize the rest is nothing IMO to be proud of.

There is no justification for evil. Two evils don't make a good. Doing evil to stop evil is still evil especially when it involves the deliberate planning to execute hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. I'm waiting for the hero thread for Edward V. LaBudde to also appear on babble.

jrootham

Well, he did work on the H bomb. That says something.

I am perversely of 2 minds on that work. The question arises: If the H bomb hadn't been invented (and it was a near run thing) would the A bomb been actually used after WWII?

It may have been a perversely good thing, but that shouldn't excuse those working on it.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Nanuq:
[b]So who decides what problems scientists should or shouldn't be working on? There's a place for basic research as well as applied research. And you can't condemn a scientist if his/her research is used for military purposes. All research is, sooner or later.[/b]

The Manhatten Project was from its inception a plan to build weapons to use on civilians. And what about Edward V. LaBudde can't blame him for his research either?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

quote:


Nanuq: And you can't condemn a scientist if his/her research is used for military purposes. All research is, sooner or later.

That's just wrong. And, as a Canadian, you should be able to rattle off something like this ...

[url=http://www.discoveryofinsulin.com/Home.htm]The Discovery of Insulin [/url]

... faster than you can say "Banting and Best".

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

BTW, I just had a quick look, and the name that some babblers are throwing around - Edward V. LaBudde - was involved with the invention and development of the cluster bomb.

[url=http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4799429.html]United States Patent 4799429 for Edward V. LaBudde: Programming circuit for individual bomblets in a cluster bomb[/url]

There is a lengthy description and a list of other notable related patents as well.

jrootham

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]I don't see the distinction. Designing and building bombs of mass destruction that are specifically designed to murder hundreds of thousands of civilians and terrorize the rest is nothing IMO to be proud of.

...[/b]


That's a consistent argument. I was objecting to the argument that seemed to assert that the Manhattan project should not have been started because the Japanese were about to surrender.

N.R.KISSED

quote:


I was objecting to the argument that seemed to assert that the Manhattan project should not have been started because the Japanese were about to surrender.


What I asserted was that the Manhattan project did not stop Hitler nor was it integral in defeat of the Japaneese. So maybe you might wish to careful about jumping to conclusions before accusing people of "revisionist history".

Pages