Monday, February 28, 2005

[Cool] NYTimes: Einstein and Pop Culture

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/01/science/01eins.html


Great article on culture's need for the next Einstein. Now that I read this, I wonder if this whole mess with teaching evolution could be simplified if scientists said that Einstein believed in it (the problem being, of course, that this kind of proof by authority is counter to science).


He didn't look like much at first. He was too fat and his head was so big his mother feared it was misshapen or damaged. He didn't speak until he was well past 2, and even then with a strange echolalia that reinforced his parents' fears. He threw a small bowling ball at his little sister and chased his first violin teacher from the house by throwing a chair at her.

There was in short, no sign, other than the patience to build card houses 14 stories high, that little Albert Einstein would grow up to be "the new Copernicus," proclaiming a new theory of nature, in which matter and energy swapped faces, light beams bent, the stars danced and space and time were as flexible and elastic as bubblegum. No clue to suggest that he would help send humanity lurching down the road to the atomic age, with all its promise and dread, with the stroke of his pen on a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, certainly no reason to suspect that his image would be on T- shirts, coffee mugs, posters and dolls.

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