On 07.05.2012 04:17 meekerdb said the following:
On 5/6/2012 5:47 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On May 6, 4:06 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

Newton, Boyle, Tyndall, Descarte, Laplace,
Kepler,...none of them were from the universities, which were
dominated by theology.
All of them were still theological thinkers though,

Theological in that the concerned themselves with fundamentals and god
(although Laplace famously said he had no need of that hypothesis), but
all unconventional. Descarte was on the index of prohibited books until
the index was abandoned in 1962. Newton was an Aryan heretic.

The statement of Laplace is a part of the story when Newton called in God to preserve the stability of the Sun system. Two quotes from Feyerabend

“Laplace showed a century later, that the planetary system did not fall apart but oscillated with a very large period. ‘I do not need this hypothesis’, he said, when Napoleon asked him about the need for a divine being.”

“But this was not yet the end of matter. … A precise calculation would have given infinities. … But this meant that Newton’s theory gave correct results only when used in an ad hoc way.”

The second quote shows that Laplace is actually was wrong, as his prove was not yet a correct one. Strictly speaking at the level of his knowledge (provided he would develop his series correctly) he would still need God to preserve the stability of the Sun system.



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