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lord kelvin's predictions

Re: yesterday's April fools post. Lord Kelvin also said "I can state flatly that heavier than air flying machines are impossible,", noted that "In science there is only physics; all the rest is stamp collecting," and that "Landing and moving around on the moon offer so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them." (Notice the "lick them" reference, along with the "stamp collecting" reference in an earlier quote: clearly related). Kelvin also disregarded atomic theory and radioactivity, among other nuggets. His quote about "nothing new to be discovered in physics" dates from the end of the 19th century.

Maybe predicting the future just wasn't his thing. But I read that his biographer put it as follows: "he spent the first half of his career being right and the second half being wrong."

Categories: science
Posted by diego on April 2 2005 at 8:02 AM

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