Re: Challenge

From: george murphy (
Date: Thu Oct 11 2001 - 10:35:36 EDT

  • Next message: Moorad Alexanian: "Re: Challenge"

    Moorad Alexanian wrote:

    > There is only one Noble prize in physics that has anything to do with the
    > Big Bang-- Penzias and Wilson 1978--and that was an accidental discovery
    > not influenced by theoretical work on the early universe. Of course, our
    > interpretation of the radiation being the remnant of the Big Band may change
    > in the future. My challenge to those who know the field of physiology or
    > medicine, etc. is the following: What Nobel Prize granted in such fields was
    > the result of applications of evolutionary theory? I enclose the press
    > release of this year's prize in physiology or medicine. Moorad

            Nobel Prizes are a shaky indicator of the importance of scientific
    work. It could certainly be argued that Gamow should have gotten the physics
    prize for his cosmological model that predicted the MWB, but he died before the
    blackbody character of the radiation had been demonstrated convincingly. There
    is no Nobel Prize in astronomy so there was no possibility for Hubble, e.g., to
    get one: Penzias & Wilson were the first to get a prize for work in
            & there are other considerations. There sometimes seems to be a
    prejudice against theorists. It's well know that Einstein got the prize
    ostensibly for his work on the photoelectric effect, with only a veiled
    reference to relativity. Feynman, Schwinger & Tomonaga had to wait ~20 years to
    get one, while experimentalists who make significant discoveries sometimes get
    the prize within a few years. & political considerations also come in.
    Jordan's Nazi sympathies probably didn't help him any & I wonder how much
    influence John Wheeler's work on & support for nuclear weapons development has
    had to do with his failure to get a Nobel Prize.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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