RES: [asa] science martyrs

From: Marcio Pie <>
Date: Sun Mar 01 2009 - 13:13:14 EST

Hi George,
Of course, I was using the word “martyr” in a loose way, just to make my
point. Anyway, who could you name as a “science martyr”? or at least a
“science confessor”? I’m not being confrontational or anything like that,
I’m genuinely curious, since I can’t find examples myself.
De: [] Em nome
de George Murphy
Enviada em: domingo, 1 de março de 2009 15:03
Para:; 'ASA list'; Marcio Pie
Assunto: Re: [asa] science martyrs
Gregory -
You beat me to a mention of Vavilov. Velikovsky did indeed get some unfair
criticism from scientists who knew his ideas only superficially, but when
one examines them in more depth they still turn out to be wildly wrong.
Counting him as a martyr is pretty far off. A guy who was out of his depth
in fields he didn't know much about would be a more accurate decription. I
once heard him speak in the 70s when there was a bit of a Velikovsky revival
- a rambling talk that was so long that the scheduled Q & A time had to be
In response to the original question: The traditional definition of a
martyr in the Christian tradition is a believer who is killed "because of
hatred of the faith" (per odium fide). A person who is persecuted because
of the Christian faith but not killed for it is a "confessor." If we use
similar criteria for scientists there have been very few "science martyrs"
but a lot more "science confessors."

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Received on Sun Mar 1 13:13:31 2009

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