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The lost geniuses

SNP1
Posts: 2,403
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2/9/2015 11:16:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Newton and calculus, Copernicus and heliocentrism, etc.

How many people are claimed to be the first person to propose something when it was proposed by others before them?

Heliosentrism was first proposed by Aristarchus of Samos around 300 BCE.

Imperfect integral calculus was around in ancient Egypt around 1800 BCE. Eudoxus started the development of ingral calculus, but Archemedes made a form of integral calculus.

We attribute so many discoveries to people who were not the first to actually make the discovery.

Who else is falsely attributed to being the first to discover something? Who was the first, as far as we currently know, to discover it?
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XLAV
Posts: 13,715
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2/11/2015 10:22:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Its also possible that someone unknown believed the Earth was round before Pythagoras was even born. History pretty much just remembers those who are famous and the written works that survived the test of time.
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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2/11/2015 10:52:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The people who first thought of ideals shouldn't necessarily get the credit. If I discover the Earth is flat and everyone has to rewrite the science books, I don't think some almost forgotten jerk from 5,000 years ago deserves the credit.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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2/11/2015 9:06:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/9/2015 11:16:55 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Newton and calculus, Copernicus and heliocentrism, etc.

How many people are claimed to be the first person to propose something when it was proposed by others before them?

Heliosentrism was first proposed by Aristarchus of Samos around 300 BCE.

Imperfect integral calculus was around in ancient Egypt around 1800 BCE. Eudoxus started the development of ingral calculus, but Archemedes made a form of integral calculus.

We attribute so many discoveries to people who were not the first to actually make the discovery.

Who else is falsely attributed to being the first to discover something? Who was the first, as far as we currently know, to discover it?

Interestingly, I have always said this about famous quotes. I wonder how many of his remembered anecdotes Churchill actually overheard from his barber or some other "pedestrian" personality. The same goes for other quotes made by other famous people. I'd be willing to bet that the great majority were at least second-hand.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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2/11/2015 9:11:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/11/2015 10:52:19 AM, Wylted wrote:
The people who first thought of ideals shouldn't necessarily get the credit. If I discover the Earth is flat and everyone has to rewrite the science books, I don't think some almost forgotten jerk from 5,000 years ago deserves the credit.

I totally agree with this. But I also believe it to be wrong for someone to get credit belonging to another simply because they were born to the right family or in the right economic class. This even happens among equals. Many people view Einstein as an opponent of quantum theory when it was his paper The Quantum Theory of Light, which went unaccepted by other physicists (including Neils Bohr) for years or even decades, which helped start the quantum revolution.
chui
Posts: 507
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2/18/2015 5:49:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/9/2015 11:16:55 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Newton and calculus, Copernicus and heliocentrism, etc.

How many people are claimed to be the first person to propose something when it was proposed by others before them?

Heliosentrism was first proposed by Aristarchus of Samos around 300 BCE.

Imperfect integral calculus was around in ancient Egypt around 1800 BCE. Eudoxus started the development of ingral calculus, but Archemedes made a form of integral calculus.

We attribute so many discoveries to people who were not the first to actually make the discovery.

Who else is falsely attributed to being the first to discover something? Who was the first, as far as we currently know, to discover it?

Newton and Liebniz brought calculus to a much more developed stage than that seen in greek or egyptian times. They formalised it into something very useful whereas the previous work was more about approxiamate area and volume techniques which could not be generalised to say integrating a function from first principles. While elements of calculus can be seen in the earlier work Newton and Liebniz deserve the credit for taking simple calculus ideas and creating a full suite of analytical techniques.

I find this is often true of other similar claims. Just having the idea is not the same as making the idea into something useful. Heliocentrism was proposed by aristarchus but he had nothing to back his idea up. Copernicus was working from evidence such as orbital time period , so could back up his idea. ie it was more than just idyll speculation.