I claimed that Charles Darwin is the greatest scientist who ever lived. slc posted a comment on Carl Zimmer at Chautauqua.
According to Neil Tyson, Issac Newton was the greatest scientist who ever lived. Dr. Tyson, who is about the size of an NFL linebacker, is not a man I would care to have a disagreement with.I don't want to engage in a wrestling match with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Surely we can settle this issue peacibly?
DeGrasse Tyson is an astronomer. What would you expect him to say? Astronomers and physicists don't understand biology and they don't understand that biology is much harder than physics. Darwin is the better scientist because his subject was much harder.
Let me give you an example. Back in 1687 people didn't know very much so it was pretty easy to come up with some simple laws. Gravity was kinda obvious, don't you think? Getting hit on the head by an apple doesn't compare with collecting data by traveling about the world for five years on a small boat.
How many different laws can there be? We know that f (force) has to equal something. Does it equal m2b? Nope, that doesn't work. How about a-m. Nope. Let's try m/a ... the experiments rule that out as well. Hmmm ... maybe it's f = ma? Viola! Newton just discovered the second law of motion. Now let's invent calculus to make life miserable for undergraduates.
What about those nasty little exceptions where the planets don't seem to obey the laws? No problem, God did it.
Newton didn't even write in English! This is DeGrasse Tyson's example of the greatest scientist who ever lived?
[Image Comment: The woman in the photograph is the only living descendant of Jesus. How appropriate that she's almost standing on the tomb of Charles Darwin!]