[Tyndall Blogged] Suppressed Truth: What does opposition to truth look like?

From the blog Suppressed Truth:

What does opposition to truth look like?

Some will automatically think of the Medieval Church’s alleged opposition to science as among the best examples extant – in world history – of opposition to truth. It is worthwhile to acquaint oneself with the words of John Tyndale, the prominent 19th century Irish physicist, as regards his support for the germ theory of disease – then also being promoted by Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister – and the opposition he met with:

“My own interference with this great question, while sanctioned by many eminent names, has been also an object of varied and ingenious attack. On this point I will only say that when angry
feeling escapes from behind the intellect, where it may be useful as an urging force, and places itself athwart the intellect, it is liable to produce all manner of delusions.
Thus my censors, for the most part, have levelled their remarks against positions which were never assumed, and against claims which were never made.” *

From this one can see that one does not have to be promoting superstition and old wives’s tales to meet with adamant opposition. In Tyndale’s quote we read what it was like to put forward in the scientific community, sixteen years after the American Civil War and a full 158 years after the death of Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek – the Father of Microbiology -, the idea that microorganisms cause infection in wounds.

* Essays on the Floating-matter in the Air in Relation to Putrefaction and Infection, by John Tyndall, F.R.S. London, Longmans, Green & Co., 1881, p. 27.

Published in: on August 31, 2008 at 10:19 am  Comments (2)  

Happy Birthday, John Tyndall!

Tyndall was born on August 2nd in 1820. From Today in Science History: 
John Tyndall (Born 2 Aug 1820; died 4 Dec 1893). Irish physicist who became known to the scientific world in 1848 as the author of a substantial work on Crystals. In 1856 he traveled with Professor Huxley to Switzerland, after which he co-authored On the Structure and Motion of Glaciers. He also published Heat as a Mode of Motion (1863), On Radiation (1865), followed by Sound, then in 1870 he published Light. Included in these works were studies of acoustic properties of the atmosphere and the blue colour of the sky, which he suggested was due to the scattering of light by small particles of water.
Published in: on August 2, 2008 at 8:19 am  Leave a Comment