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December 11, 2009

Something to ponder while evaluating media commenting on "science"

The NYT dismissed Robert Goddard as a crank back in 1920.

On 17 July 1969, when the Apollo crew was on the way to the first landing of man on the Moon, The New York Times finally printed a correction:
A Correction. On Jan. 13, 1920, "Topics of the Times," and editorial-page feature of the The New York Times, dismissed the notion that a rocket could function in vacuum and commented on the ideas of Robert H. Goddard, the rocket pioneer, as follows:

"That Professor Goddard, with his 'chair' in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react - to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."

Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th Century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.

For the record, the "Topic of The Times" said much more than The Times presented here (see page 117 of Blazing the Trail). The correction also leaves an impression that rocket functioning in vacuum has been "definitely established" long after The Times attacked Robert Goddard. Nothing is also known whether the Times regretted the pain its actions inflicted on the American rocket pioneer.


Remember folks - the media elites know more about science than you do.
TRUST. THEM. IMPLICITLY.
Your economy is wrecked?
Its getting colder?
Your crib just got flattened by an advancing glacier?
Your wallet is empty and you can't buy an ordinary lightbulb anymore?
Not a problem!
The Times regrets the error.

H/T ChicagoBoyz


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posted by Purp at 04:04 AM

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