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Then, they came for Sir Isaac . . .

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The latest year zero reset target, as Telegraph reports:

Sir Isaac Newton has been labelled as a potential beneficiary of “colonial-era activity” in draft plans to “decolonise” the engineering curriculum at Sheffield University.

Students learning about the mathematician and scientist’s three laws of motion, the core of modern physics, could see changes in their teaching to explain the “global origins and historical context” of his theories, documents suggest.

The plans form part of the engineering faculty’s efforts to “challenge long-standing conscious and unconscious biases” among students to tackle “Eurocentric” and “white saviour” approaches to science and maths, and promote “inclusive design”.

When objectivity, core physical science and core Math are demonised through implicit, euphemistic tagging as racist, it is time to push back. Before, it is too late. END

10 Replies to “Then, they came for Sir Isaac . . .

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Then, they came for Sir Isaac . . .

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    How tweredun:

    Sir Isaac invested in the South Seas Company, founded 1711 (which collapsed in a notorious bubble 1720), which as a trading company had involvement in the UK’s slave trading.

    First problem?

    Newton’s Principia was first published 5 July 1687, including the four laws that made his reputation. The work behind it was about twenty years earlier, in the mid 1660’s when he fled the black death as a uni student.

    So, the history is twisted into pretzels, reminding me about claims made regarding how the UK in effect bought then manumitted slaves in its empire, avoiding triggering an economic panic.

    Then, word is, Chaucer’s tales are being tainted because, long after they were written, they were in the hands of owners linked to the slave trade.

    This is beginning to sound more and more like anticivilisational misanthropy dressed up in cultural Marxist rhetoric. And I am prepared to back each of those descriptive terms.

    Newton actually ended up losing GBP 20,000, likely equivalent to 2 million today.

    The benefits to the world from his physics, mathematics, optics etc are literally incalculable. He in effect laid the foundation for the modern world of high technology driven prosperity rooted in breakthrough science and mathematics.

    Enough is enough.


  3. 3
    polistra says:

    This is wasteful. If they wanted to oppose old Ikey on personal grounds, there’s plenty of REAL ammunition. He was disliked by his contemporaries because he was a credit-grabber and powermonger, ruthlessly depriving competitors of equipment and subsidies. No need to cite indirect ‘benefits’ from views that aren’t fashionable at the current microsecond.

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    Perhaps these are the early steps towards taking a more adult approach to these heroes and icons, seeing them like all human beings should be “in the round” as a mixture good and bad and as creatures of their time. As long as it’s not limited to just white Europeans. That would be racist in itself, wouldn’t it?

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, the evidence is clear. Critical Race Theory, a culture form variant of Marxism now seeking to run the board, undermines the credibility of Mathematics and Physics of proved worth through ad hominem attacks based on carelessly warped history. In Engineering education, there is an Engineer in Society element [e.g. the abuse of Science/Engineering in the holocaust is a relevant case study] and there are aspects of design theory and practice that engage acceptability. This curriculum discussion is not about that, it is about undermining core transformative Math and Physics through the tainting game. As far as I can gather, in 1720, Newton was caught up in the stock bubble, similar to the tulip bubble. He lost the equivalent of GBP 2 mn or thereabouts today; BTW, long after he suffered a breakdown and knew himself to no longer be at the level he had been at in his prime. This is literally decades after his publication of his chief work, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), 1687, itself 20+ years after his period of peak work. KF

  6. 6
    Fasteddious says:

    I find it amusing that the woke seem unduly focused on the who, rather than the what. I don’t know about you, but when I was taught Newton’s laws in high-school physics, about the only thing we heard about Newton was his name, the approx dates, and the legend of the apple. We then learned and applied and practiced the three (or more) laws so that we could actually understand and use them. It seems the woke are not so much interested in physics as in the sociology of teaching, selected learning, and identity politics. When they “graduate” (if that is still allowed), will they know what the laws mean, or how to use them in any future work? F=mA may be unimportant in their ideology, but it is surely necessary in any sort of mechanical work, but I suppose if grievance studies is your ticket to perfect wokeness, then reality and mechanical aspects of it are not a high priority.

  7. 7
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, the physics is what is important: background on Newton in interesting, but he lived in different times and physics has advanced a long ways since then.

    But isn’t the same true of Darwin? 🙂

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Yes, Viola, but even today evolution is said to proceed via blind and mindless processes, just as Darwin said. We just know more details. And what we know doesn’t bode well for Darwin or any other materialistic concept of evolution.

    Newton’s equations are still useful and used.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Wrong Again: Neil deGrasse Tyson Misrepresents Legacy of Sir Isaac Newton

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    Fe, strange as it may seem there may be something to the apple story. KF

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