Putting Sir Isaac Newton on the right path
Short story by Christopher Bowring
When lay global warming skeptics point out to alarmists that the recent seventeen year period of steady global temperatures invalidates their climate models which predicted runaway global warming, there is often a standard response.
‘How can you, global warming (or climate change) denier, who have no experience of climatology, dare to argue with me, a renowned expert in my field of science?’ Let us return to the England of the seventeenth century to see what is wrong with this rebuttal.
I am in Grantham in Lincolnshire. It is a sunny day. A respectable looking man in a wig is sitting under an apple tree. It is Sir Isaac Newton. I greet him. He smiles back, but looks agitated. ‘What is wrong?’ I ask. ‘I have made a wonderful discovery,’ he replies. ‘I call is my Law of Gravitation’. ‘What does it say?’ I enquire.
‘It says that any two bodies in the universe repel each other with a force proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their distance apart’. ‘Really?’ I respond. ‘But that is nonsense!’ ‘Nonsense?’ explodes the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. ‘Nonsense? How can you, a nobody, a nonentity, dare to question the mind of the greatest living scientist in the world?’
‘Sir, I refute your law quite simply’. And with that I take an apple from the tree and drop it on Sir Isaac’s head.