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John Moffat (physicist)

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The eighteenth-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant had conjectured that Messier's nebulae were distant "island universes" outside our Milky Way galaxy, but many scientists in the early twentieth century disagreed.
--
Chapter 3, The Beginning Of Modern Cosmology, p. 54

 
John Moffat (physicist)

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For Immanuel Kant, the term anthropology embraced all the human sciences, and laid the foundation of familiar knowledge we need, to build solidly grounded ideas about the moral and political demands of human life. Margaret Mead saw mid-twentieth-century anthropology as engaged in a project no less ambitious than Kant's own, and her Terry Lectures on Continuities in Cultural Evolution provide an excellent point to enter into her reflections.

 
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For four hundred years the human race has not made a step but what has left its plain vestige behind. We enter now upon great centuries. The sixteenth century will be known as the age of painters, the seventeenth will be termed the age of writers, the eighteenth the age of philosophers, the nineteenth the age of apostles and prophets. To satisfy the nineteenth century, it is necessary to be the painter of the sixteenth, the writer of the seventeenth, the philosopher of the eighteenth; and it is also necessary, like Louis Blane, to have the innate and holy love of humanity which constitutes an apostolate, and opens up a prophetic vista into the future. In the twentieth century war will be dead, the scaffold will be dead, animosity will be dead, royalty will be dead, and dogmas will be dead; but Man will live. For all there will be but one country—that country the whole earth; for all there will be but one hope—that hope the whole heaven.

 
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Einstein entertained counterintuitive notions that allowed him to pull physics from the mechanistic, clockwork universe of the eighteenth century up into the twentieth century.

 
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In the eighteenth century it was often convenient to regard man as a clockwork automaton. In the nineteenth century, with Newtonian physics pretty well assimilated and a lot of work in thermodynamics going on, man was looked on as a heat engine, about 40 per cent efficient. Now in the twentieth century, with nuclear and subatomic physics a going thing, man had become something which absorbs X-rays, gamma rays and neutrons.

 
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For many years, and like many British people, I had little feeling for the most expressive and roughest form of early twentieth century European painting, the expressionism of German artists around the First World War like Kirchner.

 
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