Thursday, November 19, 2009


science becomes a profession:

"It is natural to describe key [scientific] events in terms of the work of individuals who made a mark in science - Copernicus, Vesalius, Darwin, Wallace and the rest. But this does not mean that science has progressed as a result of the work of a string of irreplaceable geniuses possessed of a special insight into how the world works. Geniuses maybe (though not always); but irreplaceable certainly not. Scientific progress builds step by step, and as the example of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace [who independently and simultaneously put forward the theory of evolution] shows, when the time is ripe, two or more individuals may make the next step independently of one another. It is the luck of the draw, or historical accident, whose name gets remembered as the discoverer of a new phenomenon.

"What is much more important than human genius is the development of technology, and it is no surprise that the start of the scientific revolution 'coincides' with the development of the telescope and the microscope. ... If Newton had never lived, scientific progress might have been held back by a few decades. But only by a few decades. Edmond Halley or Robert Hooke might well have come up with the famous inverse square law of gravity; Gottfried Leibniz actually did invent calculus independently of Newton (and made a better job of it); and Christiaan Huygens's superior wave theory of light was held back by Newton's espousal of the rival particle theory. ...

"Although the figure of Charles Darwin dominates any discussion of nineteenth-century science, he is something of an anomaly. It is during the nineteenth century - almost exactly during Darwin's lifetime - that science makes the shift from being a gentlemanly hobby, where the interests and abilities of a single individual can have a profound impact, to a well-populated profession, where progress depends on the work of many individuals who are, to some extent, interchangeable. Even in the case of the theory of natural selection, as we have seen, if Darwin hadn't come up with the idea, Wallace would have, and from now on we will increasingly find that discoveries are made more or less simultaneously by different people working independently and largely in ignorance of one another. ...

"The other side of this particular coin, unfortunately, is that the growing number of scientists brings with it a growing inertia and resulting resistance to change, which means that all too often when some brilliant individual does come up with a profound new insight into the way the world works, this is not accepted immediately on merit and may take a generation to work its way into the collective received wisdom of science. ...

"In 1766, there were probably no more than 300 people who we would now class as scientists in the entire world. By 1800, ... there were about a thousand. By ... 1844, there were about 10,000, and by 1900 somewhere around 100,000. Roughly speaking, the number of scientists doubled every fifteen years during the nineteenth century. But remember that the whole population of Europe doubled, from about 100 million to about 200 million, between 1750 and 1850, and the population of Britain alone doubled between 1800 and 1850, from roughly 9 million to roughly 18 million."

John Gribbin, The Scientists, Random House, Copyright 2002 by John and Mary Gribbin, pp. xix-xx, 359-361.



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why don't I talk a lot ?: The unreasonable unmasked.

Well, I have been called "Anti-social" in numerous instances  since my early childhood but for those who really know me, most will say that I am just shy. Am I shy ? maybe. I personally believe that my primary motive  for stranding myself from humans is just a question of philosophy - a natural philosophy. Most of us are busy with their look , falling in love, and finances instead of contemplating the majestic beauty of nature.

I have always been a philosopher, a nature lover; i guess that is the reason I am dedicating my life to sciences and mathematics. Above our heads are countless stars, parallel universes and even black holes. Isn't fascinating to see trough nature?

You may ask yourself , " is this guy reasonable ?" ; no , I am unreasonable  and do not seek to appear reasonable. I am a rebel. As the famous  English writer and philosopher,  Gorge Bernard Shaw famously  remarked said "the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."Thus , let me be myself and let history follow is course.


sir isaac newton

Sir Isaac Newton, whose masterwork Mathematical Principles of Natural History was one of the two or three most foundational and influential works in all of Western Science. This work had as its core his three laws of motion and his universal law of gravitation:

"Newton was a decidedly odd figure--brilliant beyond measure, but solitary, joyless, prickly to the point of paranoia, famously distracted (upon swinging his feet out of bed in the morning he would reportedly sometimes sit for hours, immobilized by the sudden rush of thoughts to his head), and capable of the most riveting strangeness. He built his own laboratory, the first at Cambridge, but then engaged in the most bizarre experiments. Once he inserted a bodkin--a long needle of the sort used for sewing leather--into his eye socket and rubbed it around 'betwixt my eye and the bone near to the backside of my eye as I could' just to see what would happen. What happened, miraculously, was nothing--at least nothing lasting. On another occasion, he stared at the sun for as long as he could bear, to determine what effect it would have upon his vision. Again he escaped lasting damage, though he had to spend some days in a darkened room before his eyes forgave him.

"Set atop these ... quirky traits, however, was the mind of a supreme genius. ... [As recounted by] Newton confidant, Abraham DeMoivre, 'In 1684 Dr. Edmond Halley [of Halley's comet fame] came to visit at Cambridge and after they had some time together the Doctor asked [Newton] what he thought the curve would be that would be described by the planets supposing the force of attraction toward the sun to be reciprocal to the square of their distance from it.' This was a reference to a piece of mathematics known as the inverse square law, which Halley was convinced lay at the heart of the explanation, though he wasn't sure exactly how. 'Sir Isaac replied immediately that it would be an ellipse. The Doctor, struck with joy and amazement, asked him how he knew it. 'Why,' saith he, 'I have calculated it,' whereupon Dr. Halley asked him for his calculation without further delay, Sir Isaac looked among his papers but could not find it.'

"This was astounding--like someone saying that he had found a cure for cancer but couldn't remember where he had put the formula. Pressed by Halley, Newton agreed to redo the calculations and produce a paper. He did as promised, but then did much more. He retired for two years of intensive reflection and scribbling, and at length produced his masterwork: the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica or Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, better known as the Principia."

Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Broadway Books, Copyright 2003 by Bill Bryson, pp. 46-48.

credit: delancey place

Saturday, November 14, 2009

lazy "dog" einstein

  young Albert Einstein:
"In the early 1900s, Einstein was a brilliant young scientist (26 in 1905) working independently of the usual academic community, who was obsessed with the idea of proving that atoms are real. [The existence of atoms was widely conjectured but not yet proven at this time.] ... This search was being carried out in the context of Einstein trying to obtain a PhD, which, by the beginning of the twentieth century was already being seen as the scientist's meal ticket, an essential requirement for anyone hoping to pursue a career in university research. Einstein had graduated from the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH--the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich in 1900, but although he had done well in his final examinations, his attitude had not endeared him to the professors at the ETH (one of his tutors, Hermann Minkowski, described young Albert as a 'lazy dog' who 'never bothered about mathematics at all'), and he was unable to get a job as one of their assistants, and equally unable to get a decent reference from them for a junior academic post.

"So he had a variety of short-term and part-time jobs before becoming a patent officer in Bern in 1902. He spent a lot of time working on scientific problems (not just in his spare time, but also at his desk when he should have been working on patent applications) and published several papers between 1900 and 1905. But his most important project was to obtain that PhD and reopen the doors to academia. The ETH did not award doctorates itself, but there was an arrangement whereby graduates from the ETH could submit a doctoral thesis to the University of Zurich for approval, and this is the path Einstein took. After an abortive attempt on a piece of work which he decided in the end not to submit, he was ready in 1905 with a paper that would prove entirely satisfactory to the examiners in Zurich, and was the first of two papers in which he established the reality of atoms and molecules beyond reasonable doubt."

John Gribbin, The Scientists, Random House, Copyright 2002 by John and Mary Gribbin, pp. 392-393.

Credit :

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jane Eyre: a fictional heroin of the feminist cause

I wrote this essay during the 13th annual signet classic student scholarship essay contest. unfortunately  i was not nominated amongst the winners. your comments will be appreciated.

ESSAY TOPIC :Erica Jong, in her "Introduction," in the Signet Classic edition, states: "The universe of JANE EYRE operates according to female laws. Jane's success as a heroine depends on her breaking all the rules decreed for nineteenth-century women. (p. viii)." To what extent is Jane Eyre an appropriate heroine for the feminist movement? In what ways, if any, does she fall short? Give examples from the novel to support your conclusions.

the essay topic and the winners can be found here


Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre depicts Jane Eyre as a feminist heroin of the 19th century. At a time when women depended on men financially and socially and considered as propriety only useful for marriage and family life; Jane Eyre acquired total independence and shows throughout her story a new meaning of marriage and value of family to woman. Jane Eyre publication Revolutionized literature by encouraging and awakening women to seek social justice and independence from men.

Throughout the novel, Jane constantly receives opposition from men because of her condition as a poor orphan and a female. Rather than to bend to the males laws and the society from which she receives opposition, Jane Eyre defy the chauvinist society and pursuit her own vision of a female life.

In her early childhood in Gateshead Hall, Jane is constantly neglected and abused by Ms.Reed and her children (John, Eliza and Georgiana). Jane was particularly abused by john who made her live in isolation and fear by beating her whenever he wants because Jane was a poor orphan without protection. The weak young girl couldn’t do anything in opposition to john’s violence except to bear the pain physically and emotionally. Offended by reed, Jane feeling of hatred and humiliation went out of control. Jane firmly decided to put an end to “the wicked boy” abuses. For the first time, Jane stood up a fought back when john hit her. Jane riposte to john’s cruelties demonstrate her determination to fight against injustice. Her quarrel and struggle against john creed injustices led her to live in Lowood school where she felt much content.

During her Jane's education at Lowood School, Jane met Mr. Brocklehurst. Brocklehurst is a cold, cruel clergyman who runs the institution. Mr. Brocklehurst is a chauvinist who believes in females’s inferiority to men. According to his opinion, females should pursuit a modest life in order live a righteous life base on subordination and dependence on males. He once insulted Jane in front of her classmates by calling her a liar and a “wicked girl” because Ms.Reed told him so. Even humiliated and heartbroken, Jane by her actions showed courage and proved to her classmates and the entire school her integrity and goodness.

After her education in Gateshead, Jane became a governess at Thornfield Manor. A few months after her arrival at Thornfield, Jane met Mr. Edward Rochester an ugly, yet wonderful and passionate and charismatic gentleman nearly twenty years aged than her. Jane falls in love with Edward Rochester who in some instance tried to take advantage of her. Before their intended marriage, Edward offered to Jane a necklace ring and beautiful wedding. Edward intention was to change Jane’s appearance a little bit. Thought at the begin Jane gave in by love for Edward; at the end she refused all of them because she wanted to be the person she is. She wanted to act as the Jane she is and maintain her own personality.

After their unsuccessful attempt to marry in which Edward nearly committed bigamy and kept secret the existence of his wife. Edward asked Jane to accompany him in France where they will live as husband and wife even thought they can not be married. Although she dearly loves Edward, Jane refused Edward’s proposition because she can not abandon her moral and principles by witch she stands by.

Similarly, in her relationship with St. John Rivers, a young clergyman who like Mr. Brocklehurst, believes is a chauvinist. St.john that a woman place in society is to devoted her life to a man. He invited Jane to India to help his work as a wife. Believing that Jane would accept because it is what a good woman will do. Jane strongly declined his offer because she wanted a marriage base on true love and mutual respect.

By succeed to defy the society barriers of gender, Jane Eyre build up the image of a woman who has the courage to fight against gender injustice within the society, and pursuit equality in life and opportunity. She is her own master. She acts freely according to her values and morality. She did not bend to the role attributed to women in the 19th century. She is a feminist in the profound sense of the term.

Finally, the novel Jane Eyre by charlotte Brontë represents a gigantic feminist novel. Jane Eyre is an appropriate heroine of the feminist movement because she embodies the value of feminism which is equal social, sexual, political, intellectual and economic right for both men and women.


Iran: top challenge to the U.S and the world

i wrote this essay for the 2009 AFSA (American Foreign service association ) high school essay contest which offers a scholarship for the winner. unfortunately i was not selected amongst the happy winners, but at least i believe that I’ve broadened my view of the world by deeply exploring the one of the greatest menace facing mankind.
the essay topic can be found here at AFSA’s website .
TOPIC :Analyze and explain what you think will be the Challenges Facing the American Foreign Service in the 21st Century
your comments will be greatly appreciated.

Terrorism and proliferation of nuclear weapons are the two major challenges facing the U.S national security and the world peace and stability. The attempt of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon in a region characterized by instability and extreme violence committed by terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, Hezbollah and the Lashkar-e-Omar (LeO) supported and financed by Iran, represent a colossal danger for the middle east, the U.S and the world.

Since the Iranian Islamic revolution of 1979 which transformed the country from a constitutional monarchy to an Islamic republic, Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East. In fact on November 4, 1979, just after the revolution, “students affiliated with the Iranian revolution group occupied the U.S embassy in Tehran and held fifty tree U.S diplomats hostage for 444 days” (Farber). It is also well known that the Iranian government is a great sponsor of global and regional terrorist organizations. Iran supported and financed the Hezbollah during the Israeli-Lebanon war in 2006, the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic jihad group in the 2008-2009 Israeli-Gaza conflict. And there is “overwhelming evidence” said Michael McConnell, that Iran Sponsored the insurgency of terrorist groups in Iraq, supplied arms to the Taliban and hosted Al-Qaida terrorists who committed the attack of September 11, 2001. All those facts demonstrated that Iran is a treat to the U.S and to the world. Furthermore, the radical Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unmasked his desire to “wipe Israel of the map” and denied holocaust (IRB News).

Over the past several years, Iran’s nuclear activities have commanded the attention of the United State and the International Community suspecting it of developing nuclear weapons. The United Nations called on Iran to renounce its uranium enrichment but Iran denied the call.0n March 2007. U.N Security Council agreed unanimously to sanction Iran imposing ban arms sales and expanding the freeze on assets, in response to the country uranium activities.

Recently, other national and international agencies led investigations on Iran nuclear program and concluded that Iran will be capable to produce a nuclear weapon if it continues its uranium enrichment. For example, In its May 2007 assessment, the United States national intelligence estimate (NIE) judged “Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough HEU (highly enriched uranium) for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame” and urged Iran to stop its nuclear activities . Further, Mohamed Elbaradei, the director of IAEA (international atomic energy agency), asserted on 24, October 2007 that Iran could take between 3 and 8 years to make a bomb if it went down that route.
On the other hand, Elbaradei and other intelligence agencies acknowledge that there is not sufficient proof to assume that the Iranian republic is developing a nuclear weapon. “Maybe some studies about possible weaponnization” but “no evidence” of “nuclear material that can readily be used into a weapon” or “”an active weaponnization program” Elbaradei stated. Iran itself states that it is conducting “peaceful” nuclear programs “.but the U.S claims that Iran ended atomic arms work.

It is clear that the United States and the world can not and should not let Iran obtain nuclear weapons for, Iran, by its support and finance of terrorist organizations and by menacing Israel of destruction has proven to the world that its acquisition of mass destructive weapons will be equivalent to terrorists’ possession of mass destructive weapons and a direct menace against the world, the U.S and its allies.
Facing those menaces from Iran and the growing influence of terrorism, the United State Foreign Services has supported democratic nations in the Middle East, collaborated with the United Nations and it has successfully created strategic alliances with others nations including Islamic nations in order to contain the pandemic spread of terrorism and afflict more intense international sanctions against Iran which perhaps will lead it to negotiate or even abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Personally, I believe that to combat terrorism, the United States Foreign Service must primarily support president Obama’s removal plan of the U.S troops from Iraq; because “U.S efforts to fight terrorism with an expanded military presence in Muslim countries appear to have elicited a backlash and to have bred some sympathy for al Qaeda, even as most (Muslims) reject its terrorist methods” (kull). The U.S Foreign Service must Lead campaign in the Muslim world because, I believe, the Combat against terrorism can only be possible by leading campaigns to explain to the Arab-Muslim world in particular and to the Muslim world in general that the United States is not an enemy nor is it an imperialist power which searches to occupier their lands but, in contrary that the united states is a friend which is committed to restoring peace , stability and prosperity in the region and that in order to restore regional peace and stability for our common benefit, the United States needs their support and cooperation in order to defy terrorist organizations which promote violence, hatred and falsely use the name of religion to justify their monstrous acts and to protect their own interest. This view is supported by most Middle East experts and most moderates Islamic scholars such as Aida Akl.

Finally, the United State Foreign Services must financially help improve the live of the people living in the Middle East by building schools, streets, and offices and by providing better basic daily life necessities which are water, foods and habiliments. The creation of schools is, I believe, one of the most effective ways to combat terrorism and terrorists’ ideologies. schools educate the rising generation and teach it the value peace and will prevent further expansion of terrorism.
In conclusion, Iran and terrorism represents the biggest challenges for the U.S, the world, and the U.S must employ every mean possible to permanently halt Iran’s nuclear activities and the terrorist group which it support.

                                                  Works Cited
1. Levitt, Mathew & Jacobson, Michael “Timely Reminder of Support of Iranian support for Terrorism.” The Washington Institute for near east policy (February 22, 2008): .
2. David, Farber. Taken Hostage: The Iran Hostage Crisis and America’s First Encounter with Radical Islam. Princeton University Press, 2005.
3. “McConnell Cites ‘Overwhelming Evidence’ of Iran’s Support for Iraqi Insurgents.” Council on Foreign Relations (June 28, 2007) :<>.
4. IRIB News. “Ahmadinejad: Israel must be wiped off the map.” Islamic Republic of Iran broadcasting (2005/10/26) :
5. UN. “Security Council tightens sanctions against Iran over uranium enrichment.” UN News Center:
6. N IE. “Iran: Nuclear Intentions and capabilities.” National Intelligence Estimate (November 2007): <>.
7. Herald Tribune. “UN nuclear watchdog chief expresses concern about anti-Iran rhetoric from US.” International herald tribune, the global of the New York Times (October 28, 2007):
8. AFP. “Six powers to meet soon over Iran’s nuclear program: US.” AFP (Jan 15, 2008):
9. World Public “Muslim Publics Oppose Al Qaeda’s Terrorism, But Agree With Its Goal of Driving US Forces Out.” World Public Opinion (February 24, 2009)
10. Msnbc. “Study: U.S. must work with Muslim communities to fight terrorism.” msnbc (Feb. 26, 2009) :<>
11. Akl, Aida. “U.S. Muslims Eager to Help Fight Terrorism.” Muslim public affair council (October 31, 2005): < id="88">.