Re: if a black physicist invents time travel

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sat May 19 2001 - 23:17:14 MDT

Mitch wrote

>I found [racial preferencing] odd myself because, are they
>looking to promote Extropian ideas among the black community,
>or what does melanin have to do with electrons? What's the
>significance of Nils Bohr having Jewish parentage on his mother's
>side; versus his contribution to the Solway Conference in 1927?

Actually, you bring up one of the rare instances in which a
person's ethnic heritage has explanatory power. (In most
cases, as you know, you cannot explain the single success
or failure, or indeed any trait, of an **individual** by
appealing to the stereotype, even if statistically speaking
that stereotype is correct.)

But Nils Bohr is an exception. All of his bad ideas were due
to his father and the culture from which his father came.
"Complimentarity", for example, was even a philosophy that
had been articulated in a general philosophic way by his
father, who also "worshipped" Goethe. (Richard Rhodes,
"The Making of the Atomic Bomb.") All of his good physics---
his literalness as a young child, powerful abilities to
deal with abstractions completely divorced from the concrete---
came, I submit, from his mother's side. So Nils Bohr was
(in large part) a great physicist **because** his mother
was Jewish.

But your point is well taken in the general case. Genius
must occur in all nationalities and racial groups, because
the normal distribution rules.

Lee Corbin

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