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    Re: Newton and Halley
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2007 Nov 18, 07:01 -0000

    I apologise in advance to those list members who might find this rather
    prolonged correspondence of little interest. They should delete now.
    
    However, there's some unfinished business between me and Mike Daly that
    needs sorting out. It involves proper treatment of historical evidence, and
    proper citing of quoted sources, and has little navigational content.
    
    First, let's deal with the unsourced quotations that I mentioned before. For
    the first, he has (somewhat ungraciously) acknowledged that he can offer no
    references. The other two, greatly to my surprise, he attributes to my own
    pen!
    
    Here's one, which relates to Halley, with my own comment in square brackets-
    
    "If he did use lunar distances, it is often suggested that he used
    Newton's," [Often, by whom?]
    
    and he tells me now-
    
    "You, for starters.  See comment below on sources."
    
    I've never, to my recollection, even suggested that Halley used lunar
    distances. All his observations that I've examined have been of lunar
    appulses with stars, to determine the Moon's position, and have involved no
    measurement of lunar distance at all.  So not me, ever, Mike. Who else,
    "often"?
    
    and here's the other-
    
    "If folks are saying "Halley used Newton's original instrument", then that
    means the statement is false" [Who was saying that?]
    
    to which his reply is-
    
    "Unless you don't read your own posts, I'll point out that this is exactly
    what you are saying."
    
    I've never made the slightest distinction between Newton's "original
    instrument" (a term coined by Mike Daly) and any successor or modified
    version or Mark 2 that may or may not have followed it. It's all one to me.
    Mike seems to be building some extra meaning into Newton's phrase "mended of
    some faults". No, Mike, not me that time either. What other "folks", then?
    Or have you simply built a straw man in order to knock him down?
    
    ======================
    
    As I've said before, it's of little importance whether or not Daly
    accepts that Halley used the Newton instrument. But in the process, he
    attempts to discredit the written record in the Royal Society Journal Book.
    
    | "It was written by a third person - which in legal
    | terms means - hearsay."
    
    It was written at the time as a formal official record of the Royal Society
    gathering by the Secretary appointed to do so, and subject to later scrutiny
    as being a true record. Hearsay? Absurd!
    
    Does he contend, then, that Newton didn't say what the Secretary wrote? Or
    that, for some reason, Newton was lying? Does Mike Daly know better, then?
    
    In a previous posting, he proposed instead, with no evidence whatever,
    that Halley used an unworkable instrument of Halley's own design, but
    suitably modified according to Daly's precepts (including a second mirror)
    to render it effective. Complete fantasy!
    
    Compare his demand for rigour, when wishing to discredit a conclusion that's
    unpalatable to his preconceptions, with his relaxed attitude to the EGR
    Taylor statement that he believes might support them, referred to in another
    posting.
    
    George.
    
    contact George Huxtable at george---.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    
    
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