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    Re: Stephen Hawking
    From: Francis Upchurch
    Date: 2018 Mar 20, 19:17 -0000

    Thanks Frank.
    Wise words as always.
    I'm not a neurologist so do not feel qualified to comment on your 2 theories.
    I just hope the medics involved do so. I agree, slightly off nav topic except, 
    I'm sure you agree, we rely on the general science background to do our thing 
    well? (so science is sometimes on topic)
    I also like Penrose and have at last read (or rather skimmed,) Newton's 
    Principia, (Cohen and Whitman translation). Although I don't get all the 
    maths, I surprisingly do get the principles and see the greatness of the 
    Einstein and the Quantum mechanics folks I find even more difficult. Darwin, Pasteur, I do get. 
    Wonderful in my old age to read all this stuff.
    Subject closed I guess. I'm off to get the boat ready and do some lunars. Joy!
    -----Original Message-----
    From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Frank Reed
    Sent: 20 March 2018 18:16
    To: francis{at}pharmout.co.uk
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Stephen Hawking
    Francis Upchurch, you wrote:
    "but as a doctor, I think the great unexplained mystery here, greater even 
    than black holes etc., is how he managed to survive for so long with motor 
    neurone disease which usually has a maximum life expectancy of 5 years"
    It's venturing further off-topic, but maybe you could comment on the two 
    theories (not mine!) that I have seen on this issue:
    1) He was mis-diagnosed, slightly. There are a variety of neurological 
    diseases that could show similar symptoms and can't be distinguished until 
    after death.
    2) This specific neurological disorder has a reduced impact when it strikes at 
    an earlier age (it hit Hawking in his early twenties).
    Earlier, Geoffrey Kolbe, you wrote:
    "though I remember Dr. Stan Raimes, our undergraduate maths lecturer at 
    Imperial College (London) where I did my degrees, being rather sniffy about 
    Einstein's work, saying that Einstein was only famous because of the 
    publicising efforts of his wife! Einstein was certainly a 'pop star' of his 
    day too."
    Yes, Einstein also became quite a "pop star" especially later in life. And I 
    don't fault either of them for it. They excited the public in a way that few 
    others could. On a much smaller scale, there are people like Brian Cox 
    (famous in Britain) and Neil deGrasse Tyson (limited fame in the USA), who 
    are relatively inconsequential as physicists in terms of their own research 
    but seen by the some of their public audience as "great physicists". It's not 
    a problem as long as the confusion isn't abused, and these people are 
    communicators. They bring science to the wider world. It's a long and fine 
    tradition going back to Michael Faraday's Christmas lectures.
    But I'll say this to your old instructor Stan: Einstein completely 
    revolutionized physics at least twice. He's in the same category as Isaac 
    Newton. Hawking, as I mentioned, was in the top 500. Even in the much 
    narrower category of British physicists with interests in black holes and 
    cosmology, I would count Roger Penrose as more creative and probably more 
    significant in the long-term than Hawking. Oh, and if Einstein's wife was an 
    unsung contributor to Einstein's fame (or as some others have suggested, even 
    to his fundamental science), then let's give her credit. But that won't 
    change the colossal, wide-ranging revolutions launched by Einstein 
    Frank Reed
    PS: Sorry for the non-navigational post. We will wind this down quickly.
    [plain text auto-generated]
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