[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [OM] IMG: Nathan's PAW 24: mostly Denmark

Subject: Re: [OM] IMG: Nathan's PAW 24: mostly Denmark
From: Mike Gordon via olympus <olympus@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2022 21:59:24 +0000 (UTC)
Cc: usher99@xxxxxxx
<<<The George Burns attribution, at least as the originator, is almost 
certainly false. <https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/07/10/old-age/>

One can understand how misattribution of quotes can happen, but what about 
naming scientific discoveries after the original discoverer?

How about our good friend Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss?    We use a Gaussian 
function in blurring and even more imp't the "Gaussian distribution" or 
bell-shaped curve.

Well, it was not Gauss at all.  It is sometimes called a Laplace-Gauss 
distribution and Gauss did cite Laplace.  It wasn't Laplace either!  Rather 
there is strong evidence that it can be traced to a 1733 publication by Abraham 
de Moive. 

OK, now something simple like the Pythagorean theorem.  Well, you guessed it, 
Pythagoras was not one of the original discoverers.  The theorem was well known 
before his time and proved well after him.   I could go on and on.  

I had thought about this recently and after a bit of digging learned this is a 
well-known phenomenon--known as Stigler's law of eponymy.  Well, if Stigler's 
law is true what about Stigler?
He readily admits the credit is better attributed to the sociologist Robert 
Merton!  So Stigler not only wins marks for humility, but also the law named 
after him becomes self-confirming.

Moose's Law of Misattribution anyone?  Mike
Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus
Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
Sponsored by Tako
Impressum | Datenschutz