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    (Original post by Gilliwoo)
    Oh for ****'s sake, get over yourself.
    What's that supposed to mean? You're the one with the "I could easily have formulated one of the biggest scientific theories ever" attitude.
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    working out atomic structure once and for all (well, we assume so)?
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    (Original post by Consie)
    working out atomic structure once and for all (well, we assume so)?
    There were many great intellectual leaps involved in the formulation of QM. Any number of them could be deemed one of the greatest.
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    (Original post by Worzo)
    What's that supposed to mean? You're the one with the "I could easily have formulated one of the biggest scientific theories ever" attitude.
    And you're the only one who seems to not understand the point and tone of my not-altogether-serious post.
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    i think the greatest intellectual achievement of all time is speech itself. The way humans communicate using sophisticated words in a rigid sentence construction is phenomenal!
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    (Original post by Gilliwoo)
    And you're the only one who seems to not understand the point and tone of my not-altogether-serious post.
    Oh, sorry! I didn't realise you were deliberately talking crap in order to be funny. Just ignore everything I said then.

    Although it seemed more like taking the "you didn't get my joke" tack in order to save backing down...classic
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    (Original post by Worzo)
    Oh, sorry! I didn't realise you were deliberately talking crap in order to be funny. Just ignore everything I said then.
    Makes a change form those who talk crap for the sake of it, or because they know no better.:rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Gilliwoo)
    Since when did we have to come up with similar theories to state our positions on those that already exist? I'm not denigrating Darwin's work. I just don't think it's as big deal intellectually or practically as many other intellectual achievements. I'm sure those with finer minds than most could have, with similar evidence, reached not altogether different conclusions. It wasn't even new in principle - since ancient times, there have been variations on the same thought. Now, while of course I was clearly facetious in my earlier posts, I still don't consider something like Evolution to be has radical as, say, the Principia, or Realtivity, or Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
    Actually, the very same kind of points you make about Darwins theory of evolution could be applied to Special Relativity.
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    (Original post by naivesincerity)
    Actually, the very same kind of points you make about Darwins theory of evolution could be applied to Special Relativity.
    Probably more so... much of the mathematics of special relativity was already known through guesswork when Einstein wrote his paper.
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    (Original post by KwungSun)
    Probably more so... much of the mathematics of special relativity was already known through guesswork when Einstein wrote his paper.
    Despite the intellectual leap required to assume that the nature of light defined spacetime itself, your argument is broadly correct, and that's why the General Theory is the greater achievement, for it required a similar degree of faith in the assumption that mass bent spacetime.
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    Someone's gotta say it: Capitalism! Yay!
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    There were many great intellectual leaps involved in the formulation of QM. Any number of them could be deemed one of the greatest
    Well thats the point - the process itself. Intellectual discoveries usually are processes anyway. You dont just think up such theories in their entirety out of blue.
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    (Original post by Consie)
    Well thats the point - the process itself. Intellectual discoveries usually are processes anyway. You dont just think up such theories in their entirety out of blue.
    I know, but there has to be someone who says, "What if...?" for the first time, and then puts in the time to prove/disprove it: that's the intellectual achievement. I'm not sure what you mean by "intellectual discovery".
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    (Original post by Worzo)
    I know, but there has to be someone who says, "What if...?" for the first time, and then puts in the time to prove/disprove it: that's the intellectual achievement. I'm not sure what you mean by "intellectual discovery".
    Quite often there are a great many "someones", as the snowball of invention gathers, well, snow. It's not as simple as the schoolroom tale of one great man with a vision.
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    (Original post by Agent Smith)
    Quite often there are a great many "someones", as the snowball of invention gathers, well, snow. It's not as simple as the schoolroom tale of one great man with a vision.
    Well with General Relativity it really was more or less the case that Einstein locked himself away for 10 years and then popped out with a scientific revolution. I think this is partly why Worzo sees it as the greatest intellectual achievement.
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    The single greatest intellectual achievement... very tough question.

    I nominate a few, in addition to those already mentioned:

    Newton's Principia Mathematica- Probably my #1 choice.
    The US Constitution.
    The sequencing of the human genome.
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    (Original post by KwungSun)
    Well with General Relativity it really was more or less the case that Einstein locked himself away for 10 years and then popped out with a scientific revolution. I think this is partly why Worzo sees it as the greatest intellectual achievement.
    Yes, if we're talking the achievement of one man, I guess. This is what I was thinking from the start, which is why I was a bit mystified when people said things like "quantum mechanics" etc.

    But if you're looking at it from the perspective of humanity's greatest intellectual achievement, then that's a bit different. It's probably something more philosophical that impacted the general way we think, but I don't know much about that. The Ancient Greeks were pretty damn intelligent, and advanced art and science no end - maybe there's something there.

    I still stand by the definition that "intellectual achievement" has to involve some sort of radical leap though.
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    (Original post by Mikesev)
    The US Constitution.
    Bwahahaha!
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    (Original post by Mikesev)
    1) Newton's Principia Mathematica- Probably my #1 choice.
    2) The US Constitution.
    3) The sequencing of the human genome.
    1) Yes, this might rival Einstein's General Theory.
    2) Wtf? Explain yourself!
    3) Wasn't really an intellectual achievement, I don't think. Just a mission to do: it was more like making a map of a very complicated landscape. Sure, it took discipline and hard work by lots of clever people, but there was no great intellectual leap involved.
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    The next one.




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