100 Most Important Science Books

Bill Skaggs skaggs at bns.pitt.edu
Sun Nov 14 13:38:13 EST 1999


Nick Medford <nick at hermit0.demon.co.uk> writes:

> >I would like to point out that there are meaningful differences
> >between butterfly collecting and stamp collecting.
> >
> Well, yeah.  For one thing, butterflies don't come with their own adhesive.
> And it would be downright weird if stamps underwent metamorphosis.


The distinction I had in mind is that butterflies are a product of
nature, and collecting them can be a first step toward uncovering the
regularities of nature (which I think is what Rutherford meant by
"physics"), whereas stamps are a product of human bureaucracies and
collecting them is not a first step toward anything particularly
interesting, as far as I can see.

	-- Bill




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