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← "Everything happens for a reason"

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Jos Gibbons

One moving response (you can judge how good it is) I have seen comes from David Tennant's portrayal of Arthur Stanley Eddington in Einstein and Eddington. I imagine it is a fictionalised scene, and in any case bear in mind Eddington was a Quaker, not "one of us". But, in the scene in question, both he and Sir Oliver Lodge have lost someone in the Battle of Ypres (though Eddington's someone is a man he loved, so he can't admit it), resulting in Eddington having a crisis of faith, and Eddington's fellow astronomers, led by Lodge, wish communication between German scientists and the Royal Astronomical Society to cease. Eddington, interested in Einstein's work, disagrees. Sadly, it's not on YouTube. However, here's the extract of which I was reminded:

Eddington: Mercury.

Lodge: We've had this before.

Eddington: What?

Lodge: The orbit of a planet that Newton couldn't account for, Uranus. And what happened? Neptune was discovered - and where was Neptune? Exactly where Newton predicted it must be -and what did that mean? The orbit of Uranus made sense with Newton after all. WHEN WILL YOU LEARN? Everything happens for a reason!

(Eddington stands)

Eddington: Ypres.

Lodge: How dare you mention that name. What do you know of Ypres, what do you know of grief? I have lost my son, but there is order in the universe.

Thu, 05 Aug 2010 16:55:43 UTC | #496261