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CHAT: Ben Franklin (was Re: Re: CHAT: cultural interpretation)

From:Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>
Date:Monday, July 7, 2003, 7:56
On 4 July, Peter Bleackley wrote:

> Large parts of the US constitution were written by a man who flew a kite
> a thunderstorm. This explains a lot.
Well, maybe not. According to an article from the Sunday Telegraph (June 1st, 2003), Franklin apparently proposed the experiment, but never carried it out. A man by the name of Tom Tucker, a lecturer and historian at a technical college in North Carolina examined the original documents and did not find any proof of the experiment actually taking place. In addition, he reportedly tried to recreate the experiment, using 18th century materials and couldn't get it to work. Trying it with a modern kite didn't work either. To give Franklin credit, he was likely doing something more in the nature of a "thought experiment". (That the experiment was believed by many to have actually happened, is a different matter.) IMHO, there is nothing wrong with "thought-experiments", per se: AFAIK, Einstein also published a few of them in Relativity Theory that he never tested empirically. BTW, for full details see the History News Network site at: Dan Sulani ------------------------------------------------------- likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a A word is an awesome thing.


Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>