Conclusion (as above so below)
While the development of Genius remains to be determined, the deployment of Newton as a detector of science myth clearly has a history that extents beyond recent arguments on the mythical nature of genius.
“many assert that fishes have not that part called the meatus auditorius, and are quite deaf. Others are quite of a contrary opinion. However by the first proposition of the second book of Newton’s Principai, it is proved that water is a non-conductor of sound…….. Naturalists observe a world of wisdom and design in the structure of fishes, and their conformation to the element they reside in.”
A Newton provides authority to an argument.
Training fish to respond to a bell when feeding has been an old staple of behaviourism and forms part of the history of its study of memory.
Here some mythical debunking related to goldfish. The belief that goldfish have a memory span of less than three seconds is questioned by a 15 year old who believes that it is a form of myth intended to make gold fish owners feel less shame about keeping goldfish in small tanks.
Belief here presented as the motivational pull and reward behind the experiment. If we can no longer describe this impulse to scientific experiment in the thought of a 15 year old as a science prodigy or genius at work, it would seem safe to make the claim that he is a debunker of myth.
Myth seems to be occupying a similar space in description as genius once did.What has altered is the measure, a movement from positive to negative. Science here is defining itself in relation to what does not want to be (unkind to goldfish).
Destruction of genius see’s something phoenix like emerging and the identification of what science is forms in its ashes. It appears to be something close to a form of love.
Rory Stokes, a student at the Australian Science and Mathematics School in Adelaide, placed a beacon in a fish tank at feeding time each day and measuring the time it took for fish to swim to it to obtain food.
The time taken reduced dramatically over a three week period, from a minute to a few seconds, after which Rory removed the beacon.
Six days later, he put it back in the water and, despite not seeing it for almost a week, the fish swam to it in 4.4 seconds, showing they had remembered the association between food and the beacon for at least six days.
“We are told that a goldfish has a memory span of less than three seconds… I wanted to challenge this theory as I believe it is a myth intended to make us feel less guilty about keeping fish in small tanks,” Rory said.
Best’s Art of Angling
The Telegraph ‘ fishes memory last for months say scientists, 7/1/09