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Форум: Новые хронологии
 Тема: Профессор Мориарти
Профессор Мориарти [сообщение #14967] Вт., 16 Июль 2002 12:59
gorm в настоящее время не в онлайне gorm
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Любопытное сообщение появилось в листе рассылки по истории астрономии. Оказывается, Конан Дойль, конструируя своего профессора Мориарти взял за основу научную биографию Симон Нюкома, который должен быть известен завсегдатаям, как создатель теории ускорения Земли и Луны на основе анализа тысяч наблюдений нового времени, собранных за многие годы в обсерваториях всего мира. Его теорию прецессии неоднократно упоминает Фоменко в книгах.

Вот что писал о Мориарти Конан-Дойль:

"He was a mathematical genius of the highest order whose primary
scholarly study was in astronomy (with particular interest in eclipses). He wrote treatises on the binomial theorem (about the age of 20) and the dynamics of an asteroid (in the 1860s). Apparently he was interested in the catastrophic explosion of the primordial asteroidal planet and the end of the world. He was made a Professor of Mathematics at a small university until he was forced to resign his position. He flourished in the late 1800s and reached a peak at which he was likely to be the most renown astronomer in the world. His leadership was based on his repeated successes, his intimidating personality, and the fear of his associates."



_________________

Hi;
My article on Professor Simon Newcomb being the inspiration for
many of the details in the life of Professor James Moriarty has appeared
four places (due to three different journals requesting permission to
reprint it). I note that the original idea of Newcomb=Moriarty is from
Ron Schorn [formerly an editor of Sky & Telescope who is now living in
College Park Texas and has written a long history of planetary astronomy
for NASA]; although I had then done a lot of research into various
archives to provide much evidence to prove the claim. I have discovered
that there is an airtight case that Conan Doyle derived all his
inspiration and life-details for the notorious Colonel Sebastian Moran
from his closest personal friend, Colonel Alfred Drayson. I have since
found that the the basic idea of Moriarty as a criminal mastermind was
certainly taken from Adam Worth; thus making the character of Moriarty as
a composite of Newcomb and Worth. Further details follow:
The following paragraph accurately describes *both* Newcomb and
Moriarty:
"He was a mathematical genius of the highest order whose primary
scholarly study was in astronomy (with particular interest in eclipses).
He wrote treatises on the binomial theorem (about the age of 20) and the
dynamics of an asteroid (in the 1860s). Apparently he was interested in
the catastrophic explosion of the primordial asteroidal planet and the end
of the world. He was made a Professor of Mathematics at a small
university until he was forced to resign his position. He flourished in
the late 1800s and reached a peak at which he was likely to be the most
renown astronomer in the world. His leadership was based on his repeated
successes, his intimidating personality, and the fear of his associates."
The following paragraph accurately describes *both* Dreyson and
Moran:
"He was a career army man who served in the colonial wars and
spent the bulk of his service as a colonel. He served with distinction in
southeast India until his retirement to England in the middle 1880s. In
physical appearance, he had a 'deep-lined brow', 'a high bald forehead and
a huge grizzled moustache'. He was of high intelligence and wrote two
books on hunting in the jungles of the British Empire and the western
Himalayas. He was a good marksman for which stories are told of chasing
wounded big game cats down drainage channels. He was an expert at the art
of killing people. After leaving the army, he made his living at whist
until his death soon after the turn of the century."
These parallels are so detailed and precise that there can be
little doubt of the intentions of Doyle. Doyle would learn of Newcomb
through Newcomb's fame in the field of parapsychology and through
Dreyson who was a crackpot who directly slimed Newcomb in print concerning
the obliquity of the ecliptic. The biggest gap is that Newcomb hardly was
a London "Napoleon of Crime". Now, Doyle has a long track record of using
real-life models, and some of these are where he used multiple models to
create a composite character. Recently, I have found the book "The
Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief" by Ben
MacIntyre (Bantam, New York 1997). It makes a clear and sure case that
Doyle took the criminal part of Moriarty from the real-life Adam Worth.
So Moriarty is a composite of Newcomb and Worth.
I treated the question as a historian would, by checking original
documents for everything. At Sandhurst (with an introduction by Peter
Hingley), I found much of Dreyson's original books and articles along with
one picture of him. At Portsmouth, I uncovered another picture and the
original minutes of the Portsmouth Literary & Scientific Society (where
Dreyson and Doyle met {and Dreyson introduced Doyle into parapsychology})
which showed that Dreyson spoke on many topics (like the variation on the
obliquity of the ecliptic and a talk on "The Art of Killing") which were
later mentioned by Doyle in the Canon. On the obliquity topic, Dreyson's
book shows him to be a classical crackpot (who got a considerable
following in the early 1900's) on astronomy topics that Newcomb was by far
the world's expert on. At the RGO archives, I found that Dreyson was
present at the observatory when Newcomb made one of his visits, and you
can just imagine the haughty Newcomb's reception of the crackpot Dreyson
trying to push his theories. I also examined the RAS archives, the
Marlybone Library, and the Library of Congress boxes on Newcomb's personal
papers. Intriguingly, in the latter, I found detailed handwritten notes
on the Doyle stories that include Moriarty, making me wonder whether
Newcomb realized that he was the (partial) prototype. Certainly, Dreyson
was so close to Doyle and the parallels so unique and close that he must
have known he was the model for Moran; although I can find no direct
document saying so.
The four places where my article is (re)printed are:
Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 1993, v. 103, 30-34.
Mercury, Jan/Feb 1993, v22, no. 1, pp9-13.
Baker Street Journal, Sept 1993, v43, No. 3, pp. 171-178.
New Baker Street Pillar Box, 1993, No. 15.
About the time, the basic results also were summarized in ~100 newspaper
articles worldwide. The abstract of the AAS talk has appeared in the BAAS
and Archaeoastronomy.
One lesson I learned from all this research is that many old
papers with very-bad alternatives for the model for Moriarty are still
endlessly cited. That is, all but the claim for Adam Worth (see
above) are incredibly bad and stupid claims upon being examined in detail.
Yet they had made it into print once, so scholars feel forced to keep
citing them forever. After all, these citations prove that the 'scholar'
has done extensive research; even though the scholar clearly has not gone
past reading the abstract so as to learn how laughable was the claim.
(Alas, Sherlockian research is often this way.) About that time, I ran
across exactly the same phenomenon with regard to the origin of the Star &
Crescent symbol. I have found this same 'scholarly' situation on most of
my historical research since then. That is, historical researchers have a
strong tendancy to cite old papers for the sake of completeness, with the
implicit indication that the old claim has much validity, despite the old
claim failing to even cursory examination. In the last year, I had
occassion to study in close detail the famous paper by Michael Ovenden
(claiming that the old Greek constellations originated with the Minoans
around the year 2500 BC or so {Philosophical Journal, 1966, v3, no 1., pp
1-18}) and found it full of 5 errors so egregious and critical to his
conclusion as to make me wonder (see the long Appendix of my article in
the next issue of the JHA). The Ovenden paper has obviously never been
examined in detail by any astronomer; yet it remains the much quoted
cornerstone of a hefty fraction of researchers on the origins of the Greek
constellations. So I have asked myself the question "Is it 'scholarly' to
include references to all past work without making some evaluation of
whether it is laughable or not?"; and my answer is "No, I will ignore past
work in my references unless I also either implicitly agree that the paper
has some validity or give all the reasons why it is wrong." The reason is
that including junk references just to appear scholarly will only lead
future researchers astray and waste their time. So I appeal to the
history of astronomy community to *not* include references to old papers
(just to appear exhaustive in your scholarship) unless you are either
providing a refutation or are implicitly agreeing that the claim has
significant validity. A litmus test of this will be over the next few
years to see how many people cite the now-thoroughly-refuted Ovenden
paper.

Cheers,
Brad Schaefer
schaefer@astro.as.utexas.edu


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