Talk:Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet

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Untitled[edit]

The 1911 article contained: "In 1852, in his famous paper on the change of refrangibility of light, he described the phenomenon of fluorescence..." This doesn't make any sense, since refrangibility (refractive index) is a property of the medium not light, and it doesn't have anything to do with fluorescence. At first I tacked on "wavelength" in brackets, but now I'm assuming Britannica was in error and changing it to wavelength outright. -- Tim Starling 01:38, Dec 15, 2003 (UTC)

Stokes' theorem[edit]

Did he really prove Stokes theorem? that's what it says at the beginning of the page. I do not think so (see the page on stokes theorem for more reference)

Sunshine recorder[edit]

Stokes also modifed the John Francis Campbell sunshine recorder that bears his name as the Campbell-Stokes recorder. I'm not sure how to properly fit this into the current text. CambridgeBayWeather 18:47, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Done - in a list, but I actually feel that too much of this is based on the old 1911 encyclopedia style and a some time the article needs a rewrite. However, it is at present quite comprehensive and accurate so I guess this is not pressing. - Op. Deo 20:51, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. If I'd added it it would have come out much worse.CambridgeBayWeather 06:32, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Irish or Anglo-Irish?[edit]

I delicately offer the following contribution to the ongoing reverts over this.

  • Stokes remained in close contact with his Irish roots throughout his working life in England, visiting Ireland every summer for holidays.
  • His formative educational years were entirley in Ireland.
  • When he went to England he was warned by his family not to talk too much and so advertise his Irish roots. This has been given, perhaps some what speculatively, as a cause of his reputation for being taciturn!
  • I think that the fact that his later education and working life was in England should not be a factor in deciding whether to call him Anglo-Irish. After all many who made such a move both would both then and now still regard themselves as Irish. Or they could choose to classify themselves as British. As far as I know there were no formal requirements for declaration of nationality. One only had to declare place of birth at things like censuses.
  • The article on Anglo-Irish suggests that the term is no longer used. It remains a term which was historically used. Its use in the Stokes article would seem to be correct in as much that he did not come from a working class background and that he was a protestant. However, these points do not need to be made in the opening paragraph of the article. Later in the article one could expound on his religious views, but they form a small part of his biography and are, I think, not needed in the summary.
  • Although it is true that Stokes broke his arm riding a horse and was much concerned about what his parents would say, presumably over his rashness, I suspect that the Behan definition of Anglo-Irish as Protestants with horses is meant as a social comment rather than a nationality definition.
  • I would accept British as a nationality defintion here, but Irish is also accurate and I think preferable. After all Stokes is celebrated as Irish by many including the academic, Alistair Wood who has published much biographical detail.

--Op. Deo 09:47, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I won't insist on the point too much, but I would still like to comment: The problem, of course, is that in this period there was no such thing as legal Irish citizenship, but there was a great cultural and social difference between Ireland and Great Britain. Whereas it would seem to me egregious to describe, say, James Joyce as British or Lord Kitchener as Irish (even though both would technically be correct), it also seems to me misleading to identify a man who spent his entire adult life at Cambridge and was president of the Royal Society as Irish. Anglo-Irish, on the other hand, describes Stokes's cultural and social background perfectly. -- Eb.hoop 10:53, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. I think the intro could be improved by adding there that he worked at Cambridge & Royal Soc. This would overcome the problem you point out that the Irish designation does not inform the reader that he worked in England, and I think these items are appropriate for the intro paragraph. I will also add something later in the text, taken from Wilson's book, to make it clear that he was from an a protestant family. I followed your examples of Ireland-born people with interest. On other points, I was amused to see Joyce described as an expat when to my mind he had de facto permanently emigrated. As to Kitchner, the wp editors seem to just classify him as a British general/statesman, which I dont quarrel over. I was also interested to find List of Irish scientists, engineers and inventors, which defines itself as people who were either born on the island of Ireland or lived and worked there for an extended period. Stokes of course properly appears in such a list. This whole business of claiming Irishness needs care, if one is avoid the mish mash presently presented in List of Irish people ! -- Op. Deo 14:41, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Elsewhere wiki uses post nominal leters to designate FRS ie [Fellow_of_the_Royal_Society|FRS] should probably be added after Bt.Alci12 11:49, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
The Irish Tricolour could be considered an appropriate way to express the nationality of a person like Stokes. Although it is synonymous with the Irish Republic, it's original purpose was to express the fact that Ireland is composed of two ethnic groups, the green and orange parts of the flag are the contemporarily recognised Irish and Anglo-Irish respectively. Ostensibly, the flag is in principle usable by both groups. However, in his time, Stokes would probably have used the Union Jack. 193.1.100.109 13:38, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Today, all along the coast from Ballina to Sligo where Stokes was raised, Catholics and Presbyterians live in good harmony, relative to their brethren in the north-east. I have 'distant' relatives from both sects. Both recognize the green and orange in their flag of today.Laburke (talk) 15:53, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

According to some sources, Stokes' first language was Irish. He subsequently learned English and other languages. If confirmed, it would make an interesting comment on his formative years and I will work it into the commentary on his early life. Laburke (talk) 16:00, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

What is your source.? It seems somewhat improbable given his family background - his father was educated at TCD and was Rector of Skreen. His elder siblings were educated at TCD. Op. Deo (talk) 16:47, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
It seems improbable to you because you are looking at the region through present day eyes. Incredulous as it may seem to you, many Presbyterians spoke Irish at the time. (See my two comments above.). (Gxxgle Stokes Presbyterian and Irish and you will see.) Don't forget, Stokes' father was an Evangelical. How can you preach in Béarla (English) to people who only have a rudimentary understanding of Béarla? I'll provide the sources in due time, de la patience SVP. Laburke (talk) 22:24, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

There is documentation about Stokes' education in classical languages. I have tried to locate Roger Blaney's, "Presbyterians and the Irish Language", without the expense of international shipping. Perhaps others can. I repeat, if you gxxgle this book, you will find that Stokes' father published in and on the Irish language. BTW, knowing Irish was not a impediment for entering TCD during Stokes' or his father's time. Slán agus slàn Laburke (talk) 03:39, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Stokes number and stream function[edit]

The Stokes number for a particle in a flow should be added to the list of things named after him, also the Stokes stream function for incompressible axisymmetric flow. Fathead99 10:06, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 10:04, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

The unit of viscosity[edit]

"Later the CGS unit of viscosity was named a Stokes after his work," pedantic I know but should this not be stokes (i.e. lower case) for the name of the unit? I may be wrong, but I take analogy with the joule, kelvin and newton units to suggest this. Azo bob (talk) 20:46, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Project: Christianity/Anglicanism[edit]

Can we put this article on project Christianity/Anglicanism?--Vojvodaeist 15:43, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland?[edit]

Is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland a nationality or just an excuse not to use the word Irish? If you look at other people born between 1801 and 1922 few if any are described this way. The nationality should be changed to Irish. Bjmullan (talk) 23:48, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Fixed it, see the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Ireland-related_articles and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Ireland#Anglo_Irish. Sheodred (talk) 11:23, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Those discussions were not about the question of "British" versus "Irish" in the infobox; rather they were about the use of the term "Anglo-Irish" in the lede. Insofar as those discussions touched on the "British" versus "Irish" question the comments were casual, inconclusive and diverse, and no consensus was attained. The majority did express agreement with the idea that where there's a dispute over a nationality label because the subject of the biography has multiple possible labels, the nationality parameter in the infobox is best just omitted because the infobox doesn't have the space to do justice to it, and instead the reader is left to glean the nationality from the biographical details in the body of the text and in the multiple nationality labels given at the foot of the page in the Categories. Seanwal111111 (talk) 01:07, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
George Gabriel Stokes is better labelled "British" not "Irish" because:
(1) He supported the political Union between Britain and Ireland. He voted against the Irish Home Rule Bills when he was a member of the UK Parliament representing Cambridge in the late 1880s and early 1890s. In his own eyes his nation was the nation of the British Isles not the nation of Ireland.
(2) He lived in England all his life from age 16 onwards. He lived in Cambridge for 66 years.
(3) His parents in Ireland were Anglo-Irish Protestants. The difference between their culture and that of the Irish Roman Catholics is not to be slighted.
(4) Legally, and in terms of citizenship, he was a British national at birth in Ireland. There was no Irish nationality in law during his lifetime.
(5) Labelling him "British" in the infobox is consistent with the policy statement about the opening paragraph at WP:OPENPARA. Labeling him "Irish" is not consistent with the general spirit of that policy statement, even though it's not strictly prohibited by it.
(6) (a) The Encyclopedia Britannica calls him a "British physicist and mathematician" -- http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/566981/Sir-George-Gabriel-Stokes-1st-Baronet . (b) The Columbia Encyclopedia calls him a "British mathematician and physicist" -- http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0846797.html . (c) The Great Soviet Encyclopedia in its edition in English translation calls him a "British physicist" -- http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/George+Stokes
Seanwal111111 (talk) 01:07, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Views on evolution[edit]

It is true that Stokes presided the Victoria Institute, which sought to defend evangelical Christian principles from the challenges of the new Darwinian philosophy. But the recent edit by DocRuby, which has the article say that that group was "founded in opposition to the new science of biological evolution" is a misleading oversimplification. Stokes did not unequivocally oppose the theory of evolution in biology. He was somewhat skeptical on the science, but was mostly concerned with defending the Christian worldview from the contention that it was superseded by Darwinism. See, e.g., here. I will try to edit the text to reflect this more clearly. - Eb.hoop (talk) 23:56, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Even according to your source 'he remained unambiguously "opposed to evolutionary theory"'. Some waffling is quoted, but your source says "it was only the universal applicability of evolutionism that he resisted." So while he perhaps admitted some merits of evolution, he was indeed in opposition to the new science of evolution, at least in Christian matters. Since the Victoria Institution was inarguably founded as a Christian institution, it is not at all misleading to say "Stokes became president of the Victoria Institute, a Christian institute founded in opposition to the new science of biological evolution in the 1860s.", all of which is true. Perhaps if you infer that as president he entirely opposed evolution in every way you might be misled, but that inference is not implied by the statement. To the contrary, the misleading oversimplification was in the text I revised: "a Christian institute founded in response to the evolutionary movement of the 1860s." The response was not ambiguous: it was a response in opposition. The opposition was to the new evolutionary science, which threatened Christian dogma that the Victorian Institution was founded to protect. And that Stokes worked to find remaining grounds to defend, contriving for example (again from your source) a narrower version of Christian creationism in which "the mental powers of man were transferred upon some previously existing animal form", rather than the evolutionary scientific hypothesis that human mental powers evolved from other, earlier animal mental powers. - DocRuby (talk 00:25, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I insist that I see a problem with saying that the Victoria Institute was "founded in opposition to the new science of biological evolution". It was founded to defend the evangelical Christian worldview from attack on Darwinian grounds. This is very different from opposing the science of biological evolution. The article on the Victoria Institution actually starts by explaining that "it was not officially opposed to evolution". - Eb.hoop (talk) 00:50, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Your insistence doesn't make a logical argument, nor does it persuade. You haven't addressed the clear rebuttals I made that I sourced from your own source. And now you're referring to the Victoria Institute article, which also says "Though it was anti-evolution at first, the institute joined the theistic evolution camp by the 1920s." It's perfectly clear that the institute was founded to oppose evolution, which was a new science. What we disagree about is how complete its opposition was founded to be. It might be even more precise to say that it was "founded in opposition to the new science of biological evolution's encroachment on Christian dogma". - DocRuby (talk) 12:46, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Dear DocRuby: I don't think that it is logically consistent to describe the Victoria Institute as being "founded in opposition to the new science of biological evolution" if in fact the institute was "not officially opposed to evolution". Also, you can see in Stokes's correspondence what he actually wrote when asked point-blank if he believed in evolution: see the second letter that starts here. He said he didn't believe in evolution as a cause, but that it might be the mode by which species developed. Again, I think the point is that Stokes was not primarily opposed to or concerned with the science of evolution, but with its philosophical and religious implications. I don't think that this is an unimportant distinction. In particular, it means that Stokes was not what would modernly be called a "creationist". - Eb.hoop (talk) 14:37, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Then it seems to me that you'd agree with this article saying it was "founded in opposition to the new science of biological evolution's encroachment on Christian dogma". DocRuby (talk 23:50, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
How about "an institute founded to defend evangelical Christian principles against challenges from the new sciences, especially the Darwinian theory of biological evolution"? - Eb.hoop (talk) 05:29, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I insist that I am persuaded :). DocRuby (talk) 14:01, 16 February 2013 (UTC)