January 9, 2006

"Isaac Newton, one of Trinity College's most distinguished alumni"

I'm reading a biography of Sir Francis Galton, who attended Trinity College at Cambridge University. I found amusing the biographer's cautious reference to Sir Isaac Newton as "one of Trinity College's most distinguished alumni." Wouldn't Newton rank as the most distinguished alumni? After all, what other Englishman is as distinguished as Newton (besides Shakespeare, and he didn't go to college). Newton was calculated to be the most eminent figure in the sciences in human history in Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment.

Still, when I looked up on Wikipedia the list of alumni of Trinity, I could see why the writer didn't want to commit himself. Here are some other Trinity alumni: Francis Bacon, Niels Bohr, John Dryden, Thomas Babington Macaulay, James Clerk Maxwell, Vladimir Nabokov, Bertrand Russell, Ernest Rutherford, and William Makepeace Thackeray! And that's leaving out worthies of the caliber of Arthur Balfour, G. H. Hardy, A. A. Milne, Jawaharlal Nehru, John Maynard Smith, Lytton Strachey, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Boy, would diversity activist Jaebadiah Gardner be sore if he had to attend Trinity instead of merely the U. of Washington in Seattle, where he still feels oppressed by the statues of Dead White European Males on campus.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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