Today's google doodle featured an apple branch laden with fruit. One fell down, and reminded me that Sir Issac Newton was born today!
Legend has it that Newton was sitting under an apple tree thinking of his next meal when an apple fell on his head, and made him come up with the Theory of Gravitation. A story that has been told and retold so often, nobody even pauses to think how anyone could have derived those equations with nothing more to go on than a solitary fruit making a short journey to the earth.
A purist will tell you that it was by observing the motion of the planets around the sun that Newton derived the laws of gravitation. And they would be right.
But like the bear that Teddy Rosevelt could not bring himself to shoot, the apple that fell on Newton's head has assumed gigantic propotions. Whether it is true or not, it is perceived to be so. And as long as seeing the apple makes people think of gravitation, if only for a moment, why not?
After all, wouldn't we rather say that we see through our eyes, than get into a long and convoluted story about images being formed on the retina, being carried as nerve impulses to the brain, and the brain cells registering the impression of 'sight'.I am all for exactness, but sometimes being colourful is more fun than being merely exact.