Tuesday, March 30, 2010

“Ok, then it’s agreed. We can build a rocket and all get the hell out of here before any of the problems start.”

Each of the people in this picture has accomplished more for humanity then any of the guys in that other painting. From left to right they are:
Galileo Galilei – Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer Extraordinaire, and Champion of the Copernican Theory, through which man gets a clear view of where he or she stands in the universe. Using observations of the moons of Jupiter and phases of Venus, Galileo offered evidence that the Earth revolved around the Sun. He was the first to observe sun spots, the rings of Saturn, and mountains on the moon. Steven Hawking said, "Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science." It wasn’t until 1992 that Pope John Paul II admitted that the church’s ruling against Galileo might have been a mistake.
Marie Skłodowska Curie – Physicist, Chemist, she was the first person honored with 2 Nobel Prizes; one for her pioneering work in the field of radioactivity, the other in chemistry. She created the Theory of Radioactivity, developed techniques for isolating isotopes, and discovered two new elements. During WWI Curie developed the innovation of X-rays to help surgeons locate and remove bullets on the battlefield. Even with all those accomplishments it’s hard to find a picture of her smiling.

J. Robert Oppenheimer – Physicist, Scientific Director of the Manhattan Project. Although he is known as the “father of the atomic bomb,” it is important to remember that it was the use of that weapon during WWII which shortened the war by years, saving countless lives in the process. After the war Oppenheimer became an outspoken proponent of nuclear nonproliferation. Because of that his security clearance was revoked and he was blacklisted by the McCarthy crowd.
Sir Isaac Newton - Physicist, considered by many to be one of the most influential people in history, Newton, discovered the Law of Gravity and the Three Laws of Motion. He built the first reflecting telescope, co-developed calculus, and developed a theory of color, based on the observation that white light can be broken down into primary colors. Is that enough!
Louis Pasteur – Chemist and Microbiologist, his work led to breakthroughs in fighting or preventing diseases such as anthrax, chicken cholera, and silkworm diseases. He created the first vaccine for rabies and his experiments supplied observable evidence for Germ Theory. He is regarded as one of the founders of microbiology and his process of Pasteurization gave us all something to wash down our Oreos with.
Stephen Hawking - Theoretical Physicist, he is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, Author of A Brief History of Time and, until 2009, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Hawking calculated that black holes, far from being undetectable, create and emit x-rays, known today as Hawking Radiation, until they exhaust their energy and eventually evaporate. He also did a lot of other quantum physics stuff that is hard to understand. Look it up on Wikipedia.
Albert Einstein – Besides owning a chain of bagel stores, Einstein was a Theoretical Physicist. His contributions include Special Theory of Relativity which proposed that all motion is relative and that there is no absolute state of rest. In addition, he formulated his General Theory of Relativity which described gravity not as a force but as a curvature of space/time. For his many contributions Einstein received a Nobel Prize. His groundbreaking work laid the foundation for modern Quantum Physics and to this day his hair style still sets the standard for all other scientists.
Carl Sagan – Coming in at number two for great hair, Sagan was an Astronomer and Astrochemist. Although his scientific achievements focus on the chemical composition of planets in our solar system he is best known for his popularization of science. He is co-writer of the television series, Cosmos, the most widely watched PBS program in history. His other books include Pale Blue Dot, Contact, and The Demon Haunted World (do yourself a favor and read that one).
Thomas Edison – Inventor, Businessman, and “Wizard of Menlo Park.” He was the first to apply modern production techniques to the process of inventing. With 1,093 patents his inventions include, the phonograph, the motion picture camera, the universal stock ticker, scotch tape, the wireless telegraph for communicating with ships at sea, alkaline batteries, the Dictaphone, and the electric train. Did I leave anything out?
Aristotle – Greek Philosopher, known as the father of science, his writings contain the first known formal study of logic. Unlike his teacher, Plato, Aristotle emphasized the physical world not the heavens. He felt knowledge could be gained by studying the observable universe. His branch of philosophy with its emphasis on examining nature led to the birth of physics, biology, medicine, and nearly all the other natural sciences. HE INVENTED LOGIC FOR GOD’S SAKE.
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson – Astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium, Tyson is a bestselling author and great popularizer of science, appearing on scores of TV and radio shows. In 2004 he hosted the miniseries Origins on PBS. He has been awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest honor a civilian can receive from the agency. He is presently the host of Nova Science Now and is the snappiest dresser of all the scientists depicted here.
Richard Dawkins- Evolutionary Biologist, formally Professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, Dawkins popularized and advanced our understanding of evolution though his books The Selfish Gene, and The Extended Phenotype. He is also one of the leading proponents of science and rationalism, and has personally chewed up and spit out creationists and intelligent design proponents through numerous essays, debates and his book The God Delusion.
Charles Darwin – One of the four giants on this page, (the other three being Galileo, Newton and Einstein) Darwin discovered the mechanism by which evolution occurs, namely natural selection. Because of him, we know the fact that all species of life on earth have evolved over time from common ancestors. Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.

...And there you have it. Now, considering science usually has to drag religion kicking and screaming into the 21st century what exactly did those guys in that other picture do? Oh yeah, they caused a lot of wars.

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do I get this as a poster???

Anonymous said...

This is cool but it'd be so much better if there was more women and people of color on it.

Nick Farrantello said...

I’m kind of sorry there were only thirteen spots. Every time I put someone new on, I had to kick someone off. What about Rosalind Elsie Franklin the woman who was responsible for much of the genetics research that led to Watson and Crick discovering DNA or Vivien Thomas the African American surgeon who pioneered heart surgery? While we’re on the subject of minorities what about Michio Kaku the theoretical physicist behind string theory? In the end I went with people who were well known. Maybe one day I’ll do a picture full of unsung heroes.

Nick Farrantello said...

As to the poster I’m glad you like the picture maybe one day for that also.

Phil Ferguson said...

Nick, I Love it. I have reposted your work. I last supper i would love to join.

Jeff Satterley said...

Were is Nikola Tesla? He was the electric Jesus:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T5gQHa2pq4&feature=player_embedded

Nick Farrantello said...

You are so right about Tesla. And what about Alessandro Volta, the guy who invented the battery. I think we need a bigger table.

Anonymous said...

"I think we need a bigger table."

So, make a bigger table! Is there any rational reason not to do so? I've seen Last Supper parodies with less/more then the 13 spots.

Still, very cool as is!

- Fastthumbs

Drew said...

I second the addition of Tesla!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that Oppenheimer was an OPPONENT of nuclear proliferation that got him in trouble, rather than being a proponent, which he wasn't.

toomanytribbles said...

what a cool image.
yay!

Kris Maglione said...

I love the painting. I agree with the above, though. I'd have chosen Tesla over Edison.

More importantly, though, how is Aristotle not one of the giants in the picture? I mean, I have my issues with the guy, but as you said, he practically invented modern science. He wasn't just pivotal, he was practically the fulcrum.

Anonymous said...

Carl Sagan and Robert Oppenheimer at the same dinner. Yeah, that would be a good idea. Eyeroll.

Whoever wrote this doesn't know much about these guys.

Resuna said...

Ramanujan!

Resuna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol Elaine said...

Fantastic graphic, though I would have preferred Tesla over Edison - Edison was really good at stealing other inventors' idea and patenting them, though it is true that in many cases he improved upon the previous inventions, such as making light-bulbs long-lasting (previous models tended to have a short life).

Also, yes on the bigger table.

Andreas said...

I think you made a mistake: Carl Sagan's series was named Cosmos, not Nova.

Otherwise, great picks!

Nick Farrantello said...

Carol,
Of course you are right. I am extremely embarrassed to make such a mistake, and with Sagan no less. He’s one of my heroes, which is why I put him on Einstein’s right hand. I fixed the mistake.

Resuna,
Thanks for turning me on to Ramanujan. I looked him up. His story is fascinating. I love to learn about new things and people. Again thanks.

To all Nikola Tesla fans,
I apologize. Tesla makes the list not only for being a great scientist but also for having fantastic turn-of-the-century, parted-down-the-middle, scientist hair, with a swarthy mustache to boot. How could I have been so blind?

Infrogmation said...

Well done!

Don't worry about people second guessing. Probably except maybe Newton and Einstein, with all the giants someone could make a reasonable arguement for having someone else instead. Of course anything like this will have to be to some extent subjective. Yours isn't the only choice, but is an excellent choice well executed.

For those who are insisting on Tesla over Edison (as all the cool kids do now a days), remember not to just compare their patents, but also that Edison invented the the CONCEPT of inventing as a constant ongoing process to improve the human condition rather than an occasional creative anomoly, as well as developing the concept of the research laboratory.

Applause!

Warner (aka ntsc) said...

One could make a good argument for Dr. Franklin as well.

Gita said...

Where can I get a poster size of this picture?

Duncan said...

To be unfair for a moment, Aristotle was either a theist or a deist and Einstein and Oppenheimer were causal antecedents of the Cold War.

That aside, nice pic but where the heck is Dennett? You've got Neil deGrasse Tyson up there but no Dennett?

Wrote the bestselling book of the 90s on Neodarwinism? Dennett.
Came up with the False Belief test as a whimsical thing which might be worth testing? Dennett.
Extends scientifically literate insights from evolutionary theory and neuroscience to debunk supernatural-remnant intuitions about consciousness? Dennett.
Popularised, spread and demonstrated the applications of Dawkins 'meme' idea? Dennett.

Dennett.

nucleardreams said...

I love, love, love this.

I would like a poster of this or of your final product should you choose to edit again.

Anonymous said...

Totally awesome image! I too would love to have it in poster form. Be sure to post back here if you make it available that way.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely remove Oppenheimer from the table. His contribution to humanity was a negative one and there are plenty of better candidates to choose from.
Great painting though.
Make one with as many accomplished atheists as you can.

resshin said...

People complaining about who deserved to get in the picture and who isn't, but no one ever complained about who deserved to get in Jesus' spot xD

That Einstein guy sure is awesome!

Nick Farrantello said...

That’s a great observation. I couldn’t agree more.

edgar said...

Thanks for this Nick, very enjoyable, its my desktop background hehe. Funny how some people would rather complain about this piece of art (very well done by the way) instead of appreciating the idea. I like how Dawkins is taking a picture with his cell phone. You know later on he would be like "but I have the PROOF right here!". hehe, keep up the good work. By the way I posted this at the atheist nexus humor page and credited you, cheers.

Dimacus said...

Great work there, really nice!
If you are not planning on selling this as a poster, could you, pretty please upload a non jpeg compressed version (png as an example) in a as high-as-possible resolution somewhere, so I could ask my local printshop to print me a poster of this?
I'd really love to have this on my wall.

Phil Hirst said...

I would like to join the list of people requesting a larger,higher resolution version of this to print up. I would love to have it on my wall! As for who should or shouldn't be included, the list is endless and the discussion pointless. You can't please everyone. Great Job.

angela said...

If you want more spaces to put everyone (poor Tesla) you could do a "Knights of the Round Table" parody.

Dr. Giuliano Parpaglioni said...

I think this is WONDERFUL! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

to be honest, I think Dawkins is unfit amongst those ranks and would be best replaced by someone like maybe Alexander Fleming?

Also, Oppenhimer had a brilliant mind. What he helped to create did more harm than good on the greater scope of things.

Mário César Mancinelli de Araújo said...

Hi, Nick.

My name is Mario Cesar, I'm from Brazil.

I and some people are creating a atheist organization (cald "Livres Pensadores" - Free Thinkers, in English) in Brazil and your picture of the Last Supper is the best I found to be our logo.

So... I would like to ask you if we can use it, what would be necessary, if we have to pay you something, etc.

My e-mail is mandapromario (Gmail.com).

Thanks!

Unknown said...

I just saw your Last Supper with scientists parody at the Da Vinci Exhibit in Hollywood (http://leonardodavincimuseumexhibit.com) and researched it because it is hanging on the wall with the creator uncredited. I thought you'd like to know that they are using your work and it isn't credited to anyone.

The Rational Crank said...

Cool, I have my own spies. Thanks for the tip. I’m going to email them and give them what for.

Anonymous said...

if you switched edison for tesla i'd pay good money for this as a poster!

Anonymous said...

Richard Feynman?

One of the greatest proponents of science and rationality, Nobel prize winner, esteemed lecturer and visionary, liked sex, drugs and quantum electrodynamics.

ollie said...

feynman didn't use drugs. not even alcohol later in life. and terrible mistake with edison before tesla. but nice idea indeed!

J. Hovey said...

Screw those guys, Norman Borlaug should be in the middle of that table.

Unknown said...

Great picture, but if it is really about scientists, as opposed to technologists, entrepreneurs or communicators, then Dawkins, Tyson, Sagan, Edison and probably Oppenheimer have to go. Who comes in? Well Neils Bohr, for one, whose model of the atom was really the catalyst for all modern chemistry. Faraday and Maxwell are knocking at the door. Feynman. And, for my money, Von Neumann or Turing, who paved the way for the digital world.

Anonymous said...

Who is Judas?

Drew said...

I'd put Faraday in there over Tesla. I also mirror one of the above commenters about Niels Bohr.

Andrew Deacon said...

Faraday, Von Neumann, Turing, Maxwell and Feynman rather than Oppenheimer, Sagan, Edison, Tyson or Dawkins.

Andrew Deacon said...

Has anyone noticed, by the way, that Isaac seems to be playing footsie with Robert under the table? I think we should be told...

jessica said...

When did you make this??? I had a dream a few years ago of this exact picture. the guy on the very end (the right) looked me in the eyes and then I woke up. Did you make this before 2009?

jessica said...

in my dream,the floor was a grid and there was no ceiling. we were floating. there was a table. all those people were there. i just couldn't believe it when i saw this picture the other day.

The Rational Crank said...

Sorry to inform you, but I did make this a while back. But maybe your dreams have tapped into the collective unconsciousness. It is nice to know I am showing up in people’s dreams.

JJ said...

And they all have one thing in common. They died, and stayed dead. The central figure in the other paining died and rose from the dead. That event had more than 500 eyewitnesses, of which, more than 250 were alive and telling this story throughout the Mideast and Southern Europe more than 25yrs after the event. When you can tell people you'll be killed and rise from the dead, and then do it, I'll listen to you. Then your words will actually matter.

JJ said...

And they all have one thing in common. They died, and stayed dead. The central figure in the other painting died and rose from the dead. That event had more than 500 eyewitnesses, of which, more than 250 were alive and telling this story throughout the Mideast and Southern Europe more than 25yrs after the event and left textual evidence of this fact. When you can tell people you'll be killed and rise from the dead, and then do it, I'll listen to you. Then your words will actually matter.

Anonymous said...

That's me in the corner, losing my religion.

The Rational Crank said...

This is kind of awkward but…you know three of them aren’t dead yet.

Shawn McCauley said...

Love it, but I think Newton should be up front. As amazing as his work is, Einstein had far greater giants whose shoulders he could stand compared to Newton. And, it is true that Einstein changed how we look at gravity and therefore time, for most things we do in everyday physics, Newton's Laws still hold. And Maxwell should be there somewhere. With that said, where can I get a poster?

Tycho said...
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Tycho said...

is there any chance we could get the raw file of this to make our own versions?

Simon the home brewer said...
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Simon said...

Seaborg is also missing.
Never before have we had too many brilliant minds.

patradresses.org said...

I think all your fans are pleased to see you get an award that is well deserved. Especially since you are so good at lauding other writers. I'd give something to hear your acceptance speech; you are too humble by half. Congratulations.
bullet hole decals

The Rational Crank said...

Did I win an award?

Anonymous said...

Edison was a bitch, where is Nikolas Tesla?

Todd said...

I'd replace Sagan & Tyson with the Hubble telescope & the WMAP.

pagun said...

if you want to know what they ate for supper, look up 'jesus was a mushroom.' how about putting up a picture of John M Allegro at the table. He was the oxford professor, worlds foremost expert on aramaic who headed the team of scholars who analysed the Dead Sea Scrolls, and wrote The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross.

Anonymous said...

Dawkins has no business being there. How about Frege and Russell, fathers of modern logic (and, well Russell deserves to be there for so many other reasons as well...)

Anonymous said...

is this avaiable for purchase??

LyoLik said...

I think, Mendeleev have to be there. And probably Turing.

stellarhodes said...

why isn't aristotle in the middle? without logic and inference from studying earth einstein would be lost.

Kirk House said...

Don't mean to be picky, but actually you put Sagan on Einstein's *left* hand. (But for us lefties, that's a higher honor than being on the 'right hand.' Say... I wonder how many of the folks in this picture were left-handed vs. right-handed?

Thanks for the pic; I know I'm late to the party here. :)

Anonymous said...

I, like many other posters, would love to know where we can buy a copy of this poster. I want to put it up and see how my very very christian home health aide reacts.

relnak said...

Of course with the limited room for great scientists, where is Leonardo da Vinci?

Karen Coyle said...

Where did you get the picture of Marie Curie? Because that isn't her - that's an actress that played her in the theatre. There are many pictures of Curie available (like on Wikimedia), and it's clear this isn't her.

The Rational Crank said...

damn, I suck. Thanks for the correction.

Patti said...

I think this image is wonderful and have no quarrel with who you chose to portray in it. I figure you just put in your favourites, and as the artist you have every right to do so. Art is not a democracy.

I first saw this image on facebook this evening and shared it on my own timeline because I like it so much. Then a friend (he's Catholic, I'm atheist and we're always debating) criticized the image, claiming that atheism is a religion and that now we're adopting "the quintessential iconography of one of the big three Abrahamic traditions." He says that complaining about religion and then using its imagery is like being a vegetarian and trying to make everything look like meat.

Of course, I disagree with him (I do on almost everything except good Italian food), and I figure this image is all just satire...making fun of religion rather than trying to copy it. But I wondered...what would the artist think about my friend's accusation? Not sure where you stand on Dawkins's spectrum of theistic probability, but wondered what you'd have to say about a science-based/secular image using religious iconography. Would love to hear your thoughts.

The Rational Crank said...

First off, thanks. This might be the most interesting comment that I’ve gotten about my image so far. Your friend’s complaint about me stealing the image might carry more weight if he wasn’t defending Christianity – a religion that lifted Easter from the pagans, the golden rule from Buddha and the virgin birth from the Egyptians. If he is trying to say Atheism is a religion because I borrowed the image from popular iconography then I guess when Andy Warhol borrowed from the Campbell Corporation, he did it because he was a member of the Church of Latter Day Soups? Words have meanings. You can’t say two things are the same just because they may contain one or two similar elements. People have eyes, so do potatoes. That does not mean potatoes are human. A religion is defined by Webster as: 1) the belief in a god or in a group of gods 2) an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods. Atheism is the absence of belief. Ask your friend if he thinks NOT playing football is a sport? Chances are your friend does not believe in leprechauns. Does that absence of belief in leprechauns constitute his religion? I bet he doesn’t believe in Zeus, or Sheba, or Thor either. How many churches is he a member of? It must be rough when it comes time to tithe.

Tom said...
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Tom said...

I wonder why you left out the scientist who first formulated the "Big Bang" hypothesis on the origin of the universe (i.e. on whose shoulders e.g. Sagan and Hawking stood) (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lemaître). I sure hope it was not because he was a priest, because that would be an irrational bias, wouldn't it?

The Rational Crank said...

I’m not saying these are the 13 best scientists ever. I mostly went with scientists who were well known. To be honest, until your post, I didn’t even know who Georges Lemaitre was. He sounds great! And you are correct, as a scientist, he certainly achieved more than Sagan (or Tyson for that matter) If you take a few minutes to read the above comments you'll see some other great scientists I left out.
If I wanted to defend myself I might also point out that both Newton and Pasteur were very religious. That is IF I wanted to defend myself but I’ll let you in on a little secret. This image is suppose to make fun of religion a little. Sssh, don’t tell anyone.