Talk:Nobel Prize

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Discovery of what?

YO! User:Sid_3050, the sentence, "In two cases, the Nobel Prize was denied to the person most responsible for the discovery apparently..." meaning the discovery of what, exactly? Crackertalk 17:53, 13 March 2007 (EDT)

...why are you asking ME? I didn't add that sentence. Check the edit history. However, the two cases are shown in the following paragraphs. For what it's worth: The article doesn't state what discovery Hoyle should have received a Nobel Prize for, as I pointed out in my edit summary. General advice: Chill out, yo. --Sid 3050 17:59, 13 March 2007 (EDT)
Oh sorry. It was the Boss' edit. I'm chilly already, but, hey, thanks for the advice. Crackertalk 18:05, 13 March 2007 (EDT)
Awesome! :) --Sid 3050 18:07, 13 March 2007 (EDT)

Damadian's exclusion - possible reason

Actually if you look around you'll find other possible reasons that Damadian at least didn't get the Nobel (I'm not familiar with Hoyle). See, for example: [1]. It would be more accurate to say that some think it's because of his view of evolution, or something to that effect, since clearly other reasons have been put forth.--Murray 23:24, 13 March 2007 (EDT)

Reagan and the Pope

The article says "as the prize was not given to Ronald Reagan or Pope John Paul II" but does not state *why* they should have received the prize, or even which Nobel Prize.

Hm, good point. I'll see if I can dig out what this sentence is based on. For now, the stub note and the fact tags are enough to say "This article should be taken with a grain of salt", but you are of course correct, and the sentence should go if it can't be backed and/or explained. --Sid 3050 10:33, 16 March 2007 (EDT)
Reagan may be considered by some to be one of the US's great Presidents, but compared to the Red Cross, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu and the Dali Lama, I would think it would be hard to justify why he would receive the Nobel Peace Prize. --Todd 11:22, 16 March 2007 (EDT)
But compared to Jimmy Carter, Yasar Arafat, Kofi Anan, and Al Gore, it would think that it would be easy to justify.

Thoughts after some initial research

The more I dig around, the more I feel tempted to just wipe out most of this article and start from scratch. Things I currently have issues with

  • "The selection process has become political, as the prize was not given to Ronald Reagan or Pope John Paul II [...]"
    • Says who? Anybody of interest? And what do they base their argument on? What makes Reagan and the pope so much more awesome than the other candidates? A search for "Ronald Reagan" "Nobel Prize" did not reveal a striking result from what I saw.
  • "and has not been given to anyone who criticizes the theory of evolution"
    • VERY hard to verify. Prizes for more than a hundred years in several fields.
  • "The Nobel Prizes for literature and peace are mostly given to outspoken liberals, such as Jimmy Carter."
    • What is "mostly"? Numbers would be nice. And what definition of "liberal" are we working with? This one? And what's the point?
  • "He (Hoyle) was the leader on the project recognized with a Nobel Prize"
    • The Nobel Prize went to Fowler and Chandrasekhar. I currently can't verify that they worked together in a project led by Hoyle. And while we're at it, I can't even verify that Hoyle and Chandrasekhar ever worked together.
  • "Hoyle was an outspoken critic of the theories of chemical evolution."
    • This is actually sourced, but initially said "...critic of the theory of evolution". While the previous version surely fits better into the ongoing theme, chemical evolution appears to be something else. In the current version, it's a nice side story, but it doesn't really fit into the whole Creationism theme, so it stands "a bit" out. (See also the section below)
  • "Another omission was for Raymond Damadian, another critic of the theory of evolution, who invented the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner"
    • The first part actually appears to be true, but the second part is a bit odd. As Murray pointed out above, there are other explanations that don't require the belief that there is a conspiracy against Creationists.
  • "Recently, there have been proponents of an alternate scientific award given to scientists who support Biblical principles."
    • Like with the first part: Says who? I wouldn't even know how to properly search for such an suggestion.

In the face of the current article, I will most likely do a from-scratch attempt these days unless there is great opposition. I might include Hoyle and Damadian's stories, but with a bit more balance and context. --Sid 3050 23:05, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

Excellent Idea --Todd 9:51 18, March 2007 EDT

Hoyle and the Nobel Prize

While fishing around for more about Hoyle, I found this article. Here is an interesting quote:

Fowler was awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1983, and why Hoyle was not included in this award remains a mystery hidden in the confidential documents of the Royal Swedish Academy. The editor of the scientific journal Nature suggested that the academy did not wish to be associated with any endorsement of another idea then being promulgated by Hoyle. This was linked to Hoyle's belief that life must be of frequent occurrence in the universe. He argued that the primeval molecules from which life evolved on Earth had been transported from elsewhere in the universe. In itself this idea would not necessarily be rejected as absurd by the scientific community, but Hoyle had publicised a further argument that influenza epidemics were associated with the passage of the Earth through certain meteor streams, the particles of which conveyed the virus to Earth.

This was dismissed as fictional by nearly all members of the biological and physical scientific disciplines. Indeed, the idea belonged more to Hoyle's activity as a writer of science fiction for over three decades.

And I dunno, but this may have possibly influenced his reputation a little bit, too:

He was a fluent writer and speaker and became the main expositor of this new theory of the steady state, or continuous creation, according to which the universe had existed for an infinite past time and would continue infinitely into the future, as opposed to what Hoyle styled the "big bang" theory.


The conflict with the conventional idea that the universe had a specific origin billions of years in time past was absolute. Until the discovery of the cosmic microwave background in 1965, the observational evidence was inconclusive and the emotive feelings aroused led to one of the bitterest scientific divisions of the century. Hoyle never accepted the complete defeat of the continuous creation theory, and long after the "big bang" universe had become conventional scientific wisdom he continued to probe its defects.

Since it's 4am here, I won't draw binding conclusions here, but I think the material sheds some interesting light on Hoyle and the mystery of his denied Nobel Prize. --Sid 3050 23:05, 16 March 2007 (EDT)


I've rewritten the article basically from scratch to include sources and some general history. I left out all unsourced statements - not because I "censor" anything, but because they were unsourced and my searches could not verify the claims.

The part about Hoyle is currently missing completely. I might put him back in later, but I figured I'd submit this version for the moment so people can comment and stuff.

Potential expansions of the Damadian case should most likely be done in his article, but that's just my current opinion. Thanks to Bturpin for the additional source there, by the way. :) --Sid 3050 11:24, 18 March 2007 (EDT)

Very nice work

Bravo Sid 3050!! Very nice work. Cleaned it up real good like. Nice and neutral w/o the pejorative aspects of its former self. (I'm not a big fan of the "chip on the shoulder" tone that many articles here seem to have.) Again nice work. We'll have to get a list of winners and maybe flesh it out with a box or something. Crackertalk 11:42, 18 March 2007 (EDT)

Thank you kindly! :) A list of the winners would be... long. Seven categories, more than a hundred years, yearly prizes... What might work would be an extra page per section, with this main article only listing the most recent winners and linking to the extra pages for more info. A template/box with info or links sounds like a nice idea, though!
There is still quite a bit of history and stuff that could be added, but it'll take some long-term community work (long history pages like the Nobel Foundation one are dry reading for me =P). --Sid 3050 11:54, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
There's too much controversy, and nothing about the valuable contributions made by non-controversial recipients. --Ed Poor Talk 00:40, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman, a conservative economist and proponent of monetarism and neoclassicism, is a laureate of the economics prize. His win ought to be included alongside claims that there is an "unwritten rule" that conservatives "are not awarded the prize." Other conservative Nobel winners include Ronald Coase and Friedrich von Hayek.

Fred Hoyle

Added some stuff about Hoyle - the discovery he made with Fowler actually made him stop being an atheist!! No wonder he didn't get the prize. Hope the edit's ok - please change back if necessary. Nick Bowler 18:15 (GMT) 21 Nov 2009

Your edit is superb. I strengthened it further by noting that Fowler had done much of his work under the direction and leadership of Hoyle."
Didn't know the bit about the discovery converting Hoyle to faith. Feel free to add that.--Andy Schlafly 13:39, 21 November 2009 (EST)

No bias in the prize

It is inaccurate to claim that there is a political bias in how the prize has been awarded. Liberals and conservatives have won a Nobel prize in every field throughout the prize's history. Furthermore, the prize has been awarded to scientists and thinkers who, often quite controversially, stand against the "party lines" on various issues in their respected fields.

Notable conservatives and advocates of controversial positions who have won the prize include:

Kary Mullis (1993, Chemistry)--advocated strongly against global warming and HIV as the causative agent of AIDS
Winston Churchill (1953, Literature)--member of the British Conservative Party
Milton Friedman (1976, Economics)--Economic adviser to Ronald Reagan, and a vocal libertarian
James Buchanan (1986, Economics)--Vocal libertarian, has founded several libertarian political groups

This list is far from exhaustive, but it does illustrate the general lack of political bias in the Nobel committees. What the Nobel prize seeks to recognize is the overall impact of an individual's contribution to their field. --RudrickBoucher 18:41, 3 October 2011 (EDT)

Your list underscores the bias. Friedman said he wasn't a conservative, and I don't think Buchanan is one either. As to Mullis, his award preceded the global warming liberal orthodoxy. Winston Churchill is the exception more than a half-century ago that "proves the rule" that has been enforced with increasing bias ever since.--Andy Schlafly 19:14, 3 October 2011 (EDT)
How about Mother Teresa, who won in 1979? He was a Christian who was against abortion, divorce and contraceptives. --MatthewQ 21:27, 3 October 2011 (EDT)
That was more than 30 years ago, and Mother Teresa did not criticize the liberals theories of evolution or relativity. None of the scientists who have criticized those liberal falsehoods has ever been given a Nobel Prize, despite their tremendous achievements.--Andy Schlafly 22:56, 3 October 2011 (EDT)
The comment above was addressing the 'Bias against conservatives'. I haven't heard anyone describe relativity as a 'liberal falsehood' outside of this blog. I've heard 'Jewish falsehood' though....
Anyway, more examples of conservatives who have won the prize:
  • Gary Becker (1992, Economics)
  • Henry Kissinger (1973, Peace)
  • George Stigler (1982, Economics; his Conservapedia article has him categorized as a conservative.)
  • Mario Vargas Llosa (2010, Literature; famous for critcizing Latin American far left)
  • Robert Mundell (1999, Economics; strong champion of tax cuts that inspired Reagan to do so)
  • William Golding (1983, Literature)
On Coase, Conservapedia notes: "Nobel laureate Ronald Coase described how he was victimized by disparaging whispers at cocktail parties about his conservative economic positions". That was added by you, by the way.
I await the rationalizations as to why these clear examples of conservative Nobel laureates does not disprove the Stockholm Liberal Conspiracy. --MatthewQ 12:33, 4 October 2011 (EDT)

Concerning evolution, I can't, simply because the theory of evolution is so much an integral part of modern biomedical science (the evidence is overwhelming, you may as well concede that point). As for relativity, like evolution, that's been improved upon quite a bit. So long as all you're trying to argue are the original points of the theory, any Nobel prize winner in physics for the past thirty years would suffice. --RudrickBoucher 23:54, 3 October 2011 (EDT)

Yasser Arafat

No mention of renowned terrorist Yasser Arafat, arguably the only Peace Prize recipient less deserving than Obama? At least Obama hadn't done anything unpeaceful yet.... Or anything peaceful for that matter... But he hadn't done anything at all, which means he hadn't done anything that specifically made him "undeserving" of the award. Yes, I know you need more than just not doing anything inherently unpeaceful to win the award. I won't dispute that. But you still shouldn't do anything unpeaceful. And Arafat did. Shouldn't we mention that? Gregkochuconn 20:06, 13 February 2012 (EST)