Max Plank Quotation

I heard this on Radio 4 and thought of our struggle to convince doctors about thyroid issues.

Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (23 April 1858 – 4 October 1947) is the originator of modern quantum theories and one of the most important German physicists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

or paraphrased variants:

"Truth never triumphs — its opponents just die out."

"Science advances one funeral at a time."

3 Replies

  • We can hope that endos die out faster than thyroid patients. Well, low thyroid hormone does slow down metabolism, so maybe we will last longer... :-)

    However, your quote reminded me of something - a quick search found out what it was. The following article from the Max Planck Gesellschaft is what it was:

    Thyroid affects colour vision

    Thyroid hormone controls the eye‘s visual pigments throughout life

    March 29, 2011

    What part does the thyroid gland have in vision? Thyroid hormone is crucially involved in controlling which visual pigment is produced in the cones. Previously, it was assumed that the colour sensitivity of the cones is fixed in the adult retina. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt/M., together with colleagues at the University of Frankfurt and universities in Vienna, have now been able to show that in mature cones of mice and rats the production of visual pigment is regulated by thyroid hormone. It is assumed that this mechanism exists in all mammals, including humans. If so, the adult-onset of thyroid hormone deficiency would affect colour vision.

    See the Research section of Thyroid UK's web site:

    This paper is filed under Vision, Colour.

    [ Edited to add link to TUK website. ]

  • That explains a lot! Thank you for posting. :)

  • Oh Sandy, that is so true. Thanks for that post.

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