Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Serendipity

Το παρακάτω δημοσίευμα το φύλαγα για καιρό στο αρχείο μου, γιατί μέχρι σήμερα δεν έβρισκα την ευκαιρία να το δημοσιεύσω. Αυτήν μου την έδωσε λίγο πριν η φίλη Snowflake με το δικό σης δημοσίευμα με τίτλο Serendipity με αφορμή μια ταινία, όπου παραθέτει και τον ορισμό της λέξης αυτής στ' αγγλικά. Την ευχαριστώ και σας παραθέτω το ενδιαφέρον άρθρο με τον ομώνυμο τίτλο. M.

AN ENCOURAGING WORD for October 6, 2005 - written by Dr. Thomas Lane Butts, Pastor Emeritus, Monroeville First United Methodist Church tolabu2@frontiernet.net

Serendipity

The word "serendipity" was coined by Horace Walpole after his tale, "The
Three Princes of Serendip" (1754). The word means the unexpected discovery of something important (happy) while looking for something else.


I could not help but think of this beautiful word when I was reading the life and world of Antoni Van Leenwenhoek - Measuring the Visible World, by Schierbeek. Leenwenhoek, the father of microbiology, and the man who is often credited with inventing the microscope, was intrigued by the minuscule creatures he found in water (and other elements). He assumed the difference we experience when we taste salt, sugar, and pepper were attributable to the properties of shape and texture of those substances upon contact with the tongue.


When he put pepper in water and looked at it under his primitive microscope he fully expected to see little needles which, in his opinion, accounted for the pungency of pepper. His experiment was like Saul who went out to try to find his jack-ass and found a kingdom. Instead of needles, he saw four kinds of little animals, the first three of which were protozoa. "The fourth sort of creatures," he said in his journal, "moved through the three former sorts, and were incredibly small, so small to my eye, I judged that if a hundred of them lay
stretched out one by another, they would not equal the length of a course grain of sand."


The Dutch microbiologist Kluyver later said: "Measures given leave no doubt that he observed bacteria... and there is every reason to consider April 24, 1676 as the birthday of microbiology."


It is not likely that many of us will accidently (with serendipity) make such momentous discoveries while looking for something else. But, the world is filled with wonderful secrets God has placed here for us to find. Some are scientific, but many are personal. Some of them are found by purposeful pursuit and some by fortunate accident - serendipity.


Keep looking. You will be glad you did.

2 comments:

Citronella said...

Να είσαι καλά Μαριαλένα! Μακάρι να θυμόμαστε πάντα πόσο σημαντικό είναι να βλέπουμε και να μην προσπερνάμε όσα συναντάμε στο δρόμο μας:)

Anonymous said...

Dutch is difficult... Leeuwenhoek (Lions's Corner), not Leenwenhoek