I've been reading again.
Wait!! Before you go off to get matchsticks for your eyelids this might even interest you...ok, it probably won't but it'll at least give you another bit of useless knowledge!!!
I'm currently reading a book about how London was rebulit after the great fire in 1666. The author is postulating that our nation's capital was rebuilt by Wren and others in line with ancient beliefs that London was to be the New Jerusalem. Now, that's a bit deep to get into at the minute suffice to say it involves much to do with the Zodiac (if you're at all interested in the Zodiac and it's connection to religion today please have a look at this movie) and (for political reasons at the time) the lineage of our middle age Kings being shown to come from the aincient tribes of Israel and therefore directly from God.
What has really interested me about this book is the way that England came to be a scientific leader in Europe. At around this time most of Europe was still Catholic and therefore the Pope and his church were very powerful. As learned men (then known as natural philosophers rather than scientists and known to dabble in alchemy) discovered more the likes of Copernicus and Gallileo amongst others were coming up with theories and proofs that challenged the crestionist doctrine which was the mainstay of the Catholic church. To the all powerful church these men were heretics, the punishment for which was death - so what was the option for those with apparantly heretical beliefs?
Escape to protestant England where their ideas were more readily accepted. This acceptance of ideas drew more and more of these natural philosophers to our shores and their interaction with our own alchemists and great thinkers such as William Gilbert and later Sir Isaac Newton allowed Great Britain to be at the forefront of science in those early days.
Of course, the above is very simplified and I'm not suggesting that Copernicus or Gallileo made it to these shores, rather than using them as famous examples scientist of that time. I just find this sort of fortuitous footnote to our past very interesting and thought you might too.
Oh, one other thing I learnt today - the reason surgeons are referred to as "Mister" as opposed to "Doctor" is because they were originally seen by their collegues simply as hackersof limbs and therefore not worthy of the title "Doctor"...see, told you you'd learn something!
Don't worry, I'll ask F to post again soon!