If you look at the people picking up the Nobel Peace Prize, they're frequently "indigenous" people like the mendacious Rigoberta Menchu or Third World "wise men" like Mohammed Yunus. , Wangari Maathai, or Shirin Ebadi. (All together now—"Who?")But if someone is going to discover something new in physics, chemistry, or medicine...not so much. John Derbyshire posted this at SecularRight—Ice People Club:
Scanning back through the last ten years, I get the following headcounts.
I have used the Ice People / Sun People schema of We Are Doomed, with Europeans and East Asians as Ice People, Africans and Amerindians as Sun People. Subcontinental Asians I have cut crudely, with Moslems as honorary Sun People and non-Muslims as honorary Ice People. It’s a fair balance, I think, and doesn’t actually make much difference to the numbers.
Here we go. For each year I list the six Nobel categories in order: Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace, and Economics. The score in each box is Ice People / Sun People, so “2-0? means two Ice People and no Sun People.
That gives us totals of 28-0 for Physics, 25-0 for Chemistry, 27-0 for Medicine, 10-0 for Literature, 4-6 for Peace, 17-0 for Economics.
Year Phys Chem Med Lit Peace Econ 2009 3-0 3-0 3-0 1-0 0-1 TBA 2008 3-0 3-0 3-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 2007 2-0 1-0 3-0 1-0 1-0 3-0 2006 2-0 1-0 2-0 1-0 0-1 1-0 2005 3-0 3-0 3-0 1-0 0-1 2-0 2004 3-0 3-0 2-0 1-0 0-1 2-0 2003 3-0 2-0 2-0 1-0 0-1 2-0 2002 3-0 3-0 3-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 2001 3-0 3-0 3-0 1-0 0-1 3-0 2000 3-0 3-0 3-0 1-0 1-0 2-0
This provoked a lot of point-and-splutter, plus personal attacks in the 51 (so far) comments. Even before the age of affirmative action, the Nobel Peace Prize has always been the Special Olympics of the Nobel World. You don't have to achieve peace, you just have to mean well.
Both prizes awarded for, basically, preventing the First World War, which went ahead and happened anyhow
All those prizes were for actions tending to prevent the Second World War, which went ahead and happened anyhow. Closer to our own time, we read that
Shared a prize for making peace in Vietnam. Two years later, North Vietnam, deploying Soviet arms and Democratic congressmen, invaded and conquered South Vietnam.
Shared a prize for bringing peace to Northern Ireland, which peace was brought again in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, (basically a surrender) after some more violence George Bush brought peace to Northern Ireland once more in 2007 and if you're interested, Hillary Clinton is in Belfast right now, bringing it yet again.
Shared a prize for bringing peace to South Africa—which is not notably peaceful.
Solved the problems of the Middle East. No comment. So if Obama doesn't deserve the Nobel, and he doesn't, he's not the first.