The Atlantic

The President Doesn't Care to Understand Global Warming

It’s a shame—ours and his.
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

In the first novel ever written about Sherlock Homes, we learn something peculiar about the London detective. Holmes, supposedly a modern man and a keen expert in the workings of the world, does not know how the solar system works. Specifically he is unfamiliar with the heliocentric Copernican model, which, upon its slow acceptance in the 17th century, revolutionized Western thought about the place of our species in the universe.  

“What the deuce is it to me?” Holmes asks his sputtering soon-to-be sidekick, Dr. Watson. “You say that we go ’round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”

Brains are a kind of “little empty attic,” says the detective, and they should be filled only with furniture that’s useful to one’s line of work. Holmes doesn’t

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