" It was reasonable that a man had to be at least 50 years old before he
could write with anything like clarity. The more rivers you crossed, the
more you know about the rivers - that is, if you survived the white water
and the hidden rocks. It could be a rough cob, sometimes."
Charles Bukowski, "Women".
It has been my experience at least the best works of writers tend to come in
their later years, and I think in general that may also be true of some
musicians (Stephan Grapelli, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett to name my
As to the scientific realm in direct relation to neuroscience Crick and
Edelman clearly invalidate your statement. Crick the DNA man was in his
mid-30's at the time and took time out from his Phd in physics to play his
game with Watson and has since gone on to make some significant theoretical
contributions (1970's I believe) in neuroscience. Dennett is doing
interesting stuff and he's not a youngin. In his later years (mid 40's)
prior to his tragic suicide (thanks to the stupid British govt) Turing was
clearly hot on the tail of chaos and this primarily through a correlation he
noticed between some of his graphical mathematical representation and the
spots on cows.
If you're looking for great pieces of work post 50 then look at various
artists (eg. Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game). Read Frank Sulloway, Born
to Rebel, ... , in this the author puts forward a challenging view for who
creativity arises in individuals. None of the above is from that but
basically dealing with the issue in the same way.
Brains are much healthier post WW2. There is abundant evidence to suggest
that there are a number of simple and available measures individuals can
undertake to maintain maximal brain function. In the past the early decline
may have represented an endemic cerebral decay, my belief is that in the
future we will see many more examples of "aged" brains making very
significant contributions across all disciplines be that artistic or
Remove XXXX in reply address
John E Anderson wrote in message <37C58589.F465FDF4 at unf.edu>...
>Martin Knopman wrote:
>>> How can you say this? Give me one example of a great piece of work done
>> someone over 50. There are examples, to be sure, but the fact is that
>> most creative years of life are before 35.
>>Do you have references for this fact?
>John E Anderson
>Department of Natural Sciences
>University of North Florida