When scientists need to explain difficult points of theory, illustration by hypothetical example – rather than by total abstraction – works well (perhaps indispensably) as a rhetorical device. Such cases do not function as speculations in the pejorative sense – as silly stories that provide insight into complex mechanisms – but rather as idealized illustrations to exemplify a difficult point of theory. (Other fields, like philosophy and the law, use such conjectural cases as a standard device.)
How scientists go about their job: and it's a process, it's a question of asking questions, respecting observation, respecting experiment, having tentative explanations and then testing them.... There is a problem sometimes with how we teach science at schools. Because we sometimes teach it as if it has been chiseled in stone.paul nurse
Einsteins relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists.nikola tesla
Another curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it. I mean philosophers, social scientists, and so on. While in fact very few people understand it, actually, as it stands, even as it stood when Darwin expressed it, and even less as we now may be able to understand it in biology.Jacques Monod
The responsibility for the creation of new scientific knowledge — and for most of its application — rests on that small body of men and women who understand the fundamental laws of nature and are skilled in the techniques of scientific research. We shall have rapid or slow advance on any scientific frontier depending on the number of highly qualified and trained scientists exploring it.vannevar bush
And, in this case, science could learn an important lesson from the literati who love contingency for the same basic reason that scientists tend to regard the theme with suspicion. Because, in contingency lies the power of each person, to make a difference in an unconstrained world bristling with possibilities, and nudgeable by the smallest of unpredictable inputs into markedly different channels spelling either vast improvement or potential disaster.stephen jay gould
When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers, talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science in my opinion, this is just an opinion that’s where science leads you.ben stein
“There’s only one way to guard a secret so effectively that no one can misuse it to his own advantage and the detriment of others,” Kennedy mused slowly, “And that’s to give it away make it open knowledge. Give it to everybody.” “scientists have known that for a long time,” Hoskins said, “That’s why we keep insisting on free trade of ideas.”mark clifton
scientists animated by the purpose of proving that they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study.Alfred North Whitehead
Biological determinism, to paraphrase the great literary critic Roberto Schwarz, is a socially necessary illusion well-grounded in appearance. Much like art and literature, science "is historically shaped and? ... ?registers the social process to which it owes its existence." scientists inherit the prejudices of the societies in which they live and work. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the modern incarnation of biological determinism with its decidedly neoliberal assumptions about humans and societies.
The Republic has no need for scientists.
Science is voiceless; it is the scientists who talk.Simone Weil
There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth.marie curie
We don't want support for scientific research just to keep scientists busy: we want scientists to be looked upon by the public as people who can do things for them that they can't do themselves.
This is exactly the kind of thing Templeton is ceaselessly angling for – recognition among real scientists – and they use their money shamelessly to satisfy their doomed craving for scientific respectability. They tried it on with the Royal Society of London, and they seem to have found a compliant Quisling in the current President, Martin Rees, who, though not religious himself, is a fervent 'believer in belief'.martin rees
The national research effort, upon which so much depends, will remain healthy only so long as there is sound core of disinterested search for new knowledge and an adequate number of men and women trained for carrying on such research and for teaching young scientists.alan tower waterman
Many people, including many important and well-respected scientists, just don’t want there to be anything beyond nature. They don’t want a supernatural being to affect nature.michael behe
Each worldview was a cultural product, but evolution is true and separate creation is not. […] Worldviews are social constructions, and they channel the search for facts. But facts are found and knowledge progresses, however fitfully. Fact and theory are intertwined, and all great scientists understand the interaction.stephen jay gould
Observation is the generative act in scientific discovery. For all its aberrations, the evidence of the senses is essentially to be relied upon provided we observe nature as a child does, without prejudices and preconceptions, but with that clear and candid vision which adults lose and scientists must strive to regain.peter medawar
The emancipation of the scholars and scientists from philosophy is according to [Nietzsche] only a part of the democratic movement, i.e. of the emancipation of the low from subordination to the high. … The plebeian character of the contemporary scholar or scientist is due to the fact that he has no reverence for himself.leo strauss
He [Tolstoy] could see little good in the clergy, while he utterly condemned the military, the rulers of the earth, the judges, the capitalists, the landlords, the merchants, the jailers, the functionaries. He assailed modern art and classed artists with scientists and ministers as the lackeys of a degenerate and parasitic class of wealthy men. Political economists he considered as retainers of the same class and their product as the throwing of dust in the eyes of those who seek for a way out of our unhappy social conditions.
In recent years it has become impossible to talk about man's relation to nature without referring to "ecology"...such leading scientists in this area as Rachel Carson, Barry Commoner, Eugene Odum, Paul Ehrlich and others, have become our new delphic voices...so influential has their branch of science become that our time might well be called the "Age of Ecology".
While the new physics was developing in the twentieth century, the mechanistic Cartesian world view and the principles of Newtonian physics maintained their strong influence on Western scientific thinking, and even today many scientists still hold to the mechanistic paradigm, although physicists themselves have gone beyond it.
It seems that scientists are often attracted to beautiful theories in the way that insects are attracted to flowers not by logical deduction, but by something like a sense of smell.
“There’s only one way to guard a secret so effectively that no one can misuse it to his own advantage and the detriment of others,” Kennedy mused slowly, “And that’s to give it away make it open knowledge. Give it to everybody.” “scientists have known that for a long time,” Hoskins said, “That’s why we keep insisting on free trade of ideas.”
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