Quotes About Scientific Method

Quotes tagged as "scientific-method" (showing 1-30 of 83)
Galileo Galilei
“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”
Galileo Galilei

Agatha Christie
“Everything must be taken into account. If the fact will not fit the theory---let the theory go.”
Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Robert A. Heinlein
“If you've got the truth you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Michael Crichton
“I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.”
Michael Crichton

Jules Verne
“Science, my boy, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”
Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Douglas Adams
“But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting.”
Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Richard Feynman
“So my antagonist said, "Is it impossible that there are flying saucers? Can you prove that it's impossible?" "No", I said, "I can't prove it's impossible. It's just very unlikely". At that he said, "You are very unscientific. If you can't prove it impossible then how can you say that it's unlikely?" But that is the way that is scientific. It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely, and not to be proving all the time the possible and impossible.”
Richard Feynman

Robert M. Pirsig
“The TV scientist who mutters sadly, "The experiment is a failure; we have failed to achieve what we had hoped for," is suffering mainly from a bad script writer. An experiment is never a failure solely because it fails to achieve predicted results. An experiment is a failure only when it also fails adequately to test the hypothesis in question, when the data it produces don't prove anything one way or another.”
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Michael Crichton
“I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.”
Michael Crichton

Jonah Lehrer
“Just because an idea is true doesn't mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn't mean it's true.”
Jonah Lehrer

Criss Jami
“For God to prove himself on demand, physically, would be a grave disappointment, and the strongest Christians should be considerably grateful that he chooses not to do so. The skeptic endlessly demands proof, yet God refuses to insult the true intelligence of man, the '6th sense', the chief quality, the acumen which distinguishes man from the rest of creation, faith.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Marc Bekoff
“The plural of anecdote is not data.”
Marc Bekoff

David Deutsch
“The whole [scientific] process resembles biological evolution. A problem is like an ecological niche, and a theory is like a gene or a species which is being tested for viability in that niche.”
David Deutsch, The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes--and Its Implications

“Things that look like they were designed, probably were... If intelligence is an operative component of the universe, a science that methodologically excludes its existence will be susceptible to being trapped in an endless chase for materialistic causes that do not exist... Where there are sufficient grounds for inferring intelligent causation, based on evidence of "specified complexity," it should be considered as a component of scientific theories.

Inclusion of intelligent causation in the scientific equation is not novel and has not impeded the practice of science in the past, e.g. Newton and Kepler, in an age when science was not constrained by a philosophical materialism, and by many current scientists who have remained open to following the evidence where it leads.”
Donald L. Ewert

Cristina Marrero
“The Scientific Method is a wonderful tool as long as you don't care which way the outcome turns; however, this process fails the second one's perception interferes with the interpretation of data. This is why I don’t take anything in life as an absolute…even if someone can “prove” it “scientifically.”
Cristina Marrero

Bill Gaede
“Science is not about making predictions or performing experiments. Science is about explaining.”
Bill Gaede

Max Born
“There are two objectionable types of believers: those who believe the incredible, and those who believe that 'belief' must be discarded and replaced by 'the scientific method'.”
Max Born, Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance

Bill Gaede
“Whereas a novice makes moves until he gets checkmated (proof), a Grand Master realizes 20 moves in advance that it’s futile to continue playing (conceptualizing).”
Bill Gaede

“Monotheism generally allows for no greys. Ideas are either true or false. Hence, although science develops out of the alchemy of the medieval Christian milieu (derived from Arabic alchemy, which was stimulated by the much earlier Chinese alchemy), science is not understood by the nonscientific monotheistic population. The general Western public mistakenly thinks science presents unalterable truth, as does their religion, rather than theories to be tested and continually discarded to be replaced by new hypotheses, which is the actual scientific method.”
Jordan D. Paper, The Deities Are Many: A Polytheistic Theology

“The quest for absolute certainty is an immature, if not infantile, trait of thinking.”
Herbert Feigl, Inquiries and Provocation: Selected Writings, 1929-1974

“G. Stanley Hall, a creature of his times, believed strongly that adolescence was determined – a fixed feature of human development that could be explained and accounted for in scientific fashion. To make his case, he relied on Haeckel's faulty recapitulation idea, Lombroso's faulty phrenology-inspired theories of crime, a plethora of anecdotes and one-sided interpretations of data. Given the issues, theories, standards and data-handling methods of his day, he did a superb job. But when you take away the shoddy theories, put the anecdotes in their place, and look for alternate explanations of the data, the bronze statue tumbles hard.
I have no doubt that many of the street teens of Hall's time were suffering or insufferable, but it's a serious mistake to develop a timeless, universal theory of human nature around the peculiarities of the people of one's own time and place.”
Robert Epstein, Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence

Stewart Stafford
“Science Fiction is a safe, fertile arena in which to rehearse the potential scientific facts of tomorrow”
Stewart Stafford

Victor Hugo
“Tout y est sobre, exact, nu, précis, correct. Un phare est un chiffre”
Victor Hugo, The Man Who Laughs

“... Weber insists that the value of science is always to be questioned and not simply presupposed... He is... critical of the presupposition which underlies Strauss' position, namely that scientific reason is necessarily of value.”
Nicholas Gane, Max Weber and Postmodern Theory: Rationalization Versus Re-enchantment

Abhijit Naskar
“Science is never rigid, it is flexible. It can bend towards any direction that ultimately tends to do good to humanity. Religion must learn the same. And the moment any religion learns that, it would become the most scientific religion in the world.”
Abhijit Naskar

Noam Chomsky
“One of the difficulties in raising public concern over the very severe threats of global warming is that 40 percent of the US population does not see why it is a problem, since Christ is returning in a few decades. About the same percentage believe that the world was created a few thousand years ago. If science conflicts with the Bible, so much the worse for science. It would be hard to find an analogue in other societies.”
Noam Chomsky

Dexter Palmer
“The scientific method entails two assumptions that are so basic that, even if you spell them out, they are still difficult to keep in mind. First: that the observer stays the same while the world changes. Second: that cause precedes effect.

But the very nature of the experiment we are conducting means that the second of these assumptions is thrown into doubt. We are deliberately attempting to engineer an event in which effect chronologically precedes cause.

If one of these assumptions is under threat, why not the other?”
Dexter Palmer, Version Control

Frans de Waal
“There are so many ways to account for negative outcomes that it is safer to doubt one’s methods before doubting one’s subjects.”
Frans de Waal, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Abhijit Naskar
“Every single phenomenon in the world, has a physical explanation underneath it. Finding the explanation depends on how far you are willing to go.”
Abhijit Naskar, Principia Humanitas

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