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Quotes About Scientific Method

Quotes tagged as "scientific-method" (showing 1-30 of 52)
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

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

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

Richard P. 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 P. Feynman

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

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

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

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

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

“Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth.
Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery.
A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error,
for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief.
Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false.
Let no man fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it;
for doubt is a testing of belief.
The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing;
For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure.
He that would silence doubt is filled with fear;
the house of his spirit is built on shifting sands.
But he that fears no doubt, and knows its use, is founded on a rock.
He shall walk in the light of growing knowledge;
the work of his hands shall endure.
Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help:
It is to the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the handmaiden of truth.”
Robert T. Weston

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

“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

Stefan Molyneux
“Truth has nothing to do with the conclusion, and everything to do with the methodology.”
Stefan Molyneux

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

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

Vladimir Nabokov
“When a hypothesis enters a scientist's mind, he checks it by calculation and experiment, that is, by the mimicry and the pantomime of truth. It's plausibility infects others, and the hypothesis is accepted as the true explanation for the given phenomenon, until someone finds its faults.”
Vladimir Nabokov, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov

“The fundamental characteristic of the scientific method is honesty. In dealing with any question, science asks no favors. ... I believe that constant use of the scientific method must in the end leave its impress upon him who uses it. ... A life spent in accordance with scientific teachings would be of a high order. It would practically conform to the teachings of the highest types of religion. The motives would be different, but so far as conduct is concerned the results would be practically identical.”
Ira Remsen

Karl Pearson
“The unity of all science consists alone in its method, not in its material.”
Karl Pearson, The Grammar of Science

Robert M. Pirsig
“The real purpose of the scientific method is to make sure Nature hasn't misled you into thinking you know something you don't actually know. There's not a mechanic or scientist or technician alive who hasn't suffered from that one so much that he's not instinctively on guard. That's the main reason why so much scientific and mechanical information sounds so dull and so cautious. If you get careless or go romanticizing scientific information, give it a flourish here and there, Nature will soon make a complete fool out of you. It does it often enough anyway even when you don't give it opportunities. One must be extremely careful and rigidly logical when dealing with Nature: one logical slip and an entire scientific edifice comes tumbling down. One false deduction about the machine and you can get hung up indefinitely.”
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Karl Pearson
“The classification of facts and the formation of absolute judgments upon the basis of this classification—judgments independent of the idiosyncrasies of the individual mind—essentially sum up the aim and method of modern science. The scientific man has above all things to strive at self-elimination in his judgments, to provide an argument which is as true for each individual mind as for his own.”
Karl Pearson, The Grammar of Science

“What we know here is very little, but what we are ignorant of is immense.”
Pierre Laplace

Daniel Gilbert
“When a fruit salad, a lover, or a jazz trio is just too imperfect for our tastes, we stop eating, kissing, and listening. But the law of large numbers suggests that when a measurement is too imperfect for our tastes, we should not stop measuring. Quite the opposite - we should measure again and again until niggling imperfections yield to the onslaught of data.”
Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness

Karl Popper
“There can be no ultimate statements science: there can be no statements in science which can not be tested, and therefore none which cannot in principle be refuted, by falsifying some of the conclusions which can be deduced from them.”
Karl Popper

“Writing seems to free them (students) of the idea that math is a collection of right answers own by the teacher – a body of knowledge that she will dispense in chunks and that they have to swallow and digest.”
John Countryman

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