The Scientific Method and Critical Thinking

What I see is government-funded scientists forgetting the progress in scientific thought in the 19th century, especially Germany. Hermann Helmholtz, about the most noteworthy denounced the way Goethe and Hegel and Aristotle processed scientific thought. Aristotle, unquestionably one of the greatest minds that ever lived, believed that all truth can come from reasoning alone. Francis Bacon, Voltaire, Descartes, and Galileo introduced the need for observation and experiment in science. The whole point of science is to understand nature, and if nature doesn’t abide by your theories, nature can’t be wrong. You are wrong and need to revisit your research.

Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynmann, who pinpointed the cause of the Challenger space shuttle disaster, emphasized the importance of experiment:

If you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it…Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them.

So, a scientist, to be worth anything, must want to understand nature.

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