Crucial Quotes (9 quotes)
As a general scientific principle, it is undesirable to depend crucially on what is unobservable to explain what is observable, as happens frequently in Big Bang cosmology.
How do we convince people that in programming simplicity and clarityin short: what mathematicians call eleganceare not a dispensable luxury, but a crucial matter that decides between success and failure?
Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of todaybut the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved a
It has long been known that one horse can run faster than anotherbut which one? Differences are crucial.
One point at which our magicians attempt their sleight-of-hand is when they slide quickly from the Hubble, redshift-distance relation to redshift-velocity of expansion. There are now five or six whole classes of objects that violate this absolutely basic assumption. It really gives away the game to realize how observations of these crucial objects have been banned from the telescope and how their discussion has met with desperate attempts at suppression.
The Big Idea that had been developed in the seventeenth century ... is now known as the scientific method. It says that the way to proceed when investigating how the world works is to first carry out experiments and/or make observations of the natural world. Then, develop hypotheses to explain these observations, and (crucially) use the hypothesis to make predictions about the future outcome of future experiments and/or observations. After comparing the results of those new observations with the predictions of the hypotheses, discard those hypotheses which make false predictions, and retain (at least, for the time being) any hypothesis that makes accurate predictions, elevating it to the status of a theory. Note that a theory can never be proved right. The best that can be said is that it has passed all the tests applied so far.
The most important thing for us to recall may be, that the crucial quality of science is to encourage, not discourage, the testing of assumptions. That is the only ethic that will eventually start us on our way to a new and much deeper level of understanding.
Theories rarely arise as patient inferences forced by accumulated facts. Theories are mental constructs potentiated by complex external prods (including, in idealized cases, a commanding push from empirical reality) . But the prods often in clude dreams, quirks, and errorsjust as we may obtain crucial bursts of energy from foodstuffs or pharmaceuticals of no objective or enduring value. Great truth can emerge from small error. Evolution is thrilling, liberating, and correct. And Macrauchenia is a litoptern.
We are fishing out the top of the food chain, and its pretty crucial because about 200 million people depend on fish and fishing for their livelihood, and about a billion people, mostly in poorer countries, depend on fish for their protein. So this is a big problem. Good news is, its fixable.