Science by Feynman

We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.

Richard Feynman (1974)

What is science? Science is a method to discover / understand the world. In this video, the brilliant physicist Richard Feynman, 1965 Nobel Prize winner, explains how we look for a new law. In the following simplified diagram, he exposes the essence of science:

Guess → Compute the consequences → Compare with observation / with experiment → Conclude whether it works.

If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. This simple statement is essential to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful the guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are. If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. Simply.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.