chapter  5
13 Pages

Methods in Physical Science: Feelings Don’t Matter

WithDavid E. H. Jones

In physical science, observations are always 'Valerian', independent of the mood of the observer, and the same for almost everybody. Every physical observation is uncertain, if only because our senses are all different. Fortunately for science, such differences are usually slight and easily allowed for. Science is a very small fraction of human knowledge. By far the greatest amount of the things people observe or remember are 'anecdotal evidence'. The physicist Freeman Dyson has written that scientific method is too 'clumsy' to deal with paranormal effects. In the last few hundred years the experimental methods of science have had a massive impact. Every science student absorbs the idea of those 'recipes which are always successful'. Normal scientific education invites its students to learn only to pay attention to their experiment or the reading on their apparatus. Some powerful scientists, however, may understand experimental skills, but never get to be good at them.