Experiment

The human mind feels restless and dissatisfied under the anxieties of ignorance. It longs for the repose of conviction; and to gain this repose it will often rather precipitate its conclusions than wait for the tardy lights of observation and experiment. There is such a thing, too, as the love of simplicity and system, a prejudice of the understanding which disposes it to include al the phenomena of nature under a few sweeping generalities, and indolence which loves to repose on the beauties of a theory rather than encounter the fatiguing detail of its evidences.

Genuine intellectual integrity is found in experimental knowing. Until this lesson is fully learned, it is not safe to dissociate knowledge from experiment nor experiment from experience.

So far as man stands for anything, and is productive or originative at all, his entire vital function may be said to have to deal with maybes. Not a victory is gained, not a deed of faithfulness or courage is done, except upon a maybe; not a service, not a sally of generosity, not a scientific exploration or experiment or textbook, that may not be a mistake. It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.

There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trail and error: experimentation. The 'failed' experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately 'works.'

Happiness in marriage is not a gift, but an opportunity. It is an obligation, not an experiment.

The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and the facts established by experiment.

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment may at any time prove me wrong.

Children are born true scientists. They spontaneously experiment and experience and reexperience again. They select, combine, and test, seeking to find order in their experiences - "which is the mostest? which is the leastest?" They smell, taste, bite, and touch-test for hardness, softness, springiness, roughness, smoothness, coldness, warmness: the heft, shake, punch, squeeze, push, crush, rub, and try to pull things apart.

A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.

Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.

The bravest and best men of all times have perished in the struggles against tyranny and despotism, and free government has never secured even a feeble existence save at a most fearful cost. The experiment of republican government in our own country is similar to that of all others. Here, however, liberty has won her grandest triumphs. Here freedom is enthroned securely and is the unchallenged boon of every inhabitant. But we contemplate the cost of victory with mournful and pitying hearts.

There is but one bond of peace that is both permanent and enriching: the increasing knowledge of the world in which experiment occurs.

Maybe we’re just one experiment... Maybe we’re part of the creator’s great caldron, boiling with a wealth of phenomena that the most learned physicians and physicists are just beginning to figure out... I think it’s impossible to think our being here is the result of chance. I think we’re part of a master plan known only to the Creator.

We are, without permission but with our tacit approval, the subjects of a giant electrical experiment. Nor is there any end in sight. The density of radio waves around us now is 100 million times the natural level reaching us from the Sun, and by 1990 it will have doubled again. When superconducting cables are introduced, the field strength around power line will be increased by another twenty times. And electric cars and vehicles moved by magnetic levitation will add entirely new sources of electropollution to the stew with which we are already assailed. Meanwhile, the first results of the experiment are starting to come in and there is, it seems, no place to hide.

Do not be put off if you find that you have to wait and experiment. Be sure that you will have disappointments to endure. But do not be satisfied without some side line in which you may give yourself out as a man to men. There is one waiting for you if only you are willing to take it up in the right spirit.

What is life but an experiment? and mortality but an exercise? with reference to results beyond.

Scientists look for four qualities in theory generally… parsimony: the fewer the units and process used to account for the phenomenon, the better… second, generality: the greater the range of phenomena covered by the model, the more likely it is to be true… Consilence: units and process of a discipline that conform with solidly verified knowledge in other disciplines have proven consistently superior in theory and practice to units and processes that do not conform… Predictiveness: those theories endure that are precise in the predictions they make across phenomena and whose predictions are easiest to test by observation and experiment.

If enough species are extinguished, will the ecosystem collapse, and will the extinction of most other species follow soon afterward? The only answer anyone can give is: possibly. By the time we find out however, it might be too late. One planet, one experiment.

The concept of a life experiment can help us get past the fear of failure. The only real failure is not to experiment.

The knowledge of a single fact acquired through a discovery of its causes prepares the mind to understand and ascertain other facts without need of recourse to experiment.