Category Archive: “What is Science?”

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, pp. 171-88

The belief in the ignorance of experts

As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. …

I am trying to inspire the teacher at the bottom to have some hope and some self-confidence in common sense and natural intelligence. The experts who are leading you may be wrong. …

I think we live in an unscientific age in which almost all the buffeting of communications and television — words, books, and so on — are unscientific. As a result, there is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science. …

Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the preceding generation. [187-8]

Science doesn’t teach us anything

When someone says science teaches us such and such, he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach it; experience teaches it. … And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments (but we must listen to all the evidence), to judge whether a reusable conclusion has been arrived at. [187]