Tag: scientific method

Something Thoreau wrote on December 2, 1853

“The skeleton which at first sight excites only a shudder in all mortals becomes at last not only a pure but suggestive and pleasing object to science. The more we know of it, the less we associate it with any goblin of our imaginations. The longer we keep it, the less likely it is that any such will come to claim it. We discover that the only spirit which haunts it is a universal intelligence which has created it in harmony with all nature. Science never saw a ghost, nor does it look for any, but it see everywhere the traces, and it is itself the agent, of a Universal Intelligence.”

He lived in an age when science was methodical, slow moving. Yet you can be sure much of the science then settled was later expounded upon or tossed in the rubbish bin. Nowadays, tools exist to accelerate study while enhancing the reliability of measurement, as well as engage in alternative hypothesizing at the flip of a coin. And yet the scientific method seems to have been tossed aside in favor of expediency, despite the obvious risks.

Was Thoreau telegraphing the resultant skeletons in the closet?

MG signing off (thinking “Universal Intelligence” is often deserving of critical review)