On Our Knowledge of the Causes of the Phenomena of Organic Nature: Being Six Lectures to Working Men, Delivered at the Museum of Practical Geology

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R. Hardwicke, 1863 - 156 oldal
First Edition of these lectures popularizing the content and implications of Darwin's Origin of Species.
 

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64. oldal - Laplace in their endeavours to discover and define the causes of the movements of the heavenly bodies, as you, with your own common sense, would employ to detect a burglar. The only difference is, that the nature of the inquiry being more abstruse, every step has to be most carefully watched, so that there may not be a single crack of flaw in your hypothesis.
64. oldal - It is often urged, in respect to some scientific conclusion, that, after all, it is only an hypothesis. But what more have we to guide us in nine-tenths of the most important affairs of daily life than hypotheses, and often very ill-based ones? So that in science, where the evidence of a hypothesis is subjected to the most rigid examination, we may rightly pursue the same course.
65. oldal - A man may say, if he likes, that the moon is made of green cheese: that is an hypothesis. But another man, who has devoted a great deal of time and attention to the subject, and availed himself of the most powerful telescopes and the results of the observations of others, declares that in his opinion it is probably composed of materials very similar to those of which our own earth is made up; and that is also only an hypothesis. But I need not tell you that there is an enormous difference in the...
58. oldal - ... delicate manner. In scientific inquiry it becomes a matter of duty to expose a supposed law to every possible kind of verification and to take care, moreover, that this is done intentionally and not left to a mere accident, as in the case of the apples. And in science, as in common life, our confidence in a law is in exact proportion to the absence of variation in the result of our experimental verifications.
64. oldal - ... common sense, would employ to detect a burglar. The only difference is, that the nature of the inquiry being more abstruse, every step has to be most carefully watched, so that there may not be a single crack or flaw in your hypothesis. A flaw or crack in many of the hypotheses of daily life may be of little or no moment as affecting the general correctness of the conclusions at which we may arrive ; but, in a scientific inquiry, a fallacy, great or small, is always of importance, and is sure...
58. oldal - Whereupon your friend, unless he is a very unreasonable man, agrees with you, and is convinced that you are quite right in the conclusion you have drawn. He believes, although, perhaps, he does not know he believes it, that the more extensive verifications are — that the more frequently experiments have been made, and results of the same kind arrived at— that the more varied the conditions under which the same results are attained, the more certain is the ultimate conclusion, and he disputes...
148. oldal - Men of science do not pledge themselves to creeds ; they are bound by articles of no sort ; there is not a single belief that it is not a bounden duty with them to hold with a light hand and to part with it, cheerfully, the moment it is really proved to be contrary to any fact, great or small. And if in course of time I see good reasons for such a proceeding, I shall have no hesitation in coming before you, and pointing out any change in my opinion without finding the slightest occasion to blush...
63. oldal - Well, now, you cannot at the moment answer that kind of reasoning. You feel that your worthy friend has you somewhat at a disadvantage. You will feel perfectly convinced in your own mind, however, that you are quite right, and you say to him, " My good friend, I can only be guided by the natural probabilities of the case, and if you will be kind enough to stand aside and permit me to pass, I will go and fetch the police." Well, we will suppose that your journey is successful, and that by good luck...
57. oldal - Well, if we were talking science instead of common sense, we should call that an experimental verification. And, if still opposed, you go further, and say, "I...
61. oldal - I suppose your first action, assuming that you are a man of ordinary common sense, and that you have established this hypothesis to your own satisfaction, will very likely be to go off for the police, and set them on the track of the burglar, with the view to the recovery of your property. But just as you are starting with this object, some person 1 True cause.

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