Man's physical universe

xanabras

THE SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE 15

he may accept some of it without verification and checking and thus

be led to faulty conclusions.

The truth seeker does not allow the unsupported claims of nostrumvenders,

political spellbinders, and high-pressure salesmanship, or the

propaganda of warring labor factions, political parties, or nations to

determine his judgments.

He withholds his judgment until he has exhausted his resources of

evidence.

He reaches conclusions, but he does not jump at them.

7. He Is Able to Recognize Fellow Truth Seekers. It is hopeless to

attempt to repeat and verify all the scientific work of past ages, and it

therefore becomes necessary to depend upon the work of others for most

of one's information. But authorities are judged by the evidence they

give for their conclusions rather than by their wealth or whiskers.

8. He Is Undaunted in His Pursuit of Truth. It takes a great deal

of painstaking effort, patience, and perseverance even to begin to discover

the facts necessary to solve a problem adequately. The truth

seeker keeps trying even after many failures.

Work for him is a pleasure

because it leads to one of life's greatest satisfactions, that of solving

problems. He who believes that "a person is foolish to work " will never

enjoy the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The scientist really enjoys

life ; the only drudgeries for him are the tasks that take him away from

his pursuit of truth. The day is never long enough, and life is all too

short for the man who has the passion for truth.

9. He Does Not Subscribe to the Adage, "What You DonH Know

Won't Hurt You." He has learned from experience that there is nothing

more terrible than ignorance in action. He knows that knowledge provides

the power to prevent and cure disease, to prolong life, and to control

his environment. He has learned that it is what he does not know

that hurts him, for nearly always "forewarned means forearmed."

10. He Cultivates Accuracy of Observation and Precision of Statement.

The truth seeker knows that no detail is too small to be of importance.

Many of the great discoveries of Science have resulted from

very small variations in measurements.

Deliberate dishonesty, distortion of truth, the selection of facts which

support a preconceived point of view, inaccurate measurements, and

careless statements are obstacles blocking the pathway to truth.

The truth seeker welcomes criticism of his work because it helps him

to correct his mistakes.

11. He Is Optimistic. The scientist never says that a thing cannot be

done but rather says "give me a chance at it." The fact that a thing

never has been done before presents a challenge rather than discouragement.

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