Man's physical universe

xanabras

24 THE INTELLIGENT SOLUTION OF PROBLEMS

great time-savers. Generalizations have to be tested in every case, and

if a generalization can be obtained without the very laborious accumulation

of data, it is all the better. Such working hypotheses are not

"unscientific." They seem to come to the greatest, i.e., the most

creative, scientists more often than to others, and it appears that they

are the result of unconscious processes which can be consciously stimulated

and depend, in part at least, upon observations made but not

consciously recorded.

3. Theories Link Together Apparently Unrelated Generalizations^

Thus Unifying All Branches of Knowledge. Today there is a greater

need for comprehensive theories than for more data. Such theories can

be derived only by those people who have comprehensive knowledge.

Thus specialization, so essential in controlled observation, or experiment,

is the wrong type of training for creative thinking of the type

that is needed.

Theories bring together the data obtained by specialization.

Scientists

must be trained in both observation and generalization, or, if this

is not feasible, provision must be made to train generalizers. We are

now doing a good job of training data-gatherers, the so-called hod

carriers of Science.

Science Is Limited by the Ability to Obtain Data.

The mind is capable of producing generalizations concerning ultimate

values, the nature of God, immortality, etc., which Science has no

method of testing today. Science is thus not in a position to determine

whether these generalizations are true or not. The fact that millions

of people in isolated portions of the earth throughout thousands of

years have independently arrived at generalizations, such as the existence

of God, is the strongest and perhaps the only argument in their

favor, but until Science can obtain data to check such generalizations,

they must remain as problems outside the realm of Science. This statement

does not mean that there are any sacred problems which Science

dare not approach or which, by their nature, must forever remain outside

the province of Science. It simply means that many of man's most

important generalizations have to be accepted on faith until great walls

of ignorance can be pushed back.

The Ability to Solve Problems Is Learned by Solving Problems.

How to think fruitfully, logically, scientifically . . . should be a major tool in

the educational equipment of everyone. . . . But such technique is not taught

in isolation in the confines of the classroom, as is almost universally the case

. . . but in close touch with practical, concrete situations developed in the life

of the community. .


. . H. E. Cunningham.

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