So ready is the iron to burn, that it takes, under certain circumstances, even less time to catch fire than gunpowder.
The Correlation of the Physical Forces
Delivered before the Royal Institution of
, December 1859 Great Britain
The test of any great idea is its ability to withstand falsification. Under control conditions, can the hypothesis be observed in supportable evidence? Can causal factors be accommodated within its framework and other possibilities be excluded? Thus is a theory borne.
A common attack on science is to take issue with its persnickety refusal to call things sacred, to always apply tests to what it observes rather than give up the ghost. “What do you know for certain?” they ask the scientists. “Only process, never ending process” is the cold answer.
But to call a theory an idea and no more is unjust. To all known observation, the theory stands true. To any action taken, the theory holds. To every new idea, the theory sets fire – until it doesn’t.
Look out your window, neighbor. Mother is calling her children in from the yard for there are lessons to learn. Too few of them are made of marble. Too many of them slither from her den into the world where you live. It’s not that she’s tired of answering questions. She’s sick of there being questions at all.
Urban Meyer took his first step toward genius by splicing two schemes adopted out of desperation (
Appropriately, Meyer’s initial SEC lab results are divergent. At home against
The prophets in the desert don’t sweat genius, though. To them, intellect is only as good as points allowed. To them, the line began at four, then – as the money rolled in – chipped away half a point, then another, so that now a field goal yet to be kicked stands locked in their minds as the only difference between
Which is preferable, that mistakes are avoided or overcome? A new hypothesis is taking hold in
Everyone, find your lab partner.