Science Daily: 'The Unexpected Outcome' Is A Key To Human Learning.
ScienceDaily (Mar. 15, 2009) — The human brain’s sensitivity to unexpected outcomes plays a fundamental role in the ability to adapt and learn new behaviors, according to a new study by a team of psychologists and neuroscientists from the University of Pennsylvania.There are two types of scientists in this world: scientists who think their antiquated theories expect everything (Sophists) and scientists who realize their theories can't explain everything and much is unexpected (Philosophers).
Sophists are incapable of learning because they think there is nothing unexpected; Philosophers can learn because they realize much is unexpected.
Here are some contemporary examples:
Scientists Incapable of Learning Because They Think There Is Nothing Unexpected
"It's disturbing to see that there is a new theory every time there is a new observation." -- R. Brent Tully, astronomer, 1989
"We may now be near the end of the search for the ultimate laws of nature." -- Stephen W. Hawking, mathematician, 1988
"We do not need a new theory because our present one explains everything." -- Richard P. Feynman, professor, 1988
"It is the theory that determines what can be observed." -- Albert Einstein, mathematician, 1926
Scientists Capable of Learning Because They Think Much Is Unexpected
"The fact of the matter is geology, geophysics, and planetary science, are, by no means, settled subjects." -- Dennis D. McCarthy, geoscientist, 2005
"The Big Bang is predicated on the assumption that from the point of view of physics there are no surprises in store for us. Which is very unlikely." -- Fred Hoyle, cosmologist, 2000
"The cosmology as a science has begun one century ago with Einstein's theory. So in one hundred years you cannot produce a theory of everything. This is crazy. Even from a philosophical point of view and historical point of view. We have begun one hundred years ago. In 1920 we thought that the Milky Way was all the universe and now they want to produce the belief that in 80 years or something you have produced the theory of all the universe from the beginning to now. This is incredible. And not very objective." -- Martín López Corredoira, astronomer, 2000
"We are certainly not at the end of science. Most probably we are just at the beginning!" -- Halton C. Arp, astronomer, 1998
"One part that came to maturity in the pauses between ping pong games is also perhaps the most important from the point of view of general interest. The name of this particular discovery is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It takes a strange position in regard to an ancient question, determinism. Is the future really predictable? If we knew the situation at the present with complete accuracy, then the laws of physics say that the future should be completely predictable. What Heisenberg's uncertainty principle says is that it is impossible to know completely accurately what the present is." -- Edward Teller, physicist, 1990
"I am a materialist with a difference. The difference is that I realize that I have barely begun to understand what matter is. I know as much about matter as a person knows about mathematics when he just has learned how to count." -- Edward Teller, physicist, 1990
"Our knowledge of the universe is limited...." -- Geoffrey Burbridge, astrophysicist, and Margaret Burbridge, astronomer, 1967
"No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows." -- J. Robert Oppenheimer, physicist, date unknown