Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Great quotations: Isaac Asimov on discovery

The quotation:
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but “That’s funny …”

Who said it:  The quotation is widely attributed to Isaac Asimov, but no direct evidence of him saying it or writing it seems to exist.  Nevertheless, it does seem like he said it, according to the invaluable Quote Investigator.

Source:  See link above.

Thoughts on the quotation: 

When we notice something odd, something unexplained, we can ignore it.  Or we can attribute it to mysterious forces. Or we can say it's a miracle.  Or .... we can investigate.  And maybe discover something.  As my favorite professor in graduate school used to say:

If you're not surprised, you haven't learned anything
So, we should welcome the unexplained.  It might lead somewhere. 

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