Comment to Paul Nelson

John W. Burgeson (
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 09:35:25 -0500

Paul wrote, in part, first quoting Benno Muller-Hill, "To understand
how nature works provides deep pleasure, and to understand a beautiful
detail that nobody else has ever understood provides ecstasy"

and then went on to say "he also has no illusions about the all-too-human
element in scientific reasoning."

I appreciate that quotation from Benno Muller-Hill, Paul. It sums up in
only a few words why I entered physics in the first place. Although I'd
probably, having abandoned the profession for computers nearly four
decades ago, substitute the words "few other people" for "nobody else" in
Benno's words.

I sent a longer post last night in which I was trying to express your last
sentiments; you summed it up much better than I did. This attitude toward
the human element of scientific reasoning is one reason I like reading
Stephen Gould very much; why I find Dawkins a turn-off. The pages of
PHYSICS TODAY, a monthly journal I still keep up with from time to time,
often carries articles dealing with this phenomenon.

Nice to meet you at the NTSE, Paul.