Bill Watterson - Albert Einstein - Rene Descartes - Will Self - Lawrence Krauss - Michael Shermer - Terry Pratchett - Steven Pinker - Nikola Tesla - Arthur Conan Doyle -
That’s the whole problem with science. You’ve got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder. Bill Watterson
The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms. Albert Einstein
The scientific process operates in two phases, the empirical and the statistical.
In the first phase, a scientist seeks uniform patterns in the universe based on empirical observations (‘empirical’ meaning based on data received by our senses, as this is, after all, the only means we have).
... The second phase of the scientific method ... a scientist must perform a series of tests that will either verify or refute his original hypothesis. This is where the statistical phase enters the picture.
After our scientist feels confident that he has obtained sufficient statistical evidence to support his theory ... he will disclose his findings to those around him, more specifically to the rest of the world’s scientific community.
Now it is the duty of the scientific community to review this person’s hypothesis by performing their own series of tests. This is necessary as the conclusions of one sole observer should never be accepted as adequate proof of anything.
... As this process continues, one by one, our ever-sceptical scientific community will conduct as many tests as it can think of before offering to support a theory. Only after a sufficient amount of supporting statistical data is obtained might the scientific community be willing to give credence to a theory. Rene Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Properly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking the Truth in the Sciences
I’m English enough to feel something of a gut-reaction to modernism, to continental philosophising and anything that smacks of a refusal to pay attention to the forensics: the empirical facts on the ground. Will Self
Empirical explorations ultimately change our understanding of which questions are important and fruitful and which are not. Lawrence M Krauss
Being a sceptic just means being rational and empirical: thinking and seeing before believing. Michael Shermer
There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist. Terry Pratchett
Why are empirical questions about how the mind works so weighted down with political and moral and emotional baggage? Steven Pinker
Edison was by far the most successful and, probably, the last exponent of the purely empirical method of investigation. Everything he achieved was the result of persistent trials and experiments often performed at random but always attesting extraordinary vigour and resource. Starting from a few known elements, he would make their combinations and permutations, tabulate them and run through the whole list, completing test after test with incredible rapidity until he obtained a clue. His mind was dominated by one idea, to leave no stone unturned, to exhaust every possibility. Nikola Tesla
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
‘Data! Data! Data!’ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay!’ Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure in the Copper Beeches