Scientist with no education!!

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Offline reggy_a

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Scientist with no education!!
« on: 04/10/2013 08:44:56 »

“What can a man without even primary education, contribute to the field of Science?” Our answer to this question may be “No! Nothing” But we are wrong. Such a man also contributes much if he has the will and the determination.

The best example is Anton Van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch biologist and microscopist of seventeenth century microscopist. As his family very poor he could not complete his primary education. His father a basket maker died when young Leeuwenhoek was only sixteen and the youngster became a clerk in dry goods stores in Amsterdam. Then he opened a drapery shop in his home town Delft. Then he joined as a sinecure doorkeeper at the Delft city hall, a position he held rest of his life.

As he had much leisure time and he lived only for his hobby, grinding lenses. In his life time he ground a total of 419 lenses. Many of these lenses were focused on some permanently mounted objects and though some of which no man other than him self looked. Leeuwenhoek worked alone with his lenses. He had a passion for looking closely at small. He looked at every thing from tooth scrapings to ditch water. He studied in detail the development of tiny insects and he found parasites living on fleas which no body had noticed and reported till then.

Leeuwenhoek noticed certain tiny moving objects through his microscope and he under stood they are micro organisms and he named them as animalcules. Thus he be became the first to discover the one called animals now called Protozoa.

He was the first to describe Spermatozoa. He wrote voluminously to the Royal Society in Dutch. In all he sent 375 communications about his discoveries but the society did not gave importance to his findings.

Robert Hook built a microscope according to Leeuwenhoek’s specification and he conformed the observations of Leeuwenhoek. Leeuwenhoek found a new tiny structure which was later named as bacteria. No one else was to see bacteria again for over a century.

Hence his life history is an eye opener to all those aspiring success in life.
newbielink:http://www.elixirofknowledge.com/ [nonactive]

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Offline cheryl j

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #1 on: 25/10/2013 21:57:21 »
That's a different biography than the one I read, which said that Leeuwenhoek microscope wasn't made with lenses on the eye glass model. He put a piece of glass in a flame, forming a bubble, and used that curved surface to look through. He was in the fabric business and wanted a closer look at the fibers to judge the quality of the cloth he was buying. But then he started looking at other stuff, and got into almost as much trouble with the Church as Galileo, for looking at semen, in which he saw tiny cells with tails! Who'd of thought. Robert Hooke gets the credit for naming cells "cells," but he was looking at dead cork and couldn't see anything inside them or movement. Sometimes I wish they had kept Leewenhoek's name "wee beasties" for microorganisms.

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Offline vampares

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #2 on: 21/09/2014 22:10:21 »
"wee beasties"?

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #3 on: 28/09/2014 09:06:28 »
Quote from: reggy_a
What can a man without even primary education, contribute to the field of Science?” Our answer to this question may be “No! Nothing”
That depends on the age in which one lives. What was being discovered hundreds of years ago was much simpler than what is being discovered today so your answer is wrong in general.

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Offline Alohascope

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #4 on: 29/01/2016 22:44:34 »
What with most scientific educational institutions teaching stuff which turns out false a Primary education would be one which a person teaches himself/herself through a lifetime of investigation and experience.

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #5 on: 30/01/2016 00:05:09 »
The problem with learning by experience is that you spend most of your life discovering stuff that other people already knew, which leaves little time to discover anything not already known. Some scientific knowledge was acquired at considerable risk to life and limb: I'd prefer to read about the toxicity of alpha radiation, or the terminal speed of a falling person, rather than kill myself finding out.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline ProjectSailor

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #6 on: 05/12/2016 10:34:52 »
Surely the plan in that circumstance is put OTHER people in harms way and record the effect on them...

I have an interesting idea about bullet proof vests... volunteers?

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Offline puppypower

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #7 on: 10/12/2016 13:50:20 »
Those who are overly educated, can become biased by the traditions. The longer you become an expert, the harder it can become for an old dog to learn new tricks, while still allowing them to maintain their high level of prestige. The analogy is say you worked on an assembly line and was the best at a certain task. If the line was to change due to innovative fabrication strategies, you may no longer be the line expert, but a novice again, who has to build up from a lower level. This can impact your prestige, if you don't adapt to the same level as before. Change, even good in the context of science, can have professional consequences. This will be blocked or slowed to avoid drastic changes of prestige. The horse and buggy experts did not want the auto to succeed even of they saw the potential for this innovation.

If you envision a career path in science, up the chain of management command, you can go further if you follow the consensus thinking. Often the very top of the chain of command; government and industry, is led by politicians, money managers and bureaucrats, who may be amateurs in science, but be the experts business and getting funding. It is not always about the truth, but how the truth will impact career choices. If the truth rubs the top  people, the wrong way, it may be best to avoid it.

If you look at man made global warming, this is driven at the top by politicians, many of which are not even scientists. They control the purse strings, without which, the group will all become outsiders. If you don't go along, the chain of commsnd can without hold the key to the city, or make you a victim chain do the outside. You will not see many top people, who are against the consensus. It is not about looking at the problem at all angles to discover truth.

It is a little easier if you are scientist, in one area, trying to do science in another specialty area. This can give you an advantage, since it allows a fresh set of eyes, with an educated POV, not biased by the traditions that exist to pad careers and fetch funding.

Another way fro an outside to do science is if you were a rich man, with an idea, there are many scientists, with access to the inside, who will help you, for a price. Truth is not always the final checkpoint, due to human nature. There are also union rules.

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Offline puppypower

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #8 on: 11/12/2016 13:58:07 »
There is another consideration, where scientist without formal science education, can make contributions. This has to do with the contrast between specialization and generalization. Often the layman scientist,  knows a little about many things in science from reading and watching TV. However, they may lack the working knowledge of the details for any given topic.The result is the generalist may try to define things, in context of other things, beyond the specialty. The specialist tends to see and work within the context of specialization. The Generalist may use the same amount of data, but this data may extend  beyond the normal perimeter of the specialty, where the specialist becomes the layman. 

Let me give an example. At one time physics and chemistry were interfaced, by what are now called physical chemistry and nuclear chemistry. The theories in old time physics could easily extrapolate into chemistry; unified. Nowadays, nobody can tell you how quarks induce the properties of water. There is a specialty disconnect, between physics and chemistry.

This disconnect means there is no longer any global checks and balances, like the older timers had in the golden age of science. The preponderance of physical data, in all of science, combined, is centered on chemistry. We know much more about water, than we do about quarks, yet the two do not meet nor are quarks expected to align with the preponderance of the physical data. If you suggest physics needs to interface chemistry, this would be from a generalist POV. This may be wise, but it is not by the union rules, so it will be dismissed or delayed.

Common sense would say that since the main body of science data is physical data connected to chemistry; nuclear chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, and  biology, shouldn't physics be requires to get with the program and not wander off the reservation? This is how a generalists may think. However, there will be foot dragging to this common sense. If you accept the pitfalls of human nature; prestige and career needs, and you work on solutions that allow an interface, these solution can look alien to specialists on both sides of the wall, since outside the box is not science, but the box is connected to the walls created by specially areas of science. The generalist can appear outside a specialty box, while being inside the box of integral science.

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Offline puppypower

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #9 on: 11/12/2016 14:26:34 »
Let me perform a mental experiment to show you the pitfalls of speciality science, compared to generalists science. Visualize a large mural sized photograph. This wall sized photo is masked off (covered) except for one small area; specialty. What we can see, from the revealed area, are the eyes of a female. We can zoom in closer to see the pixels.

The specialists may be able to infer these are the eyes of a female. Based on the expression in her eyes, she appears to be under stress and pain. This is reasonable based on what we can see. I will then ask what is the entire mural about, based on that specialty POV? One person says, it is about a farm girl working in the fields. This makes sense. Another says, no she just broke up with her boyfriend. These are the two accepted by the consensus and given research money.

Next, we zoom out and open the mask to reveal even more of the picture. Now we can see the woman has an old sweat suit on. She appears to be stretching somewhere in a gym. What appeared valid, from the narrow frame, is not true in this larger context of data. She is not on a farm, but rather she appears to be in a gym practicing dancer. This does not preclude the boyfriend breakup theory.

Next we zoom out more and notice she is with other women on a stage. They all appear to be dancers. From this more even more general data we infer that she is at a dance tryout, She may not be very good as reflected by her worn clothes and the strain on her face. This sort of precludes the boyfriend theory since her unrealized ambitions could be the source of her pain.

As we zoom out even more, and unmask more of the mural, we notice that this stage is used by the Moscow Ballet. Now she is not a hack dancer at a tryout, but she has to be a top notch dancer. Now the theory is she may have injured herself. With this wider POV we are getting closer to the truth that the speciality POV cannot see, since the box is too small and all the mural is needed to tell the story.

Last, we remove the entire mask from the mural, now we can see a famous dance coach yelling and smiling at her. She is on center stage. She is the prima ballerina working herself to perfection yet not satisfied with anything less.

Specialty science can infer sound theory from its data, but since the rest of science is masked off, this theory may be out of context with the biggest pictures of science. But since the specialists will not leave the box and may resist anything that is not in the box, this may be good enough.

I have respect for laymen and unaffiliated scientists who attempt and who create new theories, that are out of the box. Sometimes these theories work from POV where more of the mask is revealed. However, these idea will not seem possible, by specialists, who see the details of reality, through higher mural masking POV's. They can only see the tired farm girl, but not the prima ballerina. 

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Offline tkadm30

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #10 on: 13/12/2016 12:33:33 »
The problem with learning by experience is that you spend most of your life discovering stuff that other people already knew, which leaves little time to discover anything not already known. Some scientific knowledge was acquired at considerable risk to life and limb: I'd prefer to read about the toxicity of alpha radiation, or the terminal speed of a falling person, rather than kill myself finding out.


Learning by experience is purely a intellectual process were learning from (government-led) education system is mostly an inefficient method to acquire new knowledges. Comprehension errors are part of the learning process, so when you learn something on your own, you experimentally educate yourself. "Hack to learn. Don't learn to hack."
« Last Edit: 13/12/2016 12:46:00 by tkadm30 »
The bliss of ignorance is deeper in the region of tyranny.

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Offline puppypower

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #11 on: 15/12/2016 11:28:24 »
Reinventing the wheel is good practice for inventing new things. When you invent new things, sometimes everyone else, including scientists are  uneducated, therefore you can't always get useful feedback. The feedback can get defensive; fear of novelty or cynical; it will never work. When you reinvent, there are more experts who are already conformable with the solution, even before you present, therefore you can get more useful feedback in terms of approach. This can be helpful, as guideline, when you  need to go outside the box, where feedback will become more subjective and defensive.

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Offline tkadm30

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Re: Scientist with no education!!
« Reply #12 on: 16/12/2016 20:44:03 »
Experimentation cannot be teached in schools. :)

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

bubye! :)
The bliss of ignorance is deeper in the region of tyranny.