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Scientific Mind

去年忘了那天老闆寄來的文章, 不知其出處. 隨手翻成中文

Excerpt from interview with Francis Crick
節錄自對Francis Crick(DNA雙螺旋結構發現者之一)訪問

I don't think I have a special mind, I think I have the sort of mind that most scientists have. They're curious about the world and then they learn the way of approaching things scientifically which is not a natural way of doing things. It was, I mean it was a very, almost a freaky way of doing things. The Chinese never really discovered it for example nor did any other civilization. It started, probably, with the Greeks but it really developed in Europe with Galileo.

All the people before that, they don't sound like real scientists they sound like people who were groping towards scientists. But Galileo sounds like a real scientist, he, you know, his words, he used the arguments one would use today. He knew to do experiments and how to argue from experiments and he knew how to erect general principles, as it were, to explain the experiments, not just a re-description in their own terms, you see. I don't think that's particularly natural, I think that's what you have to learn.
在那之前的所有人聽起來都不是真正得科學家,而只是摸索著往科學家的路。伽利略看來則是一個真正的科學家。你知道, 他的言辭,他用我們當代會用的論述。他知道作實驗及如何用實驗結果論述,他也知道如何建立通則去解釋實驗,而非只是辭彙替換般的重新陳述實驗。我不認為那是自然而然的,我認為那是必須去學會的。

The curiosity's natural but the method of explanation is not the natural one. Our hunter gatherer ancestors didn't need the scientific method, they needed rough and ready rules of thumb so that- so that they could get by and generalize quickly from one instance and make the right decision, you know. It was more important to make the decision than to actually know the exact reasons you were making it. That's very unscientific you see.
好奇是自然的, 但其解釋的方法並非。我們的獵人採集者祖先們並不需要科學方法,他們需要粗略現有的簡易法則,過的去,快速的一般化一個情況,並做正確的決定。如你所知,作決策比知道導致決策的真正理由還重要。你瞧這是非常不科學的。

Now, it is true that when you come to the choice of a scientific problem, you have to do that, you have to use a sort of more intuitive approach, you can't explain exactly why you think this is a good one and that is a bad one. You may give some reasons but it's not obvious that they are the real reasons. As in many other things in life, the reasons people give are not necessarily the true reasons that are motivating their brain you might say. But nevertheless the actual the way that you approach it and the way you try disprove theories, for example, by doing well designed experiments and doing what are called controls which the ordinary person has no idea really what a control is, it's an experiment done to rule out some rather simple other alternative explanation and that's called a control.

Yes, the typical one is the man who- who drank gin and water, and whiskey and water, and brandy and water and every time he got intoxicated so he decided it must be water. Well, to a scientist it isn't a joke at all because he should have done a control and just drunk the water.
是的,一個典型的例子是,有個人,喝琴酒加水,喝威士忌加水,喝白蘭地也加水,每喝必醉。他因而結論: 醉一定是水造成的。這可不是玩笑,科學家會來一次控制實驗,單純的喝水。

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