Friday, September 9, 2011

"For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes"

The human understanding is no dry light, but receives an infusion from the will and affections; whence proceed sciences which may be called "sciences as one would." For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections colour and infect the understanding.

~Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, Aphorism XLIX (1620)

1 comment:

  1. You can only find truth if you're not afraid of what you're going to find. It's true of everything in science and in life. And I don't know many people who are not afraid of the truth. In the immortal movie words of Jack Nicholson, "You can't handle the truth."

    Truth is not magic, it's not mystery. It's verifiable in every objective sense. The problem with this as it applies to the 'global warming hoax' was that researchers so wanted to prove that man was going to kill off the planet in the blink of an eye (in geologic time) that they rejected everything that didn't conform with their theory.

    They used theories to generate facts rather than using facts to arrive at a logical theory.