Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Unqualified scientific geniuses

Science has a pattern few of the crowd are aware of. Some of the greatest inventions in the world have come from amateurs, and some of the greatest scientists in the world have been self taught as well. Beginning with the best known, Leonardo Da Vinci, is recognised as a polymath and genius, and far above the level of science in his own era and for centuries beyond. What had he studied? Leonardo Da Vinci Was a trained apprenticed artist, but once qualified used his ability to design plans for scientific instruments and buildings, and ended up a self taught scientist, engineer, anatomist, and architect. The next famous polymath, with a similar list of actual physically built inventions was Benjamin Franklin, responsible for many of our everyday items we take for granted, and were not created by a committee of scientists in a company working for years, but one man who could visualise entire experiments in his head and then build them to match.

Benjamin Franklin Now nobody doubts Franklin's ability, but how many know how he learnt what he could do, from optics to particle physics, working out the wave theory of light as being correct long before the other scientists caught up, discovered refrigeration, was a leading philosopher, and as so often accompanies such abilities was also a master musician and chess player.

Now of course it helps to avoid fundamental mistakes to have at least a grounding in Newtonian physics, but even without it is proved possible to work it out and apply them regardless, and can always check with someone who does know if required to. But the point is that no one ever questions the work of these two and many others like them, as the work speaks for itself, and by the time a product becomes manufactured or a theory confirmed, the background of who created it becomes totally irrelevant.

The second level of such natural ability means regardless of formal training, these individuals can often spot errors in anyone else's work. I know a self taught engineer who can visualise a machine from the plans and vice versa, and when he went to the Motor Show saw the new Mercedes A hatchback, which was very top heavy, and said it would fall over when cornering too fast. He was escorted off the premises, as such critics nearly always are, and soon afterwards the model was taken off the market and redesigned as of course it fell over when cornering. This also works at different levels of professionals. Non-graduate engineers who have the ability and work record are often able to pick faults in their PhD qualified colleagues, as whether or not they had the ability or money to become postgraduates, they have natural scientific ability, based partly on logic, like musical or artistic ability, where ironically no one ever has to be trained at all as they are totally judged on their output alone. But take the natural scientific ability and it overlaps so many other related areas, maths, law, economics, which use similar processes, that also people trained in similar areas are more able to look through scientific productions and question them as well as their own official peer reviews, if not better at times as they are totally objective.

Franklin and Da Vinci are not only precedents but represent many more less successful or well known non qualified scientists, where household items and drugs may be totally created from their ideas and taken up by companies who licensed and marketed them, losing the source over time but can always be tracked back if you know the connection is there. The major difference with qualified scientists are they know exactly how all the equations work and have tried and tested them in the lab, but that is more a matter of professional consistency than ability, I have come across many people who can use these on paper like machines, sailing through every course with top marks and coming out as top academics, but then you can find a simple error replicated throughout their work, and passing peer review, only for the child to speak out the emperor's naked. They are so close to their work they cannot see the big picture, or can't see it as they work in closed, narrow areas, while the polymath or genius is so because they see how everything fits in, and there is no black dividing line between science and maths, philosophy, law, economic, art or politics, but they all merge together into the greater reality of total being. Those minds are always going to be able to handle such a range of topics, maybe specialising or qualifying in one, but able to follow many others and perform as well or better than those who have spent their lifetimes in them but couldn't do the simplest task of the others as they are journeymen, one trick ponies who have become very good at one thing but fairly unaware of where it fits in to everything else. And that is why it is not appropriate to exclude non-scientists from scientific observations. If they get it right then that speaks for itself. Just as it's the sole voice within the scientific community who discovers the reality, when the rest cling to a consensus covering their actual lack of true knowledge. Both are intimately connected, and exploited to exclude all genuine opposition to qualified bad science.

No comments:

Post a Comment