Is Born a Scientist
Who is a scientist? Anyone who
allows Nature to be the teacher. Anyone who observes
things without prejudice. Anyone who sees things as
they are, without calling them good or bad. For
example, when a little girl is told that the same
substance can be solid, liquid or gas, she cannot
say that is true or false. However, if she sees a
chunk of solid ice melt into water and that water
rises as vapor when heated, she is a scientist when
she says that the same substance can be found in all
three forms, solid, liquid, and gas.
Let us take another example. A
little boy sees a picture of a dancing girl with
fourteen arms. He is a scientist if he says he has
seen a picture of a girl with fourteen arms. He is
not a scientist if he claims that there are girls
with fourteen arms.
Another example: When a woman
looks at the skin of a Nigerian under a microscope
and says that the skin is dark because it has more
melanin pigment, she is a scientist. When a man
claims that people of Denmark who have blonde hair
are more intelligent than those with dark hair, he
is not a scientist. He is ignorant.
Since all children have an
ability to observe things around them, they are all
scientists. Some of them study scientific subjects
of different types—chemistry, biology, and
others—and continue to do science by using
scientific methods. Some others study law and become
lawyers and judges. They apply man-made laws in
court rooms. When other law-makers change those
laws, lawyers and judges abandon old laws and apply
new laws. I add that most lawyers and judges do not
stop observing natural phenomena, and remain
scientists, even though their professional work is
not scientific (because they follow man-made laws).
By the above examples, I make the
distinction between the study of natural
phenomena—the science of observation of natural law
(order of things)—and the study of man-made laws and
beliefs , which is not science.
Many people make the mistake of
thinking that science is only done with test tube
experiments in the laboratory. I point out that
Charles Darwin, the most frequently quoted scientist
in biology, never performed a test tube experiment
in his research that led to his discovery of
evolution by natural selection.
Science is the process of
observing nature. It is purity of observation.
Scientific knowledge is testable, hence refutable.
That is the primary strength of science. It is
self-correcting. It owns nothing and is not owned by
anyone. It does not have any beliefs, nor does it
accept any ideology. So, a true scientists is always
eager to make new observations and is willing to
change his opinions when that becomes necessary.