On Scientifically Not Putting the Cart in Front of the Horse

Quite often in science we get a bit ahead of ourselves and begin theorizing wildly, which can very often be an excellent thought experiment in and of itself. But without some data to give proof to our theorems, we can be easily sidedtracked.  Never have I read a statement so poetically phrased to admonish against it as I have recently:

So, we’d better bridle our speculations, lest we run the risk that someone like LeCarre’s Smiley asks us one day: ‘What dreams did you cherish that had so little of the world in them?’

-Werner R. Loewenstein in The Touchstone of Life: Molecular Information, Cell Communication and the Foundatons of Life

Cart in Front of Horse


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