By Paul Barnett
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Com USA and Canada: Sterling Publishing Inc. com Australia & New Zealand: Peribo Pty. au South Africa: Trinity Books. com Copyright © AAPPL Artists’ and Photographers’ Press Ltd 2007 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, copied, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
It sometimes happens that the constant quantities in formulae given by the highest authorities, although they differ amongst themselves, yet they will not suit the materials. This is precisely the point in which the skill of the artist is shown; and an accomplished cook will carry himself triumphantly through it, provided happily some mean value of such constants will fit his observations. He will discuss the relative merits of formulae he has just knowledge enough to use; and, with admirable candour assigning their proper share of applause to Bessel, to Gauss, and to Laplace, he will take that mean value of the constant used by three such philosophers, which will make his own observations accord to a miracle.
Another possibility is that he did not in fact perform every part of every experiment himself, but had one or more assistants at work in the monastery gardens: it would be far from the first time an assistant skewed experimental results in order to make the boss happy. This is frequently regarded, thanks to a book on the subject by Arthur Koestler (1905–1983), as the most probable explanation for the celebrated “case of the midwife toad”. The Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer (1880–1926) performed a number of experiments in the first part of the 20th century which appeared to show that the Lamarckian idea of evolution by acquired characteristics was correct, rather than, or at the very least alongside, the theory of evolution through natural selection.
Corrupted Science: Fraud, Ideology and Politics in Science by Paul Barnett
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