The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty-some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.
↳ "What Do You Care What Other People Think?”: Further Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman, p.186
You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here, and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit and if I can’t figure it out, then I go on to something else, but I don’t have to know an answer,I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really isso far as I can tell. It doesn’t frighten me.
↳ Richard Feynman - The Pleasure of finding things out.
No, you’re not going to be able to understand it… You see, my physics students don’t understand it either. That is because I don’t understand it. Nobody does. … The theory of electrodynamics describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees fully with experiment. So I hope you can accept Nature as She is: absurd.
↳ Richard Feynman (via alchemico)
The Feynman Algorithm:
1. Write down the problem.
2. Think real hard.
3. Write down the solution.