Only I would tear pages out of a book, draw on them, paint them, then decide I wanted to read it… not sure whether to laugh or sigh – perhaps a little of both is in order… already fascinating…

p.7-8  If we would appeal to science at all, we must use her methods – not methods of our own choosing.  Now it is a generally accepted principle in science that it is only through the study of the unusual, the odd and the seemingly inexplicable, that man can be led onwards towards new knowledge.  The scientist whose mind revolves only in the grooves of well recognised theory has little chance of discovering important new principles.  In fact, an important element in the scientific method consists in the focusing of attention upon the things that science cannot explain, or has difficulty in explaining.  In this way only can it be discovered whether known principles will cover all the facts, or whether new remain to be discovered.

We must apply the same method if we wish to build a reliable philosophy of nature.  If we consider only the recognised laws of science we shall never discover whether they are adequate to explain everything in the universe – we shall never even discover whether they are the most important factors of which we ought to take cognisance.  To reach a sane judgement, we must turn to the odd and the peculiar.  We must think about things which, in the light of present scientific knowledge, seem inexplicable.  We must ask if they really are inexplicable, or only apparently so.  And should the first possibility seem the more likely, we must ask whether the inexplicable facts can be explained – explained, not of course, in a fundamental sense, but in the scientific sense of co-ordinated or grouped together by a new hypothesis or theory which would make them inexplicable no longer.  Finally, if we are able to do so we must test our theory – we must see whether it can help us to understand yet other facts, which we have overlooked hitherto, whether it will stimulate our minds to research in new directions and so forth.  And, as the past history of science has shown on repeated occasions, it will often happen that the good theory, based upon phenomena that once seemed queer and out of the ordinary, will help us to understand the ordinary and commonplace.

This is the scientific method of discovery of truth – the method upon which the scientific edifice of our day has been built.  And it is also the way of common sense – a codification of the rules that are always used in establishing evidence.  For the scientific method is only a glorified version of the ways of common sense.  The detective, like the scientist, focuses his attention upon the details that seem queer and inconsistent with the knowledge he already possesses;  like the scientist he frames his theories upon those parts of the picture that at first seem odd and inexplicable; like the scientist again he seeks to discover whether his theories are adequate.  The economist, the historian, the archaeologist, the linguist – every one, in fact, whose business it is to discover facts adapts the same procedure.  The scientific method is the method of human reason.

p.9 Instead of examining the inexplicable. The modern writer only too often examines the explicable: instead of showing interest in the extraordinary, he revels in the ordinary.  And his reply to those who adopt a more orthodox procedure is to the effect that they are inventing a “God of the gaps” who will be doomed to extinction as soon as all-conquering science has discovered how the gaps may be filled in.


Instead of avoiding the difficulties, instead of begging the question by pretending that every difficulty is mere gap, we must boldly explore the suppose gaps with all the care we can muster.  Nor need we apologise for doing so.