Hiking The Devil’s Path In One Day: Because It’s There

The Catskills’ Devil’s Path is considered one of the Northeast’s toughest hiking trails–thanks to its 24.2 mile end-to-end length, elevation gain of nine thousand feet, its steep sections which require scrambling up rocks and tree trunks, and in the summer, its devilish lack of water.  Hiking it it one-day remains a serious challenge; yesterday myContinue reading “Hiking The Devil’s Path In One Day: Because It’s There”

Richard Feynman on Philosophy of Science and Ornithology

Richard Feynman is supposed to have said, in his usual inimitable style, that “Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.” Cue chuckles from scientists and grumbles from philosophers. Science is useful! Philosophy is useless! Go back to counting angels. Or something like that.  The persistent disdain that distinguished scientists–likeContinue reading “Richard Feynman on Philosophy of Science and Ornithology”

Steven Weinberg’s History Of Science Syllabus

A few years ago, on reading–perhaps in the New York Review of Books—Steven Weinberg mention his teaching an undergraduate history of science class at the University of Texas, I wrote to Weinberg: Professor Weinberg, […] I believe you teach a class on the history of science at UT-Austin. I would be very interested in perusing yourContinue reading “Steven Weinberg’s History Of Science Syllabus”

Heisenberg On Minimal Theoretical Change In Scientific Revolutions

In ‘Abstraction in Modern Art and Science’ (from Across the Frontiers, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1974) Werner Heisenberg wrote: How does a revolution in science come about? The answer: By trying to change as little as possible; by concentrating all efforts on the solution of a special and obviously still unsolved problem, and proceeding as conservativelyContinue reading “Heisenberg On Minimal Theoretical Change In Scientific Revolutions”