We can work on Eli Whitney

Who was Eli Whitney?
Who was Samuel Colt?
Describe the building of the Erie Canal.
Who was Cyrus McCormick?
Who were the Lowell girls?
What was the Monroe Doctrine?

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Modern ideal of Science attempts to specify a procedure an individual must follow to come up with a credible idea or theory. However, recently I’ve caught myself thinking that scientific method with its sequence of action wherein a hypothesis is followed by experimental verification can’t possibly describe all the advances in the history of science. Sometimes scientists must call upon their powers of individual rationality to decide what ideas to test, in advance of the sort of definite experiments and observations of phenomena that Science demands to bless an idea as confirmed. Let’s start with a readily understandable, non-disturbing example. A scientist identifies a strong regularity in the cumulative data of previous experiments. But the corresponding hypothesis has not yet made and confirmed a novel experimental prediction—which his academic field demands. Thus, the individual scientist has readily understandable, rational reasons to believe something not yet blessed by Science as public knowledge. Noticing a regularity in a huge mass of experimental data before a hypothesis is made doesn’t seem all that contrary to scientific method. You’re still data-driven, right? But that’s because I deliberately chose a non-disturbing example. When Einstein invented General Relativity, he had almost no experimental data to go on or a phenomenon to explain, except the precession of Mercury’s perihelion. And Einstein did not use that data, except at the end. Einstein came up with the theory of Special Relativity using the following principle: You begin by saying, “It doesn’t seem reasonable to me that you can tell, in an enclosed box, how fast you and the box are going. Since this number shouldn’t be observable, it shouldn’t exist in any sense.” You then observe that Maxwell’s Equations invoke a seemingly absolute speed of wave propagation, c, commonly referred to as “the speed of light”. So, you reformulate your physics in such fashion that the absolute speed of a single object no longer meaningfully exists, and only relative speeds exist. I am skipping over quite a bit here, >

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