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Science as a reliable means of knowing errors.

Distinguishing factual order versus fictive disorder in existence when facts are stranger than fiction.

"The Goncourts had personal reasons to be interested in tuberculosis, for one of their aunts had been consumptive and died in Rome after becoming a religious fanatic. . . . Madame Gervaisais is shown by the Goncourts with a 'strange and exciting seduction . . . almost seraphic," that increased with the progress of her disease."

The White Plague, pp. 52-53.

This is a process | 1. hypothesis | 2. Case | 3. Methods | 4. Anomalies | 5. Questions

Dubos question | Feynman | Dubos | Singh | Siry


1. Any hypothesis is a speculative means to an end.

• 1.1, An hypothesis can involve a syllogism based on Aristotle's arguments about logical inference.

• 1.2, The hypothesis here about complexity of material existence is: order is implicit in nature.


So, If:
there exists a discoverable, rational, and provable knowledge of the "order of things."

and if
“All the world is made of the same atoms.”

[Feynman, p. 12.]

and if
“scientific is limited, of course, to those things that we can tell about by trial and error.”

[Feynman, p. 64.]

and if
“Trying to understand the way nature works involves a most terrible test of human reasoning ability.”

[Feynman, p. 15.]

and if
meaning is derived from the explanation of a repetitive pattern in the experience of existence,

“to prove…really means ‘test’,” and “the exception tests the rule”, and
“The exception proves that the rule is wrong.”

[Feynman, p. 16.]

Then, the behavior of atoms and molecules they sustain, tie all material conditions from stellar fusion to immune responses in animals together in a complicated ensemble of consequential conditions where one impact influences another situation.


Discoverable | Atoms | Trial & Error | Reasoning ability is tested | Exception proves the rule - anomalies

Apply the hypothesis when answering,

Why do we get sick and even die in hideous ways from apparently unseen forces?

What steps where used to test and discover exceptions to understand this "white plague"?

2. René and Jean Dubos, The White Plague, 1952.


How did knowledge of TB change based on the role of diagnostic practice, instrumentation or technology, and descriptive as opposed to experimental research from one period to another?

    "…we have used the generic name tuberculosis for a whole group of diseases cause by tubercle bacilli. The word is so well known today as to need no explanation, and yet it seems to have appeared in print for the first time around 1840, and has come into common use only during the last fifty years."

Professor3. Any means to know is called a methodology.

Methods: how we discover something is often called heuristics after the term "the Eureka effect" alleged to have been what Archimedes said in a loud voice upon getting out of his bathtub.

The art & demonstration of explaining what we know for certain.

The contrasting means to explain are analytical meaning to separate to know the parts and synthetic meaning to combine in order to comprehend the scope.

      Two opposite methods:


Analytical Synthetic
Three ways to know, however, are:

Rational (it makes sense)

Phthisis Four humors

deductive logic

behavior √ phlegm

inductive logic

catarrh milieu √

Empirical (it passes tests)

hereditary Contagion



experimentally tested

tubercles Consumption

Heuristic (it is blind tested)



germ theory tubercle bacilli
tested mathematically
coincident causal

Subsequent stages in our understanding did not always produce viable diagnosis, or reliable treatments.

a process | 1. hypothesis | 2. Case | 3. Methods | 4. Anomalies | 5. Questions

4. Exceptions that refute the rule are anomalous

The meaning and identity of anomalies:

Never believe an untested assumption, always inquire about assumptions.

Bacon's idols are an example of nearly universal assumptions that many if not all people make.

Folly arises from operating under unexamined assumptions despite the anomalous warnings.

Discoverable | Atoms | Trial & Error | Reasoning ability is tested | Exceptions prove the rule

5. Similar mistakes drawn from mathematics, biology, or earth science.

Margulis, The Symbiotic Planet

Singh in Fermat's Last Theorem, or

Siry in Marshes of the Ocean Shore

There is found the propensity for error–as in Darwin's arguments– hampered the advance of knowledge, applied discoveries, and helped generate cultural stickiness' transmutation into social retardation.

What mistakes were made?

By applying the Pythagorean Theorem to another [third or fourth] dimension, what is misunderstood?

By thinking that low lying wetlands or marshes were bad places that generated "malaria," and fevers, what is the error?

"The brothers Edmond and Jules de Goncourt were pioneers in the new physiological school of writing. In order to obtain first hand documention, they moved far and wide through the various social strata of Paris and recorded their impressions every evening in the famous Journal.
"It is clear from their entries . . . they decided to spend some time in the Hopital de la Charitť to obtain material for their novel. . . ."

The White Plague, p. 51.

A process | 1. Hypothesis | 2. Case | 3. Methods | 4. Anomalies | 5. Questions

Feynman | Dubos | Singh | Question

This organism has been reclassified as: "Mycobacterium tuberculosis"
"Tuberculosis outbreaks are often caused by hypervirulent strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. "

Citation: Mycobacterium: Genomics and Molecular Biology | Book.
Publisher: London. Caister Academic Press: January 2009.
Editor: Tanya Parish and Amanda Brown Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Terms to understand.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

real versus ideal: is an old debate

see: "The Medieval Problem of Universals"


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