The Function of Experiment


IN continuing to maintain that stringent experimental test of a theory of Nature is pedantic, Mr. Whitrow would appear to be more extreme in his views than are most of the contributors to the symposium on physical science and philosophy1. Prof. Milne, for example, states that “the relevance of the theorems to Nature would require to be established by observation”2. When Mr. Whitrow persists in claiming the support of Galileo3 on the grounds of his (Galileo's) profession of readiness to accept his own theories4, he displays an imperfect understanding of the nature of experimental demonstration.

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  1. 1

    NATURE, 139, 1008 (1937).

  2. 2

    NATURE, 139, 997 (1937).

  3. 3

    NATURE, 140, 646 (1937).

  4. 4

    Fahie, W. C., NATURE, 140, 646 (1937).

  5. 5

    Fisher, R. A., “The Design of Experiments”, p. 39 ( Oliver and Boyd ).

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CHILDS, E. The Function of Experiment. Nature 140, 852–853 (1937).

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