In the study of literature or art, the men of Greece or of the Renaissance did better than any men do now. But in science, men have discovered an activity in which they are no longer, as in art, dependent for progress upon the appearance of a greater genius.
Once a man of supreme genius has invented a method, a thousand lesser men can apply it. No transcendent ability is required in order to make useful discoveries in science.
In art any worth could be done without genius; in science even a very moderate capacity can contribute to supreme achievement. In science, the man of real genius is the man, who invents a new method. The notable discoveries are often made by his successors.
Unimpaired by the previous labour of perfecting it; but the mental calibre of thought required for work, however brilliant, is not as great as that required by the first inventor. In science, there are many different methods appropriate to different classes of problems.
The kernel of the scientific outlook is a thing so simple, so obvious so seemingly trivial, that the mention of which may almost excite derision. The kernel of scientific outlook is the refusal to regard our own desires, tastes, and interests.
The study of science is to gain a two-fold advantage over literature and art. It gives an insight in the progress of mankind. Secondly, it is free from the band of inaccuracies, which result from human passion. Passion has no place in any scientific truth.
A good deal of literature and art has been devoid of originality due to a bias for the past. The Greeks and those born during the period of renaissance were free from this effect.
The role of genius in science is only confined to inventions. The analysis in science has no place for personal equation of mind or personal prejudices. Science has also no place for any moral considerations or values.