The logical chain is simple: one or several similar ideas in two minds produce one accident. The randomness contributes to the discovery. Thanks to this, scientists can move along the path of invention.
As Albert Einstein said, most of the great discoveries were made by mistake.
This topic is exhaustive and interesting enough. For example, Poincare almost discovered Einstein’s theory of relativity. In history, there are many cases when the circumstances of two similar discoveries in the field of physics, chemistry, geometry and other sciences were the same. In different parts of the world, under different conditions – equipment, climate, emotional tension – two scientists made the same discovery. This fact is a significant confirmation of Hegel‘s idea of the absolute mind – the spirit of the world.
Humanity exists, but simple existence is not enough for us – people want to brighten their lives, and therefore think and dream of various devices that will help to reach the goal. At the same time, they do not have any idea about the future of the invention.
For example, people dreamt of flying – so we have the myth of Icarus. The young man made wings, took off into the sky, burned the wings and fell down. The myth appeared in the ancient Greece. The Greeks did not know the simple scientific fact that at a certain distance from the ground, a living organism is exposed to cooling. However, they dreamt to see processes taking place on the earth from a bird’s-eye view.
A lot of time had passed before such an event happened. For the first time, a full mission was carried out only in 1884 by the French military dirigible. So, human consciousness seems to send signals concerning what people want and need, and after some time the mind of the world illuminates the mind of one or even two scientists, who make their “contribution” to the development of a progressive thought. The role of the scientist in this process is random, but the discovery is made anyway.
The Main Part
Now let us consider the fortuity and regularity in more detail. Most people believe in fate, and believe that nothing in our lives can be changed – everything is preordained. Other people think that a person is a creator of his or her own destiny and everything depends on his or her choice.
The first group of people believes that no matter how much an individual drink or smoke, and what a dissolute life they live, they will live long. If everything goes this way, it is “destiny”, and if not – they will die regardless of external factors, and the cause of their death will be random. Moreover, if there is no reason, the conditions and the type of death could be planned in advance, as well as the time and place.
One scientist has demonstrated the intersection of fortuity and regularity in the following example.
Imagine a large open space. There is a group of people. Each person is situated a meter away from the other one. At a high speed a meteor hits the ground and kills one person. This implies the following conclusion: the fact that the meteor kills this person is a fortuity, but the fact that it must have killed someone is the regularity.
It is the same with discoveries. They must be made and this is the regularity, while the role of the scientist is random. However, fulfilling these dreams and hopes is carried out not only by the movement of a thought in a certain direction but mostly due to the downward insights.
There is another hypothesis which does not concern just thoughts. Scientists are born with an innate idea, and after a certain period of time, they discover it in themselves. Nevertheless, in such a situation, their personal choice is limited. They are not free even to choose in what sphere of science they will work. Of course, he/she can follow the conclusion that the person should do things that he/she likes. Fate will encourage them to work on a vocation. However, what if a person is lazy and does not want to do anything? So, there is still one aspect.
Anyway, proceeding from this conviction, the scientist is “insured” from death until their mission is completed.
We may think that everything is destined, but in some cases we do have a choice. Where? How? It is difficult to know the reason – you can only feel it. Destiny cannot be changed, but you can select it, like the road. So, we make a choice not once but every day.
We hope that you like this essay. It could be interesting for you to read about the social role of the scientist, too.