Theory and Practice (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 14:32:43 EDT
From: FutureT-at-aol-dot-com
To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Subject: Theory and Practice


Regarding this issue of theory vs. hands on, it's not one
versus the other.  They must work together.  The true researchers
know this and practice this if their situation allows.  It can be seen
clearly on this list that the most effective researchers combine 
theory and practice.  There is no other way in any field.  Imagine
if the developers of the atomic bomb (for example) used theory
alone, or hands on work alone...they would not have made much 

Theories are not set in stone.  When folks say, "this doesn't fit
the theory", they often say it with the tone that there's only one
theory *out there*.  Then they may think that theories are useless.
This is a terrible mistake, and shows a misunderstanding of the 
scientific method.  If results don't fit "the theory", it simply means
that the wrong theory is being used, or that the theory must be 
modified,  or that the experiment was done incorrectly, or that the 
observations were faulty, etc.  

Sometimes folks don't want to give up their pet theories because
they become *attached* to them...the theories feel like *old friends*,
(or they might not want to admit they were wrong).  But this kills 
progress.  An essential part of research is to be willing to cast old
unworkable theories onto the trashheap, when they don't fit our
observations in the real world. 

Some scientists, despite their quest for truth and trust in logic, often 
cling to mistaken beliefs, long after they should accept the facts and 
realities, and relent.  This is common and well known in the medical 
field also.  Sometimes training cannot overcome human frailties.    

More and more, over the last few years, incorrect Tesla coil theories 
have been tossed into the garbage where they belong, and they have 
been replaced with more appropriate theories which fit the 
observations a lot better.  

But enough of this talk...back to TC work    :)

Progress is being made, so all is well in Tesla-land.

John Freau