Claude Bernard Quotes

Claude Bernard Quote, As soon as the circumstances of an experiment are well known, we
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As soon as the circumstances of an experiment are well known, we stop gathering statistics. ... The effect will occur always without exception, because the cause of the phenomena is accurately defined. Only when a phenomenon includes conditions as yet undefined,Only when a phenomenon includes conditions as yet undefined, can we compile statistics. ... we must learn therefore that we compile statistics only when we cannot possibly help it; for in my opinion, statistics can never yield scientific truth.

Claude Bernard

Claude Bernard Quote, When a physician is called to a patient, he should decide on
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When a physician is called to a patient, he should decide on the diagnosis, then the prognosis, and then the treatment. ... Physicians must know the evolution of the disease, its duration and gravity in order to predict its course and outcome. Here statistics intervene to guide physicians, by teaching them the proportion of mortal cases, and if observation has also shown that the successful and unsuccessful cases can be recognized by certain signs, then the prognosis is more certain.

Claude Bernard

Claude Bernard Quote, Even mistaken hypotheses and theories are of use in leading to discoveries.
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Even mistaken hypotheses and theories are of use in leading to discoveries. This remark is true in all the sciences. The alchemists founded chemistry by pursuing chimerical problems and theories which are false. In physical science, which is more advanced than biology, we might still cite men of science who make great discoveries by relying on false theories. It seems, indeed, a necessary weakness of our mind to be able to reach truth only across a multitude of errors and obstacles.

Claude Bernard

Claude Bernard Quote, The physiologist is not a man of the world, he is a
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The physiologist is not a man of the world, he is a scientist, a man caught and absorbed by a scientific idea that he pursues; he no longer hears the cries of the animals, no longer sees the flowing blood, he sees only his idea: organisms that hide from him problems that he wants to discover. He doesn't feel that he is in a horrible carnage; under the influence of a scientific idea, he pursues with delight a nervous filament inside stinking and livid flesh that for any other person would be an object of disgust and horror.

Claude Bernard

Claude Bernard Quote, To be worthy of the name, an experimenter must be at once
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To be worthy of the name, an experimenter must be at once theorist and practitioner. While he must completely master the art of establishing experimental facts, which are the materials of science, he must also clearly understand the scientific principles which guide his reasoning through the varied experimental study of natural phenomena. We cannot separate these two things: head and hand. An able hand, without a head to direct it, is a blind tool; the head is powerless without its executive hand.

Claude Bernard

Claude Bernard Quote, Laplace considers astronomy a science of observation, because we can only observe
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Laplace considers astronomy a science of observation, because we can only observe the movements of the planets; we cannot reach them, indeed, to alter their course and to experiment with them. "On earth," said Laplace, "we make phenomena vary by experiments; in the sky, we carefully define all the phenomena presented to us by celestial motion." Certain physicians call medicine a science of observations, because they wrongly think that experimentation is inapplicable to it.

Claude Bernard

Claude Bernard Quote, I do not … reject the use of statistics in medicine, but I
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I do not ... reject the use of statistics in medicine, but I condemn not trying to get beyond them and believing in statistics as the foundation of medical science. ... Statistics ... apply only to cases in which the cause of the facts observed is still [uncertain or] indeterminate. ... There will always be some indeterminism ... in all the sciences, and more in medicine than in any other. But man's intellectual conquest consists in lessening and driving back indeterminism in proportion as he gains ground for determinism by the help of the experimental method..

Claude Bernard