The recent, vigorous debate occurring in our pages regarding whether it's necessary to accept the theory of evolution1,2 (also, see Letters) as a prerequisite to studying the sciences has set me thinking: What exactly is a scientist?
Albert Einstein--who better to guide us--had some forthright views. In an address to the Società Italiana per il Progresso della Scienze on occasion of its 43rd meeting in Lucca, Italy, October 1950, he implied that science must be all-consuming:
"... apart from the knowledge which is offered by accumulated experience and from the rules of logical thinking, there exists in principle for the man of science no authority whose decisions and statements could have in themselves a claim to 'Truth.'"
This was part of Einstein's "confession of our convictions." He continued:
"... a person who devotes all his strength to objective matters will develop, from a social point of view, into...