I would have had no issue if jshm2 had just pointed out that many discoveries have been made by accident. I have no problem with that at all. I agree with that completely. Penicillin, anyone?
However, jshm2 said this:
In fact, more has been discovered by accident and error, than actual methodical thinking.
My issue is what they are claiming in that quote. It's the comparison between Fleming finding the mold that would one day become penicillin versus Salk working feverishly for four years to create the Polio vaccine.
jshm2 claims that more scientific discoveries have been done by luck, like Fleming, than by grinding away for years at a time, like Salk. I'm asking them to back that up.
Think of the millions of scientists and researchers (estimated at 6-8 million globally, depending on the source) that are working daily. And jshm2 claims that the number of discoveries that come out are more driven "by accident and error" than by daily work and grind.
I don't believe it.