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*Science = progress, right?  Was the experiement a form of progress--or not? Why/why...

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luis1977 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM via web

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*Science = progress, right?  Was the experiement a form of progress--or not? Why/why not?

flowers for algernon

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:56 PM (Answer #2)

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In the book Flowers for Algernon two scientists conduct an experiment by taking a mentally disabled man with a low IQ and inserting cells from a mouse named Algernon.  The mouse had a high degree of intellect.  The scientists hypothesized that the man, Charlie, would develop increased intelligence from the mouse's cells.

Charlie writes in a daily journal which is used to tell his story of development.  Charlie begins to experience a growth in his level of intelligence.  He becomes smarter and smarter which eventually begins to isolate him from people.

Charlie becomes so smart that he begins to research the experiment that was performed on him and he realizes that the effects of the experiment will begin to decrease at a faster rate than his intelligence increased.  Charlie eventually returns to his prior low IQ and level of intelligence.

In science one of the best methods for learning something is failure.  The failure of a hypothesis makes the scientists have to rethink their experiment and look for clues that will enable them to correct their failure.  In truth, there is no failure in science, but progress following a hypothesis that was proved as incorrect.

Many different positive outcomes have derived from experiments that were at first deemed as failures.  One such experiment was Jonas Falk's polio vaccine.

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