May 30, 2012

Quote: Ramón y Cajal on the inconvenient diversity of nature

Doing science is walking the fine line between assuming the simplest possible explanation for your observations, and avoiding our human bias towards beauty, elegance and organization.

Unfortunately, nature seems unaware of our intellectual need for convenience and unity, and very often takes delight in complication and diversity.

- Santiago Ramón y Cajal, in his 1906 Nobel lecture "The structure and connexions of neurons".

... and he should know! Santiago Ramón y Cajal applied himself to revealing the immense and, at the time, almost inconceivable complexity and variation of cells in the nervous system.

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