[Computer science] is not really about computers — and it’s not about computers in the same sense that physics is not really about particle accelerators, and biology is not about microscopes and Petri dishes…and geometry isn’t really about using surveying instruments. Now the reason that we think computer science is about computers is pretty much the same reason that the Egyptians thought geometry was about surveying instruments: when some field is just getting started and you don’t really understand it very well, it’s very easy to confuse the essence of what you’re doing with the tools that you use.
Science, my boy, is composed of errors, but errors that it is right to make, for they lead step by step to the truth.
Modern theories did not arise from revolutionary ideas which have been, so to speak, introduced into the exact sciences from without. On the contrary they have forced their way into research which was attempting consistently to carry out the programme of classical physics—they arise out of its very nature. It is for this reason that the beginnings of modern physics cannot be compared with the great upheavals of previous periods like the achievements of Copernicus. Copernicus’s idea was much more an import from outside into the concepts of the science of his time, and therefore caused far more telling changes in science than the ideas of modern physics are creating to-day.
Basic research is like shooting an arrow into the air and, where it lands, painting a target.
Mathematics is the only good metaphysics.
Interview with P. A. M. Dirac By Thomas S. Kuhn and Eugene Paul Wigner At Wigner’s home, Princeton, New Jersey April 1, l962
About Dirac I always recomend this wonderful book from Graham Farmelo: The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom, and alternatively, this conference by the author: