The enigmatical and self-contradictory explanations set forth in textbooks on the natural sciences sometimes arouse in the student a strong suspicion that they do not really explain at all. Thus until recently it was assumed in physics that the surrounding and omnipenetrating substance called ether was many times as rigid as steel, but that material objects could move through it without any friction whatever! And in physiology and psychology it is still taught that we obtain our knowledge by means of wires called nerves, which run through tiny holes into a dark box called a skull, there to be transformed, by a process which nobody can explain, into thoughts and feelings called smell, taste, touch, hearing, and sight.
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