“He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.” -Leonardo Da Vinci
There’s an attitude that’s very, very common in America: the notion of the rugged individualist. Part of that ethos is the idea that, “if I use my brain to its fullest extent, I can figure out any problem as well as any expert.” It’s the idea that logic, reason, and the power of your own mind to solve literally anything.
But one of the most important lessons that science teaches us is that logic, intuition, reason, and all our associated conclusions must stand up to the test of an experiment. And if the experimental results conflict with your conclusions — no matter how logically you arrived at them — those conclusions are wrong. We like to think that Newton was infallible until Einstein came along, but when it came to the field of optics, it was the spectacular (and largely forgotten) work of François Arago that changed our conception of our world.