The essay describes the experience of a young student who was admitted to college to pursue natural history specifically insects that were a branch of zoology. While in the laboratory, he was given Haemulon fish in a jar that his professor wanted him to look and describe accordingly. Within a short time, he had seen all that could be seen in a fish and explained them to the professor. To his disappointment, the professor stated that he had not looked very carefully and that he missed seeing the most conspicuous features in the animal. The student put more effort to notice details on the fish thus sharpened his skills of observing facts about the different species of fish. The professor believed that facts were stupid things unless proven, and to define a fact theories must be involved and related to the actual event or object in life (Samuel, 369).
It is evident from the essay that practice makes perfect and that innovative ideas may make an individual to perfect his knowledge and skills in learning. This is evident when the student decided to draw the fish that helped him master several features and shape of the animal. The essay is insightful to me since it offers myriad perspectives of understanding how things happen in nature. Generally, people may believe in what they see but they do not pay keen attention to the facts surrounding their being. Moreover, to understand events well in life it is imperative to apply theories that exist and couple it with some assumption to come into a conclusion. Therefore, I concur with the essay that facts are theory dependent.
Samuel H. Scudder, “In the Laboratory With Agassiz”, Every Saturday, (April 4, 1974) 16, 369-370.