“The human brain, with all its wonderful capabilities and power, is far from being a faultless apparatus. Most of its parts may be in perfect working order, but some are atrophied, undeveloped or missing altogether. Great men of all classes and professions — scientists, inventors, and hard-headed financiers — have placed themselves on record with impossible theories, inoperative devices, and unrealizable schemes. It is doubtful that there could be found a single work of any one individual free of error. There is no such thing as an infallible brain. Invariably, some cells or fibers are wanting or unresponsive, with the result of impairing judgment, sense of proportion, or some other faculty. A man of genius eminently practical, whose name is a household word, has wasted the best years of his life in a visionary undertaking. A celebrated physicist was incapable of tracing the direction of an electric current according to a childishly simple rule. The writer, who was known to recite entire volumes by heart, has never been able to retain in memory and recapitulate in their proper order the words designating the colors of the rainbow, and can only ascertain them after long and laborious thought, strange as it may seem.
"Our organs of reception, too, are deficient and deceptive. As a semblance of life is produced by a rapid succession of inanimate pictures, so many of our perceptions are but trickery of the senses, devoid of reality. The greatest triumphs of man were those in which his mind had to free itself from the influence of delusive appearances. Such was the revelation of Buddha that self is an illusion caused by the persistence and continuity of mental images: the discovery of Copernicus that, contrary to all observation, this planet rotates around the sun; the recognition of Descartes that the human being is an automaton, governed by external influence and the idea that the earth is spherical, which led Columbus to the finding of this continent. And tho the minds of individuals supplement one another and science and experience are continually eliminating fallacies and misconceptions, much of our present knowledge is still incomplete and unreliable. We have sophisms in mathematics which cannot be disproved. Even in pure reasoning, free of the shortcomings of symbolic processes, we are often arrested by doubt which the strongest intelligences have been unable to dispel. Experimental science itself, most positive of all, is not unfailing.”
– Nikola Tesla
“Famous Scientific Illusions.” Electrical Experimenter, February, 1919.