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Lewis Thomas Essay

Biologist Lewis Thomas argues that mistakes should be thought of as a blessing rather than a misfortune, because they pave the way for new discoveries and understandings. As can be seen with past events and happenings, this claim proves to be valid as mistakes are necessary for progress.

Various scientific advancements throughout history have been errors turned into findings. Such an example can be seen in medical discoveries. Penicillin, founded in 1928 by accident, was at first thought to be useless, but after countless experimentation it was finally used as medicine and a Nobel Prize was received for it. Other substances that were discovered by coincidence include Viagra and a small pox vaccine. Viagra was originally a cardiovascular drug but during the testing phase it wasn’t effective in treating heart ailments.

Scientist continued to study the unexpected side effects which were an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. Small pox vaccination was encountered through the injection of cow pox into an eight year old boy which resulted in a counteraction of small pox. These are merely a few of that many scientific findings that at first were thought to be mistakes.

The nutrition industry of The United States of America would be incomplete without the numerous, spontaneous, discoveries over time. A man in San Francisco accidently left his juice outside in the winter and it froze. He ate the frozen juice and came up with popsicles. America’s favorite chocolate chip cookies were also a mistake. When the Toll House Inn’s Ruth Wakefield ran out of baking chocolate one day in 1930, she smashed up a bar of semi-sweet chocolate and added the pieces to her dough. Upon their removal from the oven, the cookies weren’t uniformly infused with melted chocolate, but rather studded with little chunks throughout. The signature sweet put her Whitman, Massachusetts inn on the culinary map. These accidental discoveries are what made the food industry what it is today.

To be successful you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to gain that success. Even though people seem to believe that when you’re trying to be successful mistakes should be avoided. However, that is not the case because through mistakes you are able to realize what you did wrong and correct it to what you’re supposed to do to be successful.


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