The name of observer has been given to the physicist who is content to examine the phenomena just as nature presents them to him; he differs from the experimental physicist who combines himself and who sees only the result of his own combinations. This latter one never sees nature as it is in fact; he pretends by his labor to render nature more accessible to the senses, to raise the mask which conceals it from our eyes, but often he disfigures it and renders it unintelligible. Nature is always unveiled and bare for him who has eyes—or it is covered only by a slight gauze which the eye and reflection easily pierce—and the pretended mask exists only in the imagination, usually quite limited, of the manipulator of experiments.
In D. Diderot and J.L. d'Alembert (eds) Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers
Observateur Volume 23 (p. 287D)
And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them and serve them.
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