To Err is Human By Lewis Thomas – BA Modern English Essays

Here we are uploading questions and answers notes of “To Err is Human” By Lewis Thomas – BA Modern English Essays for BA and ADP students. These notes are for Punjab University (PU). Sargodha University (UOS) and all other universities in Pakistan. If you want to download complete notes of BA English Part-1 and Part-2, click the links given below and download them in PDF format for free.

Questions and Answers Notes of To Err is Human By Lewis Thomas – BA Modern English Essays

Q. How does Lewis Thomas compare computers with human beings?

Ans. Lewis Thomas’ essay “To Err is Human” is about human beings, computers, and errors they make.
Human beings make errors. In fact, the ability to make mistakes is the power of their nature. They cannot avoid making errors however, carefully they think and work. If they did not have this gift of being wrong, they would not be able to do anything useful. They learn by “trial and error”, and not by “trial and rights”.They seem to joy making mistakes; bigger the mistake, greater the joy.
Error opens the way to progress. It compels us to think and rethink. It makes us explore alternatives, make more mistakes, and somehow get to the right results someday.
Computers are not expected to make errors. If they send you the wrong bills or do some other mischief, it is supposed to be the result of the computer operator’s fault.
Lewis Thomas thinks that computers do make mistakes. They have been build by human beings. and are extensions of the human brain. As such they must share man’s gift for making mistakes. The error is again human.

Q. Explain Lewis Thomas’ statement, “It may be that this (making mistakes) is a uniquely human gift, perhaps stipulated in our genetic instructions”.

Ans. Lewis Thomas believes that making mistakes is a gift that has been given only to human beings. Perhaps the instructions for making mistakes are written in our genes that govern our behaviour. It means that nature wants us to make mistakes.
Making mistakes is a necessary result of man’s freedom to explore and analyze and find his own way. His instincts do not limit him to a certain behaviour. He has the power to choose. He has the desire to know about things around him.
He wishes to know the reality of things and the cause behind natural phenomena. In his search, he has to observe, make guesses, and verify them. It is not a simple and easy process. Wrong choices and guesses are made frequently because every alternative is to be tired to find the right one. This is the “trial and error” process. For human beings, it is the only way to learn.
Lower animals do not make mistakes because they do not have freedom of choice. That is why they stand where they were centuries ago.
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