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phoenix goodman

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Does the scientific establishment unwittingly suffer from paradigm bias? Does it assume incorrect axioms of existence?

In the light of Thomas Kuhn's "Paradigm Shift" theory, and inspired by the TED controversy of removing Rupert Sheldrake's talk, let us examine the current scientific establishment.

The scientific process is capable of historical meta-analysis to make sense of its own patterns and processes. As Kuhn points out, every generation of scientists tend to assume premises that are fundamentally false but define the paradigm in which they work, and all assumptions flow from those premises.

Two major examples to illustrate are the geocentric/religious paradigm overthrown by Copernicus, and the Newtonian absolute space-time paradigm overthrown by Einstein. Of course, we must look to the actual psyche's of the establishment itself in those contexts. Was Copernicus not considered a heretic? Did not pre-Einsteinian physicists literally just ASSUME absolute spacetime as an axiom when contemplating physics? They are only easily shown to be incorrect in 20/20 hindsight, although up to that point, all the textbooks of school and general consensus among very smart 'experts' propagated those fallacious foundations.

Scientists that are overly specialized, careerist, non-philosophical, and lacking in paradigm shattering intuition/creativity might be the 'gatekeepers' of today, propagating fallacious assumptions themselves, and dismissing all non-establishment positions as heretical.

Has science itself transcended all biases? Has it overcome all incorrect assumptions? Was Newtonian absolute spacetime the final barrier? If not, then we MUST give 'heretics' a shot, should we not? What if they are a paradigm shifter?

As a thought experiment- if we are to contemplate the hypothetical that there are indeed wrong assumptions, what might they be?

Could it be that matter emerges from mind, and not the other way around?
Can Cartesian dualism be solved?
Could it be that the paradigm of Empiricism is merely a subset of the superior Rationalism?

Was Leibniz right?

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    • Mar 22 2013: In what way is it 'indeed the case'?

      I'm not suggesting that you're "wrong", but I think it's absurd for you to suggest that you're "right". Such a binary approach will distort understanding.

      I see no way to know either way, and I'm happy to own that. Agnosticism in this case provides the most dynamic foundation for seeking understanding, whether the path taken is one of science or one of agnostic mysticism. I urge to you that mystics should treat mysteries as provisional in the same way that scientists treat facts as provisional. Two sides of the same coin.
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        • Mar 24 2013: I'm glad for you if you've found some source of strength or comfort in the knowledge you hold. However, I warn you that you're in over your head if you presume to believe that this gives you some edge over others, or if there's something inherently desirable in your angle. How would a gnostic know what it feels like to be agnostic?
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        • Mar 24 2013: " Do you not source strength or comfort from the "knowledge you hold", Lewis? "

          Of course, that was my point, and my gladness was genuine.

          I'm not interested in chasing your dodges. If I'm projecting on you, it's only as much as you are on me. None of your responses correlate to my actual position.

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