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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 23 2013: Science is not "fixed". There may be scientists with closed minds, but science itself is a collection of working hypotheses that appear to best fit our knowledge and experience base at any given moment. There is a natural, and arguably desirable, resistance to altering those hypotheses in major ways because the current paradigms are generally supported by a large body of evidence and those same hypotheses seem to have worked well in predicting or utilizing novel discoveries or applications arising from the use of those paradigms. It is incumbent on those interested in modifying current operational theories and assumptions to provide convincing evidence that their altered views can be repeatedly verified by the community at large, and that the newly discovered observations cannot be explained in the context of current accepted interpretations.

    For example, John Bedini claimed to have "over unity" power devices that drew excess energy from "zero point energy" that exists in massive amounts all around us. He refers to tests from a well known testing laboratory that demonstrated a single battery able to charge and discharge a comparable battery four times using his device.

    He has made money selling books and kits based on his claims. If he wishes to be accepted by the scientific community at large he needs to replicate that exact machine, put it in the hands of scientists for examination and testing, and let them release their results. He also claimed that the "radiant energy" coming out from his device would charge unlimited batteries at the same time because radiant energy draws itself from the vacuum existing between the atoms of which matter is composed. He needs to give the scientific community exact plans and operating procedures to replicate these claims.

    Many have bought his plans and kits, but there are none to date that show significant and replicable excess levels of power. Should that happen then there would be a significant change in beliefs.
    • Mar 23 2013: Science or rather those that control, do so for their own sakes in soo much. We almost never see anyone outside their circle get credit for anything, just as none outside lawyers have a say about justice. The media has controlled what's said or up to about 2010. Even so, those that control do so out of greed, not the greater good, from all I see.
      • Mar 23 2013: Jim,
        What are you trying to say? Most discoveries are made by professional scientists because they are trained in their specific disciplines and they devote long work days pursuing advances in their chosen fields. This does not prevent the uninitiated from making discoveries that become accepted science, it just makes it less likely.

        For example, I directed an elementary school child through the process of creating aerogels at home without an autoclave or other expensive equipment. It was the first time that was done by anyone. His work is all over the internet, though many believe he could not have done the work himself.

        If you follow the results of science fair winners you will find many new and profitable discoveries that are attributed to these amateurs. The media regularly cover these advancements. From time to time amateurs stumble on new results that challenge accepted thought, but for the reasons stated above the likelihood is relatively low. This does not imply a conspiracy to keep new discoveries from the public.

        One problem that frequently arises is that the amateur does not know how to correctly describe his work or put in a context that will be understood by scientists skilled in the applicable disciplines. This is the fault of the naive amateur and not the scientific community.

        All that said, there may be financial interests who feel threatened by certain discoveries and who therefore seek to suppress them for economic or status reasons.
        • Mar 24 2013: The following has been hanging in front of all scientists for decades. Why did not one scientist realize such and if wrong, then simply refute what I claim.

          Look to the space junk that NASA wants to possibly incinerate in space. It must be tin a high orbit not to fall back to earth. That suggests that gravity is keeping it there, unlike space junk that is in lower orbits, where one object can hit another object and knock it out of orbit. However, everything in lower orbit will eventually fall back to earth., according to science. There are two forces in gravity, one is attraction and one is repulsion. I will explain. The planets must sit in the suns high orbits, considering their mass, keeping them from falling into the sun, just as the space junk does not fall back to earth from its high orbit around the earth.
      • Mar 25 2013: How much do you know about space and interplanetary physics. The reason low orbit material eventually falls to earth is that the extremely thin atmosphere and magneto-electric fields present in low orbit create enough physical and electronic drag to eventually overcome the balance between centrifugal force and gravity.

        launching a rocket into orbit requires precision calculations to exactly match those forces. That is why the further out a planet is in orbit the fewer trips around the sun it makes in a given time period. If something decelerates a space object its orbit will change and become either more elliptical or on a crash course. If an incident gives a boost in speed it will either cause an elliptical orbit or an escape velocity incident which will cause the object to leave its former captive object forever. Study the subject before you pontificate on the body of science.
        • Mar 25 2013: When you can refute the obvious, instead of blowing smoke, I'm here.
      • Mar 26 2013: Do you acknowledge that to remain in orbit around a gravitational object there has to be a balance between the centrifugal force of any object traveling in a circular path and the pull of gravitation? Are you suggesting that in low orbit paths there is not enough impedance to continually slow any orbiting object to the point that it eventually does not have enough centrifugal force to maintain its orbit?

        Do you have any statistical evidence about the speeds of low orbit objects to suggest that they have not slowed at all before plunging to earth? If so, I would be glad to see it. All data I have observed show a miniscule slowing of low orbit speeds until they finally change direction toward the earth and burn or crash and burn.

        How is this blowing smoke?
        • Mar 26 2013: All the objects in high orbit stay there, they never come down, unless forced down or out. I don't care about low orbit. That just happened to be there as a response to another poster.

          Nothing falls back to earth while in earths high orbit and earth does not fall into the sun, because the earth sits high in its own orbit.

          The reason for such is that gravity is a push, pull, balance.
      • Mar 26 2013: Why are you questioning the position of science. You seem to be in agreement. Science says the pull away is from centrifugal force which can be shown on multiple instances on any scale where we have control. Science further says that a pull inward is due to gravity which can be shown by an apple dropping on ones head.

        We can further show that the pull of gravity even in very near proximity can be overcome for a short period of time by providing sufficient velocity to an object moving parallel to the earth's circumference. We can further show that this parallel movement will be maintained so long as we input enough force in the direction of motion to overcome resistances such as atmospheric drag.

        If the force is greater than the drag the orbit will depart from parallel in a direction of a larger radius. If it is less than the drag the orbital radius will decrease. Calculations can be made for any altitude above the surface of the earth to determine the speed necessary to exactly maintain an orbit. This is routinely done for man made satellites.

        There is a special case that we find desirable for a variety of reasons where we wish a satellite to maintain a position exactly over a point on a straight line from the center of the earth, through a point on the surface and to the satellite. The exact altitude and speed to maintain a satellite in this position which balances the pull of gravity and the opposite pull of centrifugal force is readily calculated. For the formula and typical answers see http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090928065616AATBurU .

        This is common knowledge and readily available. Everyone knows that the altitude must be exact, the rotation must be in the direction of the earth's rotation, and the speed must also be correct. If geocentricity is not required then the only calculations necessary are for the correct altitude and speed. If you slow down an object rotating around the earth, regardless of its altitude it will crash.
        • Mar 26 2013: Thanks, I see where I'm not being explicit enough. I see gravity as a push, pull, while science sees it as a pull, pull. From my perspective, earth sits high in its own gravity well, just as most planets, so that earth in its gravity well pulls from the sun, like a balloon partially filled with water and partially filled with air, as it also pushes down from its weight, riding high enough in its gravity well or circulating water column, while the sun pulls and yet pushes the earth, as if the sun were the water column. The circulating water column pushes the balloon away, even while the circulating water column pulls at the balloon.

          That's why a meteor coming in at a flatter angle will skip off the water column or atmosphere, as the rock pushes at a downward angle, but across the water column as well. Both the rock and the atmosphere are pulling away, while at the same time, pushing down.

          If the balloon were all water, the push or weight of the balloon would sink into the water column, just as if the earth were a lot heavier, it would sink low in its gravity well, pushing through it into the sun.

          The difference between how science and I view this, is that science sees it as a pull, pull and I see it as a push pull, push pull, by both bodies.

          The space junk in earths high orbit is acting like a planet sitting high in its own gravity well, pushing down and pulling out at the same time. stacked in earths high orbit, just as we sit high in the suns high orbit, for our weight and size. The sun is pulling the earth down as it pushes us away.

          Galaxies should act in the same manner towards each other, with the dominate sized galaxy acting as the sun and the smaller, the earth.

          Any planet that sits lower in its gravity well, because of its weight and the distribution of that weight is more evenly spread out, should ride over on its side, or if the weight is focused more towards one pole. If a planet is heavier at its equator and sits deep in its gravity well, it ca
      • Mar 26 2013: There are three known facts of physics that appear to fully explain the orbits of captive bodies: the laws of inertia, and the force of gravity. Science uses these, and only these, to explain orbiting bodies. Arguing from inertia and gravity we are able to place bodies in permanent orbits. Either these calculations work by a serendipitous accident or they are a valid explanation of orbiting bodies. We can orbit an object at any height above forces that retard the motion of an object by simple formulas based on these laws and gravity.

        A glancing passage of an object approaching a space body is easily explained by the same calculations. As that object nears a space body in a path that will not directly lead to impact, if its velocity equals or exceeds the escape velocity for that body it will continue on a course that was briefly altered by the space body.

        Where is any conflicting evidence that forces us to regard this as an incomplete or incorrect explanation. It is incumbent on you to provide evidence that the currently accepted explanation is inadequate. Present that evidence.
        • Mar 26 2013: No, they are theories.

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