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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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  • Apr 4 2013: To James Clary:

    "Are you asserting the idea that anyone who proposes the idea that intelligent design is responsible for the creation of the universe is promoting "drivel"?"

    Yes, I am. There is exactly zero ("0") scientific evidence for any of the mythological beliefs you hold. To put your statements in further context, I could just as easily make up stories about our entire existence being a computer simulation, a dream, or perhaps we are captives of an alien race right now. I could then expand on this by calling 9-11 an instance of alien intervention, all of science a conspiracy, and our current government a puppet entity to alien influence.

    Using the same criteria as you have mentioned, all of these (and many, many more) scenarios are all equally true.

    Lack of evidence is not evidence. Pointing to science from more than 200 years ago, i.e. pre-darwinian science, and then calling religious dogma of that time which suppressed scientific understanding isn't science either.

    Your entire perspective is based on one fallacy after another, and it is deeply troubling that you don't seem to understand, or know, basic scientific methodology. The scientific method is a reduction of bias. It boils down to this one thing, nothing more or less. How can you, in the same breath as when you're trying to shove your religious dogma into this discussion, make the assertion that philosophy will reduce bias? You're clearly giving philosophy too much credit.

    The burden is on your shoulders to show how philosophy would go about this. Namely, the steps involved would be:
    (1) Show a philosophy that is not based on bias
    (2) Show how that philosophy can reduce bias in other biased systems
    (3) Show how the scientific method is biased
    (4) Prove that application of (2) onto (3) will reduce bias in (3)

    Until then, the entire concept of adding philosophical discussion into the scientific method is facetious.

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