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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 8 2013: Lewis:

    "...materialistic science has no access to the metaphysical"

    Exactly, I can't agree more. That's why metaphysical stuff isn't science.

    Do you really want to live in a world where "ghost science", "seance communication" and "philosophical quarreling" become part of engineering, mathematics, and physics? Didn't we emerge from that nonsense 150 years ago (finally)?

    I would also like to chime in that metaphysical stuff isn't science by default. It isn't science because over the last 150 years or so it has been disproven, time and time again. Every single time that there has been any attempt made to make it part of science through serious study, the studies have come back as either: (1) Completely disproven, (2) inconclusive, or (3) found to be a pack of lies (seriously!?).

    I still maintain my original statements: Show me how philosophy is going to make science less biased. Keep in mind, that the *entire* scientific process is a process designed (on purpose) to reduce bias in the first place.

    I also noticed that you're playing on dissimilar words, in a fashion that is not unlike when creationists confuse species with "kind" (and move the target around to suit their needs during discussions of the subject - usually related to macro evolution).

    Philosophy has not ever discovered a thing. Physics, math, etc, didn't bloom when some philosopher named a course of logic after himself. They were already in place. Occums razor was in place for thousands of years before it was named (basic inference, anyone?) AND used by everyone!!! And yes, so was Newton's "gravity".... HOWEVER: Newton's gravitational constant and formulas were invented by Newton, not by philosphy, or the naming of the phrase "Newton's laws". You're confusing science with philosophy on the grounds of who named what and when - and getting it wrong in the process.

    You're making the mistake of putting eggs with flowers, and calling them both food.
    • Apr 13 2013: "You're making the mistake of putting eggs with flowers, and calling them both food."

      Flowers are food. The flavors are subtle, sometimes bitter, but in a good way.


      "Blue Flower Chive Omelet Recipe

      Chive blossoms give a delicate onion flavor to a simple omelet. It is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a light dinner.
      Prep Time: 5 minutes
      Cook Time: 15 minutes
      Total Time: 20 minutes

      4 eggs
      4 Tablespoons milk
      Salt and pepper to taste
      2 Tablespoons minced chives
      3 Tablespoons butter
      About a dozen or so chive blossoms, gently washed and dried

      Melt the butter in a frying pan. Combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and chives in a blender and pour into the hot, buttered pan. As the edges of the omelet begin to set, reduce the heat somewhat and with a spatula turn the uncooked eggs to the bottom of the skillet until they are all cooked.

      Sprinkle the washed chive blossoms across the top of the eggs and then fold the omelet over and let cook another few minutes. Serve.

      Yield: 2 servings "

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