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Dominant paradigms in science and their attendant anomalies

Most of the time, scientific research seeks to build on theoretical foundations that have been carefully constructed by the wider research community, often over many years. If a theoretical framework is found to be robust, it gains widespread assent, with few interested in challenging it. Those who are attracted to the idea that science develops progressively are the least likely to talk about challenges. For them, any change is a minor modification of the theoretical edifice. Thomas Kuhn referred to these theoretical frameworks as ‘paradigms’, and the progressive refinement of that framework as ‘normal science’. Kuhn pointed out that anomalies do not trigger the practitioners of ‘normal science’ to question the paradigm, but they either treat them as problems waiting to be resolved, or they ignore them altogether. In recent months, I’ve become aware that this phraseology and understanding of scientific activity is intensely irritating to some scientists. They appear to regard such talk as an invention of outsiders with a subversive agenda. A desire to comment on these issues has stimulated this blog, which is based on a paper authored by Walter Alvarez, an experienced and respected scientist working in the field of geology. He introduces his paper thus:

“Lightman and Gingerich (1992) argued that when a ruling theory is successful in accounting for a wide range of observations, scientists ignore observations that are not explained by the theory. They argued that such “anomalies” are only “retro-recognized” when a modification or replacement of the original theory calls attention to and explains the conflicting observations.”

For more, go here.

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2 Responses to Dominant paradigms in science and their attendant anomalies

  1. Interesting article David Tyler as I had thought this issue was settled:

    Here is a review of a peer-reviewed ID article, by Casey Luskin, you may find very interesting:

    Peer-Reviewed Paper Investigating Origin of Information Endorses Irreducible Complexity and Intelligent Design
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

  2. 2

    AMEN.
    I read this guys book and it was informative on in geology correction is needed and always a astonishment or revolution.
    I find from the evolution thumpers and company they try to say science can’t be wrong but only keeps adding information to change results.
    They don’t like to accept that science can be wrong. its very prestige is that its a higher form of conclusion drawing.
    AMEN.
    Origin issues are not science. They are not testable in their claims of processes or results. not proved like actual science stuff.
    So after time has passed with much “error” apparent in many subjects they must account for this. The new idea is that a paradigm is dominating thinkers in science and this controls imagination or free thinking and so error in subjects is replicating.
    it all comes down to the credibility to attack conclusions in subjects claimed to be science. The bad guys have been saying one can’t do this but is rather questioning science itself.
    A last gasp?

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