Friday, February 19, 2010

Tyranny Of Dogma In Science

The common public relations front which scientists naturally like to put out there for all to see is that they are not like the political world, the religious world, or any other world that uses dogma in place of method.

There are those who set forth a lot of documentation to counter that notion, and to point out that it is a myth:

"Textbooks present science as a noble search for truth, in which progress depends on questioning established ideas. But for many scientists, this is a cruel myth. They know from bitter experience that disagreeing with the dominant view is dangerous - especially when that view is backed by powerful interest groups. Call it suppression of intellectual dissent. The usual pattern is that someone does research or speaks out in a way that threatens a powerful interest group, typically a government, industry or professional body. As a result, representatives of that group attack the critic's ideas or the critic personally-by censoring writing, blocking publications, denying appointments or promotions, withdrawing research grants, taking legal actions, harassing, blacklisting, spreading rumors."

(The Suppression of Inconvenient Facts). It would be one thing if our science had a track record of always being correct, never having to change fundamental doctrines or theories, but that is far from the case.

The case is that fundamental scientific dogma changes, and it seems that yet another dogma has bitten the dust:

A temple complex in turkey that predates even the pyramids is rewriting the story of human evolution ...

The new discoveries are finally beginning to reshape the slow-moving consensus of archeology. Göbekli Tepe is "unbelievably big and amazing, at a ridiculously early date," according to Ian Hodder, director of Stanford's archeology program. Enthusing over the "huge great stones and fantastic, highly refined art" at Göbekli, Hodder—who has spent decades on rival Neolithic sites—says: "Many people think that it changes everything … It overturns the whole apple cart. All our theories were wrong."

(Newsweek, see video below). This is another one of those situations we are constantly pointing out.

We caution the scientific world that it has no business whatsoever denigrating people or ideas contrary to current dogma.

It is time for us to start recognizing how primitive our science is, instead of how enlightened it is, so that we can get where we must to avoid extinction.


Martin said...

how very true

Dredd said...

A long-time geneticist was slammed for a hypothesis that did not comply with "established current science" is another example (The Germ Theory of Government - 8).