This short essay was inspired by Denyse here. She appears to have an inspirational effect on me.
Older scientists are still stuck in the past. Richard Dawkins is a prime example, although I don’t consider him to be a “scientist” who has demonstrated any devotion to legitimate scientific rigor throughout his career. He is essentially nothing more than a relatively eloquent storyteller with a very creative imagination, who has no experience in the real world with designing or engineering anything that can be demonstrated to actually work.
With the discovery of the fine-tuning of the laws of physics for life, and the discovery that living systems are fundamentally based on the most sophisticated nano-technological, information-processing system ever devised, the Darwinian mechanism has been eviscerated on many levels concerning its creative potential. It is hopelessly illogical, mathematically absurd, and empirically refuted, as Michael Behe has demonstrated.
Materialists will try to hang on to their obviously discredited speculations (and use everything in their power to destroy their adversaries, even by the most unethical means), but I predict that their attempts will fail with younger, legitimate scientists — those devoted to the search for real truth about the way things really are — who are willing to follow the evidence where it leads.
Bluster, denunciation, threats, appeals to authority, character assassination, and outright persecution might work in the short term, but the truth will always win out in the end.
7 Replies to “A (Perhaps) Scientific Revolution, Brewing Among Young Scientists”
This reminds me of a favorite Max Planck quote of mine: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it”
And Dawkins can hardly be considered a scientist. At best he’s a popular author who wrote about science – kind of a John Horgan with a more sarcastic, British spin.
I remember reading the theory that for physicists of the first rank, the window of life embraced by years of age 24 – 27 or so, especially 26, has historically been a pivotal point.
It seems that the great majority of utterly revolutionary and fundamental breakthroughs have come from young physicists in that window, with Newton, Maxwell and Einstein in the forefront.
The most plausible explanation [I especially liked Schumpeter’s version], is that at that stage they have completed enough training to understand, and to be able to handle the empirical and analytical issues; but are not yet locked into the old order.
On the other side of the coin, I think Planck was about 40 – 50 when he did his breakthrough analysis of cavity radiation.
So, ideally, we have to balance the two.
But that requires that unfortunately rarest of human qualities, a mind that is at once imaginative, analytical, critically aware [a much better term than “skeptical”] and open to fresh views and alternative perspectives.
Those who do that at the first rank, in the end are the ones who are the geniuses who open up new vistas for science.
GEM of TKI
PS: I am beginning to think that one of the things we need to do with the emerging design revolution, is to consolidate, integrate and present step by step the key issues and the rational-empirical basis for out view so that a critical mass of people — not just scientists [in the end, grants and tenured positions in large part come from the taxpaying public . . . ] — can see for themselves that the new vista being opened up is not a mirage. That is part of why — and, pardon the self-referential remarks — I have begun a series on ID foundations, here and here so far. DV, next I think I want to look at Darwin’s challenge and Behe’s response.
But, but we have PZ Myers telling us the principle of mediocrity is fundamental to science and Mikey Shermer telling us that naturalism (that’s right the failed philosophy) is fundamental to science.
?I remember reading the theory that for physicists of the first rank, the window of life embraced by years of age 24 – 27 or so, especially 26, has historically been a pivotal point.”
This is true a many fields, music is another example. Considering the mating benefits that come with being a rock star, I think the natural reproductive cycle is probably the cause. Do scientists have groupies?
Oops- Shermer sed that science is grounded in naturalism (article in Feb 2011 SciAm)
I see it exactly the same way.
Whenever I present my “out of the box” views to a very respected physicist, he always looks at it “inside the box”. That “box” results in a very narrow vision: it’s called “consensus” science.
I think Schumpeter was onto something.
My dad’s copy of his [incomplete, he died while writing, and others filled in and saw it into print] History of Economic Analysis was an important formative bit of reading for me. I see my dad is back at reading and reflecting on it in retirement.
I hope I can prompt him to write his reflections . . .
I like to think that as the momentum builds there will be a breakout and we will see an opening of minds.
Part of why I am pegging away on foundations, now at no 3 on IC.