From Claudia Grieb at Nautilus,
In the sciences, new ideas are often judged for how far they lie outside of the systems that scaffold our understanding of the world— systems that are not only scientific, but also social. But when it comes to solving our most persistent mysteries in physics, like the composition of dark matter—which has so far resisted all attempt at elucidation by traditional physics—claims from outside this paradigm may be vital.
“The way in which a community behaves is constructed over a long social progress, made by power structures, years of training, reward systems, rules of competition and collaboration between and within different groups,” says Roberto Lalli, research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. He says that history has shown that subcultures within physics—such as theoretical or particle physics—are relatively stable, and that it’s likely that places like CERN and ideas within the paradigm will continue to be considered the most plausible.
“This attitude is not only due to authority bias, but also has to do with first-hand knowledge of the internal reviewing systems within experimental groups,” Lalli said. “This creates a system of trust, which will not change in a sudden way.” Social pressures, like the continual fight for funding and university positions, also make communities more unwilling to accept those from outside the mainstream.
But a case still can, and should, be made for seeking new standards for the system… More.
At a certain point, in science and in many other disciplines, one needs to decide: Do we want to protect the culture or to alter it to make advances in knowledge?
A good time to ask is when there has been little serious progress for decades (consciousness) or when new ideas are increasingly counter-rational (cosmology).
See also: Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself
The multiverse is science’s assisted suicide
Question for multiverse theorists: To what can science appeal, if not evidence?