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Science philosopher Imre Lakatos (1922-1974) on how science fails

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Quantum Reality

Science writer Jim Baggott, author of the forthcoming Quantum Reality, offers a look at Imre Lakatos’s thoughts on when a science paradigm is degenerating:

At a stroke, Lakatos merged the distinction between science and non-science, and between good and bad science. If a programme predicts nothing new or its predictions can’t be tested, then it is bad science, and might be degenerating to the point of pseudoscience. Empirical tests serve to refine the auxiliary hypotheses and a programme continues to be progressive for as long as new facts are predicted and new tests are possible. A scientific revolution occurs when a dominant programme has completely degenerated and is unable to respond to accumulating anomalies – creating precisely the crisis of confidence that Kuhn anticipated – until it can be replaced by an alternative, progressive programme. But, according to Lakatos, when the time comes, a revolution is driven by logic and method, not irrational mob psychology: ‘the Kuhnian “Gestalt-switch” can be performed without removing one’s Popperian spectacles’.

But, make no mistake, there are problems here, too. Lakatos bid philosophers and historians to look for examples of his methodology at work in the history of science. The results were mixed. Lakatos’s methodology allows the possibility that a research programme might exhibit changing fortunes over time, maybe starting off as progressive but then degenerating. This was very much his perspective on the Marxist theory that had captured the imagination of his younger self. However, by the same token, there’s nothing to rule out the possibility that a degenerating programme could somehow stage a spectacular recovery, no matter how unlikely this might seem.

Jim Baggott, “How science fails ” at Aeon

In other words, on this view, string theory and Darwinism could be said to be waiting for that giant breakthrough that overwhelms all the preceding nonsense. In that case, it all comes down to who they can get to wait with them. Are they important people or not? And can they successfully suppress alternatives?

6 Replies to “Science philosopher Imre Lakatos (1922-1974) on how science fails

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    ,,, according to Lakatos, when the time comes, a revolution is driven by logic and method, not irrational mob psychology: ‘the Kuhnian “Gestalt-switch” can be performed without removing one’s Popperian spectacles’.

    Thus, the author seems to favor Lakatos and Popper (and perhaps even Kuhn), as among the, if not THE, most prominent modern philosophers of science.

    This is interesting since both Popper and Lakatos are on record as to having very serious reservations as to whether Darwinian Evolution even qualified as a science in the first place.

    Early in his career, Popper noted that Darwinian evolution itself is set up in a way that makes it impervious to empirical falsification. Specifically, Popper said evolution was “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.”

    “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research programme.”
    Karl Popper, Unended Quest (Glasgow: Fontana, Collins. 1976), p.151.

    (Predictably) Popper was attacked by the Darwinian Gestapo for these criticisms. So Popper, in approx 1978 for the most part, took his criticisms of Darwinism back. But when John Horgan interviewed Popper in 1992, Horgan noted that Popper “blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.”

    Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution – John Horgan – July 6, 2010
    Excerpt: Early in his career, the philosopher Karl Popper ,, called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.” Attacked for these criticisms, Popper took them back (in approx 1978). But when I interviewed him in 1992, he blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.
    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....evolution/

    Likewise, Tom Bethell also interviewed Karl Popper after the Darwinian backlash and Popper once again reiterated his claim that Darwinism was not a testable scientific theory.

    Tom Bethell on Karl Popper’s rejection of Darwinian Evolution as a testable scientific theory – 5:54 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/MLdZzf8HoUU?t=352

    Popper’s Shifting Appraisal of Evolutionary Theory – Mehmet Elgin and Elliott Sober – Feb 2017
    Excerpt: Karl Popper argued in 1974 that evolutionary theory contains no testable laws and is therefore a metaphysical research program. Four years later, he said that he had changed his mind. Here we seek to understand Popper’s initial position and his subsequent retraction. We argue, contrary to Popper’s own assessment, that he (Popper) did not change his mind at all about the substance of his original claim. We also explore how Popper’s views have ramifications for contemporary discussion of the nature of laws and the structure of evolutionary theory.
    http://www.journals.uchicago.e.....086/691119

    And Popper had every right to bang his kitchen table. When it comes to Popper’s criteria of falsification, Darwinists simply refuse to adhere to the criteria of empirical falsification (as other theories of science, such as Quantum Mechanics, General Relativity, and even Intelligent Design, all adhere to the criteria of empirical falsification.)

    As Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich noted, “Our theory of evolution has become, as Popper described, one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus “outside empirical science”

    “Our theory of evolution has become, as Popper described, one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus “outside empirical science” but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas, either without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems have attained currency far beyond their validity. They have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training. The cure seems to us not to be a discarding of the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory, but more skepticism about many of its tenets.”
    – Ehrlich, Paul and L.C. Birch (1967), “Evolutionary History and Population Biology,” Nature, 214:349-352, April 22, p. 352
    https://afdave.wordpress.com/more-useful-quotes-for-creationists/

    And here are a few empirical falsifications of core presuppositions of Darwinian evolution that Darwinists simply refuse to ever accept as falsifications of their theory:

    Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. The vast majority of mutations to the genome are not random but are now found to be ‘directed’.

    Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Yet, biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other material particulars in biology one may wish to invoke.

    Darwin’s theory holds there to be an extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever.

    Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Yet, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is consistently characterized by the sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within the group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. Moreover, Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late).

    Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species.

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    etc.. etc.. etc..
    https://uncommondescent.com/education/wealthy-scandinavian-benefactor-gives-us1-6-million-eqv-to-promote-id/#comment-687780

    Likewise, in 1973 Imre Lakatos noted that, “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific,”

    “Let us call the first school militant positivism; you will understand why later on. The problem of this school was to find certain demarcation criteria similar to those I have outlined, but these also had to satisfy certain boundary conditions, as a mathematician would say. I am referring to a definite set of people to which most scientists as well as Popper and Carnap would belong. These people think that there are goodies and baddies among scientific theories, and once you have defined a demarcation criterion. you should divide all your theories between the two groups. You would end up. for example, with a goodies list including Copernicus’s (Theory1), Galileo’s (T2), Kepler’s (T3), Newton’s (T4) … and Einstein’s (T5), along with (but this is just my supposition) Darwin’s (T6). Let me just anticipate that nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific, but this is exactly what we are looking for.”
    – Imre Lakatos – For and Against Method: Including Lakatos’s Lectures on Scientific Method …
    By Imre Lakatos, Paul Feyerabend
    https://books.google.com/books?id=ezD3uucZIMcC&pg=PA24#v=onepage&q&f=false

    And as Wikipedia itself, (certainly no friend of Intelligent Design), noted, “20 years after Lakatos’s 1973 challenge to the scientificity of Darwin,,, Helena Cronin, attempted to establish that Darwinian theory was empirically scientific… She wrote that “our usual idea of corroboration as requiring the successful prediction of novel facts…Darwinian theory was not strong on temporally novel predictions.” …

    In his 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture 1[12] he (Lakatos) also claimed that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific”.
    Almost 20 years after Lakatos’s 1973 challenge to the scientificity of Darwin, in her 1991 The Ant and the Peacock, LSE lecturer and ex-colleague of Lakatos, Helena Cronin, attempted to establish that Darwinian theory was empirically scientific in respect of at least being supported by evidence of likeness in the diversity of life forms in the world, explained by descent with modification. She wrote that
    “our usual idea of corroboration as requiring the successful prediction of novel facts…Darwinian theory was not strong on temporally novel predictions.” …
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....27s_theory

    I could give other examples of failed ‘novel predictions’, but suffice it for now to say that, Darwinism also fails Lakatos’s ‘novel predictions’ criteria as to whether or not the theory is scientific.

    Likewise Darwinism also fails Thomas Kuhn’s criteria as to whether a theory is scientific or not.

    Thomas Kuhn stated, “when faced with an anomaly, a theory’s defenders “will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”

    Inquiry-Based Science Education — on Everything but Evolution – Sarah Chaffee – January 22, 2016
    Excerpt: As Thomas Kuhn wrote in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, when faced with an anomaly, a theory’s defenders “will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02534.html

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Darwinists simply are the reigning kings of devising “numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”

    As Dr. Cornelius Hunter noted: “With each new absurdity another new complicated just-so story is woven into evolutionary theory.”

    Here’s That Algae Study That Decouples Phylogeny and Competition – June 17, 2014
    Excerpt: “With each new absurdity another new complicated just-so story is woven into evolutionary theory. As Lakatos explained, some theories simply are not falsifiable. But as a result they sacrifice realism and parsimony.”
    – Cornelius Hunter
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....uples.html

    No matter how countervailing the evidence is to the theory, Darwinists will always appeal to ad-hoc theories in order to try to avoid any apparent conflict with their theory. Shoot, instead of being merely ‘minor adjustments’ to Darwinian theory (or experimental anomalies that only arise at the ‘edges’ of the theory), many times the ad-hoc theories themselves directly conflict with core foundational presuppositions of Darwinian theory itself.

    As Cornelius Hunter further noted,

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter – Arsenic-Based Biochemistry: Turning Poison Into Wine – December 2, 2010
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....rning.html

    Thus according to the various criteria laid out by Popper, Lakatos, and Kuhn, for judging whether a theory should be considered scientific in the first place, (falsification, novel predictions, and being weighted down with numerous ad-hoc modifications, respectfully), we find that Darwinian evolution fails all three of those criteria that were laid out by Popper, Lakatos, and Kuhn.

    I would like to also point out, (on top of failing to meet Popper, Lakatos, and Kuhn’s various criteria for science), that Darwinian evolution also fails to meet Francis Bocon’s criteria for being a science.

    Francis Bacon, (who was a devout Christian and who is considered, by many, to be the father of the scientific method itself), held that the ‘fruits produced’ is the most certain criteria that we can use to judge whether a theory is truly scientific or not.

    “Of all signs there is none more certain or worthy than that of the fruits produced: for the fruits and effects are the sureties and vouchers, as it were, for the truth of philosophy”
    Francis Bacon – widely regarded as the founder of the scientific method,, a devout Anglican Christian
    https://books.google.com/books?id=xlPFDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17#v=onepage&q&f=false

    This is a particularly interesting failure of Darwinian evolution to think about. Scientific theories have a history of deepening man’s understanding of Nature, and thus providing man with beneficial technological breakthroughs because of that deepened understanding of nature (For instance, Newton’s theory of Gravity was ‘good enough’ to land men on the moon). Evolution, unlike those other scientific theories, has completely failed on this account to foster research and deliver technological breakthroughs:

    As arch-Darwinist Jerry Coyne himself admitted, “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits.”

    “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006).

    Darwinian evolution is simply useless as guiding heuristic in science. As Philip S. Skell noted, “Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.”

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.
    I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. – Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – 2005
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2816

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    Marc Kirschner, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”
    A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000).

    In fact, instead of fostering discovery, it can be forcefully argued that Darwinian evolution has hindered scientific discovery, and has also led to much medical malpractice, by falsely predicting both junk DNA and vestigial organs.

    To this day, despite a mountain of empirical evidence to the contrary, Darwinists still insist most of the information in DNA must be junk (of note, Darwinists insist that most DNA must be junk because of mathematical models of population genetics that predict, if Darwinian evolution were actually true, then most DNA must be junk, i.e. they use circular reasoning to ‘predict’ mostly junk DNA),:

    Revisiting the genetic load argument with Dan Graur – Larry Moran – July 14, 2017
    Excerpt: I’ve discussed genetic load several times on this blog (e.g. Genetic Load, Neutral Theory, and Junk DNA) but a recent paper by Dan Graur provides a good opportunity to explain it once more. The basic idea of Genetic Load is that a population can only tolerate a finite number of deleterious mutations before going extinct. The theory is sound but many of the variables are not known with precision.,,,
    The deleterious mutation rate is calculated using the lowest possible mutation rate and the smallest percentage of deleterious mutations (4%). Under these conditions, the human population could survive with a fertility value of 1.8 as long as less than 25% of the genome is functional (i.e. 75% junk) (red circle). That’s the UPPER LIMIT on the functional fraction of the human genome.
    But that limit is quite unreasonable. It’s more reasonable to assume about 100 new mutations per generation with about 10% deleterious. Using these assumptions, only 10% of the genome could be functional with a fertility value of 1.8 (green circle).
    Whatever the exact percentage of junk DNA it’s clear that the available data and population genetics point to a genome that’s mostly junk DNA. If you want to argue for more functionality then you have to refute this data.
    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2.....-with.html

    Likewise, the ‘vestigial organ’ argument of Darwinists, instead of ‘bearing fruit’ for humanity, has led to much medical malpractice

    Evolution’s “vestigial organ” argument debunked
    Excerpt: “The appendix, like the once ‘vestigial’ tonsils and adenoids, is a lymphoid organ (part of the body’s immune system) which makes antibodies against infections in the digestive system. Believing it to be a useless evolutionary ‘left over,’ many surgeons once removed even the healthy appendix whenever they were in the abdominal cavity. Today, removal of a healthy appendix under most circumstances would be considered medical malpractice” (David Menton, Ph.D., “The Human Tail, and Other Tales of Evolution,” St. Louis MetroVoice , January 1994, Vol. 4, No. 1).
    “Doctors once thought tonsils were simply useless evolutionary leftovers and took them out thinking that it could do no harm. Today there is considerable evidence that there are more troubles in the upper respiratory tract after tonsil removal than before, and doctors generally agree that simple enlargement of tonsils is hardly an indication for surgery” (J.D. Ratcliff, Your Body and How it Works, 1975, p. 137).
    The tailbone, properly known as the coccyx, is another supposed example of a vestigial structure that has been found to have a valuable function—especially regarding the ability to sit comfortably. Many people who have had this bone removed have great difficulty sitting.
    http://www.ucg.org/science/god.....-debunked/

    Moreover, besides failing to deliver on technological or medical breakthroughs, i.e. bearing fruit for mankind. it can also be forcefully argued that Darwinian evolution has had a tremendous negative impact on society in so far as it has influenced society at large:

    How Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Marx, and Lenin were all directly influenced by Darwinian ideology
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/historian-human-evolution-theorists-were-attempting-to-be-moral-teachers/#comment-668170

    The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by these tyrants who were directly influenced by Darwinian ideology, would be hard to exaggerate,,, Here’s what happens when Atheists/evolutionists/non-Christians take control of Government:

    “169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions [20th Century Democide]
    I BACKGROUND
    2. The New Concept of Democide [Definition of Democide]
    3. Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
    II 128,168,000 VICTIMS: THE DEKA-MEGAMURDERERS
    4. 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
    5. 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
    6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
    7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
    III 19,178,000 VICTIMS: THE LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS
    8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
    9. 2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
    10. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges
    11. 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
    12. 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
    13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
    14. 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse
    IV 4,145,000 VICTIMS: SUSPECTED MEGAMURDERERS
    15. 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
    16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
    17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia”

    This is, in reality, probably just a drop in the bucket. Who knows how many undocumented murders there were. It also doesn’t count all the millions of abortions from around the world.
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

    Thus in conclusion, although Darwin’s theory failed to meet Popper, Lakatos, and Kuhn’s criteria for being a science, when Darwin’s theory is judged by Francis Bacon’s criteria of ‘fruits produced’, then the failure of Darwin’s theory as a true scientific theory is brought into stark relief.

    Not only has Darwin’s theory not produced any fruit that has been beneficial to mankind, in so far as Darwin’s theory has influenced society at large, Darwin’s theory has had catastrophically bad consequences for mankind.

    In other words, Darwin’s theory has failed Bacon’s ‘fruits produced’ criteria for science by largest extent imaginable, in that hundreds of millions of people have died and/or have also suffered miserably, under atheistic regimes which were directly influenced by Darwinian ideology.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview that is more detrimental for man than Darwinian evolution has been for mankind!

    Verse:

    Matthew 7:18-20
    A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 @ 1

    Thomas Kuhn stated, “when faced with an anomaly, a theory’s defenders “will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”

    So was Kuhn right or wrong?

    Do you agree with Kuhn or not?

    Should a theory be adjusted to accommodate new data or should the theory be preserved at all costs, even if it means rejecting conflicting data?

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    Seversky,
    I answered your question in the thread of my “Orthomyxo Types on Keyboard” post. I asked you a question in turn. Are you going to answer?

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky. if you would have continued reading past post 1 through post 2, (including reading Francis Bacon’s criteria), you would have found the answers to your questions.

  6. 6
    jstanley01 says:

    W.C. Fields is credited with saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. Then quit. No sense being a damn fool about it.” But that seemingly-sound tidbit of self-improvement advice may need revision when one’s livelihood and mental equilibrium ride on a particular success. In that case, one may need to deploy, “Fake it ’til you make it, or for as long as they will pay for it.” And prestidigitation may prove helpful toward that end.

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