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Impact of science grant proposals: A very cloudy crystal ball?


At Science, Marc Kirschner notes

Scientists often face vexing professional decisions: whom to hire, what to fund, what to publish, and whom to promote. Because science is about the unknown and its greatest discoveries are often the least expected, scientists often have little to go by except intuition and experience. For this reason, a seductively simple template has recently been introduced: assessment based on “impact and significance.” Thus, the U.S. National Institutes of Health has elevated “significance” to an explicit criterion in funding decisions. It requires that grant reviewers write a paragraph on “impact,” which it defines as the likelihood that the proposed work will have a “sustained and powerful influence.”* Especially in fundamental research, which historically underlies the greatest innovation, the people doing the work often cannot themselves anticipate the ways in which it may bring human benefit. Thus, under the guise of an objective assessment of impact, such requirements invite exaggerated claims of the importance of the predictable outcomes-which are unlikely to be the most important ones. This is both misleading and dangerous.

Well if one were to step back and were to look at the past overall impact of "Darwinian Thinking" compared to "Design Thinking" on society at large, then one would clearly see that the overall way in which science is funded is grossly out of proportion to the way science ought to be funded in that "Design Thinking" has had, by far, the greatest overall positive impact on society than "Darwinian Thinking" has. Notes to that effect: First off, the very belief, a belief that modern science lays it foundation on, the belief that the universe is rational, approachable, and deeply intelligible to the human mind, is, of course, a Theistic presupposition.
The God Particle: Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show - Monday, Aug. 2012 Excerpt: C. S. Lewis put it this way: "Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver." http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-god-particle-not-the-god-of-the-gaps-but-the-whole-show-80307/
Thus, the founding of modern science owes its very existence to "Design Thinking".,, Of related note:
The History of Christian Education in America Excerpt: The first colleges in America were founded by Christians and approximately 106 out of the first 108 colleges were Christian colleges. In fact, Harvard University, which is considered today as one of the leading universities in America and the world was founded by Christians. One of the original precepts of the then Harvard College stated that students should be instructed in knowing God and that Christ is the only foundation of all "sound knowledge and learning." http://www.ehow.com/about_6544422_history-christian-education-america.html
Some people, especially atheists, may indignantly claim that modern scientists no longer uses superstitious 'Design Thinking' to construct and tests their various hypothesis, but they would be wrong in that belief.
Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? - October 17, 2012 Excerpt: "Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find." The article describes a test by Boston University's psychology department, in which researchers found that "despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose" ,,, Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/design_thinking065381.html
Moreover, seeing purpose in nature (and for our lives), i.e. "Design Thinking", is shown to still be a very fruitful belief for the progress of modern science.
Bruce Charlton's Miscellany - October 2011 Excerpt: I had discovered that over the same period of the twentieth century that the US had risen to scientific eminence it had undergone a significant Christian revival. ,,,The point I put to (Richard) Dawkins was that the USA was simultaneously by-far the most dominant scientific nation in the world (I knew this from various scientometic studies I was doing at the time) and by-far the most religious (Christian) nation in the world. How, I asked, could this be - if Christianity was culturally inimical to science? http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2011/10/meeting-richard-dawkins-and-his-wife.html
In fact far from impeding modern science, the 'design thinking' inherent in Biomimicry has had, and promises to continue to have, a tremendous 'impact' on human society. Whereas, on the other hand, in 'Darwinian Thinking' there are no major discoveries that can be pointed to that can be said to have flowed strictly out of 'non-Design thinking',
"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. Philip S. Skell - (the late) Professor at Pennsylvania State University. - 2005 http://www.discovery.org/a/2816
Moreover, not only was modern science not born out of atheistic thinking, nor can any present major breakthroughs in science be attributed to 'Darwinian Thinking', but modern science has, time and again, been severely impeded by 'non-Design Thinking'. Though I'm first and foremost reminded of the severe blowback with which atheists (non-design thinkers) resisted the gathering evidence for the Big Bang, the latest major impediment imposed on modern science by 'non-Design Thinking' has been the 'Junk DNA' fiasco of Darwinists in which they, much contrary to the apparent complexity being dealt with, insisted, against common sense, that over 90% of the human genome was Junk and thus discouraged, for several decades, the exploration of these supposedly Junk 'non-protein coding' areas in the genome.
International HoloGenomics Society - "Junk DNA Diseases" Excerpt: uncounted millions of people died miserable deaths while scientists were looking for the “gene” causing their illnesses – and were not even supposed to look anywhere but under the lamp illuminating only 1.3% of the genome (the genes)." https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-discovery-institute-needs-to-be-destroyed/#comment-357177
But the 'impact' of this irrational, 'non-Design thinking' on human society has been far more devastating than many people realize,, Professor Richard Weikart has done a excellent job in tying evolutionary reasoning (i.e. non-Design' thinking) directly to the 'scientific justification' behind the holocaust:
From Darwin To Hitler - Richard Weikart - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A
Many more atrocities on human society can be laid at the feet of 'forgetting God' through 'non-design thinking', but the important point in all this in relation to the OP's overall topic is to realize that the positive 'impact' of any particular research on human society can be broadly gauged by judging how well the research lines up with 'design thinking' and how much it opposes 'non-design thinking'. For an overall gauge as to judge true 'impact' of research, I can think of no better overall mark by which to consistently judge by. Quote and music:
I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. — George Washington Carver, pioneer 20th century plant chemist Sarah McLachlan - Answer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8B1ai25lUo
June 14, 2013
08:12 AM

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