Saturday, September 21, 2013

After all, sharing unexamined assumptions is what makes two scientists 'peers' in the first place

Logically, the only thing worth examining is the unexamined assumptions that we all hold in common

The only real test of a scientific hypothesis is to have it reviewed by non-peers , for they will probably not share the underlying 'unexamined assumptions' that form the outer limits of whatever space a potentially new scientific theory can inhabit in a particular discipline.

By its very definition, peer review always fails, must fail, any truly ground-breaking scientific effort.

But having new ideas torn apart by non-peers is difficult in practise because many non-peers will fail to fully understand the context of the subtle internal arguments being made in support of that particular hypothesis.

Perhaps pre-publishing a particularly bold and unorthodox hypothesis to the world wide web and inviting critiques from all and sundry might get an useful blend of non-peers and peers tearing it apart.

But for most academics, the hypothesis in their potential article or monograph is simply too limited in 'newness' to be viewed as controversial by more than their fellow specialists.

This is a long roundabout way of saying that if a hypothesis really deserves a Nobel prize, it better have been first rejected by peer reviewers in all of the most influential journals in that scientific field.

Unfortunately, most Nobels are for normal science,  for works that only bites away at exciting new patches of grass , well inside the unexamined assumptions that form a scientific field's boundaries.

The Modern Age (and its Science) had a particularly strongly hegemonic set of unexamined assumptions to hold it together .

 This was in fact the main reason for the strength and uniformity of the underlying beliefs that united Modernity's many warring ideologies.

As a result, when a few minor and extremely non-charismatic  scientists fundamentally challenged those unexamined assumptions, they were not put on trial and burned at the stake, in a scientific sense.

Instead their views merely caused bemusement and puzzlement among the scientists and the science-following educated laity of the Modern Age.

These minor scientists might not even have been aware of how fundamental their critiques were.

Thus they saw no need to further nail their views dramatically, in a Luther-like fashion, upon the nearest lab wall as some sort of troop-raising manifesto.

One minor scientist however, did unite his intellectual opposition to the Modern Age's unexamined assumptions with his moral objections to the Modern Age's behavior and his impact, perhaps as a result, had world wide and prophetic impact.

His name was Henry Dawson (Martin Henry Dawson).

The conclusions he drew about the microbial small and the weak from his pioneering studies in HGT (and other such marvels) , put steel beneath the velvet of his moral objections as to how the human small and weak were being mis-treated by Modernity's Axis and Allied alike in WWII.

His heart was open, agape, to the sufferings of small but his mind was also open, agape, to the brilliance of the small as well.

And that made all the difference......

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