[meteorite-list] Mammoth Stew: Bring to boil

From: E.P. Grondine <epgrondine_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 09:56:14 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <876491.64287.qm_at_web36907.mail.mud.yahoo.com>

Hi all -

Consider the following, from the Wikipedia entry on
Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure Of Scientific
Revolutions. If recent impact events are viewed as a
new paradigm (and it seems to me to meet the criteria)
then this is more than a failure of perception


"According to Kuhn, the scientific paradigms before
and after a paradigm shift are so different that their
theories are incomparable. The paradigm shift does not
just change a single theory, it changes the way that
words are defined, the way that the scientists look at
their subject and, perhaps most importantly, the
questions that are considered valid and the rules used
to determine the truth of a particular theory. Kuhn
observes that they are incommensurable ? literally,
lacking comparison, untranslatable. New theories were
not, as they had thought of before, simply extensions
of old theories, but radically new worldviews. This
incommensurability applies not just before and after a
paradigm shift, but between conflicting paradigms. It
is simply not possible, according to Kuhn, to
construct an impartial language that can be used to
perform a neutral comparison between conflicting
paradigms, because the very terms used belong within
the paradigm and are therefore different in different
paradigms. Advocates of mutually exclusive paradigms
are in an insidious position: "Though each may hope to
convert the other to his way of seeing science and its
problems, neither may hope to prove his case. The
competition between paradigms is not the sort of
battle that can be resolved by proof." (SSR, p. 148).'

E.P. Grondine
Man and Impact in the Americas

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Received on Sat 22 Dec 2007 12:56:14 PM PST

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