Tag Archives: paradigm

The dogma of paradigm shifts

This is also from a post 18 months back:

It’s amazing how many times we see ‘paradigms’ used as a justification for scientific acceptance of intelligent design (ID) and other ideas which lack evidential support. The argument is that science progresses by changing paradigms – ‘paradigm shifts. New paradigms replace old, outdated paradigms. The “materialist” or “evolutionary” paradigm has been around for a while. It needs to be changed. Therefore science should accept new paradigms involving ‘supernatural explanations.’ No evidential support needed!

Science journalists sometimes use a similar argument to promote pet ideas or scientists. This is the ‘oppressed underdog’ argument discussed by Michael White in his article Bad Science Journalism and the Myth of the Oppressed Underdog. The idea that authority of leading scientists is used to support a prevailing scientific view – a dogma. Along comes the hero – the underdog scientist, with a new theory which challenges the dogma. However, she faces hostile opposition from the “dogmatic scientific establishment.” The reader is encouraged to accept this new idea as having more value than the ‘dogma’  – based purely on their presentation as a hero without considering the real evidence.

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Atrocious Science Clichés

cliches

This article from Wired (5 Atrocious Science Clichés to Throw Down a Black Hole) describes a couple of clichéd terms which sometimes creep into science writing. I can also suggest some others that have crept into the more political writing about science which we should also try to get rid of.

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The dogma of “paradigms”

Because of the summer solstice/New Year holidays I am reposting some older articles. This one from last June.

It’s amazing how many times we see ‘paradigms’ used as a justification for scientific acceptance of intelligent design (ID) and other ideas which lack evidential support. The argument is that science progresses by changing paradigms – ‘paradigm shifts. New paradigms replace old, outdated paradigms. The “materialist” or “evolutionary” paradigm has been around for a while. It needs to be changed. Therefore science should accept new paradigms involving ‘supernatural explanations.’ No evidential support needed!

Science journalists sometimes use a similar argument to promote pet ideas or scientists. This is the ‘oppressed underdog’ argument discussed by Michael White in his article Bad Science Journalism and the Myth of the Oppressed Underdog. The idea that authority of leading scientists is used to support a prevailing scientific view – a dogma. Along comes the hero – the underdog scientist, with a new theory which challenges the dogma. However, she faces hostile opposition from the “dogmatic scientific establishment.” The reader is encouraged to accept this new idea as having more value than the ‘dogma’  – based purely on their presentation as a hero without considering the real evidence.

Continue reading

Paradigms and dogma in science

It’s amazing how many times we see ‘paradigms’ used as a justification for scientific acceptance of intelligent design (ID) and other ideas which lack evidential support. The argument is that science progresses by changing paradigms – ‘paradigm shifts. New paradigms replace old, outdated paradigms. The “materialist” or “evolutionary” paradigm has been around for a while. It needs to be changed. Therefore science should accept new paradigms involving ‘supernatural explanations.’ No evidential support needed!

Continue reading