Paradigm changes are NOT made by scientists, especially not by "Practiced experts on the old paradigm"!
The following statement was made by "ben m" on 9 Oct '07 on the randi.org/forum, thread null physics.
"Name one example of a successful, paradigm-changing scientist who wasn't a practiced expert on the old paradigm. Copernicus? Newton? Harvey? Kelper? Einstein? Maxwell? Watson & Crick? Boltzmann? Mendeleev? Plank? Feynman? Gell-Mann? Hubble? Lyell? Agassiz? Darwin? Deliberately ignoring your predecessors might be a good strategy in entrepeneurship. It is emphatically not in science."
Accumulating circumstancial evidence not compatable with the old paradigm precedes the actual
and eventual shift, BUT is not enough to trigger the transformation.
Change comes about, not so much by the man (historically all males) championing a new idea, but a NEW DEVICE/ INVENTION (not related to the old paradigm, or the new paradigm) that exposes new, irrefutable data that contradicts the old paradigm.
As the old (paradigm) masters die off, the NEW way of thinking soon completely replaces the old, discredited way of thinking, and there is a blossoming of ideas and inventions.
To substantiate these claims, lets examine a couple of real paradigm changes that are recent enough to
have common knowledge histories.
The examples provided are:
The examples break down into these five (5) sections:
The prevailing theory in Europe was created by Ptolemy, dating from about 150 A.D.
That viewed the Earth as the stationary center of the universe. Stars were embedded in a large outer
sphere which rotated relatively rapidly, while the planets dwelt in smaller spheres between the
Earth and the stars, a separate sphere for each planet.
The circumstancial evidence available for everyone to see was the phases of the moon (left), and the eclipses of both the moon and more rarely, the sun (right).
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473, 1543) was the first European astronomer to champion a scientifically based heliocentric cosmology, that displaced the Earth from its center. His book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), was the starting point of modern astronomy, and starting point of the paradigm mind-changing changes.
The NEW DEVICE/ INVENTION that cemented the fall of Ptolemy's Cosmology was the telescope made famous by Galileo in the early 1600s, he was the first to see the four largest moons of Jupiter and the different phases of Venus. Shortly, the Milky Way was observed to be made up of many thousands of distant stars. These Observations were irrefutable data used to convince others that Earth and the other planets went round the Sun, and the heliocentric theory has been (belatedly) accepted universally by scientists.
The blossoming of ideas resulting from removing the church from dictating the interpretations of the physical world resulted in what we now call the age of enlightment.
For 150 years during the 17th and 18th century, everybody believed in an aether as a medium for
the transmission of light waves. There was an open and vigorous discussion about the required
attributes and parmeters of the aether.
About 1860, a stationary aether was the most popular theory.
The stationary aether was considered the global reference frame, the absolute rest frame.
The assumption was the Earth "plowed through" this stationary aether, and there should be an "aether wind" at or near the surface of the Earth. During 1881, Albert Michelson built an optical device called an interferometry, to attempt to measure this "aether wind". He found no (actually very little) relative velocity. Michelson interprets this result as supporting the hypothesis in which the aether in the neighborhood of the earth moves at the earth's velocity.
This test was repeated in 1887 in collaboration with Edward Morley and is known today as the Michelson-Morley experiment. When this experiment failed to demonstrate the expected positive result (a wind parallel with the surface of the Earth), the Natural Philosophers of the times were in a tizzy. Their favored theory was contradicted by the physical evidence.
There was NO circumstancial evidence available for everyone to see. Even the scientists were NOT clear about what the aether was, nor how it could be uses as global reference frame.
The champion of this paradigm shift was Albert Einstein, an unknown student of physics, unemployeed by any university physics departments. Using the results of the the Michelson-Morley experiment from 18 years earlier, he proposed the physical theory of measurement in inertial frames of reference in his article "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies". This theory became Special relativity (SR) (aka the special theory of relativity),
General relativity (GR) is the geometrical theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915/16. It unifies special relativity, Newton's law of universal gravitation, and the insight that gravitational acceleration can be described by the curvature of space and time, this latter being produced by the mass-energy and momentum content of the matter in spacetime.
Ignoring the pioneering work being done with the spectroscope or even magnetism and electricity, he gave us "measurement in inertial frames of reference". And he deduced two other concepts that have no physical evidence to support them: The speed of light is constant, and mass "warps" space to "cause" the effect of gravity.
The NEW DEVICE/ INVENTION was the interferometer and the Michelson-Morley experiment (1887).
He was expecting to find a wind parallel with the surface of the Earth. The evidence did not support his (and others) expection.
Where there should have been a blossoming of ideas following changing of the mind-set from the stationary aether, there was none. The only blossoming we got was dependance on mathematical models for the sub-atomic particle zoo.
After Newton's, Faraday's and Maxwell's contribution to science, we got thousands of inventions and devices. After Albert Einstein contribution to physics, we got ONE invention: Lasers.
For several decades (1850-1930) the United States and the railroad grew and developed together.
America moved by rail in the latter half of the nineteenth century and early part of the
twentieth century. Steam engines were the primary (sometimes the only) method for moving
large amounts of freight.
The circumstancial evidence leading up to the paradigm change was mostly negative. To increase pulling power, the engines were gargantuan, 127 feet long and weighed in at 570 tons. Long locomotives necessitated gentle curves. Heavy locomotives required good roadbed and strong bridges. The reciprocating action of the driving rods on fast steam engines ripped track apart. Several cities banned steam engines inside the city because of the large amount of smoke generated. And they had many undesirable economical qualities. Steam locomotives needed to refuel, take on water and empty their ash pan often. And steam locomotives could be in the shop for as much as 50 percent of the time.
Diesel power had two champions spanning 30 years. In 1888, Frank J. Sprague successfully electrified portions of Richmond, Virginia's horsecar line. About 1910, General Electric's Dr. Lemp developed a control system to control the fuel supply and the electric power to the wheels.
Diesel power depended on several NEW DEVICE/ INVENTIONs. Sprague needed the electric transmission grid and electric traction motors invented by Tesla 20 years earlier for his electric only locomotives. Dr. Lemp needed large diesel engines and to refine his control system. He modified his governor to control only the fuel flow to the engine. The generator was modified to be automatically self-regulated by the level of current drawn by the traction motors. The new control system was entirely self-regulated by the speed of the locomotive and eliminated the possibility of stalling the engine or overloading the generator.
The irrefutable data was NOT scientific but economic. The power of the dollar derailed the huge, dirty, expensive-to-operate steam engines of yore.
The blossoming of ideas following the introduction of Diesel powered engines didn't amount to much. Just as the Diesel became dominate for the railroads, the trucking industry came of age and stole most of the short-haul traffic, and the airplanes came of age and stole almost all of the passinger traffic. The power of the dollar derailed the railroads past glory and profits.
The old geological paradigm was that mountains were built by volcanos and erosion wore them
down over millions of years.
Alfred Wegener made serious arguments for this new idea in his book, The Origin of Continents and Oceans (1915). In that book, he noted how the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa looked as if they were once attached. Wegener wasn't the first to point this out as (Abraham Ortelius, Francis Bacon, Benjamin Franklin) preceded him, but he was the first to demonstrate fossil, paleo-topographical and climatological evidence to support this simple observation.
The other major unexplained evidence was the folded rocks found in very old eroded mountains. Volcanos and erosion have no power to fold large layer of rock formations.
Alfred Wegener was the primary champion of the Plate Tectonic theory which arose out of his hypothesis of continental drift which he proposed in 1912 and expanded in his 1915 book, which suggested that the present continents once formed a single land mass.
The NEW DEVICE was the Glomar Challenger (1967) who's sole purpose was scientific exploration of the ocean floors. This was NOT directly related to the formation of rocks and landmasses.
The the most important discovery was made during Leg 3. The crew drilled 17 holes at 10 different sites along a oceanic ridge between South America and Africa. The core samples retrieved provided irrefutable data for continental drift and seafloor renewal at rift zones. This confirmation of Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift strengthened the proposal of a single, ancient land mass, which was called Pangaea.
The blossoming of ideas yielded yet another discovery: How youthful the ocean floor is in comparison to Earth's geologic history. After analysis of samples, scientists concluded that the ocean floor is probably no older than 200 million years. This is in comparison with the 4.5 billion years of our Earth. As the seafloor spreads from the rifts, it descends again beneath tectonic plates or is pushed upwards to form mountain ranges.
Study of the deep ocean floor was critical to development of the Plate Tetonics theory; the field of deep sea marine geology accelerated in the 1960s. Plate tectonic theory has been (belatedly) accepted universally by scientists throughout all geoscientific disciplines. The theory revolutionized the Earth sciences, explaining a diverse range of geological phenomena.
Special relativity (SR) (aka the special theory of relativity) is the physical theory of measurement in inertial frames of reference proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein in his article "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies". It generalises Galileo's principle of relativity - that all uniform motion was relative, and that there is no absolute and well-defined state of rest (no privileged reference frames) - from mechanics to all the laws of physics, including electrodynamics.
General relativity (GR) (aka general theory of relativity (GTR)) is the geometrical theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915/16. It unifies special relativity, Newton's law of universal gravitation, and the insight that gravitational acceleration can be described by the curvature of space and time, this latter being produced by the mass-energy and momentum content of the matter in spacetime. wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity.
The circumstancial evidence leading up to the coming paradigm change is mostly negative.
Some of the insanities of Einstein are big bang, quantum theory, imaginary forces, action at a
distance, inverted time, telepathic particles, causeless effect, contradictory speeds of gravity,
and warped space.
There is some positive circumstancial evidence: cold fusion, mystery of "dark Matter", and the Pioneer I & II (gravity) anomaly.
Einstein postulated the force of gravity had "equality" with the force resulting from the acceleration of a rocket, which contradicted his insight that gravitational acceleration can be described by the curvature of space and time (unless rockets also cause the curvature of space). About 50 years later, NASA found out that centrifuges also mimiced the force of gravity. This would mean centrifuges also cause the curvature of space. A better explaination of gravity is needed.
There are only about two hundred "dissidents", invariably termed "crack-pot", in the world today, and fifty of them have written articles about the eather, and questioning "special relitivity". They can be found at PRF Browns' website.
Unfortunately, these papers cover only a single (or a couple) aspects of the physical world. And several have mutually exclusive opinions of the same aspect.
The leading champion of the AETHER theory, Steven Rado self-published his book and CD-ROM Aethro-Kinematics in 1995, The Reinstatement of Common Sense - [A]s an alternate solution to the problems of modern physics. Intended as the "mechanical compreshension of nature", he STRICTLY DERIVES from his SIMPLE IDEAL GAS MODEL: how gravity works, Kepler's laws, Lorentz, speeds of light, wave-particle duality, Faraday, red shift, electron diffraction, E=MC^2, and MUCH, MUCH more of our proudly psychotic physics. net-prophet.net
Rado has a more comprehensive and nearly complete coverage of the physical world than the
other two hundred "dissidents".
Several NEW DEVICE/ INVENTIONs will be necessary for this change. One of the inventions already in place is the World Wide Web (Internet). The Net has little or no censorship, while the Science establishment has a self-avowed bias against attacks on Einstein and especally any argument that uses the word "aether".
A probable blossoming of ideas following changing of the mind-set from reliance on mathematical models for the world to reliance on the physical evidence should be of the magnitude that followed Newton's, Faraday's and Maxwell's contribution to science. We should get thousands of inventions and devices.
An interesting observation is how the science of Optics played major roles in the
first three advancements in knowledge of the physical world.
The telescope helped us see much of the macro-world,
The prism helped us understand much of the structure of Light,
The spectroscope used light to give us clues about the sub-micro world of atoms.
That bodes well for optics to play a leading role in the coming paradigm change, due about 2012.
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