IF SCIENTISTS ARE TOO RIGID IN IGNORING PHENOMENA THAT
CANNOT BE EXPLAINED BY STANDARD THEORIES, THEY RISK IGNORING HINTS
THAT MAY LEAD TO NEW AND BETTER THEORIES
Or as Professor LeGrand said in
Drifting Continents and
"The presumed 'conservatism' of the scientific
community, the possible effect of such social factors as Wegener's
nationality or perceptions that he lacked credentials as a geologist,
and the threat to established geological authority and authorities
which his [continental drift] theory may have entailed, all may have
raised the height of the hurdles his theory would have to clear to be
Consensus exists when people agree about something.
They are more likely to agree when they share the same conclusions
and the same raw material, methods and rules for arriving at those
conclusions: the same facts, the same assumptions, the same
inferences--compared to when they don't share these things.
There are two types of consensus, real and apparent. When
people truly agree about something, that is real consensus. When some
people act as if they agree with something when they really don't
then they contribute to an appearance of consensus. There are
many reasons to pretend to agree.
A general consensus exists when most people agree
about something. But agreement is not the same as truth. And notice
that "most" means that some do not agree. Why some people agree and
others do not is an important issue in any area of investigation, on
the way to creating or revising knowledge.
Agreement is called provisional when it is subject
to later change. It says, "I agree for now, but may change my mind in
the future, provided that___"
To what degree does
What is needed to create agreement? What is needed to
What is needed to prove something is true? What is needed
to prove something is untrue?
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