Paradigm Shift? I don’t need no Stinkin’ Paradigm Shift…

While listening to a philosophy podcast, I heard Massimo Pigliucci, the philosopher behind the interesting webzine http://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/, mention that Max Planck did not resort to complicated theories of how new scientific understandings replace old ones. No, like many other areas of human endeavor, ideas meet their expiration date when those who hold them meet theirs:

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

Lot easier than wading through Thomas Kuhn, huh? Wait, he’s dead? Oh, never mind.

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As the old joke goes, “he published and published, and perished all the same.”
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