Cause of paradigmatic persistence
Blog 20161102 Cause of paradigmatic persistence
Well, that last Blog really turned out wonderfully! It seems that my definition of a philosopher made no sense to Philip. Here is the gist of what he thinks philosophy is: “It is understanding that gives meaning shape and form to the cosmos. But this meaning shape and form only exists in the mind of that understanding.” Deepak Chopra, the world’s foremost solipsist, would have to agree.
Now you can see why I wrote "The Ten Assumptions of Science." Fundamentally, one is a believer in either materialism or immaterialism. Folks like Philip, Deepak, and Albert (“immaterial fields”) Einstein help to make that clear because they are so extreme. Nothing I wrote made sense to Philip because it did not fit his view of the world from the indeterministic end of the philosophical spectrum. Like other immaterialists, he will not be changing his mind soon.
Of course, as educators and promoters of Infinite Universe Theory, it is our job to change minds. How does that happen? We know how it does not happen. Do you think it would succeed with a “student” who already knows everything? Would it work with Hawking or Tyson or the last Ph.D. to come out of the cosmogony machine? The answer is NO!
Our difficulties in teaching folks to accept Infinite Universe Theory have a parallel in the teaching of evolution. In this regard, Jerry Coyne, emeritus professor of evolution, just posted an interesting story. It seems that students in southern states can learn the facts of evolution, but when asked about whether they believe it, the answer usually is NO. This response occurs because of what I call the “Cloister Principle.” Religions commonly use cloisters to isolate devotees from the external world. The fundamental and peripheral assumptions within a cloister are carefully maintained through conversation among adherents and study of sacred books. Disloyalty is unwelcome and often severely punished.
A scientific paradigm works in the same way. That is why we often say that “cosmogonists need to get out of the office more.” Sadly, that does not mean much in the face of the censorship that tends to accompany and preserve a particular belief. Even so, cloisters are never completely successful—the external world has a way of breaking the isolation. Society progresses as a result of contradiction. To maintain their Christian faith, Bible Belt students must not leave the Belt and must not study scientific subjects. That, of course, is unlikely to happen, especially with the ubiquity of the Internet and the bias employers have toward those with college degrees in science. Trying to teach evolution to religious children may be discouraging, but I know from personal experience that those purposely overlooked contradictions tend to accumulate. Contradictions and paradoxes exist because they are founded on erroneous assumptions. Learning about how the universe operates is all about removing those contradictions. On the other hand, one can try to live with them: