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Friday, January 13, 2012

Modern Scientific Progress OR History Repeats Itself

Modern Scientific progress has become rooted in observation, and deservedly so. The use of the Scientific Method to validate theories in the light of observation has shown success in advancing human knowledge for over 200 years.

Today, in a world where the main crisis is one of too much information, new science largely contents itself with perusing the literature, that is the endless piles of research that has already been conducted. Make no mistake, we are drowning in seas of observations.

This is so much the case that many advances of the previous generation, many conceptual guidelines that were implicitly used as rules of thumb, have given way to new concepts and in many cases have been lost forever.

This is not the same as losing the meaning of a piece of slang or other trifling particle of human knowledge and history. It is more important because once a scientific concept is lost, regaining it in its original context is difficult if not impossible.

This makes historic science writing extremely important. Indeed, on of the worlds premiere scientific minds, Steven Hawking, is involved in redelineating our scientific connection to the writings of Einstein, Newton, and others. If we are not careful, phlogiston and the luminiferous aether will be rediscovered and probably re-applied to modern questions of reality.

In the same way, we are very likely to be revisiting anarchy, secession and civil war, and euthanasia as proposed solutions to modern problems.

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