How do the 2 questions below relate to each other?Question 1 - Why is it important and necessary for other scientists to review the ideas and processes that relate to, and emerge from, new...

How do the 2 questions below relate to each other?

Question 1 -

Why is it important and necessary for other scientists to review the ideas and processes that relate to, and emerge from, new scientific theories?

Question 2 -

Why is there sometimes resistance to new scientific theories?

Asked on by michealm50

2 Answers | Add Yours

herappleness's profile pic

M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It is imperative that scientists review the ideas and processes that relate to, and emerge from, new scientific theories because the field of science is one which continuously changes its depth regardless of its breadth. The breadth would refer to the theoretical fountations, which do not change as they represent the benchmarks of many investigations. Yet, the depth, or recent research that continues to develop puts to test the theory and philosophies reigning the field, and the application of new paradigms and axioms transforms the world around us. Not acknowledging the importance of change is denying the world the opportunity of improving our quality of life.

There is resistance to new scientific theories just like there is resistance to many other theories in many other fields. It is human nature to want to feel safe and secure in a comfort zone from which we feel in control. It was hard for scientists to understand the process of the AIDS virus in the early 80's because to that day no other virus had responded in that way. Surely the all went back to check their theoretical foundations, and what had been studied about retroviruses, yet, they could not find anything- to this day, there is not a cure. Hence, for that and many other reasons, adapting to the changing world is the best way to adapt science to the modern times.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would say that the main connection here is that both questions show how science is not conducted as "scientifically" and rationally as it perhaps should be.

Ideally, scientists would be completely objective about their work.  They would conduct their experiments without any preconceived notions as to what outcomes they expected or hoped for.  They would simply be seeking knowledge.

Unfortunately, scientists tend to hope for certain results -- results that fit in with what they expect or hope for.  Because of this, peer review is necessary to be sure the hopes/wishes have not hurt the quality of the science.  Also because of this, people with a stake in the old theories will resist the new.

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