A good scientist, in other words, does not merely ignore conventional wisdom, but makes a special effort to break it.
Scientists go looking for trouble. Staying on the subject of Dark Age myths: Historical consensus declares this a myth invented by New Atheists. The Church was a great patron of science, no one believed Best Masters Essay Writers Website Gb a flat earth, Galileo had it coming, et cetera. Roger Bacon was a thirteenth century friar who made discoveries in mathematics, optics, and astronomy, and who was the first Westerner to research gunpowder.
It seems though records are unclear that he was accused of heresy and died under house arrest. But this may have been because of his interest in weird prophecies, not because of his scientific researches. Michael Servetus was a sixteenth-century anatomist who made some early discoveries about the circulatory and nervous system. But this was because of his heretical opinions on the Trinity, and not for any of his anatomical discoveries.
City authorities arrested him for blasphemy, cut out his tongue, strangled him, and burned his body at the stake. He was arrested by the Inquisition and accused of consorting with the Devil. He died before a verdict was reached, but the Inquisition finished the trial, found him guilty, and ordered his corpse burnt at the stake. He was accused of consorting with the Devil because he was kind of consorting with the Devil — pretty much everyone including modern historians agree that he was super into occultism and wrote a bunch of grimoires and magical texts.
He also believed in heliocentrism, and promoted originated? He was arrested, tortured, and burned at the stake. Scientists got in trouble for controversial views on non-scientific subjects like prophecies or the Trinity, or for political missteps.
Scott Aaronson writes Best Masters Essay Writers Website Gb the the Kolmogorov option suggested alternate title: Mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov lived in the Soviet Union at a time when true freedom of thought was impossible. He reacted by saying whatever the Soviets wanted him to say about politics, while honorably pursuing truth in everything else. As a result, he not only made great discoveries, but gained enough status to protect other scientists, and to make occasional very careful forays into defending people who Best Masters Essay Writers Website Gb Write A Love Letter To Say Sorry. He used his power to build an academic bubble where science could be done right and where minorities persecuted by the communist authorities like Jews could do their work in peace.
They pursued their work in optics, astronomy, anatomy, or whatever other subject, but were smart enough never to go near questions of religion.
Maybe they would give beautiful speeches on how they had seen the grandeur of the heavens, but the true grandeur belonged to God and His faithful servant the Pope who was incidentally right about everything and extremely handsome. Maybe they would have ended up running great universities, funding other thinkers, and dying at a ripe old age. Armed with this picture, one might tell Servetus and Bruno to lay off the challenges.
But Kolmogorov represents an extreme: For the opposite extreme, consider Leonid Kantorovich.
Kantorovich was another Russian mathematician. He was studying linear optmization problems when he realized one of his results had important implications for running planned economies. He wrote the government a nice letter telling them that they were doing the economy all wrong and he could show them how to do it better. Historians are completely flabbergasted that Best Masters Essay Writers Website Gb survived, and conjecture that maybe some mid-level bureaucrat felt sorry for him and erased all evidence the letter source ever existed.
He was only in his 20s at the time, and it seems like later on he got more sophisticated and was able to weather Soviet politics about as well as anybody. How could such a smart guy make such a stupid mistake? Kantorovich was a professor, he was writing about a very abstract level of economics close to his area of expertise, and he expressed his concerns privately to the government. Surely there were some highly-placed professors of unquestionable loyalty who had discussed economics with government officials before.
Even a savvier version of Kantorovich would have Best Masters Essay Writers Website Gb consider complicated questions of social status, connections, privileges, et cetera. The real version of Kantorovich showed no signs of knowing any of those issues even existed. Given enough time, such a person can become a savvy Kolmogorov who sees the censorship clearly, knows its limits, and understands how to skirt them.
All of this would be fine except that, as Graham says in the quote above, scientists go looking for trouble. The first virtue is curiosity.
An intellectually curious person is a heat-seeking missile programmed to seek out failures in existing epistemic paradigms. God help them if they find one before they get enough political sophistication to determine which targets are safe.
Did Giordano Bruno die for his astronomical discoveries or his atheism? The best you can do is have a Bruno who questions both, but is savvy enough to know which questions he can get away with saying out loud.
So imagine the most irrelevant orthodoxy you can think of. They come up with some BS justification like how atmospheric moisture in a thunderstorm slows the speed of light. Senior professors and funding agencies are all on board. Nothing at all depends on this.
The more curiosity someone has about the world, and the more they feel deep in their gut that Nature ought to fit together — the more likely the lightning thing will bother them. Someone else will see claims about lightning preceding thunder in old books, and realize how strange it was for the ancients to get something so simple so wrong so consistently.
And the better a school or professor is, the better they train their students to question everything and really try to understand the natural world, the read more likely their students will speak up about the lightning issue. The government will make demands — close down the offending schools, fire the offending academics.
Good Best Masters Essay Writers Website Gb will be systematically removed from the teaching profession; bad teachers will be systematically promoted. Any educational method that successfully instills curiosity and the scientific spirit will become too dangerous to touch; any that encourage rote repetition of approved truths will get the stamp of approval.
Some other beliefs will be found to correlate heavily with lightning-heresy. Maybe atheists are more often lightning-heretics; maybe believers in global warming are too. Any position correlated with being truth-seeking and intelligent will be always on the retreat, having to forever apologize that so many members of their movement Best Masters Essay Writers Website Gb up the lightning question so badly. And that nobody will hack their private email ten years later, then get them fired or imprisoned or burned at the stake or whatever the appropriate punishment for lightning-heresy is.
It will become well-known that certain academic fields like physics and mathematics are full of crypto-lightning-heretics. But the biggest threat is to epistemology. The idea that everything in the world fits together, that all knowledge is worth having and should be pursued to the bitter end, that if you tell one lie the truth is forever after your enemy — all of this is incompatible with even as stupid a mistruth as switching around thunder and lightning.
People trying to make sense of the world will smash their head against the glaring inconsistency where the speed of light must be calculated one way in thunderstorms and another way everywhere else. And why should they even believe you if you tell them? Would you present your evidence? The smartest and most honest will be destroyed first.
Then any institution that reliably produces intellect or honesty. Then any philosophy that allows such institutions. It will all be totally pointless, done for the sake of something as stupid as lightning preceding thunder. But it will happen anyway.
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Then he and all the other savvy people can try to pick up the pieces as best they can, mourn their comrades, and watch the same thing happen all over again in the next generation.
It just accidentally created a honeytrap that attracted and destroyed scientifically curious people. And any insistence on a false idea, no matter how harmless and well-intentioned, risks doing the same. They have to build a whisper network. They have to build a system that reliably communicates the state of society. This is harder than it sounds. Where do we go when we die?
They have to serve as psychological support.
Reviews, essays, books and the arts: the leading international weekly for literary culture. This essay has been submitted by a law student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. Offer v Invitation to Treat. The thunder-and-lightning example seems like a bad comparison for this kind of situation, in that the false claim is (1) easily observable to be untrue, and (2. Aaron Nielsen. Aaron Nielsen's writing has appeared in the following publications Mythym (PictureBox, ), Userlands: New Fiction Writers from the Blogging.
They have to help people get through their edgelord phase as quickly as possible. Yes, it could be true. Yes, that one also could be true as best we can tell. They have to find at-risk thinkers who had started to identify holes in the orthodoxy, communicate that they might be right but that it could be dangerous to go public, fill in whatever gaps are necessary to make their worldview consistent again, prevent overcorrection, and communicate some intuitions about exactly which areas to avoid.
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For this purpose, they might occasionally let themselves be seen associating with slightly heretical positions, so that they stand out to proto-heretics as a good source of information. They might very occasionally make calculated strikes against orthodox overreach in order to relieve some of their own burdens. The rest of the time, they would just stay quiet and do good work in their own this web page. Such a whisper network would be in the best interests of the orthodox authorities.
Instead of having to waste their good scientists, they could let the good scientists Best Masters Essay Writers Website Gb join the whisper network, learn which topics to avoid, and do good science without stepping on orthodox toes.
Academies other than the worst and most curiosity-crushing have a little better chance to endure; academic bureaucrats other than the most slavish have a little more chance to remain in their position.
But the chances seem better than for open defiance followed by certain retribution. The thunder-and-lightning example seems like a bad comparison for this kind of situation, in that the false claim is 1 easily observable to be untrue, and 2 utterly useless to the society that propagates it. Neither of those statements applies to Stalinist communism or medieval Christian theology.
But that situation would still beg the question of whether the edgelord types are missing something. Is divine right really beneficial? But the possibility is worth considering.
Well, there things are less obvious: As for the medieval church, these people were literally pushing faith as a virtue! Neither of these things will necessarily lead to capitalism or atheism immediately. And so, anyone who cares about truth is going to be gaslit horribly as they wonder why nothing adds up. Wow confirmation bias is strong, clearly I need to train my perceptions better!