The dynamic eye -- as scientific paradigm

Discussion in 'Eye-Care' started by Otis Brown, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. Otis Brown

    Otis Brown Guest

    Dear Vision Research Group,

    Hope you enjoy these intellectual discussions.

    As Mike T. has demonstrated, we talk THROUGH each other.

    He refuses to answer my question concerning the
    dynamic eye.

    The nature of the refusal to face facts is stated
    below by Thomas Kuhn.

    It is often stated that the eye is PROVEN to be
    a box camera -- and therefore can not change its
    focal state as the visual enviroment is changed.

    The exact opposite is true -- and Mike steadfastly
    maintains the concept he was taught in optometry
    school.

    But that is the true nature of our "paradigm stuggle".

    Best,

    Otis
    Engineer

    **********


    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    Thomas S. Kuhn

    XII. The Resolution of Revolutions




    [The previous part of this chapter discussed fundamental
    scientific ideas, their development and the reasons
    for opposition.]


    ...These examples point to the third and most fundamental
    aspect of the in-commensurability of competing paradigms. In a
    sense that I am unable to explicate further, the proponents of
    competing paradigms practice their trades in different worlds.
    One contains bodies that fall slowly, the other pendulums that
    repeat their motions again and again.

    In one, solutions are compounds, in the other mixtures. One
    is embedded in a flat, the other in a curved, matrix of space.
    Practicing in different worlds, the two groups of scientists see
    different things when they look from the same point in the same
    direction.

    Again, that is not to say that they can see anything they
    please.

    Both are looking at the world, an the world they look at has not
    changed. But in some areas the see different things, and they see
    them in different relations to one to the others.

    That is why a law that cannot even be demonstrated to one
    group of scientists may occasionally seem intuitively obvious to
    another.

    Equally, it is why, before they can hope to communicate
    fully, one group or the other must experience the conversion that
    we have been calling a paradigm shift.

    Just because it is a transition between incommensurables, the
    transition between competing paradigms cannot be made a step at a
    time, forced by logic and neutral experience. Like the gestalt
    switch, it must occur all at once (though not necessarily in an
    instant) or not at all.

    How, then, are scientists brought to make this transposition?
    Part of the answer it that they often are not. Copernicanism mad
    few converts for almost a century after Copernicus' death.
    Newton's work was not generally accepted, particularly on the
    Continent, for more than half a century after the Principia
    appeared. Priestly never accepted the oxygen theory, nor Lord
    Kelvin the electromagnetic theory, and so on.

    The difficulties of conversion have often noted by the
    scientists themselves. Darwin in a particularly perceptive
    passage at the end of his Origin of Species, wrote: "Although I
    am fully convinced of the truth of the views given in this
    volume..., I by no means expect to convince experienced
    naturalists whose minds are stocked with a multitude of facts all
    viewed, during a long course of years, from a point of view
    directly opposite to mine.

    ...But I look with confidence to the future, -- to the young
    and rising naturalists, who will be able to view both sides of the
    question with impartiality."

    And Max Planck, surveying his own career in his Scientific
    Autobiography, sadly remarked that "a new scientific truth does
    not triumph by convincing it 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."
     
    Otis Brown, Sep 9, 2003
    #1
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