13 April 2009

Science Evolves and Changes Naturally w/ Time

Every science should be viewed as temporary. The sciences are constantly accumulating new information and new data which must be reconciled with "established" science, and incorporated where possible. Sometimes established science must be discarded like a soiled diaper in the light of new information. Science is not about "facts", after all, but rather a way of reasoning.
Science is an evolving discipline. Various fields are constantly being born while others are dying away. For example, 20 years ago, quantum computing was a mere twinkle in its founders' eyes as was proteomics a mere ten years ago. And in the same time scale, a large part of chemistry has morphed in nanotechnology.

...Communities regularly merge and create new groups of ideas. That's to be expected if the anecdotal evidence is anything to go by but they find some more interesting phenomena too.

For example, communities that are more willing to reinvent themselves tend to be the ones that have most impact per paper. But it also shows that communities with higher impact per paper tend be shorter-lived. _TechnologyReview
When political and financial interests exert excessive influence on science, it loses its natural evolutionary vitality and becomes set in bureaucratic concrete. This is clearly happening in the field of climate modeling and the carbon hysteria establishment. Sadly, the Obama administration is injecting politics into the scientific process at unprecedented levels since the days of Stalin. It is unclear whether the already weakened US economy can withstand this level of top-down interference -- particularly when the end result is energy starvation and a strong artificial upward pressure on energy prices. (political peak oil)

Sciences are born, sciences merge, split, and sciences die. That is the nature of healthy evolution in the world of contested ideas. Greedy and corrupt politicians and financiers cannot help interfering with the process. We must save what can be saved from the mash and do what we can. It should be enough.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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