February 06, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I was listening to a radio program the other day. One of the hosts would not believe that the caller had a certain obscure medical condition. Admittedly, it was hard to fathom, and it didn’t fit into any of the predefined categories that our brains use to structure information. But I had just read an article in Sky & Telescope and thought: we assume science is a permanent fact. However, our knowledge of the human body and how to treat it is not static, it is evolving. For example, the new frontier in treating cancer is immuno-oncology. Twenty years ago, treating cancer by stimulating the body's own immune system would also have been hard to fathom. In astronomy there are new discoveries every year. Moreover, there are brilliant people who spend their lives trying to solve some of the mysteries of astrophysics. So we live with evolving science, and must be open-minded as Copernicus showed us in the early 1500s.

Here is the quote from an article in Sky & Telescope about black holes:

"We're terribly human people, and the psychology kind of took over," says John Kormendy (University of Texas at Austin)....  "Scientists get very sure of the things that they think they're very sure of.  And sometimes they've been wrong--and when they are, it's a hell of a job to change the folklore."


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