Paradigms

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Paradigms

What do you do when the hypothetical becomes reality? What if something not just unthinkable, but unimaginable, is suddenly proposed to you as a truth. Now, what if this new truth shatters your entire view of the world, of the universe, and of man’s place in all of that. This is a drastic example of a paradigm shift, when people are torn between two different beliefs. Galileo Galilei brought on the paradigm shift that yielded this extreme example when he offered proof of a heliocentric universe in his 1610 publishing Sidereus Nuncius. Thomas S. Kuhn discussed paradigm shifts like this in his 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. While it is never an easy transition, once the new paradigm gains acceptance it will offer brilliant new ideas and explorations.

It’s not possible to give a modern parallel to Galileo’s early 1600 publishing Sidereus Nuncius. So we must attempt to consider this in the context of the 1600s. Many things that we take for granted today, things that we know from our days in elementary school and never bother to question, were not even conceived yet. There was no gravitation theory; everything naturally moved towards the center. The heliocentric Copernican model had not yet been accepted; everything naturally rotated around the earth. That put earth, and more importantly humans, at the center of the universe. Everything literally revolved around us, and that was how God the Almighty designed it. In order to change from this view, a new one must be proposed, proven, and finally accepted. As Kuhn writes, “The decision to reject one paradigm is always simultaneously the decision to accept another, and the judgment leading to that decision involves the comparison of bot...

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...uble sin.

I am alone against thirty thousand. No. Protect you, the court; protect, you, deception; let me protect the truth. It is all my strength. If I lose it, I am undone. I shall not lack accusations, and persecutions. But I possess the truth, and we shall see who will take it away” (Pascal #921).

Works Cited

Galilei, Galileo. Sidereus Nuncius or The Sidereal Messenger. Trans. by Albert

Van Helden. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989.

Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Third Edition. Chicago:

The University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Pascal, Blaise. “Pensees.” Online. Internet. 07 Sept. 2000.

http://altair.stmarys-ca.edu/studwork/integral/penseesi.txt.

“Philosophy of Science & Information Technology: A Tribute to Thomas Kuhn”

Online. Internet. 07 Sept. 2000. http://www.brint.com/kuhn.htm.

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