Science – inside and outside the box

Posted on October 1, 2010


Professor Wiggly: “Most science takes place inside a box – inside a point of view, or a bias about how the world works. In scientific lingo these these mental boxes  are called theories or paradigms. Theories, guesses, hunches, biases – call them what you will-  are needed to cut problems down to mind-size.  It can take a long time for scientists or experts to decide whether they are on the wrong track.”

Jenny: ” Oh yes, I remember reading that doctors once believed – thought inside the box – that disease was caused by vague ‘somethings’   floating aroud in the air. So when one of their colleagues came up with a new idea – from outside the box – that disease was caused by dirty stuff on surgeons hands they thought he was nuts. And we’re still having trouble getting doctors to wash their hands!”

Professor Wiggly: ” It wasn’t until the invention of the microscope allowed us could see germs that the ‘bad air’ theory was replaced with the germ theory of disease.”

Posted in: Sciencing