Member # 262
posted 28. June 2002 11:28
While scientific theories intended to replace existing theories are generally formulated by individuals or very small groups of individuals, the acceptance by the scientific community of a new theory(at least the acceptance of a major new theory) depends on falsify, replace, test, validate processes performed by many individuals and groups of individuals. As should be reasonably obvious, a replacement theory is unlikely to be accepted if the procedures and standards used to perform the falsify, replace, test, validate analysis are unfair and heavily biased in favor of the current theory.
With respect specifically to Darwinian theories of evolution I propose that
1. NEED- There exists credible evidence suggesting the ‘possibility’ that a theory proposed to falsify and replace Darwinian evolutionary theories, including ID theories, would not be evaluated using fair and objective scientific standards. While the risk of unfair and biased analysis might not appear credible to proponents of Darwinian theory, it is credible to at some individuals looking at the possibility of proposing an alternative theory. I would suspect that many of those working on various aspects of ID might question the likelihood that any ID theory could be fairly and objectively evaluated by the scientific community.
2. POSSIBLE SOLUTION- There exists a known process or set of procedures which will be labeled ‘explicit formulation and review’. This is a set of procedures involving 1)explicitly stating/formulating the scientific standards applicable to falsify/replace analysis, 2)open and ongoing review of the explicit standards and 3)open and ongoing review of applications of the standards. Such procedures, it is proposed, could effectively reduce or eliminate the risk of biased analysis.
3. PRACTICALITY- Using currently available technology, it would be both possible and practical to implement the explicit formulation and review of standards. Comparing Darwinian theory to a specific alternative would, it is expected, involve only a limited number of issues with respect to standards. (It would be much more difficult to define standards for comparing any two possible models or theories.) Only a limited number of individuals would have the time, interest, and technical skills, at least initially, to be actively involved in evaluating an alternative theory. Reaching agreement among a limited number of participants, on a limited number of standards should not be impractical if the participants are interested in finding the ‘scientifically correct’ result (rather than campaigning for a particular theory).
The procedures for introducing/publishing new scientific theories have changed dramatically over time. The currently accepted procedure might be described as involving 1)writing a paper/book, 2)submitting the paper for peer review and publication, and 3)responses/reactions to the published theory. In my opinion, such procedures are not workable with respect to any proposal to replace Darwinian theory in part because of the bias or potential bias that does or may exist in the current peer review process, and in part because of the number of technical issues involved. I am proposing as an alternative, alternative theory introduction procedures based on the ‘explicit formulation and review of standards’ concept.