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Why Fact-check? Why preserve a visual record?

The Website Written as a Book
Introduction
1: Science and Subjective Viewpoints
2: Toward Accurate Collapse Histories
....2.1: Progressive Floor Collapses in the WTC Towers
....2.2: General Global Characteristics of Collapses
....2.3: Mathematical Basis of ROOSD Propagation
....2.4: WTC1 Accurate Collapse History
....2.5: WTC2 Accurate Collapse History
....2.6: WTC7 Accurate Collapse History
3: WTC Collapse Misrepresentations
....3.1: Purpose of the NIST Reports
....3.2: NIST WTC1 Misrepresentations
....3.3: NIST WTC7 Misrepresentations
....3.4: NIST WTC2 Misrepresentations
....3.5: Reviewing the Purpose of NIST and FEMA Reports
....3.6: Bazant Misrepresentation of Collapse Progressions
....3.7: Block Misrepresentations of Collapse Progressions
....3.8: AE911T Misrepresentations of the Collapses
4: Scientific Institutions Can Be Unaware of Contradiction
5: Reassessing the Question of Demolition
....5.1: The Case of WTC1
....5.2: The Case of WTC2
....5.3: The Case of WTC7
6: WTC Collapse Records Studied as Meme Replication
....6.1: Meme Replication in Technical Literature
....6.2: Meme Replication in Mass Media
....6.3: Meme Replication in Popular Culture
....6.4: John Q Public and the WTC Collapse Records
Conclusions

WTC Twin Towers Collapse Dynamics

Official, Legal Attempts to Explain Collapses

Academic Attempts to Explain Collapses Reviewed

On the Limits of Science and Technology

WTC Video Record

WTC Photographic Record
WTC1 Attack to Collapse
WTC2 Attack to Collapse
WTC 7
.
-----PHOTO RECORD OF FIRE PROGRESSION-----
Fire Progression, WTC1 North Face
Fire Progression, WTC1 South Face
Fire Progression, WTC1 East Face
Fire Progression, WTC1 West Face
Fire Progression, WTC2 North Face
Fire Progression, WTC2 South Face
Fire Progression, WTC2 East Face
Fire Progression, WTC2 West Face
.
----DEBRIS LAYOUT AND CONDITION, BY REGION-----
Debris: WTC1 Around Footprint
Debris: WTC2 Around Footprint
Debris: From WTC1 Westward
Debris: From WTC1 Northward
Debris: From WTC2 Eastward
Debris: From WTC2 Southward
Debris: Plaza Area, Northeast Complex
Debris: Hilton Hotel, Southwest Complex
Debris: General, Unidentified Locations
Damage to Surrounding Buildings
Perimeter Column Photo Record
Perimeter Columns: Types of Damage
Core Box Columns: Types of Damage
Complete Photo Archive
Other Major 9-11 Photo Archives
The 911Dataset Project

WTC Structural Information

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Online Misrepresentations of the WTC Collapses

Forum, Blog Representations of the WTC Collapses

The Book Tested Through Experiments

Miscellaneous Notes, Resources
FAQ for Miscellaneous Notes
History Commons 9/11 Timeline
The 911Dataset Project
Skyscraper Safety Campaign
First and Largest 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
Key Words in Book and Website
Trapped Within a Narrowed False Choice
Vulnerability and Requestioning
On Memes and Memetics
Obedience, Conformity and Mental Structure
Denial, Avoidance (Taboo) and Mental Structure
Taboos Against Reviewing the Collapse Events
Extreme Situations and Mental Structure
Suggestibility, Hypnosis and Mental Structure
Awareness and Behavior
Magical, Religious, Scientific Cause-Effect Relations
The Extreme Limits of Mental Dysfunction
Orwell's "Crimestop", "Doublethink", "Blackwhite"
William James, Max Born: Science as Philosophy
Plato on Self Reflection and Mental Structure
Rewriting History, part 1
Rewriting History, part 2
On Smart Idiots

New Ideas in Education

How Existing Scientific Institutions Can Be Unaware of Contradiction

How Existing Scientific Institutions Can Be Unaware of Contradiction





4.1: HOW EXISTING SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTIONS CAN BE UNAWARE OF CONTRADICTION: Ordinary science vs extra-ordinary science



In the course of circulating the first drafts of this book to the general public, a few readers found it simply too hard to believe that a very small number of independent researchers could map and identify the collapse movements of the WTC towers far better than the NIST. After all, how is it possible that a small number of independent researchers were able to spot so many features of the visible collapse processes that the NIST overlooked?

The mere suggestion that this is not only possible, but it actually occurred, is simply too much for some readers to accept as true. The fact that it did happen challenges the world views of various would-be readers to such extremes that they cannot bring themselves to accept it as a reality.

But it is not so strange if one takes the time to understand what science really is and what it is not and how science is actually applied within our existing institutions of government, university and laboratory. Within part 1 of this book the author has attempted a brief overview of what science is and what it is not. Within this chapter the author will readdress this in light of the information presented in parts 2 and 3.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn, is widely considered to be one of the most influential books on the history of science ever written. The book is available in pdf form at this link. In order to understand the actual process of scientific advancement, as opposed to the one which exists in the popular imagination of both layman and researcher alike, Kuhn wisely drew a distinction between two types of science; Normal science and extra-ordinary (revolutionary) science.



"According to Kuhn the development of a science is not uniform but has alternating 'normal' and 'revolutionary' (or 'extraordinary') phases. The revolutionary phases are not merely periods of accelerated progress, but differ qualitatively from normal science. Normal science does resemble the standard cumulative picture of scientific progress, on the surface at least. Kuhn describes normal science as 'puzzle-solving' (1962/1970a, 35'42). While this term suggests that normal science is not dramatic, its main purpose is to convey the idea that like someone doing a crossword puzzle or a chess problem or a jigsaw, the puzzle-solver expects to have a reasonable chance of solving the puzzle, that his doing so will depend mainly on his own ability, and that the puzzle itself and its methods of solution will have a high degree of familiarity. A puzzle-solver is not entering completely uncharted territory. Because its puzzles and their solutions are familiar and relatively straightforward, normal science can expect to accumulate a growing stock of puzzle-solutions. Revolutionary science, however, is not cumulative in that, according to Kuhn, scientific revolutions involve a revision to existing scientific belief or practice (1962/1970a, 92)."1


According to Kuhn, the ordinary process of science generates "puzzle solutions" from a set of assumptions, but does not attempt to question those assumptions. Extra-ordinary science takes place when those fundamental assumptions are challenged or in doubt.


Kuhn gives a highly perceptive description of "ordinary", or "normal" science. From the book:

Mop-ping-up operations are what engage most scientists throughout their careers. They constitute what I am here calling normal science. Closely examined, whether historically or in the contemporary laboratory, that enterprise seems an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies. No part of the aim of normal science is to call forth new sorts of phenomena; indeed those that will not fit the box are often not seen at all. Nor do scientists normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often intolerant of those invented by others.1 Instead, normal-scientific research is directed to the articulation of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies.2


-Kuhn, pg 36


Hence normal science is simply the generation of increasing numbers of "stock puzzle solutions" from fundamental premises that remain unquestioned. It is not an effort to expand beliefs to account for observation and measurement as is commonly assumed. It is, rather, the effort to fit the complex world of observation into the current set of "stock puzzle solutions", and that which cannot be stuffed into those boxes tend to be simply ignored or explained away through hand-waving arguments.


This explanation of the "normal" process of a mature science, especially the portions in bold, is an excellent description of how study of the WTC collapses appears to have been approached by the NIST and by quite a few technical observers. The researchers at the NIST appear to have seen what they expected to see and the myriad observations that did not fit into what they expected to see were either ignored or explained away through hand-waving.


"Kuhn's view is that during normal science scientists neither test nor seek to confirm the guiding theories of their disciplinary matrix. Nor do they regard anomalous results as falsifying those theories. (It is only speculative puzzle-solutions that can be falsified in a Popperian fashion during normal science (1970b, 19).) Rather, anomalies are ignored or explained away if at all possible. It is only the accumulation of particularly troublesome anomalies that poses a serious problem for the existing disciplinary matrix. A particularly troublesome anomaly is one that undermines the practice of normal science. For example, an anomaly might reveal inadequacies in some commonly used piece of equipment, perhaps by casting doubt on the underlying theory. If much of normal science relies upon this piece of equipment, normal science will find it difficult to continue with confidence until this anomaly is addressed. A widespread failure in such confidence Kuhn calls a 'crisis' (1962/1970a, 66'76)."3



"Kuhn begins by formulating some assumptions that lay the foundation for subsequent discussion and by briefly outlining the key contentions of the book.

A) A scientific community cannot practice its trade without some set of received beliefs (p. 4).
... 1) These beliefs form the foundation of the "educational initiation that prepares and licenses the student for professional practice" (5).
... 2) The nature of the "rigorous and rigid" preparation helps ensure that the received beliefs exert a "deep hold" on the student's mind.
B) Normal science "is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like" (5)"scientists take great pains to defend that assumption.
C) To this end, "normal science often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are necessarily subversive of its basic commitments" (5).
D) Research is "a strenuous and devoted attempt to force nature into the conceptual boxes supplied by professional education"4


These profound insights by Kuhn may help the reader to understand much of what is witnessed in the case of the official investigation into the collapses of the WTC towers on 9-11-01. The misrepresentations seem to be the results of ordinary science applied to a one-time extra-ordinary event. The collapses were highly complex, extra-ordinary events outside of the range of what either engineers or the general public commonly experience. Yet the contradictions apparent to the careful, skilled observer were simply ignored in order to "stuff" the towers into preformed and relatively inflexible boxes of the existing beliefs of the researchers and management performing the investigations.


Kuhn summarized how normal science is like puzzle-solving in chapter 4, a concise outline being reproduced below:


"Normal Science as Puzzle-solving. Doing research is essentially like solving a puzzle. Puzzles have rules. Puzzles generally have predetermined solutions.

A striking feature of doing research is that the aim is to discover what is known in advance.
This in spite of the fact that the range of anticipated results is small compared to the possible results.
When the outcome of a research project does not fall into this anticipated result range, it is generally considered a failure, i.e., when "significance" is not obtained.
Studies that fail to find the expected are usually not published.
The proliferation of studies that find the expected helps ensure that the paradigm/theory will flourish.
Even a project that aims at paradigm articulation does not aim at unexpected novelty.
"One of the things a scientific community acquires with a paradigm is a criterion for choosing problems that, while the paradigm is taken for granted, can be assumed to have solutions" (37).
The intrinsic value of a research question is not a criterion for selecting it.
The assurance that the question has an answer is the criterion (37).
"The man who is striving to solve a problem defined by existing knowledge and technique is not just looking around. He knows what he wants to achieve, and he designs his instruments and directs his thoughts accordingly" (96)."5


These insights are quite different than the popular conceptions of science as it is portrayed in textbooks and appears in the popular imagination. Within the popular imagination the scientist is generally portrayed as a very observant individual who tries to account for all phenomena within a system under study, including apparent anomalies. But according to the observations of Kuhn, this is a quite flattering though grossly inaccurate conception.

Within the process of normal science a limited stock of "puzzle solutions" are available to a researcher. The Bazant papers on collapse progression reviewed within section 2.6 is an example of a group of researchers applying a "stock puzzle solution" to the WTC twin towers collapse events and mistakenly applying them quite literally as being truly representative of the towers themselves. As pointed out earlier, the result is very similar to a cartoon, but the researchers themselves and readers who believe in such descriptions take the cartoons as real.

Likewise, the author has witnessed how people with technical educations, when attempting to explain overpressurization patterns witnessed during the collapses of WTC1 and 2, will cite Bernoulli's principle5. This is the standard "stock puzzle solution" which one learns in ones educational training. Reaching for a standard "puzzle solution" is a type of mental reflex one learns within ones technical training whether or not such limited solutions can be applied to a unique, complex event.


As Kuhn explains:


"We have already seen, however, that one of the things a scientific community acquires with a paradigm is a criterion for choosing problems that, while the paradigm is taken for granted, can be assumed to have solutions. To a great extent these are the only problems that the community will admit as scientific or encourage its members to undertake. Other problems, including many that had previously been standard, are rejected as metaphysical, as the concern of another discipline, or sometimes as just too problematic to be worth the time. A paradigm can, for that matter, even insulate the community from those socially important problems that are not reducible to the puzzle form, because they cannot be stated in terms of the conceptual and instrumental tools the paradigm supplies.6


"One of the reasons why normal science seems to progress so rapidly is that its practitioners concentrate on problems that only their own lack of ingenuity should keep them from solving."7


Within the above series of quotes, a highly useful and insightful description of the normal scientific process is offered to compliment the descriptions of science given earlier, in part 1 of the book.






4.2: THE EMERGENCE OF ANOMALY AND CRISIS IN THE COURSE OF "BUSINESS AS USUAL", OR NORMAL SCIENCE


As Kuhn describes the aim of research in the course of normal science, the unwritten aim of the NIST reports was nothing more than to "discover" what their researchers and management believed was known in advance in spite of the fact that the range of anticipated results is small compared to the possible results. With such an aim, it is not difficult to understand how phenomena that didn't fit their preformed concept of what was observed was simply ignored or hand-waved away as insignificant.

Consider one of many consequences of the thesis of this book:

There is no fact-based technical account of the World Trade Center collapses. This is verifiably true beyond doubt. The true collapse modes of the Twin Towers are not accurately determined within any academic, professional or government literature.

Even so, the thesis deals with the curious situation in which there is no accurate technical history of the WTC collapses available but many people believe or assume one exists.


Why should a change of paradigm be called a revolution? In the face of the vast and essential differences between political and scientific development, what parallelism can justify the metaphor that finds revolutions in both?

One aspect of the parallelism must already be apparent. Political revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense, often restricted to a segment of the political community, that existing institutions have ceased adequately to meet the problems posed by an environment that they have in part created. In much the same way, scientific revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense, again often restricted to a narrow subdivision of the scientific community, that an existing paradigm has ceased to function adequately in the exploration of an aspect of nature to which that paradigm itself had previously led the way. In both political and scientific development the sense of malfunction that can lead to crisis is prerequisite to revolution.8

-Kuhn, pg 92




The ordinary fact-checking and peer review process with respect to the WTC collapses has clearly malfunctioned. In an environment of "business as usual" or as Kuhn calls "normal science", and within a politically charged environment of taboo and stereotype, anomalies can easily go unnoticed and contradiction ignored. Not only is this not strange, according to the Kuhnian viewpoint this is expected.





A MODERN DAY EXAMPLE OF AN EXTRA-ORDINARY SCIENTIST WITHIN AN ENVIRONMENT OF NORMAL SCIENCE: The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Investigation

In the following video Richard Feynman tells why he agreed to participate in the space shuttle Challenger investigation. The video also describes the results of his being on the committee.





Feynman was the only one on the committee that looked deeper into the disaster, and, not surprisingly, he was the only one who actually discovered possible mechanical causes for the Challenger disintegration. His findings were quite different than the other investigators who seemed to be operating according to "business as usual". The committee attempted to suppress his findings within the final report, yet he resisted this attempt and they were included in the appendix. In order to make his own findings public he bypassed convention and went straight to the public during a press conference which proved to be quite embarrassing to NASA management, giving the now famous presentation seen in the video.






Literally as well as metaphorically, the man accustomed to inverting lenses has undergone a revolutionary transformation of vision. The subjects of the anomalous playing-card experiment discussed in Section VI experienced a quite similar transformation. Until taught by prolonged exposure that the universe contained anomalous cards, they saw only the types of cards for which previous experience had equipped them. Yet once experience had provided the requisite additional categories, they were able to see all anomalous cards on the first inspection long enough to permit any identification at all. Still other experiments demonstrate that the perceived size, color, and so on, of experimentally displayed objects also varies with the subject's previous training and experience.2 Surveying the rich experimental literature from which these examples are drawn makes one suspect that something like a paradigm is prerequisite to perception itself. What a man sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual-conceptual experience has taught him to see. In the absence of such training there can only be, in William James's phrase, 'a bloomin' buzzin' confusion.9

-pg 112


So, Kuhn asks:


But is sensory experience fixed and neutral? Are theories simply man-made interpretations of given data? The epistemological viewpoint that has most often guided Western philosophy for three centuries dictates an immediate and unequivocal, Yes! In the absence of a developed alternative, I find it impossible to relinquish entirely that viewpoint. Yet it no longer functions effectively, and the attempts to make it do so through the introduction of a neutral language of observations now seem to me hopeless.10


In the case of the collapse of the WTC towers on 9-11-01, sensory experience was most definitely not "fixed and neutral". More than one decade after the events, there remains no common consensus on what was perceived. There are observations and measurements recorded within this book that are not even acknowledged to exist, even though they were extracted directly from the visual record of the events themselves.



Kuhn continues:


The operations and measurements that a scientist undertakes in the laboratory are not 'the given' of experience but rather 'the collected with difficulty.' They are not what the scientist 'sees' at least not before his research is well advanced and his attention focused. Rather, they are concrete indices to the content of more elementary perceptions, and as such they are selected for the close scrutiny of normal research only because they promise opportunity for the fruitful elaboration of an accepted paradigm. Far more clearly than the immediate experience from which they in part derive, operations and measurements are paradigm-determined. 11
-pg 127

The observations and measurements included within this book were obtained with extreme difficulty within an environment which was sometimes hostile and laden with taboo against mapping the towers more clearly.






4.3: ON WHY SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS ARE INVISIBLE: BECAUSE TEXTBOOKS ARE REWRITTEN AND THE ACTUAL HISTORY OF HOW THE MOST CURRENT CONDITIONS CAME ABOUT IS FABRICATED


I suggest that there are excellent reasons why revolutions have proved to be so nearly invisible. Both scientists and laymen take much of their image of creative scientific activity from an authoritative source that systematically disguises - partly for important functional reasons - the existence and significance of scientific revolutions. Only when the nature of that authority is recognized and analyzed can one hope to make historical example fully effective. 12


For the moment let us simply take it for granted that, to an extent unprecedented in other fields, both the layman's and the practitioner's knowledge of science is based on textbooks and a few other types of literature derived from them. Textbooks, however, being pedagogic vehicles for the perpetuation of normal science, have to be rewritten in whole or in part whenever the language, problem-structure, or standards of normal science change. In short, they have to be rewritten in the aftermath of each scientific revolution, and, once rewritten, they inevitably disguise not only the role but the very existence of the revolutions that produced them. Unless he has personally experienced a revolution in his own lifetime, the historical sense either of the working scientist or of the lay reader of textbook literature extends only to the outcome of the most recent revolutions in the field.
13

-pg 137



Textbooks thus begin by truncating the scientist's sense of his discipline's history and then proceed to supply a substitute for what they have eliminated. Characteristically, textbooks of science contain just a bit of history, either in an introductory chapter or, more often, in scattered references to the great heroes of an earlier age. From such references both students and professionals come to feel like participants in a long-standing historical tradition. Yet the textbook-derived tradition in which scientists come to sense their participation is one that, in fact, never existed. For reasons that are both obvious and highly functional, science textbooks (and too many of the older histories of science) refer only to that part of the work of past scientists that can easily be viewed as contributions to the statement and solution of the texts' paradigm problems. Partly by selection and partly by distortion, the scientists of earlier ages are implicitly represented as having worked upon the same set of fixed problems and in accordance
with the same set of fixed canons that the most recent revolution in scientific theory and method has made seem scientific. No wonder that textbooks and the historical tradition they imply have to be rewritten after each scientific revolution. And no wonder that, as they are rewritten, science once again comes to seem largely cumulative. Scientists are not, of course, the only group that tends to see its discipline's past developing linearly toward its present vantage. The temptation to write history backward is both omnipresent and perennial. But scientists are more affected by the temptation to rewrite history, partly because the results of scientific research show no obvious dependence upon the historical context of the inquiry, and partly because, except during crisis and revolution, the scientist's contemporary position seems so secure. More historical detail, whether of science's present or of its past, or more responsibility to the historical details that are presented, could only give artificial status to human idiosyncrasy, error, and confusion.
14

The result is a persistent tendency to make the history of science look linear or cumulative, a tendency that even affects scientists looking back at their own research.
15



He then gives 2 examples, Dalton in chemistry and Newton in physics, and concludes:

By disguising such changes, the textbook tendency to make the development of science linear hides a process that lies at the heart of the most significant episodes of scientific development. The preceding examples display, each within the context of a single revolution, the beginnings of a reconstruction of history that is regularly
completed by postrevolutionary science texts. But in that completion more is involved than a multiplication of the historical misconstructions illustrated above. Those misconstructions render revolutions invisible; the arrangement of the still visible material in science texts implies a process that, if it existed, would deny revolutions a function. Because they aim quickly to acquaint the student with what the contemporary scientific community thinks it knows, textbooks treat the various experiments, concepts, laws, and theories of the current normal science as separately and as nearly seriatim as possible. As pedagogy this technique of presentation is unexceptionable. But when combined with the generally unhistorical air of science writing and with the occasional systematic misconstructions discussed above, one strong impression is overwhelmingly likely to follow: science has reached its present state by a series of individual discoveries and inventions that, when gathered together, constitute the modern body of technical knowledge. From the beginning of the scientific enterprise, a textbook presentation implies, scientists have striven for the particular objectives that are embodied in today's paradigms. One by one, in a process often compared to the addition of bricks to a building, scientists have added another fact, concept, law, or theory to the body of information supplied in the contemporary science text.

But that is not the way a science develops.
16


-pg 140



BOHM, FEYNMAN, EINSTEIN, BOHR and extra-ordinary science as requestioning assumptions

Please recall that the author cited a conventional description of the scientific method along side non-conventional descriptions offered by Feynman, Einstein and Bohm. This was done because the conventional description of the scientific process, even 50 years after Kuhn wrote, contains no conceptual description of the difference between normal science and extra-ordinary science.

Kuhn: "Unless he has personally experienced a revolution in his own lifetime, the historical sense either of the working scientist or of the lay reader of textbook literature extends only to the outcome of the most recent revolutions in the field."17


Not only did they personally experience scientific revolutions, they led the way. These physicists are widely regarded as some of the best ever, yet each, in their own way, saw the heart of the western world view as neither scientific nor civilized. Each described it, in its current course, as more of an inevitable train wreck. It is as if each of the four, in their own ways, were trying to warn others about the imbalance between technical knowledge and the capacity to control it humanely.

Secondly, each, in their own way, viewed belief in authority and an authoritarian world view as very dangerous and almost hypnotic.

Feynman: "Learn from science that you must doubt the experts.....Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."18


Doubting experts and core underlying assumptions is not optional according to Feynman. It is a mandatory condition for the practice of science beyond "business as usual", or the generation and application of stock puzzle solutions.

Einstein: "To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself."19

"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth".20


In the case of David Bohm, a man widely considered as one of the best quantum physicists ever, he considered giving up physics altogether as a waste of his time.


Max Planck, considered the founder of quantum mechanics, offered this sobering account of the true nature of a scientific revolution as he personally experienced it (which is quoted in Kuhn's book):

"A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."21


These people seem very aware of the difference between individual scientific creativity and institutionalized science.


Kuhn continues;


The depreciation of historical fact is deeply, and probably functionally, ingrained in the ideology of the scientific profession, the same profession that places the highest of all values upon factual details of other sorts. Whitehead caught the unhistorical spirit of the scientific community when he wrote, 'A science that hesitates to forget its founders is lost.' Yet he was not quite right, for the sciences, like other professional enterprises, do need their heroes and do preserve their names. Fortunately, instead of forgetting these heroes, scientists have been able to forget or revise their works.21

-pg 138



4.4: REQUESTIONING CORE ASSUMPTIONS


Within the popular imagination science and religion are seen as being fundamentally different, moving in contrary directions. But according to Kuhn the process of normal or ordinary science, like a religious institution, functions under sets of core beliefs. Contrary to popular imagination, it is only within the process of extra-ordinary science that some of these core beliefs are called into question.



Normal science "is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like" (5)"scientists take great pains to defend that assumption."

Please notice the smacking similarity to various established religious institutions, which are based, first and foremost, on the belief that religious authorities "know what the world is like".

What both layman and scientist commonly believe to be qualities of science are actually only qualities of extra-ordinary science and are in no way part of the normal process of science. Consider some of the most common illusions both layman and scientist tend to have regarding the scientific process according to Kuhn. The key points are reproduced (Italic fonts are direct quotes from Kuhn):






Scientists neither test nor seek to confirm the guiding theories of their disciplinary matrix. Nor do they regard anomalous results as falsifying those theories.

According to Kuhn, during the normal process of science the researcher simply believes in the guiding theories of their disciplinary matrix. Phenomena which appear to be exceptions to these theories and preconceptions are simple ignored or hand-waved away.




Normal science is "a strenuous and devoted attempt to force nature into the conceptual boxes supplied by professional education". Phenomena that will not fit the box are often not seen at all

This strenuous effort is to fit nature and phenomena into their underlying belief system.






The aim of research in the normal process of science is an effort to discover what is known in advance. When the outcome of a research project does not fall into this anticipated result range, it is generally considered a failure, i.e., when "significance" is not obtained, and studies that fail to find the expected are usually not published.






One of the things a scientific community acquires with a paradigm is a criterion for choosing problems that, while the paradigm is taken for granted, can be assumed to have solutions"





The intrinsic value of a research question is not a criterion for selecting it. The assurance that the question has an answer is the criterion.

This implicit, unstated priority of normal science create the illusion of continuity or smoothness. According to Kuhn, "One of the reasons why normal science seems to progress so rapidly is that its practitioners concentrate on problems that only their own lack of ingenuity should keep them from solving".






What a person sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual-conceptual experience has taught him to see.







A paradigm can insulate the scientific community from those socially important problems that are not reducible to the puzzle form.







Science textbooks begin by truncating the scientist's sense of his discipline's history and then proceed to supply a substitute for what they have eliminated. The depreciation of historical fact is deeply, and probably functionally, ingrained in the ideology of the scientific profession, the same profession that places the highest of all values upon factual details of other sorts.


This removal of an accurate historic sense of how the current state of the sciences actually came into being creates the illusion of a continuity of scientific thought and covers up just how many times scientists were confused or downright wrong. After all, as both William James and Albert Einstein point out, science is nothing more than the development of ordinary thinking.

Einstein:
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."


James:

"Philosophy in the full sense is only man thinking. Thinking about generalities or particulars. But whether about particularities or generals, man thinks always by the same methods. He observes, discriminates, generalizes, classifies, looks for causes, traces analogies, and makes hypotheses. Philosophy, taken as something distinct from sciences or from practical affairs, follows no method particular to itself. All our thinking to-day has evolved gradually out of primitive human thought, and the only really important changes that have come over its manner (as distinguished from the matters in which it believes) are a greater hesitancy in asserting its convictions, and the habit of seeking verification for them whenever it can."




There is no "scientific method" that can be applied automatically like a cookbook recipe to generate guaranteed true solutions to complex problems. This is simply a common illusion created by mistakenly ascribing attributes of extra-ordinary science to the process of ordinary science. Therefore when revisiting the opening question:

How is it possible that a small number of independent researchers were able to spot so many features of the visible collapse processes that the NIST overlooked?


It is not so surprising that this can happen and did happen in the course of follow-up research. It is also not surprising that the results of this research are ignored by institutional scientific bodies, as these results are quite embarrassing to both the institutions and those who have uncritically embraced their results without the slightest effort to independently fact-check the NIST findings.



On to Part 5: Reassessing the Question of Demolition

Created on 09/16/2012 04:37 PM by admin
Updated on 08/02/2015 08:51 AM by admin
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