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This scientific theory of Thomas Kuhn has been proven invalid.
"A scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place."
This illustration is based on the same conceptual idea as Thomas Kuhn from his essay the structure of scientific revolution. Although we did think of this concept before becoming acquainted with Thomas Kuhn, does not make it an original piece. One must always give credit to the original thinker whenever one becomes aware that his work shares some resemblance with the original idealist.
Kuhn argued that all scientific theories are formulated through compilation of scientific data, rules, standard and preexisting laws. Kuhn proposed that these scientific data, rules and standard or preexisting laws are all part of the paradigm.
Our example of a Paradigm is described as the foundation of building blocks that holds a building stand. In which case the building blocks are the paradigm that uphold the building like it uphold the value of the theory. As an example: if any of these building blocks shows cracks along the wall, these cracks are to identified as anomalies.
Kuhn argued that when scientific data rules and standard or preexisting laws have been found to have errors the 'paradigm' is considered to have anomalies. An anomaly in this case is best described as the misinterpretation of prior knowledge. Had we came across Kuhn essay on Scientific revolution before we probably would have referred to this concept of errors as anomalies, as indicated in his text, but fortunately I did not because if I did his philosophy would have influenced MY thoughts.
However, one thing that Kuhn said that we are not too sure if we completely agree with is that "a scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place." In our chain of thoughts, we can foresee how it may be possible that a scientific theory could be proven invalid because the paradigm it depended on has been proven inaccurate, but yet no one is able to come up with a different theory to replace the one with the anomaly. If we think of the anomalies as cracks within the wall, than the strength of the building becomes a question for the reason being if the foundation of the building is fill with cracks we cannot build a strong building on top of it. Well, we can now think of Kuhn argument as resting on a weak foundation.
The reason for not having a replacement could be that the anomalies that we view as cracks which are found in the paradigm (the building) may not yet be fully understood or not base on truth, but we know that the paradigm does not correspond well with the theory ( blue print). Or we can say another reason for not having a replacement is because new scientific discoveries have created doubt, but has not yet destroy completely the foundation on which the paradigm stands. But through careful experiments we have found out that new scientific discoveries conflict with the data that are found in the paradigm to the point where this data from the discovery produces questions that the theory (blue print) may have overlooked.
Since a theory (blue print) depends on accurate data to uphold its value, to have anomalies in them would have caused the theory to be doubtful. In which case, because of more accurate discoveries the anomalies that were found in the paradigm have now caused the meaning of the theory to be questioned by other researchers. But by no way should we say that the paradigm hold firm because new discoveries are not yet available to be used as replacement. This in effect is our rationale for denying Kuhn proposition that "a scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place."
To have accepted this concept from Kuhn would be like accepting a partial truth. If the paradigm that the theory depended on has been found to have anomalies then this theory therefore has been devalued. In which case whether or not we have a replacement for it, the scientific theory is still invalid to some degree. It is invalid because our reasons do not permit us to accept any theory that contains partial truths as being valid.
Even if we were to argue that there is no absolute truth it would still be hard to swallow this idea from Kuhn. Although we may not have an alternative, the truth of the matter is that the theory is doubtful because of the anomalies not because we haven't found new data that are accurate enough to sustain or replace the paradigm that the theory depends on.
This could be more accurate given a different example. Let say we spoke to Jim over the phone and during our phone conversation we say to him that he can come retrieve these three avocados he paid for yesterday. Meanwhile, there are only two avocados in the basket for Jim. Therefore, my statement is not accurate; there is an anomaly in that statement when perceived as a constructive idea. Just like in scientific theories scientist makes claims that are not there or claims that holds no value.
Likewise, since Jim doesn’t know about the missing avocado he regards my previous statement as the truth. Now if I call my friend Brett to ask him to bring one avocado over before Jim gets to my place can we agree that my prior statement to Jim that there are three avocados in the basket accurate? Since the truth is pending on one more avocado for it to be accurate, can we accept my previous statement to Jim as the truth?
The above analogy is similar to Kuhn proposition that state: “a scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place”. From this understanding, if Brett never showed up with the third avocado can we consider our previous statement to Jim valid. No! Right, well according to Kuhn if Brett hasn't showed up with the missing avocado our previous statement to Jim would still be valid, that's our problem with Kuhn argument.
As you can see, it’s not logical to accept partial truths as being the whole truth even if the solution for the anomaly is not yet comprehend. What makes the theory doubtful is the fact that we become aware that there is an existing anomaly in the theory. Although we haven't found a replacement for the paradigm the theory is not completely valid due to the cracks we've demonstrated within the walls of the foundation.
We would like you to understand one thing. As stated in various scientific sites there is a big difference between what is a “theory” vs. what is a “law”. But according to our interpretation of the two we have come to realized that a theory is a set of logical interpretation that has not yet proven meaningful enough to become “laws”, whereas, a “law” is base on a set of logical reasoning that has either been scientifically or logically proven to be factual on all measure of accuracy available at the present time. But by no way does it mean that a law may not have fault in it. The fault may just be that it hasn't been detected, therefore we view the law from the limiting faculties of our thoughts within a certain time period.
This article was published 17 months ago under the title - All truths are relative to prior knowledge.
- Sir Karl Popper "Science as Falsification," 1963
- Thomas Kuhn Philosophy: Discussion of Kuhn\'s Paradigm Shift, Structure of Scientific Revolutions Qu
Thomas Kuhn Philosophy: Discussion of Metaphysics / Philosophy of Thomas Kuhn's Paradigm Shift (from Space Time to Space Motion) - Structure of Scientific Revolutions Quotes Quotations by Thomas Kuhn.