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Nick Harris Professor Bush 1 April 2012 Cal 105 Paradigm Shift Thomas Kuhn was an influential historian and philosopher in the mid to late 1900s. His main focus was on the evolution of science. He made the term Paradigm shift famous and used it in most of his works. Kuhns theory is that science moves along steadily with few changes then suddenly will aggressively change its paradigm. Kuhn believes that that certain part of science is being replaced by the newly discovered part. Kuhns theory applies to how we function today and is a useful tool in progressing science. Normal Science refers to the unchanged method a scientists would take within a paradigm to gather data to support the overarching idea. It does not attempt to challenge the theory; it only wishes to make it stronger. Normal science is a peaceful time with when everybody understands the given theory and it is not disputed. A scientific revolution occurs when this chain is broken and a new paradigm is fighting to take over. As the paradigm shift occurs it starts what Kuhn calls a scientific revolution. This is when people start to accept and understand

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the new beliefs. Once the theory is accepted it becomes the new paradigm until it is challenged and the process begins again. A lot of scientist spends most of their time looking for information that reinforce the paradigm already in place. This causes science to become very stagnate and uninteresting. Scientists will disregard any information that contradicts what is already in place. This makes it impossible for science to evolve. Kuhn talks about how when creating a new theory you must start with nothing and build upon it proving each step yourself and disregarding the old paradigm. This is the only way to truly advance science. Kuhns theory can apply to many different forms of science. Excluding mathematics makes sense because it follows general rules anything outside is just incorrect math. It applies very distinctively in physics. Physics at the Newtonian level has a specific set of rules and it was believed that these rules applied throughout nature. A new paradigm was brewing at the hands of Einstein. He discovered that at the sub-atomic level of atoms these rules didnt apply. This sparked a scientific revolution. The general population accepts and understands the new findings cementing it as the new paradigm. Kuhn theory is still quite prevalent in the world today. A great example is the issue if global warming is mostly humans

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fault. His theory applies in a number of different ways. Both sides of the spectrum are hearing new information about this issue and are ignoring the parts that dont fit in to their paradigm. If both side have the same information and coming to a different conclusion then one side if not both are not completely building their own argument. Both sides are disregarding information to prove their side true. The side that believes it is the humans fault is disregarding the history that this is just the cycle of earth. The other side is disregarding the steady decline in glaciers. Currently we are in a scientific revolution concerning this matter. If one side of the argument builds a complete case then the new paradigm will be accepted. Kuhns theory still is being used in todays world and is a great tool for science. If Kuhns theory is accepted as the new paradigm for testing things the science community will progress rapidly.

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