Re: [asa] Believing Scripture but Playing by Science's Rules

From: Don Nield <>
Date: Wed Feb 14 2007 - 00:03:32 EST

What Dave and Don W say is true, but for the statement of Marcus Ross to
have any bite at all Ross must have had something like the Kuhnian
paradigm in mind. The question then is whether the amount of cognitive
dissonance in Ross's position is reasonable or not. In my view it is
unreasonable. To me, Ross's position is untenable for anyone with a
moderately open mind.
Don N

D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:

> Don gives a good example of a paradigm, the pattern of usage. It is
> simply the simplified spelling of the Greek /paradeigma/. The first
> meaning in L&S is "a pattern, model, plan, Lat. examplar: a copy,
> representation." Second, "a precedent, example ... also lesson,
> warning." Third, "am illustration, proof by example." So pattern or
> model seems to apply as well as anything. I take it to be simply fancy
> language for pattern.
> Dave
> On Tue, 13 Feb 2007 16:40:30 -0800 "Don Winterstein"
> < <>> writes:
> I first came across /paradigms /as examples of declension or
> conjugation in foreign language classes, but of course the word
> has come to have much broader meanings both within and outside of
> science.
> To me a /paradigm/ is the model that underlies the models within a
> system; it's the set of postulates and axioms in terms of
> which all the details of a system are interpreted and understood.
> Example: The Old Testament paradigm holds that God seeks to
> express his glory on earth through his chosen people, who honor
> him by obeying his laws. This expression of glory is to find
> fulfillment in an earthly kingdom ruled by his Messiah.
> Jesus the "apocalyptic prophet" implemented a new paradigm, one
> that holds that the glorious kingdom is not of this world; its
> citizens qualify through faith, not through ancestry or by obeying
> laws; and Jesus is the Messiah, the head of the kingdom.
> Whether or not you agree with my characterizations of OT and NT,
> what I would call a clear paradigm shift took place as a result of
> Jesus' coming. The apostle Paul in particular struggled
> mightily to reinterpret Jewish history and the OT in terms of this
> new paradigm. If there had not been a change of paradigm, there
> would have been no need for the reinterpretation struggle.
> Despite efforts of NT authors to make it seem so, the NT paradigm
> does not follow in an obvious way from the OT paradigm. That's
> why I call the OT/NT transition a paradigm shift.
> I also like to include unsuccessful paradigms within the meaning
> of /paradigm/. That is, a model that has the potential
> to conceptually underlie a system is still a paradigm even if it
> has not been widely accepted. If it is eventually accepted,
> then said system would need to be reinterpreted in terms of it.
> Don
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* George Murphy <>
> *To:* Michael Roberts <>
> ; Ted Davis <> ; American Scientific
> Affiliation <> ;
> <>
> *Sent:* Monday, February 12, 2007 4:14 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Re: [asa] Believing Scripture but Playing
> by Science's Rules
> "Aristotle's _Physica_, Ptolemy's _Almagest_, Newton's
> _Principia_
> and _Opticks_, Franklin's _Electricity_ and Lyell's _Geology_
> -these and
> many other works served for a time implicitly to to define the
> legitimate
> problems and methods of a research field for succeeding
> generations of
> practitioners. They were able to do so because they shared
> two essential
> characteristics. Their achievment was sufficiently
> unprecedented to attract
> an enduring group of adherents away from competing modes of
> scientific
> activity. Simultaneously, it was sufficiently open-ended to
> leave all sorts
> of problems for the redefined group of practitioners to resolve.
> "Achievments that share these two characteristics I
> shall henceforth
> refer to as 'paradigms,' a term that relates closely to
> 'normal science.'"
> (Thomas S. Kuhn, _The Structure of Scientific
> Revolutions_, 2d ed.,
> enlarged [University of Chicago, 1970], p.10.)
> At least that's what Kuhn meant.
> Shalom
> George
> <>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael Roberts" <
> <>>
> To: "George Murphy" <
> <>>; "Ted Davis" <
> <>>;
> "American Scientific Affiliation" <
> <>>; <
> <>>
> Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 6:13 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] Re: [asa] Believing Scripture but Playing
> by Science's
> Rules
> > Can anyone tell me what a paradigm really is? Is it just a
> pretentious
> > word of no meaning?
> >
> > Michael

Donald A. Nield
Associate Professor, Department of Engineering Science
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
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Received on Wed Feb 14 00:04:21 2007

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