Impediments to advancement of our understanding of the world within which we reside

It t so much what we don’t know that compromises science and its advancement, but what we know that isn’t so. Preconceived notions are often so ingrained in a field that they are never tested, or even considered appropriate to test. Often interdisciplinary efforts result in an interloper (scientists trained in a different field) naively questioning what the primary discipline has always believed. The interloper’s testing of that hypothesis often reveals “inconvenient truths.”

behavioral science

The “collective consciousness” of some fields is a major impediment even to publication of disparate evidence, let alone that which disproves pet theories. The term behavioral science could be used to describe the response of a field to new information, analogous to application of the term behavioral economics to describe response to assaults on the “imaginary world” in which some thrive. It is only with a free and honest exchange of ideas that this impediment can be mollified. Even when such information has been published, some fields allow such biased citation in subsequent articles, such that the inconvenient evidence is buried. ‘“Echo chambers” (in which individuals are exposed only to information from like-minded individuals)’would seem an appropriate characterization for journals allowing such deception. One major result of that approach is that expressions supporting the “collective consciousness” are not adequately reviewed. Reviewer fear of being ostrasized for criticizing a defender of that” collective consciousness” is a problem. Without the integrity to incorporate, cite and honestly address contradictory evidence and perspectives, those fields approach the asymptote of scientific extinction. Point and counter-point discussion is one of the most valuable tools for advancement, as long as it is evidence-based.


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