Top positive review
A Powerful Argument for a New Scientific Paradigm
Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2016
In 1956, Thomas Kuhn published one of the most influential science books of all time, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. This book introduced the concept of paradigms and how they change. In essence, when an existing scientific paradigm (or theoretical structure) begins to fail at explaining observations and those failures add up, the existing paradigm eventually collapses, and a new one rises to take its place. For a time, the advocates of the existing paradigm marshal their forces to defend and protect it; after all, the paradigm underpins the science curriculum and defines what it means to be a scientist.
Cosmosapiens is a significant contribution to a new era in scientific writing. The shelves are filled with books that trumpet the advances of science, the wonders of cosmology, the mysteries of quantum theory, and the power of Darwinian evolution. These books make it appear as if the current theories of science, from the Big Bang to the origin of life and Darwinian evolution, are now engraved in stone, forever to form part of the Scientific Curriculum.
But it turns out that when the power of critical thinking is used not to defend dutifully the existing scientific paradigm, but is instead used to challenge the assumptions and logical consistency of these theories, something remarkable happens: the old theories start falling apart.
John Hands is an outsider to the orthodox scientific community but possesses a sharp, critical mind, a clear writing style and unparalleled thoroughness. Some of the most mind-opening passages in the book concern his interaction with scientists he consulted for peer review. In one section he writes about an preeminent scientist (an evolutionary biologist) who he asked to review a draft chapter on evolution. The reviewer was so put off by the first sentence of the chapter that he read no farther, thereby managing to prejudge a rigorous and original analysis of evolution filled with thought-provoking insights. Cosmosapiens, like Lee Smolin's, The Trouble with Physics and Rupert Sheldrake's, Science Set Free, (and I hope my own book, The Collapse of Materialism), clearly and unequivocally shows that many of today’s leading scientists are not practicing science, if by that term we mean the open-minded search for truth. Instead, they are defending and protecting a belief system that they call a scientific paradigm. A paradigm, riddled with flaws and deep mysteries, including the gross assumptions of the Big Bang, the wild speculations of inflationary theory and the multiverse, and the unknown forces making up most of the universe that theorists have given names “dark matter” and “dark energy” but cannot explain.
When scientists stop criticizing their own theories, when they are not candid in revealing their assumptions, when they do not tell us what they don’t know, disclose the gaps in their theories, or reveal their uncertainties, they do a disservice to both science and the world at large. People depend on scientists to not only find the truth, but to tell the truth.
Cosmosapians should form part of a new curriculum in science classes as it is written in the true spirit of science: critical review of assumptions, rigorous reliance on logic and authority, and open-mindedness. Scientific truth cannot be reached by the stubborn insistence that any new theory will only be discovered through computer modeling or by the use of a multi-billion dollar scientific instrument. Nor is the search advanced by fooling ourselves that only in a particle will we find God.
It is time the leaders of modern science woke up and realized that the end is near for the existing paradigm. They can choose to hang on and go down with the ship, or take a few minutes and consider whether alternate viewpoints, which give mind, not matter, a predominant role in the formation of the cosmos, make more sense and do something their existing theories do not, which is to explain the world we live in. Cosmosapiens is necessary reading for anyone who doubts that the existing paradigm is nearing the point of collapse.