Progress of any scientific discipline side tracks into a wrong path and end up is a scientific or technological crisis, if there are errors in seed axioms of the scientific discipline (or a branch of a scientific discipline) and researchers try to advance the scientific discipline relying on the untested axiom by assuming that the untested axiom is self-evident Truth.
For example, erroneous axiom “the Earth is static” side tracked scientific progress into a wrong path for 1000 years and resulted in one of the greatest scientific crisis known to mankind. It resulted in deeply entrenched geocentric paradigm and conventional wisdom. Countless researchers and philosophers wasted their life time efforts on advancing geocentric paradigm.
The assumption “the Earth is static” was made more than 2000 years ago. Many great ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Ptolemy believed that the Earth is static. They started observing the heavens to understand the paths of planetary motions and try to understand the nature and reasons that affecting the movement of planets and stars. They realized that the movement of planets and starts was not random, but definitely an inexplicable pattern (e.g. comprising of retrograde motions and epicycles, see FIG-1 in http://real-software-components.com/more_docs/epicyles_facts.html)
This assumption (i.e. the Earth is static) neither tested nor documented, so no one even aware that it was untested assumption. So researchers between 500AD and 1500AD have no idea they were wasting their efforts by going in the wrong direction and not aware that they have no chance of making any meaningful progress. How can we prevent repeat of this kind of huge waste in the 21st century (and even greater lost opportunity costs)?
Many of the researchers or scientists certainly could make substantial contribution to the advancement of scientific and technological advancement, if the scientific progress were not sidetracked into wrong path. Instead they end up wasting their hard work and life time effort in a wrong path having no possibility of making any meaning full contribution, due to the undocumented error committed by earlier generations.
Who should be held responsible for such huge waste of research effort? Ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Ptolemy for not documenting their assumption “the Earth is static” is not yet proven? The researchers between 500AD and 1500AD, who were trying to advance mankind’s knowledge by relying on earlier works, without questioning and ascertaining the validity of the earlier works?
Since these researchers wasted their effort and lost their valuable time, so I feel and they are also victims, so must not be held responsible. I believe, any researcher making a genuine mistake must not be blamed. If the mistakes made were genuine (e.g. unavoidable due the best known knowledge available at that time), so it is unfair to blame any one.
But if similar error were to repeat in 21st century, I am sure certain researchers must be held responsible for wasting valuable research efforts of researchers and blocking scientific and technological progress. How any researcher would feel, if he wastes his valuable time in the wrong path (due to the negligence of earlier generations). They could have made major contributions, if the research is moving in the right path?
and other made significant contributions to Heliocentric model, since the error
was fixed paving the way in the right direction. But Newton and others were to
born 100 years earlier, what kind of contribution he or others could make to
geocentric model? Newton
Isn’t it a pity, if a great scientist or researcher end up wasting his effort in wrong path, who could have made great contribution when invested in the right path? Imagine, if a major scientific discipline sidetracked due to such error and ended up in a crisis and stuck in wrong path for 3 to 4 decades. How many great scientist or researcher could not contribute to technological progress due to the error (otherwise could have made huge contributions).
I believe, no one should be blamed, if his/her mistake was genuine and unintentional. For example, philosophers thousand years ago when they were students indoctrinated into the altered reality (e.g. see FIG-1 in http://real-software-components.com/more_docs/epicyles_facts.html).
This kind of mistake must not be repeated in the21st century. This kind of mistake can’t repeat, if proven scientific processes and rules are followed. Any mistake can be acceptable, if it is genuine or done without knowing (and while not being negligent). However certain researchers must be held responsible, if the error was made or sustained due to their negligence. How do we define negligence? How can we determine, who are negligent?
Isn’t it negligent, if a scientist and researcher knowingly violates or continue to violate proven scientific processes and rules, even after being made aware of untested axioms at the root? Today in 21st century, can a scientist in a position of influence plead ignorance to basic scientific processes and rules? Can he justify violating proven scientific processes and rules by using baseless or unsubstantiated excuses (e.g. using invalid or unproven chain of reasons)? I feel, the researchers and scientists must accept responsibility, if they ignore clear warnings and information (e.g. proof of violation of scientific process or rules) due to their prejudice or by giving unsubstantiated excuses.
I feel, it is sacred duty of any researcher and scientist to investigate Truth and strictly fallow proven scientific process/rules. Can we accept that it is a genuine mistake, if they ignore or evade their sacred responsibility to investigate truth, when clear and convincing evidence is openly presented to them? Is it acceptable, if they justify violations of basic scientific processes/rules by giving excuses (e.g. a chine of invalid or unproven reasons)?
Mustn’t they share the blame, if they continue promote prevailing possible flawed paradigm by ignoring the information and evidence bring to their notice? Can they refuse to prove the validity of untested axioms at the root of the prevailing possible flawed paradigm? Can they refuse to investigate the evidence provided to expose flawed axioms at the root of prevailing flawed paradigm?
If that is the case, don’t they have obligation to also disclose the information and evidence bring to their notice, when they are teaching the prevailing paradigm to next generation of students or researchers (e.g. future Newtons), who might end up wasting their future research effort? Shouldn’t they provide the information to the students and future researchers, so that, each of the student can make educated choice, which way he/her wish to do research?
I feel, we must do everything to prevent the same mistake in the 1st century. It was a genuine mistake thousand years ago. But can similar error be a genuine mistake in the 21st century? One way to prevent repeating similar mistake (and associated huge waste and lost opportunity costs) is to assign blame to researchers, whose mistakes are not genuine (but negligence).
My objective is to prevent repeat of similar mistake and waste in the 21st century. Hence what kinds of mistakes are no longer genuine in the 21st century based on the valuable lessons mankind learned during past 2000 years? Who should be held responsible for similar scientific crisis in 21st century and resultant sustained waste of the efforts of thousands of researchers and scientists (and lost opportunity costs)? I am sure, no one wants future Newton’s waste their life time effort for advancing Geocentric paradigm.