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There is an idea, an assumption among many people, especially some atheists of the dispassionate neutrality of science and the purity of its pursuit of the truth.

Richard Tarnas on Thomas Kuhn’s criticism of this näiveté …

“… science typically proceeds by seeking confirmations of the prevailing paradigm — gathering facts in the light of that theory, performing experiments on its basis, extending its range of applicability, further articulating its structure, attempting to clarify residual problems. Far from subjecting the paradigm itself to constant testing, normal science avoided contradicting it by routinely reinterpreting conflicting data in ways that would support the paradigm, or by neglecting such awkward data altogether. To an extent never consciously recognized by scientists, the nature of scientific practice makes its governing paradigm self-validating. The paradigm acts as a lens through which every observation is filtered, and is maintained as an authoritative bulwark by common convention. Through teachers and texts, scientific pedagogy sustains the inherited paradigm and ratifies its credibility, tending to produce a firmness of conviction and theoretical rigidity not unlike an education in systematic theology.”

The Passion of the Western Mind, p360-1 by Richard Tarnas

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