The True Nature of Scientific Discoveries

  • Adolf Heschl


What is valid for the biological world, i.e., the world of living organisms must also be valid for the scientific world, i.e., the world of scientists, at least as far as they are living beings and not mysterious ghosts. Biology and science in general do not evolve by themselves, rather, if at all, then only those unique persistent and self-made creatures which, for whatever reason, we call intelligent humans. Hence we are well advised to follow Thomas Kuhn’s path-breaking new epistemological approach centered on the single individual and test how far it can bring us in relation to a possibly novel biology of science. As we have learned from purely theoretical considerations, real cognitive progress, which is always simultaneously evolutionary progress and vice versa, can only be achieved by absolutely blind attempts. These are the universally disliked genetic mutations and recombinations which ensure that, with foreseeable regularity, completely new types of individuals can originate. The developing individual himself must remain completely excluded from advances of this kind out of purely selection theoretical reasons linked to the germ line/soma relationship. This means nothing other than that, in the actual context of science, scientists, contrary to their privileged public reputation, do not do what is asked of them daily, namely bring knowledge into the light of day for this insatiably curious humanity. Astonishingly, Thomas Kuhn’s considerations of what we understand by a scientific paradigm come unbelievably close to this purely evolutionary context:


Evolutionary Theory Scientific Theory Scientific Discovery True Nature Black Swan 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adolf Heschl
    • 1
  1. 1.Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition ResearchAltenbergAustria

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