08 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Scientists Emulate Babies

We think there are very strong similarities between some particular types of early learning—learning about objects and about the mind, in particular—and scientific theory change. In fact, we think they are not just similar but identical. We don't just think that the baby computers have the same general structure as the adult-scientist computers, in the way that perceptual learning and artistic learning and political learning may all have the same general structure. We think that children ...
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We have even institutionalized an environment of infancy for scientists in academia, where they are allowed to explore freely in general research, understanding that the discoveries made there may hold great benefits for the human race. This meme also suggests that free inquiry is an important aspect of raising children and maintaining an environment of free inquiry for parents is important as well.

19 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Dissent as a Scientific Virtue

First, of course, comes independence, in observation and thence in thought. I once told an audience of school-children that the world would never change if they did not contradict their elders. J was chagrined to find next morning that this axiom outraged their parents. Yet it is the basis of the scientific method. A man must see, do and think things for himself, in the face of those who are sure that they have already been over all that ground. In science, there is no substitute for independ...
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Without dissent, there is no progress.