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GAFFs in Pursuit of Truth?

(aka: The ever-repeating way of the World?)

Since the dawn of man, generally accepted theories,* have been espoused in order to explain the way of the world and its universe.1 Whether based in “old” religion or “new” science, all these generally accepted theories may (for the sake of brevity) be termed GATs. Except in full disclosure, many of these GATs do not remain GATs for long. Becoming soon vested with id and ego, many GATs are quickly converted into generally accepted facts, otherwise known as GAFs.

Then, in the déjà vu of expanding ego, some of these GAFs further devolve into GAFFs, being generally accepted (fallacious) facts.

As we know, religion takes its turn with GAFFs. And despite our evolving cleverness, science has had its share, though we seem to prefer to “reconstitute” scientific GAFFs as “incomplete comprehensions” when persistent observation finally cooks the GAFF goose.

Thankfully over time, most GAFFs get corrected,2 though the process can wend its tortuous and obstructive way down the centuries—inflicting the maximum pain allowed by law and conceit upon questioners or contrarians. Just ask Galileo (battling religious GAFFs) or Velikovsky and all those other so-called “pseudo-scientists”3 (battling science GAFFs).

So what might be a small sampling of our latter-day, science-based GAFFs?

▪ Could our Big Bang be a distant but close cousin (if not a veritable clone) of that old, “spontaneous generation”?4 (See the footnote reference and extrapolate.) And if the Big Bang (with its virtual offspring) eventually offends every observation and measurement, what should we call it? dead wrong? or just incomplete?5 What have we called spontaneous generation? Incomplete?

▪ Has scientific, logical man become the “orbital” center in replay of the old Ptolemaic (earth-centered) system?

▪ What do we make of “scientific” constants that are proving not so constant?

▪ What about radioactive decay that inexplicably speeds up or slows down?

▪ What about that shifting red-shift?

▪ What if gravity6 doesn’t deserve all the credit it gets?

▪ How long did the principle of uniformity retain its obstructive sway?

▪ How long can the scientist who doesn’t observe or comprehend a “fact” retain the conceit that if He hasn’t observed or comprehended it, it can’t be observed or comprehended by anyone?!

A sign of a probable GAFF is some new observation that is described as:

▪ abnormal
▪ anomalous
▪ astonishing
▪ baffling
▪ bizarre
▪ inexplicable
▪ mysterious
▪ peculiar
▪ puzzling
▪ shocking
▪ strange
▪ surprising
▪ unanticipated
▪ unexpected
▪ unforeseen
▪ etc., etc.

Yes, science and scientists deserve countless accolades for great advances, but to those scientists who have become militant, self-appointed defenders of GATs, GAFs, and sometimes GAFFs, here’s an observation or two:

▪ Science has been, always and forever, full of surprises, upsets, and inexplicables.

▪ Research and history has shown that loners are often the creators, innovators, and discoverers and that many have had to battle GAFFs much of their life.

▪ Research has also shown that groups have a tendency to reinforce each other’s biases, inhibit each other’s creativity, and dampen the courage to dissent.

▪ GAFFers often have a vested interest in perpetuating GAFFs to which they have dedicated their careers, reputations, and financial well-being.

▪ Scientists are not immune to the sway of ego, prejudice, irrational passion, and astonishing myopia.

▪ Science seems better served by those pursuing truth than those pursuing conformity!

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* (Our current generally accepted theory is also known as The Standard Model.)
1. (Or universes as the case may prove.)
 2. Though NOT self-correcting as some scientists like to claim, but are laboriously, painstakingly corrected by men and women dedicated to the pursuit of scientific truth, come hell or the high priests of scientific GAFFs.
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fads_and_Fallacies_in_the_Name_of_Science This wiki entry describes in classic detail, the way GAFFers discount contrarians, or as they prefer to call them, loners, cranks and pseudo-scientists. How déjà vu the responses towards Galileo? Newton? Pasteur? Tesla? etc., etc., etc.
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_generation
5. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Science_was_wrong_before Yes, there are truths in this wiki entry, but the analysis falls far short of humility and full confession.
6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitation