onsdag 22 augusti 2012

Can You Make Your Opponent See the Light?

The reception of  our New Theory of Flight submitted AIAA Journal illustrates the following well known Max Plank quote:
  • A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
No, it is not easy to convince professors defending the Old Theory that the New Theory is better by making them see the light.

But eventually the Old Theory will be replaced by the New Theory and it is of interest to speculate about they time span required for this change. The more healthy the Old Theory is, the longer will it live, and the other way around.

So what is then the health status of the Old Theory today? What does education tell?

Well, the educational system is constructed so as to preserve the Old Theory as long as possible. As long as the Old Scientists who shaped the Old Theory are in business in their chairs at leading universities, there is nothing you can do except finding a place at some progressive college and be silent.

In aerodynamics education this phase is however passed: The Fathers of Modern Aerodynamics (Kutta-Zhukovsky and Prandtl) are all dead since 60 years, but the Old Theory is still taught at the university.

However, the Old Theory is presented in diluted eroded form as evidenced by Reviewer 2 of our article. This is because the Fathers took secrets and convictions of the Old Theory along into the grave. The result is that there is today no living scientist who can convincingly present all the details of the Old Theory.  Only weak distorted memories are now retold in modern text books, according to Reviewer 2.

So the end of the Old Theory may be near: The Fathers are safely put to rest, and the Old Theory is weakened.

The same situation is met in classical Calculus education, which is today diluted into emptiness.

Also recall the following Planck quote:
  • New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.

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