Appyling Newton

Scientific revolutions go too far for those used to normal science.

Newton's Principia went too far, seeming to revive pagan metaphysics in the eyes of its contemporary scholars.  It survived and won a following because it provided greater predictive power for Astronomy, which was stagnating.  Is was criticized by skeptics.

This resistance isn't bad.  It's part of a selective pressure which ensures new theories are tested before adding them to the accepted cannon.  That rigor forces scientists to consider the far-reaching implications of a new idea, digging deep to find possible flaws and errors.  Only theories which add to human understanding are preserved in the long run.

The critique of memetics has been similar to the critique of The Principia: they are  reworks of metaphysical beliefs.  Instead of shying away from that critique,  memeticists should lean into it.

There  are entities with life-like characteristics impacting individual and collective actions.  They have been hinted at in literature and lore and social science and they are generally beyond the reach of our five senses.

To be a memeticist is to affirm these entities exist.  That seems like an act of faith to some--though many of us have arrived at our conclusions from careful study and observation, such understanding is subject to individual experience.  It is still hard to convince others.

We are in the process of developing methodologies for memetics...until then, we should not be shocked at the resistance from most quarters.

In persevering, we make an act of faith in ourselves--that we will find ways to measure these entities or we will resign, recognizing our error.

We make an act of faith in others--that they are able to comprehend this phenomena if given information and experience.

We make an act of faith in the scientific process--that it will weed out our mistakes and refine human knowledge.  We persevere, encouraging those who agree with us but also encouraging our critics--because scientific knowledge must be scrutinized to be conserved.

To be a practitioner of normative science, it is good to be a skeptic.  A dose of cynicism will act in your favor.  But if you want to step out and create revolutionary science--you break out of the box and take a few small steps of faith.

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