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Is Scientific Genius Extinct?

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

Modern-day science has little room for the likes of Galileo, who first used the telescope to study the sky, or Charles Darwin, who put forward the theory of evolution, argues a psychologist and expert in scientific genius.

Dean Keith Simonton of the University of California, Davis, says that just like the ill-fated dodo, scientific geniuses like these men have gone extinct.

http://www.livescien...fic-genius.html

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#2    bmk1245

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:59 PM

IMHO, its obvious. Black and white marbles are quite easy to sort. When we add 50% of gray, task becomes more difficult. Add more gray again - even more difficult. And so on, and so on... Thats why we built LHC, and in the future we will build more powerful "gadgets", and after that even more powerful, etc etc.

Human brain has its limits (besides fantasies), and the single person carrying all nowadays knowledge (heck, just physics) would be super-duper-genius.

Arguing with fool is like playing chess with pigeon: he will scatter pieces, peck King's crown, crap on bishop, and fly away bragging how he won the game... (heard once, author unknown).
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#3    AsteroidX

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:08 PM

Growing new great scientific minds is not very high on the Agenda except for military geniuses. The military loves there gadgets.


#4    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:10 PM

I totaly disagree that modern science has has little room for the likes of Galileo or Charles Darwin. Beside I wouldnt called neither Galileo or Darwin genius.

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For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#5    Ashotep

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:15 PM

I'm not sure they are extinct, just in hibernation until they are needed.

The military will always get their gadgets, what we need is someone to cure cancer.


#6    AsteroidX

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:25 PM

Quote

what we need is someone to cure cancer.

Theres no profit in that as with mnay other technologies that are ready to go. They would upstage the elite that are in control.


#7    sepulchrave

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:31 PM

In the article I find myself agreeing more with Sherrilyn Roush than with Keith Simonton. Prior to Einstein and Planck, most scientists thought they had it ``all figured out'' - boy did that change in a short 20 years.

In my opinion (as a physicist) the ``big problem'' with scientific advancement right now is that pretty much the only method we have to solve complex equations is perturbation theory. It works ``reasonably'' well, and provides some useful results - but it has its limits.

Basically all of the ``big problems'' in physics are subject to the caveat of perturbation theory.

General Relativity cannot be reconciled with Quantum Mechanics... by perturbation theory alone (unlike, say, Electrodynamics and Quantum Mechanics).
Many astronomical phenomena like galactic rotations curves and some instances of gravitational lensing cannot be reconciled with General Relativity... by a perturbative solution to the GR equations.

Big, fundamental problems with existing theoretical frameworks may exist, but it is hard to find them since the best tool we have to work with these existing theoretical frameworks is perturbation theory, which has its own set of well-known limitations.

Hopefully some math genius will pop up someday with a new method for avoiding the problems of perturbation theory... and then we will definitely see a very productive decade (or two) of scientific advancement.


#8    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:37 PM

Yes, we need breaktrough in one field to make it in another. We need math breaktrough to make it in physics. We need physic breaktrough to make it in archaeology.

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For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#9    bmk1245

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:53 PM

View Postsepulchrave, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 PM, said:

[....]
Big, fundamental problems with existing theoretical frameworks may exist, but it is hard to find them since the best tool we have to work with these existing theoretical frameworks is perturbation theory, which has its own set of well-known limitations.
[...]
So what direction we have to go (in your opinion)?

Arguing with fool is like playing chess with pigeon: he will scatter pieces, peck King's crown, crap on bishop, and fly away bragging how he won the game... (heard once, author unknown).
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#10    AsteroidX

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:56 PM

Meanwhile were getting awsome pics from our space tech. I believe thats one of the best advances weve made recently isd in optical viewing AKA pics. They soon well have real photos of planets in distant solar systems. I cant wait for those. Really fantastic work in this field of science IMO.


#11    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:59 PM

View Postbmk1245, on 01 February 2013 - 10:53 PM, said:

So what direction we have to go (in your opinion)?

He dont know. He only can have intuition. If he have....
We need scientists with intuition. Einstein said: “The only real valuable thing is intuition.
And most importantly with INSIGHTS. Insights make genius.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#12    bmk1245

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:29 PM

View Postthe L, on 01 February 2013 - 10:59 PM, said:

He dont know. He only can have intuition. If he have....
[...]
Actually, he knows, and he knows a lot.

Arguing with fool is like playing chess with pigeon: he will scatter pieces, peck King's crown, crap on bishop, and fly away bragging how he won the game... (heard once, author unknown).
Zhoom! What was that? That was your life, Mate! Oh, that was quick. Do I get another? Sorry, Mate. That's your lot. Basil Fawlty (John Cleese).

#13    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:35 PM

View Postbmk1245, on 01 February 2013 - 11:29 PM, said:

Actually, he knows, and he knows a lot.

He knows a lot. There is no question about it. But I doubt that he knows where new breaktrough and most importantly how will we come to that breaktrough. Path. Steps.
Because if he knew the way he would knew results/breaktrough. When you know how to make something it means you figure it out. You solve problem. Maybe he is genius and he have insights to know result without way to it. ;)
Thats true meaning of word Genius. And neither Darwin neither Galileo fits into that description. And there are people who fits into it. In my opinion those are people we should look upon. We need to study what they did.

Edited by the L, 01 February 2013 - 11:51 PM.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#14    QuantumGuy

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:54 PM

Like sepulchrave, I find myself siding with Roush in the article. Periods of scientific revolution don't come about in a deterministic manner. I also find it insulting to the scientific community to say geniuses have gone "extinct". That's a rash generalization and is far from the truth. A scientific breakthrough will certainly garner one quite a bit of notoriety, but I would argue it is not the way to judge genius.

I would like to point out that the military does not control scientific funding. The number of times I see "we don't need weapons, we need a cure for cancer" is astounding and shows quite a bit of ignorance. Take a look at all the research being done at your local university. The advancements made at a single institution are amazing. Just as an example from some work done within my particular field (I will point out, this is not my work) is non-invasive transcranial focused ultrasound therapy (http://focused-ultra...rain_Review.pdf).

I feel the general population is losing their sense of awe at the advancements being made. There's another thread about the neuronal activity of a zebra fish as its prey comes into its field of view. How someone can watch that video and not be blown away is beyond me. That's not a trivial accomplishment.

Instead of claiming genius no longer exists, simply look around at what is being done and you'll see the genius in front of you. Before you now is a computer that is the work of many geniuses. Your monitor/display in itself is a work of genius.


#15    bmk1245

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:58 PM

View Postthe L, on 01 February 2013 - 11:35 PM, said:

He knows a lot. There is no question about it. [...]
Ok, thats settled.


View Postthe L, on 01 February 2013 - 11:35 PM, said:

[...] But I doubt that he knows where new breaktrough and most importantly how will we come to that breaktrough. Path. Steps.
[...]
I can't speak for him, but maybe he have something up in his sleaves. :devil:


View Postthe L, on 01 February 2013 - 11:35 PM, said:

[...]
Thats true meaning of word Genius. And neither Darwin neither Galileo fits into that description. And there are people who fits into it. In my opinion those are people we should look upon. We need to study what they did.
Ok, so who is genius? L.R.Hubbard?

Arguing with fool is like playing chess with pigeon: he will scatter pieces, peck King's crown, crap on bishop, and fly away bragging how he won the game... (heard once, author unknown).
Zhoom! What was that? That was your life, Mate! Oh, that was quick. Do I get another? Sorry, Mate. That's your lot. Basil Fawlty (John Cleese).





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