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Surprising Science

Wanted: Free Flow of Ideas

Without the free competition of ideas, popularly favored paradigms dominate research funding, journal publications, and scientific meetings. Dominant theories become arrogant ideologies.

Monopolist theories are dangerous to the future of a science, because they retard the development of new leading edges, which usually arise from quite different conceptual orientations. When intellectual competition is eliminated, one leading edge has a monopoly in the market and suppresses competition for research funding and publication (e.g., molecular biology, to the detriment of evolutionary, developmental and behavioral biology, botany, and taxonomy). There is no Anti-Trust Division of the US Department of Justice to protect endangered ideas. Politically correct ideas are especially dangerous to the intellectual marketplace, because their adherents feel morally justified to suppress dissent.


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