Title 4 – KQ 6 In what ways Knowledge production and acquisition require “ suspension of Disbelief” in area of Natural Sciences?
The Richard Dawkins foundation and Michael Shermer, Editor Skeptic Magazine , along with introducing a 10-point checklist for assessing the believability of a claim like telling the difference between science and pseudoscience to detecting personal agendas have equally stressed on suspension of belief -“You want to have a mind that’s open enough to accept radical new ideas, but not so open that your brains fall out.”
When we begin speculating the future science developments , ideas like Time Travel, Telekinesis , robotic controls, omniscience on demand may appear prepostrous. And yet all the hyperbole aside, such claims are not that far-fetched. After all the ubiquitous technologies like cars, aircraft, computers and mobile phones, might have required a good degree of “ suspension of belief” a century ago.
Sciences have a defined method and means for knowledge production .Yet sciences need a good portion of inductive and abductive thinking . Whether it is theoretical physics or Big Data , creativity is required to look beyond the equations , facts and figures. Scientists are expected to develop ideas that may evoke disbelief and awe and still come to fruition.
There have been instances when scientists have allowed their minds to roam and reach beyond their immediate research fields and stumble onto things beyond apprant Reason and Logic . For instance , Dudley Herschbach made an important discovery in chemistry shortly after he learned of a technique in physics called molecular beams. Physicists had been using the technique for decades, but Herschbach, a chemist, who hadn’t heard of it earlier , used the technique in his research that fetched him the Nobel Prize in 1986.In hindsight, he says, “It seemed so simple and obvious. I don’t think it took a lot of insight as much as naïveté.”
Framing and exploring knowledge issues with neither one right solution nor the obvious solutions enables the researcher to have creative insights. Science in itself is a creative quest , an ongoing journey, a quest for knowledge about the natural world where “ suspension of disbelief” and critical thinking go hand in hand.
Rex Jung – Creativity and the Brain