The Concept Of A Paradigm Shift

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Micheal Shermer similarly outlined the emphasis Neo-Darwinism placed on constant reiteration of the importance of Darwin 's “idea”, defined as a singular, revolutionary entity within the history of science that was first exclusively formed in 1837 and confirmed by others1 in the vein of Thomas S. Kuhn2 (as opposed to the very gradual process of disciplinary development in evolutionary science described in nuance by Ruse, albeit with the same revolutionary interpretation present3). Coyne likewise provides a good summary of the enduring Neo-Darwinian position at present on Origins as “the book that started it all” in creating a more materialistic view of biology and the wider universe4. This idea of a paradigm-shift has been reiterated implicitly over time amongst others such as Shermer5.

Most of the later Neo-Darwinian works making this point owe a heavy debt in terms of codifying their historical perspective to Daniel Dennett. Dennett explored the idea of positive Darwinian progress philosophically, famously describing Darwinism as a “universal acid” in Darwin 's Dangerous Idea (1995)6. Dennett argued that nothing humanity was aware of subjectively could really escape the revisions that evolution brought to Western cosmology and everyday assumptions, concerning topics as seemingly disparate as the history of computing development7 and the mechanics of social gossip8. For Dennett, it was vital for a enlightened liberal society to actively understand this and appreciate
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