GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2000-01 > 0949023611
From: "John P. DuLong" <>
Subject: Re: Ratings issues
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 01:40:11 GMT
Whether we think in terms of consensus or state of the art, both will
change. This conversation reminds me of something I read years ago in a
philosophy of science class. I believe it was a scholar named Kuhn who came
up with the idea of revolutions in science that shift the paradigms of
accepted knowledge leading to a phase of normal science. What does this
jargon mean? Perhaps an example would help. Newton created a revolution in
physics that changed the way we view the world. For many years other
scientists followed in his path conducting research using Newton's ideas.
This normal period ended with another revolution in physics brought about by
Einstein. The cycle keeps going on. What does this mean for genealogy? I
think the same pattern is followed. Someone proposes a theory that others
initially find startling, it becomes accepted after further research, but it
is always opened up for future interpretation. As I believe Mr. Baldwin
suggests, Jett's work on Agatha could be viewed as a paradigm shift. I see
nothing wrong with previously accepted lineages being modified in the face
of better evidence or a new more compelling theory. Is this not progress?
The proposed rating system would not be locked in time. It could and should
be modified in the light of new findings and theories.
John P. DuLong, Ph.D.
Acadian and French Canadian Genealogy
959 Oxford Road
Berkley, MI 48072-2011
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