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.

“Future advances are likely to build on what is already known rather than alter the foundations of knowledge,” Simonton writes in a commentary published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.

An end to momentous leaps forward?
For the past century, no truly original disciplines have been created; instead new arrivals are hybrids of existing ones, such as astrophysics or biochemistry. It has also become much more difficult for an individual to make groundbreaking contributions, since cutting-edge work is often done by large, well-funded teams, he argues.

Read more at NBCnews.

2 Comments

  • Roy Niles says:

    Actually in places like London and Paris, t was hard to come up with a new idea, but easy to publish it and for the right circles to read it.  And in any ase there are no ideas that aren’t derivative of some earlier ones.
    I like my new take on the motivating functions that have allowed life on earth to evolve, and if I were in old London, everyone would have read it by now, and we’d know if it was destined to catch the gold ring.  Right now, I have to promote the book the best I can, feeling guilty for presuming that I’m right at all.  And there may be a few thousand others in the same boat with great ideas that we’ll never hear of.

  • Ted Howard says:

    History is littered with such pronouncements, and all have been proved wrong.

    In logic, it is easy to see how people working from simple binary distinctions (like right/wrong, good/bad) find it difficult to deal with distinctions that involve infinities.

    Stephen Wolfram’s works seems to indicate that there are in fact an infinite class of possible interpretive schemas (paradigms), and should any of us be fortunate enough to live for the rest of eternity, we will still be discovering novel paradigms.  Infinities are like that – big beyond the ability of any mind to imagine as anything other than the merest hint.

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