Re: Chapter 5 - The Priority of Paradigms
i think there's a lot that needs to be defined in this question.
Scientific truth sounds a bit dogmatic. There are certainly true statements. Facts are true, as in they need to be verifiable regardless of what you are trying to say the fact implies.
The atomic weight of an element is a fact, and you could also say a "scientific truth" that i think fits the bill.
The reason i dance around labeling anything Truth, despite insurmountable evidence of the truth of it, is that there is always room for improvement. The phenomena is what it is. That is unlikely to change. Gravity has always been gravity. It is our understanding of it which changes. Our understanding gets closer to The Truth, but being limited, temporary beings, our understanding will likely never be the equal of it.
Labeling some understanding or conceptual framework as The Truth is intellectually stagnating. We must always understand that there is MORE out there for us to understand.
A question i have is what do you mean by rebels outside the current paradigm?
If you mean, do people who challenge a theory have any hope of achieving results, then absolutely yes. That is the only way we ever GET progress. Check the theory and see if it holds to the experiment.
That means that if your hypothesis is off, then it's off. Experiment proves it. When you see that your hypothesis doesn't match up to experimental data, its the data which disproves the hypothesis, and not the other way around. In that way it is always those who challenge the theory who advance science, because that's how you expand your knowledge of the world beyond what we already know.
If outside the current paradigm means something like non-experimental, non-empirical guess work. Then no.