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Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The purpose of this research is to examine whether the actual history of science regarding the theory of evolution bears out Thomas S. Kuhn's thesis of the structure of scientific revolutions as following patterns of discovery, development of a paradigm, the emergence of anomalies producing crisis, and the development of new paradigms, all of which lead to a shift in the overall scientific world view. The plan of the research will be to set forth the historical-scientific concept in which Darwin's theory of evolution arose, and then to explore the details of theoretical development that appear to reflect elements of Kuhn's frame for analyzing scientific revolutions. As appropriate, both scientific and what might be termed the extra-scientific elements of prevailing culture will be cited, with a view toward showing that the emergence of an evolutionary world view had implications for and extended from the scientific community and into the community of society at large.

A clear understanding of how evolution came to be regarded as an appropriate scientific paradigm as a result of the work of Darwin and others of like mind is best arrived at with some understanding of the scientific and social culture into which the theory was thrust. In other words, it is useful to examine the character of scientific thought that had the effect of positioning evolution as revolutionary. In England, where evolution was to make its appearance as an important theory in the 1850s, there was, despite a history of political revolution and religious conflict, and despite palpable achievements in the natural sciences, a prevailing conception of the universe that was tied to a pre-scientific cosmology. That is, a chain of being was in place, with the divine creator and intelligence the main link and subsidiary existence along the chain. This was particularly so during the 16th and 17th centuries:

God maintains an active and intimate connection with...

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Structure of Scientific Revolutions. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:24, December 06, 2021, from