“Why Experts Create Few New Ideas | Psychology Today”

“Why Experts Create Few New Ideas | Psychology Today”

Psychology Today on a topic that just might be of interest to evolutionary scientists:

Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., thought the idea of a personal computer absurd, as he said, “there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, was ridiculed by every scientist for his revolutionary liquid-fueled rockets. Even the New York Times chimed in with an editorial in 1921 by scientists who claimed that Goddard lacked even the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high school science classes. Pierrre Pachet a renowned physiology professor and expert declared, “Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”

This is why experts always assimilate new insights, ideas and concepts into their view. Their mental image of the established view interferes with their perception and understanding of new ideas and concepts. In the case of the Perky experiment with the slide of a banana, the students did not see the slide. In the case of real life, physicists could not see Einstein’s theory of relativity because of their established, accepted view. For years, they tried to incorporate his view into the established view without success.

[From Why Experts Create Few New Ideas | Psychology Today]

Are naturalistic evolutionists today’s counterparts to the scientists who laughed at innovators like Goddard, Pasteur, and Jobs? I suggest you read the article—especially the part about Feynman and Watson—before you decide.

7 thoughts on ““Why Experts Create Few New Ideas | Psychology Today”

  1. This phenomenon has interested me personally for many years as it relates to my own life. I’m always trying to think differently, beat the system, be creative, generate new ideas, challenge the norm, etc. – at work with email/meetings/tasks, in my physical training, with my kids and their school work. I devour books on the subject and am inspired by documentaries about people who have managed to do/create what seems to be the impossible (recently watched the Pixar Story). My problem is that the left side of my brain won’t get out of the way!

    Feynman was right. Disregard. Be ignorant of the way it’s “supposed” to be.

  2. Let me first say that I am skeptical of the latest cold fusion demonstration. However, this disregard for the way that reality is “supposed” to operate is what moves us forward.

    If you look at the video on You Tube, the guy certainly isn’t hiding anything. It’s a pretty big project and look at all those people involved. I expect we will soon know what is really going on. Maybe he didn’t realize it was plugged into the wall outlet 😉

  3. It is one thing to maintain a disregard, it is another to maintain ignorance. Choose to disagree with others and continue upon your own path, absolutely… but don’t refuse to study evidence that has been established through the work of thousands of other scientists.

  4. Here might be a problem with this article. To give a fair evaluation of the experts what we should look it is the following probabilities:
    The number of novel ideas presented compared to the ones actually working, and the number of conservative ideas presented with the number actually working.
    For the second one, just consider most peer reviewed journal articles in any field. Almost all of them are written by experts, and they continue to advance their various fields. Let’s be conservative and say maybe 1/2 of them come out to be true in the end.
    On the other hand, take, let’s say, the internet and all bizarre ideas out there, and those field revolutionizing ideas in the article. I would say that the chance of an idea being true, given that it goes against expert opinion is, being generous here, around 1/1000. So most of the time, listening to experts is a much better source of good ideas than someone who is not an expert. Think for example how many “ideas” go into building an iphone. It was clearly a radical idea, but the amount of “conservative” engineers and programmers involved in making it, using knowledge already acquired (about screens, phone signals, building circuit boards, etc) far outweighed the “out there” ideas involved.

  5. True, Mike. There are smaller, more frequent, innovations and then there are innovations that take a leap forward and essentially “break the mold”, as it were. I think this study is talking about the big ideas, the big innovations the big vision. The ideas that few could see or even thought possible.

    Which is why I love creative/innovative people. They see what I cannot see due to that darn overconditioned left brain of mine.

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