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by Alfred de Grazia


The scientific community of today is in part a community of myth and ideology. This has always been, and most likely, must always be. Every body of ideas and practices must gather upon a raft in order to float upon the ocean of "absolute reality." When a raft is leaking, construction must begin on a new one. At that moment new designs can be introduced.

This book is designed to show that a typical scientist may hold untenable positions on five major issues: the ordering of the solar system; the genesis of God; the fashioning of the surface of the earth; the evolution of mankind; and the origins of culture. The chapters that are to come assert that all of these processes may have occurred in a short interval of time in association with a set of natural catastrophes. The world has changed by great abrupt movements. with far-ranging effects. This story, and the theory used to organize it, are here called "quantavolution" and "revolutionary primevalogy." They contrast with "evolutionary primevalogy."

In terms of scientific method, quantavolution is a model or image of what might have happened in natural and human history. As such, it is one way of approaching truth in cosmogony - those remote causes of our real world. It offers a truth that may do better than the next best truth, or it may serve until a better truth is offered, helping to orient other searchers, even to assist in its own replacement.

Our so-called "Age of Science" is a patchwork of different mentalities. Most people around the world would dispute the beliefs of science on the above five issues, but do not practice a scientific method. Most scientists of the age share fundamental beliefs on these issues, but too often they do not practice their scientific method with regard to them; they simply carry on at their special tasks. I subscribe to the methods of science, but yet am putting forward a challenge to the beliefs. This sets me among a small minority of scholars, but permits me to draw support from the traditions of a great many people, the specialized studies of many scientists, and the sympathetic efforts of a certain few.

Many scientists pay close attention on their leading men who are building upon "realities," but ignore their philosophers of scientific method, who warn them not to arrogate "The Truth" to themselves. When their raft begins to leak, then, they must tolerate the effects of presumption: mistrust, disbelief, and annoying criticism. And they may not solve some problems that they have set their hearts upon solving.

London May 1, 1980
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