2014 : WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT?

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Psychologist; Director, Quality of Life Research Center, Claremont Graduate University; Author, Flow
Max Planck's Faith

Note that in the quote in this year's Edge Question, Max Planck speaks of scientific truths "triumphing". Truths don't triumph, the people who propose them do. What needs to be retired is the faith that what scientists say are objective truths, with a reality independent of scientific claims. Some are indeed true, but others depend on so many initial conditions that they straddle the boundary between reality and fiction.

A good chess move allows a player to triumph over his opponent. Does that mean that the move is triumphant? Maybe it is in chess. We can only wish that the triumphs of science will be as innocuous.