This Idea Must Die: Which science ideas should retire?

[ Tue. Mar. 10. 2015 ]

Brain plasticity, godlessness, Malthusian notions - all should go according to the responses to John Brockman's latest question

THE physicist Max Planck had a bleak view of scientific progress. "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents..." he wrote, "but rather because its opponents eventually die."

This is the assumption behind This Idea Must Die, the latest collection of replies to the annual question posed by impresario John Brockman on his stimulating and by now venerable online forum, Edge. The question is: which bits of science do we want to bury? Which ideas hold us back, trip us up or send us off in a futile direction? ...

This Idea Must Die is garrulous and argumentative. I expected no less: Brockman's formula is tried and tested. Better still, it shows no sign of getting old.