How Science Works; Don’t Mess With the Paradigm

Posted by Chris Parker | October 21, 2005 0

Here at, we’d been thinking about putting these three articles together for over two years, had them lined up on the hard drive– but for some reason, had just never gotten around to it. Maybe it’s because we think the point might be a little too subtle.

Anyway, as reported back on July 16, 2003, a pensioner had made worldwide headlines by finding part of a fossilized plesiosaur backbone at Loch Ness. The find had subsequently been verified as such by the Scotland Museum.

Of course, Nessiephiles went crazy. A genuine plesiosaur fossil at Loch Ness?! Proof positive, they thought! As we said, the news was published worldwide.

Not a few days later, on approximately July 29, 2003, a new headline went around the world-though admittedly with a bit less fanfare…”Nessie Fossil a Hoax, Scientists Say”.

Well, we thought; did they examine the fossil and determine it to be a fake; or maybe –was the pensioner found to have had a whole closet full of fake as yet unpainted plesiosaur backbones; or did a witness come forward to say he saw the fossil being planted; perhaps a tiny, made in Taiwan label had been found on the back of the fossil?

Well, no. It turns out that the scientists knew it was fake because it went against the paradigm. Plus, the Loch Ness monster is too fringy for mainstreamers to put up with. Plesiosaurs had died out too long ago they reasoned….millions of years ago to be exact –but the lake according to the paradigm was only 12,000 years old. Ha!

Not only that, the fossil showed signs that it had spent some time in the sea–and the Loch was freshwater–and had never been connected to the sea. There were a few more paradigm generated fossil busters, as well.

A hoax had been perpetrated on the world, but like Sherlock Holmes and Watson, they, the scientists entrusted with keeping the paradigm safe, had solved the case , no doubt whilst leaning back in their comfortable chairs, puffing on a good pipe– without even ever having had to actually examine the fossil in question. However….

On July 31, 2003, a mere two days later, largely unnoticed and completely ignored.. another scientist (Bob Rines, of the Academy of Applied Science) was announcing his “surprising” discovery about Loch Ness after two years of research, along with geographer, Frank Dougherty, which completely blew away the paradigm’s rationale and the basis for calling the fossil find a hoax. Of course by that time, everyone had moved on ….and Mr. McSorley was left to be seen by much of the world as a faker..

Don’t mess with the paradigm –if you can’t do the time. That’s how science works…

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