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One can speak of reigning paradigms; what Kuhn calls normal science — What I cynically refer to as a "mutual admiration club trapped in a cul-de-sac of specialization".The club usually has its Pope(s), hierarchical priesthood, acolytes and a set of guiding assumptions and accepted norms that are zealously guarded almost with religious fervor.

It is now widely used and misused both in Science and in other disciplines almost to the point where the original meaning is starting to be diluted.

My thesis is that you needn't actually do double-blind control experiments in order to experience an improvement in your cognitive toolkit.

You only need to understand the principle, grasp why it is necessary, and revel in its elegance. We would learn how to assess the likelihood that an apparently important effect might have happened by chance alone. We would learn how extremely difficult it is to eliminate subjective bias, and that subjective bias does not imply dishonesty or venality of any kind. It has the salutary effect of undermining respect for authority, and respect for personal opinion. We would learn not to be seduced by homeopaths and other quacks and charlatans, who would consequently be put out of business. We would learn critical and sceptical habits of thought more generally, which not only would improve our cognitive toolkit but might save the world.

Why do half of all Americans believe in ghosts, three quarters believe in angels, a third believe in astrology, three quarters believe in Hell?

Why do a quarter of all Americans and believe that the President of the United States was born outside the country and is therefore ineligible to be President?

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