Re: Scientific aiki
Another good analogy.
Today if I went into a classroom and asked the students to draw or describe a duckbilled platypus without talking to one another, they would all pretty much come up with the same common picture, albeit they might approach it slightly different or use different words to describe it, or might start with a different part of the anatomy.
Universally they would be giving a macro level description of the features, the bill, tail, fur, eyes etc.
500 years ago, I would not have gotten the same result and we would have argued ad naseum that it didn't exist, couldn't exist, and if it did then we would argue that each other had no clue what they were talking about. Even if 5 guys had actually seen one, and produced almost the same drawing of one!
However, those 5 guys that had actually seen it...well they might say "you didn't draw his bill wide enough, or it is the wrong shade of gray".
That debate, however, is occuring on a much different level than the folks that have not actually seen one.
Does that make sense.
I know it sucks and is frustrating trying to understand this stuff, especially if you cannot get to some of the guys that are good at teaching. I also understand that it can be very frustrating hearing folks saying over and over..."well you just gotta get out there and feel it."
unfortunately, until you do, it is going to be very difficult to discuss. It ain't about drinking the kool-aid, or that some kind of "spray" is used to make you join the cult or something.
Far from it.
To me, it is like the platypus example. However, once you have seen it and felt it....well the argument, debate, discussion, and perspective changes significantly.