I am reminded, on this the 540th anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus, that some time ago a noted animal rights activist and author published a short article that included this quote: “The Copernican Revolution wasn’t the result of change in increments to the old system.” The point was that, when we have the facts on our side, we needn’t settle for small changes in current practices. We needn’t settle for incremental changes – the dreaded “welfare reforms” that are anathema to so many in the AR community. We can do what Copernicus did and start a revolution!!
A quick search on Wikipedia yields this:
In 1543 Nicolaus Copernicus published his treatise De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), which presented a heliocentric model view of the universe. It took about 200 years for a heliocentric model to replace the Ptolemaic model.
Oops!! It took about 200 years to change the old system.
It seems that even when facts and data exist to demonstrate the inadequacy of the old ways of thinking and of doing things, we humans are slow to change. It appears that we often have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the light of a new understanding. It’s been said, hasn’t it, that those who don’t understand the lessons of history are bound to repeat its mistakes. The animal rights movement may want to pay closer attention to history. Or maybe it should pay less attention to it’s so-called “leading thinkers”?
(If you’re interested in a detailed but easy to read summary of the events of the 200 year “revolution” in cosmology, I recommend The Character of Physical Law by Richard Feynman.)