Some scientists work for years on one thing, so specialized, and they are known to be the experts in their areas of interest. So when years later, their reputation and work is questioned with new findings and research discoveries by the next generation, the "old school" scientists are miffed, and defend their work to the end, even if they may have an inkling that new questions must be asked as times change. To me, this is a classic case of the need to be right. I think humans have a strong desire to be right more than almost anything in the world. Perhaps it is the survival of the species instinct, or the alpha mode, or the leadership characteristic coming out strong.
Either way, we humans need to be able to shift with the times, whether or not it makes our past truths null with the new truths. We do not need to always be right, and a noble person can say out loud, to one's community, " I was right at the time, but new information is here that tells more than what I offered. I am wrong, I am learning alongside of you all." To me, that's what the essence of science is. It is a set of facts that ask us to ask more and more questions and have a thirst for more and more knowledge. Science is malleable as the times are, with technology, atmospheric, and ecological changes affecting, well, everything.
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