Science Undermined by Our Limited Imagination?

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Science  25 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5790, pp. 1047-1048
DOI: 10.1126/science.1131579

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Exceeding Our Grasp. Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. By P. Kyle Stanford. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006. 248 pp. $45. ISBN 0-19-517408-9.

The author uses a consideration of 19th-century theories of inheritance and generation to support his claim that scientists often fail to conceive of alternatives to their own theories, even when these alternatives are well supported by evidence available at the time and sufficiently strong to become accepted later.