Paradigms and the Duck-Rabbit Logo

When viewng the logo for this site reproduced left, some people see a duck whereas others see a rabbit. It all depends on your point of view. This is called a  “Gelstat-shift”. More information an paradigms and “Gelstat-shifting”  from an engineering perspective can be found here in Dias [2008]. 

Summary of Dias [2008] Paper

Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996) argued that science progressed from one ruling paradigm to another through periods of revolution, and also that science was concerned not so much with truth, but with theories that explained phenomena.

For example, our understanding of the universe can be summarised by the following example of paradigm-shifts:

  1. Heliocentric Paradigm: Sun is the centre of the universe (Aristarchus).
  2. Geocentric Paradigm: Earth is the centre of the universe (Aristotle).
  3. Heliocentric Paradigm: Sun is the centre of the solar system (Copernicus/Galileo).

The arguements involved in the change from one ruling paradigm to another can often be quite violent. Copernicus was burned at the stake and Galileo was subjected to house arrest. By comparison, the ad homeni attacks that are all to prevalent during the current climate change debate pale into insignificance.

However, after a paradigm-shift, the world has not changed only people’s perception of it has changed. This can be likened to a “Gelstat-shift  that enables this site’s logo to be perceived as either a duck or a rabbit.

Author’s Comments

Regarding the climate change debate, the current ruling paradigm is that human-caused  greenhouse gases will lead to dangerous global warming. The author does not necessarily agree, but nevertheless,  does attempt to see other sides of this debate. Hence, the duck-rabbit logo.

The logo does not change and neither does our planet – only your perception will change. The logo will, and always will be a duck-rabbit, but unfortunately too many people in the climate change debate only see either a duck or a rabbit.
C’est la vie.

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