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Why Sometimes There Is Resistance To New Scientific Theories

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Table of contents

  1. Religion
  2. Lack of Knowledge
  3. Change
  4. Challenge old theories
  5. Peer review

New scientific theories are developed every day all around the world. For these theories to be accepted and recognised, it must go through a range of different testing. This testing allows for the theory to bring more facts which therefore bring more evidence and the more evidence you have from tests the more strength your theory holds. However, there may still be resistance to new scientific theories. This may be because of religious bias and belief, conflict of interest, lack of knowledge – don’t understand the topic, money, change the policy of practice. Scientific theories remain just theories until they are sustained by facts which therefore bring evidence. If there is not a strong evidence to prove the theory, resistance against it will always be there.


Religion is one of the main reasons why sometimes there is resistance to new scientific theories. This may be because if an individual has believed a theory for forty or fifty years of their life and, for example, if the god particle came around and there were people from this world that have a core belief in terms of creationism, if the god particle disproved every single part of what they have learnt from when they were a child to the person they’ve become years later, this would be significant change for them as it was their core belief and if they have to question their belief or thought process, there will be resistance to that. The contrast between science and religion is one of the reasons why there is resistance to new scientific theories such as evolution and the big bang. The Big Bang Theory is rejected by religious groups as they believe in the bible and that God created the earth in 7 days whereas the big bang suggests that the universe began as a very hot, small, and dense superforce, with no stars, atoms, form, or structure. Then about 13.8 billion years ago, space expanded very quickly. This started the formation of atoms, which eventually led to the formation of stars and galaxies. For a theory to develop, scientists rely on evidence and facts whereas religion relies on faith and beliefs. Therefore it will be hard for a new scientific theory to be accepted by everyone.

Lack of Knowledge

Many people have a lack of knowledge which will cause them to resist new scientific theories. In terms of religion, many people will believe what they were brought up to believe from when they were young and were not taught about other theories such as the Big Bang Theory. Therefore, they are relying more on faith and their beliefs rather than facts and evidence which may result in them having a resistance towards this theory. In terms of school and university, many people do not follow a science route and, therefore, they may not understand science and are not taught in depth about other scientific theories such as the atomic theory and the string theory. This lack of knowledge may cause them to resist these scientific theories as they may distrust it if it is different or doesn’t make sense.


Resistance to scientific theories is usually because humans do not like change so resistance is normally seen. No new theory is accepted without skepticism and thorough testing. Sometimes accepting a specific scientific theory also means having a different behaviour to fit in a new scientific model, and this is not something that everyone is willing to do. People are always more confident with what they know.

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Challenge old theories

Sometimes there are resistance to new theories because, they challenge old theories and people are also unwilling to give up on their work and researches made to create space for other new theories. Many scientists base their studies and researches on already existing theories that have not been accepted trying to elaborate them and improve them to make new ones. A theory may be rejected as it goes against older, more accepted facts. Many scientists would have based their life’s work on an older, more accepted fact. They would not want to be proven wrong and therefore would reject the theory. The resistance to a new theory is really high and scientists are skeptical most of the time, especially if the new theory is mainly theoretical and with not enough evidence. One classic example is the theory of evolution. Consider Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, several decades ago, a study examined by sixty-seven British scientists from Darwin’s time and found that only about three quarters of them had accepted Darwinian evolution ten years after On the Origin of Species was first published in 1859. So evolution was not the rapid change we thought it might have been. This is an example of how new theories take time to be accepted, and how they are accepted is far from common sense, therefore summarising we understand that a new theory needs evidence and explanations to be accepted.!

Peer review

Peer review is extremely important in the development of new scientific theories. It involves other experts within the field reviewing and analysing their hypothesis and evidence. Peer review allows for the evaluation of their findings for significance and originality. Peer review is an expert advice system to help editors of scientific journals in judging the scientific value and plausibility of research papers they receive, and deciding which should be published. This helps to make journals a reliable source of new information and discoveries for other scientists to investigate or build on. Without the peer-review system Papers would be published regardless of whether experiments are poorly constructed, control groups inaccurately devised or the data insufficient. Every scientist would have to navigate so much unfiltered material that they would have time for little else.

Peer review is necessary to give constructive feedback on the overall idea. This helps the person to learn and grow and to prevent making the same mistake in the future and so they develop and produce better work at a higher standard. bounce back process.Peer review is good because it gives different peoples perspectives. It allows people in the same field to go through it. It maintains a good standard. It prevents people from making up their own results. If it is rejected it shows that the theory is irrelevant or has no standard in what the subject field is – It allows for prevention of sensationalisation. Sensationalisation in science is very dangerous.

Only articles that meet good scientific standards are accepted for publication. Peer- reviewed articles provide a trusted form of scientific communication. Even if you are unfamiliar with the topic or the scientists who authored a particular study, you can trust peer-reviewed work to meet certain standards of scientific quality. Since scientific knowledge is cumulative and builds on itself, this trust is particularly important. No scientist would want to base their own work on someone else’s unreliable study! Peer-reviewed work isn’t necessarily correct or conclusive, but it does meet the standards of science. And that means that once a piece of scientific research passes through peer review and is published, science must deal with it somehow — perhaps by incorporating it into the established body of scientific knowledge, building on it further, figuring out why it is wrong, or trying to replicate its results.

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Why Sometimes There Is Resistance To New Scientific Theories. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“Why Sometimes There Is Resistance To New Scientific Theories.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Why Sometimes There Is Resistance To New Scientific Theories. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
Why Sometimes There Is Resistance To New Scientific Theories [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
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