The Paradigms Of The Twentieth Century, Colombia

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The paradigms of the twentieth century, Colombia

When we hear about paradigms, we usually assume that it is only about examples or beliefs common to a group of people or a community, there are even those who think that these are beliefs that must necessarily be modified because they are somehow false, while those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that those that are some way They consider how true they escape the definition of paradigm. However, this conception is not entirely true, since the notion of paradigm has been extended to other contexts, such as the philosophical or scientific field, where to fully know its meaning is of the utmost importance to understand the way in which knowledge is They have been modifying over the years. The paradigms have been the main source of generating scientific knowledge worldwide, and Colombia has not been the exception. Many members of the Colombian scientific community have used the pre -existing paradigms to cause new knowledge and, consequently, new scientific paradigms that have been important for the development of science in general and of health sciences in particular, and that They have had an impact worldwide. In this sense, it is important to know how the paradigms are built, in this way we will be prepared to assume science as dynamic structures that are progressively modified from themselves and we will learn to adapt in the best way so as not to get stuck in travel conceptions. That is why in this work a compilation of some of the scientific paradigms that were handled in Colombia during the twentieth century has been made, and as they have been modified throughout the last decades, highlighting the work of some of the most recognized scientists in the area of ​​health of the time and its contributions to fields such as medicine.

To begin to address the issue of scientific paradigms in the context of the twentieth century in Colombia, we need that the terms paradigm and scientific paradigm are well defined, therefore, although they are related to the origin and essence of their meaning, they are not understood or applied in the same way. A paradigm is defined as "all model, pattern or example that must be followed in a certain situation" 1. Seen a paradigm could even represent beliefs or erroneous models that are taken as an example only by convention or tradition, since they are going to be influenced by the set of experiences, beliefs or values ​​of an individual or society, because these factors are those that determine how reality is perceived and the way in which it is answered2. An example of this type of paradigms is the conception that the most expensive products are the best quality. It is an unconscious behavior that many people have because society has established a model in which to apparently invest high amounts of money will make us obtain better products. However, this is not true in all cases.

On the other hand, to define what is a scientific paradigm we must mention the well -known American physicist Thomas Samuel Kuhn, who in his work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions describes them as follows:

‘I consider that these are universally accepted scientific achievements that for some time supply problems of problems and solutions to a community of professionals3’ ’

In this definition, all aspects present in a scientific paradigm are encompassed, namely that it is a theory or set of theories recognized worldwide as true and verifiable4, but that they are dynamic, because he himself mentions that when he is constantly subjected to test They enter a period of "anomaly and crisis3", which later leads to the adoption of new paradigms that will become new beliefs, typical of each of the sciences and that will allow solving problems inherent to these sciences. In this way, a cycle is entered that allows the progress of beliefs and scientific methods.

Once the scientific paradigms are understood, it is necessary to put ourselves in context about the development of Colombian sciences through the last century. Addressing the issue of Colombia’s history has never been easy, since its most relevant facts and events are dyed of sadness and pain, with thousands of innocent affected by periods of war, violence and poor political management.

Between 1899 and 1903 the Sigo XX began in Colombia, facing one of the most representative facts of its history "the end of the War of the Thousand Days, with the loss of Panama as a consequence". After this fact Colombia and the United States signed a treaty entitled Thomson-Urutia, in which the United States paid Colombia 25 million dollars for having supported the independence of Panama causing the period of "the dance of the millions".

During this time it had not been managed to teach secular and free education available for the entire population. The country’s sciences and technologies were strongly influenced by religious hierarchs of the Catholic Church, who largely limited the knowledge produced and prevented scientific practices from driving to the development of the nation. It can even be affirmed that scientists and people who dedicated themselves to science at that time, did not receive the social recognition they deserved.

Despite having initiated in the worst way, the twentieth century brought significant progress for the scientific community of the time, in the 30s, under the direction of José Francisco Socarras, the Superior Normal School of Bogotá worked as a faculty of Social Sciences of the highest quality, becoming European teachers who had migrated to Latin America escaping from the newly finished World War and the wave of fascism that ravaged Spain. Many scientific societies were constituted during this century and the first really scientific research centers, such as the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences (1933), the Society of Natural Sciences (1912), the Institute of Natural Sciences of the Natural Sciences of the National University (1940) and the Geophysical Institute of the Andes (1941).In 1936 the National University unified the scattered professional schools, creating the faculties of Chemistry (1939) and later of Sciences (1946).

In the field of health sciences, the twentieth century begins with clear French influence on Colombian medicine. Roberto Franco in 1905, promoted the creation of a laboratory at the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Bogotá and the creation of the Tropical Diseases Clinic. The health and sanatorium houses, which were originally born as a project that would attend pensioners, would become one of the first medical societies of the time, Marly’s clinical society, which would be founded by Carlos Esguerra and other eminent doctors. During this time many of the techniques used in clinical practice, the use of antiseptics and Phoenicated solutions, as well as the appearance of anesthesia, contributed to the improvement of medical procedures, such as surgery, such as surgery. In 1902 the Bogotá Surgery Society was founded by Nicolás Buendía and other collaborating doctors.

After this small historical synthesis, which puts in context some of the advances that the Nation had in scientific matters during the last century, it is necessary to talk about some of the models or paradigms that were changed or modified during this period. At this point, it is necessary to emphasize that, in scientific matters, unlike in other areas, paradigm changes are usually drastic, because the conceptions or models of beliefs that are possessed on a subject are usually accepted as the truth due to which they have been rigorously tested and are widely accepted by a community. For this we can give as an example the case of Newtonian physics, which at the end of the 19th century was understood as the culmination of physics and was widely detailed; Even Lord Kelvin came to say in 1900, “there is nothing left to be discovered in the field of physics today. Everything missing is more measures and more precise4 ". Despite this, in 1905, Albert Einstein publishes his work on special relativity, which displaced Newton’s mechanics to the background, which was relegated to a context of slow speeds, because he stayed far behind trying to explain what What happens at speeds near light4.

Once the above said, we can enter the subject about the paradigms that have been modified in Colombia. Perhaps, one of the Colombian scientific discoveries that has achieved important recognition worldwide is that of the Tolimense doctor and chemist Manuel Elkin Patarroyo, which was the first to develop the first synthetic vaccine in history in 1987, the vaccine against the vaccine against the vaccine against the malaria. This is one of the most transcendental immunology advances in recent years, as it opens the way to endless new possibilities in this field. In the words of Patarroyo, who is currently a professor at the National University, this progress represents a “paradigm change in medicine5” since he feels the foundations for establishing parameters that allow to elaborate and produce vaccines artificially, synthetic, modifying the old man paradigm that established that the way to obtain a vaccine was through the pathogenic organism, live or dead. In this way, many infectious diseases, which affect a large part of humanity and that every year kill about 17 million people.

With his work Dr. Patarroyo tested his premise, which was could develop synthetic vaccines. He said: "The important thing was to demonstrate whether the principle of all vaccines could be done chemically, and if that was feasible or not" ". And after exhaustive investigations the doctor reaches conclusions that can be taken as premises for the subsequent development of synthetic vaccines, that is, he developed a new paradigm:

  1.  "For the development of a vaccine you have to recognize the preserved union sequences, since the parasites use preserved and variable union sequences".
  2.  "The preserved union sequences do not induce defenses in a process of natural infection".
  3.  "The preserved union sequences are not immunogenic".
  4.  "To solve the problem, critical amino acids have to be changed".
  5.  “The lack of antigenicity and immunogenicity is due to high homology with immune system molecules. For 75 million years what these parasites have done is to look like the functional parts of our defenses system. No wonder vaccines have not been developed in the last 120 years outside of those that are so far ”.
  6.  "To design a vaccine, critical waste has to be changed by amino acids that the parasite never uses when they mutate and are not present in the immune system molecules" ".


Another scientific milestone that marked a paradigm shift in Colombian science was the one carried out by the specialist in Clinical Neurology, Neuropsychology and Neuropediatría Francisco Lopera Restrepo, who in 1984 began to study the "Paisa Mutation", an evil that caused the people affected They were losing their memory progressively, called as the mutation like this because many inhabitants of the Antioquia department even from very early ages developed symptoms of this disease6; And he identified other mutations such as the notch 3 gene and Wilson’s disease. At this time Alzheimer’s disease was known worldwide, yet. The doctor. Lopera attributed it to a mutation in the preseniline 1 gene, which is one of the genes in three genes in which the presence of mutations causes Alzheimer’s disease in its presenile family variant7. Lopera had discovered the world’s largest population with Alzheimer’s! But a remarkable fact of his work is that it was finally changed the paradigm that existed on the disease at that time. The "buble" was seen before the eyes of the population as something diabolical, like a curse that had reached their homes, and the culprits? Don Javier Sanpedro Gómez and Doña María Luisa Chavarriaga Mejía A Spanish couple who brought evil around the 1750 To walk and talk, and finally the total and loss disorientation of sanity, they transmitted the evil of oblivion to their children, and they watered the entire town and the surrounding peoples and every day more people suffered from the fruit of "Yerbazos and witchcraft", this belief that was accepted as truth for two centuries, was denied thanks to the works of DR. Lopera, who currently works in a drug that helps people who have this gene to eliminate it if they take it 10 or 20 years before presenting symptoms, he affirms that he practices memory exercises daily because he fears forgot everything, because as mentioned in “oblivion is full of memory ".

The last case we will report, which established a new scientific paradigm are the results that the Colombian pathologist Pelayo Correa has had on stomach cancer in the populations of the department of Nariño and its relationship with the Helicobacter pylori8 bacteria pylori8. During the last century all the studies that had been carried out with respect to the high risk of stomach cancer by the inhabitants of several Nariñenses municipalities on the top of the Andes mountain range, which is up to 25% higher than Those of other departments of the country9 were oriented towards the study of the family tree of the different communities and the presence of genetic mutations that predisposed Nariñenses to the development of this type of cancer. Correa introduced the connection between infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria and gastric pathology to the studies, using the studies of Australian researchers Robin Warren and Barry Marshall, who demonstrated the causal relationship of the peptic ulcer caused by bacteria with cancer gastric8. With this discovery, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined in 1994 that H infection for H. Pylori was a primary cause of gastric cancer, however, this assertion is incongruous if the relationship between cases of gastric cancer and infection with H is compared. Pylori in some populations, as in the African continent, where the infection rate with such bacteria is very high, but relatively low cancer cases; The so -called "African enigma". Or, in fact, to mention a closer case, the populations of the Colombian Pacific coast, which presents an infected population similar to that of the Andean areas, but the cases of cancer are much lower8,9. Studies conducted by Correa and other important researchers, suggest that the origin of the strains of H. Pylori with respect to the origin of hosts is a fundamental determinant in the development of cancer, that is, the risk of cancer increases if the origin of bacteria and host strains come from different places888. The introduction of this new factor in the study models marks a paradigm shift, since it feels the foundations for experiments in different places in Latin America seeking to rule out other possible explanations, it also opens a way for adequate treatment oriented to prevention of the disease, because knowing directly a causal determinant, it is possible to avoid the early development of the disease.

When reading this writing, the majority is impacted (and that we quote only some cases!) And wondering how it is possible that Colombians have made discoveries and contributions to science so important and "nobody knows"?, It is sad that this is often ignored by a country in which the opportunities are few, although it is true that “each person works their destiny and that some of these investigations were done with few resources, we must admire the fact that in Colombia there is talent, Albert Einstein mentioned that to achieve different results, the paradigms must Also an internal struggle with the fears, paradigms and losses that we have acquired, a struggle that only corresponds to us ”, without a doubt against all prognosis, each of them won their fight and made us reflect on how the world would be like if the world would We all accept in response the dangerous phrase of "we have always done so"? Fortunately, innovative minds that are willing to change what should be changed have been present throughout history to dare to try new things in favor of the advancement of science and health, generating great transformations. 

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