Why, in these times, are no intellectual heroes, of which had been so many in previous centuries? Where are these genius like Copernicus, Kepler, Newton or technical wizards like James Watt, Stevenson e.g.? What happened?
Is it a process that man getting less knowledgeable day by day, caused through circum-stances, like the uniformities of the mass society or is it a change in the scientific approach? The most simple answer could be everything is discovered, and the small Nitti gritty remains of “un knowledge” is so complicated, that only the combination of supercomputers and super humans can solve the remaining secrets of man kind!
I can possibly offer another explanation. Modern societies are quite different to the societies 200 years ago, were Curiosity and personal sacrifice reigned as common denominator over scientific and philosophical issues. In these times Geniuses were found in all places: they spoke Latin, Greek, English, French and several ancient Near Eastern languages; they have been knowledgeable of all findings of their epoch. They have been called “Polyhistor”. In their world, under their circumstances, they have been able to compact the knowledge of their time, to put it in order and extract new knowledge.
This has changed. The wisdom of today’s scientists and philosophers is exhausted after the qualification process as a publicly appointed luminary. In his new position, he qualifies himself as a scientific manager, coordinating his computers, assistants and congresses. He is, in our society, the heir of the distinct aristocrats and his leitmotif is more “Schein” than “Sein”. As result of his scientific activities he offer results but no findings. Findings are the combination of known results or facts, to new unknown”cognition”.
He his a homogeneous part of his specific scientific world. Here he is one of many, influenced by many distractions inexistent in the old days: proper conduct in his public appearances, flooded with information which obstruct the view for the essentials, new personal requirements inexistent centuries ago and last but not least: Time and Will to define firm ground as a starting point of research and lasting stamina to follow his scientific imagination.
As conclusion, it appears, the the scientific world is a homogeneous society with freely interchangeable members. Scientific peers, lacking spirit and relegated to human apps of their computer. The Genius, like in the old days, is heterogeneous,he is like oil in the water of his colleagues. He is a maverick in his field,he does not mix with normal: In a crowd of 100 people you will identify him on the spot. But his isolation and loneliness will shield exceptionalities.