Although I believe it is possible to identify demonstrable improvements in the progression of scientific paradigms, I do not believe that any paradigm that humans ever have or will produce is an expression of "The Ultimate Truth." Nonetheless, the process of redefining reality is an expression of human agency. Agency can be understood as a unique quality of creative, sentient beings and it involves three key components:
- Inventive, original thinking: agents are capable of conjuring ideas that no one else has previously dreamed of (e.g., take your pick of novel ideas that humans have produced)
- Opposition: the new ideas that agents produce have a tendency to challenge established beliefs (one of the best examples is Galileo's legendary falling out with the Catholic Church, another is the undying controversy over Darwinian evolution)
- Redefinition: in spite of opposition, if agents are tenacious enough, they can advance their novel ideas in such a way as to redefine the perception and structure of empirical reality (the universe has never been the same since Galileo aimed his telescope at the heavens, also, inventive thinkers, such as the Wright Brothers literally transformed the substance of lived reality: heavier-than-air flight used to be a fantasy, but, thanks to Wilbur and Orville, now it is a fact--or, one might even say, a new truth).