There is something similar in relation to scientific explanations that really have transformative power: when it happens, you may or may not be able to explain it in its details, but you recognize it.
|Goya, The Nude Maja|
"Here we develop a model that shows how considering [sequence, systems biology, epigenetics, copy number variation, evolution, new functional equations, neuroimaging, high throughput analysis, new 'omics' data, methylation, acetylation, ..... (pick your favorite)], major advances in understanding the biology of complex traits and diseases. Our method ....."But, then, where is all this promised progress? It might not exactly be obscene, but are such bevies of claims just posturing and careerism, what we are forced to do to succeed in academic careers these days? It may be apt way to say so, because what we really see these days is incremental change, some of it progress but most of it trivial or useless, yet fed by the constant pressure for more Large Scale high-powered computational this or that. And that leads to all the self-congratulation. But it's as paradigm shifting as Goya's Maja is pornography.
If you think about the major advances in science that by most counts really were progress, the so-called revolutions or real (rather than self-flattering) paradigm shifts that have happened in science, from Galileo, to Darwin/Wallace, Einstein, the discovery of the nature of DNA sequence, or continental drift, these changes were very similar:
1. Many diverse things that had been given separate, forced, or hand-waving explanations fell dramatically and quickly into place
2. This was almost instantly recognized
3. The new ideas were conceptually very simpleThe new theory may have involved some technical details, like fancy math or biochemistry and the like, but the ideas themselves were over-arching, synthesizing, and simplifying.
As Thomas Huxley famously proclaimed after learning Darwin's explanation of the mechanism for evolution: "How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!"
Once you see it, you realize it's import. In genetics and biomedicine today, people are always saying it....but we're not yet seeing it.