Proponents, Opponents, Observers
"As with many heuristics, it is possible that defaulting to a search for additive ideas often serves its users well,"
Yeh, but the model is big already, it is built on the work of a *lot* of people, lots of bricks have been placed, so who are you, *one* person, to dare question if any or all those people screwed up and misplaced their bricks! I think that's the logic there. Adding 3 blocks adds to their work, removing 3 blocks detracts from their work and risks criticism. Hence additive is easier.
Look at a more concrete example, retrograde motion of planets:
A bunch of very clever mathematicians built a model to predict the apparent backwards loops-da-loop the planets took, given the earth is the center of the universe. It must be true because observation fits the model and the earth must be the center of the universe. Some fixes were needed, so crap was piled on crap, and it became the science of the day.
Even if it a ridiculous model with planets doing dances. "Who am I to question the complex, detailed and working model of all these smart people?" thinks your astronomer of the day. It's amazing how such a ridiculous system could stand as true for so long, yet it did.
Then Copernicus and later Kepler *did* question that model, and did point out the *sun* is at the center and the planets move around it, and the loop-da-loop of the planet became a simple net motion of the observed planet and the observer planet earth. Suddenly the stupidity of the original model is apparent, at least to *some* people, but not *all* people.
I think there are 3 groups in any argument: The proponents of a new model, the opponents who defend the existing model, and the observers who sit on the sidelines and watch.
Arguments aren't really about winning over the opponent and getting them to change their mind. They simply don't change their mind. They double down. Hurl insults and crap and misdirection. The more their self worth is tied to the broken model, the nastier they get defending it. Self preservation is an understandable human trait.
No, the purpose of an argument is to plant the flaw in the *observer* and flip the balance of understanding away from the broken existing model. If you can make it so clear and simple that the undeniable nature of the flaw is apparent to a lot of people, you can flip the understanding quicker, even as the opponents seek to obfuscate the mistake.
The balance of understanding shifts as new scientists come in, realize they can make their name and a flip in understanding happens, and science moves off in a new direction.