Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit


Date of this Version



Research Ideas and Outcomes 2: e8867.

doi: 10.3897/rio.2.e8867


© Angeler D et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License


Background Major scientific breakthroughs are generally the result of materializing creative ideas, the result of an inductive process that sometimes spontaneously and unexpectedly generates a link between thoughts and/or objects that did not exist before. Creativity is the cornerstone of scientific thinking, but scientists in academia are judged by metrics of quantification that often leave little room for creative thinking. In many scientific fields, reductionist approaches are rewarded and new ideas viewed skeptically. As a result, scientific inquiry is often confined to narrow but safe disciplinary ivory towers, effectively preventing profoundly creative explorations that could yield unexpected benefits.

This paper argues how apparently unrelated fields specifically music and belief systems can be combined in a provocative allegory to provide novel perspectives regarding patterns in nature, thereby potentially inspiring innovation in the natural, social and other sciences. The merger between basic human tensions such as those embodied by religion and music, for example the heavy metal genre of deathcore, may be perceived as controversial, challenging, and uncomfortable. However, it is an example of moving the thinking process out of unconsciously established comfort zones, through the connection of apparently unrelated entities. We argue that music, as an auditory art form, has the potential to enlighten and boost creative thinking in science. Metal, as a fast evolving and diversifying extreme form of musical art, may be particularly suitable to trigger surprising associations in scientific inquiry. This may pave the way for dealing with questions about what we don´t know that we don´t know in a fast-changing planet.