I guess one example off the top of my head was in grad. school, whe I was doing a masters in economic history. A great deal of time is spent on debating how and why the industrial revolution happened. Most of my research was in economies outside the US and Europe, so while the topic was of importance to me, the term "industrial revolution" and it's implications were ill suited for the types of growth and economic activity I was looking to describe.
In any case, I was in a seminar, where I was presenting on the Indian textile industry pre-colonization. Without getting into too much boring detail, I was describing how Indian textile production was more labor-intensive because of the relative abundance of inputs in the economy at that time. I also posited that this wasn't necessarily to the detriment of productivity, as workshop owners found different ways to increase productivity rather than simply supplying mechanical inputs to improve the process. This caused an uproar in the seminar, as many people disputed my findings. Whether I was right or wrong wasn't the issue; they were attacking me on the basis that I said labor inputs could have improved productivity in a proto-industrial setting, which went against a good deal of neo-classical economic orthodoxy. The assumption that mechanization was the only way to achieve productivity was based in the codification of economic theory - even when I presented evidence to the contrary, it was dismissed as irrelevant because it went against prevailing theoretical standards. While most of the people in the room could not contradict me with facts, they still left the room thinking that their theoretical formulations were unassailable simply b/c they were theortetical formulations (although this could also be due in part to my failed attempts at persuasion). Because my method differed, I was automatically wrong - without regard to my verifiable findings.
__________________________________ The man. The myth. The Ruiz.