Heretics are out-of-the box thinkers who challenge culturally accepted beliefs (dare I say dogma?). More mildly we may call them activists. A big historic idea challenger for example was Galileo Galilei, who determined that the sun is at the center of our solar system, not the earth. And remember that before him we believed the earth to be flat. The way we think about things stays around for a few centuries, even millenia, then cultural beliefs change again. I believe that we are currently going through such a big belief shift right now. On the one hand we have our currently accepted paradigm - scientific materialism with its glorification of science, that's been around for the past 300 or so years -, on the other a more balanced and holistic view is wedging itself into our culture. This 'holistic' paradigm recognizes the unseen aspect of life - emotions, beliefs, stories, spirit, consciousness -, and integrates it into our world view for a more complete picture.
Many scientists and thinkers fight this holistic view tooth-and-nail (how about Richard Dawkins?). However, I believe the holistic approach leads to a deeper, more satisfying, more encompassing, more complex, more sustainable and more compassionate life. A marriage of science and consciousness offers us far better options than one without the other.
Take the reductionist scientific understanding of nourishing ourselves, now called nutrition, as a composite of quantified nutrients and calories that fuels that engine of a human body. In juxtaposition, we can look at food from the holistic perspective as nourishing mind, body and spirit by way of appreciating it, celebrating it, healing us, bringing us together, growing and creating the best of it.
It is good to be aware of our beliefs and our culture's beliefs and to inspect them periodically. Also reread a previous post on The Great Transformation.