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View Diary: Pique the Geek 20110605: Misconceptions about Science (112 comments)

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  •  Kuhn etc. (1+ / 0-)
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    Your account of science is, as punditician pointed out with his usual graciousness, overly narrow. It doesn't catch the wild leaps needed when what had seemed like solid foundations for all observations (e.g. Euclidean geometry) dissolve under your feet.

    On the other hand, pundit's version of Kuhn is too accepting of his "incommensurability" meme, the idea that somehow weighing the evidence between radically different paradigms is beyond any rational accounting. I can't think of any examples where that's turned out to be true in the long run.

    I think that by focusing on the narrowest side of science, you underestimate the extent to which science can legitimately cast doubt on any explicit religious doctrines. There's no sharp line between the cut-and-dried science questions and the fuzzier ones where there are just smoother or more awkward extrapolations from what's known. Many of the religious questions are in the fuzzy area, but that doesn't mean that science has nothing to say about what's plausible.

    Michael Weissman UID 197542

    by docmidwest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:42:01 PM PDT

    •  I appreciate your thoughts. (0+ / 0-)

      After tonight I am not sure that your term, graciousness,, is apt, but we all have opinions.  Please elaborate how my my account of science is "narrow".  I do not believe that it is, and would like to know why you think so.

      My precept is that religion and science ask fundamentally different questions, even if many times the words are the same.  Religion seems to be, to me at least, a magical way to answer questions whilst science is more tangible.

      You might be quite correct that the two should combine to answer fundamental questions, but my study of history finds them to be mutually incompatible, because of the radical difference in the mindset that governs the way that they are applied.

      Warmest regards,


      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

      by Translator on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:58:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  to elaborate (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think religion and science should combine. I do think that the convenient and practical strategy of just saying our science has nothing to say about religious questions isn't quite honest. The questions overlap more than we would like. In many cases, e.g. concerning the development of life, we should give creationists credit for having a sort of fuzzy hypothesis. The flipside of that is that hypotheses can be tested, and their's is wrong.

        I'll probably get too long-winded on the philosophy of science. You should be warned that in the course I teach on it we spend over a month on two questions:
        Does the Earth go around the Sun or vice versa?
        Why is it dark at night?

        Michael Weissman UID 197542

        by docmidwest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 08:18:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  p.s. I occasionally use irony. nt (1+ / 0-)
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        Michael Weissman UID 197542

        by docmidwest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 08:27:44 PM PDT

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