Re: Selfish meme?

From: Paul Marsden (
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 12:54:14 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Selfish meme?
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    >A few examples please. These kind of cynical ruminations erode the morale
    of the scientific community, >and worse still, deter young people from
    entering science.

    Gary Taubes in 'Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold
    Fusion' - shows how the scientific investigation, in terms of focus,
    investment and reporting, around Cold Fusion makes more sense if we
    understand it in terms of interpersonal relations, motivations and politics
    rather than 'objective', dispassionate investigation. Brings home by
    example the thinking of Feyerabend and Kuhn.

    This is the domain of the sociology of science - debunking the myth of
    objectivity and hyper-rationalism in science by example, and yes, a thorn in
    the side of the scientific community (which hit back with a powerful and
    effective counter blow with the Sokal Affair). Nevertheless is it not wise
    to be sceptical (not cynical) of science - as in all things in life - and
    systematically apply the tenets critical thinking? Rationalism may be a
    laudable goal - but isn't science driven by creatures of 'bounded
    rationality' and guided by irrational hopes and fears?

    The debunking agenda of sociology, along with its 2 axioms that a) the world
    is not what it seems, and b) that it could be different from that which it
    is, is not entirely without merit.

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