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Re: On science (phew, long)



In a message dated 98-02-27 23:42:59 EST, jrhutch@socrates.berkeley.edu
writes:

<< 2) On common sense:  I'd hate to live in a world where scientists proceeded
 solely by common sense and without methodology, especially empiricism. >>

The point here is that what constitutes common sense is malleable. In certain
cultures it may be common sense to visit the local shaman for periodic demon
exorcism. In quantum physics, what is common sense might differ radically from
what is common sense in the culinary arts. In science it is, in fact, only
common sense to proceed with methodology and empiricism.

<<Keeping a dewey decimal system of dinosaur genera is fine and dandy, but
some folks are interested in a broader picture than pigeonholing and counting
taxa.>>

Without the "dewey decimal system of dinosaur genera," a broader picture is
very difficult to construct, because we wouldn't know what the objects of our
studies are. Being interested in a broader picture is "fine and dandy," but
going around in circles arguing over such topics as dinosaur mating calls is a
waste of time until we're able to travel backward in time to observe dinosaur
mating rituals (if there were such).