Is Science simply "Mission of western white men " ?

New Scientist (29 October 2011 Issue number 2836) contains comments on Anthropology 1 ( Postmodernism based cultural anthropology ). In particular author suggests that such sort of imaginary anthropology rejects an existence of objective truth as well as assumes that  "science was simply mission of western white men "? As a consequence - " A generation of journalists with a postmodern education decided that " objective" reporting was simply getting varying views of the story, but not required to present controversial subjects, and to present them fairly." ?  

Views: 90

Comment

You need to be a member of Open Anthropology Cooperative to add comments!

Comment by John McCreery on November 3, 2011 at 4:29am

When I read,

Moreover, we can use quantum experiments where observer-dependent effects are well established and such sort of effects are used in quantum technologies, quantum computing and quantum cryptography.We can discuss details of these experiments and we can easy deduce that quantum physics is science.

I find myself wondering if you know Arthur C. Clarke's famous remark that any sufficiently advanced technology is magic to those who don't understand it. I am not saying that you don't know what you're talking about. Me? I have just finished reading James Gleick's The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood (which is, by the way an extraordinarily well done book in the popular history of science genre). In it I have read a chapter that does what appears to provide, at least to a semi-scientifically literate ignoramus like me, a reasonable account of quantum computing. Do I know what you are talking about? Only sketchily at best. How many of your other readers here on OAC know as much as I do? Might be worth thinking about. It seems to me that you either need to find a more congenial and better-informed audience or think about how to make your point to people who need a lot more help to even begin to understand the point you are trying to make. 

Comment by John McCreery on November 3, 2011 at 2:06am
Point taken. Math per se does not a science make. Historically speaking,however, it provided the means to get beyond Scholastic logic chopping to testable propositions. That is all I was pointing to.
Comment by Michael Alexeevich Popov on November 2, 2011 at 12:55pm

To John McCreery - 2. Thank You.

Passage 1."how much of contemporary political discourse is dominated". Mr Otto suggests similar things- "Science is always political because the new knowledge it creates requires refining our morals and ethics and challenges vested interests." ( p.40).However, scientific experiments can overcome non-exactness. Galileo experiment with falling bodies destroyed most popular Aristotle philosophical theory ( supported by Pope ).Quantum experiments had found that Great Albert Einstein was wrong in the case of entanglement.Recent OPERA experiment with Einstein dogma can change cosmology and physics completely, in spite very strong political resistance.

Passage 2. "add a little mathematics; bingo! You're doing science".It is not easy. We can consider exact case, for example, kinship mathematics. Even Levy-Strauss was not able to adopt A. Weil's elementary observations from modular algebra... in his own professional field. 2 + 2 = 4 and there is no political philosophy here...

Comment by Michael Alexeevich Popov on November 2, 2011 at 12:36pm

to John McCreery -1.

Thank You for comments. 

1. If you really believe that such things as

"Empirical evidence? Replicable experiments? " are quite doubtful things in your imagination,it is easy to test.

We can take any scientific or mathematical exact case and we can test your assumption about theology -dependent scientific truth in details.

2. Moreover, we can use quantum experiments where observer-dependent effects are well established and such sort of effects are used in quantum technologies, quantum computing and quantum cryptography.We can discuss details of these experiments and we can easy deduce that quantum physics is science.Indeed.

2.Some areas of biological and evolutionary anthropology cannot avoid elementary questions about objective

truth as well.

3. Mr Otto in his article suggests that "there was no such thing as objective truth"  ( p.41 ) in ALL cultural anthropology .I suppose it is not correct. SOME cultural anthropologists indeed have anti-scientific attitudes and SOME anthropologists are doing science indeed.

Comment by John McCreery on November 2, 2011 at 5:57am
Have you failed to notice how much of contemporary political discourse is dominated by what are, at root, theological concerns? How do people with profoundly different views of their ultimate concerns manage to talk to each other? Things you can point at, things you can both do yourself and agree on the results, deliberate avoidance of theological concerns that lead to bloody-mindedness—add a little mathematics; bingo! You're doing science.
Comment by John McCreery on November 1, 2011 at 2:47pm
The history of science suggests that the white men in question when science was getting going in the 17th century were mainly concerned about finding even a few things to agree on in an era plagued by religious wars. Empirical evidence? Replicable experiments? The beginnings of peer review? They were all ways of allowing people who otherwise would likely be slaughtering each other over theological questions to carry on conversations that led to some agreement on significant advances in knowledge. Not such a bad idea at all.

Translate

OAC Press

@OpenAnthCoop

Events

© 2019   Created by Keith Hart.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service