Thursday, April 06, 2006


More from Steve Fuller's 'Kuhn vs/ Popper'

'Popper's view that a non-scientist might criticise science for failing to abide by its own publicaly avowed standards is rarely found inside academia today. For those who have inhereted Kuhn's Cold War belief that normal science is a bulwark in a volitile world, it comes as no suprise that philosophers today sooner criticise Creationists for violating evolutionary strictures than evolutionists for violating more general scientific norms - an activity for which Popper had been notorious.' (p. 5-6.)

'Kuhnian normal science was a political primitve social formation that combined qualities of the Mafia, a royal dynesty and a religious order. It lacked the sort of constitutional safeguards that we take for granted in modern democracies that regularly force politicians to be accountable to more people than just themselves. Scientists should be always trying to falsify their theories, just as people should be always invited to find fault in their governments and consider alternatives - and not simply wait until the government can no longer hide its mistakes.' (p. 46.)

'For Popper, science is indeed in stasis -a "fallen" state, a closed society, much as the Roman Catholic Church was when Martin Luther launched what became the Protestant Reformation. This is the spirit in which we should understand Popper's most radical follower, Paul Feyerabend, who in the 1970s called for the devolution of state support for science to local authorities and supported the proliferation of such anti-establishment forms of inquiry as Creationism, Deep Ecology and New Age medicine. Feyerabend's attitude toward science was closer to a protestant's than an atheist's towards Christianity. Unfortunately, in our blinkerd times, to be against the scientific establishment is to be against science itself.' (p. 110.)

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