Re: Pasteur and nature of science

From: Michael Roberts (
Date: Tue Jan 01 2002 - 16:51:56 EST

  • Next message: Michael Roberts: "Re: "Flower in the Crannied Wall""

    Thre is nothing Postmodern in what Ted Davies says, but only an
    acknowledgement of the various factors which influence how scientists make
    their interpretations. What is indoctrinating to say that htis is the case
    as it simply makes us look more closely at the way scientists work. E.g. we
    understand Darwin better if you recognsie his religious views , the
    political milieu etc. Of course if you follow Jim Moore we can go too far as
    he does, but no scientist is a machine for grinding out science, he brings
    all the baggage of his culture.

    When it comes to the interpretation of the resurrection some are also
    cluttered by their cultural baggage, e.g. John spong who will let his wooly
    liberal episcopalean perspective colour everything. The classic are the
    German criitcs of the 19th century.

    Yes scientists (and theologians)are supposed to "interpret data with both
    care and
    > honesty" but their own worldview can get in the way.

    Yes I am inflamed as Ted Davies has been misunderstood and he is not
    teaching Postmodernism but simply pointing out the total contexts scientists
    work in. I am sorry Gordon
    but you have missed the point and have a very simplistic view of how science


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Gordon Simons" <>
    To: "Ted Davis" <>
    Cc: <>
    Sent: Tuesday, January 01, 2002 2:21 PM
    Subject: Re: Pasteur and nature of science

    > Ted Davis writes:
    > >>I tell my students that scientific knowledge is determined not by
    > observations and experiments, but by the outcome of debates about how to
    > interpret observations and experiments, and that such debates can be
    > influenced by a variety of factors (incl. politics, religion, personality,
    > various background beliefs, aesthetic commitments, etc).<<
    > Do the parents of your students know that you are indoctrinating their
    > children with a post-modern perspective on science?
    > If so, do they approve? Or don't they care?
    > Are they forewarned, before they send their children to Messiah College,
    > that this is what they are purchasing?
    > What would you tell a student in your class who then espouses a similar
    > view concerning the biblical data surrounding the resurrection of Jesus
    > Christ?
    > If I ever came to believe what you say about the relationship between
    > "observations and experiments" and "scientific knowledge," I would abandon
    > my career. I have been taught and believe that data (observations) are
    > the life-blood of science, and that I have a moral responsibility to
    > handle, report, and, where possible, interpret data with both care and
    > honesty.
    > (Please don't view this as a flame. Despite my sharply critical response,
    > it is a serious posting.)
    > Gordon Simons

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