Re: [asa] HPSS - Survey of Views

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Fri Apr 04 2008 - 10:56:41 EDT

  Maybe we need to differentiate between the perspective of a given
scientist and that which develops from the collective perspective of the
scientific community. Certainly, each scientist approaches the data from a
paradigmatic framework and is not (cannot, I think) be "purely objective",
whatever that might mean. However, part of the essence of scientific
methodology is independent corroboration and reproducibility and acceptance
by the collective community of scientists in that particular field. In
principle, this means that scientists from all sorts of different
sociological and philosophical perspectives weigh in on the matter. This
doesn't mean that complete objectivity without influence by any paradigm is
achieved but it does make a big difference in sifting out spurious results
that might be unique to a given paradigm. What needs to remain in common to
all paradigms is the core belief that there is order in the universe and
that science is possible

  This core belief is what differentiates many creationist and ID
presuppositions. Creationists typically claim significant discontinuities in
the laws of nature. This means that whatever order there is in the universe
was different in the past, the so-called non-uniformitarian assumption.
Some, though not all, ID perspectives include the idea that certain aspects
of the order in the universe bear the hallmarks of intelligent manipulation
rather than typical cause and effect relationships.

  As a result, when the paradigm that shapes one's conclusions differs at
such a basic level, all sorts of red flags are raised. It's no wonder that
conflicts ensue. But I wonder if any of these 4 (or others) philosophers of
science ever considered a paradigm shift that included abandoning the idea
of a consistent order in the universe? My guess is that when they talk of
paradigm shifts, they reall mean something very different.


----- Original Message -----
From: "James Mahaffy" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 7:48 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] HPSS - Survey of Views

> Folks
> Kuhn -- yes and he was very important in helping me understand that
> science does not work just objectively
> Popper -- am somewhat aware of him but have not read him and way back when
> I picked up one of his books did not find it easy to read.
> Others -- not really.
> It is interesting how often on this group science appears in many posts to
> be objective and not really influenced by paradigms.
> James Mahaffy ( Phone: 712 722-6279
> 498 4th Ave NE
> Biology Department FAX : 712 722-1198
> Dordt College, Sioux Center IA 51250-1697
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Received on Fri Apr 4 10:59:42 2008

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