Re: [asa] HPSS - Survey of Views

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Sat Apr 05 2008 - 14:46:13 EDT

Randy -- I'm never quite sure to make of it when practicing scientists waive
aside POS by saying "we just do the science." I guess there's an analogue
here between legal academia and law practice -- I think much more deeply now
about jurisprudence and legal philosophy than I did in practice. In
practice, my view of the world was very pragmatic -- I had cases to handle
and little time to think about the broader context of what I was doing.

But I never thought the broader context was just irrelevant. Actually, it
bothered me sometimes that I didn't have the luxury of thinking more deeply
about my work -- which is one reason I'm glad I've had the chance to move
into academia. I suppose we could say the same about just about any field
in which there are both theoretical and practical questions -- e.g.,
theology and pastoring, pedagogical theory and teaching, communications
theory and journalism, sociological theory and social work, and so on.
So, sure, the typical working scientist doesn't think very deeply about the
broader context of his or her work. But that doesn't make those broader
questions irrelevant. I mean, to say "we just do the science" is really
just question begging, isn't it?
On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 7:41 PM, Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net> wrote:

> Greg,
> I've read only Kuhn and read about Popper's views. Though I'm interested
> in knowing what they have to say, I'm not inclined to spend the time reading
> them. Nor, to my knowledge, do I know many scientists who do. Most of us
> prefer to just do the science. We know it when we see it but can't always
> define it. Are you indirectly confirming that all the paradigm changes they
> consider still retain the core of a belief that science is possible?
> Moorad, I'm not sure I understand your question but I do believe that
> the fact that anything exists at all and that what does exist is coherent
> and orderly is one of the more potent arguments for the existence of God.
> Randy
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
> *To:* Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu> ; Randy Isaac<randyisaac@comcast.net>;
> asa@calvin.edu
> *Sent:* Friday, April 04, 2008 5:27 PM
> *Subject:* RE: [asa] HPSS - Survey of Views
>
> "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?" - Randy Isaac
>
> Yes, those 4 are all philosophers of science. But also, as I pointed out
> in the previous post, they are trained in physics, mathematics and
> psychology. So they are also 'scientists' as far as the term goes. As to
> your above question, Randy, it makes me wonder if you have read any of them,
> especially Feyerabend. This indeed was the main purpose of the thread to
> discover. Thanks to those who have already commented on this survey in
> public and private. - G.A.
>
> *"Alexanian, Moorad" <alexanian@uncw.edu>* wrote:
>
> Scripturally, God sustains His creation, which means "no God, no nothing."
> Therefore, to what extent God sustaining the creation shows up in the
> existence and temporal development of all that there is?
>
>
> Moorad
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of Randy Isaac
> Sent: Fri 4/4/2008 10:56 AM
> To: asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: Re: [asa] HPSS - Survey of Views
>
>
>
> Jim,
> 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.
>
> Randy
>
>
> ----- 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 (mahaffy@dordt.edu) 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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-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Sat Apr 5 14:48:14 2008

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