>Science, and the scientist, do not have a culture
>(in the same sense- I don't want a semantic squabble about 'culture')
>which they can step outside of and perish.
Is that an axiom or a conclusion? It appears to me you hold it
as an axiom. Are you familiar with the 5 axioms of Euclid?
4 were simple, the 5th was something like:
Two lines which intersect a common line, both at right angles,
will always be separated by the distance of the segment between
the two points of intersection.
This 5th axoim was, even to Euclid, a little uncomfortable.
But he needed it to prove some of his more complex conclusions.
It was a hack.
For centuries afterwards mathematicians tried to render the
5th axiom as a correlary of the first 4, to prove it. They
couldn't.
So, some cleverer mathematicians tried to do it the bass-ackward
way: they assumed the 5th axiom was incorrect:
Two lines which intersect a common line, both at right angles,
will NOT always be separated by the distance of the segment
between the two points of intersection.
Of course, since this second counter-axiom was so ludicrous they
intended to find some contradiction like:
1 + 1 = 1
As a conclusion of the counter-axiom.
But they couldn't find it. And, before they knew it, they were in
non-Euclidian geometry. And it was laughably obtuse and meaningless
Until Einstein declared that that was, in fact, the way the universe was.
THE DAY THE UNIVERSE CHANGED, James Burke
"Paradigm Shift" according to Kuhn.
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For your cogitation:
"Science, and the scientist, have a culture (like any shamen)
which they can step outside of and perish."
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Go ahead, find the contradiction. But beware the consequences of
the search.
Reed
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Reed Konsler konsler@ascat.harvard.edu
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