Sunday, 12 August 2007

A scholar's riposte

Sitting as I do amongst the gliterrati of the Diogenes Club at week's end we all forgot why we we there. The conversation wandered from topic to topic but none of us were taking notes. Well it is holiday time. But I found a reference to a seminal article just now and want to share it with anyone passing.
From time to time no doubt the scientific mind will propound itself as the solution to man's problems. I prefer certainty to doubt when matters are in the grey spectrum of debate. But I am ever conscious of a definition of humour as it as being no more than the realisation of something others have misunderstood.
Whilst being an admirer of the certainty of, say, Richard Dawkins I shrink away from the name dropping smugness of so called scientists. Smugness or humour for that matter is not science. Not that anyone was claiming to be scientific at the Diogenes Club, we were all way too distracted by it being August for that.
So back to this seminal paper. Try "Googling" for a paper by Robert A Rothman called "A Dissenting View on theScientific Ethos".
Ok it appeared way back in 1972 but it is an easy read and seeks to apply scientific criteria!
I hope it will not spoil anyone's day if I reveal Rothman concludes that using scientific criteria science is flawed.
Diogenes would be proud.
Me, I'm going to spend tomorrow l trying to work out if we never can know what we might know tomorrow, the day before. It is a useful antidote to certainty. And smugness. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Thanks for the info you left for me Mary