Re: WHITAKER'S LAWS OF SOCIAL SCIENCE
Bob Whitaker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 19:10:04 -0500
> email@example.com wrote:
> > Whitaker's Laws apply to all social sciences, including sociology and
> > its wholly owned subsidiary, anthropology:
> Sorry, Bobby, anthropolgy isn't a sub-discipline of sociology.
I said "wholly owned subsidiary". Anthropologists take theior
Politically Correct orders from sociologists.
> > Anything advocated by social science that sounds good is probably
> > untrue.
> Dear me, that's a bit broad. Sounds good in my mellifluous tones?
> Laura's? You seemed to quite like Carleton Coon -- is he now untrue to you?
> (Gawd, sounds C&W)
> > Anything advocated by social science that dovetails with trendy
> > political views is almost certainly untrue.
> What's a trendy political view? The New Right? Does this mean that social
> sciences are less correct when Democrats are in the White House than when
> Republicans occupy the Oval Office? Or vice versa? How trendy does it
> have to be? What's the epsitemological basis for this? Does something
> that's true when times are untrendy become less true when things get
> trendy? What are the Fall colours going to be this year?
> > Anything advocated by social science that claims to be Scientific is
> > probably nonsense.
> Oh, dear. Genetics
Please TRY to read what I say, I said SOCIAL SCIENCE.
(not one of your favouries, I know)? Isotopic analysis?
> Physical anthropology? Demography? Geology? If I say that I think
> cosmology is really interesting, does that mean it becomes wrong?
> > Anything advocated by social science that sounds good and is
> > politically trendy is always wrong.
> Oh, it's _additive_. OK. But now, for example, 'racial science' and
> social Darwinism were both really popular and politically tendy rather
> over 100 years ago, and again (given a pretty close relationship between
> social Darwinism and eugenics) about 60 years ago. So they were wrong
> then... but did they get any less wrong when they got less trendy?
> How do you feel about the aether, Bob? Humoural theories in medicine?
> Lysenkoism? Are they OK now?
You seem to be making my point again.
> > Anything advocated by social science that sounds good, is politically
> > trendy and
> > claims to be Scientific Truth will be a laughing stock twenty years
> Aaah, nope, Bobby ol' boy. Things will be wrong, our interests will
> change and some things will be _really_ wrong. But good ideas have
> staying power, Bobby, and they stand up well against criticism -- and
> I'm pretty sure that some of the things we talk about now will stand up.
> That's the difference between legitimate research and your intellectually
> inbred little band of racists, Bob -- you can never work up the
> intellectual firepower to open up your ideas to honest critique, and
> so they stultify -- and we have people quoting Carleton Coon and 1911
> Encyclopedia Britannicas (and Gobineau, for that matter) as if they were
> the last word in anthropological thought.
So tell me some polticial stuff advocated by social scientists down
that WEREN'T disasters when they got into the real world.
> Scott MacEachern
> Department of Sociology and Anthropology
> Bowdoin College
> Brunswick, ME 04011
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