Re: Culture of Science?

Arthur T. Murray (
Thu, 15 Aug 1996 14:39:48 GMT

In a previous article, (Joel and Lynn Gazis-Sax) says:

>Nice observation, Bill. I think a study of the Culture of Science could
>be very interesting and lead us to some new understandings of what it
>means to be human. Perhaps one reason why scientists find the so-called
>"Territorial Imperative" so compelling is that it resembles their
>culture very closely. Observe how I got flamed by the Wonder from Washington
>well beyond what I had actually said. Her attacks, by her own admission,
>were certainly not /rationally/ motivated. And yet they bear a peculiar
>similarity to remarks I have seen made time and time again when a member
>of the Scientific Establishment, particularly in that they both claim to
>be "neutral" (or as Angeline put it, "not personal") and yet their utterances
>are full of venom!
>From where did this culture spring? Here are a few of my hypotheses:
>* Class. Do Scientists come overwhelming from the Upper Middle and Upper
>Classes? Again, this could explain many of the mythological baggage which
>many scientists bear about the natures of their own intellects. Rather than
>considering the superior value of the education and family upbringing they
>had, they look hopefully to their own genes.
>* Protestantism. (Yep, I'll blame this bugaboo just for the sake of
>theoretical completeness!) I don't give Protestantism the credit for
>the Scientific Method, only for the the emotional baggage and superiority
>complex that afflicts a fair number of scientists, at least the vocal
>ones. Genetic explanations of intelligence sound a lot like good
>old Calvinist predestination if you think about it.
>Perhaps you all have others. The point I would make about these things
>is that they /are not/ Scientific Method. But they sure as hell sneak
>in and wreak their havoc often enough for us to be aware of them.
> ___ ___
> /\ _|_ /\ Joel and Lynn GAzis-SAx
> / /\_|_/\ \
> / / /\|/\ \ \
> ----------o----------------------------------------------------------
> \ \ \/|\/ / / "If we try to flee from our human condition into
> \ \/_|_\/ / the computer, we only meet ourselves there."
> \/__|__\/ William Barrett

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/visual memory\ ________ / auditory \
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