Re[3]: Anthropology of Science

Juan C. Garelli (Garelli@ATTACH.EDU.AR)
Wed, 4 Oct 1995 22:13:50 +0000

> I don't agree at all with B.M. Howell's claim that science is no less
> subject to social context than is religion. True, the subjects
> scientists investigate are affected by social circumstances; but the
> conclusions scientists reach are subject to evidence--that
> is, constrained by reality--to a much greater degree than are the
> assertions of religion. Science is the product and process of ongoing
> interaction between evidence and reason; its ideas are always answerable
> to evidence. --Bob Graber

I could not possibly agree more with Bob Graber's assertions
concerning the scientific method as distinctly discriminated from any
kind of belief. They should remind us of Popper's Demarcation
Criterion as advanced in his Logik der Forschung -The Logic of
Scientific Discovery-(1934). Scientific theories are subject to refutation
whereas religions are not. And any body of knowledge that claims to
explain every conceivable fact by an act of faith can neither be proved
nor disproved, thus being inadequate to qualify as a scientific
Scientific theories are hypotheses from which can be
deduced statements testable by observation; if the appropriate
experimental observations falsify these statements, the hypothesis
is refuted. If a hypothesis survives efforts to falsify it, it may be
tentatively accepted. No scientific theory, however, can be
conclusively established.
J.C. Garelli, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Early Development
University of Buenos Aires
Juncal 1966, 1116 BA, Argentina
Tel: 54-1 812 5521
Fax: 54-1 812 5432