Re: Science and Religion

Matthew S. Tomaso (Tomaso@MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU)
Mon, 9 Oct 1995 10:02:44 -0500

At 12:56 PM 10/9/95 +1000, Danny Yee wrote:

>So you don't think palaeontology, cosmology, or geology are sciences?
>(If you think it's hard to replicate ethnographic events, just imagine
>the problems involved in replicating the uplift of the Himalayas,
>let alone the creation of the universe!)
>Danny Yee, who thinks that history is as much a science as physics.

With all due respect - and I have a lot of it for Mr. Yee - this is little
more than an example of what happens to meaning when a linguistic even is
taken out of its original context. In its original context, this statement
was meant to carry out the implications of what I saw to be Dwight Read's
criteria for scientific knowledge (i.e. testability). I was carrying these
implications to their limits so that I could show how their rote application
leads to philosophical nihilism and paralysis. Suffice to say that neither
Dwight nor I actually apply these strictures in this way. Of course
history can be a science! I have even argued that postmodernism ('the evil
antiscience') can inform science.

Matt Tomaso.
Anthropology. University of Texas at Austin.
Phone/Fax 512-453-6256