Re: Anthropology and Prediction

Thomas W. Rimkus (trimkus@COMP.UARK.EDU)
Sun, 10 Sep 1995 22:27:21 -0500

On Sat, 9 Sep 1995, Bradley David Hume wrote:>
> Given that the universe, from particles to societies, is probabilistic,
> I hate to think that anthropologists are still concerned that they
> aren't making sufficient advances in science. Look at it this way:
> The social sciences have been probabilistic since the 1830s. It took
> physicists another century to catch up.

What are you saying, that the state of conciousness of anthropology was
somehow greater than that of physics???? Anthropology studies statistical
data because that is all it can gather not because it somehow recognized
the world to be non-deterministic. The knowlege gained about the
physical world by physics prior to quantum mechanics is still largely
valid and useful in our everyday lives. What major lessons does
Anthropology claim in the everyday world? Anthropology still does
not exhibit a consciousness of the fact that anthropologists change the
world they study. Please tell me of a couple examples where anthropology has
made any significant and long lasting effect on the lives of non-industrialized
peoples except to make them more vulnerable to the users and takers of our
culture. Could it be that anthropology is simply the self-deluded lead wave
of the modern version of a long string of abusive power driven
European hordes? Where is it stated in your non-deterministic world that
the greed for knowledge is any more noble than the greed for gold?

Tom Rimkus
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