virus: What do we mean by science?

Reed Konsler (
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 13:57:08 -0500

>Have you ever known scientists that struck you as dogmatic, perhaps
>in their pursuit of research, perhaps in their personal lives? Does
>playing the role "scientist" make one immune to faith? Does playing
>the role "member of religion" make one particularly succeptible?

What I'm trying to ask here is, when we talk about "science" are we talking about <what science is, the abstract ideal> or <what science is, as it's practiced every day>. I feel like a lot of this discussion is about ideals. The scientists around me right now are quite human, with all the wonderful qualities and frailties you would expect from living, breathing people. Are we going to ignore that they are human and only count the "scientific" things they do as relevant?

I think it would be inappropriate to compare an <abstract> science with <concrete> religion. This is common when people talk about crusades and inquisitions. See, those <concrete> religious bastards are such hypocrites, but the <abstract> principles of science do not allow such brutality and foolishness. I'm skeptical that the <abstract> ideals of science do, in practice, restrict people's <concrete> actions or thinking for good or ill in any significantly different way than the <abstract> ideals of religion do.


  Reed Konsler