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28 September 2011

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Barbara C.

Wow, that's a really interesting distinction you make between science and history. It makes a certain amount of sense to me (a person whose not a big studier of science). Would the majority of other scientists agree with your distinction between when science stops and history begins or is that a more unique opinion? (I have a feeling that archaeologists and anthropologists might disagree with you. LOL)

bearing

I really don't know who would and wouldn't agree with the distinction. The waters are muddied by, I think, an identification with the label "scientist." Oncd you have invested time, money, and effort into an education in the sciences, you want to enjoy the benefits of the title. And that kind of an education forms your personality and becomes part of your identity.

I don't mind calling someone a scientist based on their training or background rather than their job description, and I think it is worth noting that active scientists do many things that are part of their job that are not the generation and analysis of scientific evidence. Grant writing, for instance, is not science.

Some of what some archeologists and anthropologists do is certainly science under my definition. Because a population, having variations among unique individuals, is an entity that can be subjected to the scientific method. The existence of patterns in human nature can also be put to a test.

Barbara C.

That should be "who's" not "whose".

Christy P.

Your post is far more complete than my favorite quote upon coexistence of faith and science. Fans out there will know that the rest of the quote gets sillier.

"For proof denies faith and without faith God is nothing"

Thank you, Douglas Adams.

bearing

One of these days I will have to explain how Douglas Adams caused me to meet Mark. But probably the story could be derived from first principles.

bearing

By the way, the extended form of the Douglas Adams quote (including the bit about the Babel fish) could be read as an indictment of the intelligent-design people. I don't think there were many of them around back when Hitchhiker's first came out.

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I think I read something somewhere about this

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