Talk:Scientific method/Archive 8
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- 1 NPOV removed
- 2 Provenance of the “idealized method”
- 3 Method in practice
- 4 Myths and Stories considered
- 5 Archiving
- 6 A suggestion
- 7 Parley
- 8 Edit war?
- 9 Why the non-NPOV header
- 10 Rewrite
- 11 NPOV after Zandperl's recent edits and Banno's re-edits
- 12 Philosophy Wikiproject
- 13 Minor Kuhn Edits
- 14 Reproducibility vs. Evaluation
- 15 Utility
- 16 Hypothesis from induction
- 17 Minor Edits
- 18 Affirming the consequent
- 19 Idealised and actual
- 20 scientific enterprise
- 21 Secularism
- 22 Great A'Tuin
(William M. Connolley 18:10, 2004 Mar 31 (UTC)) From what I can gather above, the NPOV was added by Banno, because of problems he thought Ww had with the article. Meanwhile, I can't tell from the above whether Ww now thinks the article sufficiently POV to keep the header.
So I've fucked it, in order to clear the confusion. Please re-insert it if *you* think the article is POV.
- WMC, Things have gotten tangled immediately above and so somewhat bitchy, but if you look for a comment from me dated 31 Mar 04, I have there replied to Banno's explanation of what he thought my problem with the POV here was. He in turn was replying to Zandperl's comment/query. Mine there is by way of a correction/clarification as Banno got it somewhat skewed. Indeed, as things stand, I think the article is NPOV. (<<--This is a typo, should have been "POV". ww 1.4.04) And probably it should be so noted.
- I expect that Banno thinks the POV is sufficiently N to remove the banner, and indeed he said so earlier above, and I replied. Others may agree, though I have heard nothing along those lines, but that may not mean much as absence of comment isn't evidence of much of anything. ww 19:00, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I have no objection to the removal of the banner, as the article now stands, although I am somewhat puzzled that Ww now has no objection. Banno 21:25, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
- Banno, No need for puzzlement. I think so little has changed that the NPOV banner **should** remain. The "I think the article is NPOV..." above is the result of a finger getting out of control and eyes / brain not noticing. Sorry about that! I have corrected it with a note. ww 15:08, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Okay, as I understand it, the concerns w/ the page were as regards the scientific method in theory vs. in practice. I'm thinking the points we're trying to make in this page might be more clear if we slightly reoganize. Very separate and distinct sections on (1) the idealized scientific method as taught to school children, (2) philosophical underpinnings of the scientific method, (3) how scientists actually do or don't use the scientific method. In the first major section, I suggest we keep it concise--keep in mind that children in middle school come to Wikipedia to learn every day, and if they come to this article that will be the part they read.
Do I have a good understanding of the controversy here? Are my suggestions relevant, or am I totally off base? --zandperl 23:41, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
- Z, I think you've got much of it. I do have difficulty w/ the terminology of 1) above in that categorizing a major position on sci meth as 'idealized' (and so 'less than actual' w/o directly saying so) and 'as taught to school children' has the effect of distorting the discussion. Banno's comment below on 3) is cogent, though I think a distinction can probably be made which he does not. Others may feel differently, of course. ww 15:08, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Provenance of the “idealized method”
The third section described above is an impossibility. One cannot have a description of “how scientists actually do or don't use the scientific method”. One can only have theories about the way scientists actually do or don't use the scientific method. So there is no difference between (2) and (3). The idealized scientific method is simply one theory amongst many. Any other account of the activities of science will likewise be an abstraction from the reality. Perhaps this misunderstanding underlies much of the debate here. What is needed is an examination of the provenance of the “idealized method”, in part to demonstrate more clearly that it is a theoretical position, and so as eligible to critique as any other theory.
Banno 01:11, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Method in practice
(William M. Connolley 19:06, 2004 Apr 1 (UTC)) Being bold, and in accordance with what I think is the feeling from Ww and Z (as well as my own opinions) I have added a (brief) section on sci meth in practice. Which basically says... well, you can read it.
The positioning of the section is slightly uncomfortable. Ideally, it would be just below the "idealised" section. But just below idealised are subsections on observation, etc etc; and putting it below all those puts it too low on the page, IMHO. Doubtless we can discuss this...
- This new section only serves to introduce yet another theory into the mix. It is inappropriate to imply that this is the one true method as used in practice.
- If you are going to present this as a theory, you should provide some details of its provenance – who is it that proposes that publication and funding are the primary factors in the scientific method?
- The new theory recognises constraints, but not drivers. Does the theory hold that the goal of science is to obtain funds? If so, it may find itself in agreement with Feyerabend., but I’m surprised to see you supporting such a cynical view.
- (William M. Connolley 19:23, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) Try reading the idealised method section. That has almost nothing on drivers either - just the "wonder" under hypothesis. But I agree - my section could do with expanding.
- No, if this new item remains, the POV banner will have to be re-instated.
- Banno 21:42, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:05, 2004 Apr 1 (UTC)) Its not intended to be a theory, but a description of what people do in practice. Perhaps you would call it a theory, I don't. Sorry that you dislike it so much. What is in that section deserves to be in the article somewhere - if, as you say, its new, then good. What I described are the constraints that scientists find in practice. I haven't described the drivers: this is not a complete piece. SCientific motivation goes from money to love, and generalisation is impossible.
I'll hope for comments from the others in this debate.
- But any description is an abstraction from reality, and so a theory. The map is not the territory. Banno 23:19, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 19:23, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) "...and so a theory". Ironically, I've just been debating whether Global warming counts as a theory or hypothesis - see Talk:Global warming. But I see I needed have worried - I could just tell them is an abstraction from reality, and so a theory. I wonder if they would be convinced? I doubt it.
- WMC, The new section covers a real constraint on much actual science and is material that should most definitely be somewhere, but perhaps not here.
- My intent here has been to cover that which characterizes science, differentiating it from say, art history or engineering or marketing, no matter where done, in what period, or by whom. I believe that it is a method/approach/pattern/practice/ <*pick your own term*> which so distinguishes. History, and here I speak with some assurance, does not use any method remotely similar, nor does literature, nor ... I think we can, and should, write an article about this, most likely under the rubric 'scientific method'. There exists fragments of one here at present.
- Prior to government funding (say, prior to WWII, or in Tang China (though I speak from vast ignorance on this -- Needham should be consulted)) science was certainly done, but funding (or at least the opinions of one's funding bureaucrats) was enough less of an issue to not deserve much discussion, save perhaps general lamentation / gnashing amongst those with insufficient funds from any source to build or acquire needed apparatus or materials.
- (William M. Connolley 19:23, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) Yes indeed, the constraints were once different. You'd need to be a hist of sci to know the details. I would say that prior to WW II, in britain at least, "heads of departments" at universities had a lot of authority over who got resources to do what, and others interfered less. But, they still allocated resources to the people working for/with them.
- WMC, I actually had in mind a simpler case. Boyle or Cavendish or Hooke or Franklin, who funded their own research as I understand it. Your example is a middle one. Perhaps it raises questions as to the definition of bureaucrat. Thus, I work down the hall from the annoying idiot who is controlling my funding to the detriment of my research program. You, on the other hand, are suffering from the infernal budget machinations of a bureaucrat in London (or choose your own location) many miles away. Should we contact the OED forthwith? ww 19:36, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 19:23, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) Yes indeed, the constraints were once different. You'd need to be a hist of sci to know the details. I would say that prior to WW II, in britain at least, "heads of departments" at universities had a lot of authority over who got resources to do what, and others interfered less. But, they still allocated resources to the people working for/with them.
- My qualm about this section is thus rather different than Banno's (qv, above). Its reality is so easily observable that requiring authority for including it is, I think, scholasticism reborn and should be avoided. It is not a theory in any real sense, merely fact apparent to all who bother to look, or who have observed PI wrestling w/ NFS or NIH or (presumably, the MRC), or who pay attention to issues of public policy, at least in the US, where orthodoxy of thought and action is being imposed on all within reach of funding withdrawal or threat of same. In science as elsewhere.
- My difficulty is where to put the material only. It's well worth including and, save only this, w/o a controversial aspect in my view. In fact, I think it needs amplification, for the consequences of such realities are less than immediately obvious to many potential readers.ww 17:59, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 19:23, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) OK, good, I agree. The section is just where I got to: it should be expanded. If it gets big enough, it can become its own article perhaps.
- WMC, Sure 'nuff! ww 19:36, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I've just tuned in and see that there is quite a bit of disagreement that could lead to an edit war (if it's not there already). Accounting for the fact that I haven't actually read the whole article, may I make a suggestion to perhaps satisfy both sides? Create the main article as a representative of the ideology of the scientific method, then towards the bottom add a section on criticisms. I've seen this method used in other controversial topics and it seems to work well. That way, the proponent's side is displayed in entirety, and any counterpoints are addressed collectively at the end. TimothyPilgrim 14:55, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC) not possible to say definitively that GW should be considered one or the other.
- (William M. Connolley 19:23, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) I don't think we're in an edit war yet. Though we do have an undesirable POV header. The trouble with your suggestion (IMHO) is that "sci meth" means several things: the idealised method; the method in practice; perhaps others. At the moment, the POV header is there because Banno objects to the inclusion of the method-in-practice section (I may be misrepresenting him: he may have no obj in principle but object to the section as its presented. I don't know which).
- WMC, I would also say it's there for the reasons I have been giving for some time. They are quite different than Banno's, if I understand his clearly, which on reflection, I can't say I do, quite. ww 19:36, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Until the creation of the new section, that was the essential structure of the article. The Idealised Method section presented a thesis, the Philosophy section criticised that thesis.. Banno 06:48, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Why the section “The scientific method in practice” is not NPOV
- The section presents a theory about how scientists work as if it were uncontested fact. Yet this theory does not exist elsewhere in the literature of Methodology. Its place in this article therefore needs to be justified. In failing to present such a justification, it presents as fact the opinion of the author.
- The section is placed above both the idealized scientific method and the criticism of that method. No other article or book on Scientific Method that I have seen has chosen to give such a prominent position to mere expediency. The author should, at the least, present reasons for doing so.
Banno 20:40, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) I did not intend the section I added to mean what you think it means. Perhaps there is scope for rewording to alleviate the problems.
- First: Peer review, and Resoures/funding, barely got a mention in the existing article yet they are fundamental to the (daily) operation of current science.
- Second: (following on): if this "theory" (I don't call it a theory; you can) really does not exist elsewhere in the literature of Methodology then that is a gross failing in the said literature. So gross, that I can't believe that others haven't written about these aspects too.
- Third: as I said when I included it, the current positioning is awkward. I'd be ahppy for it to be moved. But I'm not sure where. Ideally, there would be a section on sci-meth-theory; sci-meth-practice; then the expansion about observations; hyopthesis; etc.
The implications of “The scientific method in practice”
Let’s tease out the implications of placing the argument presented in this section above the other methodological theories.
- (William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) As I've said above: I'm not to bothered about the exact placement. Please lets not equate "above" with "better than".
Again, I am not here advocating the theory, simply pointing out were it leads. You are free to decide if this is an accurate description of the scientific process:
It is not obvious that peer review can be separated from funding. Certainly in many Western countries, funding is either directly linked to publication, or linked indirectly by processes within universities and research institutes. The section should therefore state that the primary constraint on scientists is funding, and that therefore the purpose of science is to obtain funds for scientists.
- (William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) Funding and peer review are sufficiently separate to get different headings. There is a vast amount of detail to go into there, but I'd rather not.
The implication of the theory is that science is on a par with any other activity that seeks simply to obtain funds for its supporters, and has no claim to a special place in our society. Scientists will, and furthermore should, simply favour whatever “scientific” theory looks to be the most promising in terms of remuneration.
- (William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) I didn't make that claim explicity, and I think you are reading too much in implicitly. The section doesn't (as you've pointed out) deal with motivation at all - so your comments above are unjustified.
In order to obtain funding, it is helpful for scientists to keep up a mythology, pretending that they are following a method that leads to the unveiling of the way the universe works.
- (William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) Calling it a mythology is your (and probably Feyerabends) POV. Don't assert it as universal truth.
This is what is called in the article the “idealised scientific method”.
- (William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) Well no, not really. The article describes the idealised method. It doesn't say what it leads to.
This method is a story told to novice scientists in order to “hook” them;
- (William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) How do you know this? I am now a scientist. It was never taught to me.
the truth being revealed only once they have paid substantially to become members of the elite, and it is too late for them to look elsewhere for employment. At this stage, they will start to play the real game of seeking funding.
- (William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) Which ignores the many people who leave science for what we tend to call the "real world".
The myth is also useful in the rhetorical task of convincing non-scientists to make use of scientists, and so to provide them with funding. For example, in seeking the best place to mine, a company might seek the advice of a diviner or of a geologist. They will choose the one that presents the best case for accurately predicting the best place to dig. In convincing them to choose the geologist, it is useful to have a mythology of “scientific method”. Banno 21:02, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) Sorry guv, you've been reading too much relativist philosophy. Miners will seek what experience teaches them is the best advice. Aeroplanes (barring the odd accident...) don't fall out of the sky. They would if they were built and designed by water diviners.
Myths and Stories considered
(William M. Connolley 22:03, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)) And finally (for now): you seem to think your talk of "stories" and "myths" should be taken as fact/NPOV. Why should we?
WMC: Perhaps because of the call-and answer style you adopt, it is difficult to make a coherent argument out in your reply. It would be much easier to understand your position if you presented a coherent discussion in stead of taking such a piecemeal approach.
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) I argue that my position is coherent, as is my argument. I'm pointing out above a number of problems with practically every assertion you make.
You do not appear to understand that what I have done is simply bring out the implications of your own position. If you are uncomfortable with these implications, perhaps you should re-think that position.
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Thats what you think you've done. I think you've made a rather confused series of assertions.
You placed the section at the beginning of the essay, and appear to wish to give it some primacy by claiming that it is what scientists actually do (a claim also made by Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend, so you are in good company).
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Why can't you read what it says rather than what you think it says? It describes two major constraints on scientists. It doesn't actually describe what scientists *do* at all.
Yet you have so far failed to provide any reason for giving it this position. Your pleading to the contrary appears rather disingenuous.
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Come on. I've said, several times, that I *don't* insist on it having this position. I *have* given an argument for it being where it is: that it doesn't seem to fit elsewhere. *You* haven't made a suggestion a to where else it ought to be.
I will point out again that I am not advocating the position I have argued, but simply pointing out that it is a reasonable interpretation of the theory you have submitted. As you appear to now realise, your theory presents an excellent opportunity for the supporters of Feyerabend or others critics of science to place their arguments at the head of the article.
You wish to maintain that science has some superiority over divination, something with which I fully agree. Yet you are advocating a scientific method that cannot account for this superiority.
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Of course I'm not. Divination doesn't have peer review.
The ball is in your court. By all means include peer review and funding in the article, but if you wish to give them pride of place, then present a justification for doing so. If you wish to argue for it having a more prominent place in the literature, then may I suggest you mount your case in another forum, since there are (I am told) rules against publishing original research here.
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) I do hope you're not going to use that to censo material you don't like.
This argument is becoming rather ridiculous. You have simply presented your own ideas here,
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) No I haven't. Ww seems to agree.
- Just noticed this claim about my views. The discussion is certainly hard to follow, but I don't think it's because WMC has 'adopted a call and response style'. It think it's because all are making several points in one post. Replying to them in a single post is aguably more awkward than not.
- Anyway, I certainly do agree with WMC. His points about 'science as practiced' are not theories, except in the most extreme use of the word, but actual fact -- widely experienced by its vict.., err, subjects (or indeed objects). Why those constraints exist, and why they are imposed in the manner they typically are, are meta questions in re: the points WMC makes. Answering those meta questions would certainly be theoretical and, I suspect, more sociological than scientific. I cannot conceive of any way to characterize funding decision making as 'scientific', hence my conviction that discussing them would be sociological/political/institutional. We should perhaps leave aside the question of which institution might be best involved... ww 14:19, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)
and as such the article now clearly breaches the NPOV guidelines.
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) No again. The source of the ideas doesn't matter to NPOV. To quote from the top: The neutral point of view policy states that one should write articles without bias, representing all views fairly.
I have shunned editing the main article in the hope of avoiding an edit war, but it appears that some editing will need to occur. So, justify your case, re-write the section so it is not presented as a distinct theory or remove it altogether. Banno 03:43, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Either what I've written *is* a distinct theory, not covered elsewhere (in which case it should definitely have its own section) or its covered elsewhere in the article - but you haven't shown that, or suggested it.
So all diviners have to do to be able to claim to be a science
- (William M. Connolley 13:14, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) You don't have to do anything to claim to be a science - just make the claim. The question is, will anyone believe you?
is institute a peer review system, in which diviners monitor the work of other diviners?
- (William M. Connolley 13:14, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Peer review is far more complex than that, in the way its embedded in science/journals/etc.
And if your new section does not report what scientists do, why include it in an article on scientific method?
- (William M. Connolley 13:14, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Don't you understand the importance of constraints on activity as affecting that activity?
I’ve moved much of the stuff to a more appropriate section, refraining from simply removing it. From what you have said above about its position, I gather you will not object.
- (William M. Connolley 13:14, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Oddly enough, I do object, since you've removed it from its own section.
Ww does not appear to agree with much of what you have said – and even if he did, that would not make it any less POV. Banno 11:13, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 13:14, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Hedging your bets, eh? I hope that Ww will speak for himself.
- Banno & WMC, Be glad to... My objection to WMC's inclusion of 'science as practiced' is not that science isn't that way, or that his inclusion is a theory, or indeed any of your objections to it, Banno. So I do not support, by implication or in any other way, your oppositon to the inclusion of this particular content in this article. Indeed, I can support its inclusion on any of several grounds, but each is somewhat remote from what I perceive is the purpose and subject of this article; my support is reluctant for that reason. For instance, in my view peer review as done by science much of the time, is a part of keeping scientists on the track of scientific method and that is its virtue. Since funding bureacracies enforce rules as part of their bureacratic (and generally maddening) operation, a rule imposing peer review on scientists IS related to the scientific method -- just not directly so. And so on. A point surely worth making for readers of an encyclopedia such as this, but perhaps not here.
- As for the question of water divination being a science, well... It might be, if diviners went about their business (a word chosen with some care) scientifically. I've not met one who is interested in doing so, nor ever heard of one. And it could studied scientifically (by diviners themselves, by me, by Banno perhaps, or by others) if its practicioners permitted experimental test to determine whether the practice has any repeatable content, and if so what content it may have. Actual water diviners I've talked to seem not to be so willing, and others claim they are personally part of the 'mechanism'. This last, if so, would rather interfere with experimental access to something other than subliminal clues perceived unconsciously by the diviner, which would make it rather difficult to find any other content to divining, particularly not scientifically.
- So, could it be studied scientifically? Sure. How would it be studied if so? By using the scientific method. Any other study would be interesting, maybe even enjoyable, and might perhaps turn up the 'truth' of divining, but would not be scientific.
- The Demarcation Criterion arises, does it not? How could one distinguish between 'scientific' study and other study of anything (including water divination) is precisely the point of this article to illuminate, in my view. Which it does not do at all well now, and in fact does what whatever it does in a most confusing and misleading way. Speaking only from a writer's perspective, it does not even do well what Banno apparently wishes to have done, namely to indicate that scientific method is indistinct, partially/mostly mythical, and that science is not determined by any such thing, being exactly on a par with other human/social activities, such as art history or flower arrangement. As I see it, this article is currently confused and misleading even about that. ww 14:19, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- A succinct reply, Ww. Especially the last few sentences. I must say that I do not wish to argue for any particular position, but rather to give an account of the present status of methodology. That is, that the idealised method, which derives in part from Popper, has been rather mauled by Popper’s descendents, and as a result there is not at present an account of the demarcation criterion (Popper’s term, I think) that is satisfactory. I think the article presents a reasonable account of this. If there is some new methodology or theory that can resurrect some demarcation criterion, then I’d love to see it. But don’t blame me for the failure of the idealised method. I’m just the messenger.
- It’s over thirty years since the theories discussed here were developed. There must be some comebacks in the literature by now. I’ve looked, but haven’t spotted anything. Please, if you know of a reply, add it!Banno 21:48, Apr 5, 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 13:14, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) One thing I do agree with you on: we've talked enough, its time to edit the article a bit and see where we end up.
I’ve archived some of the material. Someone should check it to make sure that I’ve not deleted anything – there was too much material to simply copy to the seventh archive, so someone might like to create an eighth... Banno 03:42, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 08:29, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)) Seems OK to me. Thanks.
The page is now long, and wiki warns. This doesn't mean it *has* to be broken up, but...
How about a separate (short) article on the scientific method in practice; and the header of the sci meth page (which I've just modified a bit) going back to saying... "theories and ideas" and adding "; there is a separate article on science-in-practice."?
WMC, this is the third suggestion I have made in attempting to work around the problem. Instead of simply replacing my suggestions with your original write-up it would be helpful if instead you either commented on them or changed them to better suit your purposes.
- (William M. Connolley 08:44, 2004 Apr 5 (UTC)) Please don't pretend that you are the only one working towads a constructive solution. I too have made suggestions that you have rejected.
The principle of charity obliges me to think that you are not intent on simply forcing your opinion onto the article, so I suppose that there is some point in your writing that I am missing. I’ve had another go at re-stating the point that any methodology must necessarily be an abstraction from the reality of scientific practice. This means that it is simply not possible to describe what scientists do in terms that are not biased towards the opinion of the author. This is exactly the same point as is made in the verification section, that: “All scientific knowledge is thus always in a state of flux, for at any time new evidence could be presented/discovered/developed that contradicts a long-held hypothesis”.
- (William M. Connolley 08:44, 2004 Apr 5 (UTC)) No, its *not* exactly the same point. Describing what sci do is quite different to state-of-flux. And if you think my section is biased to my POV then you need to add some balance.
The practice section must allow for the possibility that it will turn out that publishing and funding are not the main constraints on scientists.
- (William M. Connolley 08:44, 2004 Apr 5 (UTC)) Now you're confusing science and meta-science.
It has the same status, as a theory of method, as the theories of Popper, Feyerabend, Kuhn and whomever else you might suggest. To give it its own section, and to place it in the first position in the article, is to deny this, giving it a status above their work. Thus it is POV.
- (William M. Connolley 08:44, 2004 Apr 5 (UTC)) Thats your POV. I tried to compromise: I moved it down below idealised. But that wasn't enough for you: it had to be a subset of idealised. And making in practice a subset of idealised makes no sense.
So in place of simply rving your work, I’ve attempted to articulate our own debate in the article itself. I agree that the methodology and practice of science are distinct. But I submit (for the reasons discussed above) that it is not possible to state what scientists do without moving from a discussion of practice to a discussion of theory. My objection is that this is what you have done.
Can I appeal again to you not to simply insert your comments into my posts, but to post your view separately? Perhaps it is my age, but I have difficulty making a coherent argument out of a series of such interjections, which does not help in my attempt to understand you.
I think the article looks pretty good as it stands. Banno 02:39, Apr 5, 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 08:44, 2004 Apr 5 (UTC)) Perhaps we have a clash of methods. I find that answering point-by-point corresponds to the scientific method. Everything one says has to stand up. You seem to go more for the "essay" school of argument perhaps more charactistic of philosophy.
(William M. Connolley 08:59, 2004 Apr 5 (UTC)) OK, following that I've edited again... Firstly, let me make it plain that I believe the "practice" section needs to clearly put forward publication and funding - not hide them inside a para. Thats why I've consistently objected to your version. Secondly, I don't regard this section as complete.
It seems to me that there is some form of edit war going on between Banno and William M. Connolley. You're both so impassioned about this that I couldn't even figure out what the debate was about before my question was bumped off the talk page. The record of this debate/edit war goes back nearly 50 versions in the history page, to 30 March. I laud you both for trying to work it out on the talk page, however it appears unsuccessful so far.
You're both editing both the article and the talk page so fast that I don't even have a chance to figure out what your positions are, so I can't step in and see if I can find a compromise, which I'd much like to do. Might I suggest a cool-down period of 24 hours or some such, to allow you both to step back a bit, and let others catch up with the page?
--zandperl 02:36, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 08:52, 2004 Apr 6 (UTC)) OK. I won't edit the page for 24 hours - I welcome another view on all this.
- Meanwhile... a quick summary of the history of this (from my POV, of course): when I made my first edit, Banno had put on a POV header because he thought Ww thought there should be one. I made some edits (mostly to introduce the sci-in-practice section) and removed the header (as an expt). Banno didn't like my section, and re-inserted the POV header, and we've been "discussing" the content and location of the new section since.
- Zandperl, The instant history goes back farther than the 30 March date you note. And in the archives it goes back much farther than that, though with other participants.
- An NPOV header has been on this article for some time (some weeks, at least; see the page history). It was placed there by Banno as a result of my protest of a series of reverts he made to some edits I had made attempting to remove what was in my view NPOV tone and some overreaching claims. That NPOV header remained until WMC removed it as an experiment. Banno has now replaced it as he objects to some additions WMC made. I personally think the content of the article is still such that an NPOV header should be present, though the changes WMC has made are improving the situation, in my view. Even though I suspect 'science as practice' (the section added by WMC to which Banno objects so strongly) should be somewhere else. Mostly.
- The discussion is indeed hard to follow, completely aside from questions of how to layout discussion here -- a point recently addressed. I attempted to summarize the underlying conflict in a response here to POM under the heading Simple Syntax (now archived -- in Archive 7, I think).
- The intensity of conviction swirling around the subject certainly suggests that it's an important one, and so getting a reasonable article should also be important, if true. I personally think, for public policy reasons alone -- not counting its intrinsic interest, that it is clearly is an important subject. Extremely important.
- To pick only an example from current public controversy, we have a world wide debate/contention/conflict/war about global warming, some non trivial part of which is directly related to questions of science: 'junk' science, 'political' science, 'economic interest' science, and <whatever> science. Were the science to be settled, some of the debate would, surely, at least clarify motives on the part of some of the participants. Distinguishing among these various 'sciences' would be aided by a clear understanding of scientific method on the part of (if not participants whose interests have perhaps determined their views) but on the part of those who must decide (or pass on the record of those who are charged with deciding) which 'science' should be taken seriously. This article might be of assistance there. It isn't, as you point out, currently.
- ww 13:57, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Why the non-NPOV header
(William M. Connolley 08:52, 2004 Apr 6 (UTC)) For those not intimately familiar with the history of this page but who would like to see the non-NPOV header removed:
The header was inserted by Banno because he didn't like the "scientific method and the practice of science section".
Is that fair?
- This is a weird post. What does fairness have to do with it?Banno 17:54, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 09:08, 2004 Apr 8 (UTC)) Oh good grief. I meant, "is that an accurate summary of the reason for the NPOV header?". You haven't chosen to dispute it, so I'll assume so.
- Ah. Clarity of expression is such a difficult art. I have clarified my position somewhat in what follows. Banno 01:47, Apr 9, 2004 (UTC)
From the NPOV page:
- The policy says that we should fairly represent all sides of a dispute, and not make an article state, imply, or insinuate that any one side is correct.
- Articles without bias describe debates fairly rather than advocating any side of the debate
- assert facts, including facts about opinions--but don't assert opinions themselves.
The present text:
- In actual science (meaning, in this context, the activities of those described as scientists) the primary constraints are:
- Publication, i.e. Peer review
- Resources (mostly, funding)
asserts an opinion as if it were a fact, and furthermore does not say who it is that holds that opinion.
Banno 17:56, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 09:08, 2004 Apr 8 (UTC)) That is silly. Your version "scientists often think that..." is just the same - an opinion (whose?) stated as fact. If this article has a bias, its excessive philosophising. I'll wait 24h before my next edit.
Excellent! So we agree that this text is an opinion presented as fact.
So, are you able to clarify who it is that makes the claim? If so, do so, and I will remove the NPOV header. Hopefully we are near the end of this disagreement. Banno 01:57, Apr 9, 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 14:32, 2004 Apr 9 (UTC)) I think you're being silly. The article is stuffed full of opinion quoted as fact. All you are doing is hold a section you don't like up to a higher standard than the rest.
- And anyway, what you've quoted *isn't* the current text - probably because you've changed it. But since you've done 12+ edits and still aren't happy, I'm fairly close to abandoning any attempt to compromise with you.
OK. You said above that you had more to add to the section. Perhaps it will make more sense to me after you do. I’ll remove the header as a gesture good will (although Ww might like to re-insert it). You do your edits, and then we discuss the issues again. Banno 21:00, Apr 9, 2004 (UTC)
I'm busy putting my own two cents in. Hopefully I'll be done in 15 minutes and people can take a look. --zandperl 21:48, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
A half hour and lots of energy later, I've rearranged the sections into an order that I think is more logical:
though I think the last two could be swapped and I'd still be happy. I then worked a bunch on the "ideal" section, with the main purpose of pulling out anything that wasn't a straight description of what the method is. I kept examples, I moved theories to either "history" or "philosophy." I haven't really touched either "practice" or "philosophy" other than dumping some lines into the latter section, so that one looks really messy right now.
I want to put more work into the "practice" section--while I think it's really important, it currently looks slapdash, needs more content, and if possible references for the content (though that may be hard to find). One thing I defintely want to make sure gets in there is that "experiment" doesn't always mean "build stuff exactly how you want it and do it." For example, behavioral biologists have to go into the field to listen to bird song, and record on tapes for days on end and then sift through it to find the stuff that applies to their study. Similarly, astronomers can't tell a star to supernova and watch what happens, they can only look at stars in different stages and compare them.
Ok, feel free to tear apart the little bit I contributed.
--zandperl 22:27, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 22:52, 2004 Apr 8 (UTC)) A brave attempt. I shall leave things be over Easter. Happy Easter to all.
- An interesting re-write. One thing I noticed is that in the history section the article makes it appear that there were no developments in scientific method between the 13th and 20th centuries. Banno 03:31, Apr 9, 2004 (UTC)
NPOV after Zandperl's recent edits and Banno's re-edits
In response to Banno's edit summary comment that perhaps ww will think the NPOV needs to be retained: Yup.
Some are improvements, some are not, a few are neutral. The changes made in the last few days have removed examples, removed or gutted some explication strategies, removed most of the attempts at levitous relief, and not improved any aspect of what is NPOV about this article. We seem stuck on this line, but not I fervently hope 'all summer'.
And I'm still dubious about the inclusion of outside constraints in re funding/publication. It's either not full enough, or should be elsewhere, thought the excision of material made space to fit in what's presently here. WMC will presumably have some reaction.
I think we can do better. Certainly what is here is inadequate, completely aside from being too NPOV. These changes are motion (somewhat) in the right direction, but ...
Banno, I think the NPOV banner has to go back in. Sorry, Zandperl. ww 15:32, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- Thought you might - which is fine by me. I'll leave it to you to do the honours. Banno 20:57, Apr 10, 2004 (UTC)
- No worries, I only had a half hour to work on it. <grin> I'll see if I can get to it again sometime. --zandperl 23:51, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I've linked this page to the Wikipedia:WikiProject Philosophy. This should provide the opportunity to link it to other areas of epistemology and philosophy of science in a systematic way in the near future. Banno 21:04, Apr 10, 2004 (UTC)
Minor Kuhn Edits
Just trying to iron out some of the statements about Kuhn's work with differing theories. Sorry if toes were trodden on. (20040302 21:23, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC))
Reproducibility vs. Evaluation
In the main article, a large amount of the Evaluation section appears to be concerned with peer review. In fact all but the first paragraph of the Evaluation section could be more appropriately expressed as a component of Reproducibility.
Hence the edit. (20040302 09:54, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC))
I disagree with the edits of 20040302 earlier today with regard to “Better” and “Useful”. Unfortunately I cannot locate the section of SSR in which Kuhn discusses paradigms as portraits in order to check the language he uses, but… the implication of changing “better” to “useful” is that utility can form a basis for selecting between competing paradigms. This would certainly be against Kuhn’s intentions: As he says, “there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community”. For example, a scientific community might choose a more restricted paradigm, that is, one that is less useful, because it solves some particular difficulty; and then seek to generalise it. Banno 21:47, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)
- Both "Better" and "Useful" impose a restriction that is not implied in the quote: “there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community”, which itself suggests nothing more than a contextualised concurrence. All I wish to do is to qualify that the 'betterness' of a paradigm is 'better' solely within that contextual agreement, so as to avoid interpretations of betterness against some universally acknowledged (or objective) scale of value. (20040302 09:51, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC))
Hypothesis from induction
Would it be fair to state that in the narrow context of use in the scientific method, induction is the act of coming up with a hypothesis? Many criticisms of the scientific method seem to revolve around the inductive part. Incredibly enough, the article didn't mention induction in the process itself at all. This might need to be resolved. Kim Bruning 12:19, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
- Kim, I would disagree. Where hypotheses come from is a mystery on whihc many have opined. Surely it's true that induction from observation has been the source of many, but not all. Kekule reported a daydream in an omnibus as the source of his hyhpothesis about the structure of the benzene molecule (a ring) and Edison claimed perspiration was important. Perhaps Edison was saying induction in a veiled form, as perspiration results from intense protracted involvement in the matter and surely incidents/evidence accrete to supply a basis for induction. But generally, I would think induction alone inadequate. Poincare, Hadamard, and Polya wrote extensively on creativity (albeit in mathematics which isn't scientific) and what they had to say is of some interest here. Hope that helps some. ww 14:33, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The -ion suffix was added to three verbs in the The idealized scientific method section to form nouns (consistently) showing action. Also edited the subsection titled Repeat/reproduce to reflect this change. Question: the sub-headings Definition and Evaluation are not specific items in this section's list of elements ... where these bits are extending previous elements, is a heading necessary? azwaldo 08:12, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- If the experiment(s) appears "successful" - i.e. fits the hypothesis - then the results are to be published in a way which allows others (in theory) to reproduce the same experiments and results.
Also, the term repetition fails to convey the requirement of repeatability or reproducibility. Ancheta Wis 22:23, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- Good point. I also agree with Azwaldo that the idealised scientific method division is suffering from having too many editors. When casual editors play, they tend to add sections, changing the structure of the article, without reflecting this in the text of the article itself. The method now has six steps in the list of elements, but eight listed as headings. It would be far better to describe the process as a cycle of:
- stating a problem;
- hypothesising a solution;
- putting it to the test;
- evaluating the result.
- Four steps - simple and neat. Banno 00:08, Jun 9, 2004 (UTC)
- Those 4 steps are part of an iterative,recursive, and reproducible process. I believe there are only a few keywords which span/explain the entire method, otherwise, the method would fall apart under its own weight, which is observably not true. It has survived for centuries, irrespective of funding, otherwise big science has completely taken over, and the method will then wither and decay. Ancheta Wis 01:14, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC) There are some signs that is occurring in the US, but if the method is understood, some other civilization/nation would then take it over.
The following statement does not necessarily hold:
- Inductive reasoning has appeared to some (most famously, to Sir Francis Bacon) to be at the core of scientific method; it also appears to be logically invalid.
One underlying assumption is the closed universe hypothesis which specifically does not apply to science because of the continual growth of knowledge - an open system. Ancheta Wis 12:41, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- What do you mean? Banno 22:13, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)
- A cogent argument in inductive reasoning is the same type of reasoning based on hypotheticals as that used in the scientific method, science and also statistical hypothesis testing. That is, to prove P given If P then Q, one works with Not Q, because If Not Q then Not P is the same given. This is the same process used by a Devil's Advocate. I admit that you also need the Law of the excluded middle. All these words mean is that inductive reasoning has a place in an open system, ie. science.Ancheta Wis 12:54, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC) Feynman said once the wonderful thing about science is that it's alive. Bayesians would feel at home with this. I suppose that why you still have the POV banner on the article, because it's all Bayesian?
- I don't follow your discussion at all. Do you think induction is logicaly valid? if so, how? Banno 13:07, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)
- Start with cogency; it is a probabilistic concept, and with risk, which is how the theory of probability started: betting. Researchers take a risk by associating themselves with a hypothesis, which if not disproven, leaves them in the game. The bystanders, who have no risk, can merely take the syllogism and add it to their armamentarium; but in so doing, the researcher gains fame, fortune, etc. Its all in Francis Bacon's writings.Ancheta Wis 14:23, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- Benjamin Franklin is a perfect example. His Kite Experiment was crucial for electricity, but he gained his insights from phenomena: St Elmo's Fire, lightning, etc. Franklin saw the hempen fibers separate on the Kite string; that's how he knew. (An example of inductive reasoning). Note the risk: researchers gave their lives for the concepts in the months following merely trying for reproducibility; Richmann died from ball lightning to his forehead. Ancheta Wis 15:09, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- The mathematician George Polya's heuristic is: Given If P then Q. Seeing Q, P is more probable. This is not a syllogism, but it is what Ben Franklin did when he risked his life with the Kite Experiment. Note that logic is only half the story. Intuition, cognition, etc all play a part in a discovery, which is the topic of heuristic, and probably is the category for this article. Ancheta Wis 16:59, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- Hmm. If P then Q. Seeing Q, P is more probable is fallacious, and at the best makes pretty bad science. E.g. If a man is Sikh, then he is religious. I see a religious man, so he is probably Sikh. Notice any problems?! A implies B is equivalent to NOT B OR A. (20040302 17:14, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC))
- Bayesians would say The sun has risen every day, so far; the sun has risen today; with high probability, the sun will rise tomorrow. They are making a bet. Ancheta Wis 12:15, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC) Isaac Newton said that both inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning have a place in "experimental philosophy", as he put it. If the topic of discussion is part of a closed system, then deductive logic is valid. If the system is open, and science based on experiment is open, then inductive reasoning has a place, to paraphrase Newton. George Polya's heuristic was meant as scaffolding when building a proof, a device for getting from A to B, when there is a gap between between A and B. When the proof is complete, then the gap is gone, and you have tautology, but that was after the proof. Induction is for the present looking at the future (and the unknown); deduction is for the present looking at the past; I suppose that hypothetico-deduction is for the future (and the unknown) looking at the present.Ancheta Wis 12:15, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- The statement Ancheta cites claims only that induction is not deductively valid – not that induction is not possible. Can’t for the life of me see what Peirce’s tautology has to do with it. I suspect that there is a confusion here between validity and truth. The sdtatement is trut, and should remainin the article. Banno 02:40, Jul 2, 2004 (UTC)
Idealised and actual
(William M. Connolley 19:58, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)) Nobody much likes this article, it seems. I certainly don't. How about splitting it into 2 pages: "the idealised sci meth" (write what you like there: most of the current text perhaps) and "the sci meth in practice"?
- A quick look over the history of the article will show that it has been split before, as an attempt to hide the criticisms of the 'idealised method' by Kuhn, Feyerabend and so on. A split such as this would be unacceptable. The criticisms form the main body of discussion of SM over the last sixty years, and not including them would be ridiculous. The criticisms show pretty conclusively that there can be no version of the SM that is applicable to all the sciences, in all situations, and that will serve to distinguish science from non-science. (I gather that it is because of this conclusion that WW has placed the POV banner. This is a misunderstanding of POV, but the point is moot.) Banno 22:14, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)
- The split between the 'idealized method' section and the criticisms is a result of the politics of the Wiki. Even though it would make both accounts more coherent, I don’t think it practical to attempt to combine them. Such an attempt would most probably result in an edit war. The juxtaposition has a certain appeal of its own, hopefully encouraging the reader to think a bit more deeply about hegemony of methodology. Banno 22:14, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)
- How would you distinguish the idealised and the practical? The advocates of the 'idealised method' – from Bacon through to Popper – thought they were giving practical accounts of what scientists actually do. Are you intending to extend the practice of science section, as once promised? That would be a welcome addition. Banno 22:14, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 22:27, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)) I'm thinking of taking my ball and going to play somewhere else - hence the suggestion of leaving the "idealised" page to the philophers, and having a page about what actually happens in practice for the scientists. Just recently, AW's criticisms of repeatability; and your 4-neat-simple-steps; seem to suggest this. "The criticisms show pretty conclusively that..." is all pretty irrelevant to the practice of science. I'm happy to concede that there is no simple and straightforward test to distinguish science from non-s in all circumstances.
I propose a split:
- the current article to retain its 2 sections (idealized SM) and (Philosophy in SM). Hopefully the NPOV banner can then get worked out for this article. I am curious how "hegemony of methodology" will work out.
- a new article, "the scientific enterprise", to quote from the current article, which might then include
- the real-world issues of publication and funding,
- the rise of the SM during the Age of Exploration (1500s onward), big science etc.
- (One issue I am curious about is why the SM did not arise in China, when that civilization had a lead for centuries, until the 1600s) - the topic of Joseph Needham's book.
- the funding mechanisms - Darwins's great personal wealth (from Wedgewood dishes, I think), Newton's professorship, State support, Corporate support, ...
- the publication mechanisms - private funding from Edmund Halley for Principia Mathematica, Benjamin Franklin's private press, ...
- the political infrastructure that 168 alluded to
One of the advantages of this scheme might possibly be that SM remains at the core, which would properly have a philosphical dimension, but that a scientific enterprise would include more of the enabling factors, such as a postal system for letters, a Royal Society, Universities, etc.
OK? Would this be acceptable? Ancheta Wis 11:47, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 14:03, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)) Sounds reasonable to me.
At the risk of sounding rather stupid, how can you split idealized scientific method from its philosophy? Where do those ideals come from if not from a philosophy? Is it not the case that you would be forced to chose between, say, popparian ideals or positivist ideals? Chris 22:38, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- I regret to say that I agree with Chris. there is much about science and its practice that should be explained in an encyclopedia (eg, WP) -- this is, I gather, what is meant by scientific enterprise. But what is it that distinguishes science (eg, physics) from non science (eg, astrology -- sun signs and Mars rising and all that)? It seems to me (and many others) that it is, philosophically unacceptable or not to some, the scientific method and resort to test of hypothesis (however a contingency on much else may seem more important to some). That surely deserves mention in an encypclopedia (eg, WP) as it is one of the most important aspects of fundamental difference of our civilization from say Plato's Athens. How this can be kept out of a scientific enterprise article escapes me. I think such a split would result in duplicative articles after a decent time. I think we're stuck on an unsatisfactory mudflat. And drying out fast. ww 15:52, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 21:38, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)) I think you've misunderstood the proposal. Idealised method, philospohy, etc etc stays where it is. Stuff about actual science - funding; publication; etc etc can go elsewhere. Then it won't get burined in a sea of words.
(Ancheta Wis 06:51, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC))Here are two examples, one classical, the second current quantum teleportation:
- The discovery of the nature of electricity in 1752
- quantum teleportation, in which two teams have announced teleportation of atoms.
The classical example, which we are comfortable with today, because we live with the technology, 250 years later, we feel we understand. The quantum example defies conventional "understanding" because it violates locality and our notions of simultaneity. Today, two teams of scientists have announced quantum teleportation of atoms. Public interest is high, just as it was in 1752. Funding appears to be sufficient for two teams to perform teleportation at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter, but the reliability is 75%. Whether it is 1752 with electricity or the 1900s, the time of experimental verification of relativity, and discovery of nuclear fission, there are teams of scientists are racing to be first to publish, in the scientific enterprise Ancheta Wis 06:51, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- (William M. Connolley 08:36, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)) I don't know what you're trying to say by these examples. Both, to me, appear to be straightforward examples of science, and would belong in "scientific enterprise" in the sense of getting brief mentions as part of the history section. But discussions of things like "do we feel we understand electricity" would belong, presumably, in "sci meth".
- Agreed, entirely, WMC. Whether I'm (or you're or he's) comfortable with something has nothing to do with its nature as science or the use of the scientific method in approaching it. Both of these, modulo more detailed information/understanding on my part, are exactly equivalent as examples of science and scientific method, in my view. ww 16:04, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- (Ancheta Wis 10:32, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)) Yes, exactly, they are straightforward examples of new knowledge (at the time) in the process of creation. And the public as well as the researchers are interested in the results, so that the publishing mechanism, ie Nature is willing to publish the results. But Nature doesn't publish performance art, etc. because performance art is not part of the scientific enterprise. That might make a case for funding as well, the research advances the state of our understanding, etc. Conversely, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will not fund performance art, but it gladly funds promising researchers to the tune of a million dollars per year for each promising project. Same for IBM; they have several Nobel laureates who advanced the state of the art of microscopy, who in fact proposed the concepts of quantum teleportation over 10 years ago.
This all seems to advance the thesis that a new idea, systematically shaped by the rigors of the scientific method can merit publication and funding. That new idea's promise could then take on a life of its own. That new idea could provide value: get turned into technology, then into industry, business, service, and money, which brings in the public again, not just intellectually, as in the case of quantum teleportation, but as businessmen, users, etc. A case of long-term profit motive versus short-term profit motive.Ancheta Wis 10:32, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- True, perhaps even tautologically so in the Western economic/political environment, but this has what to do with an explanation/account of scientific method? I'm lost. ww 16:04, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps the NPOV banner is still on the article because the SM has strong non-religious, perhaps secular roots. I distinctly recall my teachers conveying a secularist viewpoint. Still, there is an ethos which comes along with SM and the scientific enterprise; the sense that what you are doing (in science) is somehow worthwhile and noble. Ancheta Wis 07:10, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- AC, To the extent that I'm responsible for the notice (it's hard to remember just who put it back the last time), this is not so. I belive this article is NPOV because it overly stresses one philosophical account of scientific method (ie, a post modern one, more or less) at the expense of at least one other. Nothing whatsoever about an secular v non secular root. Unless you feel that objecting to elision of one account of scientific method betrays a religious bias. Nothing there I recognize as religious, nothing in my motivation that's religious, .... I think this is a fox that's going to get entirely away. ww 16:09, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- Ancheta Wis 02:19, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC) Thank you for identifying the motivation for the NPOV banner. What items should be added to make the article more balanced for you. Perhaps we can all cooperate to add them in, or to note where other views than post-modern ought to be added, such as a note in italics?
I linked to a great picture of the turtle theory. No offense meant; just light-hearted illustration of a concept. Ancheta Wis 00:46, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)