Talk:History of science

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This article continues to be anti-European[edit]

Years ago I came on here and got involved in this discussion, bringing up the fact that this article had a very pro-Muslim, Indian, and Chinese bias on the topic. Now I have come back and I see the problem has been improved but there is still a lot of work to be done.

As someone else already mentioned, science in itself is mostly a European achievement, and Wikipedia seems to be the only "Encyclopedia" that gets this wrong. I have read all sorts of books on the history of science, and they all somehow miss these achievements that your article claims that China came up with before the West did. One very good book on the topic is "Human Accomplishment" by Charles Murray. He draws his information from sources from all over the world, and still comes to the conclusion, backed up by plenty of data which he provides, that the West has dominated not just in science but in other areas as well. Any book that tries to claim otherwise (and there are few in number), usually has a pro-Asian bias to begin with. I have yet to read a book strictly on the history of science that DOES NOT devote most of it's attention to Europe and there is a reason for that.

Also , as someone else mentioned, we need to distinguish between what is real science and what is NOT real science. I would like to list some specific quotes from the article that are downright irresponsibly lacking in facts:

"By the 12th century, they could reasonably accurately make predictions of eclipses, but the knowledge of this was lost during the Ming dynasty, so that the Jesuit Matteo Ricci gained much favour in 1601 by his predictions.[41]"

This is strictly a hypothesis based on an excuse. If the evidence isn't there, then it didn't happen.

"From antiquity, the Chinese used an equatorial system for describing the skies and a star map from 940 was drawn using a cylindrical (Mercator) projection."

Nope, the first Mercator map was invented by Mercator, a European, just as the history books say.

"The use of an armillary sphere is recorded from the 4th century BC and a sphere permanently mounted in equatorial axis from 52 BC."

There is no evidence of anybody knowing that the Earth was round other than the Greeks and then later Europeans after the Renaissance.

"To operate the crowning armillary sphere, his clocktower featured an escapement mechanism and the world's oldest known use of an endless power-transmitting chain drive." What type of power?

"The Jesuit China missions of the 16th and 17th centuries 'learned to appreciate the scientific achievements of this ancient culture and made them known in Europe. Through their correspondence European scientists first learned about the Chinese science and culture.'[46] "

This is an example of your bias. You say nothing of all the things that the Chinese in turn learned from Europeans at the same time. And what exactly did China have that could really be called "science" as opposed to practical technology? Is there a historical source that actually lists all these scientific discoveries that Europe supposedly learned from China?

"Western academic thought on the history of Chinese technology and science was galvanized by the work of Joseph Needham and the Needham Research Institute. Among the technological accomplishments of China were, according to the British scholar Needham, early seismological detectors (Zhang Heng in the 2nd century), the water-powered celestial globe (Zhang Heng), matches, the independent invention of the decimal system, dry docks, sliding calipers, the double-action piston pump, cast iron, the blast furnace, the iron plough, the multi-tube seed drill, the wheelbarrow, the suspension bridge, the winnowing machine, the rotary fan, the parachute, natural gas as fuel, the raised-relief map, the propeller, the crossbow, and a solid fuel rocket, the multistage rocket, the horse collar, along with contributions in logic, astronomy, medicine, and other fields."

I've noticed that Needham's name comes up over and over on this topic as if he is the only one who says these things. Even Charles Murray in "Human Accomplishment" researched Needham's work, but STILL came to the conclusion that 95% of science has come out of Europe. As for the inventions you list, some of these are legitimate, others are not, some have obscure origins, and finally others were actually much cruder and primitive than what we are to believe they actually were.

"However, cultural factors prevented these Chinese achievements from developing into what we might call 'modern science'. According to Needham, it may have been the religious and philosophical framework of Chinese intellectuals which made them unable to accept the ideas of laws of nature"

Perhaps because there never was real science in China to begin with.

"This led to an early scientific method being developed in the Muslim world, where significant progress in methodology was made, beginning with the experiments of Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) on optics from circa 1000, in his Book of Optics."

But it wasn't enough to constitute a scientific method, which is why , for centuries, up until the politically correct period, Muslims have never been given credit for it.

"In mathematics, the Persian mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi gave his name to the concept of the algorithm, while the term algebra is derived from al-jabr, the beginning of the title of one of his publications. What is now known as Arabic numerals originally came from India, but Muslim mathematicians did make several refinements to the number system, such as the introduction of decimal point notation. Sabian mathematician Al-Battani (850-929) contributed to astronomy and mathematics, while Persian scholar Al-Razi contributed to chemistry and medicine. "

No mention of all the influences from Greek math?

"Heliocentric theories may have also been discussed by several other Muslim astronomers such as Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi,[60] Abu-Rayhan Biruni, Abu Said al-Sijzi,[61] Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi, and Najm al-Dīn al-Qazwīnī al-Kātibī.[62]" You say "may have", which is the key phrase here. What is this based on? This is where falsehoods get turned into facts, completely fabricating history.

"Muslim chemists and alchemists played an important role in the foundation of modern chemistry."

Even though just about every book on the history of Chemistry spends very little time talking about Islamic achievements.

"As well as this, Europeans began to venture further and further east (most notably, perhaps, Marco Polo) as a result of the Pax Mongolica. This led to the increased influence of Indian and even Chinese science on the European tradition."

While it is true that Europe became reaquainted with Greek science through arabic texts, as well as Persian, Indian, and Greek math, it is factually irresponsible to say that Europe learned SCIENCE from China and India at this time. What science are we talking about and how come it hasn't been mentioned in the average history book? Read the book "MARCO POLO" by Michael Yamashita. In it, Marco Polo describes India as quite backwards, and while he was impressed with China, the book says nothing about him learning any so-called "science" from there.

"The first half of the 14th century saw much important scientific work being done, largely within the framework of scholastic commentaries on Aristotle's scientific writings.[88]"

This proves my point. It is funny that certain biased history books want to claim that Europe during the Renaissance learned science from the Middle East, India, and China, yet in books on the actual history of science in particular, it is only Greek names that get mentioned when listing specific scientists that Europe learned from. Why is this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.127.153.183 (talk) 02:37, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you. This article about science doesn't seem to distinguish between science (started in Europe) and technology (ancient China, Egypt, etc). Wikipedia has a tendency to be overly politically correct in some areas. It also is specifically anti-Christian. Lehasa (talk) 14:57, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't quite think the situation is so dramatic, i.e. that the article is "anti-European". If you look at the very large modern science section, it goes into great detail about advances that mostly took place in Europe. That said, there is a lot of crap and puffery in the article (the stuff about the Pax Mongolica for one), and the India, China, and Islamic sections are written from a fan's point of view. If you feel the article needs work, the way to do it is to be WP:BOLD (and get an account) and edit the article accordingly. Complaining on the talkpage is unlikely to achieve anything. As a rule of thumb, any unsourced claim is fair game for removal. By the way, do not indent your paragraphs, otherwise wikipedia treats them as quotes and it makes your talkpage posts very difficult to read. Athenean (talk) 03:21, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
If there is work to be done, the only way is to get an account and get the work done. That's how things are done. :-) Gun Powder Ma (talk) 12:27, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid I cannot agree with all the point of your rant. I am not an expert on China, so I will omit comment on those points, but I know quite a bit about the Arab scientific history:
>> "The use of an armillary sphere is recorded from the 4th century BC and a sphere permanently mounted in equatorial axis from 52 BC."
> There is no evidence of anybody knowing that the Earth was round other than the Greeks and then later Europeans after the Renaissance.
The Arabs, who were very familiar with the Greek pre-sciences were very well aware that the earth was round. Abu Rayhan Biruni improved Eratosthenes estimate for the circumference of the earth using pure trigonometry (that the Greeks didn't have) and better observations than were available to the Greeks.
>> "To operate the crowning armillary sphere, his clocktower featured an escapement mechanism and the world's oldest known use of an endless power-transmitting chain drive."
> What type of power?
At the time, water power (from flowing rivers) would have been the only continuous readily available power source. And BTW, this was heavily exploited by the late Roman periods through the time of the Arabic empire and beyond. I am unaware of the degree to which the Chinese may have learned this from the Arabs or simply developed it on their own.
>> "However, cultural factors prevented these Chinese achievements from developing into what we might call 'modern science'. According to Needham, it may have been the religious and philosophical framework of Chinese intellectuals which made them unable to accept the ideas of laws of nature"
> Perhaps because there never was real science in China to begin with.
No, absolutely not. The Chinese had at least some rudimentary science. We know this because their scholars had been invited to exchange their knowledge at Islamic centers such as the observatory at Maragheh, which they exploited.
>> "This led to an early scientific method being developed in the Muslim world, where significant progress in methodology was made, beginning with the experiments of Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) on optics from circa 1000, in his Book of Optics."
> But it wasn't enough to constitute a scientific method, which is why, for centuries, up until the politically correct period, Muslims have never been given credit for it.
You're dead wrong. Any plain reading of Alhazen and Avicenna shows that the Arabs invented the scientific method, and it can be attributed to absolutely nobody else. This has nothing to do with political correctness. Tracing the history of this shows quite clearly that the first Europeans espousing anything similar to "the scientific method" in the early days had clearly read Alhazen at least (and probably Avicenna as well).
>> "In mathematics, the Persian mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi gave his name to the concept of the algorithm, while the term algebra is derived from al-jabr, the beginning of the title of one of his publications. What is now known as Arabic numerals originally came from India, but Muslim mathematicians did make several refinements to the number system, such as the introduction of decimal point notation. Sabian mathematician Al-Battani (850-929) contributed to astronomy and mathematics, while Persian scholar Al-Razi contributed to chemistry and medicine. "
> No mention of all the influences from Greek math?
Of course the Greek math had an influence, but that's in the main article already. But you are shifting the goal posts. All science is built on the work of people before them. Nobody in their right mind is claiming that science came ex nihilo (except maybe you). Even the Greeks were highly influenced by the Babylonians/Chaldeans and the Egyptians before them.
As to the specific topic of algebra, the Greek influence is actually quite indirect. Diophantus probably influenced the Indians who in turn influenced al-Khwarizmi. The first concept of an algorithm, obviously comes from Euclid's gcd algorithm at the very latest. But the reason why we use the name "algorithm" (named for Al-Khwarizmi) is that he gave so many of them, and used that as the basis for practicing all of number based mathematics from arithmetic until algebra. His unifying principles of algebra and arithmetic is unique to him, and is in no way indebted to the Greeks (though it is fair to say he owes at least something to the Indians).
>> "Heliocentric theories may have also been discussed by several other Muslim astronomers such as Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi,[60] Abu-Rayhan Biruni, Abu Said al-Sijzi,[61] Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi, and Najm al-Dīn al-Qazwīnī al-Kātibī.[62]"
> You say "may have", which is the key phrase here. What is this based on? This is where falsehoods get turned into facts, completely fabricating history.
I have not gone over the complete history of what is being referred to above, however it is well known that the Indians, posed a heliocentric theory of the universe and that Muslim scholars addressed the issue by arguing against it. The correct way to view this is to realize that the topic was well known to them and analyzed, but that they didn't have sufficient evidence or mathematical models to come to the right conclusion. (Which is fair -- not even Copernicus had this; only with Galileo and Kepler did heliocentrism start to become the reasonable explanation.)
>> "Muslim chemists and alchemists played an important role in the foundation of modern chemistry."
> Even though just about every book on the history of Chemistry spends very little time talking about Islamic achievements.
Every book? You have a library with every book in it? Anyhow, this is complete nonsense. The Arabs were critical to the discovery that matter was preserved, in a number of special cases, that one could not "transmute" metals from one form into another, the isolation of alcohol, the descriptions of acids versus alkalais and so on.
I have not done a deep dive into this yet myself, however on the surface, it looks to me as if **both** Alchemy and Chemistry came out of the Arabic tradition. And the Europeans, like idiots, gravitated towards the Alchemy version of the science first, ignoring the Arab discoveries until the 18th century.
> It is funny that certain biased history books want to claim that Europe during the Renaissance learned science from the Middle East, India, and China, yet in books on the actual history of science in particular, it is only Greek names that get mentioned when listing specific scientists that Europe learned from. Why is this?
Perhaps because you didn't realize the Alhazen, Avicenna, and, Al-Khwarizmi, are not Greek names? Qed (talk) 21:14, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

They are few names and none of them is a modern scientist. The religious precepts prevented the use of the 1455 Gutenberg movable type printing until 1729 for Constantinople and 1794 for Egypt. The religious scholars of the university al-Azhar, however, destroyed the printing machine and threw the pieces in the port of Abu Qir in Alexandria. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.133.5.107 (talk) 07:36, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Mathematics: natural science?[edit]

Sorry to barge in from the cold but there does not seem to be an entry for "mathematics" under the various sciences listed in the "natural science" section. Was this discussed in the past? Tkuvho (talk) 17:39, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

The explanation is simple: Mathematics is not listed as a science because it does not qualify as a science. The scientific method requires that hypothesis and predictions be tested to confirm correctness. This is not possible with mathematics as it is a form of logic (e.g. there is no means to independently test and verify that 1+1=2). Mathematics is instead one of the primary "languages" used by science. --Allen3 talk 19:01, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Mathematics has always been considered marginal in definitions of the history of science. Here are two recent ones:
  • Science comprises, first, the orderly and systematic comprehension, description and/or explanation of natural phenomena and, secondly, the [mathematical and logical] tools necessary for the undertaking. Marshal Clagett, Greek Science in Antiquity, (1955)
  • Science is a systematic explanation of perceived or imaginary phenomena, or else is based on such an explanation. Mathematics finds a place in science only as one of the symbolical languages in which scientific explanations may be expressed. David Pingree, "Hellenophilia versus the History of Science," (1992)
--SteveMcCluskey (talk) 19:37, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
The closest one could call it science is formal science which also includes things like computer science and decision theory, as opposed to natural science which is what most people would mean when they talk about the history of science. I guess the theory of the scientific method would actually count as formal science but that's not enough to include all the rest of it in. Dmcq (talk) 13:07, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, mathematics is generally considered a borderline case of science. It has many characteristics of a science, and mathematicians are sociologically closer to scientists than to people working in other fields of research. The scientific method is a valid argument to exclude mathematics from the sciences, but not a very good one. Mathematics is not about 1+1=2 but about much more advanced stuff. There are scientific experiments in mathematics, such as checking a statement about all numbers for many numbers to see if a counterexample comes up. They just don't have the same prominence as in other fields because mathematics is the only field in which something better can be attained: strict proof. One can also argue that mathematics is not concerned with nature, though ultimately numbers and the rest of mathematics are part of observable nature in a wider sense. In addition, mathematics has historically engendered disciplines of science and engineering such as physics or very recently computer science. Hans Adler 13:16, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Mathematics however has historical ties to (non natural sciences fields) as philosophy, economics or arts as well. And while physics might have the strongest ties to mathematics, in particular since 20th century various areas within the humanities and social sciences increasingly rely on mathematical methods. In fact there is even humorous exploitation of that trend by Tom Lehrer (singing about the mathematization of the social sciences, see sociology at 7:20 min)--Kmhkmh (talk) 01:55, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Ooh, I wonder if a friend of mine will stay one if I send her that link to Tom Lehrer ;-) Dmcq (talk) 09:43, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This thread discuss if mathematics is a science. The article defines science as "a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world". It is clear that mathematics does not belong to the natural world. But most mathematics is theoretical knowledge about the natural world. Moreover, until 18th century, and even 19th century, physicists and mathematicians were usually the same people, and it is therefore difficult to dissociate physics from mathematics. For example, are Kepler laws mathematics or celestial mechanics? (By the way, Kepler laws, that are the starting point of celestial mechanics are not even cited in the article.) When Newton did shown that Kepler laws may be deduced from gravitational law is that mathematics or mechanics? Who can pretend that the mathematics he has developed for this purpose is not "theoretical knowledge about natural world"? More recently, when a mathematician, like the field medal Cedric Villani explains some physical phenomenons, which were not understood by the physicists, is that formal science of natural science?

On the other hand, while the introduction assert that "science is knowledge about the natural world", there are sections about political science, sociology, psychology, linguistic, economics, ... Is that "natural world"?

Knowing if mathematics is science is controversial, even among mathematicians. I do not know if there are reliable sources asserting that mathematics is not science. There are many such sources asserting that it is science, at least the work of Auguste Comte, who not only considered it as science, but rated it at the first science.

My conclusion is that, excluding mathematics from the history of science, as it is presently, is not only a historical error, but, as a large proportion of scientist consider mathematics as science, this breaks the neutral point of view policy of Wikipedia.

D.Lazard (talk) 16:51, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

(This comment is directed to no one in particular.) This article (correctly) includes the history of mathematics, in several places: there're sections on the sidebars for it, it's mentioned in the various sections on historical science in different regions and eras, etc. However, it's missing from the sections on modern science. This is obviously an oversight that should be corrected; the natural thing to do would be to create a section called "Mathematics" under "Modern science"; the person who creates this section can decide whether to put it under "Natural sciences" or in its own heading, and then we can have a wonderful argument about which of those two choices is right. But I don't see the point of having the argument before the section exists. --JBL (talk) 16:59, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

I think we need to depend on histories of science and say what they say and only put in the maths connections that occur with at least some regularity. I would only include that amount which would be considered applied mathematics, which would include most of what Kepler and Newton did as well as ancient astronomy. However I believe there is already a lot in the article about maths which should not be there. Dmcq (talk) 17:30, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

The Mathematics#Mathematics as science section has some useful discussion and references on mathematics as a science. It looks like there are reliable sources on both for and against math as a science. There are also the book MATHEMATICS:The Science of Patterns by Keith Devlin; (reviews are at [1] and [2]) and the similarly named book Mathematics as a Science of Patterns by Michael Resnik. --Mark viking (talk) 18:05, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

There are already a number of discussions of mathematics at various points in the article, including Babylonian discussions of Pythagorean triples, Egyptian geometry, the Pythagorean tradition, the Euclidean idea of rigorous proof, Indian mathematics (including the concept of zero), Chinese math (including an approximation for π). In sum, there seems to be enough precedent for including some math in this article (despite Clagett and Pingree).
Discussions on whether maths is a science or not are not really relevant. What is relevant is reliable sources on the history of science. We should not apply logic saying some books say maths is a science this is a history of science therefore we should stick in maths history. What do books on the history of science say, that is what should be summarized here. Dmcq (talk) 20:51, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
As noted above, George Sarton included history of mathematics in the history of science, but then he also included the history of logic. Since there's already a page dedicated to the History of mathematics, probably we should only have a small discussion of the history of math here, with a link to the main article. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 22:11, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
That was just a big bibliography, it wasn't a history. I mean histories. Dmcq (talk) 22:28, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
The issue of "natural science" versus "formal science" that dominated the discussion above is a bit of a red herring. I would suggest replacing "natural sciences" by "exact sciences" and including an entry on mathematics that shouldn't be any longer than that on physics. "exact sciences" is a more precise formal opposite of "social sciences" for the purposes of classification. In this way we avoid an endless debate on the precise nature of the mathematical sciences, and fix a blatant omission in the list under "exact sciences". Would anyone like to propose a brief paragraph? Tkuvho (talk) 14:47, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
The red herring is sort rather anglophone. The the distinction between "exact sciences" as a formal opposite of "social sciences" is bullshit, compare Auguste Comte idea of sociology as queen of science. Mathematics as other sciences has its roots in philosophy, not in techne and mathematics is, like linguistics, a Formal science, thats not fitting in any of the categories. Earth science is about a much more complicated topic than physics. The article parrots popular believes, but has no current value or roots in actual philosophy of science. Serten II (talk) 09:55, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Bruno Latour[edit]

Now we have a rather selective quote of BL's take on global warming used to dismiss the whole postmodern stuff. The larger picture is sort of more interesting and less easy listening. ;-) Serten II (talk) 19:30, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

See WP:WEIGHT about showing the main points of view. Is the postmodernist idea that all science is relative and a cultural construct really the current main view as is suggested by the amount of stuff in that section? Have you got anything showing what you stuck in really is a major view rather than just some selection you thought of? Dmcq (talk) 21:21, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Undue Weight and wrong article. Latour has never been a postmodernist sensu stricto (at least not in the strawman version you come up with) nor has he converted to positivism. Even worse, he sees "exact natural science" as a sort of religious faith, which is quite in line with e.g. Robert Merton Thesis or Max Weber. Latours Edinburgh lectures and his current books are about the "natural" and its close relation and reliance of religious views. If you want to look on the outcome of the US science wars in the anglophone realm, Harry Collins is the one to quote. Serten II (talk) 04:41, 3 January 2015 (UTC) PS.: You don't need Postmodernism to assume that Science is a social construct, - Herders and Hegels Zeitgeist was much earlier, neither Max Weber nor Merton nor Thomas Kuhn were postmodernist at all. Serten II (talk) 04:45, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
You have not produced anything to support your interpretation of weight.
You seem to read your own mind more than what is in front of you. I never mentioned global warming and there are other things in that citation as well, do you have a hangup about global warming? The paragraph with the citation in never mentioned Thomas Kuhn. What evidence have you for your view of the relative weight of Harry Collins compared to Bruno Latour? As far as I can see Bruno Latour has many more citations. I'm sure it must be a big annoyance having to produce evidence for the weight you assign but Wikipedia requires that, it probably has been influenced too much by the realists and positivists of the past and doesn't realize it would be so much better off if it accepted it was just a social construct, and of course weight should be assigned by any random person coming along claiming sociological expertise. So therefore either produce evidence of weight, or remove all the stuff you stuck in and that bit by Bruno Latour can go too, or just accept having a bit of balance to your unbalanced POV stuff. Dmcq (talk) 12:21, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Are you asking for an article on 1880 level? The "stuff I stuck in" is based on actual sources, and expanded the article with a basic overview of some of the waves of science studies in the last hundredfifty years. Of cause Thonas Kuhn is included. Collins wrote about the third wave of science studies and was part of a high level science conference dealing with the results of the science wars. Try WP:Civil instead of building castles in Spain. Serten II (talk) 13:04, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
I know he wrote stuff. I asked for evidence of the relative weight. Dmcq (talk) 13:09, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
You seem to be able to diss Latour, and dissmiss him in parallel, sounds like a Jesuit background, but nothing logic or comprehensible. You want to quote him, so its up to you to provide evidence. This article is about history of science, right? Actually, Latour developed a method to research the development of scientific evidence based on his coverage of the lab work of Roger Guillemin (RG later won a Noble Prize in Biology). Latour became a Science Po prof, that's the French Ivy league and was awarded the important Holberg Prize, e.g. for challenging "fundamental concepts as the distinction between modern and pre-modern, nature and society" ;) I may prefer Humboldtsches Bildungsideal - philosophy as the basis for all sciences (which includes the humanities) and no preference for the tekkie stuff, but latours actor-network theory is an important topic here. Serten II (talk) 14:07, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Just quoting the sort of stuff you seem to go by. Also read WP:NPOV, I'm not here to promote my own views. Just because I think someone is writing rubbish doesn't mean they aren't a major force. So you acknowledge Latour is okay for inclusion. Fine. I was just reading a bit more by Harry Collins at [3]. So this is the sort of stuff you want as your authority with talks about science warriors and witch hunts and how his critics misunderstood him. How about things like [4]. I liked the bit there about Sandra Harding: "She also claims that the very ideas of objective reality and of value-neutrality are myths invented by neurotic males to satisfy their perverted psychological needs. Therefore, she urges that science as we know it be overthrown and replaced by another kind based on female ways of knowing." Don't you think most of this sort of thing should be stuck in the Science Wars or Sociology of the history of science and what's here be basically just the lead summaries of those? Then there needn't be this selection of people here with their various views but no evidence of the main positions? Dmcq (talk) 14:56, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
As said, you lack basic AGF. If you want to ridiculize gender studies, do with your fellows, I won't. Keep your bad dreams about warriors and witch hunts at home, not my business. I think Abdelkader Aoudjit After the Science Wars review is OK, and the book he talks about should be included. The book gives a fair idea of the the aftermath of the Socal hoax and e.g. the paper about the ‘the Hubble constant’ should be of interestes as well for tekkies. Just try the notion about Kuhn. Quote Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996) famously challenged the notion that there is a sharp distinction between scientific theories and other kinds of belief systems, that observation is theory-independent, and that science describes what the world is really like independent of what people think. He also argued that the historical and political contexts in which theories are embedded influence paradigm shifts in scientific thinking. Thats rather relevant. Take Alhazen, which is quoted in the lede, he had good ideas about physics and optics, but no impact in his lifettime. 1000 years ago, he grew up in the wrong society. Serten II (talk) 15:38, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
I was quoting Aoudjit, the one you say should probably be included, about the feminist science. How are we to know what should be or should not be included from the ones he listed? I said nothing about it being ridiculous. The stuff about warriors and witch hunts came from the one you said I should look at instead of Latour. That is why I was suggesting most of this should be in those articles which can devote space to them and just the summaries be put here. I seem to be repeating myself about evidence and weight. It seems you have your own ideas about weight but can't produce evidence and are throwing around accusations of incivility and lack of good faith as a substitute. Can I ask you to please address the subject matter and what is said rather than the person thanks. Dmcq (talk) 16:14, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
evidence and weight: As explained to you several times, Latour has developed a whole school of science philosophy, and he built that school on studies about top notch gentec research. I would prefer less spite and hatred against my work here. If you want to expand the article, try to get a basic idea of the topic. Its not simple tekkie stuff. Serten II (talk) 17:16, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Deal with the topic and stop attacking me. Your thoughts are not enough as evidence of weight on WIkipedia. Unless I see some such evidence I think we are done here. Dmcq (talk) 17:19, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
I describe what you do and what you fail to provide. Have you ever written an article? Its sort of a tragedy that you try to ignore Bruno Latour basic work on Science, but feel free to use snippets of him when you believe he parrots your faith. You failed to support your edits, which are not at all due weight or suitable for this article. Innsofar were far frome being done here. Serten II (talk) 15:45, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

China and India[edit]

I think the China and India sections are still a little too long. This has been a problem for a while and I may work on it myself. The China section is much worse than the India section. There are certain sentences that are repetitive, and I am not sure if a few of the claims in both are even true (especially for China). As a new editor, I would also like to ask why, if most science came out of Europe after 1500 AD, why are the sections on the Renaissance, and on Europe post 1500 AD, some of the shortest in the entire article? As far as the section on Europe in the Middle Ages, I am removing the following sentence in the paragraph about Marco Polo..."This led to the increased influence of Indian and even Chinese science on the European tradition". I haven't seen any evidence for this claim, ever, that Marco Polo brought back "science" from India and China. India contributed some mathematical knowledge by other means during other periods, and perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Marco Polo learned about a couple Chinese inventions, but I have never read anywhere about him learning actual "science" from those two civilizations that Europe wouldn't have already had anyways by that time. Therefore, I reworded the sentence to something more plausible Pierceunique (talk) 04:08, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

"Existence of science"[edit]

I'm encountering the following claim in a few history of science articles:

"Robert Briffault, in The Making of Humanity, asserts that the very existence of science, as it is understood in the modern sense, is rooted in the scientific thought and knowledge that emerged in Islamic civilizations during this time."[1]
  1. ^ Robert Briffault (1928). The Making of Humanity, pp. 190–202. G. Allen & Unwin Ltd.

The source is here, and it does seem to support this general idea (though perhaps the terms are hyperbolic). Could I have some advice in assessing a) the reliability of this source and b) if it is reliable, the proper context to place it in? I could take this to RSN as well but I thought it might be useful to ask here first, especially for part B. Thanks, Sunrise (talk) 06:51, 13 February 2015 (UTC)


Religions and scientists[edit]

Why are Arabic and Persian scientists identified by their religion while European scientists by their nationality or ethinicity? perhaps there should be one standard and so-called "European" scientists should be referred to as Christian scientists.. Mrdthree (talk) 09:06, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

"Lost page" of the "Wealth of Nations"[edit]

I'm working through articles containing "the to", often a sign of a badly-worded sentence. There's one here in the "Economics" section, which was added in this 2011 edit. The sentence, and perhaps the paragraph, needs rewriting by someone who understands the subject. If the source is really a "lost page" then how is this important enough to be mentioned in this overview article? -- John of Reading (talk) 08:07, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

The giants Kepler, Galilei, Newton passed over with just a couple of words[edit]

Einstein gets a couple of lines. Many of the greats are not even mentioned. Turing, Oppenheimer, von Neumann, Becquerel, Hertz, Pauli, Watt, Joule, Mach, Volta, Gauss, Linnaeus, Fleming, the Curies, von Helmholtz, von Braun, Roentgen... to name a few. While there are pages long essays on China, India and Islamic countries, full of myth, falsehood, exaggeration; deliberate, politically motivated story telling. I'm not going to assume good faith. This is a deliberately bad article and there have been clear motives in making it an article of false information, undue weight, political narrative building, anti-learning and entirely unencyclopedic.

This the history of science? How the scientific process and method were born and developed and practised? The wiki-project is beyond help. The state of this article after 14 years. The social construction of knowledge by ideological advocates. This is sick. A kid who reads this article and takes it seriously. What a false view of history and science will he get. What a false view of the world he lives in. And to think there are writers here on wikipedia, deliberately dishonest to want just that. 188.67.176.203 (talk) 14:40, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Any claims the the article contains "falsehood" should be accompanied by detailed proof. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 176.24.21.188 (talk) 15:22, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
As you point out, this article shows a strong bias towards extreme political correctness. Science was started by white men. Maybe this is sad and unfortunate, but it is true. Why? Because science started in Europe and Europe was white at the time. Why men? Because Europe was also patriarchal (as was the rest of the world at that time) and so women were simply not allowed to go to university, write technical books, etc. The truth about the history of science should not be changed just because people don't like certain aspects of it.
The same goes for Christianity. The Christian worldview, the Christian understanding of God, was essential for science to being. It was one of the three or four necessary components for the scientific revolution. However, with rabid anti-Christian sentiment in today's society, there is no way that this will ever make it into Wikipedia. Lehasa (talk) 15:02, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Discovery[edit]

The "discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus" is mentioned. I am not sure what this has to do with science. Anyway, his arrival was the third, after those of the American Indians and the Vikings. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 176.24.21.188 (talk) 15:17, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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