I love Science and feel it is one of humankind’s paramount accomplishments. Yet, like every thing touched by people, it can be hijacked, perverted, and manipulated to thus become a word associated with the worst of humanity. So when the word is contentiously debated, it is often this sordid history that feeds the confusion. To aid in clarifying unnecessary confusion, I offer various adjective-aided-definitions and their above illustration.
Debating definitions can be a waste of time if both parties don’t understand that Definitions are myths. Likewise, for the word “science” there is no generally accepted definition. Admitting this up-front can sometimes tremendously be a fantastic aid a conversation where terms are debated. The goal is to come up with common terms.
So below are some hyphenated “science” words to help in discussing Science:
The Methods of Science
- Science-Hypothesis Testing:
The process of positing a hypothesis, offering ways to test it in order to build evidence for or against the hypothesis. Testing is never considered finished. Methodological doubt is welcomed.
Inquisitive exploration looking for explanations and systematization
Those areas of knowledge that aim to base their selves on Scientific method. The more depth and interconnectedness (conscilience), the greater the explanatory power.
- Science-Methodological Naturalism:
Philosophy and Science are engaged in the same enterprise. Methodological naturalists limit their science to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and “God of the gaps” type of hypotheses.
The Social Aspects of Science
- Those who see themselves as scientific. I realize this is a broad definition, but it is meant to facilitate dialogue.
- Dialogue can center on the properties listed. Some group will exclude or minimize some of these properties and thus conversation can focus on those differences.
- Knowledge which is generally accepted as true by those who feel their knowledge is based on Scientific method. In the diagram, “Green” is correct theories or facts.
- Orthodoxy and Hegemony are completely relative, of course.
- Like orthodoxy, this is a political word and does not tell us about “truth”. And like Orthodoxy, there are both wrong views (usually much larger) and right views. The ratios tend to be significantly different.
- Some Hegemony communities share broadly with orthodoxy(1) or even with Hegemony(2) and some are insular (5).
- The social systems that act to protect certain treasured theories through coercion, power abuse, deception and many other techniques — conscious or unconscious.