By Noretta Koertge
Cultural critics say that "science is politics via different means," arguing that the result of clinical inquiry are profoundly formed by means of the ideological agendas of strong elites. They base their claims on historic case reviews purporting to teach the systematic intrusion of sexist, racist, capitalist, colonialist, and/or expert pursuits into the very content material of technology. during this hard-hitting number of essays, participants supply crisp and distinct reviews of case reviews provided by way of the cultural critics as facts that clinical effects let us know extra approximately social context than they do in regards to the flora and fauna. Pulling no punches, they determine a number of crude actual errors (e.g. that Newton by no means played any experiments) and egregious blunders of omission, comparable to the try to clarify the gradual improvement of fluid dynamics completely by way of gender bias. the place there are beneficial properties of a mistaken account, or whatever to be realized from it, they don't hesitate to claim so. Their aim is shoddy scholarship.
Comprising new essays through unique students of heritage, philosophy, and technology, this e-book increases a full of life debate to a brand new point of seriousness.
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Extra resources for A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science
Rudwick's account of the “Great Devonian Controversy” provides us with the participants' perspectives so that as we follow their investigations, we feel their surprises and see the lure of approaches that, some pages later, turn out to be fruitless. Yet it would be wrong to think that this is the only explanatory role that history should serve or that appeals to what we now accept are always out of place. Historians of mathematics have often found it illuminating to cite Frobenius's proof that there exist exactly three associative division algebras over the reals in explaining why Hamilton's inquiries into higher-dimensional analogues of the complex numbers broke down where they did.
38 Purists may worry about using any findings from modern science in understanding the past. As in other instances, purism leads quickly to absurdity. Should the military historian studying trench warfare between 1914 and 1918 abstain from drawing on a technical understanding of the effects of shell impacts on the landscape, of the spread of infectious disease, of the psychological consequences of life in the trenches—an understanding that may have been produced by reflecting on the events chronicled?
So the explanation of variety in belief must lie elsewhere, in the different societies that the believers inhabit. ). People with different beliefs may confront the same nature, but their relations to nature can be strikingly different. Travel, it is supposed, broadens the mind, and in the history of science, those who travel often encounter things at odds with their own beliefs and with the beliefs of those they left at home. It's not hard to explain the differences in belief between those who have ranged widely and those who have stayed at home by recognizing the variation in experience of nature.
A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science by Noretta Koertge