Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SCIENCE purifies intellectual 'gene pool' : TECHNOLOGY diversifies it

I want to suggest a totally different way of looking at the vast difference between Science (theories) and Technology (tools).

Usually it is claimed by scientists (in deliberate error) that Science first accumulates new additions to the human body of knowledge and then Technology, the applied application of scientific knowledge, simply creates new products from that new knowledge.

But there is little hard evidence that most technology was the direct result of proceeding basic science theories.

It is rather very often that it is directly the other way around, with the new better tools made by technology greatly expanding and securing the factual base of Science, far beyond the limits of its traditional mere mind-experiment based theories.

No, to my way of thinking, the key difference is that tools, often made for a single purpose originally, often turn out to have many  uses with open-ended and highly unpredictable results for humanity, while a truly successful 'scientific' theory always imposes narrow limits on a piece of reality once thought to have wide variants.

Which is to say that that any academic paper that claims, with much evidence footnoted, that life and reality is inordinately and extremely complicated is likely to be accepted by a philosophy journal ----- but not by any science journal.

Thomas Kuhn famously described how water and alcohol mixed in any proportion was once considered a compound by all scientists ----- until Dalton showed a compound can only be formed by the combination of atoms in definite, fixed, simple whole number proportions : water always has just two atoms of hydrogen for every one of oxygen, full stop.

Dalton's theory's success at limiting made his name a household word.

But Darwin and Galton are more this blog's area of interest.

So I now wish to dismiss the claims that Eugenics was always seen as a pseudoscience by scientists or that it was a once fully accredited member of Science but now is totally discredited, proposing instead that all Science is Eugenics ---- and that Technology is Eugenic's antithesis.

Further, that Science/Eugenics is fundamentally a subset of humanity's primeval fear of the unknowable and the uncontrollable.

Science's job, 24/7 year in and out, is to be a lethal chamber cum refiner's fire, an Auschwitz, an Aktion T4, to all manner and sizes and shapes of ideas ---- subconsciously hoping to produce, not one small elite Master Race, but rather a single simple Theory of Everything.

Science is not at all objective - its bias is always to purify and simplify ----- regardless of the facts

I suspect that this hardly seems to fit your vision of how science really works - I know it does not fit mine.

Scientists always seem to be adding to our knowledge base - expanding rather than trimming it.

But I repeat : new tools bring new domains into the orb of scientists, forcing them to widen earlier theories that always, always, always are now seen as too limited.

Cast your mind over any area of Science and try to tell me differently.

Where, for just one example among many, do you ever find any earlier scientists proposing that the age of the Earth was twenty billion years old and that the Universe was 100 billion years old when we know feel the Earth is only a little over four billion years old and the Universe just about fourteen billion years old?

Science, particularly late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Science, was a counterrevolution against the chaotic and fecund consequences thrown up by the steady advance of more and more technologies in that period.

Only recently have we seen some scientists who positively accept , indeed welcome, the fecundity of reality and the limits of knowledge and perhaps in time we will see that reflected in what constitutes a legitimate scientific theory......

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