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Culture-Evolution-Scientism

March 22, 2006

Sep 16 2005,   Dov, in Brights forum.

(1) Piano1: [a] "Scientism – I think that it is very important for people to know the difference between science and non science. I think there is no line of inquiry that scientists should not pursue in theory – though some things are just not very ripe or fruitful for science. [Whisper]: Example:- the arts", and [b] " Simply how is the scientific method going to be much use in actually composing good film scores ".

Dov:

I humbly suggest that your reference to 'whisper:the arts' and to 'composing a film score', as well as the ensueing dialogue between you two, mates , have to do not with science but with technology.

(2) And I agree that whereas everything may be examined scientifically it would be (religiously speaking) a sacrilege to treat arts scientifically, especially my violin playing (once accused of murdering a mr.Bach…). However, I repeat again and again that ALL forms and aspects of culture function and serve humans in the same sense and with the same gross effects as biological intra- and inter-cell elements function and serve them, for the ultimate one reason and purpose of all organisms, i.e. for survival of genotype and of ethnic etc., phenotypes.

(3) And, here is part of an (un-acknowledged) letter I sent to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary on September 08, 2004:

Scientism, Webster and Science.

I am shocked and saddened to find that the present Webster definition of "scientism" is, scientifically, a distinct regression from the 1965 Collegiate Webster definition. Here is the case :

"Scientism" defined by the present Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

1 : methods and attitudes typical of or attributed to the natural scientist.

2 : an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation (as in philosophy, the social sciences , and the humanities).

By the 1965 collegiate Webster "Scientism" is a method or doctrine characteristic of scientists, and the proposition that methods of natural sciences should be used in all areas of investigation.

( and I follow with an explanation why the older definition is the right one…)

end. DH.

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