Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"What is this thing called Science?" by A.F.Chalmers

This book is rather delightful and something that I am looking at due to a challenge from Byron at Nothing New Under the Sun. My claim to Byron was that there is no theory of science, hence, requiring theology to comply with science is a silly endeavor. He responded by pointing me to this book. At this point, it seems that we both are wrong and both right. Chalmers seems to be quite highly respected in this endeavor and I so far have every reason to agree. More importantly, he has had 20 years to have his ideas presented, challenged, fixed, edited and re-challenged, so there is some maturity in this presentation. The other fact, however, is that scientists don't take philosophy of science classes. They are thrown into the laboratory and generally pick up skills and habits from others who have gone before.

My problem is that I both respect and despise science, because there is clearly much that can be done, but also clearly many abuses and many errors. So far, Chalmers has done an excellent job to diss the version(s) of science that is taught to children in high school or earlier. On the other hand, it seems that there are some consistent concepts which we use and he is slowly working to identify them. I will hold off on any review until I have completed the book, since how the plot ends is not yet clear to me and I am anxious to see how all the pieces fit together when it is done.

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