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eBook Science Is a Sacred Cow ePub

eBook Science Is a Sacred Cow ePub

by A. Standen

  • ISBN: 0525470166
  • Subcategory: No category
  • Author: A. Standen
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: E P Dutton (January 2000)
  • ePub book: 1262 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1848 kb
  • Other: lrf lrf mobi txt
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Votes: 668


Science is a Sacred Cow is a book written by the chemist Anthony Standen. It was first published in 1950 by E. P. Dutton. It was in print for 40 years

Science is a Sacred Cow is a book written by the chemist Anthony Standen. It was in print for 40 years. The book argues that some scientists and many teachers of science have "inflated egos" or, in the words of Standen, "a fabulous collective ego, as inflated as a skillfully blown piece of bubble gum".

Science Is A Sacred Cow book. In his fascinating, amusing and best-selling book, Anthony Standen - himself a scientist - analyzes these and other scientific claims and delicately punctures a great many assumptions on which they rest. He as done brilliantly a job which badly needed doing. What makes Science Is a Sacred Cow even more delightful and rewarding is the author's sense of humor. He is not an angry, slashing critic, but an urbane and cultured on. .

Science is a Sacred Cow. Standen, Anthony. Published by E. Dutton, New York (1958). Dutton (1950).

Home Browse Books Book details, Science Is a Sacred Co. Over 14 million journal, magazine, and newspaper articles.

Home Browse Books Book details, Science Is a Sacred Cow. Science Is a Sacred Cow. By Anthony Standen. Publisher: E. Anthony Standen. New York: Dutton (1950). Similar books and articles. This article has no associated abstract. Explorations in Economic Methodology: From Lakatos to Empirical Philosophy of Science. Roger Backhouse (e. - 1998 - Routledge. The Truth of Science: Physical Theories and Reality. Roger G. Newton - 1997 - Harvard University Press. Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, Vii: Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, Salzburg, 1983.

Science is a Sacred Cow is a book written by the chemist Anthony Standen. According to a March 1950 issue of Time, Standen's concerns are that scientists can be and have been "overbearing," "overpraised," and "overindulged". The book argues that some scientists and many teachers of science have inflated egos or, in the words of Standen, a fabulous collective ego, as infl. The book was once praised by one of the great scientists: Albert Einstein.

Science Is a Sacred Cow Paperback – January, 2000. 18-19 suppose that because science has penetrated the structure of the atom it can solve all the problems of the universe. They are known in every. by A. Standen (Author). college as the most insufferable, cocksure know-it-alls. If you want to talk to them about poetry, they are likely to reply that the "emotive response" to poetry is only a conditioned reflex

Muita painoksia - Näytä kaikki. Science is a Sacred Cow Anthony Standen Otenäkymä - 1950. Kirjaluettelon tiedot. Science is a sacred cow A Dutton Paperback.

Muita painoksia - Näytä kaikki. Yleiset termit ja lausekkeet.

Anthony Standen," Isis 42, no. 1 (Ap. 1951): 91-92. Translating History of Science Books into Chinese: Why?

Anthony Standen," Isis 42, no. Of all published articles, the following were the most read within the past 12 months. The History of Medicine and the Scientific Revolution. Translating History of Science Books into Chinese: Why?

Science is a Sacred Cow is a book written by the chemist Anthony Standen. Dutton Contents. It was in print for 40 years; the book argues that some scientists and many teachers of science have "inflated egos" or, in the words of Standen, "a fabulous collective ego, as inflated as a skillfully blown piece of bubble gum" Contents. 1 Reception Contents. The book is 221 pages and has eight chapters


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15-16: Scientists are convinced that they, as scientists, possess a number of very admirable human qualities, such as accuracy, observation, reasoning power, intellectual curiosity, tolerance, and even humility.

18-19 [Certain people (called "science fiends" later in the book)] suppose that because science has penetrated the structure of the atom it can solve all the problems of the universe. ... They are known in every ... college as the most insufferable, cocksure know-it-alls. If you want to talk to them about poetry, they are likely to reply that the "emotive response" to poetry is only a conditioned reflex .... If they go on to be professional scientists, their sharp corners are rubbed down, but they undergo no fundamental change. They most decidedly are not set apart from the others by their intellectual integrity and faith, and their patient humility in front of the facts of nature.... They are uneducated, in the fullest sense of the word, and they certainly are no advertisement for the claims of science teachers.

23-24: Mr. Hillaire Belloc has pointed out that science has changed greatly, and for the worse, since it became popular. Some hundred years ago, or more, only very unusual, highly original spirits were attracted to science at all; scientific work was therefore carried out by men of exceptional intelligence. Now, scientists are turned out by mass production in our universities, and ... they are very ordinary professional men, and all they know is their trade.

26: As advertising always convinces the sponsor even more than the public, the scientists have become sold, and remain sold, on the idea that they have the key to the Absolute, and that nothing will do for Mr. Average Citizen but to stuff himself full of electrons.

31: They will define these [terms] in tight phrases which convey a meaning only to those who already understand it.

31: The dreadful cocksureness that is characteristic of scientists in bulk is not only quite foreign to the spirit of true science, it is not even justified by a superficial view.

35: There is more truth in an old wisecrack of Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Science is a good piece of furniture for a man to have in an upper chamber provided he has common sense on the ground floor."

43: Education, like everything else, goes in fads, and has the normal human tendency to put up with something bad for just so long, and then rush to the other extreme.

60-62: The first thing to realize about physics ... is its extraordinary indirectness.... For physics is not about the real world, it is about "abstractions" from the real world, and this is what makes it so scientific.... Theoretical physics runs merrily along with these unreal abstractions, but its conclusions are checked, at every possible point, by experiments.

69-70; 85: Lord Kelvin was so satisfied with this triumph of science that he declared himself to be as certain of the existence of the ether as a man can be about anything.... "When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it...." Thus did Lord Kelvin lay down the law. And though quite wrong, this time he has the support of official modern Science. It is NOT true that when you can measure what you are speaking about, you know something about it. The fact that you can measure something doesn't even prove that that something exists.... Take the ether, for example: didn't they measure the ratio of its elasticity to its density?

68, 88, 179: Physics is NOT a body of indisputable and immutable Truth; it is a body of well-supported probable opinion only .... Physics can never prove things the way things are proved in mathematics, by eliminating ALL of the alternative possibilities. It is not possible to say what the alternative possibilities are.... Write down a number of 20 figures; if you multiply this by a number of, say, 30 figures, you would arrive at some enormous number (of either 49 or 50 figures). If you were to multiply the 30-figure number by the 20-figure number you would arrive at the same enormous 49- or 50-figure number, and you know this to be true without having to do the multiplying. This is the step you can never take in physics.

90-91: It is true that physics gives a wonderful training in precise, logical thinking-about physics. It really does depend upon accurate reproducible experiments, and upon framing hypotheses with the greatest possible freedom from dogmatic prejudice. And if these were the really important things in life, physics would be an essential study for everybody.

191: If this "critical openminded attitude" ... is wanted, the question at once arises, Is it science that should be studied in order to achieve it? Why not study law? A judge has to do everything that a scientist is exhorted to do in the way of withholding judgment until all the facts are in, and then judging impartially on the merits of the case as well as he can.... Why not a course in Sherlock Holmes? The detectives, or at least the detective-story writers, join with the scientists in excoriating "dogmatic prejudice, lying, falsification of facts, and data, and willful fallacious reasoning."

98-100: Analogy is a wonderful, useful and most important form of thinking, and biology is saturated with it. Nothing is worse than a horrible mass of undigested facts, and facts are indigestible unless there is some rhyme or reason to them. The physicist, with his facts, seeks reason; the biologist seeks something very much like rhyme, and rhyme is a kind of analogy.... This analogizing, this fine sweeping ability to see likenesses in the midst of differences is the great glory of biology, but biologists don't know it.... They have always been so fascinated and overawed by the superior prestige of exact physical science that they feel they have to imitate it.... In its central content, biology is not accurate thinking, but accurate observation and imaginative thinking, with great sweeping generalizations.

108-10: But regular biology, as an "ology," has to be "scientific," and this means in practice that it has to be made dull.... Everything has to be expressed in utterly impersonal terms.... The explicit purpose of this is to be "scientific," as science is understood by biologists, but there is also an implicit purpose, which ... consists of inculcating a particular "ism," which may be called "materialism," or "mechanism," or "determinism."

101 & 103: Evolution ... is really two theories, the vague theory and the precise theory. The vague theory has been abundantly proved.... The precise theory has never been proved at all. However, like relativity, it is accepted on faith.... On getting down to actual details, difficulties begin.

107: "Survival of the fittest" led to "nature red in tooth and claw" and this is not sufficiently wishy-washy for modern scientists.

112: Since biologists deal constantly in analogies, they are easily misled by them.

118: Psychologists, like other scientists, pride themselves on being extremely modern, and therefore much better than any group of people that ever were before....

127: Psychologists pay lip service to the scientific method, and use it whenever it is convenient; but when it isn't they make wild leaps of their uncontrolled fancy....

120: It is perfectly possible to be objective about an angry man, but it is inadvisable, for it will only make him angrier.

128 & 130-31: If you want to understand human beings, there are plenty of people to go to besides psychologists.... Most of these people are incapable of communicating their knowledge, but those who can communicate it are novelists. They are good novelists precisely because they are good psychologists.... If one wishes to learn about psychology in a genuine, rather than a scientific, way, by far the best thing to do is to read masterpieces of literature.... Not that literature is taught as if it had anything to do with psychology.... The professional literature men ... are if anything even worse than the scientists.... Really great psychological insights cannot be simply expressed, as so many propositions.... It is unlikely that they will ever be "scientifically known" ....

123: Insight is not the same as scientific deduction, but even at that it may be more reliable than statistics.

137: The really important questions in human life are hardly touched upon by psychologists. Do liars come to believe their own lies? Is pleasure the same as happiness? Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved, or not to be able to love?

140: "There's many a true word spoken in jest"; scientists are abominably solemn; therefore scientists miss many a true word.

141: Science ... must be absorbed in order to inculcate that wonderful humility before the facts of nature that comes from close attention to a textbook, and that unwillingness to learn from Authority that comes from making almost verbatim lecture notes and handing them back to the professor.

149-50: The theory that gravitational attraction is inversely proportional to the square of the distance leads by remorseless logic to the conclusion that the path of a planet should be an ellipse .... It is this logical thinking that is the real meat of the physical sciences. The social scientist keeps the skin and throws away the meat.... His theorems no more follow from his postulates than the hunches of a horse player follow logically from the latest racing news. The result is guesswork clad in long flowing robes of gobbledygook.

151: A biologist, if he wishes to know how many toes a cat has, does not "frame the hypothesis that the number of feline digital extremities is 4, or 5, or 6," he simply looks at a cat and counts. A social scientist prefers the more long-winded expression every time, because it gives an entirely spurious impression of scientificness to what he is doing.

156: Such instances of the almost infinite unpredictability of man are known to social scientists, but they are no more affected by them than the asylum inmate is by being told that he is not Napoleon.

168-69: Physical scientists probably deserve the reputation they enjoy for incorruptibility and unswerving devotion to pure truth. The reason for this is that it is not worth while to bribe them.

169: The "truths," if they are truths, of social science are nebulous and inconsistent. Who really knows what he wants at any given moment?

173: The problem of war is something more subtle than any social scientist can understand.

176-77: But although in theory physicists realize that their conclusions are ... not certainly true, this ... does not really sink into their consciousness. Nearly all the time ... they ... act as if Science were indisputably True, and what's more, as if only science were true.... Any information obtained otherwise than by the scientific method, although it may be true, the scientists will call "unscientific," using this word as a smear word, by bringing in the connotation from its original [Greek] meaning, to imply that the information is false, or at any rate slightly phony.

177-78: Our advanced and fashionable thinkers are, naturally, out on a wide swing of the pendulum, away from the previous swing of the pendulum.... They seem to have an un-argue-out-able position, as is the manner of sophists, but this is no guarantee that they are right.

181: The memory, a child once said, is "the thing we forget with."

189: There are science teachers who actually claim that they teach "a healthy skepticism." They do not. They teach a profound gullibility, and their dupes, trained not to think for themselves, will swallow any egregious rot, provided it is dressed up with long words and an affectation of objectivity to make it sound scientific.

195-96: Even the professional scientists themselves take their objectivity the easy way, for they practice their objectivity on objects .... The thing not to do is to look through a microscope at an amoeba and kid yourself that it is going to improve your judgment of social problems. It isn't.... Worse still, it may fool you into thinking you have achieved something when you haven't. In this way, science is not the best thing to study, but the very worst.

205-06: And yet, what if the average itself were wrong?... Is it not plausible, and even likely, that most of us have the wrong kind of brain wave?

217: Social scientists see things differently from Mr. Huxley, and are not much concerned about freedom or servitude. In "Survey of Social Science" ... "Freedom" does not appear in the index. Neither does "Liberty," although "Libraries" is there. However a short discussion of liberty and freedom can be found in the text, under the heading, "Regulations."
Maman Maman
Great book. I appreciated finding it.
Yozshubei Yozshubei
I have very mixed feelings about this book. My father grew up in the time period this book was written and from what he has told me, there were scientists at that time who treated science like some kind of infallible religion. For that time period, this book likely was a relevant and important critique.

Times have changed though and we have learned much more in the 60 years since this book was written. I went through college and graduate school about ten years ago in a scientific field and the criticisms the author makes no longer apply. From my experience, there are no longer claims of absolute truth made by scientists. All theories are understood to be provisionally accepted. Contemporary scientists welcome challenges to hypotheses, theories, and even the scientific method itself. In fact, it is this challenge, which is open to anyone, that leads to changes making science even more reliable and valid as time goes on.

A sacred cow is something beyond criticism. That is the antithesis of what modern science is and asserts to be. From a contemporary standpoint, this book is essentially one big logically fallacious strawman argument, peppered with other logical fallacies. It's interesting reading from a historical point of view, but as a relevant critique of modern science, it is just an anachronism.