Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Cultural Gestalt and Science
But scientific theories are rarely "pure" science; often strong social components are integral to the expression of the theory. Even when you have a relatively pure scientific field (e.g., mathematics, chemistry), the actual real world application of these findings are inevitably tied to social, economic, and political forces. A chemical reaction is a pure event; procuring the chemicals for the reaction is an economic process as is the massive use of the reaction in production of a product (e.g., plastics).
I was struck again by this while watching a science show detailing the competition between the theories of the "steady state" universe and the "big bang" universe. These theories also struck me as metaphors for the times when they were concurrent, kind of dualing examples of "is the glass half empty or half full?" Not really sure of the point here but, as usual, it seemed important at the time.