Week 3 post - BSC 3402 Theory and Practice in the...

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1 BSC 3402 Theory and Practice in the Biological Sciences The Mismeasure of Man by S.J. Gould 8 September 2010
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2 In-Class Response 1. Name 2. What’s is Gould’s view of science and the process of doing science? 3. State one other important point made by S.J. Gould in the reading for this week and briefly explain. 4. What controversial point do you think needs to be discussed today?
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3 Gould’s Views of Science “I criticize the myth that science itself is an objective enterprise, done properly only when scientists can shuck the constraints of their culture and view the world as it really is.” “I believe that science must be understood as a social phenomenon, a gutsy, human enterprise, not the work of robots programmed to collect pure information.”
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4 “It progresses by hunch, vision, and intuition. Much of its change through time does not record a closer approach to absolute truth , but the alteration of cultural contexts that influence it so strongly. Facts are not pure and unsullied bits of information; culture also influences what we see and how we see it. Theories, moreover are not inexorable inductions from facts. The most creative theories are often imaginative visions imposed upon facts; the source of imagination is also strongly cultural.”
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5 “Many questions are formulated by scientists in such a restricted way that any legitimate answer can only validate a social preference” “…for most scientists have always been unaware of the mental machinery… behind all theorizing…they assume that their own shifts in interpretation only record their better understanding of newly discovered facts…” How does Gould illustrate this point?
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This note was uploaded on 01/15/2012 for the course BSC 3402 taught by Professor Brockmann,h during the Fall '08 term at University of Florida.

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Week 3 post - BSC 3402 Theory and Practice in the...

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