Journal's purpose

Science's internecine war and why it should matter to seven billion of the rest of us

This  blog is about a 'science war', but not about a scientific conflict drawn from the usual list of suspects when that phrase is invoked.

It is not a war between science and culture, or between science and religious traditionalists or between the physical sciences and the social sciences.

It is about an internecine war within the physical sciences , dating from the mid-nineteenth century .

This war of words (and of tenure and promotion denied) was and is between (generally elite) theory-oriented scientists defending simplifying theories and (generally junior) field scientists presenting complicating evidence contra to those theories.

It has close , but not perfect,  parallels with Allan Schnailberg's seminal division of science into production science versus impact science.

The initial simplifying theories held that beneath its surface complexity, all reality could really be reduced to a few simple and stable components and forces.

These , in turn, could be combined by Man into an extraordinary variety of pure compounds that would remain pure.

However, the evidence emerging from ever more sensitive instrumentation and ever more detailed searches into everything (both by-products of the increase in profit-seeking industrial science and "publish or perish" academic science post the 1870s) didn't support this theory.

It found that Reality always intermingled with itself in incredibly complex ways and that the resulting dynamically 'impure' mixtures were the true norm of the universe.

The contested fact that most of the human genome appears to be 'junk' DNA is a current example of this time old internecine war .

One side accepts this 'junk'  as just another facet of Life's willy-nilly intermingling, while the other side (ironically ,an impure mixture of hardcore Darwinist purists and hardcore Creationist purists !) insists that "God does not play dice with Junk DNA."

This in turn reminds us that while atheist scientists deny religion, unfortunately they don't deny enough of it.

They seem to accept religion's key claim, that reality and life have a directed purpose, but accredit it instead to the inevitable working out of a few basic laws of Nature--- which only they, the new preisthood, understand.

That the actual workings of Nature allows for a lot of meaningless 'busy work' , like human junk DNA , is a psyche-threatening affront to this new priesthoods' core of being , their deep need for their world to be simple, pure, stable , orderly and predictable .

Science at war with itself : Felix versus Oscar

One thus see sthat the classic comedy , The Odd Couple , can have its own parallels in the world of science.

It would be interesting to see how  variants in child rearing and each child's unique genetic mix lead us all, with physical scientists among the mix, to grow up either an uptight neat-freak or a relaxed messy.

This project will look at how the big three of the physical sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) all experienced failures of their fundamental beliefs during WWII without fully realizing that failure at the time.

It will deal briefly with their slow growing realization over the next fifty years.

Today, while only a few 'production scientists with a BSc degree' still hold to the neat-freak side of this internecine science war, they have literally billions of scientism followers ,thanks I argue, to the failure of high school science to bring up-to-date science to our young.

Unless things change and soon, human society may never again be as prosperous as it is in this generation , as it will live in a world ruined by our reluctance to accept the intermingling of all life willy-nilly....

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