Sunday, December 20, 2009

Good Critical Thinking in Australia

In What Science knows and how it knows it James Franklin presents us with a defence of reality and common sense against the attempt by post-modernists to dismiss science as just another form of colonial, white male oppression. Irrationalists love to pepper their works with quotation marks around such success terms as “facts” or “proof” as a way of downplaying their value.

A few moments of reflection are sufficient to show that post-modernist scepticism is as dim-witted as the liberation group in Monty Python railing against the Romans: ‘what has science ever done for us? Nuffing!’ ‘Well, there is penicillin, adult stem cell cures, the internet, awareness of the importance of eco-systems and biodiversity, a tripling of the average life span...’ Science is not Voodoo. Science is a systematic practice that leads to knowledge about the world, much of which seems pretty straightforward once it has been pointed out to you. Theses like ‘sex can lead to conception’ or ‘the blood of animals circulates’ were not always known knowns among our ancestors but they can be easily tested and are not about to be falsified.

Great reading from Richard Umbers who teaches Philosophy in Sydney. Read it all here.

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