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good science?

EdRegis edregis at aol.com
Fri Apr 28 07:45:59 EST 1995


>Two of the examples you quote are quite interesting.  Before 
>the Copernican revolution, the Ptolemeic view (geocentric) 
>of the cosmos was viewed as "emprical reality."  

Correct, but that doesn't mean it *was* empirical reality.  And as a
matter of fact, it wasn't.  

>In fact, there was nothing wrong with
>that model in that it explained the available data.

Wrong.  It did not explain parallax.

>Likewise, before the experiments of Avery et al. and Hershey 
>and Chase, "empirical reality" did not include the fact that 
>DNA is the genetic material.  

This is *extremely* interesting.  You're asserting in the above that DNA
*is* in fact the genetic material.  Apparently, you believe it's *not*
"mere scaffolding."  And apparently you believe that the Ptolemaic view is
wrong.  But you could only know it's wrong if there's another view that's
right.  You can't make the point that we've learned Ptolemaicism is wrong
without implicitly assuming that an alternative view is the correct one. 
Not just "different," but correct.

Empirical reality has included DNA as the genetic material for as long as
DNA has in fact been the genetic material.  Sometimes in the past, people
weren't aware of that fact.  But then they became aware of it.  From the
acknowledged fact that people have been wrong in the past, it does not
follow that we are always wrong, that we are wrong now, or that any one of
our beliefs is, or might be, or should be regarded as, wrong. 

Ed
edregis at aol.com




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