Friday, May 13, 2005

I think all creationists should read hasok chang

Hasok Chang wrote this book: Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress

It's all about how humans came to agree that the freezing point of water is 32 degrees F and the boiling point is 212 degrees F. Trust me, it wasn't easy. Read the book and see for yourself. There was lots of starting from not much of anything and pulling up on your bootstraps. Anyway, there were lots of 'tactics', common to all of science, that were used to make temperature THEORY. Things like consilience of inductions, or in Hacking speak, stability across many modes of perception, or Chang has a similar idea about lots of different ways of measuring temperature all point to the same freezing and boiling point...or something like that.

Anyway, this comic got me thinking about it in light of the currently raging creationism debates. Our current THEORY of temperature was built up using the same methods of inference that have built up evolutionary biology.

Of course there are some concerns about the unity of science here, i.e. to what extent can we say the same methods of inference are used across all the sciences and should we judge their value by analogy between sciences? I need to talk to Jordi Cat.

See the whole cartoon here. And thanks to Pharyngula for the pointer.

1 comment:

Brian. said...

I think all creationists should read _The Final Exit_. Though reading Chang might have the same effect.