What is science? What does it exclude?

23 February 2007

While I am quoting a little bit out of context, I am interested in the connotations in the following sentence:

Science is self-correcting, which is its great strength, as long as we don’t let the sociology do long term damage to the underlying scientific methodology.

This is from Steinn Sigurdson, who is a prolific and thorough critic (edging toward philosopher, unless he objects to that label) of science. The sentence comes toward the end of a post about Lee Smolin’s book castigating string theory, and it the comments on the post pretty much ran away with the whole “validity of string theory” thing, which I’m not particularly qualified to debate.

I am interested in some of the definitions (his and those from the peanut gallery here) of ‘science,’ ‘sociology,’ and ‘scientific methodology.’

Discuss.

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