There seem to be a lot of people about who seem to know exactly what science is, and they seem to regard it as the only route to truth. Such folk could do worse than read an editorial to a special issue of Sedimentary Geology. This does not speak to the ID issue but it helps us understand how some divergences of opinion originate. The editorial refers to the communication gap between East and West and identifies reasons, on both sides of the gap, for why â€œthe directions of science in East and West divergedâ€.
We need more analysis like this to understand why intelligent scientists can take opposing positions on the value of the ID approach within science. If we donâ€™t, this warning applies: â€œWhere (and when) a true dialogue between those adhering different views is impossible, science suffers.â€
Bridging the gap in Quaternary geology between East and West: The Brodzikowski heritage (Editorial)
Beata Gruszka, A.J. (Tom) van Loon and Tomasz Zieliński
Sedimentary Geology, Volume 193, Issues 1-4 , 1 January 2007, Pages 1-5
No such thing exists as a â€˜scientific truthâ€™. Even nowadays, some hypotheses that are considered by a great majority of scientists as â€˜scientific truthâ€™ are considered as fundamentally wrong by others. Where (and when) a true dialogue between those adhering different views is impossible, science suffers. We have witnessed such conditions in the recent past in Eastern European countries, where â€“ in addition â€“ the economic conditions hardly allowed any university to buy scientific literature from the West: the differences in price level were just too great. This does not imply that science in Eastern Europe at the time was of a lower quality than in the West. We are convinced that research in the natural sciences â€“ including the earth sciences â€“ was carried out at many eastern universities at a high level. The results were, obviously, published, but this happened, unfortunately, only rarely in a language that was accessible for scientists from western countries.
Since the scientists in Eastern Europe could not afford to buy western literature (and no such a thing as internet was available at the time!), and since Western scientists were not capable of reading the research results from their colleagues in the East, it was unavoidable that the directions of science in East and West diverged. These different developments were not commonly realised until before the â€˜iron curtainâ€™ fell. Only a few earth scientists were aware of it earlier, thanks to personal contacts with colleagues â€˜on the other sideâ€™. These two-sided earth scientists were not always in the position â€“ or willing â€“ to take advantage of the â€˜extraâ€™ information that they had. In general, the earth scientists in the West were too busy applying for research grants and/or surviving the publish-or-perish culture, whereas contacts with Western colleagues were not always appreciated in Eastern Europe.
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