Sunday, April 20, 2008

Missing Link with Popper

In this review I am not going to talk too much about the main item in the ninth issue of the Missing Link. It continued the history of the Evolution - Creation divide and delved into the cultural associations with evolution. What is shown is that evolution is either shunned or embraced in the US, for its associations. When it was perceived as something anti-communist, it could be embraced, but when it was perceived as anti-christian, it was shunned. (site, feed, audio)

I'd like to talk about Karl Popper - again. Popper has become part of a consecutive series in this blog, that somehow stirs up many reactions. The Missing Link's host, Elizabeth Green Musselman, begins with Popper. She wishes to elaborate about a remark she made in issue #8 of The Missing Link. Her reaction, for all intents and purposes, addresses what I wrote about it in my review of #8.
Why does Musselman suggest she herself doesn't agree with Popper's views, but does nothing to indicate what her criticism might be? The effect is that the essay is labeled with an alleged naivety before it even starts.

Musselman says she had no intention to denigrate the essays of her students and spends a few words on her criticism to Popper. In her mind, Popper's falsification theory fall short of propelling science as it doesn't deal with paradigms, as shown by Thomas Kuhn. That is a pretty widely held view on Popper and I had it myself, using it in a review I wrote about an issue of the UChannel Podcast. The Popperian Pathway had a lecture of a medical doctor showing the progress in cancer research in the past decades by means of Popper falsification theory. It was here that I myself wrote, that we see a paradigm shift described, but that Popper doesn't address the paradigm shift.

A reader, Rafe Champion from Australia, corrected me on that. He has written several articles and from his website points to a range of sources that intend to show Popper has addressed the issue. Popper is not just about falsification, which is indeed merely an epistemological technique, but extended his writings to the realm of how in more general terms scientific theory and research should be conducted. What seems to be ignored among writers in logic of science are the writings of Popper about MRP's, Metaphysical Research Programs.

So, the last word has not been said. And the subject continues to give rise to heated debate.

Previously about Popper:
An evolved controversy,
The Popperian Pathway,
Researching Bush,
Shrinkrapradio on Freud and Jung,
Gravitational waves.

More about The Missing Link on this blog:
An evolved controversy,
Time's Arrow,
On Time and on Counting - The Missing Link,
Strength in Numbers,
Constant Companions.

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