Friday, September 24, 2004

Science, Forteans and Skeptics
by Stephen Dewey

What Simmons and Coward appear to be saying is that Fort accepted the scientific method. It is only scientific dogma that Fort rails against – the dogma that asserts that the damned data has no place within current scientific theories. Therefore, the scientific method is at the heart of Forteanism. It is, however, difficult to believe that Fort accepted the scientific method when he states:

But that all scientific attempts really to find out something, whereas really there is nothing to find out, are attempts, themselves, really to be something. ...

Or that science is more than an inquiry: That it is a pseudo-construction, or a quasi-organization: that it is an attempt to break away and locally establish harmony, stability, equilibrium, consistency, entity --

Dimmest of possibilities -- that it may succeed.

Indeed, such statements seem to imply that all of science is little more than a social construction. Science can only model the real world by a reductionism that excludes particular data, and in so reducing the world, excludes the real world. Again, Fort asserts:

Science relates to real knowledge no more than does the growth of a plant, or the organization of a department store, or the development of a nation: that all are assimilative, or organizing, or systematizing processes that represent different attempts to attain the positive state...