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History

A Phrenological Evaluation of Andrew White

Prompted by Dr. Crabtree’s recent efforts to revive head size as a meaningful indicator of intelligence, I offer the following phrenological evaluation of Andrew White straight from the pages of The Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated. White is best known today for his polemical The Warfare of Science and Religion, which regrettably continues to structure […]

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Press and Pop Culture

Dawn of the Living Genetic-Materialist Determinism

The Independent recently quoted the Stanford University geneticist Gerald Crabtree: “I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000BC** were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas and […]

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Academia

A Historian of Science Reads Kuhn

The last two posts come together in this quick note. Again, digging through boxes of books, I came across the academic’s copy of Thomas Kuhn’s The Coperncian Revolution (I’m confident he owned a copy of Structure, I just haven’t found it yet). As his characteristic signature indicates on the title page, he purchased his pocket, […]

Categories
Academia

Discovery in Kuhn’s Structure

Discovery is both a compelling and problematic category in the history of science. We seek to identify the origins and originators of ideas we value but try to avoid telling teleological and Whigish histories. This essay reflects on Kuhn’s understanding of discoveries The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. [This is a lengthy post. For your convenience […]

Categories
Academia

A Historian of Science Reads History of Science

I continue to unearth interesting tidbits from the retired academic’s library. In most of his books he left fascinating traces of how he read. He never shied from in lauding or condemning an author or a passage. He returned to his books again and again, expanding earlier comments, adding new ones, and cross referencing other […]

Categories
History

More Velikovsky Paraphernalia

Digging through another box of books from a retired academic I came across more Velikovsky material (adding to my copy of Worlds in Collision I received from him). I am now convinced this particular academic—trained as a physicist but employed in a history department teaching the relationship between science and religion—endorsed Velikovsky’s theory. This latest […]