It’s About Domains of Expertise

Some great suggestions on Cleaning Up Science but some questionable history of science:

In the long run, science is self-correcting. Ptolemy’s epicycles were replaced by Copernicus’s heliocentric system.

Well, not really.

Copernicus replaced the equant and freely used eccentrics and epicycles for purposes of calculation.

See Robert Westman, The Copernican Question (2011), 215. (Or, see the entry for Nicolaus Copernicus at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.)

Just as a particular expertise is required to make valid scientific claims, so too there is an expertise required to make valid claims about the history of science. Expertise is not fungible.