The Inexorable Intrusion of Assumption
I’ve been reading Steven Shapin’s book Never Pure: Historical Studies of Science as if It Was Produced by People with Bodies, Situated in Time, Space, Culture, and Society, and Struggling for Credibility and Authority, which shows that, contrary to popular opinion, science is not this uber-objective pursuit of raw truth unencumbered by the kind of things that taint mere mortal forms of human inquiry.
Take, for instance, evolution, which arose in a specific historical time and place that, according to some, influenced the rise of the theory itself.
“Each age,” wrote James Moore, “fashions nature in its own image. In the nineteenth …