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Kuhn classfies science into two phases: periods of revolutionary science, where theories themselves are being challenged (for example when Newtonian mechanics was being supplanted by quantum mechanics), and a period of normal science, where researches accept a given theory and focus on confirming and working on its details (For example physicists subsequently fleshing out the details and consequences of QM).

From the SEP article on demarcation:

Kuhn criticized Popper for characterizing “the entire scientific enterprise in terms that apply only to its occasional revolutionary parts” (Kuhn 1974, 802). Popper's focus on falsifications of theories led to a concentration on the rather rare instances when a whole theory is at stake. According to Kuhn, the way in which science works on such occasions cannot be used to characterize the entire scientific enterprise. Instead it is in “normal science”, the science that takes place between the unusual moments of scientific revolutions, that we find the characteristics by which science can be distinguished from other enterprises (Kuhn 1974, 801).

In normal science, the scientist's activity consists in solving puzzles rather than testing fundamental theories. In puzzle-solving, current theory is accepted, and the puzzle is indeed defined in its terms. In Kuhn's view, “it is normal science, in which Sir Karl's sort of testing does not occur, rather than extraordinary science which most nearly distinguishes science from other enterprises”, and therefore a demarcation criterion must refer to the workings of normal science (Kuhn 1974, 802). Kuhn's own demarcation criterion is the capability of puzzle-solving that he sees as an essential characteristic of normal science.

But then per Kuhn's "puzzle solving" criteria, aren't Creationism and Lysenkoism just science as it proceeds in the normal phase? In both cases, a theory has already been accepted ("Lamarckan heritability", and "that world was intelligently designed"), and its practitioners were simply trying to solve the puzzle of how to fit the data to the theory.

My questions:

  1. How would Kuhn's approach avoid classifying Creationism and Lysenkoism as normal science?
  2. Shouldn't the intent of a research program count for whether it is classified as a science or not? In both Creationism and Lysenkoism's case, the program starts out with a none scientific agenda, and then tries to fit it with scientific results. It seems to me that this intention/agenda is what marks out the two as pseudo-scientific, more than anything else (that's not their only problem, but it is their biggest).

From the SEP article on demarcation:

Kuhn criticized Popper for characterizing “the entire scientific enterprise in terms that apply only to its occasional revolutionary parts” (Kuhn 1974, 802). Popper's focus on falsifications of theories led to a concentration on the rather rare instances when a whole theory is at stake. According to Kuhn, the way in which science works on such occasions cannot be used to characterize the entire scientific enterprise. Instead it is in “normal science”, the science that takes place between the unusual moments of scientific revolutions, that we find the characteristics by which science can be distinguished from other enterprises (Kuhn 1974, 801).

In normal science, the scientist's activity consists in solving puzzles rather than testing fundamental theories. In puzzle-solving, current theory is accepted, and the puzzle is indeed defined in its terms. In Kuhn's view, “it is normal science, in which Sir Karl's sort of testing does not occur, rather than extraordinary science which most nearly distinguishes science from other enterprises”, and therefore a demarcation criterion must refer to the workings of normal science (Kuhn 1974, 802). Kuhn's own demarcation criterion is the capability of puzzle-solving that he sees as an essential characteristic of normal science.

But then per Kuhn's "puzzle solving" criteria, aren't Creationism and Lysenkoism just science as it proceeds in the normal phase? In both cases, a theory has already been accepted ("Lamarckan heritability", and "that world was intelligently designed"), and its practitioners were simply trying to solve the puzzle of how to fit the data to the theory.

My questions:

  1. How would Kuhn's approach avoid classifying Creationism and Lysenkoism as normal science?
  2. Shouldn't the intent of a research program count for whether it is classified as a science or not? In both Creationism and Lysenkoism's case, the program starts out with a none scientific agenda, and then tries to fit it with scientific results. It seems to me that this intention/agenda is what marks out the two as pseudo-scientific, more than anything else (that's not their only problem, but it is their biggest).

Kuhn classfies science into two phases: periods of revolutionary science, where theories themselves are being challenged (for example when Newtonian mechanics was being supplanted by quantum mechanics), and a period of normal science, where researches accept a given theory and focus on confirming and working on its details (For example physicists subsequently fleshing out the details and consequences of QM).

From the SEP article on demarcation:

Kuhn criticized Popper for characterizing “the entire scientific enterprise in terms that apply only to its occasional revolutionary parts” (Kuhn 1974, 802). Popper's focus on falsifications of theories led to a concentration on the rather rare instances when a whole theory is at stake. According to Kuhn, the way in which science works on such occasions cannot be used to characterize the entire scientific enterprise. Instead it is in “normal science”, the science that takes place between the unusual moments of scientific revolutions, that we find the characteristics by which science can be distinguished from other enterprises (Kuhn 1974, 801).

In normal science, the scientist's activity consists in solving puzzles rather than testing fundamental theories. In puzzle-solving, current theory is accepted, and the puzzle is indeed defined in its terms. In Kuhn's view, “it is normal science, in which Sir Karl's sort of testing does not occur, rather than extraordinary science which most nearly distinguishes science from other enterprises”, and therefore a demarcation criterion must refer to the workings of normal science (Kuhn 1974, 802). Kuhn's own demarcation criterion is the capability of puzzle-solving that he sees as an essential characteristic of normal science.

But then per Kuhn's "puzzle solving" criteria, aren't Creationism and Lysenkoism just science as it proceeds in the normal phase? In both cases, a theory has already been accepted ("Lamarckan heritability", and "that world was intelligently designed"), and its practitioners were simply trying to solve the puzzle of how to fit the data to the theory.

My questions:

  1. How would Kuhn's approach avoid classifying Creationism and Lysenkoism as normal science?
  2. Shouldn't the intent of a research program count for whether it is classified as a science or not? In both Creationism and Lysenkoism's case, the program starts out with a none scientific agenda, and then tries to fit it with scientific results. It seems to me that this intention/agenda is what marks out the two as pseudo-scientific, more than anything else (that's not their only problem, but it is their biggest).
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Per Kuhn's "puzzle solving" demarcation criteria, don't Creationism and Lysenkoism simply fall into the category of "normal science"?

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Per Kuhn's "puzzle solving" demarcation, don't Creationism and Lysenkoism simply fall into the category of "normal science"?

From the SEP article on demarcation:

Kuhn criticized Popper for characterizing “the entire scientific enterprise in terms that apply only to its occasional revolutionary parts” (Kuhn 1974, 802). Popper's focus on falsifications of theories led to a concentration on the rather rare instances when a whole theory is at stake. According to Kuhn, the way in which science works on such occasions cannot be used to characterize the entire scientific enterprise. Instead it is in “normal science”, the science that takes place between the unusual moments of scientific revolutions, that we find the characteristics by which science can be distinguished from other enterprises (Kuhn 1974, 801).

In normal science, the scientist's activity consists in solving puzzles rather than testing fundamental theories. In puzzle-solving, current theory is accepted, and the puzzle is indeed defined in its terms. In Kuhn's view, “it is normal science, in which Sir Karl's sort of testing does not occur, rather than extraordinary science which most nearly distinguishes science from other enterprises”, and therefore a demarcation criterion must refer to the workings of normal science (Kuhn 1974, 802). Kuhn's own demarcation criterion is the capability of puzzle-solving that he sees as an essential characteristic of normal science.

But then per Kuhn's "puzzle solving" criteria, aren't Creationism and Lysenkoism just science as it proceeds in the normal phase? In both cases, a theory has already been accepted ("Lamarckan heritability", and "that world was intelligently designed"), and its practitioners were simply trying to solve the puzzle of how to fit the data to the theory.

My questions:

  1. How would Kuhn's approach avoid classifying Creationism and Lysenkoism as normal science?
  2. Shouldn't the intent of a research program count for whether it is classified as a science or not? In both Creationism and Lysenkoism's case, the program starts out with a none scientific agenda, and then tries to fit it with scientific results. It seems to me that this intention/agenda is what marks out the two as pseudo-scientific, more than anything else (that's not their only problem, but it is their biggest).