Established Science?

Just got off a Facebook session with relatives about Covid vaccines.  The term “established science” was used and then immediately challenged due to its “politicization”.  I put my 2 cents in and got out.

What about established science?

Believe it or not, science can be traced back to prehistoric times when empirical, intuitive knowledge of plants, animals, and environment was passed from person to person orally.  There is evidence of corn domestication from Mexico dating back 9000 years.  There is evidence from archaeological digs of astronomical structures, likely used to help determine coming seasons. Deep understanding and exploitation of how things worked was the realm of shamans.  Established science ruled.

The development of writing (around 3500 BC) transformed science and its practitioners into levels of power near that of kings.  It also allowed for a more consistent transfer of knowledge and as important, the recording of new discoveries.  Nascent scientists now controlled mystical life, became astrologers and moral consultants for the king, the king’s court, and the king’s people.  Recording experimentation (mixing substances, alchemy) and astronomical events gave them greater understanding of nature.  This knowledge gave them mystique and power. Established science had evolved and become even more influential.

Scientists around the world from 500 BC to 500 CE enjoyed a massive growth in knowledge and influence.  Great libraries were built. Many cultures embraced the concepts of study, knowledge, experiment, and their people benefited for the most part.  With the fall of the Roman Empire, which took nearly 200 staggered years of warfare (235-280 CE then 406-480 CE), came loss of central authority and rise of chaotic local wars.  For a few centuries established science was in a holding, if not spiraling down pattern as libraries and archives were destroyed in wars.

The later middle ages brought an upswing in the interest of science as Europe became relatively stabilized.  The burgeoning Christian church (Rome) gained power and began to exert influence on learning.  By introducing a method of learning called scholasticism, as well as developing the central basis for universities, the church melded natural philosophy (science) with Christian theology.  This partnership flourished throughout and well past the middle ages, bringing back Greek natural philosophy.  The father of the scientific method, Franciscan friar Rogerus Baconus (Roger Bacon) came from this partnership.  By the time the middle ages ended in the 15th century established science was back!

Then it all busted out. The likes of Copernicus, Brahe, Keppler, Galileo, Boyle, Hooke, Newton, Leeuwenhoek got the avalanche started.

By the end of the 19th century scientists proclaimed there was nothing more to discover. Established science.

Then came the likes of Einstein, Bohr, Hubble, Lemaitre, the list goes on…everything changed, changes.

Established science?  I don’t think so.

What’s in the Sky?

January 9 &10 &14; after sunset; southwest horizon: Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter, and then the Moon group up

January 11; before sunrise; southeast horizon:  Venus and a crescent Moon are close