Our study of Darwin’s theory of evolution, its aftermath, and implications unsurprisingly begs as many questions as it answers. One of the biggest questions related to the study of the theory involves epistemic and presuppositional difficulties of science. To resolve these difficulties first requires a definition of science, which relates to what is called the demarcation problem. I will make a few brief comments on the demarcation problem but leave the majority of its treatment to my friend Mario, a much wiser philosopher than I.
The demarcation problem in the philosophy of science concerns the boundary between science, and everything else. In other words, it asks the question what is science and what is not science? One version of the problem concerns the boundary between science and pseudo-science. Advocates of pseudo-science claim that it should be on the same playing field as science even though it does not function in the same way. The difficulty and resolution of demarcation lies within the criterion used to distinguish science from pseudo or non-science.
The term “science” is socially significant because it seems to make a claim on a certain type of knowledge or truth. Some argue that this leads to preferential access to money, policy, and security within educational institutions. As such, the demarcation problem and its resolution significantly affects our definition of social justice and what is taught to children in public schools.
Good philosophy should present difficulties of claims made in an argument as part of its treatment. As it relates to science, keep in mind that some propositions could be true and have nothing to do with scientific formulation or considerations. In addition, we may still intend science to be a truth-seeking activity or a better way of arriving at true beliefs but it does not entail that scientific claims are always true.
Please stay tuned to this post as I have a feeling the debate will be more than interesting. Well, hopefully.