If science doesn’t fit in with the cultural milieu, people dismiss science, they never reject their cultural milieu! If we are involved in science of which some aspects are not commensurate with the cultural milieu, then we are told that our science is flawed. I suspect that all people have cultural concepts into which science must fit. Although I try to recognize these biases in myself, I’m sure I cannot entirely avoid them. I try to focus on the direct observational aspects of science.” —
With endless respect to Lynn Margulis what she was articulating is the problem with science as it has been understood culturally for way too long.
It’s been the opposite of religion. If scientists are going to transmit information — and that’s what they should be trying to do — then they should recognize the most effective form of compression for that information: stories.
Yes, stories are lossy compression. They exaggerate this part over here, and leave out this other important idea. But the idea moves from one mind to many, and the utility of that transmission is as important as the idea that is being transmitted in the first place.
It’s not easy, and maybe it’s not fair to ask it of scientists. But we need to ask it of science.
And it’s the best part of a scientist’s sensibilities that led Lynn Margulis to even publish that, clarifying that what she believes to be the best way to work may or may not be the most effective. RIP, Lynn Margulis.