Science is a diverse set of activities in one place at one time, after all; geologists generally don’t do experiments, paleontologists commonly aren’t quantitative, astronomers certainly don’t do fieldwork, biologists can rarely predict the future states of the systems they study, and mathematicians often don’t even work with data. Is it conceivable that there actually could be a single method to describe “science” and yet still exclude astrology, astral projection, and Ouija boards -or is that very goal simply an illusion?–
The situation gets even more complicated once we throw some time depth into it. The word scientist came into use only in the mid-1800s, so how could it meaningfully be applied to someone like that alchemist Isaac Newton? If indeed what science is, and what scientists are, can inconsistent across scientific fields and different for each generation, how can we specify a scientific method at all?
Why I am Not a Scientist: Anthropology and Modern Knowledge (p 62) by Jonathan Marks
This portion really angered the class. Of course, Jonathan Marks is a scientist and he does not consider astrology, astral projection or the study of Ouija boards a science, this is part of the fun.