TIL science means “making stuff up about ‘back then’”
No, the consensus was not that the earth was flat. No, Copernicus did not get thrown in jail, by the Church or anyone else. No, scientists are not better authorities on history, even history of science, than historians are.
Much as I’d like to blame evopsych for convincing people that every just-so story is a scientific explanation, that’d be unfair to the many views of non-evolutionary science that are equally based on nothing more than doubling down on feels about Back Then, evidence be damned.
1. Aristotelian/Ptolemaic cosmology, the then-orthodox view, placed a round earth at the centre of the cosmos. (Illustrations and text from S. K. Heninger, Jr., The Cosmographical Glass: Renaissance Diagrams of the Universe, [Huntington Library, 1977], pp. 36-7.)
2. Copernicus’s De revolutionibus (1543) appeared in print only shortly before his death. In bed. At home. He was not thrown in jail, even after death.

3. This is old hat to anyone with a basic grasp of history of science. That science boosters still recycle factually incorrect and frankly ridiculous claims about the past says a lot about what happens when you think current science is the only path to knowledge. None of it good.

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More from @mccormick_ted

12 Oct
Pretty much this. I think the same goes for a lot of distinctions, both within and between institutions, that systematically favour the already favoured.
NB I think most academic rewards go to people who "merit" them, just like most of the tiny number of TT academic jobs go to eminently qualified candidates. But given the numbers there's just too much of the lottery about the whole business for the language of merit not to rankle.
I don't think anyone should begrudge anyone else their good news! But I guess I think it's naive to expect that further good fortune of people already statistically fortunate enough to have tenured positions won't generate comment on how tilted things look to the majority.
Read 5 tweets
12 Oct
19 months in and no set of institutions has learned less from the pandemic than universities.
Maybe if you’re compelling everyone back to campus, working campus facilities and viable sources of basic supplies should be a concern!
If only there were a vice-president, vice-provost, or associate dean tasked with planning and management! Or perhaps 30 of them
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
this is an absolutely damning description of contemporary newspapers
- how'd you become a journalist

-- well, people started taking my shit seriously and it just kind of happened
seriously, I'm not sure telling yourself a curated twitter feed is basically a newspaper (which I guess some people tacitly believe?) makes much sense for how Twitter works or does much good for public discourse/awareness of news

but I'm just a small-circulation historian, so 🤷‍♂️
Read 4 tweets
11 Oct
I walk through the McGill campus most days and this is stupid bullshit
The First Person I Talked to Told Me Something, So I Tweeted It, Says Roving Journalist

"Is that not how this works?"

MONTREAL, Oct. 10: McGill University, several weeks into its contentious and widely publicized return to campus, was the scene of an extremely hot take today
it just gets better
Read 5 tweets
11 Oct
Objective teaching means teaching ALL possible views of a subject. E.g. History should not just be about what we think happened, but what other people think happened, & what people used to think happened, & what didn't happen but could have, what never happens but might happen, &
if you think about it logically you must conclude that there's no reason to focus on one set of possibilities or opinions rather than another set so the only rational course is to teach every one of them equally and let students decide for themselves what is true without ideology
some of you are saying "oh.. But what about the 'fact' that there's limited time & resources in our modern classrooms." Let me answer your question with a question: You know who else put a price on Truth? Now I will answer that question: Pontius Pilate. Stalin too iirc. No thanks
Read 7 tweets
10 Oct
I mean, this is the dream, right?
Not coincidentally, this is a great example of where treating education simply and solely in terms of skills gets you
Read 5 tweets

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