Friday, August 29, 2008


In the book, Naturalist, by Edward O. Wilson, Wilson describes a colleague’s—Bert Hölldobler—standards for honesty and, in those standards, anyone can see that humanistic science offers standards every bit as rigorous as any moral code based on what kings hand down to their subjects as do religious standards.

“He was a scientist's scientist. He simply loved science as a way of knowing. I believe he would have practiced it without an audience or financial reward. He played no political games. If new data did not fit, he quickly shifted to a new position. He was one of the few scientists I have known actually willing to abandon a hypothesis. He was meticulous about crediting others, quick to praise research when it was original and solid, harsh in his rejection when it was slovenly. The tone of his conversation was explicitly and uncompromisingly ethical, a posture born neither of arrogance nor of self-regard, but from the conviction of his humanistic philosophy that without self-imposed high standards, life loses its meaning.” (p. 303)

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