Racism, Prejudice and Discrimination in Science
Contents: Intellectual Foundations, The Political Philosophy of Racism, Parallels between Physics in the Third Reich and Bio-Ophthalmology today, Conclusion
History tells humanity who we are. One should expect that humankind learns from history.
1. the Oriental, who does not know what freedom is. The one who rules in the Orient is the one who is free, and the remainder of the people are not free.1)
2. The Greeks and the Romans had a group of people who were free, namely the aristocrats.
3. The Teutons are, according to Hegel, all free. (!)
We have learned from the philosopher and historian of science Thomas Kuhn8) that the history of scientific development takes a revolutionary course. Occasionally a high price has to be paid for the progress. An example for this is the politically motivated murder of the co-founder of the Vienna Circle, Moritz Schlick, in 1936. This dramatic incident set the emigration of European intellectuals and scientists in motion. The consequences of this wave of emigration can still be felt to this day
ConclusionIt is not polarization but rather pluralism and co-existence of partially diverging theories, methods, and hypothesis which should be the goal. Strategic balances between economics and ecology, between biology and technology, are called for. There is also the need for international jurisdiction in science in order to push through new, possibly uncomfortable, theories which possibly bring real progress but face the resistance of established institutions and organizations. The case against Galileo demonstrated that in the final event it is not dogma which conquers knowledge and truth. In the play by Brecht, Life of Galileo, Galileo says to his counterpart: “. . . he who does not know the truth is merely a fool. But he who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a criminal.”11)The third thesis of our document Global Science . . . assumes that significant scientific achievements are not only to be found in the Western world. Every people group has their own specific cultural tradition which is to be respected and from which other peoples can possibly learn. Asian medicine has been appreciated in the Western world for a number of years, and efforts continue to integrate it.We have learned from history that developments seldom take a straight path. Rather, they normally involved trial and error. In science in particular, progress has always meant to overcome what has been established and declared to be right. As a result, scientific statements all have a provisional character.
- - Hegel, G.W. Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte, Stuttgart 1961, pp. 61f.
- - Sradj, N. Global Science – 10 Thesen zur Weltauffassung im 21. Jahrhundert, Regensburg, 2011.
- - Biophtalmologie, Bericht der Französischen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft (SFO), Paris, Milano, Barcelona, Bonn 1992.
- - (comp. Einstein, A. and Infeld, L. Die Evolution der Physik, von Newton bis zur Quantentheorie, München 1961, p. 132 andEinstein, A. Mein Weltbild, Frankfurt/M., Berlin, Wien 1981).
- - Heisenberg, W. “Deutsche und jüdische Physik,” München 1992, pp. 10ff
- - Forman, P. Weimar Culture, Causality and Quantum Theory 1918 - 1927 Adaptation by German Physicists and Mathematicians to an Hostile Intellectual Environment, in: Prigogine , I. Stengers,I. Dialog mit der Natur, München 1990, S.17
- - Einstein, “Brief an Otto Hahn vom 28. Januar 1949,” www.mhoefert.de,
- - Kuhn, Th. S. Die Struktur wissenschaftlicher Revolutionen (Structure of Scientific Revolutions), Frankfurt/M. 1967.
- - Verein Ernst Mach (ed.) “Die wissenschaftliche Weltauffassung,” Der Wiener Kreis, 1929.
- Schmahl, F.D., v. Weizsäcker, C.F. “Moderne Physik und Grundfragen der Medizin” in: Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Jan. 2000, No. 97, Issue 4, pp. 165 ff).
- - Brecht, B. Leben des Galilei, Schauspiel, edition suhrkamp, Berlin 1963, p. 81.