Sunday, December 03, 2006

Feast of Copernicus

Scott Atran at The Edge:

On rituals: 19th century French positivists proposed very much what Dr. Porco proposes in terms — albeit somewhat tongue in cheek — of awe-inspiring ceremonies and even temples to science. Apart from the few who founded these practices and artifacts, the attempt failed utterly to woo any significant portion of the general population, or even make further inroads among the scientific community. Most scientists rightly thought these efforts were artificial and absurd. Most religious people thought the same.

As people often said, Comteanism is Catholicism that has ceased to be Christian. In case you are wondering, today, being the first of Bichat (the month devoted to modern science), is the Feast of Copernicus in the Positivist Calendar. Since the Positivist Calendar is a perennial calendar, its days of the week don't shift as they do for our Gregorian Calendar, and thus it is a Monday, as it always is on the first of Bichat. Bichat (1771-1802), after whom the month is named, is the father of histology and pathology, and best known for the groundbreaking shift of research from whole organs to organ tissues.

In case you are wondering. As Atran basically notes, it's very unlikely that you are, because it's very unlikely that you care about Comtean Positivism.

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