· “Inquiry of a scientific mature, I stipulate, aims to be cumulative, evidence-based (empirical), falsifiable, generalizing, nonsubjective, replicable, rigorous, skeptical, systematic, transparent, and grounded in rational argument. There are differences of opinion over whether, or to what extent, science lives up to these high ideals. Even so, these are the ideals to which natural and social scientists generally aspire, and they help to define the enterprise in a general way and to demarcate it from other realms.” (Gerring 2012:11).
- Relativist, post-modern archaeologists who criticize a scientific epistemology for archaeology often use archaeometric methods (science type 2), in pursuit of goals that are not scientific.
- Methodologically sloppy archaeologists sometimes aim to use science type 2 methods to further science type 1 ends, but their sloppiness prevents progress.
There is a third condition where archaeological science type 2 can be done at odds with type 1 science that I did not discuss:
- Non-archaeological scientific techniques are often used to make exaggerated, sensationalist claims that go beyond the "replicable, rigorous, skeptical" nature of scientific research.
To my mind, this episode illustrates the problems that can occur when the two types of archaeological science are in conflict with one another. But right now it is merely a controversy in the realm of press releases and blogs and the internet. The rubber will hit the road when the research is submitted to a scholarly journal. And at that point one can only hope, as I suggested in my earlier post, that the editors will not be fooled into thinking that archaeological science type 2 that is done is opposition to science type 1 is really a scientific endeavor epistemologically.
2012 Social Science Methodology: A Unified Framework. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, New York.
By the way, that earlier post "Rejected by Science!" is BY FAR the most popular post in the history of this blog, with perhaps more hits than all of the other posts combined. I am puzzled by this, not sure why it is so popular. I am not complaining, just curious. If you have any ideas, let me know.