My message is not that biological determinists were bad scientists or
even that they were always wrong. Rather, I believe that science must be
understood as a social phenomenon, a gutsy, human enterprise, not the work of
robots programmed to collect pure information. I also present this view as
an upbeat for science, not as a gloomy epitaph for a noble hope sacrificed on
the alter of human limitations.
I believe that a factual reality exists and that science, though often
in an obtuse and erratic manner, can learn about it. Galileo was not shown
the instruments of torture in an abstract debate about lunar motion. He had
threatened the Church's conventional argument for social and doctrinal
stability: the static world order with planets circling about a central
earth, priests subordinate to the Pope and serfs to their lord. But the
Church soon made its peace with Galileo's cosmology. They had no choice; the
earth really does revolve about the sun.
- -- S. J. Gould, "The Mismeasure of Man"