Page:Science and Citizenship.djvu/49

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Science and Citizenship

of the older spiritual communities the event here, too, is celebrated by a particular ceremony of initiation. The scientific ritual of initiation has two well-marked stages. The first consists in the contribution of a memoir to the proceedings of the relevant society. The second consists of a copious baptism, in the form of a cold-water douche of criticism, from his brother scientists.


If the foregoing analysis has suggested a fanciful analogy between religious and scientific experience, it has entirely failed in its purpose. The intention has been not to suggest an analogy, but to indicate an essential similarity, indeed, a partial identity of type. In the language not of psychology, but of sociology, the contention is that the scientific and religious groups are vitally related in their social origins and functions. Addressing an audience of biologists one would probably convey the intended impression by saying that science and religion are social organs which are in part both homologous and analogous. But the rightly discredited usage of biological terminology in social science prohibits recourse to that language. The argument is that science has its social as well as its logical and psychological aspects, and that from the former point of view a scientific society is manifestly to be classed amongst the social institutions. And that, moreover, in the wide and varied range of social institutions the place of a scientific society is, it is affirmed, alongside of the church. The