The weak form of methodological uniformitarianism might be viewed as suggesting that present process measurements GABA inhibitor drugs might inform
thinking in regard to the humanly disturbed conditions of the Anthropocene. In this way G.K. Gilbert’s classical studies of the effects of 19th century mining debris on streams draining the Sierra Nevada can inform thinking (though not to generate exact “predictions”) about future effects of accelerated disturbance of streams in mountain areas by mining, which is a definite feature of the Anthropocene. This reasoning is analogical. It is not uniformitarian in the classical sense, but it is using understanding of present-day or past (for Gilbert it was both) processes to apply to what one might causally hypothesize about (not “predict”) in regard to future processes. Knight and Harrison (2014) conclude that “post-normal science” will be impacted by the Anthropocene because of nonlinear systems that will be Crizotinib chemical structure less predictable, with increasing irrelevance for tradition systems properties such as equilibrium and equifinality. The lack of a characteristic state for these systems will prevent,
“…their easy monitoring, modeling and management. Post-normal science” is an extension of the broader theme of postmodernity, relying upon one of the many threads of that movement, specifically the social constructivist view of scientific knowledge (something of much more concern to sociologists than to working scientists). The idea of “post-normal Idelalisib science,” as defined by Funtowicz and Ravetz (1993), relies upon the view that “normal science” consists of what was described in one of many conflicting philosophical conceptions of scientific progress, specifically that proposed by Thomas Kuhn in his influential book Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Funtowicz and Ravetz (1993) make
a rather narrow interpretation of Kuhn’s concept of “normal science”, characterizing it as “…the unexciting, indeed anti-intellectual routine puzzle solving by which science advances steadily between its conceptual revolutions.” This is most definitely one of the many interpretations of his work that would (and did!) meet with total disapproval by Kuhn himself. In contrast to this misrepresented (at least as Kuhn would see it) view of Kuhnian “normal science,” Funtowicz and Ravetz (1993) advocate a new “post-normal science” that embraces uncertainty, interactive dialog, etc. This all seems to be motivated by genuine concerns about the limitations of the conventional science/policy interface in which facts are highly uncertain, values are being disputed, and decisions are urgent (Baker, 2007). Classical uniformitarianism was developed in the early 19th century to deal with problems of interpretation as to what the complex, messy signs (evidence, traces, etc.) of Earth’s actual past are saying to the scientists (mostly geologists) that were investigating them (i.e., what the Earth is saying to geologists), e.g.