“Descriptive” in science is a pejorative, almost always preceded by “merely,” and typically applied to the array of classical -ologies and -omies: anatomy, archaeology, astronomy, embryology, morphology, paleontology, taxonomy, botany, cartography, stratigraphy, and the various disciplines of zoology, to name a few. But there is chronic misunderstanding as to what descriptive science actually is, and thus there is ignorance of its significance. This in turn imperils these disciplines and even the existence of fundamental knowledge in academia, as recent history teaches us.
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