Archive for 2009/08/28

The usage of scientific terms in agile

Being interested in the science around for example biologic evolution, one cannot help sometimes seeing patterns in the daily work. When Richard Dawkins discusses the concept of empathy in The Selfish Gene, I can for example see examples in agile values.

But seeing a likeness is not the same as the real thing. I cannot say that what I’m seeing is the same things in The Selfish Gene. It might be the same, but to use a scientific term in good conscience, I cannot.

Jurgen Appelo discusses this in his blog. He’s interested in Complexity Science and is not comfortable with the inclusion of scientific terms in agile everyday speech. When he points at examples, I cannot help agreeing. Being a part of the skeptic movement, I think we should all be weary of pseudo-science and the mal-usage of scientific terms. Just think about Einstein’s theories and how they are now used in the most unscientific manor.

I must confess that I was not aware of the field of complexity science and that these terms are used by that field. And this is of course always a risk, you start using a term unknowing that it’s also a scientific term. But this is not the case in the examples given.

Pseudo-science is never the right path and let us not help in the misuse of scientific terms.

Categories: Agile