ABSTRACT

Whig history is generally understood as a portrayal of past events that leads inexorably to a future state that is identified with the present, or, more likely, a projected end point that is a readily perceived extension of the present. The end point, whether realized in the present or in a future projection, is understood to be a desirable end, a maximization of human and historical potential. While Whig history may be discounted these days, it is apparent that there is a difference between the history of empires and the history of science. Despite the claims of its recent critics, modern science does progress, and, in the face of the criticism that asserts otherwise, it is important to make this case. Historical examples provide sufficient means to prove that science is a progressive enterprise in which prior events influence subsequent events, and provide a greater theoretical understanding of specific areas of the physical universe.