Analogy in Science? Possible or not.

A yellow caution sign that you may see on a road that reads
A yellow caution sign that you may see on a road that reads “CAUTION” Is written in yellow surrounded by a black rounded rectangle. “ANALOGIES AHEAD PROTECTIVE HEADGEAR MUST BE WORN IN THIS AREA.” Underneath these words are a viking helmet, a hardhat, a space helmet, and what may be a hockey mask (I’m not sure what it is, to be honest)

Stylistic devices like metaphor and analogy likewise cannot be condoned; they undercut a semantics of identity between words and things.

(Gross 17)


So, I can understand where Gross is coming from here.  Metaphor and Analogy as they are typically understood do not fit within science.  But, what if we look at them from almost a metaphorical perspective?

Okay, after reading that, I realize it doesn’t make any sense, so here is another way of saying it: What if a scientist talks about a different study that was done and say, “Our results are consistent with their results.”  Isn’t that sort of a metaphor or analogy?  Because they are talking about something that is not explicitly their own and saying, “What we found is just like what they found” which seems like a metaphor to me.

After typing this, I decided that I wanted to look a bit more at analogy vs. metaphor.  I think the word that I am looking for is analogy because the definition, according to copyblogger.com is when:

the presenter of an analogy will often demonstrate how two things are alike by pointing out shared characteristics, with the goal of showing if two things are similar in some ways, they are similar in other ways as well.

So, apparently an analogy means you are illustrating a relationship between two seemingly different things, kind of like scientific studies.

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