re-reading through peter kropotkin and the history of anarchist theory generally, i conclude again that he is a very impressive person and a very wide-ranging intellectual, as well as the best theorist that anarchism has produced, by quite a ways. one excellent set of moments in modern science and anarchism, is where he gently but definitely points out that the claims of various political theorists - especially those influenced by hegel - to science, are ridiculous. he has a go at the 'dialectical method', for example, which many people took seriously and took to be scientific. well, he is puncturing the pretensions not only of marx, but of proudhon, for instance. all you have to say is that the thing is not driven by observation or experiment: it is a purely a priori conceptual structure into which data are jammed. or fourier, or comte: that their views constitute science is their most characteristic assertion, but lord knows what they can possibly mean by 'science': they certainly do not mean that their results are based on systematic empirical observation that is open to whatever is actual. when they foretell the future, and it happens to be the future they want, they call that science (marx is the very most extreme case of this). when their opponents disagree, they just respond that you can't argue with science. it's quite disingenuous or self-deceived, and it is certainly ridiculous.
now kropotkin appeals to science too, but he was actually a distinguished geographer and naturalist. his own deployments of science - for example in the utter refutation of social darwinism/hobbesian justifications of state power in mutual aid - have their own difficulties, or their own slippage between the descriptive and the normative - but they have something to do with actual science, and he has thought long and hard about what that actually means.
we live in an era of renewed scientism, conducted on an extremely primitive level: the left accuses the right of not believing what science says. or any disagreement with the latest study, contradicting the last one and the next one, is savaged as irrationality. man if you look at the history of science and then believe whatever 'science' 'says' right now, you really have failed at basic induction. and the idea of 'what science says' - as though science was a person with a voice - is a mere appeal to the authority of scripture and a mysterious priesthood. and of course people are still claiming the mantle of science for whatever politics they want, or making it equivalent to the political program of the democratic party or something. if you disagree with al gore's plans for a world regulatory regime, you don't accept 'science'. or a candidate for office might actually be asked whether he 'believes in science', for pity's sake. science is something with a definite set of assertions and values that you accept or reject, quite like - or more than merely like - a religion.
the first thing to say about science - actual science - is that it is open to criticism: critically, independently assessing the results of science is science. if you have to accept whatever psychologists or brain boys or string theorists say on pain of being irrational = heretical, then science is impossible. the people who beat this drum are killing what they purport to love. and if people are interpreting scientific results as entailing their own pre-existing political positions: well, you should regard everything else they say with extreme scepticism. it's definitely not going to be actual science that tells you what to do or who to vote for or what policies to prefer, so if someone is saying that it does, they've got nothing to do with science except as its betrayers.