In general, although Benjamin Whorf was obviously well-read and has mastered the use of language, I find him to be rather culture bound and egocentric. Although he is able to construct his writing in such a way as to appear intellectual to the average person by using a large number of obscure and obtuse words, his words say very little. His claims about language are, in general, very egotistical. He seems to think linguists superior to the rest of the world because they understand the concepts of language when no one else has. However, he makes one glaring error: he makes rather biased comments and then blames the failings of linguistics on other disciplines.
Benjamin Whorf claimed that scientific thought is a specialization of Indo-European cultural systems but this view ethnocentric at best, exclusionary at worst. Scientific thought has existed in many cultures throughout history. The ancient Egyptians and Arabs developed mathematics, the Maya had a calender accurate to todays standards, the Chinese developed gunpowder and the Assyrians were the first to smelt iron. Not only did all of these cultures developed great leaps in scientific understanding without having an Indo-European culture, Indo-European culture did not even exist at the point these advances were made. Modern western culture did not develop science nor does it specialize in it anymore than previous cultures, while it may seem to be at the forefront of research in modern society, it is not because of western culture, but rather of the advances that were created previously that allowed western culture to increase the percentage of its population able to devote their lives to science. Even if you were to take his comment to mean that Indo-European languages use the same term to refer to many different things based on perception, he has still made a very exclusionary comment.
He also stated that science finds it difficult to be strictly factual because of the conflicting ways that different disciplines approach concepts linguistically. However, this is not a fault of science but of the relativity that pervades language itself. When a simple word like set can have 119 different meanings how can a complex concept such as space have the same meaning when applied to very different fields. This argument should not be to question sciences factuality as it is, by definition, based in fact, instead it should question the ability of language to support and explain the science. Linguistics, unlike science, is not based in fact. Linguistics is a collection of symbols each with a different meaning that are agreed to represent a theme, object or idea by a group of individuals. Therefore, although there is overlap between the dialects of the sciences, this does not harm the science but rather the interpretation of the science by people from outside the group. Although Whorf uses science as his example and questions science on the basis of different meanings for the same word, this inaccurate symbolism of language is not limited to the sciences. Words like set with 119 meanings or the notorious there, they’re and their evidences that it is not science that causes the problems: current linguistics itself is incapable of adequately transmitting information in any sort of standard form.