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Featured Science - Who Needs It

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by nPeace, May 17, 2019.

  1. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    Wow!

    This sounds like whining for the good old days, where you can live in blissful ignorance. Or for the days when Christians used to dob on their neighbors or family of alleged heresy or practising witchcraft, so you could gleefully watch them being tortured and burned at the stakes.
     
  2. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    In your first post: "Thus the world is divided into Scientists, who practice the art of infallibility, and non-scientists, sometimes contemptuously called "laymen," who are taken in by it."

    Also you are constantly referring to 'those scientists?' in negative generalizations, and egos without clarification. You totally misrepresent science by referring to the negative 'personalities' of individuals, which is not science. Science has self-correcting methods of peer review and redundant research, reevaluation, and commentary on previous works. Research that is not repeatable and is flawed is weeded out over time.

    I am still waiting for your definition of 'good science,' since you have at present only resorted to vague character assassinations of unnamed scientists. I gave mine, and I am waiting . . .
     
    #62 shunyadragon, May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  3. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Well, that's a question of philosophy to which there is no easy answer: "What constitutes science?"

    Using your logic everyone in human history is a scientist, and everyone is doing science whenever they fix a leaky tap or try to find a way to stop the ac making a funny noise. You are a scientist when you are cooking your dinner just the way you like it. The first caveman who clumped another one over the head with a club was a scientist and monkeys do science when they fish for termites with a stick.

    Ancient guilds certainly used trial and error, but they often had absolutely no idea why certain things worked better than others, they just did. They also didn't care about the underlying scientific principles behind making a sword, they simply passed on the art from master to apprentice.

    When modern experimental science emerged, it was mocked for being ivory tower intellectualism and having no practical benefits. It was practically the opposite of ancient metalwork, etc. which was purely about practical artisanship. Just like how birds need no knowledge of physics to be able to fly, you don't need to be able to understand why something works in order to make it work.

    Practical technological innovation has driven science far more than science has driven technological innovation. In technology, the progress usually comes before the knowledge, not after it (unless you adopt a very broad definition of science that makes practically every human activity 'scientific' that is).

    That people get these the wrong way round is a shame as it does have practical implications for identifying the best ways to create progress in the modern world.

    How would you define science anyway?
     
  4. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Scientists?
     
  5. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Trivia time. Monty Python got it wrong, everyone targeted by the spanish inquisition expected it. Thirty days before their "ordeal" they received a hand delivered instruction to prepare their case.

    And the stock markets/hedge funds etc are using chaotic AI systems, but no way will they release it to Joe public, it makes them too much money.
     
  6. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I had malaria, a mosquito born viral disease. I would be dead without medicine for malaria, or the blood tests needed to detect it in time. I was 5 then.
    I also had a lymphatic infection in my leg that spread rapidly. It came from some cut I had when swimming in the sea. Without a course of anti-fungal medicine, it would have led to blood-poisoning and kill me. I was 11 then.
    A few years back a hurricane passed through the neighborhood we lived in. Fortunately, there were scientific weather models that warned us ahead of time so that the town could be evacuated. Thus our lives were saved though there were damages.

    There are scores of such instances.

    Humans don't need science is they wish to wallow in ignorance and in the pre-industrial way of life when most humans born died before the age of one and very few humans ever travelled outside of their hamlet, disconnected and ignorant of the greater world and the universe beyond and 99% of the rest doing brack-breaking labour in the fields till they died in abject poverty. The ability to live and the quality of lived experiences have increased exponentially in quality and meaning because of science and technology, as well as the potential ways we could choose to live our lives. Science and Technology is an essential part in making our lives as rich and as meaningful as they are today.

    Understand this. Most of us don't merely wish to survive. We wish to thrive, achieve that which seems out of reach or even impossible. Test and overcome every limitation that is before us....for ourselves and our children. I certainly hope that humans of the future will explore and colonize every solar system in our galaxy and go even beyond, that they will create and seed life in planets that are today lifeless, that they will live for millennia, that ultimately they will be able to create new universes even. None of these are impossible, and they exist as potentials to be realized by every conscious kind that emerges in this universe. And I am rooting for my kind to do this first.

    How do you propose any of this can be done without science and technology (and also arts, literature, music and creative imagination and effort)?

    Why do you wish to regress to the isolated dark drudgery of the past eons? What makes it so attractive? Do you want to be a mother who fears either she or her baby will die during childbirth? Do you want to sit and watch helplessly as all who you know die in plagues that decimate the community? Do you want to live knowing that all you will ever do is work 15 hours in the field all your life and still going hungry at night till the end of your life?

    People imagined beautiful heavens because they hated how they lived on earth and desperately clung on to the hope that after death they will go to a better life. What was better about that earthly life then that created such escapism? Still 50% of the world's people live in such distress...but its 49% less than what it was in 1400 s. We can and will reduce that want, that poverty, that insecurity to zero...till every human has a future in life that is something to look forward to. It may take 50 years or 500...but it can only be done with the assistance of knowledge we gain from science and implementation through technology (along with political and social efforts).

    That is the general reason why I believe science to be essential to the flourishing of humankind. But whether human society wishes to flourish or not is a choice that is up to ourselves alone.

    But there is a spiritual reason as well. Science (and Math) are the purest and most sincere human effort in the search for the truths of existence that I have ever encountered. And the truth is a fundamental property of the Ultimate Reality that we Hindus call the Brahman. Thus seeking truths about the world and of ourselves is a fundamental spiritual path in its own right...the Way of Knowledge or Gnana. And I practice this spiritual path by my practice of science. I do other things also, but clearly, for me, science is a spiritual calling that brings me in contact with Brahman.

    As our scripture says:-

    Truth alone prevails, not falsehood.
    By truth the path is laid out, the Way of the Gods,
    on which the seers, whose every desire is satisfied,
    proceed to where resides That Which Always Is,
    the highest treasure attained by truth.


    Science certainly treads this path...though there are many ways to travel.
     
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  7. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    No, not the same logic at all. The primitive science is when new technology results as in the history of stone technology and metallurgy. If you read my previous post you would have realized it.

    Scientists today do not always know what the results of their research will be In the history of metallurgy there were definite goals of coming up with stronger more durable metal tools and weapons. Actually in the Neolithic they experimented with different stone and bone to determine which is more suitable for a given use like: which stone is the most durable and hardest yet workable and not brittle, and which types of bone make the best tools.

    By the evidence science came first through trial and error and specific goal research testing to come up with new technology. Pretty much all the scientists and inventors used existing knowledge through research primitive or modern sophisticated research to come up with new knowledge and technology technology, and this is used to come up with new knowledge.
     
    #67 shunyadragon, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  8. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    They are all examples of carrying out a practical activity through trial and error in order to produce a desired superior outcome. This is the process of most historical technological development, yet you said most technological development develops from science.

    Unless you are saying it's only science when it produces something new, it is the same logic.

    When I cook something, I often have a definite goal of making it taste nicer than before by modifying the techniques I am using. This is exactly the same process used by armourers and other artisans, as well as inventors going through iterative improvements in their creations.

    Which is a chef not a 'scientist' when trying out different food recipes/techniques, but someone using different 'recipes'/techniques to make metals is doing science?

    What is your definition of science that includes the latter, but not the former?
     
  9. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    There is a difference between developing new basic knowledge such as new metal mixes by scientific methods, and developing new applications of these metals as 'applied technologies' as the armourer in the Bronze and Iron Age, and later, then as we do today developing new basic knowledge through science that is applied to develop new 'applied technologies.'


    No, it is not the same, when you are cooking you are basically using the same science and technology of food that came before you. You are not cooking with poisons, because of the knowledge that proceeds your efforts. The armourers are developing and designing technologies using the metals of metallurgy that were developed before testing and mixing different metals and temperatures by the testing and research with goals.

    If the chef is developing new and different foods that are applied as new technology not used before the chef is using scientific methods to develop foods. Actually scientific research today develops new ingredientes, and cooking methods that in turn are used to develop new 'applied technologies' for the chef to develop new foods.

    Science uses scientific methods with a goal to develop something new that was not available before to use to develop and design new technologies using the discoveries achieved by scientific methods, as the armourer develops and designs new technologies of war based on the scientific research in metallurgy developed with goals and different basic metals to make harder and more durable metals. There is abundant evidence for this process of development of new metals in the evolution of metallurgy in the Bronze and Iron Age. The new metals came first and the new technologies of tools and weapons followed, based on archaeological evidence..

    There is a very real difference in the history of science and science applied to new technologies that acknowledges these differences, and our education system is divided this way. There are the basic sciences like Biology, Physics, and Chemistry, and there are applied technologies like Engineering that use advances in the basic sciences to develop and design new technologies. The 'applied technologies' such as engineering can develop and design new technologies for science to use the new technologies to develop new scientific knowledge.

    The process of the relationship between scientific development of new metals and composites, and the development of new applied technologies for these metals and composites continues today. Science developed new alloys using Titanium, and composites using carbon, and industries developed new applied technologies for the new materials.
     
    #69 shunyadragon, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  10. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    The human animal needs those things to survive. The human BEING (consciousness) requires much more then that.
     
  11. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    What are these "scientific methods"?

    People identified what worked and what didn't via trial and error, constructing a scientific theory of why it worked was of no importance to the artisan.

    The 'science' came after the technology (often a long time after), not before it. You would have it that the artisans learned 'scientific theories', then used this abstract knowledge to devise new practical techniques.

    Think of building a cathedral, the (illiterate) artisans were not using mathematical physics to calculate resistance, load bearing, etc. they were using practical heuristics and 'tricks of the trade' passed down to them by master craftsmen.

    For something to be "science" it must be innovative? That's not something I've ever seen as part of the definition.

    I'm often not following any guidelines though, just combining different things that seem like a good fit and seeing if they work. Just like the people in the past were with their metals.

    What are "scientific methods" though? Can you define science without using a tautology for clarity please?

    And I agree that the metals came first, they also came long before any scientific explanation of why they had the characteristics they did.

    As noted above, ancient builders were not constructing buildings using scientific theories, but practical heuristics. The "why" was far less important than the "how" as most people didn't have the education, time or desire to engage in abstract theorising with no practical benefits.

    People make the mistake of assuming that the most common process is theory leading to practice, yet in reality it is the exact opposite.
     
  12. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    The goals to develop new metals that are more durable and harder, and the experimental trials of mixing different metals to achieve the results.

    Why has never been a 'necessary' criteria for scientific methods. Newton never asked 'why' gravity worked the way it did he just did the experiments and math to show how gravity worked at the macro scale, We still do not know 'why' gravity behaves the way it does. Science did not know 'why' atoms and electrons behaved the way they did until the science of Quantum Mechanics explained why the basic particles of matter and atoms behaved the way they do. We do not know 'why' Quantum Mechanics does what it does, but that does not prevent the scientific research to prevent hypothesis concerning the behavior of the basic particles, and energy and matter at the Quantum level.

    Scientific methods evolved over the history of humanity, and did not suddenly appear.

    Those that developed the new harder and tougher metals, of course, did know 'why' the metals behaved the way the did, but like Newton and contemporary scientists they did not know 'why.'

    The bold is actually true, and confirmed by archaeology.

    Absolutely false as explained by the history of science and technology as explained. As explained the basic science of metallurgy came first before the applied technology of the armourer and the tool maker can apply the new knowledge to technology. The archaeology has confirmed this.

    The tricks of the trade had to be developed first by scientific methods before they could be applied technologies in cathedral building.




    The development of new metals over time through the Bronze and Iron Ages was indeed innovative. These new innovations had to come first before the armourer could apply them to new technologies.
     
    #72 shunyadragon, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  13. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    Why did it take so long for somebody to ask this?
     
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  14. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Why is this "science" any more than me mixing ingredients in my kitchen in order to create new combinations of foods?

    Newton constructed a theory which explained why objects were attracted to each other. It explained a process we already knew existed.

    Primitive metallurgy wasn't explanatory, it was purely practical. Later on people could use science to explain why certain metals were stronger. Science was explaining something that already existed.

    That's ridiculous. Think about it.

    Can you explain how archaeology confirms that artisans first learned "scientific theories", then used these theories to invent new metals?

    The metals were the new technology. The metal was a new technology before it was made into a sword or whatever. Doesn't mean that they first learned scientific theories, then used these to construct a new metal. They made the metal through trial and error, not abstract theorising.

    The "science" of metallurgy was really the development of practical techniques through trial and error.

    Was the first monkey to use a stick to eat termites doing science?


    What are these "scientific methods" you keep referring to. It was simply trial and error which led to the development of heuristics and tricks of the trade.

    You just rely on tautology to claim its science.

    Is all trial and error science? Are all innovations 'science' by definition?

    You missed the point. You claimed that science has to be innovative, I disagreed. According to your definition, replicating an experiment isn't science.

    Anyway, can you define science in a non-tautological manner as you still haven't done so?

    Also can you also differentiate a scientific method, from a non-scientific method?
     
  15. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Nothing new or discovered in the foods in your kitchen that is cooked everywhere else.


    Absolutely no, he did not discovery 'why' he discovered 'how' they are attracted. To discover why he had to explain 'why' gravity, and we have not even done that today.

    There is absolutely nothing in the scientific methods that it has to be explanatory 'why,' and this old turf even today science DOES NOT necessarily have to be explanatory. You are foolishly grasping at straws to justify an anti-science agenda.

    Plainly factual, your inability to respond coherently is ridiculous, think about it.

    You are not asking the right questions. You are making loaded remarks. The archaeological evidence shows initial results of first developing new metals, and their successes and failures. The first iron object in Egypt was a knife owned by the Pharaoh, and the later iron objects show the progression of the experimental efforts as the composition of iron improved and iron implements became more common. The history of bronze and other copper, zinc and nickel alloys is similar.

    No the new metals are new discoveries by scientific methods of testing various combinations to come up with the toughest and strongest metals. The 'applied technology of using these metals as tools and weapons.

    With a goal to develop new metals by scientific methods.

    Foolishly non-relevant and an insult to science.

    Already covered that.

    You just rely on tautology to reject science

    Trial and error is a part of science. It is not only trial and error. It is also experimental goals based on the knowledge of metals and goals to create new metals based on desired specifications. This is science.

    No science does not have to be innovative, but yes innovation can be a part of the scientific method. Replicating experiments is a part of science.

    It has already been done. Are you literate. Look it up.

    Also can you also differentiate a scientific method, from a non-scientific method?[/QUOTE]
     
  16. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Science or math by themselves are meaningless, but what makes them meaningful are their potential applications.
     
  17. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    True to a certain extent. Math is the descriptive tool box for science and everyday life, and science is descriptive of the nature of our physical existence from the human perspective. What is specifically meaningful in science and math is problematic to predetermine in advance. It is often the case that the meaningfulness of science cannot be assessed until many years after the discoveries and advancements of science.
     
  18. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    If it doesn't have to be innovative, why isn't it science to get a desired outcome via trial and error with food, yet it is with metal?

    Again, can you explain the difference between trial and error that is not science, and trial and error that is science? (without using the term "scientific methods")

    Scientific methods that you can't differentiate from non-scientific methods even though you have been repeatedly asked.

    (Cue the standard SD response: "I could, I just don't want to")

    Or alternatively you are operating under a half-baked assumption that you cannot logically justify so you go back to the usual ad homs.

    It's a bit odd to think it is somehow "anti-science" to suggest there is a difference between "science" and "not science".

    It's called the demarcation problem, and is a major feature of the philosophy of science.

    I asked you how you differentiate between the 2, but you just said science is when you do stuff using scientific methods, which is a tautology.

    You seem not to know what that word means ;)

    And demarcation is not "rejecting".

    So, no you can't define science without resorting to tautology. Thanks for clarifying.
     
  19. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Your food issue may or may not be truly trial and error, because you have not defined your hypothesis to come up with anything new with food, which is unlikely since you are just coming up with possible different combination of food and nothing new. If you come up with new combinations of unknown foods in a new hypothesis, maybe, but you have not presented anything meaningful.

    The case of the metals of the Bronze and Iron Age they were developing metals and metal mixes that never existed before.

    Trial and error that is not science does not have a goal and hypothesis as science does. Trial and error in science has a goal and hypothesis. The original developers for new blends metals from their existing knowledge of basic metals, had goals and hypothesis for the desired result. Even in the Neolithic they had basic knowledge of rocks and comparing different rocks and materials for the desired need, and experimented with the materials they presently knew and applied their knowledge testing new materials they found, and traded with other tribes and cultures..
     
    #79 shunyadragon, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  20. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    Gonna toss a couple cents here:
    There isn't. Food science is a major research and industry field with lots of branches. What you're doing at home is a lay version of it, like the milk and soap food coloring activity kids do which teaches some very basic chemistry and physics principals.
     
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