Are there boundaries in modern science?

  • Thread starter Kerrie
  • Start date
  • #26
Les Sleeth
Gold Member
2,166
2
My meager contribution.

MUSH. Take mashed potatoes, peas, butter, scrambled eggs, milk, string beans, corn, carrots, gravy . . . (an actual breakfast dish of a friend of mine), mush them all together into a big pile in the middle of your plate, and then debate what each ingredient offers in the way of taste.

Science . . . it reveals what it reveals. If science doesn't reveal some aspect of reality, one cannot interpret that to mean an aspect of reality doesn't exist, or that science isn't valuable for what it does reveal.

Science has proven itself on the world stage better than all other knowledge disciplines combined; but then, it has such incredibly practical and obvious benefits to assess! Yet, I recognize in my life that what is most obvious isn't necessarily the most fulfilling.

So, I give science it's due . . . and reserve my deepest appreciation for what teaches me how to most deeply appreciate my life.
 
Last edited:
  • #27
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
Originally posted by Mentat
But Science (according to the Scientific Method) is supposed to deal only with replicable experimentation. As I've shown in other threads, you cannot experiment with something that is not physical (as you would have to have an intermediary that was neither physical nor non-physical between you (a physical being) and whatever non-physical thing you are studying).
But again you assume a static definition for what is physical.

I think we are talking about the difference between the methodology and the purpose and spirit of science. We must allow for faith based [hunches, lucky guesses, educated intuition] exploration and discovery. There is a difference between that required to support a theory and that worthy of exploration. How are we to prove the answer to a thing using the scientific method, before we can even explore the question or claim?

You all but disqualify fundamental research.

I guess that Darwin should have stayed home since he couldn't prove anything of value would come from his voyage.

Oh yes , I:wink: almost forgot that smilies annoy you
 
  • #28
1,481
0
I am a gardener. Over the years I have started many gardens in soil that was at least for my garden virgin. The first year with little more than breaking ground and planting seeds and seedlings I would have abeautiful bountiful garden with little or no work. My main task would be to thin prune and keep the plants as well as weed in check. The next year my garden would be attacked by disease and harmful pests and I would need to add soil conditioners and fertilizer. The year after that even with crop rotation, interplanting, compost, lime, fertilizers (natural and chemical) my garden would need constant care and vigilence, i.e. lots more work for less and less productivity.
For the last two hundred years or so we have been gardening on the virgin soil of knowledge and science. Each new crop of knowledge is getting harder and harder to reap. It is now much more expensive and much more work to just verify what we predict or know should happen. Yet still we plow the same ground over and over again. Every once in a while someone breaks new ground in science and the bounty is almost overwhelming. We can name these ground breakers on the fingers of our hands yet their are thousands of scientist that do the dirty work of digging out every last bit of knowledge contained in this new ground.

Yet it is the ground breakers, the explorers of new territory that shake and shape our world. Just think back of what it was like in 1900 when scientist thought that they might bee nearly done learning all that was to be known. They were nearly right as far as classical physics was concerned. But then along came relativity and quantum mechanics and nuclear physics. Who knows what's next or where the new ground will be broken?

I can gaurentee you that it will be somewhere that we least expect and is vertually unknown and even undreamed of now. Where ever it will be, it will be somewhere science has yet to look and somewhere where it is, to date, unproveable, unverifiable and unmeasureable. If it isn't then it isn't new ground and it isn't new exploratory science. It would be just plowing over and reworking the same old ground. We may glean a bit of new information out of it but it is reworking known scientific knowledge not doing new scientific discovery.
 
  • #29
FZ+
1,561
3
Originally posted by Royce
Well, that's the second time today that it has been proven to me that I am no philosopher. I still dream! BTW the partial quote was from Shakespear's Hamlet back when scientists were still concidered philosphers. The point is still well taken.
I still diagree vehemently with amadeus here. To me this appears an utter untruth, and I cannot comprehend how someone can agree with it. Did philosophers dream about quarks? Dark energy? That the pin-pricks of light we saw in the heavens were entire worlds? That in the mess of turbulence there is hidden beauty? That simplicity sits hand in hand with complexity? That empty space is neccessarily a hive of action? That great holes exist in space, swallowing up light? That reality is so intensely difference from what we intuitively thought? No - all we dreamed were ego-centric dreams, views of the world based on us, spiced up a little by man-like gods, ideals and fairies perhaps, but in the end going down to a chant of me, me, me!

It is good that we do not dream as we did. It is good that science tells us of the great picture, the great cosmic music of which we are but one, brief part. It is good that science has opened the eyes of philosophy, and that we no longer sleep, but strain our eyes to see. Even when we are speculating, dreaming or imagining, we now dream of the farthest shore, not attempting to exult ourselves. The good ideas of the past are not dead. They have merely seen light.
 
  • #30
1,481
0
I think, FZ+, that we were with tongue firmly in our cheeks speaking of some of the "philosophers" here in this forum, at least I was.
Maybe not so metamorphically speaking all that philosophers do is dream when they philosophize. All of the 'groundbreakers' and 'world shakers' were and are dreamers dreaming outside the box. To me that is what science is all about. Then comes the hard work of see and proving those dreams true or not.
 
  • #31
3,762
2
People, let's get something straight here: I have absolutely nothing against speculation. In fact, I encourage it, and heartily take part it in it myself.

I also have no objection to science's speculative nature (if reality was obvious to us, we'd have no need of science).

However, while learning (=philosophy) may have no boundaries, science (which is just one of many branches of philosophy) does - otherwise, it wouldn't be a branch, but just another name for "philosophy". Science is limited that which is repeatable in experimentation, and science is limited to "how", "what", "which", "where", and "when" questions, it cannot ask "why" questions.

These are not just my opinion, they are what I've gathered from studying the Scientific Method (philosophy of science). I don't see why it should trouble people on the Philosophy Forum that science has boundaries. The real question is: does Philosophy have boundaries?
 

Related Threads on Are there boundaries in modern science?

  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
40
Views
4K
Replies
121
Views
6K
Replies
2
Views
4K
Replies
5
Views
13K
Replies
4
Views
5K
Replies
21
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
Replies
19
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
4K
Top