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Is Science Man Made?

  1. Apr 30, 2012 #1
    Is Science a Man made Invention or something else? I think it's a man made invention. But I need more opinions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2012 #2
    What might be the alternative? We stole the idea of science from jellyfish?
  4. Apr 30, 2012 #3
    I was debating another science enthusiast, and he was insistent that religion was man made, and that science wasn't. He posted to me:
    "I don't think science is man made, though. any somewhat sentient organism uses it. some just don't realize it. "see something -> try something -> did it work? -> no, ok so try something else ->yes, ok do it again" is a pretty common thing."

    He claims the method isn't man made, but refined by man. I still claimed other wise. Just the idea that an animal is using what seems to be science, is still a man made invention.
  5. Apr 30, 2012 #4


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    This is not science. Science requires developing theories that make future predictions, then testing those predictions. Trial and error attempts to figure out how to do something is not science
  6. Apr 30, 2012 #5


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    The scientific method is a broad body of methods used to determine facts about the world around us and invent new tools. The fact that other living organisms may employ some form of observation --> hypothesis --> experiment --> conclude is neither here nor there (and there is no other organism that does do this to the extent and sophistication of man).
  7. Apr 30, 2012 #6
    Don't talk like that around Blasto...
    That Jellyfish has got a sting!
  8. Apr 30, 2012 #7

    Science is Man made as well as Language is.

    What science treats or describes in other words Natural Law is worth arguing.

  9. Apr 30, 2012 #8


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    Science is the study of what is around us. What we call "science" meets certain criteria.

    Definition of science Merriam Webster

    Religion on the other hand are stories and myths written by man requiring only faith.

    Religion definition Merriam Webster

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  10. Apr 30, 2012 #9
    I earlier posted on PhysicsForums: General Discussion > Politics & World Affairs > Topic : Tennessee to teach the controversy
    (msg. #158 https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=589518&page=10)

    On that topic I gave a link (http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?recordid=11876) to a document from the NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES and Institute of Medicine. If you read further down from article I present you will read:

    "As SCIENCE, EVOLUTION, AND CREATIONISM makes clear, the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith. Science and religion are different ways of understanding the world. Needlessly placing them in opposition reduces the potential of each to contribute to a better future," the book says.

    "SCIENCE, EVOLUTION, AND CREATIONISM is the third edition of a publication first issued in 1984 and updated in 1999. The current book was published jointly by the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine, and written by a committee chaired by Francisco Ayala, Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, department of ecology and evolutionary biology, University of California, Irvine, and author of several books on science and religion."

    The book is now free. You can read it here: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11876&page=1
  11. May 2, 2012 #10
    The best analogy for this that I can think of is probably from Robert Anton Wilson.

    "Don't confuse the map with the territory."

    Because things like math and science are based in part on observation of preexisting phenomenon, and since math and science are abstract/intangible themselves, people have a tendency to blur the line between what already existed and what was contributed by humans. Where the example of the scientist and their science may seem to have a fuzzy relationship with reality we have no such trouble with the cartographer and their maps. Science is a tool for describing phenomena in reality the same way that a map is a tool for describing phenomena in reality. No one questions that maps and cartography are "man made" because there is an obvious and tangible distinction between "map" and "territory". Now if only they could see the similarity with science and math.
  12. May 2, 2012 #11
    That was a very excellent way of putting it. During my argument, I brought up something similar to that. I was trying to explain that abstract ideas seem to be a human thing. It is what appears to separate us from other primates. Not to mention, I also find that animals do exhibit, at times, religious behavior. This happens when they correlate random phenomenon with their behavior. That could in time create a religious belief, with supernatural answers. Science, doesn't allow such answers. "Thou Shalt not use the supernatural."
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2012
  13. May 2, 2012 #12


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    I am unaware of any serious scientific studies that present data for religious behavior in animals. You have also fallen into a common fallacy of assuming that science has a dogmatic statement against the "supernatural", but you cannot use unfounded explanations because it gets you worse than nowhere because not only does it have no explanatory power it often gives you the illusion or explanatory power. Of course science investigates the supernatural and supernatural claims, it just never finds any evidence for it.
  14. May 2, 2012 #13
    FYI: There is this famous claim for superstition in pigeons:


    Whether or not you would put superstition in the same class as religion is another matter.
  15. May 4, 2012 #14
    I stand corrected. Not religious behavior, but superstitious behavior.
    If we were to allow any supernatural explanations, than science would still be in the realm of alchemy and astrology, and worse of all, ID/Creationism. Science only deals with natural phenomenon, it wouldn't be able to validate a supernatural claim, because then that would lie outside the realm of science. My statement was pretty foolish, although, I was under the influence that science was about the investigation into the natural.
  16. May 4, 2012 #15


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    Science predicts the future based on measurable [and measured] properties of the environment. Religion predicts the future based on supernatural authority. Both methods produce incredible results, but, science produces repeatable results.
  17. May 4, 2012 #16


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    I question the validity of the statement on the basis of one very old paper but I digress.
    I think part of the problem here is the use of the term supernatural. As chronos says if something is measurable then it can be investigated by science, since the vast majority of supernatural claims/beliefs involve some sort of measurable event it isn't correct to say science can't investigate it. How often to we see crackpots on the internet, TV, magazines etc saying "science can't investigate the supernatural" before claiming that ghosts move objects or psychics dream the future etc. Essentially they are saying that there is a measurable phenomenon (they must be considering they are claiming they have measured it) but then saying science can't investigate it. It's wrong, it's a poor argument that attempts to define their beliefs beyond investigation and critique.
  18. May 4, 2012 #17
    I've read about Skinner's Pigeons in recent psychology textbooks. I believe zoobyshoe was using that as an example. This was a classic experiment, not to mention the fact that the web page was called psychology Classics. This is a real effect. People debate about for Skinner's experiment, but only in the context of whether it is operant conditioning or classical.
  19. May 4, 2012 #18
    IIRC anthropologists have ruled out that science and religion compete with each other and have same purpose. Purpose of religion is noy predicting futures. It neither has to have a supernatural authority.

    Personally, I also believe religion serves different purposes which science doesn't and vice versa. It makes no sense to compare the two.
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  20. May 4, 2012 #19


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    Why do people insist to try to compare science and religion? To be completely honest, the two have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
  21. May 4, 2012 #20
    well they both explain things that are mysterious
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