The Purpose of Science

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Servant, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. Technar Registered Senior Member

    Suggesting a context for the thread's subject.

    On planet Earth there is life. That life is a self-preserving system. Hence, science is one of the ways by which the system atapts to changes in itself and in environment surrounding it.

    The colonization of Mars will considerably increase the chance of the system for survival.
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  3. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    I'm confused Servant ...

    You start this thread in 'Science & Society' with the question
    and then take a position that is religiously oriented and try to maintain it.

    Why didn't you start the thread under either 'Philosophy' or 'Religion'?

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  5. tetra Hello Registered Senior Member

    Science's purpose is to make things easier and better for mankind.
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  7. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Science is the search for knowledge.

    Of all the creatures on the planet man has shown himself to exibit a degree of curiosity way beyond any other lifeform. All the while this desire exists then science will proceed from strength to strength.

    As we learn more then the need to categorize and cross-reference become even more important. That cross-linking supports and allows even more possibilities for discovery.

    Science is the result of Man's curiosity - knowledge.

  8. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

  9. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    The problem with this thread starts right at the beginning. The premise that 'science' has a purpose is incorrect. Servant, what you have done here is to make a category mistake; you're giving 'science' an attribute it cannot possibly have. The word purpose entails some sort of teleology. Science is a human created process, it is a method. Therefore, the only 'purpose' science can have is exactly the one that we give it, the way in which we use the method. Check out Thomas Kuhn if you're interested in this.
  10. Pennysong Registered Member

    the only faith a scientist needs is faith in reality.
  11. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    Pennysong ...

    'Faith in reality'? Or faith in his vision of reality?
  12. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

    Science is the acummulation of knowledge via the falsification of competing ideas.

    To what purpose is it put beyond that is up the the person with a particular motive.
  13. Amis Registered Member

    Science has a purpose

    All human behaviour is purposeful, whether we are aware of these intentions or not. As science is a human invention it also has a purpose. The Scientific method is used to try and evaluate between the different perspectives (theories) on what reality is. Science is inevitably also used for practical applications which can be to better the condition of humanity but can also be detrimental. The consequenses of scientific descovery can also be unforeseen by the original creators of scientific knowledge, such as the creation of the atomic bomb and depleted uranium ammunition. It is naivistic to assume that if the scientist has good intentions the research will not do harm. Scientists should not ignore the fact that science will be used for purposes and should wake up to the fact that science has the authority that once belonged to religious institutions and this authority comes with responsibility.

    The process of science is not just simply accumulative, there are paradigmatic changes which can lead to the accumulated 'reliable' and scientifically tested knowledge to become inept. Just think of Newton and Einstein. Science is not just about slowly uncovering the truth or reality but is inevitably affected by the interpretations and perspectives of scientists. I doubt there will ever be a definite answer to the universal laws of the universe. This is simply because there will always be the possibility of a different interpretation of reality that cannot be objectively solved by the use of the Scientific method because the method itself does not interpret the finding but humans do.
  14. TheMadCalliope Registered Member

    Excellent question, Servant.

    In purely scientific terms, science has no purpose whatsoever.

    When some will suggest that the existence of life gives reason to consider a higher power at work concerning a universe which allows evolution to take place, there are many in the scientific community who will argue that this is inadmissable because life is no more than a random side effect of chemical processes and does not matter in the universe.

    In purely objective terms, they are correct in saying so, although why they bother to participate in life itself, let alone such a debate, is questionable by those same terms.

    Any answer to your question of the purpose of science, from feeding the world and conquering disease to the possible goal of rendering earth uninhabitable for complex life, will be subjective in nature. The objective stance will never answer why anything matters, including science.
  15. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    All purposes are subjective, aren't they? The purpose of science is to find things out.

    A higher power doesn't necessarily have anything to do with having a satisfying life, but we are conditioned to think so.
  16. Myles Registered Senior Member

    Baloney. Einstein did not believe in god, as some would have us believe. Read his remarks , the ones to which I believe you are referring. in context as opposed to the nonsense put about by Creationist sites. Alternatively , you might like to show me some evidence to support your claim.

    I am very interested in what you have to offer concerning science and religion confirming each other.

    Man does not live by science alone. We have paintingl, music, literature , theatre and, not least. our ability to enjoy and wonder at nature. The notion of god is not necessary to leading a fulfilling life.
    Last edited: May 6, 2008
  17. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    I suppose people can't live by science alone. But we have other things; music, love, art, sports, philosophy, etc...
  18. Myles Registered Senior Member

    What I cannot live with is bullshit
  19. Gustav Banned Banned

    i have determined, employing a radiometric dating system, that this thread is approximately 8 years old. i have also located certain fossils that are tentatively identified and matched to the humanoid known as the Servant

    i offer you my condolences
  20. Myles Registered Senior Member

    Well, it's a bit late now. You might have told me earlier.
  21. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    The purpose of science is the pleasure of finding things out.
  22. FelixC Registered Senior Member

    Cris: you mean technology, science was a late comer, we been tool makers before we even knew about agriculture, (this is all pre-history), science & math didn't become real until the Greeks & Egyptians (I guess 3 k ago), then serious during the Renaiscence, Enlightenment
  23. CharonZ Registered Senior Member

    Do not bloody say that. They are gonna cut all our funds :bawl:

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