why is science important?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Tedman"Xp", Jan 28, 2002.

  1. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

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    If you feel compelled to assuage your sense of authoriative inadequacy by resorting to imagining your audience to be collectively naked then you should be in the audience listening to someone more authoritative than yourself.
     
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  3. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    ?? Just a joke!!!

    I was just kidding! Have anyone ever told you that... It was just a joke!! Can you be less serious?...Thanks!

    Blessings,
    Nelson
     
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  5. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

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    I wasn't getting personal, I was just stating a truth -- hard won over two+ decades of active public speaking experience.

    Picturing your audience naked is good for sauving your fears and getting you through your first public speaking experience/venue, or two.

    However, what gets you and your audiences through the rest of your public speaking experiences is substance.

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  7. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    I totally agree with you.

    Blessings,
    Nelson
     
  8. Tristan Leave your World Behind Valued Senior Member

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    Muhahahahahaha

    (Scruffle, Schuffle) (Kaplunk!, Swish, Swash)

    Ah Ha! Here it is! Though i dont feel like qouting like 20 pages. SO i suggest you read "The Demon-Haunted World" By Carl Sagan of course. And trust me, it really...well.... enlightens you. both for Scientists and religious people alike. Im at a really good part. Maybe if I have some free time later Ill comit my self to typing some good stuff from his book.

    Oh and Mr.G, Carl Sagan rocks. You know why i couldnt find "non-sequitur"? Because, as you probably already know, its Latin. Meaning

    Direct Quote from Carl Sagan as he outlines some Fallacies

    " - non sequiter- Latin for "It Doesn't follow" (e.g. Our nation will prevail because God is great. But nearly every nation pretends this to be true; the German formulation was "Gott mit uns"). Often those falling into the non sequiter fallacy have simply failed to recognize alternative possibilites"

    And Mr. G lets see if you can figure this on out. It frequently applies to religion

    "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc"
     
  9. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

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    Tristan ...

    Is that really supposed to be a challenge when Google is available?

    Hell, it took me not even ten seconds to check it out and I'm not the
    brightest candle around.

    Take care

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  10. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Now, now,.. Tristan, you should know that under quantum interpretation, post hoc, ergo prompter hoc would be fallacious.
    In modal logic, the law of excluded middle does not apply, neither does strict interpretations of material implication.

    In any case, the answer to the Thread question is quite simple:

    scince is important because it can accomplish everything Luddites cannot.

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  11. Tristan Leave your World Behind Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.sciforums.com/t5445/s/thread.html
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Check it out.


    "An Ancient chinese proverb advises, 'Better to be too credulous than too skeptical,' but this is from an extremely conservatice society in which stability was much more prized than freedom and where the rulers had a powerful vested interest in not being challenged. Most scientists, I believe, would say, 'Better to be too skeptical than too credulous.'"

    Carl Sagan "The Demon-Haunted World"
     
  12. orthogonal Registered Senior Member

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    579
    "Science is a tool for reaching goals, not for setting them."
    D. Calne

    The proper use of the scientific method increases the likelihood that certain of our predictions will be correct. Science is an amoral tool which may be employed to build weapons of mass destruction or it may be used to find cures for diseases.

    Despite the high value I place on the scientific method, I feel it is a tragedy that our present culture values science above philosophy. We are a cult in danger of worshiping the hammer; while forgetting that the purpose of the hammer was to build ourselves a home.

    Michael
     
  13. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    I completely agree with orthogonal!

    There is only a word for that... : Perfection

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    That's it! Actually, I always talked at school about the importance of teaching phylosophy... they got it once... but the students didn't liked very much and they stopped... they shouldn't...

    Blessings,
    Nelson
     
  14. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Science is important because it is the only valid process for establishing knowledge.

    Philosophy does not establish knowledge but uses the results from science as components in its arguments.

    Religion is the opposite of science since it is entirely based on an alleged supernatural realm whereas science is entirely based on the real or natural.

    Science is important because it provides hope for a safer, happier, healthier, and longer life for all humans.

    Without science, or rather the attribute of human curiosity that led to modern science, we would still all be living in caves.

    Hope that helps.
    Cris
     
  15. orthogonal Registered Senior Member

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    Cris,

    I agree with nearly all of your above post. I thought perhaps I should take a moment to try and explain more clearly my earlier remarks.

    To be perfectly frank, I was a bit worried when TruthSeeker so readily agreed with me about the importance of philosophy over that of science. I returned to this thread so that I might remind him that philosophy is not just a matter of sitting around contemplating our navels. I won't deny that philosophy itself is partly to blame for this situation, still, the low esteem that the study of philosophy is today accorded, is for the most part unwarrented. We see philosophical arguments as forever chasing their tails, never seeming to advance knowledge. On the other hand, despite a history dating back to less than one-fifth that of historical philosophy, modern science has made incredible strides. Given such a successful track record, why not throw philosophy out the window altogether?

    "Reductionism and analysis is the breaking down and dissection, as crucial to science as is the synthesis and integration tempered by philosophical reflection on significance and value." E.O. Wilson

    John Casti wrote, "...the point of a scientific theory is to reduce the arbitrariness of the data." He likens the success of a scientific theory to that of the success of a computer program in reproducing a set of data:

    "If the shortest possible program that reproduces a set of observations is no shorter than the listing of the observations themselves, then we are justified in calling the observations random, as there are no more compact laws by which the observations might be predicted or explained."

    Science owes its success to the observation that the universe experienced by humans does not appear to be random, at least on the level that we currently study it. Science assigns compact laws that predict but ultimately do not explain data. But despite our raving success with the scientific method, we mustn't let it go entirely to our heads. The information resulting from the correct employment of the scientific method must always be interpreted! Scientists may or may not be the best persons suited to perform this required interpretation.

    Though not likely, we might one day understand nearly every scientific principle that describes our universe. Yet despite this grand knowledge, we will still have to decide how to govern ourselves, we will still have to decide how we should best treat each other, and ultimately, we will still have to integrate and assimilate all this scientific information into our outlook as curious human beings. The study of science is an important component for our understanding of this world, but it is by no means the end of all knowledge.

    Correct science is not arbitrary. Correct philosophy is not arbitrary. (Religion, on the other hand, is arbitrary.) The tools of good science are experiments coupled by reason, and communicated by mathematics. The tools of good philosophy are necessarily a more generalized type of observation coupled by reason and communicated by language. Science is limited by the limits of our observational data. Philosophy is limited by the "fuzziness" of the observational data. Though "absolute" certainty is a rare commodity both in philosophy and in science, from the start we handicap our trust in the pronouncements of philosophy by asking for absolute certainties that we would never think to ask of science. If you ask an impossible question, you receive an impossible answer! Despite a long and misguided history of proclaiming just such certainties, philosophy will better prosper better if it limits itself to dealing with probabilities rather than certainties.

    I'll be merciful and end here, but I might add that the literature on this subject is extensive and fascinating.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2002
  16. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    orthogonal

    Nice post I enjoyed that. And I think we essentially agree with each other, which was probably not apparent in my brief post.

    But while science is taught in schools as usually compulsory topics, philosophy is not so considered, and if it is available it is always optional. Here, I suggest is the root cause of the chaos and ineptitude we see when people attempt to engage in philosophical debate; lack of appropriate education.

    Modern education appears to be more about spraying facts at the students in the hope they can make sense of what they have heard. But if they are not taught how to think and organize their thoughts, then how can they assess the value of the facts they have learnt.

    So I agree that science is important but within a framework where it can be properly valued and used and that requires an understanding of philosophical principles, at least in the area of critical thought, logic, and reason.

    Yes I agree in principle, but in practice it is politicians, who may well be religiously inspired, who make these decisions. The discipline of the scientific method, or at least the components of logic and reason, still represent the best method for human thought. If politicians could use similar basic principles then I would be happy with that. But that isn’t the way the world seems to work, and I think scientists need to play a significant role in deciding how science should be used, otherwise we would potentially allow ourselves to be governed by the irrational.

    Here I can imagine you have the physical sciences in mind when you wrote that, although I might be wrong. If you extend your reasoning to include areas like sociology, psychology, etc, then we can see how science can be used to explore all avenues that affect human life. Not only do we want to understand how the universe operates but an understanding of the human mind and human nature would complete the picture. A scientific approach would then indeed help us to know how to govern and treat each other.

    Or in other words science is important to every area of human life.

    Cris
     
  17. Lua Registered Senior Member

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    because they both have one "i" and one "n" in their words.

    no, really, i think science is so important because it's not only a weapon for our salvation (in the good way or bad way), but transform our lives bringing as more confortable life. it also enlighten us in how the universe works which is very valid because takes us out of our ignorance and prevents us to believe in things like "god makes the rain". i bet we would be still very petrified about this god if we still believed in things like that. abnd very much in the hand of a group of people, such as the catholic church. is resume, i think science equals with mind's developmentent.


    and ThruthSeeker: i don't agree when you say that religion is a path to the thruth. i think religion is based in faith and you can't really say that faith requires thruth. all the scientific aspects in the bible for example (natural phenomena) are wrong. the bible in this subject is wrong (the others are stories, you believe them if you want). faith and thruth don't walk hand in hand, which is why most scientists don't believe in god (as the figure other people believe).


    i personally love philosophy and i think it's very valid its work. but i don't think it should be more valued than science, i mean, you can't really make technolodge using philosophy, can you? and scince can bring positive things as well as negative things. it just depends on the character of the person who is using (or the character of the person who is financing it). you can't blame science for the human being's cruelty.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2002
  18. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Living in caves...

    Cris,

    We will be soon living in caves again if one crazy guy launch a nuclear bomb. Your so beloved Science can make us live in caves again...

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    And remember the Cold War? What we built in many cities...? Yes... "caves" made by concrete which would protect us in the case of a nuclear war...
    Isn't that strange? The Truth is that every excess leads directly to its opposite. Have you seen how excessfull is Science nowdays? Better watch us...

    Blessings,
    Nelson
     
  19. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Truthseeker,

    I believe you have missed an important point. The cave scenario was hypothetical and depended on us not having imagination or curiosity. That trait will not disappear whether we use science to enhance ourselves or kill most of us. A nuclear war would be a very harsh lesson and if enough survive then they hopefully will learn from the mistake. History shows that mankind continually makes terrible mistakes before they move forward.

    Science is no more to blame for human mistakes than a gun is to blame for justly killing an enemy or committing a horrendous murder. Choices are made by humans and if people do not have the required knowledge and understanding of the implications of their actions, then yes we are potentially doomed. The answer always is education, learning, a quest to understand.

    Religions for example suppress imagination, curiosity, and education. Their answer is always that the supernatural is all the answers one needs, trust in God and you will be happy.

    So yes science can be both our death and our savior, the real issue is whether enough of us can learn enough and fast enough to control our discoveries. Those that are watching for the singularity indicate it could go either way –

    http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~phoenix/vinge/vinge-sing.html

    http://members.aol.com/salaned/writings/survive.htm

    It isn't nuclear war that should frighten you.

    So don’t try and ignore or discard science because you will do so at your own peril. Whether you want it or not there are a sufficient number of people in the world who are going to use science for better or for worse. Hiding behind spirituality, religion or just hope in human love will not help you long term. This really is a case of adapt or die and the survival of the fittest (those equipped with knowledge).

    Take care
    Cris
     
  20. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Answer to Cris...

    Cris,

    It doesn't...

    Hiding in human Love...? If you didn't have human Love you wouldn't have children... Work in your conceptions... what's really important for you? Sorry about this example... but this will show you what I'm talking about: If your children were kidnaped and the kidnapers wanted all that you have, what would you do? Would you give everything for your children or would you keep what you have?

    The knowledge is unfortunately important to survive in our society. But does Love needs knowledge? Do you need knowledge to Love your children? Don't think so...

    Watch what is really important to you and defend it.

    I would Love to have children, to be father... but is not my time yet...

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    But it will come... everything in its right time...

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    You are very lucky... You don't know how important is to me to be father... and this is why I defend Love...

    In the example... the kidnapers don't care about YOUR children, but they probably care about THEIRS. Or they don't care about theirs and it is why they can do it with yours... This is why I say to Love even your enemies, to Love everyone unconditionally.

    Blessings,
    Nelson
     
  21. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    truthseeker,

    Love is the target not the means. You need to learn how to survive first before love can be appreciated. You can't love anyone if you are dead.

    Love has its place, but too much of a good thing causes devaluation. Normal people do not go around oozing love all the time. There are practical aspects to life and you need to attend them so that you can practice and experience love at the appropriate place and times.

    Hiding behind love implies you expect love to solve all your problems, it won't.

    Again find the balance between emotions and knowledge.

    Yes you most certainly do. How are you going to feed, house, and protect your children. If you love them you will need to work hard to fullfill that love. How do you avoid divorce that could potentially remove your loved ones from you. You will need knowledge to plan ahead and to provide support. You need knowledge to protect them from sickness and dangers. Real love is a very practical business, and if you are to be sucessful then don't underestimate the effort it requires.

    Cris
     
  22. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Love, God, Power...

    Originally posted by Cris
    Love is the Truth. The Truth solves all problems, Love solves all problems. It's the ultimate Wisdom. Love is God, Love is Almighty!

    That's true...

    It's like is written in the Bible, in Proverbs 16:9
    "9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps"

    Knowledge is a useful tool, but Love is the reason of our behavior... The exact interpretation!!

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    Blessings,
    Nelson
     
  23. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

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    Gag me with a spoon.

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