I guess that counts me out then. I don't really feel that my life or that of anyone else has any objective meaning whatsoever in the grand scheme of things. That doesn't mean that I want it to end or that I don't respect it in others. It is just that IMO "meaning" is a meaningless concept. It is just the product of uncaring physics and chemistry. Everything that we see, hear, feel and see is just a bunch of meaningless chemical reactions (which science can quite easily measure). Even the concept of something "outside of science" is produced by some chemical fluctuation in a net of neurons in the brain that is caused by physical interactions between known chemicals and electrical impulses. In other words science is all over it.
IMO "outside of science" is a meaningless concept.
Actually, "science" CANNOT measure this easily. We have all sorts of difficulty measuring chemical reactions in human brains because we have laws and standards against these invasive procedures.
That isn't a fallability of science though. Science doesn't care about laws. It is possible to measure the reactions in a brain. very probably not ethical but definitely possible.
Which makes me wonder... can you describe these laws and standards through the scientific method? Surely you don't expect me to believe that you can give me a reduction of these laws and standards to chemistry. That would be a real overstatement of our current scientific knowledge.
Well since every law in existence came from somebody's brain then it follows that chemistry and in fact ultimately physics, is behind all of it at its basest level. Fellings = Reactions. Scientists can induce a lot of supposedly abstract "feelings" with electrodes, strobe light patterns and all manner of physical stuff.
That which cannot be described using current scientific theories is outside of science. We're stuck with folk psychology for now, my purple friend.
I don't buy this. Science doesn't stop being there just because we haven't found it yet. Besides which, to the best of my knowledge, the stuff I mentioned has already been done. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think so. I think I will go and google for a while to see if I can come up with a few examples.
quote:The device can, for some people, be used to create religious experiences. Using the transcranial magnetic stimulator to apply a magnetic field to the temporal lobes can cause people to experience God. This phenomenon is not limited only to believers; even atheists can be caused to have religious experiences using the transcranial magnetic stimulator.
Apparently it can make people experience feelings of "Meaning" too.
quote:Everything around them is imbued with cosmic significance. They may say, 'I finally understand what it's all about. This is the moment I've been waiting for all my life. Suddenly it all makes sense.' Or, 'Finally I have insight into the true nature of the cosmos.'
Ironically it is impossible to prove (with current science) whether the experience is completely fake or whether they are actually stimulating a "real" connection with God. :laugh: I tend to think "fake" but that is just the chemical reactions in my brain speaking. I can't "prove" it either way. The only thing I do know is that whatever is happening has a firm founding in "Science"
1. Even if you can describe something with science, we simply don't USE science in our daily lives. Science is just a method for coming up with models and for collecting empirical data, all so we can predict and manipulate our world. We don't use science to go to the grocery store, we don't use it to watch TV, we don't even use science to hit a baseball.
I disagree on all counts. We DO use science every day. We may not realize it but every action we ever take is based on science. We DO use science to go to the grocery store. Every step you take along the road to the grocery store involves complex internal calculations to balance your mass against the pull of gravity. You had to learn to walk. Right? Why do you think you buy certain things at the store? Because in previous trips you found that you liked them. You are comparing previous experience (data) with extrapolated future events. You are going to enjoy those DoNuts. or That bottle of Gatorade will quench your thirst.
Remove all previous data from your brain and you won't even know what a shop is.
Lots of things in life can be DESCRIBED using theories developed by science, but life itself is outside of science.
No life IS science. You just don't realize it.
2. Anyway, we don't have theories that can accurately describe lots of things. Foremost in my mind is that of cognitive processes, because that's what I'm currently studying.
Granted. We don't know everything.
We have general ideas on how the brain works. We certainly, unquestionably, are very far from a complete picture. We're very far from even having a useful partial picture. What we have is SOME understanding of the cellular mechanisms, LESS understanding about the computational properties of the brain (no, it's NOT just feed-forward neural networks; the connectivity in the brain is WAY more complex than that), and EVEN LESS understanding of how cognitive processes, mental processes, and cultural processes come from those architectures.
I agree. However I don't see why the amount that we know about something has any bearing on whether it is is science or not. Why should science be defined by what we know now and not by what we will almost certainly know in the future?
let's say an alien race comes to Earth. They are millions of years ahead of us. They fully understand ever single nuance of the way a brain works. Try telling them it isn't science simply because we haven't found it out yet.
IMO it is a much bigger assumption to say that something isn't covered by science than it is to say that it is and we just haven't found it yet.
I'm sure it can. I have little doubt that all emotions, feelings, etc. derive ultimately from (xxx insert brain science stuff)
As long as we agree on this then what are we arguing about?
Ironically it is impossible to prove (with current science) whether the experience is completely fake or whether they are actually stimulating a "real" connection with God.
I don't even know what this statement means...
It is just paraphrased from the site that I quoted. I take it to mean that there may be a part of the brain that is able to actually bridge the gap between us and God. (Like really talk to God). We just don't know if we are amplifying the real connection or creating a fake one. That make sense? Obviously you have to work under the assumption that there is a God for this to work.
You are not understanding Ben's distinction. There is a difference between you using science to model or calculate something, and science being able to model or calculate the natural phenomena which might make up your actions.
Actually I am understanding the distinction (I think). I am just emphasizing my point that everything is controlled by the physical interaction of chemicals, physics and generally measurable and naturalistic stuff. To me that is ALL science. It may not be actively scientific in the scence that we are not taking measurements, drawing conclusions etc. but it is all subject to potential scientific enquiry.
Not really no. If you've seen simple robotics, they do not bother calculating anything. They simply have on off switches that react when necessary to get a limb to move. They don't even have to calculate "when necessary", it can be a simple agitation trigger.
Simple robotics are not able to react to changes though are they? What happens when the robot trips? To make your robot behave under all circumstances and under all conditions you have to add more simple switches and logic circuits for each possible contingency until eventually you have a (pseudo)inteligent system that is constantly taking measurements of its surroundings and reacting to them. It is then doing science. Even your simple agitation circuit is doing rudimentary science. It is taking a measurement, making an informed decision (boolean on/off)then implementing an action (setting switch condition)
Your learning to walk is experiential however not very scientific. You did not build sophisticated models, but rather trained motor response mechanisms.
Since when could science only be done by complex, sophisticated models? Are you saying that it is not scientific to study (watch) someone walking, then attempt to emulate the movements, investigating what happens when foot A trips over foot B. To me it is obviously a scientific endevour to learn to walk. (or do anything new)
Observation. (watch Daddy walk)
Postulate a theory. (Maybe I can walk too)
Attempt to walk using knowledge of movements gained so far by watching.
Fall flat on my ass.
Return to step 1 and watch a bit more then try again.
Those steps are pretty much the epitomy of science. Once you get it right it becomes more or less automatic but there are still a huge number of calculation, corrections going on every time you take a step or trip on a rock or walk down a hill.
You may choose not to buy a certain brand of food because you are aware the owner gives profits to prolife causes, or that the company abuses animals, or that you don't like the name of the product.
But that is still making a decision based on external criteria. It is done for a reason and that reason is reached by a rudimentary scientific method. It doesn't matter where the information comes from. Science is all about gathering information and reacting to it.
The build up of memories may be able to be (in the future) modeled by science, but that does not mean that the method you use to build those memories is in any way scientific.
Memories are simply data, an integral part of the scientific method. Doesn't matter how you got them. Where is the difference between something you saw as you walked down the road or something you saw through a microscope? Data is data.
Tell me how science determines whether abortion is right or wrong
Science itself doesn't. I never claimed it did. All I am saying is that the decision of whether to support it or not is controlled by your memories (data) and your brain chemistry. If I knew enough about the brain I could go inside your head and physically change some connections to make you think and feel anything I wanted.
You cannot escape this by then arguing that you do not believe in objective moralities. Ben is discussing subjectives and explaining that they are the portion of life that is beyond science. The subjectives are what make up most of your life, unless you are a very dull person, with no capability of forming emotional responces.
Not trying to escape it. I am merely pointing out that anything subjective like feelings etc. are controlled by the very naturalistic processes of brain chemistry. They can be measured and modified with science and therefore are not outdie of science.
You are aware that there are logical limits to science, right?
Sure. I assume you mean things like the exclusion principle or the fact that we cannot travel faster than light in normal space. Right? But then if we can't do them then the situation in which they are done cannot exist and therefore cannot be "beyond science". The question is are there things which we observe to happen which are outside of science? My answer is that if you can observe it then it can be measured and that means it isn't outside of science.
Probably on the use of the term "science". Science is just a methodology. It's not an all-encompassing statement about how life operates.
Science != naturalism.
Science = methodology to develop naturalistic models.
OK Then I begin to see why we are pulling different directions.
I realize there is a difference between naturalism and science but I don't really agree that science is limited to your definition here.
I always understood science to be a process for evaluating empirical knowledge. Not necessarily trying to develop models. That is just one aspect of science. In short, any kind of evaluation of knowledge is science.
It seems to me that you are equivocating between a procedure and the subject of a procedure. Science is the study of natural phenomena, yet you are claiming that natural phemona is science because it is subject to scientific inquiry?
I am not actually saying that science is the phenomena (at least that isn't what I am trying to say) What I am saying is that any action taken in the real world has to be the result of stimuli of some kind. Whether that stimuli is a single neuron firing or whether it is the final piece of data in 20 year long investigation, it still has an effect on the things we do, the things we know and the decisions we make based on those data.
This is not correct. I hesitate to get into robotics as it is somewhat boring to me.
To each his own I guess. They fascinate me.
There are robots which move with no computational assessment of surroundings.
Yes you are right. You can't really overbalance when you have 6 widely spaced legs I suppose. These robots are just simple machines and as you say they are following a set program. In this respect they are not "doing" science if they are not really reacting to their environment in an inteligent way. On this point I will concede.
You can't really claim that they walk around "without science" though can you? Theye were designed by scientists and would not exist without science.
Are you saying that it is not scientific to study (watch) someone walking, then attempt to emulate the movements, investigating what happens when foot A trips over foot B.
No, that is curiosity followed by mimicry. It requires no understanding or modelling of natural phenomena. This view of science is so broad that it ceases to have much meaning
I still disagree here. Curiosity and mimicry are the very cornerstones of science. That is how we investigate our environment and learn from it. Or are you suggesting that no inteligence is not being used at all here? Don't you think the baby learning to take his first steps is able to visualize himself walking? What is that if not a scientific process. Observation --> Create a model --> test the hypothesis --> fall down --> modify the model --> try again. If this is not a valid view of science than I have just wasted the last 20 years of my life because that is precisely the way it is done everywhere that I have been involved in it.
Reading your posts I am left with a question of what science actually means to you. It seems at this point that science = everything. How do you define science in a meaningful (more specific) way?
I wonder why I always end up in a definition war? Let's just check some references to find out what "science" really means. How about Merriam-Webster online where it says the following about "science"
quote:Main Entry: sci·ence Pronunciation: 'sI-&n(t)s Function: noun Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin scientia, from scient-, sciens having knowledge, from present participle of scire to know; probably akin to Sanskrit chyati he cuts off, Latin scindere to split 1 : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding 2 a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge 3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : NATURAL SCIENCE 4 : a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws
OK so the act of reacting to stimuli isn't the correct terminology. But any stimuli (such as the closure of a contact switch) results in an influx of information. Information equates to knowledge and according to definition 1 Knowledge == Science.
You just can't get away from it. If you have knowledge of something then that IS, by definition, science.
We are counting on empirical evidence to get us through everything we need to model. If not in a primary sensory sense, then secondary sensory sense (detectors, etc). But there are phenomena and mechanisms which will not register on any possible detector we currently or may ever have.
I can't think of any. Please enlighten me. Our eyes, ears and other senses are detectors. If we can't hear, feel or see it then it might as well not be there anyway.
For example there may be multiple dimensions. Currently scientists postulate that they may very well exist, and could act as an answer for certain cosmological or subatomic phenomena. But they are also as of yet unstudiable and by their nature never studiable. Their natures may always remain speculative and beyond the realm of science.
Ah yes. "M" theory. One of my own personal favorites. The point with this is that is has been postulated by scientists as a possibility but not yet proven to exist. Of course we can't measure them since they might not even be there at all. Then again if their existence is only speculative then far from being beyond the realms of science, I would like to propose that the realms of science is precisely and absolutely where they are situated and where they will likely remain since we have no other tool with which to speculate about them.
So to sum up Science is exactly equal to Knowledge.
Or perhaps we should be talking about "The scientific method" which is slightly different.
quote:Main Entry: scientific method Function: noun : principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses
There are most definitely things that are outside of "The scientific method" but outside of science? I don't think so since being outside of science means that we just don't have any knowledge of it. If we have no knowledge of it then to all intents and purposes it does not exist.
If you look at the OP, I think I was really specific about what I meant by science:
me writes: It's not a science board. I really hope we don't turn it into one. Science is a way to argue inductively. That's it. Life contains many things outside of it.
That was my 4 word summary of the scientific method. Was it too unclear, maybe?
Anyway, I hope this means that we actually agree. There are lots of things outside the scientific method.
Yes we agree that there are lots of things that do no involve active use of the scientific method. However I don't think your OP was specific enough to lock in your actual meaning. I was actually being a little pedantic in attacking your meaning with a "naturalistic" definition.
To be quite honest I was a little surprised when I went looking for definitions of "science". It wasn't anywhere near as focussed as I expected it to be. I really didn't try to find one that backed up my argument. That was simply the first one that came up in Google.
I still contend that everything is subject to eventual explanation by science but that is a admittedly different subject.
So a reflex action is considered knowledge and science? In fact, according to this info all creatures on this planet are conducting science at every moment. Don't you see how weak this makes your def?
That is exactly what I have been saying. ANY change (increase) in knowledge (information) is science. It doesn't matter if it is an animal searching for food or a microswitch in your refrigerator that turns on the light when you open the door. This doesn't weaken my argument. This IS my argument.
I don't claim that any of this stuff is the "Scientific method" but it IS science.
Are you kidding me? Go get yourself a bar of uranium and set it a few feet from you. You will never see, hear, feel, or smell any of the particles coming off of it that will most certainly kill you. Many people cannot detect the smell of cyanide (which you also cannot see, feel, or hear) until you drop dead.
But you CAN measure all these thing even if not with our own direct senses. You expect me to list every single measuring device known to man in every instance. Come on.
So to sum up Science is exactly equal to Knowledge.
Wrong. Science is the pursuit of knowledge, a form of epistemology devoted to natural phenomena.
Not by the definition that I posted, complete with links. If you claim that Websters dictionary has it wrong then take it up with them.
There are most definitely things that are outside of "The scientific method" but outside of science?
I would have said that's what Ben was trying to get at, but I see he already did.
I know full well that was what he was getting at but it wasn't what he actually said.
This doesn't weaken my argument. This IS my argument.
Check again. I did not say it weakened your argument. I said it weakened your definition.
Sorry! You are right. I must have read it wrong. I don't deny that it is a pretty thinly spread definition but like I said to Ben, it was just the first one that I found when I googled it. It surprised me a little.
If you want me to come up with something that is not detectable by detectors, then I will end up in a sort of circular argument. I can tell you there is certainly the possibility of things that we cannot even detect now, and perhaps never.
Subatomic particles are a great example. There have been many stages where new ones are proposed but no tech to examine them. We can reach a stage where no new technology is possible for us to measure a theorized entity. That will not mean it does not exist.
I am not quite willing to write off future improvements in technology or even brand new technologies, which might allow us to measure these things but I admit that there are theoretical things that we can't measure right now. But where does this leave those theoretical things? Right smack in the middle of theoretical science. That's where. These things are most definitely NOT outside of science.
Not by the definition that I posted, complete with links. If you claim that Websters dictionary has it wrong then take it up with them.
Well now your just being disengenuous. Your def for science did not say "knowledge". On top of that I supplied you with an encyclopedia-like examination of the term science.
Actually it did say precisely that. Here it is again
quote:1 : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding
come to that, your own link at wiki said pretty much the same thing.
quote:Science is knowledgeor a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method. Scientific knowledge relies heavily upon logic.
I think there most likely should be a comma after "a system of knowledge" for this to read better. That would make it read.
1) Science is knowledge covering general truths OR 2) Science is a system of knowledge covering general truths.
Right now it actually says.
1) Science is knowledge OR 2) Science is a system of knowledge covering general truths.
As I see it, even if I give you the benefit of the doubt and there is a typo in the def, it still pretty much agrees with Websters and the def that I posted. If there is no typo then it exactly agrees.
Also note that it goes on to say that "scientific knowledge relies heavily on logic" That confirms that logical deductions of things that are not actually measurable are still covered by the term "science"
They are outside the realm of empirical knowledge and so outside the reach of the scientific method, and so outside of modern science. It will be touched on by scientists engage in theoretical speculation, not in practicing modern science.
So what you are saying is that something proposed by theoretical science is not a part of science? That is patently ridiculous. I am sure that all the theoretical physicist who are researching M Theory will be SOOO pleased that you don't consider them to be scientists at all. You have just casually wiped out a large proportion of the scientists in the world with that statement.
Science is knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method. Scientific knowledge relies heavily upon logic.
You decided it would read better with a carefully placed comma, and it sure would if it said what you wanted it to say. The wiki article went on to say more which should have straightened out exactly want it meant.
If you actually read my comment on the missing comma you would realize that without it, the statement in your def backs mine up much better than with it. By assuming its addition, I gave you the benefit of the doubt by weakening my own definition. I would be happy to leave the sentence the way it is. It just makes my point stronger.
What does it matter what else the article said. Words have loads of different possible meanings. I just highlighted one as an exercise in pointing out the incorrectness of saying "Something is outside of science"
You can read what you like into the definitions but to me both yours and my original one both show a clear and direct connection between the words "Science" and "knowledge". You are just going by what you believe that science means and not by the written definition. I admit that there are alternative definitions that back you up but as long as there is one officially recognized definition that backs up my argument then I have made my point. Now I have two independent sources that do just that and no amount of reading hidden meanings into them is going to change what they clearly say.
I thought Ben criticized you for doing this, but in case he didn't I will...
Ben said it was a weak and wishy washy definition. I agreed with him. What's your point?
It seems doubtful to me that you actually stick with that definition in real life. For example, when you walk into a book store I feel confident you don't wonder which section you'll find a book on physics, or if you ask an employee and they say "science section" that you argue that everything beyond fiction should be the science section.
You are most definitely right. I certainly don't follow this exact definition of science in everyday life. As we have established by now it is way too loose to really main much. I think my everday definition is significantly more lax than the one you are holding up though. For instance I would definitely consider "proposed theories" (as defined in your very interesting wiki link) to be scientific. Maybe Protoscience woud be a more accurate term. Bet I would find these proposed theories in that science section though :)