Science ~ What is it really about?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Quantum Quack, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I've always thought that science reveals the truths of the universe. It's the process by which we discover (uncover?) those truths.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Truth is a dangerous word in this context, I think.

    Science makes models of the physical world which accoint for what we observe and are able to predict what we should expect. However the history of science shows us that making any claims to "truth" are fraught with hazard. All scientific ideas are subject to review and change in the light of further observations that do not fit the models.

    I think the most that can be said is that there seems to be an underlying reality that our models approach, perhaps asymptotically i.e. without ever quite getting there. At times, it seems like Russian dolls.
     
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Note: As I have been publicly accuse of trolling by the site administrator, JamesR, I will no longer be participating in this thread or any other for some time...
     
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  7. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    it saddens me to read your post.


    Science ~ What is it really about?

    what science is and
    what is scientists and
    what is science as we know it in modern society...
    all different aspects

    what is the scientist in their natural setting ?
     
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  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    In this context, I tend to think of two types of power: (1) power over other people, and (2) power over nature.

    In both cases, the aim of the pursuit of knowledge is to gain more power of the relevant kind.

    It seems sensible to assume that knowing more than other people has the potential to increase your power over them. Knowledge can either give you a tactical advantage, or it can give you leverage in interactions.

    Reliable knowledge about nature (i.e. science) tends to give people power to control their own destiny, as opposed to having it dictated by the whims of the natural world. They can use the knowledge to tame the forces of nature, to anticipate what nature will throw at them, and to make effective use of nature as a tool for achieving their own goals.
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that it's basically about curiosity, about the desire to know.

    That's often how science is justified to non-scientists. Especially when the scientists are asking for (or demanding) tax-payer funding or something.

    In a very abstract sense, the power to understand something.

    But when that needs to be justified to those for whom understanding isn't a big consideration, it's often justified in terms of applications that those people might value more. "Tech" gadgets, military technology, improved medicine, ways to make lots of money... Engineering and medicine primarily.

    I think that Francis Bacon was active in the first decades of the 17th century, about 100 years before Newton, a contemporary of Kepler and Galileo, and a bit before Descartes. This was before the "Scientific Revolution" had entirely come to fruition. But he was able to see the possibility of a connection between the early stirrings of what we today call 'science', and what we call 'engineering'. I get the impression that Bacon was an early advocate of the practical value of what we might call 'think tanks' and 'government-funded research institutes'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    ok... after some thought I shall try to be less controversial.

    Is it worth throwing the following into the ring?

    That science is ultimately about achieving :
    1. Immortality
    2. Omnipotence
    3. Omniscience

    all with the primary motivation directed towards enhancing self determination?

    To essentially become the Gods of our dreams in our own right?
     
  11. river

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    Yes

    And understanding . So that there are no misunderstandings . By Us . Towards ourselves and others that we will meet , along the way .
     
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  12. river

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    Any way " what is science about " the OP .

    Science is about Discovery .
     
  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Or...maybe...to better understand the "Gods of our dreams".
     
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  14. river

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    And more than Dreams , our reality .
     
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  15. river

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    Science is about Discovery .
     
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Essentially self discovery?
     
  17. river

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    And
     
  18. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, and...perhaps also...our self potential.
     

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