"I think science should be more philosophical"
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20-04-2012, 11:32 PM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2012 08:47 PM by DeepThought.)
"I think science should be more philosophical"
No this is not what I said... this is what my mom said.

So.. as I talked about a while back regarding my parents saying they were agnostic... it really seems to me that they want to take that stance but they are holding onto a lot of their religion still, perhaps it is simply just too hard for them to let go. I totally get the scary part of letting go of religion, I've been there.

Every now and then my mom will pipe up and send me something about "creation science" and ask me what I think. Of course, I know she's looking for some sort of relevance or confirmation that it sounds great. I also think she isn't sure what to think herself. I noticed that since I've mentioned to them that I'm an atheist that not only does she love talking about religion to me more than ever (her disbelief of many religions and her thoughts about christianity) and also since then she has ended up with a lot of thinking questions.

So back to the main point...

The other day she says: "Hey you should email this guy and talk, I think you'd find him interesting."

When I asked why, she said he's a scientist and a biologist and I'd get along with him well. When I asked why she thought that she said he's a creation scientist and that he has "really cool" views on science. When I read this guy's biography for his college he teaches at, he said that modern day science lacks philosophy and that's why it isn't good science. Also, as I went on reading I noticed he seems to be a YEC and in most of his rantings and such all he wanted to bash on was darwin. Nothing specific in any of his writing did he mention why his ideas and perspectives were correct, but more over that he just didn't like darwin's ideas.

My mom enjoys a lot of Argumentum ad verecundiam, except that she is generally the one who does not read into it. I've asked her how she feels about the age of the universe and she said we can't know, we don't know, or that it's too hard to tell. When I ask her why then she seems to enjoy "creation" science (and most of the time it ends up being a YEC) she seems to back pedal a bit.

My main frustration is that there are those who are trying to pass the buck off on main science not being "good science" because it isn't "philosophical" - I'm sorry but if you're looking for results... the results shouldn't be... "I observed z because x-y, therefore, the meaning of life is burrito and aren't they beautiful!" but it should be through the scientific method and an honest examination and observation.

I think this is one of the things with my parents and their "agnostic" stance that is holding them back. She seems like she wants so very much to talk about it, and I think if she were afraid of it she wouldn't bother asking me all these questions about science and my thoughts on the subject, so I feel she is genuinely interested.

What are you thoughts on this "Philosophical science" idea? I think it's nutso.
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21-04-2012, 03:19 AM
RE: "I think science should be more philosophical"
This is actually a tough one. I agree 100% that William-Lane-Craig-like philosophy has no place in the lab (unless you're drunk, in which case get the hell out of my lab!), and the attempted integration of philosophy that way is just opening the door for junk science. I hate to think what a peer-review committee would do to a paper with a conclusion of "And now that my machine speaks French, does it have the soul of a frenchman?" or something silly like that. I do see how it could be appealing to a popular science magazine.

At least that is what I take it your mother means by mixing philosophy and science, and you're not talking about the philosophy of science (also useless to scientists), or ethic and moral dilemmas within the scientific method (which I don't have to worry about because I don't murder my subjects like the biologists do).

"But the point is, find somebody to love. Everything else is overrated." - HouseofCantor
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22-04-2012, 02:15 PM
RE: "I think science should be more philosophical"
(21-04-2012 03:19 AM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  At least that is what I take it your mother means by mixing philosophy and science, and you're not talking about the philosophy of science (also useless to scientists),

I should give a shit that scientists find the Philosophy of Science useless why? I'd expect nothing less from a herd of nearsighted nerds. Big Grin

(21-04-2012 03:19 AM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  ... or ethic and moral dilemmas within the scientific method (which I don't have to worry about because I don't murder my subjects like the biologists do).

Come on, you don't feel even a little regret from a 'kill -9' on a process? What if you'd been training Moses or Joshua for a week or two before you realized you fucked up the configuration? Gotta feel some pity, no?

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
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22-04-2012, 03:29 PM
RE: "I think science should be more philosophical"
Perhaps most people are wired with emotional synesthesia, best adapting a concept that is linked to a positive feeling or that evokes a passion. Science itself may just present the facts, but the descriptive narrative can still move people without resorting to false/irrelevent jumps of logic.

I find the process of taking a fact (for me it would be a medical fact) and translating it in a meaningful way for whoever the audience might be both a humbling and effective communication tool.

Your beliefs do not make you a better person, your behavior does.
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22-04-2012, 03:40 PM
RE: "I think science should be more philosophical"
Yeah that's some real bullshit.

Philosophy and science really don't mix. A great scientist should be a philosopher but not bring a philosophical state of mind into their science.

Science really requires practicality, and philosophy does not. Philosophy starts with a question and ends without an answer, only philosophy. Science, though, requires, at least from a practically sense, the acceptance of reality, of the past, and of the formation of beliefs. Science starts with questions and, through the scientific process, ends with clear and decisive answers, or strong, evidence based beliefs.

You can start with philosophy, but don't bring it with you when you make the switch to science, at least on purpose.

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22-04-2012, 06:05 PM
RE: "I think science should be more philosophical"
Ah well I'm glad to hear I'm not crazy. I kinda figured this would be the reaction from my fellow atheists. Of course I kind of figured this was the "adaptation" for religion as it gets challenged. As time goes on and certain things in religion do not work, or people don't buy it, it adapts or people make it adapt so that the masses can more easily swallow it.

So of course for those who REALLY WANT to believe it, when it starts to become contradictory, someone comes along and says - "Wait a minute, I know what's wrong with this stuff, it's bad science because it lacks PHILOSOPHY! Well I have found a way to mix philosophy of religion AND science and look how tasty this is!" and of course people go.... "YEAH! That sounds great!"
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22-04-2012, 06:28 PM
RE: "I think science should be more philosophical"
Hmm... I'm kind of in the middle. Consider

I used to love the magazine Omni and I always found it a bit leaning toward the philosophic, poetic, and even somewhat mystical flavor of scientific writing.

Maybe it has to be the right mix of philosophy and science... just enough of each to spur the imagination toward adventure and curiosity. Yes

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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22-04-2012, 06:53 PM (This post was last modified: 22-04-2012 07:25 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: "I think science should be more philosophical"
(20-04-2012 11:32 PM)Logisch Wrote:  Every now and then my mom will pipe up and send me something about "creation science" and ask me what I think.

She's not really asking for more philosophy in science, she's asking for more theology in science.
Two sentences of Philosophy + one sentence of Quantum Physics -> out go the gods.
Maybe suggest to her she go to a local college, and audit a class on Biblical Archaeology, or Ancient Near Eastern History, or something in that vein, if she's interested in History ?
"Creation science" is an oxymoron. It fails scientifically in every way, but it also fails theologically, if you examine what the authors of the creation myths did, and how they went about it, and why, and when.
In order to be a YEC, you have to ignore the findings of every field in science. Maybe just tell her, "mom...you like rocks...why don't you go learn about rocks" ? (And sign 'er up for a Geology course). Are there ANY YEC Geologists ? I doubt it. ...or just give her a book about rocks, or Bonobo Apes, or Dolphin cognition, and approach the subject in a sneaky, oblique way. Tongue

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22-04-2012, 07:19 PM (This post was last modified: 22-04-2012 07:20 PM by Logisch.)
RE: "I think science should be more philosophical"
(22-04-2012 06:28 PM)kim Wrote:  Hmm... I'm kind of in the middle. Consider

I used to love the magazine Omni and I always found it a bit leaning toward the philosophic, poetic, and even somewhat mystical flavor of scientific writing.

Maybe it has to be the right mix of philosophy and science... just enough of each to spur the imagination toward adventure and curiosity. Yes
KIM! you're back! Yay!

And good points on the writing portion of it. But mostly my gripe isn't about the way you can make it interesting and fun, but more or less how it gets misconstrued upon observations through "philosophy" so that people can twist it into something they want, something it isn't. If that makes sense.


(22-04-2012 06:53 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(20-04-2012 11:32 PM)Logisch Wrote:  Every now and then my mom will pipe up and send me something about "creation science" and ask me what I think.

She's not really asking for more philosophy in science, she's asking for more theology in science.
Two sentences of Philosophy+one sentence of Quantum Physics -> out goes the gods.
Maybe suggest to her she go to a local college, and audit a class on Biblical Archaeology, or Ancient Near Eastern History, or something in that vein, if she's interested in History ?
"Creation science" is an oxymoron. It fails scientifically in every way, but it also fails theologically, if you examine what the authors of the creation myths did, and how they went about it, and why, and when.
In order to be a YEC, you have to ignore the findings of every field in science. Maybe just tell her, "mom..you like rocks...why don't you go learn about rocks" ? (And sign 'er up for a Geology course. Are there ANY YEC Geologists ? I doubt it. ...or just give her a book about rocks, or Bonobo Apes, or Dolphin cognition, and approach the subject in a sneaky, oblique way. Tongue
Thanks Bucky. You and Kim have some good points. These are good things to think about. I'll see if I can find a good approach to this the next time she brings it up. I tend to be a bit cut and dry on stuff, perhaps I need to reconsider my approach. You all rock. (har har... rock... geology... punny)
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23-04-2012, 01:06 AM
RE: "I think science should be more philosophical"
Philosophy is way bigger than just theology which is imo the bastard daughter of philosophy, the big questions science tries to answer are all in a way philosophical (what's the origin of everything, what's the nature of time and space, etc) so philosophy IS in science, it's everywhere on science.

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