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Does science tell stories?

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    pburgerposted 6 years ago

    A science paper is supposedly objective truth. But if language is the medium of expression, and all language is subjective, how objective the language of science?

    1. LarasMama profile image60
      LarasMamaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Science can be subjective based on two areas:
      1. Updated knowledge - over time scientists discover that theories are wrong, proving that science is not always right - and in fact never will be.
      2. Language - words can be misinterpreted or used in too broad or too narrow a scope which can lead to misinterpretation.

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        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You make two Interesting points that I cannot discount. What then is the difference between fact and fiction?

        1. LarasMama profile image60
          LarasMamaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Fact is something we believe based on visual or auditory proof while fiction is something which we cannot believe based on our senses?

          1. CaribeM profile image86
            CaribeMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Although at first glance your answer makes sense, if we go a bit deeper, I think that the perception or "knowledge" we get from our sensorial experiences is not the basis to distinguish "fact" from "fiction". Do anyone today believe that the Sun goes around the Earth? (I hope no one, wink ) For us, that believe is a "fiction", "a myth", or a "superstition", but that "knowledge" came from common observation and was sanctioned by science for many centuries. In fact, "scientific knowledge" usually debunks "truths" that are based on sensorial experience. So sensorial "knowledge" can't be the foundation to decide that something is "a fact" or not.

            Paradoxically, "science" also creates another sort of fictions due to the limitations of language, human knowledge and the ideological constraints of culture. For instance, in 1803 John Dalton developed a theory of the matter which stated that it was composed of tiny indivisible particles called atoms. Decades after that "truth was proven incorrect, and its stirs a lot of debate among mathematicians and physicists.

            Just a thought!

            (I know this reflection doesn't gives a "definitive" answer to the query about the difference between "fact' and "fiction", but I'll reflect on that.)

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              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              In fact, John Dalton resurrected the atomic theory of matter. The first exposition of the theory dates back to Leucippus & Democritus (c. 460-370 BCE) and his successor.

              I wonder, did Dalton know or acknowledge the ancient heritage of the idea of atoms?

          2. terced ojos profile image73
            terced ojosposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            It's funny when we talk about visual or auditory proof to establish that something exists.

            What does a thought look like?

            Think for a minute.  What color is a thought? How much does a thought weigh? What does a thought smell like?

            You have thoughts all the time. You have in my estimation probably never seen a thought? smelled a thought? tasted a thought? or weighed a thought? yet you presumably know that thoughts exist. How can it be that you have no scientific basis for measuring thoughts yet you know they exist.

            Sounds pretty illogical to me. This whole thought business.  LOL...

            I don't believe in thoughts because I've never seen one, i've never tasted a thought or smelled a thought. Come to think of it I've never had a thought and I'm not really thinking what I'm typing because my thoughts can't be empirically proved.

            So there.

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              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              LMFAO! Superb... But on a serious note, thoughts do have a weight. They exist in the electro-chemical world of neurology if only as a field of energy. And neurologists did discover that emotional words produce physical reactions in the human brain. So thoughts have a material existence, it just they are difficult to conceive with our reasoning mind.

              1. terced ojos profile image73
                terced ojosposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                The point is not lost on you pburger.

                What does a thought taste like pburger?  What does a thought smell like?

                We can talk about electro-chemical energy but anybody who is honest has to at least concede the possibility of God.

                I believe the fourth law of thermodynamics states that it takes energy to create energy. If this scientific law is true. What created the very first energy?

                You can't just say. "It has always existed." That flies patently in the face of the law of thermodynamics and is as unscientific a statement as can be made. You can't have it both ways.

                I'm not saying you have to believe in God but as a scientist according to your scientific laws you still have to concede the possibility. If you don't then what is the difference between you and people who believe in God as a matter of faith.

                I'm so confused by the so-called logical, rational, scientific minded persons absolute refusal to concede the possibility. In this way these people are fanatical and no different than their religious counterparts.

                Now i'm lauging at you .....LMAO....

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                  pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  OMG terced ojos, you confuse me with Richard Dawkins?

                  Where do I claim ownership or affiliation to absolute laws? Where in my post do draw the idea that I subscribe to the 'logical, rational, scientific minded persons' absolute refusal to concede the possibility' of metaphysical existence?

                  True. I do not believe in a paternal omniscient being commonly called God. But I do think a rational mind fails to encounter a plethora of phenomena.

                  I agree with you that 'the so-called logical, rational, scientific minded ... people are fanatical and no different than their religious counterparts'.

                  As for the taste and smell of a thought, I would say put the idea in reverse - smell and taste are thoughts used to describe particular physical sensations.

                  I hope you can stop laughing at me, and start to laugh with me smile

                  1. terced ojos profile image73
                    terced ojosposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Forgive me alas the written word is often void of tone and inflection and is an imperfect form of perfect communication.

                    Suffice to say that I misunderstood your communication.

                    Glad to know you.

                  2. terced ojos profile image73
                    terced ojosposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Hmmmmm...

                    I am laughing with you.

                    Curious.  Would you consider yourself a religious person?

                    What is your take on the "God" thing?

                    As a human being is their anything in your life that you would consider "spiritual"?

                    I have read some of your post regarding scientist...Dalton et al...

                    I have a beginning understanding of Chemistry.  It's funny the whole time I was studying the atom I kept thinking to myself....."wow!...this is part of the hand of God."

                    Fascinating......!!!

                2. green tea-cher profile image60
                  green tea-cherposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  In response to your question - "What created the first energy" and "You can't say  it always existed" (is as unscientific statement as can be made)  - You might enjoy the book by Lee Strobel entitled "The Case for a Creator"  a book that investigates scientific evidence that points toward God.  In the book  they explain the kalam argument which states "not that everything has a cause but that everything that begins to exist has a cause."  If you are scientifically inclined I'm sure you will find this a great read.

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                    pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Hello green tea-cher

                    Thank you for post. While I am not atheistic I think you bring from Lee Strobel a valid point - 'not that everything has a cause but that everything that begins to exist has a cause'

                    If we follow the method of empirical inductive then surely the big-bang had a cause. Yet, empirical inductive science cannot conceive of what was there before the big-bang. But I agree, that does not count as an irrefutable argument against first cause. in fact, it highlights the need to investigate the cause of the event that began space-time as we know.

                    Yet, what proponent of empirical inductive science can answer the question of what 'caused' the initial event of the universe as we know it?

            2. susanlang profile image60
              susanlangposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Terced, you have valid points...and if anyone were to try and answer some of the interesting questions you bring to light, one would drive themselves crazy because many things have no answer and must be left alone or taken on faith. As you know, faith is when you believe in something greater then humankind. I enjoyed reading your comments smile

              1. terced ojos profile image73
                terced ojosposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Thank you Susan.

                I always try to pursue truth without fear and I have reasoned that whatever truth is in the end I will have to accept it; as I believe we all will.

                Thank you again Susan for your kind words.

          3. BWU910 profile image60
            BWU910posted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Anything that exist has something to substantiate its existence.. for anything else.. including the words that egress from ones mouth that doesn't have a direct link to the subject is a claim. Fact is a direct link to reality. And fiction although its factual projections are claims.

        2. psycheskinner profile image80
          psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          In terms of science truth is something perceived similarly by multiple independent obersers.

      2. terrowhite profile image60
        terrowhiteposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with you.. science is objective but to teach it has to be subjective ...

        1. Jane Bovary profile image89
          Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I'd agree with that too but it's still not a 'story' in the way Pbburger means it;ie no different from any other cultural myth.

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            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Thank you again Jane Bovary, for answering on my behalf. Did I really post those words? It matters not, really, does it? cool I'm sure you have my best interests at heart hmm

            1. Jane Bovary profile image89
              Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Well pardon me if I have put words in your mouth that don't belong, but given the discussion we've been having Pb, I don't think it was so unreasonable of me to draw that conclusion:


              You said...
              Why cannot a folk-tale impart knowledge? Why do we say a 'myth' is not knowledge? Why do we have the word 'myth'? When does a myth cease to be science, and vice versa?

              I said...
              Do you really think the dreamtime myths of aboriginal culture give us as much knowledge about the observable world as science? Yes or no..?

              To which you answered...
              Speaking to some Australian Aborigines, i learned from them that they really do see the world from a different point-of-view. So, yes, I do believe the indigenous people of Australia 'think the dream-time myths ... give [them] as much knowledge about the observable world as science...'

              To which I answered...
              As far as the dreamtime goes, every culture has their myths and stories but science transcends culture....it is adopted or is in the process of being adopted by just about every culture in the world. You will never find the dreamtime stories adopted universally as a method to understand the observable world.

              And you gave me no response to the above.


              Have I got your meaning all wrong? You didn't really answer my first question..you just described what the dreamtime means to that particular culture.

              Just as a matter of interest, suppose we all agree science does tell stories. What if any, conclusions can we draw from that PB?

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                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                One conclusion might be...I don't know!

                But why would you ask such a difficult and profound question of such a silly semantic 'postmodern' prate like me?

                oops I almost forgot the obligatory smile tongue big_smile

      3. 60
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    2. Beelzedad profile image61
      Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I don't ever recall science ever offering a "truth" objective or otherwise.

      The language of science is mathematics. smile

      1. CaribeM profile image86
        CaribeMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yes it is, but mathematical language is also representational/abstract. Mathematical formulas, axioms and theorems are also constructs.

        1. Beelzedad profile image61
          Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          So, what's your point? smile

          1. CaribeM profile image86
            CaribeMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            That I agree with you in terms that mathematics is the language of some natural sciences. I just wanted to point out that mathematics is also a convention, a construct, like language. I wanted to express that idea because many people believe that the "objectivity" of science relies on the "fact" that is built on a "precise" or "non-subjective" language: mathematics. (I guess, from your other posts that you don't believe the latter wink  )

            cool

            1. Obscure Divine profile image61
              Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Any "objectivity" will always be subject to the tear down from "subjectivity."   I'll remain sane and stay subjective for now; thanks.  big_smile

            2. Beelzedad profile image61
              Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I don't equate our languages to the "language" of mathematics in regards to construct considering the construct of mathematics is not something men created but instead was discovered. smile

              1. CaribeM profile image86
                CaribeMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                "mathematics is not something men created but instead was discovered"

                Ahhh???? Where in the world it was discovered?

                Mathematics is a discipline of study. Regarding this discipline Albert Einstein said: "as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

                1. Obscure Divine profile image61
                  Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I can help ya out, CaribeM:  Just call everything an illusion and be done with it.  ...This seems to be your line of thoughts and it is definitely the easiest way to look at things; nothing wrong with that.  big_smile

                  1. CaribeM profile image86
                    CaribeMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Thanks, but I do not agree with the assertion that "everything is an illusion" that's a general statement that I don't endorse, neither its my line of thought.

                2. Beelzedad profile image61
                  Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Mathematics wasn't just discovered at one time or one place, but over long periods of time and in numerous places. String theory alone has brought about a new line of mathematical discoveries only recently, most of it I have little understanding.



                  It's interesting to note that Einsteins own mathematical formulas were so elegant and simple, yet so premise to what effect reality was producing. smile

                  1. CaribeM profile image86
                    CaribeMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I agree with you in terms of the historical nature of Mathematics as a discipline, a tool for knowledge. In that sense,  I think we are not far from each other. On the other hand, I must say that I believe that the issue here is the use of the word "discover"  to describe the construction of mathematical formulas (axioms, theorems). Maybe we should define the concept "discovery".  If you mean that discovery is a revelation or disclosure of something that exists, I will not agree that "Mathematics was discovered". But if instead, you depart from the notion that, to discover is a way to get a knowledge or give an explanation of something... I might agree with the assertion. In that sense, Mathematics and its products (knowledge) are the result of the material and cultural devices of humans in a particular context, so is a way , a method, for humans to build knowledge. Hence,  I will insist that Mathematics are an abstract representation of a constructed reality.

                    Let's take your example about "string theory" (which BTW, is a theory that not all mathematicians and physicists endorse). That "new" theory came about the questioning of the principles of quantum mechanics and general relativity, which BTW, came about the questioning of some Newtonian principles. What I'm, trying to say here, is that string theory (as other theories) is based upon models that resulted from the material (for example, technology) and cultural devices (for instance, language) of humans in a particular historical context. The way scientist in Newton's and pre-Einstein era understood the Universe is very different from now. I think that is not a matter of "discovery" (in the sense that they found something that always was there), but a matter of human interpretation. The way scientists SEE, UNDERSTAND and EXPLAIN the world and the Universe is the result of their own times, resources and constrains.

                3. Obscure Divine profile image61
                  Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Yeah, it is easier to examine the footprints of others from the past, as opposed to creating your own original steps that can outlast.

                  1. Obscure Divine profile image61
                    Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Yep, like I said...

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                    pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Rather say that I 'examine the footprints of others from the past' I say I stand on the shoulders of those who went before me.

                    Isn't that exactly what scientists do? They build upon what comes before them.

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                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Surely the language of mathematics, like any language, evolves over time? For instance, the ancient Egyptians used a form of geometry but they formulated the axioms of geometry; they used a descriptive language. The axioms were developed bu Euclid several 1000 years after the Egyptians first starting using the language of geometry.

                And today we see the evolution of the language of physics in the development of nanotechnology and neurology; a far cry from the determinist empiricism of the 18th and 19th centuries.

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        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I beg to differ... the language of science is English or French et. al. I do agree, however, that the method of science of mathematics. But not all science is mathematical; for instance political science. Perhaps your view of science is too narrow...

        1. Beelzedad profile image61
          Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          No, it is mathematics.



          Oh no, you got me on that one. roll

        2. Evan G Rogers profile image84
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I"m not sure political science is actually a science as per the scientific method.

          Observation - Explanation - Test - Ind. Tests - Peer review - Theory

          I fail to see how one can run a repeated test on something like "socialism"

          Perhaps it would be better suited to Praxeology

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            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            That is partly my point - that language is part of the problem in that what we call science is still a dubious and evolving subject. And even the process of examination and analysis is not limited to 'science'. and you reliance on the repeatability of experiments is dubious because you cannot repeat the collision of two atoms; the atoms are destroyed in one experiment. That seems the same situation you claim refutes the science of politics.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              you can take two hydrogen atoms, any hydrogen atoms in the world, and smash them together.

              They might not be the exact same hydrogen atoms, but... what the hell would the point be in making a scientific theory based off of two specific hydrogen atoms using specific electrons in a specific collider....

              ... that would be such a pointless experiment that would not be peer reviewable.

              I'm afraid that if you can't accept that, you will forever be lost when it comes to science.

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                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I believe that to exclude social phenomena from the the compass of the scientific method is to reduce the scientific method to form of positivist  empiricism. if the science of politics is a dubious concept, so is positivist science.

                As for the 'lost when it comes to science', may I draw your attention to the topic within which this thread sits - Liberal arts and the sciences. I bring this detail to your attention for two reasons. First, the topic clearly references the conjunction between two subject classically deemed disparate. Second the topic references 'the sciences'; hence to reduce the thread to a single methodology or a single method is to ignore the plurality of subjects encompassed with the phrase 'the sciences'.

                And on the point of method and methodology, I bring to your attention the ongoing debate the various science communities as to 'the correct' interpretation drawn from various analysis of physical and social phenomena. For example, the debate over epistemology praised by philosophical scientists such as Karl Popper, Paul Feyerband, and Thomas Kuhn.

          2. terced ojos profile image73
            terced ojosposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Political Science

            Observe: observe the population and reaction to given words.

            Explain: deceive; explain that your explanations will benefit them but not really. Money/Power is your ultimate goal.

            Test: Test to see how well your words deceive and to what degree you will be able to move the masses toward your goals...short, medium and long term=Money/Power

            Peer review: Invest large sums of money from your corporate interest into politicians and think tanks designed to figure out ways to manipulate the masses even more through the use of language and imagery which will get you some measure of =Money/Power

            Theory: Theory firmly established. You have successfully established through investigation how you can through propaganda use all venues of media to deceitfully pursuade the populus towards your hidden agenda=Money/Power

            The afformentioned Political Science Theory is called: "Corporate Fascists-Democracy"

            At current pace this particular theory is set to undermine the common working man and insures a one world economy and absolute power for the corporations concerned.

    3. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
      Mikel G Robertsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Not very...

      (Yes, the world is flat and anyone that says different is delusional.)

    4. qwark profile image61
      qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      C'mon! You've certainly heard of "science fiction?"
      I'm addicted to it....:-)

    5. qwark profile image61
      qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hahaha...lets get real...ok?\What is the point you are trying to make?
      We all know that science is just knowledge covering the general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested by the scientific method and the only method we humans have to express results is through the medium of language.
      I'm trying my best to figure out what the f*ck yer trying to discern by asking this, to me, silly question.
      Go for it...:-)

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        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        What is the silly question and why?

        And how does another person's intention impact on how, why, when you express your opinion?

        1. qwark profile image61
          qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Pburger:
          If you can't visualize why this is a silly question and can only elicit silly responses no more need be said.  Whew!  :-)

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            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            nudge nudge wink wink say no more

    6. ceciliabeltran profile image85
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I had that thought as well. Really nothing is purely objective. A person's interpretation of the data she/he sees comes into play.

    7. andromida profile image75
      andromidaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      language of science becomes objective through equations or formulas.

    8. LiamBean profile image88
      LiamBeanposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      There's a lot of confusion about science.

      Of course it's subjective. Those who propose theories (not truths) to supply answers to questions cannot help but become "married" to the ideas that they are supporting. So of course, in that phase, science is subjective.

      But it's got two things going for it that virtually no other profession has. It has an apprenticeship and it has peer review.

      The apprenticeship insures that fellows (a title) who are accepted, degreed, and tenured into the profession follow long established rules regarding the scientific method, publishing, and peer review.

      This last, peer review, insures that all impossibilities are stripped away and the theory stands on what can be empirically supported and replicated by all. At that point science becomes highly objective.

    9. wingedcentaur profile image86
      wingedcentaurposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I see you have juxtaposed objectivity and subjectivity. I suggested, in another of your forums, that this might, in itself, be a rich topic to ponder. What is the difference between objectivity and subjectivity? This might be a good starting point to place ourselves in trying to unravel the question: Does science tell stories.

      For myself, I like to begin by distinguishing between knowledge and information - there is a difference. For me, knowledge is within nature and can therefore be "remembered" by Platonic means.

      Knowledge, I think of , as a kind of process rather than a thing. Information is a collection of, more or less, hard facts, and is therefore outside of nature. History is largely information. There is no way to "remember" The Treaty of Westphalia of 1648.

      But with guidance one can "remember" or retrace the conceptual pathways that led to certain ideas in physics or something. Before physics existed someone - actually many someones - created or discerned it.

      Through the process of knowledge an informational base of physics was created over time. This informational base constitute the "facts." But there is an area of the science, called Quantum Physics, which is still theoretical in nature, in which the process of knowledge is ongoing, and it is in this region where disagreement can and does happen among scientist. And of course, it is in this region, where false starts and corrections and revisions are most likely to occur.

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        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with the points you make; knowledge and information differ from each other; knowledge is not a physical object one can possess; and yes, people created science, physics, religion and theology.

        And yet, many people who posted answers to the question vehemently argue that science does not tell stories. They seem to base their arguments on a conceptual distinction between the factual content of science, its theories, and methodologies, and the fictional content of artistic artifacts.

        However, I think whether in the mode of science or the mode of art stories include include information and result in knowledge. Hence, I think science tells stories...

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          (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          No, they base their answers on an understanding of science.

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            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Dear (Q)

            For me, to say 'No, they base their answers on an understanding of science' does not clarify anything. Without doubt people have an understanding of science, but you do not clarify upon what do they base that understanding... You simply say they have an understanding.

            When I wrote 'They seem to base their arguments on a conceptual distinction between the factual content of science, its theories, and methodologies, and the fictional content of artistic artifacts' I sought to bring to light two different bases upon which people might ground what you call an understanding...

            To help me understand your one-liner, and with reference to these different bases, would you care to elaborate on what you said?

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              (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Simple, you appear to have needlessly injected a so-called "conceptual distinction' when none exists.

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                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                (Q)

                Since you again limit your thought to a one-line, I have no insight into why you think I 'needlessly injected a so-called conceptual distinction when none exists'.

                I am opening to diverse opinions and will change my mind when presented with good reason. But to persuade me to another view, one you have not explicated, you need more than a bald assertion.

                I wrote what I thought and I think a conceptual distinction exists... until you elaborate your reasoning on the matter, I have no reason to question my own view.

                1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
                  ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  pburger,

                  this guy likes to do this. he implies being superior without support. He is not going to provide you with anything other than "you're wrong"

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                  (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I have no idea why you did, either.



                  It is the insertion of a "bald assertion" that lead us here in the first place.



                  You may assume or believe a conceptual distinction exists, but that is as far as it goes. Sorry.

    10. Shahid Bukhari profile image60
      Shahid Bukhariposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Science, is the name, of any Organized body of Knowledge ...
      Science does not tell Stories ... it tells "Theories" ... in the state of Non-Belief ... Scientists do so, for Denying the Truth of Creation's Reality.

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        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Hello Shahid Bukhari

        Welcome to the forum and thank you for your contribution.

        Please, can you clarify something?
        1) What is the difference between a story and theory?
        2) What is the difference between science and religion?
        3) What is the difference between non-belief and truth?

        Thank you

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          (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Do you not know those differences? Can you not clarify them yourself? If you don't already know the differences, doesn't that invalidate your assertions?

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            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            (Q)

            Thank you for your permission to impose, on Shahid Bukhari, your understanding of the differences. However, I asked those question to clarify the terms of any future discussion, and did so because I accept that language can have multiple meanings.

            What is more, and thoroughly ironic, according to you, I make flawed interpretations, therefore, why would I take your line of presuming I know anything?

            So, no, my questions do not invalidate anything. I asked questions to understand the opinion of another people.

            Since you did not cite nor address my putative assertions, yet again, you demonstrate a lack of reasoning and another straw man argument.

            BTW - I am not the subject of the forum - the subject of the forum is 'Does science tell stories?'

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              (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Why not just consult a dictionary like everyone else?



              On the contrary, your assertions were corrected for their obvious flaws.



              Yes, I know, it is a moot subject. That's what everyone has been trying tell you. smile

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                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                (Q)

                If you took time to read allthe posts in  this forum, you would see a variety of opinions on the question. So, only in your mind will you find a moot question... smile But that does not answer my question 'Does science tells stories?' Rather, your desire to assert your story/theory of a moot question examples my point... smile. You tell a very short story...

                Your reliance on the dictionary shows that you insist that language must always reveal a very narrow story. Have you not heard of connotations, as opposed the denotations contained in the dictionary? Does your scientific mind not include post-structuralist and deconstructionist literary theory? For four decades linguists, philosophers, and literary theorists have understood that language far exceeds the meanings found in any dictionary.

                For example, ambiguity is context-dependent: the same linguistic item (be it a word, phrase, or sentence) may be ambiguous in one context and unambiguous in another context. For a word, ambiguity typically refers to an unclear choice between different definitions as may be found in a dictionary. A sentence may be ambiguous due to different ways of parsing the same sequence of words.

                What is more, the lexical ambiguity of a word or phrase consists in its having more than one meaning in the language to which the word belongs. "Meaning" ... refers to whatever should be captured by a good dictionary. For instance, the word “bank” has several distinct lexical definitions, including “financial institution” and “edge of a river”. Another example is apothecary. You could say "I bought herbs from the apothecary." This could mean you actually spoke to the apothecary (pharmacist) or went to the apothecary (drug store).

                Ambiguous expressions often appear in texts associated with the physical and mathematical sciences. In maths, it is common practice to omit multiplication signs in mathematical expressions. Also, it is common, to give the same name to a variable and a function, for example, ~f=f(x)~. Then, if one sees ~f=f(y+1)~, there is no way to distinguish, does it mean ~f=f(x)~  multiplied by ~(y+1)~, or function ~f~  evaluated at argument equal to ~(y+1)~. In each case of use of such notations, the reader is supposed to be able to perform the deduction and reveal the true meaning. Thus, ambiguity is not alien to texts that deal with science.

                As for 'Does science tells stories?' I say yes, because taking story as a common term for a description of a sequence of events. I argue that, in one form or another, this is precisely what many scientific papers do... The difference I see between narrative stories and scientific stories, is not the methods that produce the stories, but the representational mode of the language the writer uses to express the content that fills the form.

                1. 60
                  (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I do find it slightly interesting, although rather expected, that you would continue to believe this has anything to do with me. It doesn't/



                  A dictionary provides definitions to words, it is useful for communication.



                  That's nice. So what?




                  Thanks for the references to Ambiguity, although I have no idea what that has to do with the scientific method. Btw, have you looked that up yet?

                  1. 0
                    pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    You jump on my early draft, and thereby show that you cannot wait until I complete my post. Thus, you have not formed an argument based on my completed thoughts - hence you put out another straw man argument.

                    As for 'the scientific method ... have you looked that up yet?'

                    Yes! smile And look what I found.
                    1) A scientific method seeks to explain the events of nature in a reproducible way, and to use these reproductions to make useful predictions. You might not know, or admit, this is what modern stories do. Modern stories solve a problem and provide examples for people to compare with similar situations.

                    2) a scientific theory ... is always open to falsification if new evidence is presented. Even the most basic and fundamental theories may turn out to be imperfect if new observations are inconsistent with them. That is not like the science I read about in the posts in this forum.

                    3) An enormous range of scientific literature is published... Literature! Science is associated with literature?

                    An open mind is the hallmark of a scientist - a mind closed moot points belongs to a dogmatist...

    11. 0
      David99999posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      This is a very good philosophical, metaphysical question.  I would have to say that I believe that at least 99% of human consciousness is subjective.  Going on that assumption, I would say that there is no such thing as objective scientific research.  Thus, yes, science does tell stories.

    12. Shahid Bukhari profile image60
      Shahid Bukhariposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Yes ... Science does tell Stories ... in fact, its telling much better stories, in a much more convincing ... meaning, a Rational manner ... compared to what the religious and political clergy, of days bygone told selectively.

      Witches, as late as the 16th century, were feared and abhorred ... and once the label of Witch was fixed by the clergy, the alleged were ruthlessly hunted down ...and consigned to flames.

      The Irony of Stories, however, is, that Galileo ... a scientist, was also declared a Heretic, which was being the same as a Witch ... for stating, a Scientific fact, which happened to be contrary to the Bible ... That, Earth, orbits the Sun ...

      o Galileo was burnt alive, at the stake, in the Public Square ...Reckon, in those drab and dreary days, burning at the Stake, was the only public entertainment ...

      Now we have Technologies, which Glorify Vampires, Ghouls and Witches ... movies are made, and people pay hard earned money to see these stories ... made with the help of Camera, and Computer Graphics.

      Now the Clergy, is being blamed by Science, for, what they asy is the  Heresy of the Irrational Belief... as Story makers follow up their clandestine agenda ... of rewriting the world's history, via movies.

      1. superwags profile image82
        superwagsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        That's another belter of an answer there. Galileo died of natural causes though.

      2. Beelzedad profile image61
        Beelzedadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        It would appear that rewriting history is something you have some experience. Galileo was never burned at the stake, in a Public Square or anywhere else. Where do you get your information? smile

    13. Shahid Bukhari profile image60
      Shahid Bukhariposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      superwags, Beelzedad, and friends

      In order to avoid diverting attention from the focus of our Topic ... I suggest, you read History books, written before 1900s  ... you will find what I am saying is true.

      But supposing, I agree to a peripheral observation, and agree, for the sake of a dialogue ... and accept, what you say is true, because of no fault of yours, since your facts have been drawn from the "Rewritten" ... meaning, the modified Modern Version of Human history ...

      [History, if you could see closely, is being rewriting these days with the help of "New Scientific" Evidence  ... viz. Archaeological Finds of dubious nature ... and such "Evidence" being used to resurrect the Validity, of a Scientific Belief, Theory ... a Theory, though you will disagree ... is a Semantics defined Story !]

      The Truth, remains, that Science is indeed telling us a lot more Stories, than the past Oracles, Priests, Kings, and Shamans, all put together ... The latest, are the 3-D Version of Computer Graphics based, "Stories."

      By the way, I never not talk about Religions ... nor do I proselyte on the Net, for Rationalism or Religion ... I am only stating the Truth ... but most of those, following Modernized Religions, Science, and Histories, find my stated ... totally unpalatable, thus, unacceptable ... and address me by different derogatory names ...

      1. Beelzedad profile image61
        Beelzedadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        No, what you are saying is not true, by any stretch of the imagination. But, you are free to continue making stuff up to support your religious beliefs and present them as fact. smile

  2. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    What is the reason for this post? Is religion the motive? smile

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Theological religion is not my motive for this question. Rather my motive is to explore what people think about the distinction between fact and fiction. I'm interested to see reactions such as yours. Do I ken an unquestioning defence of 'the religion of science'? - Richard Dawkins - A devil's chaplain - 2004.

      1. Jeff Berndt profile image91
        Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        The problem is that, with science, there's not a binary fact-or-fiction switch. It's a process by which a theory becomes more and more fact-y, or gets disproven.

        F'rinstance, once upon a time, scientists (or natural philosophers as they were then called) used to think that air was full of this stuff they called "phlogiston," and when all the phlogiston was removed, the air would be no good.

        We now know that they were observing the effects of oxygen being used up, and once Oxygen was isolated, most natural philosophers abandoned the phlogiston theory as false. Some stuck with it, though, as it did predict results (it just didn't explain them correctly). Scientists are human, and sometimes it's hard to get a person with a big ego to look at new data and accept that they disprove his earlier theory (especially if he's spent a lot of time, effort, and other resources on that theory).

        1. marinealways24 profile image60
          marinealways24posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          For instance them saying evolution is just a non random machine of natural selection. They have spent a lot of time to show it has no intelligence or design while forming non random words to get around saying it has intelligence and design.

        2. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
          Mikel G Robertsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          For instance Newton's third law of motion...  hmm

          1. Beelzedad profile image61
            Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yeah, that Newton character was such a moron. I mean, who the heck uses math to explain things in the real world?  He probably should have just waved his arms around like you did.  smile

            1. Obscure Divine profile image61
              Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              LOL!

        3. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Good points Jeff. The ideology of science is too often brushed aside by people who have a vested interest in the promulgation of their values.

          The 'simple view assumes that our knowledge and expectations do not affect our observations, that it is possible to make observations in a completely unprejudiced way' (Nigel Warburton 'Philosophy: The basics' 2004, 4th edition, Routledge, London, p. 112).

          What conclusion would we come to if we tallied the number of overturned scientific theories?

      2. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        No, what you ken is a person who can think outside the usual confines of indoctrinated belief. smile

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Surely, based on modern science, inside or outside are relative positions - and what happens when science becomes indoctrinate; as when science denies the value of other modes of reasoning?

    2. Jane Bovary profile image89
      Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Worse. It's postmodernism

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        smile

      2. 0
        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Why do you insist on asserting your value-judgment. What makes a postmodern position worse? It is to my mind, drawn more from quantum mechanics that literary theory. And, I believe I adhere to a post post-modern attitude that questions much of the ideas that you consider reprehensible.

        1. Jane Bovary profile image89
          Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Hello pburger,

          What have I got against postmodernism? Don't get me started...


          Well one reason I don't like it, it doesn't allow for judgements..at all. See, you just told me that I can't have an opinion about it. Of course no-one can really define what what PM is, it's slippery... but it goes something like this; no-one thing can be valued more than another...no such thing as an objective truth, no external realities...only *artefacts* or *texts*. The appeal to reason we are told is merely an appeal to Western culture...reason is a lie. Everything is  a "cultural construct" so let's all jump  into the black hole of cognitive nihilism.

          Nothing personal against you, I'm sure your'e a charming, intelligent guy  but I just spent 3 years at  Uni being taught  to despise  Enlightenment values like rational inquiry and to worship impregnable texts like "Grammatology" . It was supposed to be a post grad Arts  course yet we didn't read or discuss one interesting, creative fictional work..only drab, dreary cultural theorists who prattled on and on in an endless regression about *textual discourses* and *artefacts*  in dense, convoluted  passages that drove me mad trying to work out wtf they actually meant. ...? I'm finally free of it and I never want to go there again. Just because its spread through liberal arts courses  like the cane toad doesn't make it right! Worship it if you will, but  you're probably/hopefully wearing last seasons academic fashion.

          Every time you reboot your computer you confirm that science is not *a story*.

          Few would claim it was a perfect system but it [i]can[i/] be valued higher than such things as divining rods, palm reading and witchcraft. and it can and has revealed  truths about the natural world. If you don't believe me try jumping off the roof  of a tall building and see for yourself whether the laws of physics are real or not.

          Give me a religious fundamentalist any day...at least they allow for the possibility of knowledge.

          1. 0
            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Hi Jane,

            From what words do you conclude that 'I you just told me that I can't have an opinion about it'?

            Of course you can an opinion, that is partly the point of PM.

            I think what you consider PM is actually more of a description of ethical relativism.

            I too do not ascribe lock-stock and barrel, to PM. But I also reject any form of positivist science.Hence, my question that began this thread was to find a position between the two - to find what we might call a post postmodern view of the world. One that acknowledges the realm of science without banishing those modes of reasoning that go beyond the scientific method.

            As the 'the possibility of knowledge', I do not discount knowledge; what I want is to extend our view of knowledge. I want to allow knowledge through means other than positivist science.

            As for religious fundamentalists, and given that they do not allow full and frank debate, I question whether or not they allow for knowledge. And I would say that too many scientists hold fundamentalist views...

  3. cupid51 profile image48
    cupid51posted 6 years ago

    Nothing can be considered as the objective truth as it depends on the knowledge achieved till that time.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Do you mean science is the same as fiction, myth, or religion?

  4. aka-dj profile image79
    aka-djposted 6 years ago

    Science tells ALL SORTS of stories.
    Have you ever watched the Discovery Channel?
    They even use CGI to show you EXACTLY how it COULD have been, and just exactly what creatures will (probably) look like in thousands of years.
    Fascinating stuff.
    lol lol lol

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Good point. That is partly why I asked the question. What are we to make of science reduced to fit the need of the popular media? What about fictional shows that reinforce the view of science as objective truth - i.e. such as Doc Who, and crime fiction such as 'Ghosts' in which technology enables all sorts of plot--twists seem credible.

  5. Evan G Rogers profile image84
    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

    Science isn't anything more than a tool.

    When dealing with science you need to

    first - notice something.

    second - attempt to explain it

    Third - test, in some manner, if your explanation was accurate

    fourth - let everyone else know how you attempted to test your explanation

    and fifth - openly allow and encourage criticism of your methods.

    If you are claiming that language is "subjective" and we are to take this as a given, then all attempts at interacting with another human being using language of any sort is subjective.

    Thus I could claim that the check that i put in the bank yesterday never existed, and it was nothing more than a story...

    ... but this does not change the fact that everyone in existence agrees that the money in the bank is in the bank.

    Science is the same way. Sure, you can deny what language is, but Science can't be denied unless mistranslated.

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image91
      Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      And here I was getting all geared up to explain the Scientific Method. Evan beat me to it.

      Yes, language is subject to misuse and misinterpretation, which is why clarity in communication, and agreed-upon definitions, are important. Words mean things. Language evolves. But data is data, and reproducible experiments are reproducible experiments.

    2. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Where the problem comes in isn't with how Science is "done".  The problem comes in when media reports on Science and doesn't do the best job of it; or else when people get their Science from television, popular magazines, etc.; and "run with" the incomplete information they got.  Consumes of this kind of information also often don't know what went into coming up with what; so some will doubt it, and others will "make up stuff" about what they don't know.

      Also, there's this kind of thing:  Someone reports, "Studies link looking at leaves too closely with broken arms."  The report will say essentially say something like, "Scientists don't know if people who are interested in leaves may be older people and therefore more likely to have Osteoarthritis; and it isn't known whether people interested in looking closely at leaves climb trees more often."

      In the meantime, the general public gets the information from media aimed at the general public (which usually leaves out "all that stuff the general public won't understand, or be interested in"), a lot of people in the general public will see this report, and start telling everyone else, "Don't look at leaves or else you'll get a broken arm."  Groups are formed, pressure starts being put on the government to change laws - and before you know it your town is outlawing looking at leaves and "educating" elementary school kids about the "dangers of leaf-looking".    roll

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        There's a good book that should be read by all: "Bad Science"... I can't find my copy (just moved) and forget the author's name. But he does a good (if a bit sloppy) job of discussing the whole issue.

      2. 0
        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yeah, good point Lisa, dumbbed-down documentaries feed the mass pulp fictions...

      3. Evan G Rogers profile image84
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Right... so... if some bozo says that there's a link between broken arms and looking at leaves... then... with the tool of science...

        it has to confirmed by independent research. So your entire argument fails because you ignored the most important part of science.

    3. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Without doubt science is a tool - but the question remains a tool for what purpose? And is science is the best tool for understanding every question? Does the tool cancel out subjectivity or simply mask it? The method of science continues to develop so the tool is not perfect. If the tool is perfect then why did Einstein not complete his life-long project of the Grand Unified Theory? If the tool is adequate why did Einstein deny Quantum Mechanics? If the tool is so valuable and without subjectivity, why did the Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen Argument against Quantum Theory fail the test of time?

      Perhaps, the EPR Argument is an exemplar story in the language of science?

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        To what purpose? - To explain things that need definitive answers

        Cancel out subjectivity or simply mask it? - It cancels out subjectivity about as best as you can. Peer review FTW.

        Method of science is not perfect - indeed, it evolves. Thus it constantly gets better and better.

        Why didn't einstein solve the universe's riddles?- dude. really? "we can't solve everything right away instantaneously, thus science is stupid"...

        Why did Einstein deny Quantum mechanics? - BECAUSE HE WAS WRONG!!! that's the whole point of peer review... Yeeeeeshhh... That's what makes science beautiful - if you're wrong, you're wrong. That's how science cancels subjectivity..

        see how that works... Einstein says something, then it is shown to be wrong, then he is wrong... See how that works? You're wrong, thus you're wrong?

        yeah....

  6. Will Apse profile image90
    Will Apseposted 6 years ago

    The universe has no need to understand itself but human beings love meaning- whether it comes from religion, science or art. Pick the one that most suits you but respect the others.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      You make a valid point - respect the others. I wonder in this digital age, when technology dominates our lives, just how many people of science genuinely respect the plethora of modes of reasoning.

  7. Rafini profile image82
    Rafiniposted 6 years ago

    A science paper is supposedly objective truth


    I don't get that when science is just a bunch of theories (tested or not) And science is nothing more than speculation.  Speculation isn't truth, it's observation mixed with opinion.

    1. Beelzedad profile image61
      Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Everything you have you owe to science and it's "opinions." smile

      1. Rafini profile image82
        Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        there are many different areas of science to consider - so which are we talking about?

        I personally have a problem with something I discovered recently.  There is a medication out there that is prescribed quite regularly that can cause tendons throughout your body to snap.  This sounds dangerous to me!!  Why is it a legal medication?  Because theories, observation and opinions said it works.

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image91
          Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Hey, science isn't always right. In fact, science is often wrong. Look at how often established theories have been replaced in the 20th century alone.

          But your argument doesn't hold up: drug regulations are not based on science alone, but also (and often more heavily) on economic forces, the pharma lobby, political pressure, etc.

          1. Rafini profile image82
            Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I'm talking about objective truth in science.

            1. Beelzedad profile image61
              Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Again, I repeat for your pleasure and understanding, science does not offer "truths"  smile

              1. Rafini profile image82
                Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                You are sooo Funny!!  lol
                That was my point.

              2. 0
                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Science does not offer "truths"? That may hold in some circles. But it is not a view held in all times and for all people. some people today have not caught up with the evolution of science.

                For instance, I believe that many people still hold the view that 'The most important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplemented in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote' Albert Michelson 1894 dedication address, Ryerson Physical Laboratory, University of Chicago cited in 'Archimedes to Hawkings: Laws of science and the great minds behind them' by Clifford A Pickover and published in 2008 by Oxford University Press in

                1. Beelzedad profile image61
                  Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  It matters not for those who do not hold this view as it is a view of ignorance.

                  Science does not offer "truths" because truths are absolute, you will only find truths in religion.



                  Rubbish. The speed of light is invariant, for example, hence it should remain invariant.  smile

                  1. Jane Bovary profile image89
                    Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I'm beginning to hate that word *truth*....it's always getting me into trouble.

                  2. 0
                    pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    'The speed of light is invariant, for example, hence it should remain invariant' except you do not take account of the physics of reality on the far-side of an event-horizon around a black-hole. I'm not aware of any clear undoubted laws that apply to reality beyond the event-horizon. Do you?


                    And the inductive method of science 'is not entirely reliable' (Nigel Warburton, 2004) To illustrate this point, Bertrand Russell used the example of a chicken that wakes up every morning thinking that as it was fed the previous day, so it would be again that day. It wakes up one morning only to have its neck wrung by the farmer' (Nigel Warburton, 2004).

                    The inductive method always allows for the possibility of refuting prior observations, that is one function of repeating experiments; to see if any change occurs.

          2. Evan G Rogers profile image84
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            whoa whoa whoa - Science can't be wrong, science can't be right.

            Science is a tool - the people who practice science my use it to reach incorrect results, but by definition of the tool known as science, the mistake should (and most likely) be discovered and corrected. This is known as peer review.

            Science is not an entity. People keep talking about it like it's some god. It's just a tool that people use...

            It's like a corkscrew... is a corkscrew wrong because you use it to open a book? No - it's just that it was misapplied. Is a corkscrew wrong because you twisted it the wrong way, and thus made the cork go in even further (or something). No, it's just that our "theory" of corkscrew was incorrect and will eventually be figured out.

            Science can't DO anything, it is just a way of thinking.

            1. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              It's like a corkscrew... is a corkscrew wrong because you use it to open a book?

              No, but what about when a person uses that same corkscrew to poke out another person's eye?

              The tool is never a flaw. But that doesn't mean every use a person makes of that tool is innocent.

              As for 'Science can't DO anything, it is just a way of thinking' I disagree because a way of thinking is not innocent. A way of thinking is mode of behavior - it is an act. to think is to act. The word 'think' is a verb. And we influence people with our thoughts as much as with a gun or corkscrew.

              1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
                Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Quote Pburger:
                "No, but what about when a person uses that same corkscrew to poke out another person's eye?

                The tool is never a flaw. But that doesn't mean every use a person makes of that tool is innocent. "

                The question of your topic is: "Does science tell stories?"

                The answer, as YOU'VE just given, is NO. The idiots who don't understand science tell stories. Science is a tool. (i'm not calling YOU an idiot, i'm calling the the person who uses science to poke another's eye out an idiot).

                1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
                  ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  science is a method of observing

        2. Beelzedad profile image61
          Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Nice strawman argument mixed with fallacy, got any more of those gems? 

          Legality has nothing to do with science. Just an fyi. smile

          1. 0
            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            If legality has nothing to do with science then what about the law-suit taken by the British Chiropractic Association against the science-journalist who claimed that Chiropractic was a poorly formed body of medicine. Or the political and legal campaign waged from the 1890s to the 1950s against the practice of Chiropractic?

      2. 0
        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I do not owe my feelings of love to science. Quite the opposite, science rests on emotion because recent neurological studies show that an emotional response occurs milliseconds before our cognition registers any sense of knowledge.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Science rests on emotion?! are you nuts?

          Who cares if you have an emotional response just before you cognitive thought, or whatever the hell you're talking about -- when I shoot a bullet, and it goes X yards, I can measure that. And If i publish my data, and explain the experiment, and other people repeat the process, and get the same results, then ... they can have an orgasm for all i care --- the bullet still went the appropriate distance.

          1. 0
            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yeah maybe I am nuts. And you might like to dismiss the link between emotion and cognition. But maybe you're narrow-minded. Why do people speak of the 'aha moment'? That much discovery takes place in science, or do you spend your research efforts regurgitating known details? Newton didn't have a model on which to base his theory of gravity. He had an intuition long before he had his theory and longer still before he had his prove. The same goes for Einstein and his two theories of relativity. And Max Planck and his theory of Quantum Mechanics. The prove of QM came 50 years after the theory was put forth.

            So, I don't understand your gripe.

            But I do understand the violence of your language. You choose to speak of a bullet. You could easily use some other physical object that travels through space - one that does not try to communicate a violent outcome.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Like i said, you can have an earth-shattering orgasm instead of the "aha moment".

              IT DOESN'T CHANGE WHAT YOU DISCOVERED.

              When Newton saw an apple fall, then postulated that it was the same force of gravity that held the moon in orbit, 10 trillion different things could have happened to him (here's a brief list)
              1- he could have committed suicide in despair
              2- he could have had an earth-shattering orgasm
              3- he could have wept at the beauty of simplicity
              4- he could have laughed maniacally
              5- he could have ran away screaming in fear
              6- he could have passed out
              7- he could have noticed the irony in something
              8- he could have been furious
              9- he could have gone nuts and murdered everyone he knew
              10- he could have... i dunno... eaten grass... or something...
              11- he could have had absolutely NO emotional experience whatsoever

              BUT HIS INSIGHT ABOUT EARTH'S GRAVITY PULLING BOTH THE APPLE AND THE MOON TOWARDS THE EARTH WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CHANGED.

              Science doesn't tell stories, bozos do.

              1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
                ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                science is a method of observation and observation is a subjective act. so science tells stories of the predispositions of the scientist. a scientist interprets data, dear.

                you are not a man of science i think

                1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
                  Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  once again, we are making horrendous misunderstandings about science without understanding what science is.

                  Yes, observation is subjective. But when millions of individuals around the world do an independent observation, repeatedly, of an event and or process, then subjectivity is weeded out.

                  NO - science doesn't tell stories; bozos do.

                  1. 0
                    pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I refer you to my forum on Online etiquette at http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/42786 and the forum rules at [url]http://hubpages.com/help/forum_rules[/i]

                    I ask that you refrain from argument ad homenim... People in this forum are entitled to the same respect they receive in offline communications.

    2. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Nice one Rafini. Opinion is the missing link that I wanted to tease out.

      1. Rafini profile image82
        Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        smile

        (don't understand what you mean, but thanks!?) 

        (but I tell ya this - the more I get involved in these discussions/debates the more I believe I need to get to college!!  LOL)

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          LMFAO... maybe not - maybe 'education' is part of the problem?

        2. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          What I meant by 'opinion is the missing link' just as we consider stories to be the author's opinion so we see science as a mode of opinion. That is, a scientific theory is an interpretation of data, just as a novel is an interpretation of data. Both data sets and modes of interpretation and modes of presentation differ, but in some sense it's all interpretation or 'opinion'.

    3. Pandoras Box profile image82
      Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Science is nothing more than speculation?!!!

      Have you tested that theory?

      1. 0
        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Well come to the thread Pandora's Box.

        In a different, I think, you asked my very question.

        However, IMHO, your thought begs an important question... how might we test the theory that science is nothing more than speculation?

        Would and could we use science to probe science? Would or could we use language to probe the matter? Would or could we qualitative or quantitative methods?

        Thank you for an insightful post...

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          we use science to probe science every day.

          Everyone at all times attempts to explain what they see on a daily basis with his understanding of the world. And their results almost always lead to the same explanation (at least, the self consistent theories do. - If we say that Penguins can't fly because their wings freeze off, then we'd have to figure out why they have wings).

          The repeated unrelenting testing that goes on every single day by every single person shows undeniably that science is the way to go.

          And just to put a better display of this, in medicine tests were run to determine which medicines were the best - so they gave patient x drug x, and patient y drug y - then they compared em. There was a scientific test - many years later - testing if THIS form of science was the best. Lo and behold it wasn't: placebos were necessary. Many years later, a science testing scientific study was carried out: and lo and behold placebos weren't enough, we needed double blind research.

          This goes on every day unrelentlessly.

          Science doesn't tell stories; bozos do.

  8. Obscure Divine profile image61
    Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago

    The only stories I see being told, such as a feign tale of utter falsehood, is the title of this thread.  hmm  Now, if you want to speak about stories, well, lets just move on into the religion & belief section of the forums, shall we?  big_smile

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Why should I move this question into the realm of fantasy? Why is my question a falsehood? Perhaps your answer belongs where faith and dogma prevail, in the forum on religion. Who put science beyond the reach of epistemology? When and how did science definitively establish itself as something that does tell stories?

      1. Obscure Divine profile image61
        Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I never knew I could find science research studies in the fiction section.  I was never aware that extensive lab research was done to fight "writers block."  Interesting...  I thought it was Sci-Fi writers that told stories, along with science fantasy shows, Sci-Fi flicks, et cetera......

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Would that not depend on your 'definition' of a story? Many so-called fictions contain facts,and many so-called science papers contain fictions. I refer you to the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen Argument that dominated physics and was thought to put the nail in the coffin of Quantum Mechanics. But 30 years later, the Argument fell into disrepute and no longer stands as a refutation of the Quantum Mechanics. So where is the clear distinction between fact and fiction?

          1. Obscure Divine profile image61
            Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            To me, when I hear the phrase "telling stories" in that context, I think of fictional tales wrote for amusement, lies, falsehoods, etc.  Of course, you may be using a completely different definition of "stories."  I understand the concepts in which knowledge builds throughout generations, that theories change and sometimes, facts.  I also realize the Homo sapiens have a limited understanding of the universe, and even Earth, for that matter.  But, I don't look at researchers and scientists as "telling stories."  Hell, I thought we all knew that science wasn't infallible.
            This topic is so elementary, that I'm yet to see the point... hmm

            1. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Who is the 'we'? I don't believe 'we' dot all know science isn't infallible. And when you 'hear the phrase "telling stories"' you think of 'tales wrote for amusement, lies, falsehoods, etc.' But have you never heard of a doc-drama? Have you never read fiction such as Turman Capote's 'In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences', inspired by a 300-word article that ran on page 39 of the New York Times on November 16, 1959 (reproduced below). The story described the unexplained murder of the Clutter family in rural Holcomb, Kansas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_Cap … man_Capote
              Or Fear and loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson, 'The book for which Thompson gained most of his fame had its genesis during the research for Strange Rumblings in Aztlan, an exposé for Rolling Stone on the 1970 killing of the Mexican-American television journalist Rubén Salazar.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_S._Thompson

              I put to you that modern fiction is much more than simple entertainment, and science much less than disinterested analysis.

              1. Obscure Divine profile image61
                Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I used 'we' as a figure of speech.  I never thought you would think I meant the entire world. neutral
                No, I don't read fiction anymore; I did when I was a little kid.  I don't read drama either, whether it is factual or fictional.
                Going by this thread, I suppose you think medical science is fictional as well???
                I guess one could always jump up from the operating table and say, "no, don't fix me; this is fiction!"  LOL!

                1. 0
                  pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  No. I don't mean stories in the limited sense you understand them. By stories I mean any construction of knowledge. and the outpourings in this thread, I understand that the culture of science is an imperial exercise - a domination of minds, far from a community of open-minded discussion.

                  The culture of science seeks to close the discussion. I seek to keep that discussion open.

                  1. Obscure Divine profile image61
                    Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    You was just on another forum, having trouble understanding words in the context that they are used -- BUT, when I use one of your words via a different definition, you say I'm limited.  LOL!  Now you're assuming limitation due to people not using the same definition that you choose.  That was a poor assumption, on your end.

  9. CaribeM profile image86
    CaribeMposted 6 years ago

    Pburger asked: "A science paper is supposedly objective truth. But if language is the medium of expression, and all language is subjective, how objective the language of science?"

    Lets deconstruct the premises of this question:
    1. "A science paper is supposedly objective truth"  Mmmmm...  "Science papers" are inquiries about existing knowledge, their purpose is to test and debate institutionalized beliefs and assertions. If "science papers" where written on the premise that they are "objective truths", scientific disciplines will no exist, since there was nothing to challenge. Historically, the notion that science conveys an "objective truth" is a view from the "modern era" (roughly from the 15th to the mid-20th century). So, to believe today that Scientific knowledge reflects "objective truths" is as fashionable as to believe in the humoral or miasmatic theories of disease. wink

    2. "if language is the medium of expression, and all language is subjective..."
    First of all, language is A medium for expression, not THE medium of expression. There are also other mediums of expression like signs, symbols, artistic forms, mathematics, etc. And of course, language is A medium to construct knowledge, but not the only one. Secondly, I believe that the statement that "all language is subjective" (which implies that it belongs to the thinking subject, rather than to the object of though, thus pertaining to a characteristic of an individual) is inaccurate and misleading. Instead, and following the reflections from the "linguistic turn" philosophers, language and everything we think of as 'reality' is a convention, or more clearly, a practice established by usage. So language is not subjective, is a cultural form.

    In short, the whole premise of the question is misleading... hmm

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with your first point, that 'objective truth' is an aging thesis. However, I would say too many people are not up-to-date with the latest developments in theories of truth. Hence I posed my question to gauge what degree the aging views persists.

      On your second though, I think you make a pedantic point without reference to social context of the question. You focus on the use of definitive article, somewhat in the manner of an aging analytical philosopher. You make a mountain of my failure to write with exacting precision, but omit a grammatical element from your penultimate sentence. I think you rely on the text alone and make an ungenerous reading of my question. For reasons of concision, and the social context of the web, I wrote 'But if language is the medium of expression'; but I began the question with 'A science paper '. Hence, I imply the two elements and so a generous interpretation would understand that I meant  something like 'if language is the medium of expression for a science paper'

      So, smile I disagree that 'the whole premise of the question is misleading'. Rather I think your argument is flawed and rests on the religion of science; an unquestioned faith in 'modern' science.

      But, as a skeptic and a devil chaplain, I look forward to your retort and thank you for your provocative opinion.

      1. CaribeM profile image86
        CaribeMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        First of all,  my apologies if my post sounded pedantic (or offensive), that was not my intention. I just wanted to provoke a debate that I think goes to the heart of the matter: that language, meanings and their effects are relevant. And I guess that's an important point if we want to establish a difference between "fact" and "fiction".

        I took your question very seriously. But I also think that is important to reflect on the question itself before trying to offer an answer/opinion about the subject. When I analyzed the question I found some premises that in my shortsighted and subjective point of view, did not "hold water". I appreciate  your grammatical clarification on the use of "the". But I must ask you: what do you think about the second part of my statement about "language"?

        "I think you rely on the text alone"  hmm  Well I don't know you and that's the only thing you offered... text without context.   hmm hmm  I would also add that I didn't attach to your text any kind of hidden intention; to make it more clear, I didn't go personal.

        On the other hand, which part of my post suggests that it "rests on the religion of science; an unquestioned faith in 'modern' science"?  Respectfully I ask you: why you find troublesome that I reflect on your "text" and then you  [u]assume[u] an ideological foundation (i.e. the believe on the religion of science) in my train of thought?

        BTW... I'm also an skeptic. wink

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          my fellow-skeptic, I thank you for your valuable contribution.

          I posted to question to generate debate. And debate is what I generated.

          I hope the thread keeps us occupied for some time. Because I see some any points of convergence and divergence; so many different positions and points-of-view.

          All's good at my end of the forum.

          I agree 'that language, meanings and their effects are relevant' and that was the heart of my question.

          But I'm not sure i 'want to establish a difference between "fact" and "fiction"'. I think I want to explore the way in which the distinction is anachronistic. For instance, accounting was once a narrative and only became quantitative in the last 150 years. In the opposite direction, medicine was high quantified and is now, in some areas such as nursing, tending toward narratives as both therapy and a research methodology.

          As for the 2nd part of 1st post I recognize the linguistic turn in philosophy. However, I tend to view the linguistic approach to language as a form of idealism. I hold to a strong materialist view of language. That is, language is not a mental phenomenon but a physical behavior. That is why I see science as closely allied to story-telling. They both construct interpretations of reality albeit using different modes of reasoning.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            if i wrote down "the dog ate a cat", but everyone understood that sentence to mean "things fall in a vacuum at 9.8 m/s/s".... then things wouldn't change.

            language has almost NO bearing whatsoever on science, except to communicate the theories from one person to another.

            Dictionaries exist to provide definitions. But if you truly believe that definitions are definite (!), then, I say to you, good sir,

            "The chicken and the egg are able to wolf down chairs in countries unknown to the envelopes."

            (have fun translating that into "non-definitive speech")

            1. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              My goodness E G Rogers,

              You certainly seem to have a bee in your bonnet smile

              You might think academia a brutal place, but 1) I don't think it has to be, and if it is, then it is brutal because people in that community are brutal, 2) based on my experience of academia, I don't think it is actually brutal in every case, 3) this is not academia; this is forum on a social networking site. The emphatic word being 'social'...

              People come here to share opinions, to broaden their outlook and understanding. If you want to 'prove' your thesis, I wish you well in your venture, but, please, in my opinion, this is not the 'place' to pursue that goal.

              Feel free to contribute your thoughts in a dignified manner that treats people as intelligent; despite their opinions differing from yours; otherwise the forum becomes a shouting-match from which nobody benefits.

              With my respect genuine, and hope sincere, I look forward to your continued contribution

            2. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              E G Rogers,

              I take up the mantel of translating you cryptic sentence smile

              You might not comprehend, enjoy, or approve my translation but that is beside the point for I simply offer this translation to show that meaning transcends the words we use.

              I decipher "The chicken and the egg are able to wolf down chairs in countries unknown to the envelopes" as meaning 'I choose to deliberately deny the opportunity for any literary meaning to come from my words for the explicit purpose of exerting a will to power so I might close down the dialogue that threatens to open up my mind...' smile

              But alas you won't be back to make a retort

  10. Glenn S. profile image61
    Glenn S.posted 6 years ago

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the world and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories.[1] As knowledge has increased, some methods have proved more reliable than others, and today the scientific method is the standard for science. It includes the use of careful observation, experiment, measurement, mathematics, and replication -- to be considered a science, a body of knowledge must stand up to repeated testing by independent observers. The use of the scientific method to make new discoveries is called scientific research, and the people who carry out this research are called scientists.[2
    I couldn't say it better myself.
    G

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Perhaps you put the cart before the horse, in that you use language to make your claim.

      For instance, your quotation includes the phrase, 'As knowledge has increased...' What is the difference between an increase in our knowledge and a change in our language? For example, many years ago 'the web' would most likely refer only to a spider's web and based on that real object, we had the metaphor for an entangled mesh of intrigue. But in the past fifty years 'the 'web' has come to mean some more. We had 'the web' long before we had the internet...

      My point is that science uses metaphor as much as fictions and stories. Atoms were once thoughts to be solid lumps of matter. Then Plato and Aristotle denied the existence of atoms. Then modern science re-discovered atoms only to find, a few hundred years later, that they are not solid but contain vast volumes of empty space.

      For me, the history of atoms is a story of a metaphor albeit in a language we call 'science'.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        A "metaphor for an entangled mesh of intrigue."  What better term for the internet!?  lol

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you wilderness... you touch of humor goes a long way

          Wink wink, nudge nudge.. say no more smile

          And what better term for a thread of provocative thoughts...

  11. tobey100 profile image60
    tobey100posted 6 years ago

    Sure!  Ever hear of Global Warming????

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      According to many conservative politicians it's a myth...

  12. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    A few more thoughts:

    (1) As to fiction, the old definition of it is "the willing suspension of disbelief" - overly simplistic, but it does stimulate interesting questions. (What do we call:  UNwilling suspension of disbelief; inability to suspend disbelief - or belief; unwillingness to suspend belief; willing suspension of belief?)

    (2) Just as the word "science" derived from the Latin word for knowledge, the Old English and Middle English words for knowing/ knowledge/ perception developed into several modern English words, including wit, witness, wise, wisdom, wizard, witch, and wicked. A lot of subjectivity went into the connotations that developed for those words - just as subjectivity goes into the connotation we give to the word "science."

    (3) Science may be considered "bad science" or "good science" for some silly reasons, as well as for some valid ones.  But human knowledge, whether expressed in mathematical or linguistic terms, automatically includes the human element.  The human element may manifest itself in the selection of topics for observation, experiment, or research; it may manifest itself in the interpretation and explanation of data; it may manifest itself in the review of peers, who are still human even when they try to be as objective as possible.

    Reliance on science (smile) still includes a degree of faith, whether it be faith in the process, faith in the integrity of the scientists and their underwriters, or faith in their ability to interpret correctly the outcome of their experiments.

    1. CaribeM profile image86
      CaribeMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Agree with you 100%    Well said!

      1. Obscure Divine profile image61
        Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I bet you agree heavily on the "faith" part; ha-ha!

    2. Obscure Divine profile image61
      Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Do you need faith to determine that cells exist and also die?  Do you need faith to say that malnutrition is not healthy?  Do you need faith to realize that we can easily calculate a degree of heat?  WTF?  Subjectivity versus Objectivity is a load of crap, to put it nicely.  ...It is all the same, in the never-ending end of endless infinity.  big_smile

      1. Aficionada profile image93
        Aficionadaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Cell life – Most of us on the planet are not trained scientists, even if we know scientists, understand science concepts, and appreciate the scientific method.  Faith enters the picture (even with the life cycle of cells) in that most of us can’t test knowledge or assumptions in a laboratory.   We can observe the apparent truth of cells’ lives (flakes of shed skin, for example) and describe/explain it (steps one and two of the scientific method). 

        But we may also acknowledge that some scientist somewhere has followed the other steps of the method and come up with a contradictory or better explanation.  We have faith – or confidence, if you prefer that word – that the explanations we have received and that we believe rely on the best scientific data available, collected by the best scientists available, and interpreted by the wisest minds available.

        Malnutrition – we need language to help us explain the difference between malnutrition based on lack of food and malnutrition due to anorexia nervosa or  psychosis; and yes, we do exercise a degree of faith when we sort through the various explanations of malnutrition to find the one that corresponds best with our understanding of the world so far. 

        But more to the point, we need language to hear current descriptions of what constitutes good vs. bad nutrition and faith to accept what we perceive to be the "objective" truth about nutrition.  Concepts of good nutrition from the past, from some parts of the world, would be considered malnutrition by some people today.

        Temperatures – why exactly is there a difference between Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin, and Rankine?  Why do non-scientists find that one method of measuring is more suitable for their purposes than the others (and probably not the same one all the time)?  Why do government agencies become involved to the degree of telling citizens (using language that enters another sphere entirely) that they must use a particular system of temperature measurement in their everyday communications?  Past science has convinced one group of the superiority of its scientific language, and that group has faith in the objectivity of its beliefs.

        Subjectivity vs. Objectivity – For humans, one of the first steps in becoming as objective as possible is to admit the human propensity for subjectivity and then to take conscious steps to exclude as much bias as possible.  Is that not why the scientific method developed in the first place?  With gods and Vulcans, the process may be somewhat different.

        “Silly semantics” (Obscure Divine) ?? – (95Jeff Berndt) wrote “Yes, language is subject to misuse and misinterpretation, which is why clarity in communication, and agreed-upon definitions, are important. Words mean things. Language evolves.”   

        Well said.

        And here we all are, using language to discuss language; communicating to discuss communication.

        One of the best posts of the forum so far:  “The universe has no need to understand itself but human beings love meaning - whether it comes from religion, science or art. Pick the one that most suits you but respect the others.” (Will Apse)

        Maybe someone could start a new thread on the relation between respect and objectivity?

        1. Obscure Divine profile image61
          Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          You sure proved my point with the silly semantics and excessive use of faith used to express such notions, along with the devolved twist of complicating simple scenarios and questions due to overanalyzing the basic actuality of existence.  Geez, I wish I would have asked you more elementary questions so you could have typed a little more, ha-ha!

          Cell life:  Anyone who is semi-aware will understand the basic cycles of life without science or religion or faith - to have some grasp on the concept of life & death.  The universe demonstrates such, along with the life that is adhered to this planet.  Duh!

          Malnutrition:  Food is a basic survival element; if you need language to explain this, you've got problems.

          Temperatures:  You don't know hot from cold?  You actually have to elaborate about that question?  Unbelievable...

          Subjectivity vs. Objectivity:  This is your subjective view about objectivity, so what's objectivity without being subjective?  LOL!  It is all the same...  A concept of universal unity would have no divide...

          Yep, it is silly semantics, just as you demonstrated, so what's your point?  big_smile

          1. 0
            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            You ask 'You don't know hot from cold?'

            I understand Aficionada's point to be that the difference between hot and cold is relative not absolute. Compared to someone who lives their life on the equator, someone who spends their entire life in the arctic circle will have a different opinion of what is a hot day. But both people will know just like you that boiling water is more painful than river water. They might not attribute the pain to heat, they might think the water-spirit was angry. In fact, without modern technology someone living on the equator might not believe in the existence of solid water - ice.

            So, I believe Aficionada alluded to the politics of language too often overlooked by proponents of positivist science. Where I live, we have many indigenous cultures and they do not live according to the dictates of the scientific method. Sure, they live without many modern technologies. But life goes on without science.

            And history of science is replete with political campaigns. I draw your attention to Issac Newton who spent two decades disparaging those colleagues of his who did not write in his preferred form; what is now accepted as the classic scientific paper.

            As for your claim that 'This is your subjective view about objectivity', I ask what makes any of your pronouncements in this thread anything other than subjective. None of your posts contains science, numbers, equations, theories, law, hypothesis... You post your opinions.

            Can you come up with a theory of language that attests to the objectivity of science?

            I believe I have read several theories that attest to the subjectivity of science... smile

            I look forward to your reply

    3. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well said Aficionado - science entails a degree of faith; faith in the method if not in the intentions of colleagues. Don't the experiments of  the Nazis in war-time Germany show how science is not pure and objective, devoid of politics and ideology? Rather these experiments clearly show how politics can usurp the quest for truth.

    4. Evan G Rogers profile image84
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      i'm utterly disgusted at these arguments that "because humans communicate, science can not be definitive"...

      Tell that the billions of lives that will still be alive tomorrow thanks to the scientific method.

      If you TRULY believe that words don't mean what words mean: then please translate this sentence into your bizarr-o language of nonsense.

      "my monkey eats chicken telescopes every Tuesday for the benefit of magazine editorial-page ink taste-testers."

      ... seems to me that the sentence has one (MAYBE two) meanings to anyone who can read English fluently. AND it seems that if there is a problem in understanding which definitions to use, you can ask me, and I'll happily rewrite (using different words, but the same meaning) the sentence.

      "Millions of people working repeatedly to understand nature" - this is science

      "Language is unable to describe what happens in nature because ... it's language" -- this is utter lunacy.

  13. Obscure Divine profile image61
    Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago

    Praise be the infinite distortions of illusions!  big_smile

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      LMAO - I love an agent-provocateur.

  14. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    pburger, could I ask what you think of the process of scientific method? A good debate so far. smile

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Cheers... I think your phrase 'process of scientific method' as little awkward but I shall do my best to answer you. I think the method and the process are different. In fact, the scientific process has many methods within qualitative and quantitative methodologies. By the process I understand the posing of questions and thesis that lead to theories that lead to further questions.

      Now, what do i think of the process of asking question and basing our answers on the analysis of data derived from experiments? I have no problems with the method.

      In fact, I have no problems with science, as long as we recognize the provisional nature of the interpretations of the theories we construct. A story is not a story because its lack truth, or facts. And because a theory is constructed in a different manner to a fictional story does not make it less of a story.

      Unless, however, we adopt a limited view of story based some strict dichotomy between truth and non-truth.

      So, IMO science is a valuable tool for constructing stories that communicate information about certain domains of reality.

  15. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    I thought it worthwhile to use a lot of words to explain concepts you seem to have had a hard time grasping. I was hoping to help you out.  Perhaps it was an impossible dream....

    Your posts appear to originate from a different universe from the other posters' in this particular forum, but they are nonetheless mildly entertaining.  Ha ha.


    "A concept of universal unity would have no divide..."

    So you would think the way I do?  Are you sure you want that?

    1. Obscure Divine profile image61
      Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hell, I can't help that you're on a lower level of existence.  What do you want me to do, wait up for ya?  If you're already here, then why do you need all the excess verbiage?  LOL!

      1. 0
        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I may have a lower level of existence, but I certainly don't look up to you. Nor do I expect you to wait for me, because we travel in opposite directions. I hope that on the next revolution, you come around to more generous view of the topic - Does science tell stories?

        And perhaps you prove the thesis when you berate Aficionado for verbiage because you seem to want everybody to hold one view - yours.
        Perhaps you cannot accept the diverse opinions this thread seems to generate. The consensus seems to be that there is no monological view of the topic.

        But, hey, I'm asking you to come down from the clouds, to stop breathing the rarefied air of your higher existence. I simply ask you to use your vantage point to see a diversity of opinion.

        1. Obscure Divine profile image61
          Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Now that's fiction.  I didn't berate her, but yes, I think there was excessive verbiage used to explain such simple concepts.  No-no, I think it is absurd to have one view.  It is obvious we have a thread full of people who want others to hold onto their view, but I do not.  I was just trying to see what all the big ballyhoo was about.  Sometimes, it takes a little shuffling to get people to play cards.

          If I couldn't accept all of the "diverse" (if you want to call them that) opinions, I wouldn't even enter these forums.  Sometimes, these forums are entertaining, especially when there is diverse opinions flying around.  By the way, I'm not in the clouds, the best air is down low.  Many people are looking through clouds, they just don't know.

          1. 0
            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Salute! Fair enough. I stand corrected - and look forward to many interesting posts

  16. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    Has anyone here read "Molecules of Emotion"?  Interesting to tie in to the earlier post about emotional response vs. cognitive awareness.  And the post about peer review.  Peer review is an important tool, but it is not infallible either.

    Science may say "When you're wrong, you're wrong" - but that's only until the next scientist comes along and tells us, "Ooops, we have performed another experiment and you were actually right all along." 

    What would life be like, if progress were actually linear?

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well said! And would add to your question 'Has anyone here read "Molecules of Emotion"? ' Has anyone looked into the project 'Emotional Intelligence'? Goleman, D 1995, Emotional Intelligence, Bantam, New York.
      Where the magnet field produced by the heart envelopes the magnetic field produced by the mind. They measured the heart's magnet at a distance of 5 metres from the subject and calculated its strength as 50 times more powerful than the mind's magnet field. What the research suggests is that the overlap of magnet fields is in fact a mode of communication - the transfer of information between the heart and the mind.

      And what about the biology of emotion? Vincent, JD 1990, The Biology of Emotions, Basil Blackwell, Oxford.

  17. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    OD:
    Since you are on so much higher a level of existence than everyone else here, perhaps you would be more comfortable in a forum better suited to your altered - oops, I mean elevated - state?

    Obscure:
    "I can help ya out,....:  Just call everything an illusion and be done with it." 

    "Speaking of silly......you have posed nothing, but maybe you'll come up with something eventually."

    "Any 'objectivity' will always be subject to the tear down from 'subjectivity.'   I'll remain sane and stay subjective for now; thanks."

    "This topic is so elementary, that I'm yet to see the point..."

    Inability to understand objectivity... Hence the inability to understand respect, perhaps?

    1. Obscure Divine profile image61
      Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I've never respected asininity, but I have been very nice thus far, so what's your point?  Hell, I was just trying to help ya think a little further and perhaps, eventually, a little more clear...  hmm

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        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        That comes across as arrogant. Do you believe you have all the answers. Or is it that you hold an unshakable faith in the concept of science and it's supposedly superior method of knowledge construction?

        1. Obscure Divine profile image61
          Obscure Divineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Ha-ha!  I have no faith in science or religions; there are many methods to gain knowledge and awareness.  Now your last set of comments was funny, and literally made me laugh...  LOL!  big_smile

          1. 0
            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Keep stirring the pot! :LOL! smile

  18. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    Obscure:
    "I have been very nice thus far"

    Very nice thus far....

    Oh indeed.  Definition #11, #14, #4, or #7 - depending on the dictionary.

  19. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    I just have to meet the religious fundy with any desire to know more about anything other than their religion myself, I can see where you're coming from for the rest of it though. That experience must have been infuriating! smile

    1. Jane Bovary profile image89
      Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yeah I might have gone too far there Earnest..lol

  20. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    Within this thread, I have seen comments that have made use of colloquial, archaic, or specialized word denotations and connotations (not to mention my snide reference to an obscure meaning of the word "nice"). 

    Even words like "science," "fact," "truth," "objective" and "subjective" may not communicate what we mean, unless we at some point agree on a definition of terms, as one poster mentioned above.

    A little more about my temperature comment: the various scales of measuring temperature are, to some degree lol, based on how we communicate the concepts that are being measured.  We use language to discuss, refine, and communicate concepts like degree, boiling point, freezing point, fever, etc.  And someone (Celsius?) used language to explain why he thought it made sense to divide the interval between freezing point and boiling point into 100 segments, instead of 180.

    Temperature perception is the point of an anecdote I heard once:  One day the temperature in Lagos, Nigeria, in Lynchburg, Virginia/USA, and in London, England was 72 degrees, all at the same time of day.  In Lagos, everyone said it was freezing; in Lynchburg, everyone said the temperature was perfect; and in London, they said they were having a heat wave. -  Subjective observations about an objectively measured event.

    And about the bullet: the actual fact of the bullet's departure from the barrel of the gun - the fact (the truth?) of it - is something that can be discussed, described and measured objectively, if the target/victim survives the event; and of course it can be described by people other than the victim in any case.  But an observer's perception of the event (the bullet's journey) will occur first as emotional awareness, and that will be followed by cognitive perception, according to fairly recent experiments in neuroscience.

    Related to a scientist's openness to the possibility of the existence of God, one of my favorite quotes from Molecules of Emotion is "Absence of proof is not proof of absence."

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      No - but it is a reasonable indicator. There is a very strong likelihood that your god does not exist. Face it and stop wasting your time using semantics to justify an irrational belief.

      Infinite number of possible gods that there is no evidence for or against. Infinity to one against is pretty long odds, which is scary when you think of all the peopel who jump on the "pleeeze - I want to live forever! Don't let me die!", bandwagon.....

      If people like you did not go around pretending it did exist - think of all the wars and fights that could have been prevented. wink

      Just remember - "Absence of proof is not proof in favor." lol

      1. Aficionada profile image93
        Aficionadaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Let’s see….

        Within a forum based on the question of subjectivity vs. objectivity in the language of scientific papers, we have expanded into discussions of word usage, the use of language, and communication – which seems appropriate, given the fact that we are discussing communication.

        Then, terced ojos wrote the following to pburger:   “I'm not saying you have to believe in God but as a scientist according to your scientific laws you still have to concede the possibility. If you don't then what is the difference between you and people who believe in God as a matter of faith.”

        A bit later in the thread, I tied into that conversational direction with a very brief quote from a book written by Candace Pert, Ph.D., who is

        She worked for years at the [American] National Institutes of Health and she developed a drug that had potential for treating AIDS, but it was ignored or thwarted due to some very unscientific wrangling within the scientific community. 

        Within her book, Dr. Pert


        And so, because I quoted from a scientist of world-renown, in support of the notion (not dogma, just notion) that scientists could be open-minded (not convinced, just open-minded) to the possibility (not certainty, but the possibility) that a God (no details explored here on who or what that God might be like) might exist, I am now accused of “wasting … time using semantics to justify an irrational belief.”  ?????

        Are you, Mark Knowles, saying that it is an irrational belief on my part to suppose that scientists can be open-minded to theories that have neither been proven nor disproved?  How is that irrational?   And somehow, my belief in the open-mindedness of scientists is going to cause fights and wars that could be prevented if I did not hold to that irrational belief?

        You spoke of “people like” me; what are we like, and how did you discover that in the thousands of words I have written in HubPages?  Was it perhaps in my Hubs about rhythm in music, about musical modes, about cell-phone texting, or about using head math?  Exactly what in my writings is likely to cause fights and wars?

        In a different, also thought-provoking forum that pburger started (“What is the function of communication?”) one poster wrote: [the function of communication is] “to bring us closer to that which we wish to be close to and to distance ourselves from that which we do not desire to be close to.”  Well done, Mark Knowles.  You have communicated.

        Then there’s this: 


        As much as I dislike sharing an opinion with you, Mark, I of course do agree with you on this.  That is what being open-minded is about.

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          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          IMO, Aficionada, you contribute much value to this thread. I encourage you to overlook the personality behind the posts. Many people seem not to realize their words have effects beyond the transfer of information. I take great stock from such post, because IMO they demonstrate the lack of objectivity in any form of communication. In a sense, by deconstructing those argumentative posts, I see a clear lack of real understanding behind the bravado.

        2. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Ah - but you are not open minded are you? You have already decided and actively pray to this invisible super being.

          And yes - your irrational decision to believing in one super being from all the possible super beings is just that - irrational.

          You said yourself that "absence of proof is not proof of absence." So - on that basis - there are an infinite number of possible gods. You have decided on one. That is irrational.

          My position is - I do not believe in any gods. But - I am open to the possibility and if one of the infinite possibilities cares to make itself known to me or present some evidence - I will cheerfully change my position. But - in the total absence of evidence - I am going with - No.

          I think your decision to hang your hat on an infinity:one bet is pretty irrational - yes.

          And why is it that all you believers distance yourself from the wars and fights caused by making this irrational decision - which even now - you feel the need to defend, albeit with words - but there are no shortage of you prepared to pick up a gun to do so. But - we can pretend the last 2000 years of wars never happened if that will make you feel better.

          People like you = people prepared to believe in a particular infinity:one proposition with no evidence and fight to defend it.

          Semantics = see your last three posts. wink

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            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Mark,

            What posts give you cause to say contributors to this thread 'have already decided and actively pray to this invisible super being'?

            If you pride yourself as open-minded, then why when face with people who hold a view different to yours do you say they 'are irrational'? What makes you think you are so rational? What makes you think rationality is superior? Are the creation stories of indigenous cultures irrational?

            As for your position - I note a high-degree of irrationality. You use words without questioning how you use them, or the meaning you think they have, and certainly without regard for the effect they have; in my mind that is clearly irrational - much akin to running around a room full of people while you are armed with a loaded shotgun... Neither friendly nor rational... smile

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              A different thread.


              I do not always do this, only in this case.
              Because they are irrational.
              I have made what I consider to be a rational decision and nothing you have said is causing me to rethink that, but I am open to some sort of example rather than you merely gainsaying anything I say.
              It is superior and you and everybody else uses this rational approach - except in this one instance.
              Yes.


              Sorry. Your opinion does not seem to be particularly valuable or well-thought-out.

              Wrong. I am intentionally antagonistic and am well aware of both the meaning I intend and the purpose behind the antagonism.

              No random strangers ended up shot with a shotgun so I think your example is a tad extreme. My intention is not to shoot anyone and if you are unable to discern my intentions and are also unable to pose a reasonable question, that is your lack, not mine.

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                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                LMAFO!

                Straight back at you...

                You failed to discern the polite tone I opted to use. Just as easily could I adopt a belligerent attitude. Alack, methinks such a posture less than productive to the generation of insightful discourse.

                I suggest your emphasis on a literal interpretation does not rely on facts, for all words fall short of reality; no words contain or fully represent reality. Your opinion, seems on this side of the glass-wall as nothing but dogma, a closed position on an open question.

                And I grant 'no random strangers ended up shot with a shotgun' if we limit our thoughts to the literal view.

                However, I suggest that people are often 'shot down in flames' through the power of discourse. And with that allusion in mind, I believe you just shoot yourself in the foot. Worse, your had your foot in your mouth - so you blew off your head and with it went your argument.

                But, I am according to you, 'irrational' so can you take me seriously? Can you claim to understand me? Can you argue against what you don't understand?

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I thought we were speaking metaphorically. sad

                  But - now I know where you are coming from - which is what I suspected. Another religionist without a religion attempting to show that rational thinking and the scientific method are no better at explaining the universe than faith-based irrational beliefs. lol

                  Warning. Metaphor Ahead!!!

                  I like to think of it as a gentle prod with a blunt stick rather than running around a crowded room with a shotgun. wink

                  Metaphor Over! All Clear!!

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                    china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I don't think he is a religionist without a religion - I think he has a clear agenda - to talk all around the house in a backwater attempt to promote redundant religious views that have been shown as hollow by both science and philosophy.  Maybe he is an exponent of the so-called American Pragmatism - religion trying to fluff up an idea to fool the 'masses'.

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                    pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    LMAO big_smile

                    Thank you for the gentle prod with your blunt stick Mark smile

                    I do not see myself as a 'religionist'. And I think a religious fanatic would outcast me. I like to think of myself as between the camps - neither irreligious nor religious. for you see, I simple do not buy into that binary hierarchy. Where you see two poles, I see a continuum, a spectrum.

                    What I try to do is remain open to all possibilities even the possibility that I am wrong. I like to think that ways of interpreting the world other the science might benefit me, somehow, somewhere, sometime in my life...

                    If that brings to your mind the image of 'a person addicted to religion or a religious zealot' then that is a matter out of my hands and I shall not try to change your mind...

      2. Evan G Rogers profile image84
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        "Absence of proof is not proof in favor."

        ... yes it is. It might be a very negligible amount, but it IS proof in favor.

        You sound like a W. Bush advisor: "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". Then we invaded iraq and found out that, indeed - just as the scientific method has shown us all along - the absence of evidence IS evidence of absence.

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      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Great post, Aficionada! How is that our objective scientists cannot understand the presumptions that gather around their cherished words? If science is such a powerful tool, why do scientists have such difficulty communicating on a humane level?

  21. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    One more thing about "science" and your comment about indigenous people:

    I have heard another true story about an ornithologist from Europe or America who was studying a little-known bird in Africa.  He decided that while he was there, he might as well have a word or two with some of the indigenous people of the region, to see if they knew anything about the bird. He figured he could allow 15-30 minutes to glean some folk wisdom along with the scientific study he was making.

    Through his translator, the ornithologist asked one of the local men to tell him about the bird.  The man began talking, describing the bird's life cycle, its feeding habits, its habitat, its mating practices, its migration patterns....  He talked for hours and hours and hours about the things he had observed about the bird.

    Who was the scientist? 

    We do like to focus on the scientific method and scientific thinking when we talk about science; but science also includes a body of knowledge based on observation, and some of that information has not necessarily been validated within a science lab.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Is knowledge accessible only through the scientific method?

      Is knowledge not conveyed through means other than scientific papers?

      Why cannot a folk-tale impart knowledge? Why do we say a 'myth' is not knowledge? Why do we have the word 'myth'? When does a myth cease to be science, and vice versa?

      How many  'myths' abound in those 'bodies of knowledge' that go by the name of 'science'? Is not a 'body of knowledge' a myth? You cannot gather together in one place at one time all the facts and writings that constitute a 'body of knowledge'. So this thing called a  'body of knowledge' is a metaphor. and yet, metaphor belongs to art and fiction.

      Science is not supposed to deal in metaphor, or am I mistaken?

  22. Rod Marsden profile image86
    Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago

    I will tell you a story relating to science. In the 19th Century a man of letters was told about a white flower that grows in northern France and especially in the fields around this small village. The people who lived in the village believed the flower could cure headaches and reduce fever. Well this man experimented with the flower and discovered that the villagers were right. He went on to discover why the flower had these properties. These properties can actually be found in other plants nowadays including common tea but this was not known back then. Anyway he took from the flower and marketed the product and now his name is well known in virtually every household. What was his name? Aspirin.

  23. Rod Marsden profile image86
    Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago

    I believe there is a story behind every worthwhile scientific discovery so, yes, there are stories.

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      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you Rod, for a charming tale. I do not doubt that hard-code rationalist, positivist scientists would acknowledge the stories behind their 'discoveries'. But strictly speaking, my question is more concerned with the stories told by science. For example, in one discourse, physics, 'the big cosmic bang' is a theory.

      But given that stories, just like theories, 1) use language, 2) change over time, 3) are semantic constructs - what is the difference? Stories today often explain reality so one cannot claim the difference is that a scientific theory explains reality.

      Some posters to this thread suggest the difference is the scientific method. But look at modern crime-fiction and science-fiction and you will see facts, debates, observations albeit in a different form. The detective in crime-fiction is the arch-rationalist....

      So my question is whether 'science tells stories' not whether stories arise around the work of science...

      I look forward to your response...

      1. Jane Bovary profile image89
        Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Here we go again...the PoMo manifesto ,*all statements, whether in science or literature are simply narratives..stories and myths, reinforcing a cultural prejudice*.

        Yet, in the real world, the scientific method works so well that we stake our life on it everytime we get on a plane or drive a car.

        I look forward to your response

        1. Rambo-boy profile image60
          Rambo-boyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          The really fulfilling stories are the ones that come, I think, spinning out of real world events." I am  interested in how science "relates to policy developments" or "to things that are going on in the real world.I think a lot of science writers actually try to search a little too hard for that 'news you can use' when it comes to science. A lot of science is just interesting in and of itself. And it just sort of gives you a richer understanding of the world, and there really isn't any need to make wild claims about a cure for cancer right around the corner"

          I often tell stories with absolutely no practical relevance. Their goal is to instil a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world, which is what the best science communicators have done for me. As I said in my own 'In the short term, current affairs and political decisions provide nice, obvious hooks with which to explain science to a mass audience. But in the long-term, I suspect that stories that evoke a sense of awe and excitement are what truly get people to regularly engage with science, its methods and its processes.

          1. Pandoras Box profile image82
            Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            "I suspect that stories that evoke a sense of awe and excitement are what truly get people to regularly engage with science, its methods and its processes."


            I suspect you are right.

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              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Pandora's Box - conundrum par excellence - would you say non-scientific people typically associate 'stories that evoke a sense of awe and excitement' with scientific theories. I would say people think of fiction when they think of 'stories that evoke a sense of awe and excitement'?

              And this is partly my problem. We do not typically think that theories are fictions. And yet, 'stories that evoke a sense of awe and excitement are what truly get people to regularly engage with science'... That is 'stories...get people to regularly engage with science'

              But, I think many stories arise from science. But that is not my question.

              With my question I seek to elucidate the difference between the effect of science and the effect of fiction... If science and art provoke 'a sense of awe and excitement' though the strategic deployment of language then where is the difference? I would say the difference is in form alone...

          2. Jane Bovary profile image89
            Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I'm sure you're right Rambo-boy...but that is not what pbburger is talking about. He is *attacking* science as a superior means to understand the material world...as opposed to any other old myth or claim. I'm just defending science as the best tool we have with which to understand reality.

            1. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Please Jane Bovary, I think I do not '"attack" science as a superior means to understand the material world.;' I think I question whether science is 'the' superior means to understand the material world. And my question arises because I do not understand what we mean by 'the material world'.

              Much of the 'material world' is social, much of 'the material world' is personal. And let us mot overlook the wavering fortunes of metaphysical investigations. I do not include religion or theology in metaphysical investigations.

              I am strongly averse to purely positivist accounts of reality but I base my questions on the philosophical advances demanded by the revolution in science provoked by the introduction of quantum theory. Quantum physics questions several theories of classical of physics. Why must I not question those paradigms, albeit in a different mode of reasoning?

              1. Jane Bovary profile image89
                Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Hello Pb,

                How about 'the observable' world...does that help? Do you really think the dreamtime myths of aboriginal culture give us as much knowledge about the observable world as science? Yes or no..?

                It's true that science works on likelihoods rather than truths, but to try and claim it's just another tall-tale because we can never know *objective reality* doesn't seem to me to be of much use or purpose. You can 'question' 'till the cows come home..but there's no denying science works..You seem to keep ignoring that point. It's not perfect, but it's the best we've got.



                [I doubt that Einstein was a 'devout christian', I read somewhere he described himself as an agnostic...not that it matters much to the discussion at hand.]

                1. 0
                  pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Speaking to some Australian Aborigines, i learned from them that they really do see the world from a different point-of-view. So, yes, I do believe the indigenous people of Australia 'think the dream-time myths ... give [them] as much knowledge about the observable world as science...'

                  You used the phrase 'the observable world' and I do not believe that is the extent of reality. Would you agree that psychology is a science? But is the psyche, the subject of that science 'observable' as a bridge across a river? An atom is 'observable' but only with special equipment. So, what makes something 'observable' remains a question.

                  And many people say they observe ghosts, and angels, and yet science decries such 'observable' phenomena. What about UFOs? What subluxations - a term accepted in the field  chiropractic but denounced by mainstream medicine...

                  And why must I limit myself to the 'observable' world? I have never 'observed' a war. But I accept they exist. I do not take media reports or media vision as first hand observations. You might again throw the label of Po Mo at me, but I will retort that I am Post POMO...

                  That is, I believe POMO raises valid arguments against positivist science. But, I do not believe POMO succeeds to answer those questions. From my Post POMO position I hope to address similar questions without resorting to irrationality and solipsism. I hope to question positivism via a rational argument.

                  1. Rod Marsden profile image86
                    Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    There was a time in the history of Australian Aborigines when it dawned on them that conservation was part of survival. Kill all the eatable animals in one particular area and the next time you go back there for a feed you won't find anything to kill and then eat. Only kill what you need and leave the rest means that next time there will still be food. A simple enough idea and it was built into their Dreamtime so that it would stick. It took Western society a hell of a lot longer to reach this basic conclusion and it can be argued that not everyone has yet to reach it. 'God will Provide' nonsense still dominates in some places. The Aborigines in their own way were on the right ticket. I said as much when I was working near Dubbo some years ago.

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                  pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Doubt all you like Jane Bovary.

                  But your posts suggest to me that hold dear the scientific method. If that is correct then should you not keep an open mind until you have evidence to support your doubt? And I suspect you used the word 'doubt' to tone-down what you mean - 'BAH HUMBUG!' But where is you evidence to countervail my assertion that Einstein was a devout Christian?

                  Or because this is not a laboratory of science are evidence and reasoning not brought to bear on this lively discussion? hmm

                  1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                    Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    It seems as though you have misunderstood the scientific method. Pulling random, base-less assertions out of your backside and demanding they stand until some one else disproves them is actually the religious method. lol

                  2. Jane Bovary profile image89
                    Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    So now you're making me do homework pg...?

                    “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”

                    Albert Einstein

                    “The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.”

                    Albert Einstein

                    “It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem - the most important of all human problems.”

                    Albert Einstein

                    “I am a deeply religious nonbeliever…. This is a somewhat new kind of religion.”

                    Albert Einstein

      2. Rod Marsden profile image86
        Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        pburger there have been science fiction writers who have worked from science fact. Jules Verne wrote stories based on the science of his day. Isaac Asmov was scientist, science fiction writer and science fact writer. His science fiction was often based strongly on what was known at the time of writing plus clever supposition. In the 1930s in one of his science fiction stories he came up with the idea that Astronauts could experience vertigo in outer space after leaving their capsule. He theorized that without gravity their sense of up from down would be lost or at least compromised. Since Astronauts thirty years later did experience vertigo he turned out to be absolutely right.   

        Rambo and PB,  I admit I grew up on science fiction. Then I moved to science fact and occasionally I go back to science fiction.  To me String Theory evokes a sense of awe. I find the idea that you can tell if a distant star has planets circling it by whether or not it winks at you fascinating. I find  the idea of invisible strings that connect us all to the multiverse tenuous at best. It may be another fifty years before we are really sure that winking stars really do have planets circling them. Even so this is good stuff to contemplate and it is of my time and there's nothing wrong with that.

        I find science a pretty fair way of understanding much of reality and to speculate over much we either don't understand or don't fully understand as yet.

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          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Rod, I do not understand what your post contribute to the thread.

          With my question 'Does science tell stories?' I am not challenging the method of science. I am probing the interpretation of science that many people seem to take for granted.

          I am not, as some people seem to think,  questioning the 'existence of facts'. I am however questioning a 'value of facts' as a means to understand all aspects of reality. For example, if we reduce our human relationships to numbers and facts do we more or less about the individual people we encounter on the street?

          A view of my friend garnered from social psychology and elaborated by neurology and biology reduces my friend from a complex existential being  to a series of facts. But do those facts help me relate to my friend?

          Hence, I think science tell stories because each particular science interprets a particular domain of reality and then tries to relate that domain to the bigger picture. That seems to me, a writer of fiction, the method of fiction.

          Or, to use your words, 'I find [fiction] a pretty fair way of understanding much of reality and to speculate over much we either don't understand or don't fully understand as yet.' Do you see how little I changed to make your premise apply to my question?

          I look forward to your reply...

          1. Rod Marsden profile image86
            Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            The question of does science tell stories I have answered in a number of ways. There are some first class stories behind many major discoveries in science that have contributed to the richness of our lives. You don't want to know about these stories...Do those who are involved in hard science speculate, even make up stories about the future? They sure do. This is what science fiction and science fantasy are to some extent about.

            All facts are up for interpretation. I collect statistical information. It is how I make a living. How it is interpreted is as much art as science but I am not involved in the interpretation. The art part is in projecting the figures into the future and future concerns. I work for the railway and we are interested in trains running on time and passenger comfort. This is put against the costs of keeping the existing railway going and the need to continually expand as the population grows. Individuals don't come into it but how groupings of people behave at certain times of day is important.

            Your friend is your friend. If you are looking for mysticism in science check out string theory. Also check out the television show  NUMBERS where probability studies and mathematical equations are put up against the group and the individual.

            Science can be wrong in that scientists can be wrong if they don't have all the facts they need to work with. This doesn't mean they are making stuff up or being fictitious. Often it just means that they either don't have enough data or have created or been given corrupt data.

            Scientists are human. This is why a drug is tested many times before it is allowed on the market. Even with thorough testing something can be missed. This is fairly rare.

            Thalidomide is a good example. Introduced in the 1950s it proved to be disastrous to unborn children.

            DDT is another product we know nowadays has its faults and should never, ever be spread around. In WW2 American army personnel and Italian civilians were being dusted with the stuff to take care of a lice problem. Now we know that DDT can not only affect the brain but the sexual organs as well. It kills insects, sure, but it is not stuff you want to have sprayed anywhere near you or lying on edible farm crops.

            Or, to use your words, 'I find [fiction] a pretty fair way of understanding much of reality and to speculate over much we either don't understand or don't fully understand as yet.' Do you see how little I changed to make your premise apply to my question?

            Substituting science for fiction doesn't really work here for me. Speculation based on what we know is a hell of a lot different from saying the blue fairy that lives in my garden reckons he knows the universe better than I do and so I will go down to the babbling brook and talk to him about it. For a start I just made up the blue fairy. He is fiction based on other fiction. Science is based on the accumulation of often hard won facts. Sure there are setbacks but even so there is still logic and the desire of scientists to get it right.

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              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Fiction is based on the accumulation of often hard won facts. Sure there are setbacks but even so there is still [narrative] logic and the desire of [story-tellers] to get it right.

              You insist that 'The question of does science tell stories I have answered in a number of ways'! Thank you, well shelve the entire thread and refer everybody to your answer...

              LMFAO!

              You 'collect statistical information. It is how [you] make a living?' HUH so what? That simply means to are cultured in the ideology of science. You are less objective! You demonstrate your bias and closed-mind. none of authoritarian dictates convince to change my mind - scientists are storytellers albeit not in the narrative mode...

              1. Rod Marsden profile image86
                Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                You do not understand the difference between real life stories which are based on science or research or observation and stuff usually made up to simply entertain.

                A real life story is an experiment or an observation with an outcome. A real life story is also a news report that as well as it possibly can tells us something new about our world.

                Tales of the elves that live in my garden is pure fiction unless you believe in elves an I certainly don't.

                1. 0
                  pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Actually, Rod, I do understand something about stories that you have not mentioned. Perhaps you have not heard of a theory of story that I use. As a writer of fiction, I do thing you presume too much when you says 'You do not understand the difference between real life stories which are based on science or research or observation and stuff usually made up to simply entertain.'

                  According to the Dramatica Theory, story is a model of the mind solving a problem. So, please do not constrain me to a pigeon-hole of your own making. And the entertainment factor is not the ultimate goal of modern story-tellers.

                  But, I must not ramble on ... or pontificate so I leave the point open

                2. 0
                  pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I think you over-determine the differences and under-estimate the similarities between the fictions of science and science of fictions

                  And my researched thesis rests on science and mathematics - The thesis - Beach combing knowledge in the digital age of literary production - is due for submission to my alma mater within 3 months...

                  Simply because you have not researched the matter as thoroughly as someone else does not invalidate the thesis.

                  Obligatory big_smiletongue cool

  24. Rod Marsden profile image86
    Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago

    Check out For the Future poem by Rod Marsden...It contains the true story of what is happening in this world based on what has been happening for far too long.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Self promotion is not very humble. What contribution would your 'true story of what is happening in this world based on what has been happening for far too long' make to the thread? Do you not question your use of 'true story'? Do you not question how you decide 'what has been happening'? Do you mean this post to affirm or deny the question - Does science tell stories?

      1. Rod Marsden profile image86
        Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Scientists like Suzuki have recorded the fact that fish stocks throughout the world have gone down and continue to spiral down. The reasons are two fold. Science has made it so that fish are far too easy to catch. Religion has made it so that nothing can be done about the growth in human world population. The Catholic Church might have done something in 1964 but failed miserably. The decisions on contraception made back then have since been upheld. And let us look at the Muslims. Many of them have no intention of having smaller families and they wonder why many of them  live in poverty.

        My little poem confirms that true stories, the overall view, can be based on working science.

        Part of science, a very big part, is observation. There are documentaries out there right now showing that the world oceans are no longer full of fish and that there are even fish species that were common as little as three decades ago that are now facing extinction from overfishing.

        Suzuki said that he cannot take his grandson to the fishing places he went to in the USA when he was a boy and expect this lad to be able to catch a fish. To him and to me that is frightening but obviously true. There are places in NSW, Australia that are also fished out. I know this from personal experience. Local government has taken measures to address the situation but it had to get really bad before they eventually stepped in.

        Science can help you to create technology suitable to destroying your world or making your life more comfortable. Scientists such as Suzuki can urge you to take responsibility but they cannot make you do so.

        A  year ago an African township turned to piracy because people from elsewhere came into their traditional fishing grounds and took everything via the use of modern fishing methods. No fish meant finding another way to live. Greed from elsewhere destroyed the villager's traditional way of life. Think on that.

        People are right now destroying the land through overpopulation. Speculating that the destruction of land and sea and ocean will continue if we continue to be greedy, selfish and not take responsibility for our actions seems logical enough to me. This is truth therefore a true story. How true will depend on whether or not we can turn things around and how soon that will be possible.

        No. Self promotion may not be very humble. I don't really care. Letting people know what is going on, especially the young, is way more important. The question you have to ask yourself is if you want to help or hurt our planet.

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Rod Marsden, please... in your opinion 'your little poem confirms that true stories, the overall view, can be based on working science' but I cannot see that you have an objective view on the matter. I might agree that you hope or intend that your poem confirms something, but where is the objective data to support your thesis?

          As for parenthetical aside of ' the overall view' you again assert an opinion that true stories equate to the overall view. But you have not established that you [poem is a true story. Nor do you establish what is a true story. nor do you establish what is an overall view, or how it less biased than some 'under-all view'.

          1. Rod Marsden profile image86
            Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I really do not understand you. Are you telling me that the world is not overcrowded with people? Have you not read The Human Bomb? Have you not heard of global warming? Have you not heard of the Japanese Canadian scientist Suzuki? Have you not observed for yourself the rising costs of food and especially produce from the sea? Are you not aware of a new documentary out dealing with the depletion of the oceans? Add all this up and you do get an impressive over view of what we have done and are doing to the planet. The more people the more damage. OBSERVE. That is what science is about. Fiction? In projecting into the future you might touch upon that but they call that science fantasy and science fiction.

        2. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Yes Rod it is clear that you do not care what 'effect' your words have while sit on your throne pronouncing 'The question you have to ask yourself is if you want to help or hurt our planet'. That is so far from this thread that I do not deign to answer... Except to say, who are you to tell me what question I must ask? Who are you to say, I do not already ask the question? Ah yes, of course, you occupy that lofty throne of authority, but that does not make you king or a usurping clown.

          1. Rod Marsden profile image86
            Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            So don't ask the question then. Just sit on your hands and do nothing. You can do that. But if you did answer the question for yourself if no one else you might be prompted to do something.

            1. Rod Marsden profile image86
              Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              You are the clown the fool who plays word games while the world goes to pot. You are a great waste of space.

              1. 0
                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                smile cool
                Shakespeare made the clown a most insightful character and gave him many of the best insights. So your attempt at an insult falls flat on its face big_smile.

                As for being called 'a great waste of space' - I thank you for the compliment. I find nothing offensive about a great waste of space - Goodness I can recall many wonderful times spent in great wastes of space. Hours of joyful childish fun spent in the great waste of space called football fields and the hills that surround the city of my childhood, and the vast awe-inspired wastes of space between the planets - I'm like them? That's so cool cool

                Thank you Rod

                1. Rod Marsden profile image86
                  Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Well buckle up then space is shrinking. Look around you. Many suburbs in many parts of the world are going high rise and playgrounds are disappearing. Cat Stevens said it best where do the children play? You want to be part of the horror that is emerging right now and will continue as populations grow then good luck to you.

                  1. 0
                    pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    LMAFO

                    I know you do not know what political actions I take? So you are clearly make judgments based on ignorance

                    smile big_smile lol Supercilious troll! big_smile

            2. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Don't ask what question?
              Do nothing? You mean "Shut the fuck up!"?
              Why would I answer a question I asked?

              1. Rod Marsden profile image86
                Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                The question is do you want to help or hurt the planet? I gathered you don't like the question and really would like to just sit on your hands and what happens happens. Maybe take a nap until armageddon gets here. It might be a long nap. Who knows? Maybe some of us can put things right to some extent. Maybe the general public will brighten up and do what they can. Maybe, just maybe there will be a future and you will wake up after others have worked really hard, yawn and wonder what all the fuss was about.

                1. 0
                  pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Rod, it seems to me that you want to start a new thread. The question that concerns me in this thread is 'Does science tell stories?'

                  In another thread, I will answer another question, such as 'do you want to help or hurt the planet?'

                  And to show that I do not dislike your question - I will post it as thread on my Hub-page...

    2. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Rod,
      'Check out For the Future poem by Rod Marsden' is to refer to yourself in the third person and to construct a fiction. Or are you posing as Rod Marsden and therefore also creating a fiction?

      1. Rod Marsden profile image86
        Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Referring to myself in the third person isn't creating much if any kind of fiction if it is real obvious to everyone that I am talking about me.

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Well that is your opinion and you are entitle to your opinion. I, however, beg to differ. Referring to yourself in the third is a fictional tactic and I think you deployed that tactic to distance your self from your opinion. A psychological strategy to defend your ego.

          1. Rod Marsden profile image86
            Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I do not need to defend my ego from the likes of you. You are simple minded. YOU obviously hate science and cannot see the difference between stories based on fact and stories intended to be fiction. I will try hard to feel sorry for you.

            1. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Cark-my-arse-orf
              I thought science taught you that nothing is obvious.

              Let me see now you say I 'cannot see the difference between stories based on fact and stories intended to be fiction'. Well for two reasons, I beg to differ.

              First, I do see the difference. Whether or not you accept my proposition is neither here nor there.

              Second, my question 'Does science tell stories?' is not about 'the difference between stories based on fact and stories intended to be fiction' as you like call it. My question is about the similarities - you used the word story in connection to fact and to fiction. You implicitly acknowledged that science tells stories although they are about fact.

              The point being they are stories big_smile So, thank you for your contribution to this thread because you help me feel confident that science does tell stories. cool

  25. theirishobserver. profile image60
    theirishobserver.posted 6 years ago

    Back To the Future - now there was a story - Michael J Fox Rocks smile

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      smile LOMAO and thank you for this pithy contribution.

      Yes, there was a story or three, or was it four? And inadvertently, IMO, you raise two interesting points? To whose future did he return? And, was the story based in fact or fiction? Is time travel possible, according to science?

      In 2008, Michio Kaku published the book 'Physics of the impossible' in which he included a chapter on time travel. Michio Kaku is no anti-rationalist  but a renowned physicist. Kaku (p. 221) writes 'Hawking also raised a challenge to the world of physics. There ought to be a law, [Hawking] proclaimed, making time travel impossible.'

      Yet, according Kaku (p. 222) 'The embarrassing thing, however, was that no matter how hard physicists tried, they could not find a law to prevent time travel.'

      Kaku continues, 'Once considered to be fringe science, time travel has suddenly become a playground for theoretical physicists. Physicist Kip Thorne of Cal Tech writes, 'Time travel was once solely the province of science fiction writers. Serious scientists avoided it like the plague... One now finds scholarly analyzes of time travel in serious scientific journals.'

      So, Irish Observer, do you see a clear distinction between fact and fiction as per the classic scientific view?

      BTW - IMO - MJ Fox 'rocks' but that's because his mind is somewhat unbalanced smile

    2. Rod Marsden profile image86
      Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Back to the future was great but I really liked Back to the Future three because it was a hybrid western/SF delight.

  26. Glenn S. profile image61
    Glenn S.posted 6 years ago

    I'm Sorry, but this Post is a bit Hypothetical.

    1. Rod Marsden profile image86
      Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Glenn S, try to give the instigator solid data to work with and he doesn't like it.

      1. 0
        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        HUH?

        When you say 'give the instigator solid data to work with' I gather that you think you gave me 'solid data' that nobody can question let alone refute...

        But I don't see your credentials, when did anybody in this thread usurp the authority to

        Upon what do you base your assertion that 'he doesn't like it'. Because 'he' questioned you? LMAO

        As far as I can tell, GW BUSH and his imperial mind are not on this side of the discourse cool

        1. Rod Marsden profile image86
          Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          All data can be refuted to some extent. there are scientists that are still saying that global warming isn't real. Data however strongly suggests that their position is weak and they are wrong.

          I know you don't care for my views, opinions and data. You have made this clear.
          In the end all you can do is call me a clown and get an insult or two back in return.

          1. 0
            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            smile OIC - you did not contribute to the lowering of the tone?
            'tis all my fault?
            How can you 'know' what I care about? If I don't care, why do I continue to converse with you? If i didn't care, I would say 'sit on your hands'! But I don't. Nor do I say don't ask questions.

            If questions are the linguistic means to understanding, why must I not ask question to illuminate what you think is my ignorance? Are you saying I should go somewhere else with questions? To another thread perhaps? To some wasted space to which you don't contribute? smile Because that's not about to happen...

            It takes two to tango, two to bicker, and two to compromise...

            1. Rod Marsden profile image86
              Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              You do like space...God knows what you care about.

              1. 0
                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I love space, physical astronomical space, the microscopic space of the quantum world, the geographic space of land, and the psychological space of the mind...

                But, I do not think God knows what I care about! And I don't understand where this tangent fits on the circle bounded by this thread. Must my cares and opinions align with yours?

    2. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Glenn S - WTF? roll

      What do you want, 'facts'?, something you can label 'truth'?

  27. BDazzler profile image81
    BDazzlerposted 6 years ago

    Y'all are just silly. Everybody knows ...
    http://museum.mit.edu/150/items/maxwell.jpg

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      BDazzler big_smile

  28. SpanStar profile image61
    SpanStarposted 6 years ago

    You'd better believe science can tell stories and as much as I respect scientist Suzuki I believe he's one of the biggest promoters of misconception regarding science.

    First of all we base science on what men say, the human race is a flawed race so how can one expect perfection from an imperfect being?

    Suzuki in one program promoted the idea that teleportation is possible.  A few months later some other scientist say it it were possible they believe it would have kill the original subject and rebuild a new one at the new destination.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Welcome to the thread Span Star

      I hope you allow me to sidestep that cow-prod you aim at Suzuki.

      But I agree that we cannot expect perfection from a process, method, language or culture devise but such flawed creatures as humans.

      I often hear the rationalists invoke Darwin and evolution to remind us that we creature animals beats just like other animal forms. But the moment you ask them to limit their ideals of perfection they fly of the hand in the most defensive manner.

      Why do you think that is?

      1. SpanStar profile image61
        SpanStarposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I understand what you're saying with respect to:
        the moment you ask them to limit their ideals of perfection they fly of the hand in the most defensive manner

        For whatever reason we humans like to be looked up to and when people like scientist put something out there for others to see if reflects on who they are and if one trieds to tarnish this image they hold out to the world then this is why I believe they become so defensive.  It sort of reminds of that song titled: "Your So Vain"

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Span Star - you said 'I understand what you're saying with respect to:
          the moment you ask them to limit their ideals of perfection they fly of the hand in the most defensive manner'

          Then what was your second paragraph about? Was it not a reply to my proposition that rationalists too easily jump into a defensive mode of communication?

          1. SpanStar profile image61
            SpanStarposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yes that was the point I was making because what they say seems to be who they are and that's find because one needs to stand behind what they say but my point is solid rocks will in time just up in the air and expect me to believe it.

            1. SpanStar profile image61
              SpanStarposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I meant to say that's fine.

              Also I ment to say, but don't tell me solid rocks will.

              I know I'm getting old but I could swear someone else is helping me type.

              1. 0
                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                LMAO cark cark cark

                That's not someone else - that's your better half

                And yes, if I understand your replies, I think you make a salient point - that ego is at stake when a rationalist jumps into the air like a rock

                Did I ken correct?

  29. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    To Mark: 

    1) You mentioned earlier that you had made a blanket inference about me based on something from another thread (I assume you mean “Forum”?).  Perhaps you would be willing to explain why exactly it was that you chose not to address the issue in that forum. ? 

    2) You stated to pburger that you are “intentionally antagonistic and am well aware of both the meaning I intend and the purpose behind the antagonism.”

    What exactly is that purpose, and what is the meaning you intend?  It can’t be to try and change my mind about anything.  You know that your antagonism would likely preclude that possibility.

    Truly, Mark, your intentional antagonism reeks of such strong emotion that one could easily hypothesize that some personal experience in your past has caused it.  For whatever it was that happened, I am truly sorry.

    3) You criticized my use of semantics (before and after my statement "I am now accused of ‘wasting … time using semantics to justify an irrational belief.’  ????")  Hold on – 

    I am proud of using semantics – the study of meaning – as part of the discussion here.  Why isn’t everyone doing so? For goodness’ sake, in this forum there's more than one concept of what “science” is.  The use of semantics is a method for creating a basis for and clarifying communication.

    My question marks referred to your statement that I was trying to justify an irrational belief.  Apparently you were not aware that the "irrational belief" I was trying to justify was that a good scientist can be open-minded enough to accept an explanation that runs counter to her own beliefs. But you stated that you yourself would be that open-minded. Why shouldn’t a scientist be?

    You stated about yourself: “My position is - I do not believe in any gods. But - I am open to the possibility and if one of the infinite possibilities cares to make itself known to me or present some evidence - I will cheerfully change my position."

    It's irrational for me to believe that a scientist is capable of what you are capable of?

    If you are being honest about yourself about your cheerful open-mindedness, then I seriously commend you.  Some people who are so antagonistic towards people of faith would not run the risk of having to eat their words.

    I will make an agreement with you.  If I find that I as an intelligent, thinking human being can no longer accept my beliefs about God, then I will also cheerfully announce to you that I have changed my beliefs. But a caveat: I agree with pburger on the notion that there is a continuum of beliefs, rather than discrete and diametrically opposing poles.  My position on the continuum changes from time to time, as perhaps yours does.  It may be that if we are to agree on announcing to the world any change of position, we might need to clarify what constitutes “change” (semantics again, unapologetically).

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I keep out of strictly religious threads aimed at other religious people only. I don't pray and had nothing constructive to offer.


      The exact purpose is to provoke an emotional response, which I find to be a more honest response than a well-considered, edited-to-show-me-in-the-best-light-possible response. It tells me a lot about the person and gives me clues as to where they are coming from when we interact in the future. It also allows me to assess them, predict their responses and see how accurate I am at doing so. It is a very useful tool, although - I must admit - I make the occasional mistake, go too far and have to apologize. They tend tomake the best friends after wards. wink

      We can - if you prefer =- pretend that emotion has no place in human interaction. We can - should you desire - even pretend that it is evil, or sinful, or takes us further from god - or whatever you want to believe. wink



      Which is about the response I expected from you. In fact  - shockingly accurate. You have no need to feel sorry or apologize to me.


      Considering how proud you are - you might want to consider the word "use" when applied to semantics, which changes the meaning quite completely.

      Yes - you "use" semantics to show how righteous and correct you are. Myself - I prefer to "use" semantics to communicate as clearly as possible. Am I being clear? wink


      Ah - in that case - we are talking at cross purposes - which is probably my fault. In which case - I apologize and agree. This is not an irrational belief. I also believe that any scientist should be open to proof that goes contrary to their beliefs. Absolutely. Otherwise we have religion all over again.

      Too many vested interests unfortunately. Hard to give up a life's work when some kid comes along and proves you are wrong.



      Well - I think I am reasonably safe here. I am antagonistic towards religion in general. I guess mainly because it is so disappointing and empty. I personally feel a belief in a god is something that holds us back rather than helps us move forwards.

      Go forth and multiply until there is nowhere left to multiply? Not so good. Especially with the Other Religion reaching it's Evangelical stage. I see issues and clashes that could consume us all.


      I don't believe you - nor am I trying to change your mind. Memes - we are changing memes as we speak and my goal is that - not to change your mind personally. It does work that way - but usually with people less set in their ways.

      I mean - you are talking about scientists being open minded. How can you claim to be open minded? You have no proof for a god - and have decided based on that 100% lack of proof - A "feeling" perhaps? That there is a god. And you still consider yourself thinking? Feeling maybe. You "feel" there is something bigger - and being human - you must have an answer. God is the easy peasy answer.


      How has your belief in the existence of a god changed in the past? I mean - since you decided to believe in one?

      There either is or is not a god. Only agnostics are so wishy washy in their beliefs as to stay in th middle. lol

      1. Rod Marsden profile image86
        Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        well Mark you do understand. go forth and multiply was once a very good idea. unfortunately it hasn't been a really good idea for a very long time.

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Yes - I know.

          Tribal thinking. The bane of our existence, along with artificial rationing of resources (money).

          1. Rod Marsden profile image86
            Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Right on! Can't say you are wrong Mark.

          2. 0
            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, Mark, I also must agree with you. I cannot abide with any form of tribal thinking. Hence why I put out my own thinking - even if it is a waste of space.

        2. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          On this point Rod, I agree with you 100%

          The planet is over-populated. When will bourgeois governments wake up and smell the baby-pooh? In this respect any institution that decries birth-control is IMHO a negative influence on the future. But don't let me fool you - you keep on believing that I don't care tongue

          1. Rod Marsden profile image86
            Rod Marsdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            You do give that impression of not caring.

            1. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Rod, here I go with the old semantics again. big_smile

              I think, strictly-speaking, I do not 'give' the impression, rather, I think you 'take' the impression from my words.

              But, this very much the problem that faces much discourse, especially when emotion becomes involved.

              I would like to know what examples of my language led you to 'conclude' that I do not care about the planet, since the planet is recent side-attraction to the thread...

      2. 0
        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yahoo! big_smile I think I see common-ground with you Mark. In conversations and threads, I hope to exchange memes. And 'I also believe that any scientist should be open to proof that goes contrary to their beliefs' and I think I see the gulf between us. I do not consider myself a strict logical positivist, nor a genuine rationalist - but a Marxist humanist - ergo a materialist - not a theist - and certainly not a post-modernist.... Hence, my emphasis on language as behavior and my view of science as a culture clothed in a special language. But as a humanist I accept a multiplicity of views, and encourage the diversity of voices...

    2. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Right on Aficionada! All hail the woman! big_smile

      Why do the rationalists decry the use of language to explore the use of language? For is that not the dastardly 'semantic method'?

      And Mark is so unconvincing, for the reason you suggest that his 'intentional antagonism reeks of such strong emotion'. And while I have not idea what 'caused' such a reaction we can bring the science of psychology to bear on the matter, and at least hypothesize some trauma earlier in his life. Or perhaps some fear of a future outcome, a future without science? A future when science is not the dominant faith?

      But watch them jump on me - (You're POMO, how dare you uses science!)

      And while I do not count myself a person of religion, I do count myself a person of faith. For example, I have faith in my ability to create a better life. And I wholeheartedly agree that it is irrational to believe that a scientist is capable of what some people in this thread do with their words.

  30. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    Pandoras Box wrote:
    "I suspect that stories that evoke a sense of awe and excitement are what truly get people to regularly engage with science, its methods and its processes."

    pburger responded:
    “would you say non-scientific people typically associate 'stories that evoke a sense of awe and excitement' with scientific theories. I would say people think of fiction when they think of 'stories that evoke a sense of awe and excitement'?”

    Uh-oh, friend pburger… I’m not sure that I find fiction evokes much of a sense of awe in me. Excitement, perhaps.  Sometimes.  The thrill of the chase.  Whodunit.  But awe I usually sense in the presence of new discoveries, whether about the natural world or not, and for me that usually relates to some form of reality, rather than to fiction.  As one example, I recently experienced an amazing sense of wonder and even awe due to a musical discovery I made – something new, something I had never before noticed.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Good point Aficionada,

      But perhaps your reading of fiction is somewhat limited. Do you read wider than the Western canon?

      Let us extend our understanding of fiction beyond the confines of the Western canon of literature. I would say that indigenous stories provoke awe in their indigenous audiences. And do not religious stories inspire awe in religious readers?

      Again let us not limit my example to a particular form of fiction - i.e. literature. Music is a form of fiction and you 'recently experienced an amazing sense of wonder and even awe due to a musical discovery'.

  31. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    Here is one more thought for tying together science, stories, story-telling, and the search for truth or facts or meaning or discoveries of other kinds.  I am getting ready to re-read a favorite book about discoveries in neuroscience explained via stories and narrative descriptions of the discoveries: How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer. Lehrer is an amazing story-teller who set out to discover and then to explain what scientists have learned about how the brain works in the process of making decisions – how the “rational” brain and the “emotional” brain argue with one another and how each is superior in certain types of decision-making.  So maybe I shouldn’t worry so much about Mark’s emotionality when he talks about his rationality, if in fact he has used his brain in the best way in making decisions.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      smile Yes Aficionada, while I have not read Lehrer's book I have read several books on the biology of emotions and the neurology of reason. And I agree with Lehrer that the two struggle with each other. I remember reading about an experiment that led to the conclusion that an emotional response takes place milliseconds before any thought registers in the conscious mind.

      But for the revelation, I dare say the rationalists who watch this thread will be onto me like a ton of bricks...

  32. kephrira profile image60
    kephriraposted 6 years ago

    Science does tell stories, they are called things like 'theories' or 'thought experiments' to differentiate them from facts. That is how science recognizes it's stories, and the fact that they are fallible, whereas scientific facts are based on mathematics which is objective.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you kephrira,

      Adding to your post, 'thought experiments' are not limited to science. Nor did they originate within the science project. I believe the method of 'thought experiment' began long ago in the discursive domain of philosophy.

      What is more, writers of fiction, so-called non-scientists, also produce 'thought experiments'... We in the field call them novels short stories, plays, because one view of story is that it serves as a vehicle to address a problem.

      For example, a story might pose the question 'Can the protagonist climb that mountain'. The writer then explores that question from several different points of view. The writer will also make a conclusion based on the evidence put forth within the 'thought experiment'...

      1. 60
        (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Believing always gets one in trouble.

        Although philosophers have asked hypothetical questions (what if) for a long time, the Gedanken was only introduced in the last hundred years in science.

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          My point was that 'thought experiments' evolved - like all ideas and processes; the Gedanken did not appear by magic ex hilio roll

          As for my use of the phrase 'I believe', it is just a conventional form of polite conversation, to lessening any imputed authoritative tone. wink

          And in your post I see no explication of the difference between 'hypothetical questions (what if)' and 'the Gedanken' nor any reason to accept at face-value your assertion that 'the Gedanken was only introduced in the last hundred years in science' hmm

          But thank you kindly for expressing your belief lol

          1. 60
            (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

            True. It was conceived by a mind that didn't just believe in things.



            Often, I find that phrase used a lot where thinking is not involved.



            Please feel free to continue "believing" the things you do, despite reality. smile

            1. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Your last post goes to the heart of my question that began this thread

              'feel free to continue "believing" the things you do, despite reality'...

              Clearly you believe you stay 'in touch' with reality, and clearly you believe I lost touch with reality... and yet we both have a subjective point of view on the matter. And yes you could, but don't, bring various arguments and methods to support your claim that somewhere, somehow, I lost touch with reality. And so, here in the online world we have only words; you do not use any of science to construct an experiment that tests your thesis that I am deluded. So, no matter what 'fact's we posit in support of our arguments, everything you and I write in this online medium is personal opinion.

              Would your response to my post be any different had I written 'I think the method of thought experiment began long ago...?

              I do not expect posters to agree with me. Certainly, agreement is gratifying but that was not my purpose in posting the question. I posted the question to learn what other people think, believe, consider, denounce, refute, accept, ridicule - from all sides of the debate.

              A definitive answer is not an outcome I seek. I 'believe' a more productive result in any discussion is that people keep expressing their opinion on the topic.

              Keep the debate alive, viva la difference!

              1. 60
                (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Does that also include the fact that you believe in one of thousands of super sky fairies?



                But, you also dismissed the facts surrounding the Gedanken. That isn't learning.

  33. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    I've had to take a break of several days from this forum, and even now I can't spend the time here that I would like.  I have a LOT to say and ask, whenever I can get back to it.  But I have to admit that it feels sort of like the twilight zone to read this from (Q):

    pburger wrote:
    So, no matter what 'fact's we posit in support of our arguments, everything you and I write in this online medium is personal opinion.

    [(Q)] Does that also include the fact that you believe in one of thousands of super sky fairies?

    [me]  I could see this assumption of (Q)'s being directed at me or at Terced Ojos.  But at pburger??  (Q), may I recommend that you go back through the threads of this forum and read pburger's replies to others?  It appears to me that you have made an erroneous inference.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      don't mind Q, he likes to talk about ghosts, fairies and accuses thought leaders as woowoo. it's his thing.

      1. 0
        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        lol

        Do you care to help bring the thread back to the topic?

    2. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you Aficionada

      Shall we try and bring the thread back to the topic?

    3. 60
      (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Does pburger not believe in a god?

  34. Cagsil profile image83
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    roll

  35. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    (Q), did you read these statements?:

    pburger: "I do not believe in a paternal omniscient being commonly called God."

    pburger: "I do not see myself as a 'religionist'. And I think a religious fanatic would outcast me."

    pburger: "while I do not count myself a person of religion, I do count myself a person of faith. For example, I have faith in my ability to create a better life."

    *****
    Back to the Forum Topic - A scientist of my acquaintance recently made a statement that will probably provoke a huge defensive outcry here.  He said, "The problem with science is that its very basis, the bedrock on which it rests, is human perception.  Even the 'language of mathematics,' supposedly the most objective 'language' that exists, is derived through human perception."

    ... Sorry to comment and run......sad  big_smile   hmm

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Why would that provoke a defensive outcry? Lots of religionists make up statements like that in an attempt to show that their irrational beliefs are the same as scientific beliefs.

    2. Jane Bovary profile image89
      Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Of course it is. What else do we have...? Aficionado, I don't think anyone would claim science is perfect ..just that it seems to be the best tool we have to understand reality. Maybe we can't know reality, maybe everything's an illusion...and we're really just a super advanced Sims game on some aliens laptop. Who knows? But we can only proceed through our own perception...there's nothing else....so there's not much point to that quote.

      1. Aficionada profile image93
        Aficionadaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        JaneB, I think that you probably have the kind of perspective that does not need the quote/reminder that I wrote, and some (maybe all?) other commenters here are like you in that regard. 

        But I'm not sure that I agree with you that no one "would claim science is perfect."  I think that in the media and in the public at large there really is a tendency to elevate "science" (however we define it) practically to the status of deity.  If Science "says" it, then it must be so.  If Science tells me not to do XYZ, then I absolutely will not do it even a little bit, even though a small amount of XYZ may be beneficial or even crucial.

        I understand and volunteer that the problem of deifying science is not the fault of scientists - far from it.  For the most part it is scientists who have a reasonable and realistic view of it as a tool, as you and Evan have said.  But for the majority of people (or at least of the people I am familiar with), a reminder of the limitations of science can only be a helpful one.

    3. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      big_smile lol tongue

  36. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    Just as I said.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      lol as you said lol Back to the Forum Topic tongue

  37. 0
    Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago

    ...and projective/absorptive/reflective by its own necessity. The method/s is/are, in many cases, even more ritualistic then the emotional approach. The outcome is the same.

    I am with Aficionada, it is all perception.
    The desire, search, equation, experiment, conclusion, title, acceptance and social buy/sell all are apart of the same story -science really does not understand. They are attempting to -as are their counterparts, sensation.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I was very curious when I read about the philosophical consequences of quantum mechanics - that the investigator is an important influence on any observation. Indeed, the quantum approach says the separation of a complex system in sub-systems produces a skewed result (see for example Van Fraassen, 1991, p. 73). For example, when smashing an atom in a particle accelerator the experimenter can only know with a degree of certainty either position or velocity... and only as a statistical probability

      'At time t, the probability of finding the particle within the interval x and x+dx is given by the square of the wavefunction' (original italics, McMahon 2005, p. 15) ...

      Therefore the investigator must choose from within certain social, political, historical, and cultural frameworks what attribute to observe and what to ignore... does this constitute a form 'story-telling'?

      References
      Van Fraassen, B C 1991, Quantum mechanics: An empiricist view, Clarendon Paperbacks, Oxford
      McMahon, D 2005, Quantum Mechanics demystified: A self-teaching guide, McGraw-Hill, New York

      1. 0
        Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Indeed it does. Why? The probability -through any means of fundamental observation, experiment or test- is a matter of that observation alone and the elements within that single expressive. Now, should the collective priori, that is any given instance of motion of light (human thought), less distance -since elementary motion is without subjection to that limitation even within a finite complex string of thought- one can quest, observe and conclude. How many probabilities are available for observation? Infinite without, finite within. So, one tends to conclude an instance to satisfy the consideration -that necessity- and subjects, indexes that instance as theory or provable (though no instance within the absorption of light is factual by human methods). It is therefore a series of quests, observation and conclusions that are recorded for that instance- a story. It is and is not a true or false literate, only an expressed value of that instance where the three unite.

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Wow - Holy cow Batman! cool

          Where does that leave views put forth by hardcore rationalists such as Richard Dawkins?

          1. 0
            Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            oh, the botanist turned buy-my-website tee shirt and support my antagonism, Dawkins? Same place as the other side of the Ism (romantic), exactly where they were before -at each others throats til death do them part.

            I imagine Wayne Newton and him having a convention in Vegas at some point. Scads of fun!

            lol

            ps, I hardly see Dawkin's as a hardcore rationalist. He is a sympathizer of a very fragile ideology trying to hop the border without detection. As philosopher by nature, a true rationalist, if you will, I am unmoved by either position of the Ism.

            1. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Yes, 21days, I agree... IMO Dawkins is not a genuine rationalist but an thorough-going ideologue...

              A rationalist, IMO, could easily find value from multitude of viewpoints available within the world. I think the a reasoned argument leaves me without prove for either side of the debate Dawkins fosters.

              But, when the notion of reason is so fraught with ambiguity, how do we bring 'reason' to bear on the ideological divide?

          2. ceciliabeltran profile image85
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Dawkins doesn't know what to think...so he's saying life is strange, it's stranger than any god we can conceive, so lets stop thinking and admit its strange....blah blah blah...he's stumped.

  38. alternate poet profile image77
    alternate poetposted 6 years ago

    Of course this is right - at the bottom of everything from scientific fact to forum mud-slinging it is all only a matter of perception in the first place.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Did you read through the thread noting the various positions posted?

      For example, 'I'd agree with that too but it's still not a 'story' in the way Pbburger means it;ie no different from any other cultural myth.'

      Or for instance, 'You do not understand the difference between real life stories which are based on science or research or observation and stuff usually made up to simply entertain.'

      I do not think everybody agrees that science is a form of story-telling...

  39. 0
    Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago

    story:

    R = e³ N  (reality = light cubic collective necessity

    or even

    meson → gluon = -d dyon

    (meson intersecting gluon observed electric dominant dyon)

    All these are assumed possibilities.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you 21days

      Your post makes a very interesting proposition...

      And to further the thread can I ask whether you think the stories manufactured by scientists are of the same ilk as stories made by fiction writers?

      1. 0
        Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        The antecessor of the Ism is somewhat of a mystery. Is the equation equal to the romantic? I think so. The male expressive, once dominant hunter, designed stories to satisfy himself and his wife. She in turn charmed him with beauty, lust, luxury and emotion to otherwise temper his warlord mentality. After years of sex & war between them, divided the house, drew a line in the sand and seemingly went their ways -until recently. Now, they are reuniting and calling this new fiction: Quality (of life). Still fiction, in my book.

        Why? Because they prove nothing accept they have nothing to show for thousands of years of existence. This bothers them to no end.

        Perhaps it is their colorful stories that have kept them from destroying themselves and why they 'feel' so valuable in their positions. Like all stories, they are based on human necessity. And thus are limited to that need.

        James.

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Do you find science dangerous?

          Should we favor the romantic spirit of an aesthetic politics - emotion running rampant over reason, as in the case of Nazi and Fascist ideologies?

          How do we balance reason and emotion?

          1. 0
            Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Dangerous, no. Fallible, yes. To the point where I have stated: it was science (at its very basic level, to this day) that fuels romantic notions, builds their weapons, temples, what-have-you and then is surprised she wages war against him. LOL. The parody is too funny.

            Balance is THAT new ideology of Quality. This is dangerous!
            Quality in the face of apathy, ambiguity or even passive vengeance could easily exterminate humanity for good. The notion of Free Will/Grace seems to oppose the Quality consideration -which I am all for.

            1. 0
              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              While I appreciate the 'poetic' mode of your expression, I do not understand your position...

              How is finding a balance between reason an emotion 'That new ideology of quality'?

              How does the 'notion of Free Will/Grace ... oppose ... Quality '?

              Why must the notions 'oppose' each other? Why can't we balance the opposites?

              1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
                ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                He is in a special lingo that I frequently strain to understand but do eventually.

                I think he means that Attribute (quality) is restrictive and Universality (Grace) is expansive. the notions oppose each other and this is what produces balance. (think wavy lines in the stock market) We can't balance opposites, the opposites balance us. but in us, both exists. what we have is choice. perception is a choice and so I agree with you that science as a method of observation necessitates which data will be considered relevant and which will be discarded.

                1. 0
                  pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Thank you ceciliabeltran

                  I hope 21days agrees with you big_smile Wouldn't want to put words in someone's mouth smile

                  Nevertheless, I see how you put the jigsaw together in the terms 'Attribute (quality) is restrictive and Universality (Grace) is expansive'

                  So, I hope you do not take the questions that follow as argumentative... lol but three points come to mind, and perhaps they only reflect a semantic nag that exists in my mind...

                  1) We can't balance opposites, the opposites balance us. But the actor of the action of balancing opposites is not clear. Given that human perception plays such an important role, how do the opposites of particularity (attribute, quality) and universality (Grace) balance without human intervention?

                  2) When I wrote 'How do we balance reason and emotion' perhaps the word 'balance' was a poor choice and rather than take a literal understanding can we not read between the lines? Perhaps, I might suggest the following revision 'How can we bring reason and emotion to bear in some new proportion, or according a new ratio?'

                  3) What equates with what: does reason equate to attribute and emotion universality; or vice verse and why? Aren't reason and emotion universal to humans?

                  Cheers smile

                  1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
                    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I truly hope I understand him correctly. It requires a bit of translation and so as your point points out, anything is subject to interpretation, including mine of 21's.

                    My understanding of it is this (and you know if you state any kind of strong stand people start losing their upper lip and raise one eyebrow, and who do you think you are, someone who knows more than me...how dare thee! in a faux british accent)

                    The fact is, opposites exist. It exists in everything. opposites were created when space-time was created. the stretching of the fabric of space created dimension and dimension is what was made by these opposites. Opposite as a concept is the extremes of one thing. the thing is almost impossible to define. It is just two opposite ends of something, okay nothing. whatever nothing is.

                    The reason and emotion are not opposites. emotion is a reason for action. it is a component of logic. E-motion,

                    the opposites are reason and no reason.
                    Quality and Free Will.

                    TO move without purpose is to surrender to a higher purpose that transcends reason. It is a paradox. no reason is the reason.

                    Opposites are dimensions of one thing. Balance means you're stuck in the middle and that is dangerous because you must move. You must move forward or you cease to exist.  You must move from reason to no reason and reason again in the same way that everything moves in waves. you have to flow through the opposites so that it will not crush you or stretch you too far you disappear. existence stands upon dimensions that exist because of opposites. So what is in between? Choice is in between by reasons available to us, whether emotion or logic (the opposite dimensions of I want and I need, no reason and reason.)

                    Consciousness is there and isn't there. It is aware and it isn't aware. it is blinking inside our heads the way our eyes do, the way the night and day alternates.

                    The opposites exist and because of it, we do too.

                    I hope that makes a little more sense. (though I highly doubt it)

  40. ceciliabeltran profile image85
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    I hope that helps because if I were half smart i could simplify it more. there is a clip on the ten dimensions, and that blew me away in that it was explaining these things in very simple terms. let me look for it.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Would it not be the case, and according what we are discussing - if we were half-smart we'd know the answer without having posed any question? For we would move from ignorant to not-ignorant without a motivating reason...and perhaps through this process of dialogue we shall arrive at a point where ignorance disappears...

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        yes, that is my battlecry in forums.wink

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          hmm cool

  41. Cagsil profile image83
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    I would like to interject, afterward you can say or do whatever.

    Emotions are not reason. There is a reason for an emotion. It's explained as reactionary/instinctive, due to cause and effect.

    Emotions happens due to a cause. It is the effect of that cause.

    Just a thought. smile

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      i thought i said exactly that? emotion is a reason but is not reason.

    2. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you once again cagsil

      Perhaps the relation of cause and effect is not quite as uni-linear as your post suggests - perhaps the affect is also an effect of the effect produced by the affect hmm

      Something like cause->effect->cause->effect and where you interrupt the continuum determines whether you have cause->effect or effect->cause

      What do you think?

      1. Cagsil profile image83
        Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Actually, I stand by what I said.

        Emotions, all of them- Explain "why?" they happen?

        The only way for an emotion to emerge is from some source(cause).

        Someone laughs(effect) from hearing something funny(cause).

        Someone cries out(effect) from being in pain(cause).

        Emotions wouldn't show themselves without a cause. Sorry. hmm

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          the cause of emotion. many studies try to figure that out.

          usually the "cause" is memory of emotion. emotion causes emotion.
          this how we remember, through emotion.

          a child sees a red balloon, its a red balloon. she is happy. her brother pops it, she is sad. but why? why did the red balloon make her happy? what is the cause of that happiness. a red blood cell she saw floating in her mother's womb that reminded her of that happy time? it is almost impossible to determine what causes emotion.

          you fall in love with this beautiful woman, you love her at first sight, no reason you can determine. why this woman out of all the beautiful women? she has the exact proportions that matches your biological weaknesses. shagging her will make your offspring healthier? why? you could go backward and backward to the source of emotion and you will see it exists just because a trigger in your brain signals it is important to you but you will have no idea why.

          1. 0
            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            My friend ceciliabeltran

            Can I suggest you research the topics - the biology of emotion, and the biology of cognition? Recent research several interesting propositions about the cause and effects of emotions and the link between emotion and cognition...

            If you want I can suggest a few titles on these topics

            1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
              ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              thank you but you are under the impression that i do not know the biology of emotion and maybe that's my fault.

              1. 0
                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I share in what ever fault is at play... after all, I built my impression from a series of words.

                And if you do know about the biology of emotion then my post may encourage people other than you to make an inquiry into the subject hmm

                Cheers and thank you for your understanding attitude smile

        2. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Yes cagsil, but ...

          When someone cries out (effect) from being in pain (cause) that outcry becomes an affect on somebody else... The function of the emotional system is to cause a change in the environment or to respond to a cause in the environment.

          For example, the emotion of fear, as a response to something in the environment, and according to William James, triggers an organism to flee - The emotion as an effect to the environment affects the brain that in turn affects the muscles which in turn by moving away from the source affects the emotion...

          I draw my position from reading the following books

          LeDoux, J 1999, The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life, Phoenix, London.

          Adolphs, R, Tranel, D & Damasio, AR 2003, 'Dissociable Neural Systems for Recognizing Emotions', Brain and Cognition, vol. 52, pp. 61-69.

          Cacioppo, JT, Berntson, GG, Klein, DJ & Poehlmann, KM 'Psychophysiology of Emotion across the Life Span'.

          Goleman, D 1995, Emotional Intelligence, Bantam, New York.

          James, W 1994, 'The Physical Basis of Emotion', Psychological Review, vol. 101, no. 2, pp. 205-210.

          LeDoux, J 1999, The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life, Phoenix, London.

          Ledwig, M 2006, Emotions: Their Rationality & Consistency, Peter Lang, New York.

          Vincent, JD 1990, The Biology of Emotions, Basil Blackwell, Oxford.

  42. ceciliabeltran profile image85
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    i agree with you. Science strives to be objective but since we are subjective (senses and all), interpretation always comes into play.

    As a matter of fact before an experiment, there is a hypothesis. the direction is set by the hypothesis. and who makes the hypothesis? I give you one guess.

  43. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    There is more to scientific method than that though.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      its the same, observe the natural world (subjective)
      form a conjecture (subjective)
      devise an experiment (subjective because you design it)
      and then interpret data (subjective because it is an interpretation.

      1. 0
        pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        On this point I agree 100% with you ceciliabeltran

        Science rests on interpretation and that is a very subjective mode of reasoning, hence why two scientists can disagree on one point - for instance Richard Dawkins and Deepak Chopra

        Reading about the quantum mind–body problem I learned that
        'The interpretation identifies the non-linear probabilistic projection transformation which occurs during measurement with the selection of a definite state by a mind from the different possibilities which it could have in a quantum mechanical superposition'

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind/body_problem

  44. 0
    Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago

    Science can only use the tools it has. So yes, it will observe and report. However, those findings are not fact, only subjective considerations of any given possibility. Same holds true for the sensation. It can only observe and report on those instances. Its findings are not fact either. so, the 'never ending saga/story' goes on.

  45. ceciliabeltran profile image85
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    i was speaking of affect perseverance.

    neurochemicals has a lot to do with emotions but the triggers cannot be predicted.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      So where does this leave us apropos the question 'Does science tell stories?' hmm

  46. wingedcentaur profile image86
    wingedcentaurposted 6 years ago

    Good Day Pburger

    This question is, to my way of thinking, tied into the other questions you pose: What is art? What is the function of communication? Your question "Does science tell stories?" is expressive of the part of science that is not settled, but is still in flux and searching.... for truth.

    I think the "fictional" character one might sometimes detect in scientific publications is the theoretical speculations of the field in general. It is their exploratory steps into what is still unknown. Sometimes it is helpful to come of with theories of what one might find, in order to give coherence and structure to the inquiry.

    Science, like art, in my opinion, is the search for truth. And here, we might add an additive inquiry to your question ("Does science tell stories?").

    If we say, "Does science tell stories?" might we inversely ask "Does art tell truth?"

  47. Aficionada profile image93
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    I'm glad to see this forum is still going!  I don't know whether my brain has rested enough to jump back in (lol) but I think I would like to toss around another semantic question.  Advance apologies if it's been kicked around and settled already - I may have missed it.

    Along with my previous focus on being specific about what we mean by "science," I would like to be sure I understand what we/you mean by "stories" and how they differ from every other sort of verbal communication.

    And to answer a really, really long ago question to me: no, I have not actually read much fiction outside of Western literature and a Western worldview.  Hardly anything, in fact. I have read The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe, but that was ages ago, and I scarcely remember it; and I am wracking my brain to come up with anything else.  Suggestions?  (or should I say more suggestions?)

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Dear Aficionada

      Thank you for another provocative post.

      With your welcome return you ask two insightful questions that many posters fail to ask: what do we mean by "science" and "stories" and how they differ from other forms of communication.

      You nailed my question to the wall... And much of what I read by narrative theorists who draw on the cognitive revolution suggests the difference is principally in form. Science and story are both means of understanding and constrained by a point-of-view. That is, the scientist and story-teller each view the world through the senses that the brain processes. They both apply reason to that sensory input and output thoughts in the form of written language. What differs is content and form but the two processes have similarities because the two modes employ the one medium - written language...

      As for what fiction you might read? Where do I start? Perhaps, given your preference for non-fiction you might look into the modern literary theory where you might explore the somewhat outdated Reader Response Theory - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reader_Response which in some ways led to cognitive literary theory see for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_poetics. In the former you might find why and how texts challenge the notion of objective science, in the latter you might find how and why texts operate like the mind...

      You might your inquiry of cognitive literary theory at http://www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-1/t … ntary.html and see David Herman, who looms large as figure of cognitive literary theory: http://www2.bc.edu/~richarad/lcb/fc/dhbc.html

      This site http://www2.bc.edu/~richarad/lcb/home.html hosts various articles on the intersection.

      And Ellen Spolsky wrote a fantastic article that links Darwinian literary theory to the Deconstruction Theory of Jacques Derrida http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/poetics_to … polsky.pdf


      I hope this helps and look forward to your contributions to this forum...

      1. Aficionada profile image93
        Aficionadaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks - I will definitely read these and respond.  But I can tell by the titles that I will have to take some time to digest them! hmm

        I am not averse to fiction; but what I read is, to be honest, popular rather than literary fictoin. Still, even there I have run into some non-Western thought patterns, such as in the Navajo mystery-writing of Tony Hillerman.  But that's all just to say I'm open to fiction recommendations as well.  And I really am looking towards reading Emotional Intelligence. The list keeps growing.

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          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          smile Thank you Aficionada

          Of course, take all the time you need. I am sure with your sharp intellect you will return with some thought-provoking views of the ideas in those books...

          I look forward to your ruminations smile

      2. CaribeM profile image86
        CaribeMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Haven't been around here for a long while as well. Just wanted to thank you pburger for tthe very interesting thread and the articles that you have recommended to Aficionada. I will certainly check Ellen Spolsky's...Darwin and Derrida... that sounds extremely interesting. Take care!

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you CaribeM smile

          I trust you are well... I certainly found Ellen Spolsky's article an intriguing intersection of two typically disparate theoretical spaces and hope you too derive some value from her work

          Cheers!

  48. 0
    LEWJposted 6 years ago

    The formula E=Mc2 is an example of the objective language of science and of how it can reveal objective truth.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      interesting point

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        but that would be mathematics, the interpretation of that language becomes subjective

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          LEWJposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Mathematics is an objective science, which is why some people call it the only "pure" segment of intelligence tests.    Mathematics is based on objective logic, even though the interpretation of its formulas can indeed be slanted toward subjective viewpoints.   An interpretation of Einstein's famous formula will be true or false, but the revelations contained in it point to objective truths nonetheless.

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      Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      what if that formula was reversed?
      Even more, what if we said:

      reality is light³ / necessity
      If we even go so far as to void the necessity.

      Could this imply equation without mathematics?

      1. 60
        (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        The formula demonstrates and equivalence, that is why there is an equal sign between the two sides, hence reversing the formula is a meaningless statement.

        1. 0
          LEWJposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          EXACTLY, Q smile smile   Took the words right out of my keyboard!

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            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            LewJ

            To me, equivalence is still a form of story - a formula 'tells' the 'reader' how one side of the operator relates to the other side...

            What is more, since the inductive method of science always allows for the possibility of a refutation, the notion of 'objectivity' is fraught with ambiguity. Has anybody 'proved' what happens on the far-side of the event-horizon around a black-hole? And let us recall Albert Einstein's reaction to quantum mechanics... he denied QM both philosophically and as valid science and yet QM turns out to be perfectly valid... So, the notion of objective science is again brought into question...

            And I cannot overlook the failure of logical positivism - a school of philosophy that combines empiricism  – the idea that observational evidence is indispensable for knowledge of the world – with a version of rationalism  incorporating mathematical and logico-linguistic constructs and deductions in epistemology.

            That school fell into disrepute due 'to a range of factors, including changes in the school of language philosophy brought about by Ludwig Wittgenstein, stress from W.V. Quine's holism, issues arising from logical positivism's notably positive stance on inductive logic, growing respect for fields such as the history of science that take over much of logical positivism's earlier roles, the rise of instrumentalism, and "eventually there was pressure from scientific realism"'.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_positivists

            And mathematics is not 'perfect' else we would not have so many unsolved mathematical problems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:U … athematics

            And the philosophy of mathematics is not as settled as you suggest. 'The philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy  that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. The aim of the philosophy of mathematics is to provide an account of the nature and methodology of mathematics and to understand the place of mathematics in people's lives. The logical and structural nature of mathematics itself makes this study both broad and unique among its philosophical counterparts' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mathematics

            So, I remain open to alternative views, and to the possibility that science does not tell stories, but I am yet to see in your brief comments anything to dissuade me from my current opinion...

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              LEWJposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              "The notion of objective science is again brought into question."     The logic preceding this statement contains a bit of a twist in comparison to my own point about objective science.     My point was that, no matter who subjectively interprets a scientific theory, by inductive reasoning or whatever else,  the objective truth revealed through that science (such as the truth that space and time occupy one harmonious dimension) remains intact.   The truth is not removed by the incorrect reasonings of men, nor subject to change due to scientific or personal ignorance.    Your citing the example of Einstein's mistaken view serves to  illustrate that very point.   So, I say that objective science is proven by its objective, accurate results, even though it originates from a subjective view that later proves to be accurate, or is disputed by inaccurate subjective reasoning.   I have no quibble with you over your preference for connecting science with storytelling.    I simply would say it a bit differently or not at all.

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                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                LewJ

                If I understand by 'objective' that you mean 'the truth is not removed by the incorrect reasoning of men, nor subject to change due to scientific or personal ignorance' then I think we have common ground - to a degree. I think 'objective truth' to be pragmatic; changing throughout history. Yes, space-time is an 'objective correlate' But we have not explored the entire universe, and all of its possible aspects, micro & macro. I'm thinking of the 11 dimensions posited by string theorists...

                At our present time, with our present knowledge, we cannot know for certain whether or not space and time separate or combine with other elements in regions of the universe beyond the reach of our theoretical experiments and empirical methods... Based on the inductive method of science 'objective truth' remains contingent upon our current knowledge and therefore IMO the term deserves permanent quotation marks around those words... smile

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                  LEWJposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Your contention that nothing is yet definitely known is more for the sake of argument than for clarity on the topic at hand. It denies all the fruits of science that has brought us the technologies we use every day.   With that kind of view as a guide, there's no point in discussing this or any other subject; the prime objective apparent in your line of thought is to blur the reality of scientific truth by denying its possibility.   No good is accomplished, and the result of  the interchange is muck.   A misty pseudo logic is basically what's created by your line of reasoning.
                  Thus,  a dog keeps chasing its tail around.  I see no point or gain in sharing that chase.   My concluding thoughts are no different than those already stated on the subject.

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                    pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    LewJ

                    I think you read too much into my post. I did not intend to deny 'all the fruits of science' with a 'contention that nothing is yet definitely known'. Rather, I wanted to highlight the limits of known science and thereby introduce what Michio Kaku calls the 'physics of the impossible'. I wanted to open out the potential of science via thorough-going skepticism, I sought to push the limits of the logic of induction to its farthest extreme. For, IMO, the extreme form of empiricism that you suggest is a form of dogma equal to that of religion...

                    Do you deny that our world, the universe, nature et cetera hold mysteries still beyond the reach of science?

                    Has the empirical approach and its inductive method answered every mystery or question?

                    Do you deny science has methods other than empiricism and induction?

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      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hello LEWJ

      Thank you for your contribution.

      I agree with you - E=Mc2 is an example of the language of science. But you do not explain 'objective'. And you say 'some people call [mathematics] the only "pure" segment of intelligence tests' the emphatic word in your sentence is 'some'. If everything was so clear-cut why doesn't everybody hold your view?
      And mathematics is a human construction, limited by our cognitive capacity, so that we might not be capable of thinking certain aspects of reality...

      Going back E=Mc2, I would say that the formula, objective as it may be, still tells a story - the story of a particle of matter and the transformation it undergoes in certain physical processes...

      1. 0
        LEWJposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        By using the word "objective,"   I mean nothing more or less than is found in Webster's basic definition of the word.

        There are almost no subjects upon which EVERYBODY agrees, whether or not the facts that surround or make up  the subjects are clear cut; my using the word "some," then, is not meant to be applied to the gist of my point in such a literal way as a measure of its validity.  That the mathematical formula offered as an example reveals certain objective truths regardless of interpretive views that might be applied to it is the main point of my remarks, and  holds true.

        I would express your opening statement a bit differently by asking: "Does science reveal a story?,"  or by making the statement that "Science reveals a story." 
        I do see your point in expressing it as you do, nonetheless.

        I'm not clear on your thought that  "we might not be capable of thinking certain aspects of reality."
        Perhaps you mean we might not be capable of comprehending certain aspects of reality...?

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          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          LewJ

          Thank you for clarifying your position, and I acknowledge on my part a degree of ungenerous interpretation of your words...

          And certainly we can revise the initial question in the form you suggest. I think that would indeed be productive.

          AS for your lack of clarity about 'thinking certain aspects of reality', ad deploying your point in your latest reply to my question about 'some' and 'objective', yes, perhaps 'comprehending' is a useful substitute.

          However, I'm not sure what difference stands between 'thinking' and 'comprehending' but that is probably bye-the-bye...
          and nor am I clear as the difference between 'telling a story' and 'revealing a story'...

          Perhaps, in your lucid style, you can help me 'see' or 'know' the remainder between telling and revealing?

          1. 0
            LEWJposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I have no intention of  persuading you to revise your viewpoint, or to accept mine.  You're quite welcome to your conclusions in any case.

            Telling and revealing can be seen as interchangeable actions, but my emphasis was on the revealing nature of objective science.    The theories of relativity not only tell a story about the cosmos; they unlock proven or theoretical implications which reach beyond the telling.   The telling of a story, then, is only part of the process of scientific thought.   I realize the possibility that someone could  extend  the idea of scientific storytelling by insisting that the implications themselves are other stories being told.    Still I prefer the former viewpoint as herein expressed.

      2. 60
        (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Ignorance. There are many who never take the time to understand the world around them. The physical laws that govern our universe are quite counter-intuitive to our perspective of the world and require we withhold that perspective in light of the evidence presented.



        Fortunately, mathematics describes reality in great detail, such that we can use mathematics to create the computer, internet connection and software that bring these words to your home for your perusal. That it is a human construct or a mirror to our reality is somewhat irrelevant to that fact.



        But, it does not tell that story at all. There is nothing in that formula that describes any undergone transformation whatsoever, no process at all. It simply demonstrates the equivalence of matter and energy and holds to no "stories" of how that process unfolds.

        1. 0
          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          (Q)

          I cannot understand how E=MC2 does not explain or describe a process. The formula says given an amount of matter times the velocity of the speed of light squared we will produce a given amount of energy. That is, matter transforms into energy, and vice verse, according to the ratio that straddles the equal sign.

          1. 60
            (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

            That is not what the equation says at all. It does not say anything about "producing energy" - it simply states the equivalence of matter and energy, and nothing else. No stories are being told here.

            Anything else above and beyond that is something you are adding unnecessarily.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image84
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              indeed. E=mc2 is very important when discussing fusion and fission.

              When you fission an atom apart, the results weigh less than the original atom. The difference in mass is equivalent to the amount of energy released as per this equation. The missing mass was once the energy keeping the protons from blowing themselves up.

              With fusion, the opposite is true. There is less energy needed to bind the results of the fusion that is necessary to hold together the ingredients.

              here's an article. But be forewarned: apparently language doesn't mean anything, and observation is plagued with human inadequacies. ... But this information has been seen by billions of people over the course of 100+ years over a trillion times or so...

              http://stason.org/TULARC/science-engine … nergy.html

              1. 0
                pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                EG Rogers

                'be forewarned: apparently language doesn't mean anything'?

                One things that comes though this forum and seem quite clear to many people is that language does mean something... and that language means has no single universal meaning. In a way, what this forum seems to suggest is that language has many meanings some which science cannot 'control'.

                And I followed your link to a recant of your earlier post and found nothing that spoke on the subject, unless you expect me to search through the dozens of advertising links and what-not...

                I am happy to read the article if you directly point me to it...

                You also say that 'Science's GREATEST aspect is peer review. [because?] This weeds out inconsistencies.' It did not weed out the EPR Paradox... and for many years it weeded-out Einstein's theory of relativity.

                But, since you will not be back to this forum, I'll continue in my errant ways without knowing your reply...

  49. humagaia profile image71
    humagaiaposted 6 years ago

    This topic has certainly thrown a stone into the pond and caused ripples to spread away from the initial 'splosh'. The original question was 'Does science tell stories?'. I would suggest the scientists tell stories rather than science itself.
    When I say stories I do not mean untruths, I am just paraphrasing and actually mean that they express a thought process in words, just as would a fiction writer.
    The point of my post is not this though. It is that all scientific understanding starts from a 'story'. Our view of the world around us is explained with a story, whether we be scientists or not. We frame our existence with a narrative that we test constantly. The only thing that science does beyond this is to place a framework around how that story can be tested.
    An additional point I would like to raise is that 'fiction' is the base on which most scientific progress is made. Without conceptualised thought delving into the realms of unlikelihood there would be little progress in science. So it could also be asked 'Do stories tell science?'.

    1. 0
      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you humagaia

      You make some interesting points that resonate with my thinking.

      I recently read a Jerome Bruner's article in Critical Inquiry, 'The narrative construction of reality' in which he argues much as you do i.e. 'We frame our existence with a narrative...' And of course, who could forget Paul Ricouer's work 'Time and Narrative' in which he argued that narrative is thrust upon us by the passage of time.

      And when you say, '"fiction" is the base on which most scientific progress is made' I think of Albert Einstein who began with an idea nobody 'believed' - that light would bend around a massive object... I think of the legend of his 'discovery' of relativity - sitting on a bus imagining himself on a light beam... One outcome of his work is that much modern physics is what they now call 'theoretical physics'.

      As for do 'stories tell science' - great question - and I would say the answer is yes., but not in the mode preferred by scientists. The theory of story I use , 'Dramatica', views story as the solving of a problem... Isn't that what scientists do?

  50. Cagsil profile image83
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    Hey Pburger, I do not mean to interrupt, but science applies imaginative ideas into testing methods, which can translate into a story. But, science does not tell stories in and of itself. Those who look upon science use their own imagination and use language to tell what they were thinking.

    Just my thoughts on it. Back to your regularly scheduled program. lol

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      pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Cagsil,

      Thank you for your 'interruption'.

      In my opinion, you make a valid point 'science applies imaginative ideas into testing methods' (although I would invert the proposition 'science applies testing methods to imaginative ideas)'...

      But also from my point-of-view, so does much fiction - the difference is fiction has more variety in its language-use. We writers of fiction have at our disposal what we call 'Grand Argument Stories' and 'Thematic arguments'

      In fiction, a complete 'Grand Argument' covers all the ways the human mind might consider a problem and showing that only one approach is appropriate to solving it.

      An author builds an argument that the Main Character was either justified or not in certain actions, then "proves" the point by concluding the story with an outcome of success or failure and a judgment of good or bad. A writer resolves a story as one of the following Success/Good, Success/Bad, Failure/Good, Failure/Bad. These four resolutions are the "Author's Proof" wherein he states his personal bias as to what the most appropriate and inappropriate choices were.

      The 'test' comes with a reader decides whether the 'facts stack up'. Did the story make sense and did the actions of the characters seem appropriate? How is this different from 'genuine science'?

      For details of these ideas visit http://www.dramatica.com

      Back to our regular schedule... smile

      1. BWU910 profile image60
        BWU910posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Science consist of two fields of study (1) pure science and (2) applied science. Pure science is theoretical... consist of principles that should be applied universally. Applied science is experimental... in consist of testing things out in reality.

        1. BWU910 profile image60
          BWU910posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          And to answer the question science tells the story of what is objective and goes on to explain the validity of anything posted in reality or its falsity... unless your asking does science LIE? In a sense if it did then field study 2 wouldn't have a purpose.. wouldn't need to exist.

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            pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            What happened to social sciences such as economics and politics, much of psychology is neither empirical nor pure science...

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          pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          BWU910

          As much as you might like to cite a dictionary definition, 'science' is not a singular noun - we have 'sciences' that employ different methodologies that deal with various epistemology.

          1. BWU910 profile image60
            BWU910posted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Totally understandable Pburger, but what was just quoted is not a dictionary definition perse... that is the process of science that validates or falsifies information via the scientific method therefor used in all methodologies that deal with various epistemology.

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              pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              BWU910

              I trust you have no truck with me calling mainstream medicine a 'science'?

              I ask because mainstream medicine spawned the following:

              'Although applied widely, peer review is by no means a secure discipline. For instance, Altman is critical of the entire notion of peer review, a term that he believes is jargon with no agreed meaning. He has described good peer review as the equivalent of good technical editing' extract from 'The rhetoric of research' written by Richard Horton, North American editor at Lancet, 655 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10010, USA and published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ)
              http://www.bmj.com.ezlibproxy.unisa.edu … 0/6985/985

              Horton continues 'A scientific article is carefully crafted by its authors' just like a story...

              Horton concludes that 'The text of a scientific paper is not an atlas that offers readers several equally appealing routes through terrain mapped out by the authors. Rather, the text describes a specific path, carefully carved by the authors, through a complex undergrowth of competing arguments. By examining this path more closely, we come to see the authors' intention and the means by which they convey this intention. Such textual criticism of scientific discourse is a crucial and largely missing component of peer review.'

              Horton continues his conclusion saying 'The time in science when an observation could be held to speak for itself has long past. Interpretation is a key part of research as scientists now deal less with demonstrable facts than with probabilities. Hence the writings of researchers are increasingly decorated by their own values and biases. In the humanities the practice of textual interpretation is called hermeneutics. Although in medicine we talk of "critical appraisal" when evaluating evidence, the importance of a linguistic perspective when discovering meaning in a paper convinces me that a clinical hermeneutic approach would be a step forward in the peer review process.'

              Thus to me the gap between science and story is less obvious then you suggest...

              1. BWU910 profile image60
                BWU910posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Well thank you Pburger for delivering a context to your question in the relations of the dynamic in interpreting modern medicine using a technique that interprets ideas... the question of "does science tell stories" was answered to the point disregarding hermeneutics and other practices as so utilizing the 5 step method: (1) First Insight- A theory a scientist has, (2) Saturation- Learn everything possible about the subject,  (3) Incubation- A period in which the mind integrates all knowledge received.. including the consistent with the non-consistent, (4) Illumination- The creative insight. the problem is solved. A certainty that the solution is correct. A great feeling of joy, (5) Verification- Verify the creative insight through experiments... then duplicate the experiments and verify again.

                1. Cagsil profile image83
                  Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Thus, leaving one to understand that Science does not tell stories. The people who interpret the results do. wink

                  1. 60
                    (Q)posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Well said.

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                    pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Sorry Cagsil,

                    But, I would revise your sentence to say 'Thus, leaving one to understand that the people who interpret the results, and therefore tell the stories, do the science.'

                    Science is not an object that stands aside from people - science is a discourse with a methodology - a culture; and unless you hold to the idealist philosophy, as opposed to the materialist, then culture and science do nothing without people.

                    You can take the science out of people - religion - but you can't take the people out of science. Whatever you claim 'science' does, is in fact what people do with science.

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                  pburgerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Unless you expect a full-blown thesis on the topic, then yes I did omit certain steps. The reason was concision. But the steps you mention occur in the writing of every story.

                  (1) First Insight- An idea a writer has, (2) Saturation- Learn everything possible about the subject,  (3) Incubation- A period in which the mind integrates all knowledge received... including the consistent with the non-consistent, (4) Illumination- The creative insight. The problem is solved, the story is written, as per the Dramatica Theory of Story. A certainty that the solution is correct. A great feeling of joy, (5) Verification- Verify the creative insight through experiments, reader asses and evalutate the solution offer by the writer,... and then duplicate the experiments and verify again; revised and retold stories based on the original.

                  The steps apply equally to stories told by writers of science and writers of fiction. I believe the difference between the two forms of story is content and structure.

 
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