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Old 09-05-2011, 10:55 PM #1
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Default What is science?

Time to get some good discussion going again.

So how about it? In only 4-5 sentences, state the definition of science as you understand it. No wiki- google- or webster quoting. Use your own definition in about 5 sentences or less.

Here's mine:

Science;

1. A research institution similar to philosophy under which new knowledge can be attained for the general benefit of mankind, his environment, and his standard of living.

2. Can also be described as the method through which some hypothesis can be processed into a theory, or be sorted out as something which cannot be tested or otherwise proven true.

3. Science itself holds no authority over truth but is the sharp knife which cuts through truth to merely discover what is already there.

4. It is very effective when utilized under appropriate circumstances, but is still limited to being comprehensive in usability throughout only a particular subset of possibilities which may be true or untrue. IE Science cannot be used to answer all questions.

5. Science is something that most psychologists think that they are doing. :P


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Old 09-07-2011, 07:47 PM #2
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Default Re: What is science?

I like 5

Science is describing anything observable systematically, for example with statistics, a mathematical model or (causal) relations. It's the curiousity to understand everything put into a logical systematic form thus avoiding disagreements. It's a tool to gain knowledge about anything in the universe with. Most of all: science does not explain why, it just describes.

On the last point: we all can measure gravity, sometimes it's hard to deny. But why on earth everything should fall down? To the philosophical question of why there should be a gravitational force is no scientific answer. Science just tells it falls, philosophy still wonders why.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:58 PM #3
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Default Re: What is science?

Science is a big can of worms.

It is an attempt to define the universe we perceive through logic.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:08 PM #4
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Default Re: What is science?

Science;

1. Killer of God, and miracles.
2. Rewrote folklore, and fables that have been cherished for centuries.
3. Tortured, and murdered countless animals, and humans in experimentation.
4. Has been exploited to generate billions, upon billions, upon billions in revenue.
5. Has been used to deplete, and pollute the mother planet.
6. Used in wars to murder humans.

....and countless other negative effects on mankind.

I love science, and all its done to help people, and move us forward. But there is always a price, and sometimes that price is too high IMO. Science will eventually eliminate all the magic, faith, and hope in the world, and create the end of civilization.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:28 PM #5
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Default Re: What is science?

What are birds? We just don't know?
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:08 PM #6
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Default Re: What is science?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefan View Post
On the last point: we all can measure gravity, sometimes it's hard to deny. But why on earth everything should fall down? To the philosophical question of why there should be a gravitational force is no scientific answer. Science just tells it falls, philosophy still wonders why.
Hmm, well said.

"Science!" is what I proclaim after disproving someone using math.

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Old 09-07-2011, 10:25 PM #7
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Default

Science is my life
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:46 PM #8
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Default Re: What is science?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech_Junkie View Post
Science;

1. Killer of God, and miracles.
2. Rewrote folklore, and fables that have been cherished for centuries.
3. Tortured, and murdered countless animals, and humans in experimentation.
4. Has been exploited to generate billions, upon billions, upon billions in revenue.
5. Has been used to deplete, and pollute the mother planet.
6. Used in wars to murder humans.

....and countless other negative effects on mankind.

I love science, and all its done to help people, and move us forward. But there is always a price, and sometimes that price is too high IMO. Science will eventually eliminate all the magic, faith, and hope in the world, and create the end of civilization.
1. Miracles never existed. A miracle is just an occurrence humans are too stupid to find an explanation for.
2. Folklore and fairytales are just stories. People write new ones all the time. Literature is a reflection of culture, as with any art. Culture changes and art changes. Who is to say that the old stuff is more valuable than the new stuff?
3. Science didn't murder animals and humans. People did, in the pursuit of learning something new.
4. Again, the "exploitation" of science is human's, not science's fault.
5. The planet is an almost closed system. The carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere will one day make its way back through the rock cycle. The pollutants do have a negative effect on the current biosphere but they are essentially the same materials that were here already but recombined by scientists for another (our) purpose(s). Even if/when we exterminate ourselves and a large variety of other organisms, something new will fill the gap. The Earth still has more than 4 billion years ahead and that is plenty of time for life to be completely eradicated and come into existence spontaneously all over again. The planet is only middle aged, and life itself has only been around since Mother Earth hit puberty.
6. Again, it's human's fault, not science's.

Magic and faith are just superstition anyway and we can do without them.
If you think science is cruel, what do you think about the crusades, the witch trials, and all kinds of barbaric traditional practices that still mar the identity of the human species? For example... female circumcision, male circumcision (both are forms of genital mutilation), human sacrifices, public stoning of adulterers, and the countless wars and murders that were all committed in the name of God(s).

The price we pay for expanding our knowledge is ours to pay because we are naive and careless, not because there is an inherent danger in knowledge. It's the lack of knowledge and desire to seek it (of the superstitious) that hindered some of the greatest minds since apes walked on two legs.

The world we live in, if religion conquered the ancient European and Asian philosophers, astronomers, and mathematicians, would still be dominated by emotional men in silly hats, praying to a God that either doesn't know we exist or doesn't give two shits about us. I'd like my girlfriend to keep her clitoris.

Last edited by RA_pierce; 09-07-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:04 PM #9
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Default Re: What is science?

LOL, keep telling that to yourself.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:57 PM #10
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Default Re: What is science?

You best be trollin TJ.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:11 AM #11
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Default Re: What is science?

Science is the main part of an eighties song by Thomas Dolby...at least the blame is.


Lets see if I can add anything...
Science is the systematic and re-creatable exploration of hypothesis or questions put forth for our own understanding of our perceived surroundings.
A huge part of science is the ability to perform an experiment and get the same results every time. Understanding the result is the reason for doing it. Most often not understanding all of the reasons of the result is the result !
The real trick is in hammering down the details of just what one "perceives" as the world around us. How can it be proven that what I perceive and what someone from another culture perceives are the same thing ? Try to figure that one out while your at it.
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:55 AM #12
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Default Re: What is science?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMyLaser View Post
You best be trollin TJ.
Not really. Playing devils advocate if you will.

[Brick] I dont know if people have noticed, but money has change the nobility of science long ago. People say man is at fault, not science. Man is the one who discovered science, and has used it to their benefit. The trouble is not everyone has good intentions. The Germans pioneered many positive scientific contributions. But they also used the same science to create drugs that have ruined the lives off millions of people. There are literally 10's of thousands of example where science has lead the way to hurt man kind, and the environment. People talk about the crusades and witch hunts. How about the 2 bombs that level Hiroshima, and Nagasaki? This is not including the viruses that could wipe the planet clean 1000 times over. This is not including the nukes, ect.

I really dont like to debate God, but I keep reading the same observations all the time. I will agree that yes, you cant physically prove there is a God. But you also cannot disprove it either. The people who believe in a higher power far out weigh the people who dont. I read all the time on how silly religion is, and how certain members did all these bad things. How come people dont mention that religions feed more children in the world than all the food aid groups combined? How people have used to it gain solace in their most dire times since the beginning of time. Or how they helped form the laws we live by today. I also read all the time God doesnt care, or he would do something. Its not up to him to do something, its us. We are given free will to chose our own paths. Every hardship on this planet is our own fault. Children are dying in 3rd world countries because we fail to act, not God. If you want an educated opinion on God, and religion, then you have to do the homework. Thats what scientists do, right? If you dont understand something, you study it intensely before dismissing or excepting it. By the majority of comments I read I can see no studying. People use the same extremist examples, and just keep echoing the same inaccurate comments over, and over. And often with some low lying anger, which I find interesting. After all how can you be angry at something that doesnt exist?
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:23 AM #13
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Default Re: What is science?

I guess arguing what science is ... is a science on its own
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:05 AM #14
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Default Re: What is science?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech_Junkie View Post
Not really. Playing devils advocate if you will.

[Brick] I dont know if people have noticed, but money has change the nobility of science long ago. People say man is at fault, not science. Man is the one who discovered science, and has used it to their benefit. The trouble is not everyone has good intentions. The Germans pioneered many positive scientific contributions. But they also used the same science to create drugs that have ruined the lives off millions of people. There are literally 10's of thousands of example where science has lead the way to hurt man kind, and the environment. People talk about the crusades and witch hunts. How about the 2 bombs that level Hiroshima, and Nagasaki? This is not including the viruses that could wipe the planet clean 1000 times over. This is not including the nukes, ect.

I really dont like to debate God, but I keep reading the same observations all the time. I will agree that yes, you cant physically prove there is a God. But you also cannot disprove it either. The people who believe in a higher power far out weigh the people who dont. I read all the time on how silly religion is, and how certain members did all these bad things. How come people dont mention that religions feed more children in the world than all the food aid groups combined? How people have used to it gain solace in their most dire times since the beginning of time. Or how they helped form the laws we live by today. I also read all the time God doesnt care, or he would do something. Its not up to him to do something, its us. We are given free will to chose our own paths. Every hardship on this planet is our own fault. Children are dying in 3rd world countries because we fail to act, not God. If you want an educated opinion on God, and religion, then you have to do the homework. Thats what scientists do, right? If you dont understand something, you study it intensely before dismissing or excepting it. By the majority of comments I read I can see no studying. People use the same extremist examples, and just keep echoing the same inaccurate comments over, and over. And often with some low lying anger, which I find interesting. After all how can you be angry at something that doesnt exist?
[/Brick]

I see a contradiction. One moment you say that the science is to blame, and the next it is man's fault?
If we are all free to choose as we will, the who/what is to blame for the misuse of knowledge? Man or knowledge? Can knowledge choose what it will be used for? Can knowledge be "evil?" I don't think so.

Sure, the application of what we learn through scientific research can unleash some terrible destruction. But, using the same examples as before, so can religion. Science is a tool. It is the USER who is responsible for it. So the men who decided it was a good idea to nuke Japan are idiots. You won't find me defending them. But why wage war to begin with? Nazi Germany invaded some neighboring countries and started killing Jews. Then the USA decided to help out its good ol' pals. Well, whaddya know... it's deluded idealism that started it after all!
I hope you are not going to blame Einstein for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But I digress... The point I want to make in this green text (basically an extension of the red text) is that knowledge, technology, and science, if applied without political or religious ideals polluting the decision making process, can be beneficial for mankind. The bow and arrow can be used to hunt or to wage war. It is the operator that determines whether it is a tool or a weapon.


I don't wish to debate the existence of God, either. My comments were directed toward religion. You may not be able to disprove God, but it is possible to disprove the teachings of the church. Does the heliocentric model of the solar system hold true today, despite the "truth" of a few deluded old men who lived centuries ago?

Sure, some people find peace in "knowing" that there is an afterlife. I, however, do not understand how living in fear of God(s) relieves anxiety. I grew up in a religious household. I never really liked going to church and I felt constant pressure to conform within the community. If I did something "immoral" I felt guilty and "unworthy." After I started going to college and experiencing more of the world, I decided that religion is not for me and abandoned all my faith to replace it with education. Before the moment I accepted that faith and superstition are not part of my identity I have never felt so free. I have no need to fear the eternal consequences of premarital ***. I can enjoy drinking with friends without worrying about being too hungover to go to church on Sunday. The only being I have to answer to is myself. The only being that limits my actions is me (and the law of the land). For me, there is no sin and no hell. It feels great.

As for "the beginning of time," not quite. Religion has evolved over time as culture and society has. The religions that dominate today (mainly forms of monotheism) were not the first religions invented. Belief in supernatural power was once a way to explain and understand the natural world. Now that we have science at our disposal, there is no need for it except for those that need God to fulfill some sort of emotional need. I don't really care where everyone else finds peace of mind so long as they find it.

As I mentioned above, I grew up with religion. I've spent a good portion of my life exposed to people of different faiths. I have first hand experience with religion, so I wonder what you mean by "studying." I don't suppose I need to study religion at a university for a few years before I can make a statement about my opinion. And I'm not quite sure where you get the "extremism" from or the "inaccuracy." The witch trial did take place, right? And the crusades? And public stonings? And genital mutilation? Are these not born of barbaric traditions as mandated by some divine being?

Also, my tone may seem a little aggressive, but I assure you, there is no anger here.
I am not some testosterone-fueled, angsty, teenage boy that calls himself an atheist because he hates his parents. Anyway, I have never heard of an extremist atheist that flew planes into a building full of people.

I wonder, if you believe science will ultimately bring about the end of civilization [or is in the process of doing so], what do you consider "civilized?" Perhaps the days of the Roman Colosseum?

TJ - are you a religious man? It's certainly not the impression I get from you.

It seems this discussion has deviated from the original intent.

Last edited by RA_pierce; 09-08-2011 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:12 AM #15
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Default Re: What is science?

Though science is not always simple, I keep it's principle simple.

-Science is the understanding of how things work

-and how that understanding can be applied (if any)


Everything has a science to it, however simple or complex that may be.

And not to get on the God debate, but if you are naive enough to believe they can't exist together then just have a look here: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/answers.html
That is about as solid as it gets
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:50 AM #16
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Default Re: What is science?

Science to me is discovery
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