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View Poll Results: "In science there are no 'depths'; there is surface everywhere." -Rudolf Carnap.

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  • I mostly agree

    5 55.56%
  • I mostly disagree

    4 44.44%

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Aleph-One's Avatar
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    Default Instrumentalism, Phenomenalism, and Scientific Realism.

    I know I'm going to regret starting this thread.

    Does science describe the world as it is? Do our scientific theories capture, as some scientists claim, a deep structure of the universe? Is it the quest of science to learn how things are, or is it instead a process of determining what we can say about nature? Which poll option did you pick, and why?
    Aleph-One, you look like the kind of person who would spend his spare time building a giant robot to hold the government for ransom. -Some Guy on the Internet

  2. #2
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I mostly agree for all facts. So pure known science.

    But to unravel and understand new science, one must go to great depths! One should not dwell on the surface of others, but attempt to surface a piece of land on their own.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  3. #3
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    While the 'whys' can be important for human cognition, they tend to be the most transient aspect of science (as certain philosophers predict). It is the body of observation that is the least transient in science, followed by the 'hows'. Now the hows tend to move in evolutionary, rather than revolutionary steps. (for a more formal explanation of the history of science, see Kuhn)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mephistopheles's Avatar
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    Science is like drawing a picture of something without having seen it yourself, solely based upon the descriptions others gave you and your own conclusions. So to answer your question, no, science doesn't describe how the world is, but how it could be. If we could actually see how things ARE, we wouldn't need science.

    Also, I disagree with the quote. Even with very few axioms, you can draw quite many deductive conclusions, every of these conclusions describing the mechanics underneath the insight you had before, and that's what I see as "going deep". But I think if we begin to discuss it, I'll beat myself with someone who simply has a differing definition of "going deep".^^
    They say I only think in form of crunching numbers.....
    -Fall Out Boy

  5. #5
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleph-One View Post
    I know I'm going to regret starting this thread.

    Does science describe the world as it is? Do our scientific theories capture, as some scientists claim, a deep structure of the universe? Is it the quest of science to learn how things are, or is it instead a process of determining what we can say about nature? Which poll option did you pick, and why?
    Looking at the quote, I see it both ways. There is surface everywhere... but their depth can be a relative thing. Some areas may have knowledge like the Mariana Trench beneath them, and others may have just a thin veil of atoms. To someone who studies atoms and quarks and neutrinos and all of those tiny little bits.... that thin veil of atoms can be a very deep exploration.

    I remember a quote saying, "Religion without Science is blind, and Science without Religion is lame." I have always liked thinking about it. I enjoy drawing my perspective from a wide variety of viewpoints, both factual and faith based. I like reading about science to help me understand what it is that I am seeing, but I also don't want to get so enveloped by the science that I lose the wonder and excitement of the world around me.

    I know this is an extremely INFP answer with vagueness and frippery and a sprinkling of glitter so thanks for your patience.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mephistopheles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    I like reading about science to help me understand what it is that I am seeing, but I also don't want to get so enveloped by the science that I lose the wonder and excitement of the world around me.
    http://xkcd.com/877/
    They say I only think in form of crunching numbers.....
    -Fall Out Boy

  7. #7
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mephistopheles View Post
    I xkcd comics! (when I understand them that is). This one I get

    However, I am weird so I would actually be excited by the Petri dish wanting to hug me.

  8. #8
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Scientific results change, there is no real constant, it evolves.
    Some things feel real to me, others i take for granted as being real based on "evidence" ultimately imo it's to do with perception.
    Do we even exist?
    Also, see sig.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  9. #9
    Anew Leaf
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    I got this on a valentines day card one year:

    http://xkcd.com/162/



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