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  1. #31
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Magic is nothing more than science that is not yet understood.


    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    That phrase rubs me the wrong way. Preferred statement:

    Magic is a combination of unexplained science and fantasy.
    Almost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Why use the term 'magic' at all?

    And what does "magic that works" really mean? If it works, it follows physical laws. If it follows physical laws, how is it magic?

    I'm just confused.
    Magic, contrary to popular belief, is actually very much subject to the natural laws. In fact, magic in essence *is* natural. Not supernatural. That part (the supernatural part I mean) is imagination. Ask around, ask those that 'practise' magic. They'll tell you the same

    However, magic can look like it defies the rules of nature, due to the fact that we lack the capacity to understand how it works..for now. When that understanding catches up with us, it often becomes science
    If you look at hypnosis, and the idea that minerals and rocks can radiate healing or what not (in fact, they apparently all vibe out their own frequency), these things were before in the realm of magic, and are gradually becoming part of science these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    But it took many more than 5 years to develop the atomic bomb, plus the time to build the first one, then to invest in the means of producing them on a broader scale, so the time scales are not that dissimilar. One can also stockpile them for quicker use, like spells on scrolls or in in magical items.

    Science and magic have at least one thing in common: imagination.
    You're officially on my radar
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





    "Harm none, do as ye will”

  2. #32
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Analyze the validity of that sentence.
    It depends on the specifics of your definitions of "science" and "magic". By mine, it's false. Science isn't a body of knowledge, or a set of things that work (like Liquid Laser says, that's technology). Science is a process of making conclusions based on objective evidence. Magic's definition varies depending on the mythology you're coming from, but it's generally in the mystic realm, and as such is pretty much the direct opposite of science.

    When Arthur Clark said that a sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, I think that he was making a statement about a level of understanding along the lines of "something that is not understood often seems like it cannot be understood (yet) -- not that the concepts of science and magic are actually comparable.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #33
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    It depends on the specifics of your definitions of "science" and "magic". By mine, it's false. Science isn't a body of knowledge, or a set of things that work (like Liquid Laser says, that's technology). Science is a process of making conclusions based on objective evidence. Magic's definition varies depending on the mythology you're coming from, but it's generally in the mystic realm, and as such is pretty much the direct opposite of science.
    Interesting .. I've always viewed science as reaching the desired conclusion based on subjective evidence (ie, one's opinion).

    Please correct me if i am wrong here .. But do scientists receive funding based on an idea they have but yet to know what the conclusion is .. Are scientists allowed to be creative?
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  4. #34
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    To put it another way: what's the meaningful difference between the scientific method and a magical incantation?

  5. #35
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    Interesting .. I've always viewed science as reaching the desired conclusion based on subjective evidence (ie, one's opinion).

    Please correct me if i am wrong here .. But do scientists receive funding based on an idea they have but yet to know what the conclusion is .. Are scientists allowed to be creative?
    Well, when it comes to the ideal (subjectivity and bias is a factor in all science, although an honest scientist will try to minimize it), it's more like "I have this idea, let's test it to see if I can prove that it's false, and if I can't, it's likely to be true." As the idea is repeatedly tested, if it continues to "pass" all tests and can be used to predict future outcomes, there is an increasingly (and perhaps eventually statistically relevant) likelihood that it is, in fact, true. Now that's an idealized version of how science actually happens, but that's the idea.

    Scientists are allowed (and encouraged) to be creative, but it's not necessarily the same type of creativity that an artist uses. In science, it's more about being able to "connect the dots" or "take the next step" when it's not really obvious. It's about being creative in ways to put seemingly unrelated data together to build a picture, and then coming up with ways to put that picture to the test (often not as easy as it sounds). That's my view as an ex-professional scientist, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    To put it another way: what's the meaningful difference between the scientific method and a magical incantation?
    The scientific method's just that -- a method to find out what links causes to effects. An incantation is a statement (cause) that itself that it supposed to lead to an effect. Of course, using the scientific method to try and prove the value of incantations usually (if not always) proves them false . It's not like comparing apples and oranges... it's more like trying to compare a set of driving directions to your (imaginary) flying car.

    Don't get me wrong - I love stories about magic (my bookshelves full of them are excellent evidence of this ), but it's not science.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #36
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    Almost.
    That's because I don't believe in magic although I love reading fiction novels that incorporate it.

  7. #37

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    I think we are underestimating the ability of people from "technologically less advanced" societies.

    How many of us actually know how a cell-phone, computer, airplane or car works? Some of us may know the basics, but even people who design and make them wont know the whole story.

    Given a little time (much less than I think most people would guess), I think so-called, "primitive" people could learn how to use the technologies we use.

    As far as "Sufficiently advanced technology [being] indistinguishable from magic" goes, I still marvel at new technology that comes out, even when I played a part in developing it.

    In a sense, technology IS magic. However, the more reliable the technology, and the easier it is to use, the less "magical" it will seem after a few uses.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  8. #38
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    It depends on the specifics of your definitions of "science" and "magic" By mine, it's false. Science isn't a body of knowledge, or a set of things that work (like Liquid Laser says, that's technology). Science is a process of making conclusions based on objective evidence. Magic's definition varies depending on the mythology you're coming from, but it's generally in the mystic realm, and as such is pretty much the direct opposite of science.
    It does all depend on one's definitions. You are correct that science is a process, a way of knowing about the world around us. But there are other ways to gain knowledge about the world, some of them involving faith and mysticism. People who practice magic (and I don't mean stage illusion) are attempting to effect change in their world, and primarily in themselves. In this way, it is almost more analogous to technology than to science. Magic might be considered the technology of mysticism.

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    To put it another way: what's the meaningful difference between the scientific method and a magical incantation?
    One is a method, the other a result. An incantation would be the equivalent of a chemical formula, or an engineer's lookup table, something invoked to produce a specific result. Both require prior study and investigation (of different types) to develop and validate.

  9. #39
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    You're officially on my radar
    Is this good . . . or is it time to invoke my cloaking device*?



    * Science or magic?? Next Generation Cloaking Device Demonstrated

  10. #40
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Analyze the validity of that sentence.
    Science is about accumulating valid knowledge. You can put that knowledge to use if you want, but that's using science, not science itself.

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