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What is Science?

Posted Aug 17, '13 at 4:06pm

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,677 posts

Knight

It can fit here, as we moved away from the athiest/theist part in to science. (sorta)

if you wish to continue on this topic create another thread. I will be happy to get into more detail there.

Science is mostly NOT physics.

This is the only part of that I didn't follow on. How is the study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world (science), mostly not about the natural science involving the study of matter (physics)?

 

Posted Aug 17, '13 at 4:54pm

aknerd

aknerd

1,276 posts

This is the only part of that I didn't follow on. How is the study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world (science), mostly not about the natural science involving the study of matter (physics)?

Fair question. I suppose its how you look at it- Can the study of physics be applied to most scientific topics? Sure. As you said, most things are somehow related to matter, and physics is all about matter. But I was more looking at it this way- is it important, or even useful, to apply concepts from physics to most scientific concepts? Not really, no. Many studies may incorporate basic concepts from physics, but they don't actively try to progress the field of physics.

So, its like this. Obviously the chemical structure of a toxin can be directly attributed to the physical properties of the particles that make up the toxin. And the chemical structure determines how the toxin will affect organisms.

But, you don't really need to know about or address any of that in order to conduct a study on the predation success of rattlesnakes. You just go out in the field and count how many times the snake is able to consume its prey.

I suppose I should reword that statement, however, to be more specific:
Most scientific studies are not in the field of physics. Most studies aren't in the field of any one thing, really. The point being, a huge breakthrough in one field probably won't affect the bulk of research*.

*unless it leads to a major technological breakthrough that influences research methods, which does happen. Like, computers.

 

Posted Aug 18, '13 at 8:59am

DidactUnbound

DidactUnbound

363 posts

In my opinion, science is given far too much credit, or overly glorified, so to speak. Science is more like a process or an art of learning more about everything around humans, inside humans, as far as I know.

 

Posted Aug 21, '13 at 6:42pm

eunoic

eunoic

51 posts

One of my friends once beautifully stated, "Science is the art of finding new questions to ask."

Science is more about the quest for me than the actual attainable goal of discovering all knowledge. Anyone who really is interested in science must know that it's impossible to discover all there is to learn, but it is the quest to get as close as we can that drives us as scientists.

 

Posted Aug 21, '13 at 9:46pm

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

8,154 posts

Moderator

Most scientific studies are not in the field of physics. Most studies aren't in the field of any one thing, really. The point being, a huge breakthrough in one field probably won't affect the bulk of research*.

Doesn't mean that Science is mostly not attainable to physics. Physics is exactly how everything even comes into essence and how organisms are able to perceive it. You don't need to know physics to attribute the study of that toxin (Chemistry) or the predation of that rattlesnake (Biology), but you owe that success to the success of physics.

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/purity.png

 

Posted Sep 16, '13 at 12:47am

yielee

yielee

596 posts

BS in science - You think you know everything.
MS in science - You think you know nothing.
PhD in science - You know you know nothing, but neither does anyone else.

 

Posted Sep 16, '13 at 3:25am

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,041 posts

Knight

BS in science - You think you know everything.
MS in science - You think you know nothing.
PhD in science - You know you know nothing, but neither does anyone else.

So for example, we possess no knowledge about our history, or how the machines we build work. Right?

 

Posted Sep 18, '13 at 11:29am

KnightDeclan

KnightDeclan

487 posts

Scientists these days are here for one things, to make children's school days longer.  They make hundreds of formulas, long and drawn out, to solve something so simple.  For example,  my Chemistry book this year is mentally handicapped. It said,"When righting down our answer, we want to be close, but not too precise.  Rounding to two decimal places is probably the best solution."  And then two pages later it will be telling me to give answers like 24.0038547 and then ask me which numbers are...AH! it's just so stupid.  Mathematicians are exactly the same.  The moronic things they make up to find out an answer.  1+1=2, or you can do I-2I - 3(4-4) =2.
I just think they've run out of things to do.  I think Biologists and Archaeologists are the only scientists that can find out things we don't already know.

 

Posted Sep 18, '13 at 11:40am

Moegreche

Moegreche

2,845 posts

Moderator

This may come off as mean, and I certainly don't intend to be mean. But it looks like you're basing your assessment on a very weak understanding of these particular fields. Maybe your textbooks are sub par, but from the general material (and how it's presented) it looks as if it came from a 6th or 7th grade science book.
The same point applies to your critique of maths. Yes, understanding the syntax of mathematics is important to an understanding of maths as a whole. But there are still a number of very interesting problems that mathematicians are currently trying to solve. Some of them are important enough to our understanding of mathematics that prizes are awarded to anyone who can provide a satisfying answer.
By the way, here's a really fun (and informative!) Wikipedia list of unsolved maths problems:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_un … athematics

 

Posted Sep 18, '13 at 2:12pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,676 posts

The moronic things they make up to find out an answer.  1+1=2, or you can do I-2I - 3(4-4) =2.

You will be thankful for those "moronic things they make up to find an answer" whenever you get into Trig or Calculus...hell, even algebra.

 
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