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Are human beings a type of animal?

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by max_freakout, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    has lbj ever stated that science will find it all out? It won't, you know, and no scientist thinks it will either.
     
  2. gorski

    gorski customised free radical

    Futile, really...:(:hmm:
     
  3. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    The question he asked was "Who's saying this?" referring to the bolded quotation from my post above which was, "If you say everything that exists has a natural explanation."

    Notice I didn't used the phrase - "will find it all out". I said - "can". See, I don't think science will either.
     
  4. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    I think the subtle distinction is not that science says "everything has a natural explanation" but that "natural explanations will be the search space for our exploration" - like lbj says, "what works" is enough to make progress with. There's plenty of intellectual endeavour that lies outside that remit, but it is science's strength (and weakness) that it stays rigidly within those boundaries.
     
  5. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    You're not arguing with the points being made here.

    If you take the word 'god' to mean 'that which we do not understand', all you are doing when you take the 'what works' approach is attempting to push back the boundaries of 'that which we do not understand'. In my example, the river demon is an explanation at a much lower level of understanding than an explanation that involves gravity. Once you have observed and analysed gravity, this is now the new frontier of understanding. 'God', if you like, is pushed back. Your thinking is backwards - there is no need to presuppose where your investigation will end before it has begun.
     
  6. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    Could you please link to where I have said this? Very specifically, I have stated that science does not (cannot) address the question 'why is there something rather than nothing?' In this and other threads on this forum, I have gone into quite a bit of detail explaining how this is beyond the limits of our knowledge.
     
  7. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    Think again. :p Will science ever come upon a problem that it can't answer with a natural definition if not even theoretically? That paradigm will not shift. There's no moving from it. It says that even if we come across something we can't answer there's no reason to start including supernatural theories. The metaphysical decision has been made at the start.
     
  8. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    I'm not taking anything. I'm stating the quest for knowledge as it is.
     
  9. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    By 'you', I meant 'one'. My mistake. I should not have allowed that ambiguity.
     
  10. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    Yes it will. I've stated it clearly above.
     
  11. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    "On investigation, it is found that there is a system of forces in operation, which can be formalised into equations that then allow you to calculate how any fluid will flow downhill. Observed phenomena are found to have explanations of a certain kind, and the layer of mystery becomes progressively lower in that explanation. Currently the layer of mystery being grappled with is that of the four fundamental forces of the universe."

    By your taking for granted a natural explanation in your example.

    It's built in.
     
  12. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    Oh won't that be interesting when at some symposium a researcher stands up and says maybe a supernatural cause is behind it.

    :rolleyes:
     
  13. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    The search is one for a 'natural explanation' and, you know what, taking 'what works' as your starting point, this proves a very fruitful place to look. It is not taken for granted that any 'natural explanation' will be forthcoming, but experience teaches us in our quest for what works that this is the best place to look. By all means attempt to provide effective explanations for phenomena by appealing to magic and gods. You won't get very far.
     
  14. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    In such a case, the scientist will say "this question is outside, or beyond, the remit of science."

    Does she love me? Science will never tell me.
    Is it art? Ditto
     
  15. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    Nope, again you misunderstand. There is a huge difference between stating that there is a limit to our knowledge and postulating a theory that purports to knowledge beyond that limit. A researcher into why there is something rather than nothing will remain seated and say nothing at a symposium as they will have nothing to say.
     
  16. Fruitloop

    Fruitloop communism will win

    I've said before, the causual closure of the (material) universe is not assumed a priori. I even referenced a scientific paper that questioned whether it was in fact justifiable.
     
  17. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    No it's not taken for granted that you'll actually find the cause. But nonetheless that mystery cause will be assumed natural rather than supernatural. The metaphysical determination will stay put and no inclusions otherwise. That's my whole point. People want to deny the naturalistic paradigm.
     
  18. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    Oh so then supernatural causes will take equal weight?
     
  19. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    No it most emphatically will not. Nothing is assumed of that which is a mystery. All that one can utter is a simple 'no comment'.
     
  20. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    No, they just won't be science any more, as by their nature they do not submit to the scientific method. This is ok, science is a limited process.
     
  21. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    Oh so then supernatural causes will take equal weight?
     
  22. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    I don't get your point. It's like asking how the offside rule applies to tennis.
     
  23. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    Exactly. Science by definition is naturalistic.
     
  24. Fruitloop

    Fruitloop communism will win

    Well, in a way it started out like that, and then moved towards the paradigm that we have now. Which is why we have dishwashers and space shuttles and they had carefully-whittled rocks.
     
  25. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    You appear unable to accept the answer 'I don't know'. Where one does not know, all causes take equal weight – zero weight.
     
  26. Fruitloop

    Fruitloop communism will win

    Which weighs more, 12 leprechauns or one unicorn?
     
  27. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    My point is - naturalism is built into the definition of what science is. How? Because it only accepts what can be observed etc..
     
  28. Fruitloop

    Fruitloop communism will win

    Are you confusing free parameters with the supernatural? The Standard Model allows for lots of things to have no explanation at all except that 'it happens to be that way'.
     
  29. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    So when at some symposium a researcher stands up and says maybe a supernatural cause is behind it there won't be a big to do about it?

    It seems like you're in denial about what is going to be accepted and what's not. :D
     
  30. Fruitloop

    Fruitloop communism will win

    Both these statements are wrong. Modern physics postulates the existence of a whole host of things that could never be observed.
     

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