Science 2

Science. Hard science, soft science – where do we draw the line? Is there a line? Does how we talk about science make a difference?LC2

“Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world. An older meaning still in use today is that of Aristotle, for whom scientific knowledge was a body of reliable knowledge that can be logically and rationally explained (see “History and etymology” section below).

Since classical antiquity science as a type of knowledge was closely linked to philosophy, the way of life dedicated to discovering such knowledge. And into early modern times the two words, “science” and “philosophy”, were sometimes used interchangeably in the English language. By the 17th century, “natural philosophy” (which is today called “natural science“) could be considered separately from “philosophy” in general. But “science” continued to also be used in a broad sense denoting reliable knowledge about a topic, in the same way it is still used in modern terms such as library science or political science. .

The narrower sense of “science” that is common today developed as a part of science became a distinct enterprise of defining “laws of nature“, based on early examples such as Kepler‘s laws, Galileo‘s laws, and Newton‘s laws of motion. In this period it became more common to refer to natural philosophy as “natural science”. Over the course of the 19th century, the word “science” became increasingly associated with the disciplined study of the natural world including physics, chemistry, geology and biology. This sometimes left the study of human thought and society in a linguistic limbo, which was resolved by classifying these areas of academic study as social science. Similarly, several other major areas of disciplined study and knowledge exist today under the general rubric of “science”, such as formal science and applied science.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science

“Hard science and soft science are colloquial terms often used when comparing fields of academic research or scholarship, with hard meaning perceived as being more scientific, rigorous, or accurate. Fields of the natural, physical sciences, or computing sciences are often described as hard, while the social sciences and similar fields are often described as soft. The hard sciences are characterized as relying on experimental, empirical, quantifiable data, relying on the scientific method, and focusing on accuracy and objectivity. Publications in the hard sciences such as natural sciences make heavier use of graphs than soft sciences such as sociology, according to the graphism thesis.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_science

I find it interesting that the author of the Wikipedia entry on hard and soft science do not tell us what characterizes soft science – in a way saying that soft science is not ” experimental, empirical, quantifiable data, relying on the scientific method, and focusing on accuracy and objectivity”.

Is that really so? Or is it simply that our definitions, connotations and denotations have not yet caught up with a more holistic view of our Universe?

“Holism (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) is the idea that all the properties of a given system (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave.

The general principle of holism was concisely summarized by Aristotle in the Metaphysics: “The whole is different from the sum of its parts” (1045a10).

Reductionism is sometimes seen as the opposite of holism. Reductionism in science says that a complex system can be explained by reduction to its fundamental parts. For example, that the processes of biology can be reduced to chemistry and the laws of chemistry explained by physics.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holistic

Can I understand the complexity of human, from the earliest known humanoid ancestors to modern man, without also understanding language, culture, social structures and human thought? Can I make sound scientific decisions without understanding the the ethical implications of them?

Have we departed from the idea of everything tying into everything else? If so is that because there’s too much ‘everything’ to keep track of ?

Absurdity

Calvin and Hobbes appreciate absurdityCalvin: Isn’t it strange that evolution would give us a sense of humour? When you think about it, it’s weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it’s funny. Don’t you think it’s odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does it benefit us?

Hobbes: I suppose if we couldn’t laugh at things that don’t make sense, we couldn’t react to a lot of life.

Calvin: (after a long pause) I can’t tell if that’s funny or really scary.

humans are absurd. we will believe in the most absurd things – like the Lizard People or False Flags. that is absurd, and a healthy reaction to it is laughter.

laughter is healing they say. it is. one of the most healing thing is laughing at ourselves. we are absurd, and that is ok.

Intelligence

LC1The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.  Albert Einstein

“Reading a road map upside-down and generating synonyms for the word “brilliant” are two very different skills. But each is a measurable indicator of general intelligence, a construct that includes problem solving abilities, spatial manipulation and language acquisition. Scientists generally agree that intelligence can be captured by psychometric tests. But the study of intelligence is dogged by questions of just how much IQ contributes to an individual’s success and well-being, how genes and environment interact to generate smarts and why the average IQ score rose throughout the world during the twentieth century.” (Psychology Today)

If imagination is the true sign of intelligence, then I would say that the reason the average IQ score rose during the twentieth century is quite simply that the 20th century opened up the world knowledge-base to more people in a wide and global context. Knowledge is not intelligence, but it does give the individual a wider range of components to play around with in their imagination.

Intelligence, imo, is the ability to use one’s collected knowledge and combine various strands of that knowledge and apply the combination on reality in some way when confronted with a problem.

Humanism

Bookandglasses

hu·man·ism

noun
1. any system or mode of thought or action in
which human interests, values, and dignity predominate.
2.  devotion to or study of the
humanities.
3. (sometimes initial capital letter) the studies, principles, or
culture of the humanists.
4. Philosophy. a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes
reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.

It’s funny how the last definition has come to both denote and connote a rejection of G-d.  As if human interests, the humanities, culture, studies, reason, scientific inquiry and human fulfillment in the natural world somehow automatically excludes the idea of belief in G-d.

Does it?

I suppose it might, if one thinks of ‘belief in G-d’ as it is often depicted by some less moderate Atheists, who more often than not equate belief in G-d with the beliefs of extreme fundamentalists.
That is certainly not my belief system. To me belief in G-d is very much an “ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world “ .

Tikkun Olam

Yaakov's Ladder

Tikkun Olam – to repair the world.  To see each human being as unique. To see the context they live in. To see that good and evil are intermingled in each of us. To see that what appears broken, might be whole. To see that behind perfection may lie a broken soul.
To speak into a world of shards and splinters, words of acceptance.
To walk into a world of fear and anger, sowing deeds of mercy.
To live within a world of confusion and misdirection, a life re-claimed.

Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World

Science has no gender

Science RHS Science has no gender. There is no reason for any child not to be interested in science, or work towards being a scientist. It is all about what children see themselves as. When I was a child, my mother wanted me to become a veterinarian. Despite fact that I had no aptitude for the basics in mathematics required for a high-school and college degree in Natural Sciences.   It is so easy for us –adults – to decide, based on our own prejudices what our children should become. Some girls DO want to be anything but scientists – they should be allowed to not be scientists. Just as some boys are not cut out to be scientists either. But those kids who do have an interest, aptitude and skills for being scientists, should be encouraged to work toward their goal.
Science has no gender – our thinking shouldn’t have one either.

Women in Science: Einstein’s Advice to a Little Girl Who Wants to Be a Scientist

The Universe–A Hologram?

clearest

I find this idea intriguing. Oh, the very idea goes against so much of what we have been told about life and death, the universe, even G-d. Still I find it intriguing. And I am pretty sure G-d does too!

Physicists discover ‘clearest evidence yet’ that the Universe is a hologram