Science...

S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
I'd agree with the quote.It's something Lee Smolin notes at the end of Time Reborn, that science is about the relationship between things rather than the inner essence of things.

Will try to find the quote, I think I typed it out in one of these threads...

p.s.
here it is:

'The problem of qualia, or consciousness, seems unanswerable by science because it's an aspect of the world that is not encompassed when we describe all the physical interactions among particles. It's in the domain of questions about what the world really is, not how it can be modeled or represented.

Some philosophers argue that qualia simply are identical to certain neuronal processes. This seems to me wrong. Qualia may very well be correlated with neuronal processes but they are not the same as neuronal processes. Neuronal processes are subject to description by physics and chemistry, but no amount of detailed description in those terms will answer the questions as to what qualia are like or explain why we perceive them.'


'We don't know what a rock really is, or an atom, or an electron. We can only observe how they interact with other things and thereby describe their relational properties. Perhaps everything has external and internal aspects. The external properties are those that science can capture and describe - through interactions, in terms of relationships. The internal aspect is the intrinsic essence, it is the reality that is not expressible in the language of interactions and relations. Consciousness, whatever it is, is an aspect of the intrinsic essence of brains.

On further aspect of consciousness is the fact that it takes place in time. Indeed, when I assert that it is always some time in the world, I am extrapolating from the fact that my experiences of the world always takes place in time. But what do I mean by my experiences? I can speak about them scientifically as instances of recordings of information. To speak so, I need not mention consciousness or qualia. But this may be an evasion, because these experiences have aspects that are consciousness of qualia. So my conviction that what is real is real in the present moment is related to my conviction that qualia are real.'
 
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#4
Perhaps this is where Alex goes awry sometimes. If you think that science is the latter, you could be forgiven for thinking it's 'wrong'.
I see it differently. The body of knowledge we term science tells neither what things are nor what they do. It's a body of knowledge that generally offers models based on ideas and beliefs about aspects of what things do and are. At least that's the thrust of science as commonly practiced and viewed. At it's most meaningful - science can be one way to generate the seemingly impossible.
 
#5
I see it differently. The body of knowledge we term science tells neither what things are nor what they do. It's a body of knowledge that generally offers models based on ideas and beliefs about aspects of what things do and are. At least that's the thrust of science as commonly practiced and viewed. At it's most meaningful - science can be one way to generate the seemingly impossible.
I didn't get that, I sort of gathered you disagreed with the statement, but didn't properly understand why.... in simplistic terms.
 
#6
I didn't get that, I sort of gathered you disagreed with the statement, but didn't properly understand why.... in simplistic terms.
??? In simplistic terms, I disagree with it because I see it as false. I also expressed what I see as being more accurate.
 
#7
I'd agree with the quote.It's something Lee Smolin notes at the end of Time Reborn, that science is about the relationship between things rather than the inner essence of things.

Will try to find the quote, I think I typed it out in one of these threads...

p.s.
here it is:

'The problem of qualia, or consciousness, seems unanswerable by science because it's an aspect of the world that is not encompassed when we describe all the physical interactions among particles. It's in the domain of questions about what the world really is, not how it can be modeled or represented.

Some philosophers argue that qualia simply are identical to certain neuronal processes. This seems to me wrong. Qualia may very well be correlated with neuronal processes but they are not the same as neuronal processes. Neuronal processes are subject to description by physics and chemistry, but no amount of detailed description in those terms will answer the questions as to what qualia are like or explain why we perceive them.'


'We don't know what a rock really is, or an atom, or an electron. We can only observe how they interact with other things and thereby describe their relational properties. Perhaps everything has external and internal aspects. The external properties are those that science can capture and describe - through interactions, in terms of relationships. The internal aspect is the intrinsic essence, it is the reality that is not expressible in the language of interactions and relations. Consciousness, whatever it is, is an aspect of the intrinsic essence of brains.

On further aspect of consciousness is the fact that it takes place in time. Indeed, when I assert that it is always some time in the world, I am extrapolating from the fact that my experiences of the world always takes place in time. But what do I mean by my experiences? I can speak about them scientifically as instances of recordings of information. To speak so, I need not mention consciousness or qualia. But this may be an evasion, because these experiences have aspects that are consciousness of qualia. So my conviction that what is real is real in the present moment is related to my conviction that qualia are real.'
Yeah, I got this. So probably not
far wrong. So what things do... Would be comparison of observations relative to everything else, including me. And, as I guess the only thing we really have are separations in space, and time.

So I guess we label these bundles? If they stay somehow relative to one and other in space... We tend to call them matter? If they won't stay somehow relative to each other as a bundle in space, we tend to call them energy?

And science looks at these bundles, or non-bundles and observes how they interact in space and time with each other and themselves. That's the "doing" bit then.
 
#9
Yeah, I got this. So probably not
far wrong. So what things do... Would be comparison of observations relative to everything else, including me. And, as I guess the only thing we really have are separations in space, and time.

So I guess we label these bundles? If they stay somehow relative to one and other in space... We tend to call them matter? If they won't stay somehow relative to each other as a bundle in space, we tend to call them energy?

And science looks at these bundles, or non-bundles and observes how they interact in space and time with each other and themselves. That's the "doing" bit then.
I'm still wondering about the "what things are" bit though...

it seems like 'are' might be a 'meaning' of some type perhaps? But the meaning seems somehow wholly related to what a 'bundle, or non-bundle' actually does... which is back to the 'doing' thing again?

It almost seems like there is only 'doing'... I.e what things are, are what they do.
 
#11
Okay, my wording was convoluted.

Science is an accumulation of models that encapsulate some ideas and beliefs about what things do and are.
So your saying you think Science can tell us about both 'what things do', and 'what things are'.

That's sort of a larger view of the statement I guess, Perhaps you are suggesting we need to look at both the thing 'science', as well as the people who practice it?
 
#12
So your saying you think Science can tell us about both 'what things do', and 'what things are'.
I think that's possible and probably happens at some times. But what I've been stating is that - in general it does not tell us either. Models are not actuality, they're frameworks that are useful abstractions.
 
#13
I think that's possible and probably happens at some times. But what I've been stating is that - in general it does not tell us either. Models are not actuality, they're frameworks that are useful abstractions.
But so what? This is only an issue if one has the expectation of obtaining 100% understanding. That's not a realistic goal so useful abstraction is pretty good.

This is on the same lines as people who state "but we can't know X to 100% certainty!" So be it! We learn what we can!
 
#14
So if "what things do" is science, I guess that makes "what things are" philosophy. Seems about right and may explain why some scientists find philosophy irrelevant to their work.
 
#16
I think that's possible and probably happens at some times. But what I've been stating is that - in general it does not tell us either. Models are not actuality, they're frameworks that are useful abstractions.
Yeah, I'm happy that science telling us 'what things do', are just predictive 'tricks', the tricks are useful, but they ain't correct, just an approximation to make useful predictions.

But I'm still struggling to grasp your idea that science also try's to tells us about 'what things are'. Unless your talking about the beliefs of people who practice science.

I mean, if you could give a couple of examples of 'science' (not the people) telling me what a thing is (as opposed to what a thing does), then I might have a better idea of what you mean.
 
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#17
But so what? This is only an issue if one has the expectation of obtaining 100% understanding. That's not a realistic goal so useful abstraction is pretty good.

This is on the same lines as people who state "but we can't know X to 100% certainty!" So be it! We learn what we can!
So what? So it's important. Very. It's obviously pertinent since even on here - in this very thread - people are stating that science is telling us what things are. And i goes further because if you read back a few I stated that those abstractions are (often) based on our ideas and beliefs. IOW they are, to one degree or another, conceptualizations that are as about the person(s) making them as well as the things involved. Does that make science useless? IMO of course not - that's why I used the word "useful." For me, learning all I can means realizing status-quo science is just one tool. A useful tool but not the only tool.
 
#18
So if "what things do" is science, I guess that makes "what things are" philosophy. Seems about right and may explain why some scientists find philosophy irrelevant to their work.
You might be right, I don't get on with philosophy very well... I was hesitant about posting this subject, as I had a feeling it might go off on this track. Rather than trying to explore the difference (if there is one) between what things do, vs, what things are.

It seems to me that philosophers often tend to say a lot, but somewhere along the way all the words often end up saying nothing at all...
 
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#19
Science can only provide explanations within the parameters accessible by its tools and measurements. For phenomena that do not fit within these parameters, science is more than willing to cast its best guess.
 
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