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Author Topic: Re: Fact, Theory, Hypothesis, Law  (Read 566 times)

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Offline Elle BaiserTopic starter

Re: Fact, Theory, Hypothesis, Law
« on: September 15, 2010, 03:07:07 AM »
I am a student of science who appears to be on an infinite journey towards my Biology degree. This means I have taken multitudes of Science courses in Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Zoology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Anatomy, Developmental Biology, Physics, Psychology and various courses in Mathematics and Logic, to quantify what I have learned in the sciences.  I have loved every second of these subjects and the one constant has been to learn that there is so much left to learn.

While I tend to be rather verbose, I am also an admirer of succinct elegance.  I thought your definitions of fact, scientific law, scientific hypothesis and finally scientific theory were just that: sufficient and simple.

I was a regular participant in regional science fairs and loved the using the scientific process to research, hypothesize, test and evaluate my results into a conclusion.  If only real life were so simple.

However, as I have grown, I find it very difficult to look at the world through the eyes of science alone and feel that some of those things that we can't understand (and even some that we feel we do understand) through science be explored through philosophy, literature, art and music.  We are not just thinking creatures but one that feel as well.  I am interested to know how you approach discussions and thought that seek to acquire more than mere facts, but also knowledge.

Offline dominomask

Re: Re: Fact, Theory, Hypothesis, Law
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 10:49:10 AM »
  I am interested to know how you approach discussions and thought that seek to acquire more than mere facts, but also knowledge.[/font][/size][/color]

I cannot speak for Vekseid, but I am consistently bothered by people who dismiss scientific understanding as somehow less miraculous or complete than intuitive or artistic understanding.  Understand that I have a BA in literature and an MS in science.  I have read and loved Shakespeare, Keats, Whitman, Dickinson and many others.  I have had my heart almost stopped by awe at great works of romantic poetry as well as the wit of the restorationists.  I do not discount the magnificence of the created notion or the human process of turning observation into fancy.  I revere imagination (or else I wouldn't be here).


The objective and observable realities that science deals in are no less breathtaking.  "Mere" facts are only dry and insufficient to the soul if one fails to consider them entirely, or, more often, is so steeped in a world of awesome certainties and potential answers that they can no longer perceive them as a wonder.  To quote Kipling, "We hold all earth to plunder/all time and space as well/ too wonder-stale to wonder/at each new miracle".

I am frustrated that it seems so common for people to make a qualitative distinction that holds provable things to be innately inferior to unprovable things.  The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, after all.  Science is miraculous despite being on this side of the fence where we can see it and touch it and prove it, which should tell you something.

Offline Elle BaiserTopic starter

Re: Re: Fact, Theory, Hypothesis, Law
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 12:14:36 AM »
My post was not meant to diminish in any way the awe and miraculousness of scientific discovery, but to begin a discussion with Vekseid about another perception, one that is not governed by science.  I found his view of science very insightful.  The more I learn through science the more it enhances ALL aspects of my life and I don't feel that Art and Science are divided. For me, any exploration of one whether that be science alone or art alone is less than what it could be. In the Art World you learn the basic techniques of your particular medium, in most cases,  then continue to express yourself governed by your own standards and feelings.  In the world of science you must be governed by the scientific method, although there is just as much creativity in the choosing, thinking and creating of experiments.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Re: Fact, Theory, Hypothesis, Law
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 05:49:36 AM »
If that's the case I should probably split it off.

Discussions in the Fact-Theory-Hypothesis-Law thread should focus on criticism, discussion and expansion on what I posted, rather than side discussions.