ben at ekran.org
Thu Sep 11 02:49:24 EST 2008
I see science as a rigorous practise of measurement. These measurements
are then correlated using mathematical models.
The act of measurement is by definition, the selection of some signal
over noise. In order to measure something, much must be ignored. The
measurement is then as much as choice as it is the result of physical
The reality -> measurement -> model process is then an abstraction of
reality, as it always must be a reduction. The model itself is informed
and designed in the light of measurement, but is certainly a
construction based on an abstraction, further abstracting scientific
truth from reality.
If we take metaphor as a mapping of one domain to another. Data from one
domain is being considered in light of another.
Measurements are considered in light of the reality/phenomenon they
attempt to measure. Models are considered in light of the measurements
they are meant to make meaningful.
At its very basis, what is science other than an attempt to construct
new meaning from the world that is not available directly by our senses?
To take your cloud example:
The very hard to measure fuzzy shape of a cloud is measured (by our
visual sensors & perception).
These visual measurements are processed by the mind/body/brain and
remind the viewer of a bunny. This bunny is a model, a way of
understanding the relations between the measurements. Is the cloud/bunny
really so different than a scientific model?
Of course the cloud is not REALLY a bunny.
But a weather model is not REALLY the weather either. (if it was the
forecast would always be accurate and precise)
h w wrote:
> It's only metaphoric, because much of it is mathematical, and unless you can wrap your head around the math, any description will, by necessity, be metaphorical and filled with images you can understand. Otherwise, communication gets very difficult.
> Science CAN be seen as a fiction, as much as a cloud can be seen to be a bunny. It's not really a bunny. You just think it looks like one.
> Science CAN also be seen as a process and an organisation of behaviour along specific lines of testability, repeatability, and (sometimes) falsifiability combined with Ockham's Razor. Which, while "sharp", is actually a statement regarding evidence and not a real razor.
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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