At 09:02 29/06/04 -0700, CMR wrote:

Here's one reasonably functional definition of science:

sci·ence    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (sns)

1. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation,
and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
2. Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena.
3. Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.

BM: OK. That is very large. You know there are borderline. Bohr has dismiss the EPR paper as metaphysics, and he did that by imposing its own metaphysics, etc. And of course such a definition is a "user-description", it is not an attempt to define it for a deeper epistemological study. What *is* science, is also a object of inquiry.

I find its not uncommon for those who may chafe at the "inconvenient"
constraints of "science" as defined above to be somewhat dismissive of its
special utility in generating knowledge about our world(s). The creationists
often leverage this tactic, for instance. Just as often the label science is
co-opted by occultists to lend credibility to otherwise incredible claims
They'd all like to cast it as just another world view intrinsically no more
valuable than any other. But it's not.. It's not because science as a
methodology ignores that which is by necessity matters of faith, be it
religion, mysticism, metaphysics (or Platonism?).

Absolutely. Science as a methodology ignores that which is by necessity
matters of faith. But how many scientist are aware that the existence of
a *physical* universe is a matter of faith?
Many scientist quickly consider (like Bohr) question which they cannot solve
or formulate in the language of their field as metaphysical, but in general
the frontier between science and metaphysics are either methodological or
metaphysical, or historical.
Also, why do you put platonism along with faith. The level of clarity and seriousness
of a text like the "Thaetetus" is rarely met these days. And Plato has less
ontological commitment than Aristotle, and many scientists today keep
some Aristotelian act of faith without ever mentionning it, apparently they are
not aware of their act of faith. *This* is unscientific attitude, no?

Is science sometimes (often?) malpracticed by agenda driven egos? Certainly,
but that doesn't diminish the utility or validity of science well executed.

Surely John and me were a little ambiguous in our discussion on science.
I thought we were discussing what science *is*, not the shape of actual human
science. That's why I say science is merely the product of inquiry, humility, and
curisosity. In front of unsolved hard problem, it is also the ability to recognize
our prejudice, and to keep an open mind.

Any and all philosophers, mystics and mathemiticians can and are welcome
to minimize, reject and even appropriate science as they will. And so it
should be in a free society. But  if and when they claim their faith-based
musings are scientific or as good as same, then they are charlatans in deed
as well as name, IMHO.

I agree 100% (if you add physicists, biologists, ... in your list).
The pity, today, is that most scientist are specialized, and their keep their
scientific attitude only in their discipline, and lack it completely
once they talk about anything outside (except perhaps on soccer).
In particular a lot of naturalist (materialist, physicalist), like Changeux, are
just totally UNscientific when they pretend that all honest scientist should
be naturalist, or materialist, ...
The same for the platonist. Platonism is unscientifical only when it is presented as
being the only way science should be.
But naturalism or platonism per se are quite respectable views or departure
point. Now the UDA shows that the first is logically incompatible with the
computationalist hyp., the other is not. Have you see this?

Also, you said that your are not platonist. Could you tell me how you understand
the proposition that the number seventeen is prime. (I want just be sure I understand
your own philosophical hypothesis).


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