I am not sure if I have a particular position. I am a chemist by
background, well I was doing all the life simulation only.
Actually I am comfortable with reductionism ideas, as many scientist
are. Yet, I do not understand something.
Say chemistry starts that H2 has a single bond, 02 has a double bond,
both being covalent. In H20 we have already partially ionic bonds and so
on. What do these terms mean? Hard to define precisely. On the other
hand it is possible to say that chemistry is a part of physics, one
needs just to solve the Schrödinger equation and that's it, in this case
one does not need ambiguous chemical terms. However the latter does not
work in practice. Only chemists talking some strange ambiguous language
can create new molecules, substances and materials. Why? I do not know.
Then recently I have read The Elegant Universe about the superstring
theory. The book is written very nicely, I envy the author's ability to
write in such simple language. Yet, I do not like the idea of Equation
of Everything and my feeling is that the superstring theory is just a
However I cannot explain fully my feeling. So basically I just follow
what other people say and try to think it over.
on 19.09.2010 21:13 John Mikes said the following:
Evgeniy, I may be the one agreeing with your sentence 1Z did not hear
so far. Maybe he is right. Let me try to explain why I am congruent
with your suggestion: *Reductionism *(as I identify it, - not
congruent with the classical definitions - is the process in which
the ongoing conventional sciences consider "ALL" - i.e. the
wholeness, the totality, - as the compendium of our yesterday's
knowledge: the content of our so far accepted epistemic enrichment in
the sciences (and the world in general). This is how conventional
sciences draw conclusions further reaching than our present knowledge
(in most cases not knowing about "the rest of the world" not yet
provided by our epistemic enrichment). Think of the Flat Earth, of
the 'veins' circulating air, the uncuttable 'atoms', the
DNA-genetics, etc. etc., examples that changed the prior (scientific)
knowledge by new leanings. You may think of neurology as well,
explaining all mental effects upon the brain's so far learned
characteristics as measured by the instruments of 2010 - which is
more than how it was 25 years ago. It is still reductionist.
Engineering has to solve practical tasks in quantitative solutions
and cannot resort to include 'maybe'-s for possible extensions of our
scientific knowledge. So it takes the reductionist inventory and
constructs brilliant contraptions upon 'yesterday's (reductionistic)
knowledge that are *ALMOST*good. Almost? well, some airplanes fall
off the skyies, some diseases strike, some wars break out, etc. etc.,
in spite of our incrredible technology we acieved by the results of
engineering. The 'still?' unknown "rest of the world" has its
influence in the overall complexity of the world upon those partially
solved problems as well, and of course, nobody can include unknowable
factors into any consideraton. We use what we know = reduced.
*Brent* had a short remark recently to the H2O discussion: "2H2O =
2H2 + O2 - no problem". He stopped short at the reductionist formula
and the conventional physical views of water, not extending the
complexity of such situations into the 'potentials that are'. -
formation of halos of diffusely disappearing hydration and similar
hydrated/not hydrated (hydrophil/hydrophob) situations as result of
the surrounding chemical(?) environment (unlimited???) - all not
expressed in the conventional chemical formulae - or their physical
calculations (so far).
It is hard to transfer from the 'conventional' to the 'unlimited'
because we have no knowledge about the 'rest of the world'. I claim
my (scientific) agnosticism and say "I dunno". We use the
'reductionist' *MODELs* of the so far known in our calculations and
work in equations (maybe not true ones). The 'engineering' style.
On 9/19/10, 1Z<peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
On 19 Sep, 07:30, Evgenii Rudnyi<use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:
Well, I thought that reductionism could help an engineer.
I don't think anyone said that
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