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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 08/31/99
Posts: 5,494
Loc: Canada
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Culture and Science: Entangled
    #3527952 - 12/21/04 03:34 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Because of it's strict adherence to conclusions reached through formulaic process, Science has earned itself a well-deserved reputation as being the most trustworthy tool for gaining insight into the nature of things. What we often overlook, however, is that Science is involved in a relationship with the people who call upon it's methods for gaining knowledge. In essence, it has become a lense through which people see what they wish to see, and not what is actually there.

Science is often used to meet certain culturally oriented goals. Especially in the West, people turn to Science as a means of justifying cultural values, existential beliefs, and maintaining the status quo. For example, Western culture is very insistent upon the mechanical worldview, the notion that the universe can be explained in terms of unique and independent parts, parts of parts, and still further parts of parts until we've arrived at a fundamental constituent, a basic building block of all things. Any science which guides us toward a differeing perspective, such as the organic worldview found in quantum physics or string theory, often comes under unnecessarily fiery admonishment. In this way, Science has become entangled with our cultural assumptions, and has therefore come under the same influence which pervades many of our religious institutions: our tendency toward sloth and ignorance.

In the same way, culturual values interefere with our view on what is otherwise perfectly valid scientific finding. Evolution, the most dramatic of recent scientific findings, is perhaps the best example. The theory of evolution has been tested again and again through such a wide variety of scientific processes that it is now widely accepted as fact. However, it is a fact not untarnished by cultural perspective, in that the method through which nature ensures it's own progress has been identified as "survival of the fittest." It is seen as a competitive, hierarchical environment, not unlike our own heavily materialistic and greed-driven free market economy. Is this not an idea, something subjective, imputed upon a fact, something objective? What science has proven to us this trait of the natural world?


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irregular verb
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Registered: 04/08/04
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Re: Culture and Science: Entangled [Re: Ped]
    #3528062 - 12/21/04 04:03 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

the lens is the mind itself

the establishment of science is a society of funded research accumulating data for us to use with our minds - i.e. with our lenses as you so astutely referred.

cultural tints affect the hue of our lenses so we have to work at clarity, this is not the fault of any one.

Morally some issues are confusing that use scientific data, such as Cloning and the potential of using clones for organs or slaves or soldiers etc.

In a very simmilar way, evolution, which is a backward look at the genaeology of all creatures that are alive today, can be distorted through a cultural lens to take on meanings outside of the mere study of natural history (which is what it is):

1) it seems to contradict the genesis in the bible for those that can't read poetry.

2) it seems to suggest superiority of some maningful order to racists.

3) and purpose hunters might wish to see the evolutionalyr natural history as evidence of some master plan yet to be unfolded, and so to gain some advantage they interpret Evolution, as something to explain what we are doing here.

Anyway, Science as a society to fund research is no more improper than other human endeavors. What bugs my ass is war mongering, war profiteering, racism and greed. then to make it worse I hear so much idiotic religious support for it and then they voted in bush again as if it wasn't good enough that he cheated the first time.

on a more humorous note have you visited the darwin awards?

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Re: Culture and Science: Entangled [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3528110 - 12/21/04 04:16 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Well thought out post Ped! I enjoyed it!

Your sig is funny Red! Enjoyed that too!

Ahuwale ka nane huna.

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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
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Re: Culture and Science: Entangled [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #3529492 - 12/21/04 11:57 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

You have a good point, Ped. And not to be nit-picky... I think it's important to distinguish between the scientific method and scientific community rather than using the more general term "Science". There is no bias in the method.

Note: In desperate need of a cure...

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Registered: 10/31/04
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Re: Culture and Science: Entangled [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3532863 - 12/22/04 08:30 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

That evolution of man sequence is great  :thumbup:

Anxiety is what you make it.

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Registered: 01/11/04
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Re: Culture and Science: Entangled [Re: LunarEclipse]
    #3533228 - 12/22/04 10:05 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Well actually, this may be nit picking but I couldn't help myself.

String Theory is the ULTIMATE theory of a "fundamental building block". String Theory tries to find the one single thing that all existence, including forces, gravity, and matter are made of. If String Theory is put under fire it isn't because we are for a "fundamental building block". String Theory should be the champion of that domain, not the enemy.


Ron Paul 2008!

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General Interest >> Philosophy, Sociology & Psychology

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