Re: virus: Science and Religion
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 23:32:12 -0500 (CDT)

On Mon, 30 Sep 1996, Martin Traynor wrote:

> On 27 Sep 96 at 6:22, Steve wrote:
> > We need a new approach to science - a paradigm shift, if you will - one that
> > recognizes that we are missing a key link, without which we are being held back.
> ...
> > The problem with subjective entities such as desire and qualia is that they
> > can only ever be observed, never proven or measured.

"Not provable" doesn't seem to do much to stop science, even now. I'm
not aware of science having proved one thing, in a mathematical sense.
Of course, proving "this model doesn't give measurable deviations from
reality" is close. But then, Newtonian physics was "proven", in this
sense, for around 3 centuries.

Steve, I'm going to need to know what you mean by "observe" and "measure"
before the conflict between the two becomes intelligible to me. My
working definitions, right now, claim that how the observation is
described dictates the wording, and there is no formal difference between
the two.

That is, we talk about "measuring the intensity of light in the 600nm to
700nm band", but "observing that X is red." Both statements look
objective [i.e., verifiable and in the domain of science.]

The real problem with subjective entities is that verifiability crashes,
by definition. I think science can work even around this, but that the
experimental scope would diminish. [Knowing how to manipulate my own
psychology probably doesn't do that much good when predicting how anyone
else is going to respond.]


/ Kenneth Boyd