RE: Kline article in PSCF (D. Kidner on Adam)

Bill Hamilton (
Sat, 6 Apr 1996 13:35:39 -0500

I apparently missed Glenn's posts while I was unsubscribed. I'll look at
the archives later and probably respond in more detail. But this snippet
Alice quoted deserves a response

>>To conclude, I disagree with your assessment of what is being done in this
>>issue. People are not making two descriptions of the same reality. They are
>>ALL busy making two separate descriptions of two separate realities.

I pretty much agree with Alice(maybe I totally agree, but I confess to
possibly having missed some of her posts too :-): There is a single
reality. We endeavor to describe it in various ways. But due to lack of
omniscience on pur part, the various descriptions frequently cannot be
reconciled exactly. That failure to be reconcilable should be viewed as an
opportunity, not a problem: it indicates more can be learned by studying
the discrepancies.

But the situation is actually a bit more complex than that. Go look up the
quotation from Austin Farrer that I posted a while ago. One representation
of reality is literature, in which poetic devices are used not to reduce
the ambiguities, but to convey, to capture, to preserve a sense of them --
in other words, to try to retain in print some of the wonder that comes
from just seeing and appreciating, not trying to explain, nature. Science
tries to explain nature, but to achieve precision, nature has to be
abstracted. And in that abstraction we lose things -- including an
appreciation for the beauty and many-sidedness of the whole.

This is ridiculous in a way. Here I am -- an engineer -- lecturing about
poetry and ambiguity. Guess I'll always be a misfit -- and proud of it

Have a blessed Easter, y'all.

William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
1346 W. Fairview Lane
Rochester, MI 48306
(810) 652 4148