RE: preposterous

From: Adrian Teo (
Date: Wed Apr 04 2001 - 12:49:35 EDT

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    I think this disagreement on whether physics is the grand-daddy of sciences
    or not and where the others fit in is heavily biased by the presuppositions
    and values of the disciplines which you have been trained in. The object of
    study in the different sciences are different, and their methodologies
    should obviously be different. One cannot study animal or human behavior the
    way one studies subatomic particles, unless one is an ultrareductionist.
    Trying to explain the workings so the human brain in terms of the
    interaction between subatomic particles offers little to none useful
    knowledge. I suggest we recognize that each scientific discipline represents
    our best human efforts to understand and explain that level of inquiry in a
    way that makes sense to us, be it particles and energy, molecules, living
    systems and subsystems, ecological systems, human psychology, social and
    political systems etc. And I would further suggest that progress in one
    discipline has benefited other disciplines as well e.g. discoveries in
    astronomy has given new directions of research in physics, statistical
    developments by social scientists have been borrowed by biologists and
    medical scientists, advancement in genetic research has benefited the
    neurosciences and psychology greatly and so forth. Given this state of
    affairs, I think it is difficult and probably not very fruitful to be
    arguing for the superiority of one science over another.


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