Re: preposterous

From: george murphy (
Date: Thu Apr 05 2001 - 12:02:05 EDT

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    Moorad Alexanian wrote:

    > I have always said that physics is the prototype of science and I do not
    > know of any reasonable argument against that. The proof of that is the
    > historical order in which the different sciences achieved maturity. Imagine
    > biology, historical biology, etc. without the experimental scientific method
    > developed by the likes of Kepler, Newton, Galileo, etc. By knowing what
    > science is, then we are in a position to know what it is not. For instance,
    > it is self-evident to me that the fundamental question of origins is not a
    > scientific question, the answer lies outside of science. It is foolish to
    > attempt to find a theory for it. I never said that other sciences cannot
    > teach physicists something new. But it is true that the people who did big
    > things in biology were physicists, viz., Schrodinger, Delbruck, etc.

            1) Your historical argument is problematic. It is really astronomy
    which came first as a science
    able to give any really precise predictions. That gave a great deal of stimulus
    to physics, which has now of course pretty much subsumed astronomy. But without
    Copernicus & Kepler, Newton would have had a lot tougher time of it.
            2) What is "the fundamental question of origins"? If it's really
    fundamental - i.e., Why is there something rather than nothing? - then it's
    indeed beyond science. But is the origin of a star or of planetary systems
    outside astrophysics? Doesn't standard big bang theory do a pretty good job of
    explaining the origin of light nuclei? Darwin & Wallace's theory may not be
    able to explain the origin of species with the kind of precision that we have in
    predicting ~25% He-4 but that doesn't mean that it says nothing at all.
            3) You've been pretty selective in listing "the people who did big
    things in biology", leaving out a few minor players like Mendel, Darwin,
    Wallace, Morgan, &c. Of course if "did big things" means "bringing the insides
    of physics to biology" then your statement is tautologous.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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