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"
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Apr 05 2001 - 11:02:46 EDT