RE: definition of science

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 14:30:41 EDT

If science deals with the physical aspect of reality, then the question arises if life can be characterized by purely physical concepts only. I do not think so.


From: on behalf of Terry M. Gray
Sent: Mon 4/25/2005 2:16 PM
Subject: RE: definition of science


Are you suggesting that the study of life is outside the bounds of science?


>The notion of supernatural seems to transcend Nature and venture
>into the religious. I prefer the terms physical and nonphysical. The
>former clearly the subject matter of science whereas the latter is
>clearly outside the bounds of science. Examples of the latter are
>human rationality, consciousness, and perhaps, even the notion of
>From: on behalf of
>Sent: Mon 4/25/2005 1:41 PM
>Subject: RE: definition of science
>> Is biology "physical" in your use of the word? How about psychology?
>> I'm not trying to invoke a sense of vital force here, but
>> philosophers of science, especially philosophers of biology, have
>> long advocated an autonomy of biology that makes it irreducible to
>> physics and chemistry (even though it may be fully built upon a
>> physics and chemistry substratum). In other words, there are
>> scientific concepts, laws, theories, etc. that can't be reduced to
>> some physical-chemical expression--they are expressed only in terms
>> of the biological world.
>> This is why I want to distinguish between physical and natural.
>I used the term "physical" to include all of physical reality (matter
>and energy) and thus would include biology, neuroscience, etc. And no
>I do not believe that everything is reducible to physics. My intended
>distinction is between the physical (natural) and supernatural.

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801
Received on Mon Apr 25 14:34:00 2005

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