science

sciences in general, what they are and their methods

Composition order

Written compositions organized by temporal order are narratives. Items such as descriptions of people, places, or objects are organized as they occur to the narrator, for example, as the narrator takes apart an object or walks through a building or meets various people. This is a common method of composition but there are others. Spatial …

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History and science balanced

As I’ve noted before (here etc.) history and science have different aims and methods. Mixing them just confuses both of them. There is no genuine “historical science” or “scientific history”. History narrates particulars among unique events. Science theorizes universals among repeatable events. In physics time is homogeneous: an experiment is the same whether conducted today …

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Three kinds of empirical science

This post is related to an old post here. Broadly speaking, there are three kinds of empirical science, which correspond to three views of nature. (1) The ancient view of empirical science is represented by Aristotle, which includes the careful observation of undisturbed nature. Motion, for example, meant natural motion, not “violent” motion in which …

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Science and history, part N

Science is inherently dualistic because it is based on distinctions, and cannot keep denying one side of a distinction without denying the distinction altogether. Duality is as far as science can go. Unification is a temporary state, to be superseded by a more abstract duality. Low-entropy science seeks fixed relations. High-entropy science seeks stochastic relations. …

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Conventions and properties

Everything in science is a combination of conventions and properties. For example, frames of reference have certain conventions in common and particular properties that each individual frame has. The definition of a frame of reference is the first convention. Every frame of reference has an origin and at least the possibility of one or more …

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Science and Hypothesis excerpts

What follows are excerpts from the book Science and Hypothesis by Henri Poincaré, translated (1905) from La Science et l’hypothèse (1902). p.xxiii The latter [definitions or conventions] are to be met with especially in mathematics and in the sciences to which it is applied. From them, indeed, the sciences derive their rigour; such conventions are …

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Science, unity and duality

It is a Christian concept (or at least a theistic concept) that the world we inhabit is a universe. The existence of the universe requires there to be a perspective that encompasses the whole of the world, which is the perspective of a transcendent divinity. The universe is thus the whole of creation. It is …

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Historians and scientists

Historians establish the facts of history, of what happened in the past. They do this with a variety of sources, some documentary, some physical, and whatever else they find is relevant. Key particulars are more significant than universals in establishing the facts of history. Historians may consider scientific theory in doing this, but they may …

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Physical history

At the highest level of classification, history may be divided into human history (better known simply as ‘history’) and physical history. The former is a large subject with many subdivisions, while the latter is usually turned over to the physical sciences. This is a pity since science and history are different disciplines (see posts here). …

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Cycle of science

There is a well-known alternation of induction and deduction in science (click to enlarge): The induction phase consists of data collection, data analysis, and model development. The deduction phase consists of taking the model, making hypothetical inferences, and following up with experiments that lead to new data collection. Then the cycle repeats.