Sunday, July 12, 2009

philosophy vs science

I have long wondered why India who had developed such deep philosophical ideas fail to do the same for science. Did Indians gave preference to philosophy over science ? The answer is yes they did. The reason is that in India there always had been people who tried to sound cool and deep rather than informed. The result is a culture of philosophy instead of real science. Too much logic spoiled the brain of our ancestors in India. Philosophy was considered the coolest thing to do. Even now people seem follow the path of their ancestors. The long grown tradition of debating over pointless philosophical issues didn't seem to lose its charm to some people. Here's a nice article which discusses this.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2009/07/06/does-philosophy-make-you-a-better-scientist/

Also see what David Berenstein has to say about it at http://diracseashore.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/please-stand-by-while-i-get-up-to-date/

Some people tend to argue that philosophy comes before science. For example, they would ask you that how you could do mathematics if you have no notion of twoness, threeness etc. and what is the meaning of physics if you cannot quantify objects as your theories contradicts each other at every level. As an elaboration to the last point it means that, if quantum mechanics and its uncertainty forbids you from defining rigid object then how can you ever end up doing Newtonian mechanics at all. And the tirade goes on. I think this is worthless. Why do we have to crack our brains on some issues which arise because of non-existence of a uniform theory applicable across scales? Or why do we have worry about what is the meaning of counting at all ? The answer is we dont have to. There are people who spend their lives doing this and get critical appreciation. The level headed people should stop worrying and get on with doing more realistic research.

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