Re: "What is Science" FAQ, draft 2

Ken Clements (
Thu, 09 Sep 1999 09:02:12 -0700

Larry Klaes wrote:

> Q: Is science the only epistemology necessary?
> A: No. Science tells us what we can do with the universe, it can not
> tell us what we should do.

I do not totally agree with this part. Science tells us what the universe *is*, engineering predicts what we can do with it, and when we do, that is technology. The popular press confuses all this on a regular basis, which leads people to resent scientists for some undesirable use of technology.

Scientists use technology to get data about the universe, from which, they tell us more about what it is. Engineers use the theory from science to develop new technology. This bootstrap process is self sustaining, and that is one of the reasons why it keeps going no matter what anyone likes or doesn't like about the results. I do not think there is any "should do" going on here, it just does.

IMHO the universe (given its large expanse of time and space) follows the following rule:

Anything that can happen, will happen, somewhere, sooner or later.

And again, IMHO, reality is the subset of the above that has enough pattern integrity to last long enough for you to notice it.