Re: Reply to Algeo's article in AT
Oct 03, 1995 00:28 AM
>1st - there is a whole area of science that insists on the more restrictive
>experimental, repeatable, controlled conditions concept. I would call this
>hard science area.
The scientific method is not actually restrictive but is a set of rules
for learning most efficiently from experience -- this is its genius.
>2nd - there is a whole area of science where experiments and controlled
>conditions are not possible - see examples above. This is the soft science
>area. But if they could do experiments and control the conditions, they
The actual goal in all science is, per the same scientific metod, to
make predictions which can be tested. Evolutionary and astronomical sciences
can do this for their theories. Even though they cannot, say, cause a star
to be born, they can predict that if a star is born by certain causes then
certain effects will be observed when a star is so many billions of years
old. In this way the rules of the scientific method (hypothesis and
prediction and observation) are always followed.
>3rd - there exists "sciences" such as psychology. However, because
>psychologist have tended to not insist on controlled conditions, and have
>permitted all kinds of theories without trying to strongly test them, many
>scientists insist that psychology is not actually a science. I would tend to
>agree with them. Unfortunately, most work with spiritual activities falls in
Woa partner! I am a mathematician and a psychologist and modern
psychology follows the scientific method exactly in all of its professional
work and is a "hard" science like all the others. It is "pop" psychology
that is off in fruitcake land. The theories of modern psychology as
practiced by those with Phd's from rightly accredited institutions is in good
alignment with many of the ideas of theosophy and esoteric psychology which
they have discovered over the last few decades.
Let us remember that there is science research and then there is science
application (i.e., engineering). Research eliminates wrong ideas while
engineering works out the right ideas in a practical demonstrable and
positive fashion. In this regard, by demonstrating the results of research
in observable experience to all human beings, science can positively discover
and work out all of the truths of theosophy that are in any way relevant to
the human experience.
>John appears to be talking only
>about "hard science" - and you are talking about "soft science".
This is a "pop media" distinction and has no basis in the scientific
>spiritual studies, there are requirements of repeatibility. If you can't
>describe how to do certain things, and get repeatable results, under
>conditions - then it ain't science, it's art.
Or modern chaos theory. All of theosophy IS describable and repeatable
under appropriate conditions.
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