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science and philosophy



Hi All, I have some comments on this discussion about science and
philosophy.

 

HP Lipps made a fine comment on our discussion on the use of evidence
and what does science really do with describing nature. I come from the
hard sciences, physics. But when you get right down to it there are just
two things going on, fact finding and theory. My thesis on some obscure
realm of thermodynamics was almost pure fact finding. I was determining
the thermoexpansion of III-V compounds like gallium arsenide. They were
interesting because there was some evidence that these compounds would
become unstable at very low temperatures (a few degrees above absolute
zero). And what I did was determine their behavior wrt temperature. They
were abnormal.

 

Anyhow to me that is entirely analogous to finding and describing new
fossils or conducting experiments on these fossils such as bone density.
Other folks and sometimes the same folks use this information to predict
hypotheses based on this and other information. Guess what this is the
same thing that is done in the so called hard sciences. You folks are no
different, no more philosophic, than any other science. In my mind this
area of study is more exciting than any other branch of science in
developing an understanding of the a most valued part of our world. Take
no back seat or devalue your worth, you work hard and think hard and
study hard in an area that is just as difficult as any other science.
Keep it up Paul sparks

 

 

Cc: jlipps@uclink4.berkeley.edu

Subject: Re: Who says dromaeosaurs can't fly?

 

Posted for Jere Lipps.

______

 

>From a recent correspondent:  (dino.hunter@cox.net wrote:)

 

"Welcome to the world of Paleontology.">

 

 

HP Jere Lipps said......

<I hope you will rethink this.   What you have rephrased is that paleo
is only 

a bit more difficult (only sometimes) than other "hard" sciences.  I've
been 

doing paleo for a few decades and this is not what I do or what I
teach.>