Masterless Lucifer (wynden) wrote,
Masterless Lucifer

Everything I need to know in life I learned from Jean-Luc Picard

This article is in response to an interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson: A Conversation about Communicating Science.

I am an atheist, I like Tyson, and I like science. I don't really begrudge his aggression simply because there is a place and a purpose for it in our aggressively anti-science, counter-productive culture.

But for that, however, I do not find his demeanor any less arrogant or pretentious-seeming than his opponent. His passion is wonderful, but his inability to really listen and consider the counter argument is disappointing.

In example, while it is entirely valid to point out that much of human communication is lost in transcription, it is also entirely appropriate for a transcript to exist for purposes of research and easy reference. You can't alt+find anything from a video.

Also, Tyson knows nothing about philosophy and wears this ignorance like a badge, unwilling to allow the entire discipline a moment's serious consideration. This is the attitude of one who is afraid to question his beliefs, not one who is confident. I do not believe Tyson is unconfident, therefore there is no need to adopt the defensive. I think this is an act of habit which needs be realized and retired.

Modern science was born from philosophy. The core of both disciplines is to question, and seek for answers. When we have discovered that a potential answer to a question can be tested, it becomes science.

If Jamie wakes up one morning and kills her boss, the christian says Jamie was evil or possessed by the devil. The philosopher poses multiple perspectives in pursuit of the underlying cause. The scientists seize on those perspectives which can be tested - such as testing for a chemical imbalance - and do so.

Philosophy is not sitting on your butt at the top of a mountain seeking synchronicity with the spirit realm. It is meditating on the things that we presently lack the technology to test, trying to get closer to truth with the only tool thus available: our brains.

Aspiring scientists learn the history of scientists. Artists learn art history. Philosophers the philosophers. But *nothing* about where we are today is exclusively the apex of one discipline unto itself. The culmination of human progress is the composite product of all of these histories influencing each other, and none are irrelevant to our understanding of nature, and our commitment to progress. We are all scientists, artists, and philosophers. We experiment, we imagine, and we wonder.

Only when we stop wondering, when we disdain questioning, when we discourage dialogue - only *then* is our contribution irrelevant.
Tags: philosophy, science

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