Re: virus: Sham(an) again

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Tue, 16 Sep 1997 12:02:48 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 16 Sep 1997, David McFadzean wrote:

> At 03:22 PM 9/15/97 -0600, Robin posing as David McFadzean wrote:
> >>I'm willing to accept your definition, but then you have to admit
> >>that magic is not supernatural and therefore comes under the domain
> >>of science.
> >
> >Arrgh!! What's not supernatural comes under science?
> >What about the arts, humanities, etc? Or to get back to
> >first principles: how does science deal with subjectivity?
> If I suggested that it is possible to analyze a symphony,
> is that the same thing as saying it is impossible to
> enjoy a symphony? I don't think so.

If I'm understanding you right, David, what you're saying is that by my
defniition of magic, we should be able to apply scientific methods to
understanding a magical action, although this would not be the same thing
as performing the magical action. If this is in fact your claim, I agree.

> >Or on another tack: an extremely large and important part
> >of human acivity is just the reverse of science: instead of
> >operating out of theory, it works on the suck-it-and-see
> >principle of evolution. (There's a proper name for that,
> >which you can find on the Principia Cybernetica site if
> >you're so inclined.) But there's not much of the
> >supernatural in suck-it-and-see, is there?
> Suck-it-and-see sounds like an experiment.

That depends on the question. If the question is "Are the blue rocks all
salty?", then by sucking them you're testing a hypothesis. That's a
scientific experiment. If, however, the question is "What do all these
things taste like, anyway?", it's simply sampling, not testing any
particular hypothesis.

looking out for the chupacabra