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Who needs a Science war.

August 31, 2010

Mohan, mdashf


Wars often do not bother me because I have never known one let alone participate in one. But they are a reality. Arent they. We get to hear about them on our TV and news media. But who cares, we do not prepare ourselves for the next morning because there is a war.

And I guess even in World War I, II life was normal. How else we survive so much and know so much about the wars themselves. In some sense the terrorist attacks are more ghastly than the wars. The war is so formal and we are prepared about it with defense line ups made to retaliate at the very moment there is a fear of strike.

But with terrorism its all bizarre, in just a moment of ill fate, everything is gone. We did not know or knew that we know but could not stop, such an attack. So call these Jehadi wars or wars without an enemy. The enemy is often an administration or Governmental organization marked by their color or racial identity, or even ideological identity , not the innocent civilian. The latter is only a bait. So here is a war which is lethal but targets the unsuspected because the real enemy is faceless.

Enough about the character of wars. What about science wars. I never participated in one. But this so sound like one I would rather participate. It would be fun.

Actually science is such a misnomer. Exploration of knowledge. If it were really so we would hardly see any knowledge being explored. Because knowledge can never be explored. Can you really explore something which is so out of your own limits that you would rather go bungee jumping.

Science is beyond our limits but a feel about it starts to pour in, once we get experienced with its ways and that takes like a decade. And then more is needed before it vanishes like a charm lost to a tornado. And most of the heroes of knowledge or science continued looking for their own charm and another decade passed before they realized charm can not be recovered fully. It was just a youthful demeanor. It better be lost if we are to live any peace.

If so little is possible with 2 or 3 decades that we are hardly left to go to any war let alone one of verbal epithets how can we indulge in one science war. If science itself can be a misnomer then so called science war is a mythical video game. It just happens in our imagination. Then in the exchange of imaginative canons and bullets and stingers we are just indulging in self gratification.

And if it turns out to generate some mental heat name it a science war. I think thats the whole basis of a new phenomena called science wars. It had a value more of an epistemological connection with those who do not understand you so that you can call them Kaffirs and they can retort back at you with their non-knowledge of your knowledge and name it a war.

Call it a spoof, but in the fun of things we have started igniting each other. So its all a fun game. Didn’t I promise so. Its fun, seriously fun. But in modern times its just a phenomena of human tendency. If the internet is not invented and we live nearby we celebrate every leap year by throwing stones at each other. We need a reason for that and in the absence of a reason call it a special reason. Now that internet is invented we can happily do anything we want to without invading anyones personal space in a physical way. But we can throw many stones at each other once we know what some one can be ascribed for in his mind.

We had civil wars and then we had world wars. Matter got out of hand and then we all focused on our life. Then it was cold war. A simmering feeling of animosity that many feared would lead to a war. But actually many people spearheaded the world out of the danger of a cold war. What a contribution to peace of the world. You know cold war can lead to another hard hitting war. Really. So your cold ice-cream can lead your gas burner to catch fire. Thank God you dont wear cold pajamas.

I mean just how foolish we can be. But our propensity to go to war or more appropriately to call even a verbal duel a war did not let us sleep in peace. So we invented the science war. Ofcousre we also invented the star wars which is more respectable given its a glaring example of our unlimited imagination.

But science war being the kind of imagination that make even geeks look like pale masturbators of uninformed verbal junkies has a special place whether in a dictionary or wikipedia. It does not constitute any war. It does not constitute any science either.

5 Comments

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  1. August 31, 2010

    there are wars between scientist who opposed each other view.. Einstein (classical) vs Quantum people that time. – I saw that in documentary. Where will this epic fight fit in your article?

  2. August 31, 2010

    I think when it comes to Einstein no one is fighting a war with him. In a war of USA against Iraq where does George Bush fight. Possibly in his living room. But the answer to your question is Einstein is not the president of the classical physics. He is as much an inventor of quantum mechanics. ANd those who were fighting it against him for quantum mechanics were actually reminding him that quantum mechanics needs as much inclusion. I think its the process of science itself (as I mentioned in one of my recent blogs that in science there always will be opposing view points) and science can be so vast that (as I say here, its exploration is as much a misnomer, even for the person who explored)

  3. August 31, 2010

    or I might have said that in a conversation which I haven't followed after that. Anyway I think my message is clear, Einstein is the father and those who were fighting with him were the neighbors or the society that cared so much about Einsteins family (science theories were his child, CM and QM) that they were like pleading please care as much as about your new baby QM as much you care about CM. Please please please. Its not war.

  4. August 31, 2010

    “God must not have played dice to create universe” Is not what contradiction to quantum theory? Einstein in one group and rest (Feynman? quantum) are trying to find the best theory.. Anyway, war in science is productive as long as both are respectful in pursuing each other view.

  5. August 31, 2010

    Yes, Einstein said that. At some point Physicists (great) like to bet on things and wait like everyone else in the world to see the truth. So in that sense he might have said that God does not throw dice (we human beings do) so lets wait and see whats coming out of quantum principles. Actually Einstein was a very religious person except he didn't believe in God the way a normal catholic or christian or Jew does. But this phrase has been taken out of context since all he meant is (Your) God created the principles so why be so bothered about my disagreement with the in-deterministic ways of QM. Wait, and we will know the truth. And when he came out to be wrong which is perfectly legal, people ascribed this phrase to mean God indeed plays a dice to mean quantum indeterminacy. From there people used it quite extensively, like Hawking says He not only throws the dice, he throws it at places where we can not see it. But this much was also known in CM. In CM there is statistical Physics and (so the metaphorical dice) and so also there is indeterminacy (but not of the uncertainty principle). So you are right there are wars (of words, ideas, thoughts etc) in Science. But this article is about Science War much in the sense of a war that Science has to confront from its adversaries like Social Constructionists. War in Science and Science War, two different meaning.

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