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From: Kieran Mullen <kieran@phyast.nhn.ou.edu>
Subject: (urth) Re:  Digest urth.v028.n072
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 13:44:41 

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: urth-errors@lists.best.com [mailto:urth-errors@lists.best.com]On
>> Behalf Of Daniel Fusch
>> OK, Jim,
>> I have to disagree with this:
>> The Scientific Method has NOT disappeared from Urth; it is simply that
>> organized (academic) sciene has disappeared.<snip>

>Daniel, I yield to your superior evidence. Indeed, I roll on my back and
>stretch my neck before you, making piteous mewling sounds.

>BTW, are there any "good scientists" in the saga?


   Hmmm... As a scientist myself, let me throw in a word or two.

   The "scientific method" may still exist after a fashion, but one
critical aspect is missing:  publication.  By that I mean the communication
with others of your work so that it can be criticized or checked.  The
writing of books is banned, so each scientist we see is off on their own.
While this may seem a stupid point, I think that it is part of the major
break between alchemy and real science.  The alchemists tended to guard
their secrets jealously.  

   One possible group of scientists in the Seekers of Truth and Penetance.
Theirs is an old and applied art, true, but I get the feeling that they have
had to learn from experience and pass that knowledge on.  (This argument is
a bit weak, since most of their knowledge seems like lore.)

   I think that science is pretty absent because on Urth most discovery
seems to be rediscovery - i.e. uncovering the wisdom of the Ancients.   
Everyone seems to be oppressed by how much was known in the past.

                       Kieran Mullen

 Kieran Mullen                         email: kieran@ou.edu
 Dept. of Physics and Astronomy        phone: (405) 325-3961
 The University of Oklahoma            FAX: (405) 325-7557
 Norman, OK 73019, USA                 http://www.nhn.ou.edu/~kieran/

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