[ExI] The "Unreasonable" Effectiveness of Mathematics in theNatural Sciences

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Mon Sep 29 10:46:10 UTC 2008

On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 5:27 AM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> At 08:00 PM 9/28/2008 -0700, Lee wrote:
>> The same holds true for whether it is the Earth that goes around
>> the sun, or vice-versa. To me, it is *not* a matter of whose views
>> become rarer. If the Church had prevailed in the 1600s and successfully
>> suppressed all over the world the view that the Earth goes around the sun,
>> then the Church would still be wrong.
> Are you quite sure that's unequivocally true? What does a Special Relativist
> say about that?

Even not considering that angle, Lee reflexively considers "true" as
"scientifically true". I am very much in favour of giving preference
to scientific truth over "other kinds", or definition thereof - after
all, if everything is cultural, why should I be prevented to opt for
it as a matter of cultural choice? - but it is a scientific (historic)
truth that for many people and for centuries, the earth *did not*
orbit around the sun.

After all, science itself teaches us that we live in a world of
phenomena, not of noumena true essences inhabiting the mind of God,
and unperceived or misunderstood phenomena are not strictly speaking
part of the reality of the people concerned, not any more than
possible universes beyond our light cone would.

As for "eating babies", ethical, political or aesthetical principles
are certainly part of a worldview, but we are discussing here the
epistemological and gnoseological angle. "Eating babies" does not
belong to the area of "true or false", but to that of "right or
wrong", in other terms is a "ought" not a "be" issue. You may
disapprove it and yet realise that it happens, or approve it but deny
its reality, or any other combination thereof.

Stefano Vaj

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