Michael Goldhaber on Thu, 9 Dec 2021 08:00:37 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The Dawn of Everything (very short review)

As a one-time theoretical physicist, I find this quote from Gosden to be  out-dated, overly reductive, and incorrect, at least as far as the most thoughtful scientists go. 

Scientific understanding doesn’t “derive from abstraction,” but rather the other way round. It doesn’t separate humans from the world , but rather emphasizes our total embededness in it. It is no coincidence that almost all aspects of the current environmental movement, whether against the destruction of species , the concerns about global warming, the dire effects of plastics, etc.,  come from scientific observations. Nor is it  any coincidence that scientists for the most part are instigators and fervent supporters of that movement. 

Darwin, after all, is generally considered a scientist, yet the most basic and originally shocking point of evolutionary theory is that we are related to all other living things.  Ethologists constantly emphasize how close we are in behavior to other animals , etc., etc., etc. And, by the way, since Einstein physicists have agreed that matter and energy are the same.



On Dec 8, 2021, at 2:15 PM, mp <mp@aktivix.org> wrote:
Scientific understanding
derives from abstraction, through the quantification of matter, energy
and force by means of mathematics, but also through logical reasoning
from elementary starting points, such as Newton’s Laws, towards the true
profusion of the world. Science separates people from the world, whereas
magic immerses us in it, raising also questions of our moral
relationship with the universe in a way that science does not..." (2020: 8).

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