Science and Philosophy: two aspects of the same thing. Why they are separated.

 

Separating philosophy from science is like separating breathing in, from breathing out.

Philosophy is how one guesses, science is how one makes sure.

To this “Jan Sand” retorted: ‘Science is how one attempts to make sure.’

Well, no. Attempting is no science. Hope enables one to live, but it’s not life. “One makes sure” comes with a context, the context enabling to express the problem and the answer attached to it.

Science is both a method, and a field of knowledge. Both are relative to the context at hand. The method consists in using only elements of reality one is sure of.

In their context, for example, classical optics, mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics are all appropriate and correct. Yet, they don’t work next to a Black Hole: a Black Hole is the wrong context for them.

The first interstellar asteroid is a shard, probably a metallic one. It was observed to cover the Earth-Moon distance in less than three hours. With the nes telescopes being built, it is the first of many.

Consider the first Interstellar Asteroid was observed passing by the sun, on a highly hyperbolic trajectory. Speed: 139,000 kilometer per hour. Color: the deep red of the severely irradiated material (an orange like picture was obtained). No water or other volatile element. Albedo (reflectivity) varies from one to ten. Making an absolute hypothesis of what the albedo is, its size would one hundred meters across, a kilometer long. Found first by an Hawaiian telescope, its name is 1I ‘Oumuamua (Reach out first first; “1I for First Interstellar”)

This is all science, because many telescope, including Europe’s VLT (Very Large Telescope) in Chile, observed the object, and science dating more than 4 centuries has made telescope highly reliable (although cardinals initially demurred).

Rubbing sticks vigorously just so will enable to bring in such high temperature, as to start a fire: that’s science. (The fundamental science of humanity, 1.3 million years old.)

But not all “attempts” at “making sure” turn out to be science. Philosophy is what organizes these attempts.

For “superstrings”, it was felt that, instead of supposing point-particles, one could suppose strings, and some problems would disappear. Other problems would disappear if one supposed a symmetry between fermions and bosons. Thus “superstrings” came to be.

Superstrings is certainly a sort of logic, but not science. In particular, it makes no peculiar predictions, aside from the hypotheses it started with!

Similarly, Euclidean geometry pushed all the way, is unending logic, not science (because it has nothing to do with reality, it says nothing relevant to reality, once pushed far enough).

Most famously, epicycle theory was a sort-of logic, with some truths mixed in, but not science: it turned out to be 100% false (although the Fourier analysis hidden therein gave it some respectability, because parts of a lie can be true).

I have my own proposal for Sub Quantum Reality (“SQPR”). It is an attempt. It is astoundingly smart. It does make predictions, and explains some significant phenomena, for example Dark Matter, Dark Energy. So it looks good. However, it is not science.

Why?

Because my theory makes extraordinary claims giving a completely different picture of physics, extremely far from the facts and moods which give meaning to both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

So SQPR would need extraordinary proofs.

One could be simply that all other explanations for Dark Matter fail, and only SQPR is left standing.

A more direct proof would be that SQPR predicts a measurable difference in energy distribution during the famous 2-slit experiment from the prediction Albert Einstein explicitly made. If it turned out to be true that my prediction is correct on this, pretty much all of existing physics becomes false, or, let’s say more precisely, it becomes a very good approximation to a deeper theory.

And then SQPR would become a science (if all other testable predictions turn out to be in accord with it).

Elements of science have to be certain, within a particular context, or “universe” (in the logic sense of “universe”) which, itself, is part of the real world.

For example Quantum Field Theory makes probabilistic predictions which can boil down in very precise numbers which can be measured. Quantum Computers will also make probabilistic predictions (about the real world, even the world of numbers).

In the latter case, it’s just a guess. In other words, philosophy.

Those who claim science does not depend upon philosophy, just as those who claim philosophy does not depend upon science are, at best, trivially correct: they have got to be looking at small subfields of these activities, cleaning the corners.  

In the grand scheme of things, science and philosophy are roughly the same activity: twisting logic any which way, to get testable consequences. Thus discovering new logics on the way, not just new facts

***

One may ask: why did philosophy and science get separated?

Because our masters, the plutocrats want to keep on ruling. That means they don’t want us to understand what they are doing. Thus, smarts are their enemy. Hence people have to be kept in little mental boxes, so stupid, just so.

This is nothing new. When Rome was at its apogee, very learned Greek slaves educated the youth of the elite. As they were slaves, they knew their place. This helps to explain why Rome stagnated intellectually, and thus was unable to solves its pressing strategic, technological, economic, health and ecological problems. Stupidly educated youth makes stupid, and obedient adults.  

Specialization is a way for plutocrats to keep on ruling. After all, to run a civilization, one needs special capabilities. The ultimate specialization is to pretend that certain knowledge, that is science, is independent from guessing new sure knowledge, that is, philosophy.

Actually the latter is intrinsically bad, since, if it was thoroughly applied, it would allow We The People to understand how plutocracy works. Thus philosophy was strongly encouraged to degenerate, by being cut from knowledge, be it sure, or historical, etc.

If society wants to survive, it will have to forge ahead in the way of understanding. Failing to comprehend or to implement this, has led many civilizations or states  to collapse (Maya, Sumer, Egypt, Abbasid Caliphate, Jin dynasty, Western Xia, the Dali Kingdom , Southern Song, Aztecs,.etc.).

Thus sustainable plutocracy is a balancing act between understanding and obedience. This time, though, understanding has to be maximized, be it only to solve the climate crisis (there are many other crises). Thus plutocracy has foster understanding (quite a bit as Jeff Bezos is doing with Amazon, hence his success)..

We may be unable to get rid of plutocracy, because We The Sheep People out there are so supine. The next best thing, which is also the necessary thing, is that it is in the interest of everybody to let philosophy roll, and thus get reacquainted with science. And reciprocally.

Patrice Ayme

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