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Thread: Science and the Arts

  1. #1 Science and the Arts 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
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    I wonder what people here think of the relationship of these 2 disciplines are.

    Are they complimentary or are they more or less separate ways of interacting with the world?

    Are there good examples where someone who is considered an artist has been able ,on account of this ability to contribute to the scientific endeavour in a way that would not have been possible otherwise? (and vice versa of course)

    If this is true does it indicate that the 2 disciplines should be less separated in the education system (or can we rely upon the osmosis that will naturally occur in society generally?)

    In a more formal way is there a way to define the Arts as opposed to the Scientific method?

    Is there anything to the idea that Science /Arts might have necessary/luxury as an analogy?

    You apply the scientific method to understand the world and the arts to enjoy it...?


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  3. #2  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    I'm a retard when it comes to art but some scientists have a play at it

    This guy works in the same department as me and uses dance to simulate molecular dynamics.

    DanceRoom Spectroscopy, Interactive Quantum Art - YouTube

    More info here: danceroom Spectroscopy » About
    danceroom Spectroscopy » Science


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
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    Interesting ,but I am leaning to the view that the 2 disciplines are very different .

    I am beginning to regret starting this thread since it seems to presuppose a connection and there may be virtually none.
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  5. #4  
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  6. #5  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Are they complimentary or are they more or less separate ways of interacting with the world?

    Science and art (in general) are not complimentary, but are not separate fields either.
    In other words, new forms of art can be made possible with new scientific discoveries, and scientific inventions or discoveries can be viewed by some as an art.

    Are there good examples where someone who is considered an artist has been able ,on account of this ability to contribute to the scientific endeavour in a way that would not have been possible otherwise? (and vice versa of course)

    I have honestly no idea and I can therefore not answer your next question.
    The answers by members PhDemon and adelady are far better in that regard.

    In a more formal way is there a way to define the Arts as opposed to the Scientific method?

    This definition receives my approval:

    Art ('ärt):
    "the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects"
    (Merriam-Webster)

    Is there anything to the idea that Science /Arts might have necessary/luxury as an analogy?

    I do not understand that question. Could you rephrase it, please?

    You apply the scientific method to understand the world and the arts to enjoy it...?

    A distinction that I would like to expand with the idea that the arts are also meant to express your personal impressions of the world (via words, paintings, pictures, etc.).
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    (Merriam-Webster)

    Is there anything to the idea that Science /Arts might have necessary/luxury as an analogy?

    I do not understand that question. Could you rephrase it, please?.
    OK. My question was whether ,in our lives we can divide our concerns into two categories:those that are necessary for our survival and those that we turn our attention to when our basic requirements are more or less satisfied (which I have termed "luxuries" but which is a bit misleading as they are only "luxuries" in that they are not strictly necessary to basic survival).

    The pursuit of scientific discovery could be seen as part of survival skills while the arts might occupy our thoughts when we have time to relax ( a bit of "luxury" after work as it were).

    It is a rough analogy and quite possibly flawed but I was trying to think of them in an elemental way -as activities that have been with us since we first existed as a human species.
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  8. #7  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Try googling "brainbows". They're images of the brain, basically, colored to build a neural map.



    I think we're all aware by now that nature is capable of producing things of immense beauty. Sometimes, the application of actual science can even make rather bland structures amazing to look at.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  9. #8  
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    It is a rough analogy and quite possibly flawed but I was trying to think of them in an elemental way -as activities that have been with us since we first existed as a human species.
    When you put it like that, you have to remember that we were singing and dancing and drawing long before we got into science. Science as we understand it is a very new way of dealing with the world.

    Or you could look at science as a continuum. So that long, long ago we were making observations and simple conclusions about the plant world even though we weren't classifying them or assembling botanical collections in the way that a Chinese noble or a member of the Victorian gentry might have done.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
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    Yes that is how I was imagining it.You awake in the morning and you listen for a predator.If you hear a sound you hesitate to move.Otherwise you think about starting the day's activities.

    That qualifies as a decision based on scientific observation.( supplemented by a feeling of fearful apprehension which ,when you communicate it to the company you are in is a form of art).

    To me art is about expressing -and communicating-inner feelings one way or another. I have labeled it as a "luxury" as opposed to a "necessity" but that is really just for the sake of classification and you could just as easily reverse the labels I suppose.

    Other "scientific observations" might have been noticing how a stick could be used for different ends depending on size , springiness ,freshness, strength ,dryness etc etc etc.....
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