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View Poll Results: Should scientific discovery be limited?

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Thread: Limit Science. Yes? No?

  1. #1 Limit Science. Yes? No? 
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    This topic came up in my AP Lit class today:
    "There should be no limit to scientific discovery."

    I agreed because scientific discovery is important to the progression of our society.

    What do you think?


    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    I think you can't let it get ahead of a culture's ability to deal with it. Imagine if we discovered a way to build a bomb as powerful as the atom bomb, but it was easy to build.

    That's one discovery I certainly hope we never make until our culture is ready for it.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think you can't let it get ahead of a culture's ability to deal with it. Imagine if we discovered a way to build a bomb as powerful as the atom bomb, but it was easy to build.

    That's one discovery I certainly hope we never make until our culture is ready for it.
    After careful meditation on this matter, I would agree you. There are some advancements that would simply exceed the fathom of the masses and such a thing could lead to drastic results. Yet it makes no difference either way.

    Asking wether or not we should limit scientific discovery is no different than asking wether or not we should limit Rock'n'Roll music. The question is irrelevant. If there is one thing that art and science do have in common, it is that they are both an act of free will. Any attempt to regulate the forward momentum of science/technology will always lead to failure. All it takes is for one individual to step outside the norms of what is scientifically appropriate and, with enough effort and a little luck, that individual can invent something completely new, replicate something that is thought to be completely irreplicable, or achieve a breakthrough within any-one or more medium of discovery.

    Science has - or - is an evolution all its own. And you can't stop evolution. All we can really do is try and prepare ourselves what best we can for all of the - not so great choices - that have yet to be made and, beyond that, try and hold ourselves accountable for the scienctific dicoveries that will ultimately prove detrimental to the human race.
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  5. #4  
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    If its simply scientific discovery, then no-one could or should place any limits on it, just as long as it ethically acceptable. Technological development or the use of that scientific knowledge though (which i realise is not being mentioned here), is a whole different ball game.
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  6. #5  
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    I have to agree with Kolt. Science and discovery cannot possibly be stopped, only slowed. The important thing, then, is whenever a new technology is discovered the discoverer should be careful who they give it to.

    It's like we're reaching a point where we have all the power of a god, but none of the wisdom.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It's like we're reaching a point where we have all the power of a god, but none of the wisdom.
    We have been reaching that point for thirty thousand years. It's part of the Universe's training program for apprentice gods.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I have to agree with Kolt.
    It's like we're reaching a point where we have all the power of a god, but none of the wisdom.
    Most gods aren't wise. They demand constant adoration, burn people in hell, etc. Not much imagination.

    The nature of the question is revealing. Who is this 'we'? Are you advocating colonization of China, India, Iran, etc. and imposing the will of 'we' on them?

    The last thing the world needs is a universal Big Bother sticking their inept fingers into the test tubes of the world.

    The answer is no. There would be a chaotic hodge podge of groups lobbying Big Brother for their own ban...stem cell reserch and morning after pills by religious whackos... ban on artificial sweeteners by the sugar producers...and a thousand other special interests. A strong and flexible scientific infrastructure underpins much of the success of modern societies.
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  9. #8  
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    I think that the way we should research and experiment should be limited to cultural beliefs such as human rights ect.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red
    I think that the way we should research and experiment should be limited to cultural beliefs such as human rights ect.
    Depends on who determines those rights. No American is going to have his Constitutional rights impeded by some international ban..and I doubt if the billion plus Muslims will put my concept of rights before those of the beliefs of Islam. Stem cell research will go full speed ahead in China or 'wherever' regardless of any laws in the USA ... the German Reich (given the chance) would have developed the nuclear bomb first regardless of if it was seen as 'too naughty'.
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  11. #10  
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    I voted no.

    However the more I learn about science, the more I realize how silly it is. Many people have heard the famous words of Burce Lee: "Do not think, feel". These words have a real and true meaning. We spend countless hours learning math so that we can one day create an equation for a parabola. Or I could just step outside and create a perfect parabola by throwing an object and know exactly where it will land (without math).

    Science is like meditation, the deeper you go the more you learn about yourself. In fact I would say that both science and meditation significantly improve the perfomance of the other. But this is besides the point. The point being that science is merely the language of nature; we, being nature. We split molecules, pull buses, throw knives, write novels, etc., all without the knowledge gained in science. Science lets us understand these things.

    I don't think the culture matters. If something doesn't fit than it won't fit, and if it does it will. E.g. if some people are ready for stem cell reasearch than it fits, if not than it doesn't. In this case I am using the idea science and technology at the same time. I cannot just tell someone that I can make a perfect parabola with my throwing knife, I must have the knife and throw it. The same is with science. The technology is the tool to provide proof. If the technology works than the science is correct (for the most part).

    Therefor I feel it should be limitless. Unless the people of the time chose to limit it. That probably doesn't make any sense so maybe this will clear things up: Science is limitless, not all people are.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    I voted no.

    However the more I learn about science, the more I realize how silly it is. Many people have heard the famous words of Burce Lee: "Do not think, feel". These words have a real and true meaning.
    No more silly than music, movies, sports, fashion, war, politics, religion-spirituality or philosophy....and no less. Broad statements such as that are almost entirely interpretive. Science may be silly for you but your not everyone. And you're certainly not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    We spend countless hours learning math so that we can one day create an equation for a parabola. Or I could just step outside and create a perfect parabola by throwing an object and know exactly where it will land (without math).
    Well, not exactly. Science isn't just about stating the obvious. It's about making an effective analogy between the obvious and the not-so obvious - Using the basics to try and deal with more complex matters. A parabola cannot be created only caused. We spend countless hours learning math so we can understand the nature and process of a parabola. Thats what equations are all about. From there we integrate these equations with the greater challenges of science/technology, engineering, architecture ect, ect. By touch and feel alone, you might be able to performa a perfect parabola with a throwing knife in your back yard. However, by itself, that skill won't help you chart an emergency re-entry course for a space shuttle or calculate and coordinate an air-to-air anti missle attack. Without math and science who could? Still think its silly?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    Science is like meditation, the deeper you go the more you learn about yourself.
    I don't think science is like meditation at all. In fact I would say that it is somewhat the opposite. Yet there is no way for me to validate my argument over yours because you are speaking from an impressionistic point of view and impressionism cannot be argued. All I can do is give my own take on the issue. Meditation stems from an emotional place driven by emotional needs. There is no recurring infrastructure of objective thought. Meditation is mans way of emotionally, even aesthetically, interpreting all of the physical and potentially metaphysical aspects of his reality. Science on the other hand, Well.....science is just basic step-by-step methodology. No different than learning to tie your shoe. Numbers and testable results are the ojective not "Inner Peace". Cut and dry.


    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    I don't think the culture matters. If something doesn't fit than it won't fit, and if it does it will. E.g. if some people are ready for stem cell reasearch than it fits, if not than it doesn't. In this case I am using the idea science and technology at the same time. I cannot just tell someone that I can make a perfect parabola with my throwing knife, I must have the knife and throw it. The same is with science. The technology is the tool to provide proof. If the technology works than the science is correct (for the most part).
    It is here that I believe you are stressing the point of practicality and I could'nt agree with you more. Science and technology are as subject to the wims of economics as anything else. Supply and Demand extend far beyond mere product consumerism. If and/or when the demand for stem cell research becomes significant than the science of that research will become more than just socially acceptable - it will become government, corporate and privately funded on a global scale. Scientific discoveries are mostly a result of scientific research and when it comes to scientific research money makes a big difference.


    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    Therefor I feel it should be limitless. Unless the people of the time chose to limit it. That probably doesn't make any sense so maybe this will clear things up: Science is limitless, not all people are.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    I voted no.

    However the more I learn about science, the more I realize how silly it is. Many people have heard the famous words of Burce Lee: "Do not think, feel". .
    Science is silly but quoting actors isn't?

    Kolt: excellent thoughts.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    kojax wrote:
    I have to agree with Kolt.
    It's like we're reaching a point where we have all the power of a god, but none of the wisdom.
    Most gods aren't wise. They demand constant adoration, burn people in hell, etc. Not much imagination.

    The nature of the question is revealing. Who is this 'we'? Are you advocating colonization of China, India, Iran, etc. and imposing the will of 'we' on them?

    The last thing the world needs is a universal Big Bother sticking their inept fingers into the test tubes of the world.

    The answer is no. There would be a chaotic hodge podge of groups lobbying Big Brother for their own ban...stem cell reserch and morning after pills by religious whackos... ban on artificial sweeteners by the sugar producers...and a thousand other special interests. A strong and flexible scientific infrastructure underpins much of the success of modern societies.
    I think when I say "we", I'm referring to the least common denominator. If things like a nuclear device abound, then it only takes one idiot to set one off and we're all going to suffer.

    It may be that we'll never be ready for the technologies that are coming until that least common denominator has caught up, or until every society on Earth has some kind of system in place to keep that guy properly in check.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    kojax wrote:
    I have to agree with Kolt.
    It's like we're reaching a point where we have all the power of a god, but none of the wisdom.
    Most gods aren't wise. They demand constant adoration, burn people in hell, etc. Not much imagination.

    The nature of the question is revealing. Who is this 'we'? Are you advocating colonization of China, India, Iran, etc. and imposing the will of 'we' on them?

    The last thing the world needs is a universal Big Bother sticking their inept fingers into the test tubes of the world.

    The answer is no. There would be a chaotic hodge podge of groups lobbying Big Brother for their own ban...stem cell reserch and morning after pills by religious whackos... ban on artificial sweeteners by the sugar producers...and a thousand other special interests. A strong and flexible scientific infrastructure underpins much of the success of modern societies.
    I think when I say "we", I'm referring to the least common denominator. If things like a nuclear device abound, then it only takes one idiot to set one off and we're all going to suffer.

    It may be that we'll never be ready for the technologies that are coming until that least common denominator has caught up, or until every society on Earth has some kind of system in place to keep that guy properly in check.
    You stil need to define this 'we' and who is 'that guy'. The world is in agreement? Whose ethics? morality? The Bible or the Koran or is it Wiccans or do I decide and everyone ('we') needs to obey?

    In contrast I like diversity and competing ideas. The stuff of creativity. Unlike you, I don't see any agreement among humans on anything and that's a positive an not a negative. Monolitihic group-think is is my idea of Hell and not an advancement.

    I'm prepard to accept that someday a whacko might propose that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way around. Good grief, such affrontery....quick, call the Pope.
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  16. #15  
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    It's true you can't try and give a blanket definition to morality, except in a very limited sense or scope.

    Let's say the "least common denominator" is the guy who can least be relied upon not to set off a nuclear device or provoke a nuclear war. The most common provokation for war is bad economics, so we'll say he's the most likely to choose to do economic harm as well.

    I think most of the world agrees on wanting things to go as well as they can. There are a few hold outs, but by and large the majority of people want to survive and be comfortable. Whoever is least capable of facilitating this (or most inclined to prevent it) is going to be more and more powerful as technology increases.
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