Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:25 pm

SteveMB wrote:It's a bit more complicated than that. There are plenty of things unexplained by science in the real world (e.g. the reconciliation of quantum mechanics and general relativity), but nobody thinks that they're "magic".

*shrug* All 'magic' is just not yet explained by science, but not everything that is unexplained is 'magic'.

-- Adult Content warning : The following spoiler contains adult themes. Reader discretion is advised. --
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Actually, upon reflection, I need to clarify that there are a very few real world instances of magic. Blow jobs, for example. Those are totally magical, and that's a scientifically proven fact.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Kreistor » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:35 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Kreistor wrote:So, no, I think you've come up short with your differentiation.

No, your arbitrary classification of everything we understand into "Science" and everything we don't into "Magic" is what's incorrect.
You mention Hardy's novels, which explicitly show magic that obeys strict laws and was reproducible (your criteria for science).
You even reference the specific book (Secret of the Sixth Magic) in which the main character's "magic" is *the ability, through his own force of will, to change the laws by which magic itself is governed* as an example of magic being science, and yet you still cling to your definition. That book provides the definitive example of a realm of magic that can do anything, because magic represents the imposition of a single person's will over the otherwise-immutable laws of the universe - even the laws of magic.


But then it's just semantics.

Let us reverse the perspective and consider how someone like Wanda, who understands many magics, would perceive our science.

How would Wanda react to the concept of childbirth? The ability to walk vast distances at night? One time frame? A world where you are not mind controlled by the environment to obey orders of anyone else? Probably better than Stanley, since some of these have parallels in the Magic Kingdom that she could associate and expand understanding from, but Stanley would certainly be lost.

To Wanda, she understands "Magic". Isaac demonstrates a capacity to study magic the same way we study science. What, then, is the difference between Magic to an Erfworlder and Science to an Earthling? None at all. Magic is understood by Erfworlders, at varying degrees, just as Science is understood by Earthlings to varying degrees. The details of the Laws that define them are irrelevant. On Earth, we are limited by the Law of Conservation of Energy. On Erf, they are limited by the concept of the Law of Juice Consumption. Without Energy, you can't change anything. WIhtout Juice, you can't change anything. There are differences in the details, but the Laws are there.

So while you're concerned with the detail of which book I chose as an example to demonstrate a concept, Erfworld is just as defined as "Secret of the Sixth Magic". Magic in Erfworld operates by Laws, or if you rather, the Rules of the Game. That makes them, to an Erfworlder, defined and usable in the same way Science is usable here. The difference is only one of semantics. To an Erfwordler, our Science would be treated with the same Mystical reverence that we would treat their Magic with, but that is only because of a mutual lack of understanding.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:34 pm

Wanda hasn't been alive for a day and she's already conspiring against her ruler. She's a natural.


SteveMB wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:
Sieggy wrote:Sigh. If you want to understand magick, read Crowley

As soon as you limit the scope of the discussion to the 'real world' and exclude the world of fantasy literature, I'm actually 100% behind Kreistor on this issue: in the 'real world', magic is just another word for that which hasn't yet been explained by science.


It's a bit more complicated than that. There are plenty of things unexplained by science in the real world (e.g. the reconciliation of quantum mechanics and general relativity), but nobody thinks that they're "magic".


You're the one complicating things here actualy.

Reconciliation of quantum mechanics and general relativity is neither magic or science for the very simple reason it doesn't exist as far as we know, neither can we properly imagine how it would even work.

Would it be pretty/elegant if said reconciliation hapened? Yes. But as far as the data cares, quantum mechanics and general relativity do work by diferent non-compatible rules. The universe won't bend to humanity's vision of perfection just because it would be convenient for us. If anything, quantum mechanics has been showing us for the last decades that science can get pretty confusing and sometimes you need lots of messy rules to get work done whitout any shortcuts available.


It's one thing to be unable to explain an observed phenomenon. It's another completely diferent thing for you to wish there's a holy grail that can do the impossible hidden somewhere in the land.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:56 pm

Kreistor wrote:But then it's just semantics.
(...)
To an Erfwordler, our Science would be treated with the same Mystical reverence that we would treat their Magic with, but that is only because of a mutual lack of understanding.

There are distinct general differences between science and magic:

In a science-driven world, almost all actions can be performed by almost any person, provided that they have access to the technology that allows the action to occur and the required training to use it.
In a magic-driven world, certain special people ('casters', 'wizards', etc.) are arbitrarily able to perform physical, reality-changing feats that are orders of magnitude beyond what 'normal' people can perform.
(Sometimes 'normal' people can learn to use magic, depending on the type of world, but there are numerous examples where there is a special inborn trait that divides casters from normals.)

In a science-driven world, the laws of entropy apply.
In a magic-driven world, things can be created from nothing, actions can have effects that exceed their initial force, etc.
(If we could see the equation, the magic world may actually balance, but the difference between the force available in the initial cause and the final effect is always supplied 'by magic'.)

In a science-driven world, the mind/will/desire alone is not enough to cause an event to occur. The mind must cause the body to move, or external technological receptors must detect the changes in the brain that indicate desire.
In a magic-driven world, magic can be triggered just through desire.
(You could argue that magic acts like the receptors I mentioned, but then these receptors would have to be all-pervasive as well as sentient in order to be able to interpret all possible variations of desire and will.)
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby sleepymancer » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:08 pm

MarbitChow wrote:*shrug* All 'magic' is just not yet explained by science, but not everything that is unexplained is 'magic'.


Apart from having been facetious earlier, I'm not quite sure where I stand on this. Academically and personally I am more interested in what people believed, experienced, communicated to themselves and each other, and so forth, than what physically happened. (Leaving aside that, historically at least, physical traces are all we have to access those believes, of course).

Anyway, tangent aside, if something is defined as being 'magic' and then later we explain the mechanism does that stop it from being magic still? In the same way that, if we have a substance that we call, say 'water' and we then later show that each molecule is made of two Hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen does that stop it from being water? Alternatively, if we find an atom and believe that it is the cause of acidity and name it accordingly 'acid-maker', which is to say 'oxy-gen', then later show that it isn't the source of acidity does that render the name and thing obsolete?

I suppose what I'm saying is, if we move something from one semantic box to another, does that automatically mean the relationship with the previous box is nullified? Take an example from Anglo-Saxon law. Magic appears to play a fundamental role in the performance of the law. Consequently, towards the end of the Anglo-Saxon period copies of charms against theft are included in manuscripts in association with law-codes. By the twelfth century and onwards we see a change in that the Latin translations of the law omit the charm against cattle-theft, and in one of the Old English manuscripts (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 383, if you really want to know) dating to around 1100 AD we see the charm copied by the main scribe but then crossed out shortly after (probably by a different person, certainly in a different ink). The impression is of a world where magic is being eradicated from law, but at the same time we also see the introduction of trail by combat added on to the various forms of ordeal (hot iron, cold water, cake, etc. already in use): magical\divine proofs of guilt or innocence. This however is a digression, again, going back to the charms included in with the Anglo-Saxon laws, it has been argued recently that the public recital\performance of the charm constitutes the legal declaration that the theft has been committed. The later removal of the charm, therefore, is not a change from a magical understanding to physico-logical, but one of a change in law and legal practice in that particular area. The charm was, previously, inseparably legal and magical. By what means, or indeed even if, the charm brought the stolen cattle back pales in significance.

Anyway, I realise that is sort of off-kilter with the definition of magic vs science that is being implied in the discussion above, but I think a binary definition of the two doesn't fit with the context of erfworld, where the magic seems integral to the physics and world view, rather than something separate tagged on top as an after thought.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby sleepymancer » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:25 pm

Sorry to double post, but I have a silly question that has been batting softly at my brain like a moth at a candle flame:

Is it possible that the reason Wanda (and perhaps other casters also) can sometimes seem to be working at odds to their overlord's best intentions is that their Duty remains to the side that popped them, regardless of whether it has since fallen? Whoever pays them would then get an independent unit that will (hopefully) do its best and perhaps couch things in terms of Duty to avoid an uncomfortable\unnecessary discussion as required. Somebody like Sizemore, popped to the same people ('the Plaids') as his lord might have less freedom, but a Firebough amongst the Zamussels would be just a flaming brand in waiting?

Just musing idly, but thoughts??!!
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby happyturtle » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:39 pm

Dunno, Jack seems pretty loyal to Gobwin Knob, despite being in love with Jillian and having more than one opportunity to Turn back to the side he (presumably) popped in. Even before he met Parson, he rescued Stanley from Jillian and the Transylvitians.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby StClair » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:00 pm

Sieggy wrote:Sigh. If you want to understand magick, read Crowley, who WAS a magician.

Most of what I got from reading about Crowley and his brand of "magick" was that it was a great way to get under the skirts of Victorian women looking for a "new experience". :roll:
L. Ron Hubbard (re)discovered this a century or so later, along with any number of self-professed magicians, gurus, cult leaders, etc who figured out that when it comes to the classic equation "power + charisma = lots of money and sex", even imaginary power will suffice if you can find enough credulous people to buy into it.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby random_guy » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:33 pm

In Book 1, Wanda said that what Ansom took away from her was more than what she took away from him when she killed Sir Webinar and all of the Jetstone troops. Is it possible that Ansom led a Jetstone attack that wiped out Goodminton and killed Wanda's family?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Saladman » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:43 am

random_guy wrote:In Book 1, Wanda said that what Ansom took away from her was more than what she took away from him when she killed Sir Webinar and all of the Jetstone troops. Is it possible that Ansom led a Jetstone attack that wiped out Goodminton and killed Wanda's family?


Huh. I only ever caught the surface context of Wanda just referring to her lover Jillian (Wanda not being noted for her concern for the common unit). I suppose the other is possible in addition, though it would make for a surprisingly small world.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Kreistor » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:56 am

MarbitChow wrote:In a science-driven world, almost all actions can be performed by almost any person, provided that they have access to the technology that allows the action to occur and the required training to use it.
In a magic-driven world, certain special people ('casters', 'wizards', etc.) are arbitrarily able to perform physical, reality-changing feats that are orders of magnitude beyond what 'normal' people can perform.
(Sometimes 'normal' people can learn to use magic, depending on the type of world, but there are numerous examples where there is a special inborn trait that divides casters from normals.)


I can reword that entirely from Erfworld's perspective. Your "technology" is Erfworld's "Magic Item". Your "Casters" are our "Physicists". I can't entangle two atoms, but a scientist can. And someday, maybe he'll make me a magic item that lets me use that magic to talk to someone.

In a science-driven world, the laws of entropy apply.
In a magic-driven world, things can be created from nothing, actions can have effects that exceed their initial force, etc.
(If we could see the equation, the magic world may actually balance, but the difference between the force available in the initial cause and the final effect is always supplied 'by magic'.)


Quantum Mechanics tells us that there is a finite chance that a Pink Elephant will appear in your room, play Bolero on his Trombone, then disappear. It's just highly unlikely, not impossible.

Why does the non-existence of Entropy in Erfworld mean that it is non-scientific? If the Law of Entropy was disproven tomorrow, would we live in a magical world, or a scientific one? Science is not limited to the current Laws, and thus can expand to include new Laws, or retract to reject disproven ones.

In a science-driven world, the mind/will/desire alone is not enough to cause an event to occur. The mind must cause the body to move, or external technological receptors must detect the changes in the brain that indicate desire.


Prove that. You assume it is this way. And yet, there are scientists that study extrasensory perception, telekinesis, telepathy, etc. While these things have not proven reproducible, if they were, science would codify them, and they would be science, not magic.

You are completely misunderstanding the entire point. Science attempts to explain the natural world. In a universe where mental will can affect change in the u8niverse, Science would simply codify the laws that permit it.

In a magic-driven world, magic can be triggered just through desire.
(You could argue that magic acts like the receptors I mentioned, but then these receptors would have to be all-pervasive as well as sentient in order to be able to interpret all possible variations of desire and will.)


Again, i will use the example of magnetism. It is invisible and when used by someone that lacks understanding of electromagnetism, can give the appearance of someone's "will" casing things to float. You're demonstrating the same lack of understanding. You assume that there are no Laws or Forces that connect Will to Action. There must be, and they must be consistent. In this case, the Law must include the concept of "Juice," a foreign substance to Earth's universe. So your missing Laws, the ones that equate to electromagnetism, connect to that hidden gas tank. It is governed by a Law. That one person has more or less capacity than another is no different from somce people being fast runners, while others can't maintain more than a fast jog... people are different.

Magic, once defined, becomes Science. And Erfworlder would reverse that to say, "Science, once defined, becomes Magic."
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Whispri » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:51 am

Saladman wrote:
random_guy wrote:In Book 1, Wanda said that what Ansom took away from her was more than what she took away from him when she killed Sir Webinar and all of the Jetstone troops. Is it possible that Ansom led a Jetstone attack that wiped out Goodminton and killed Wanda's family?


Huh. I only ever caught the surface context of Wanda just referring to her lover Jillian (Wanda not being noted for her concern for the common unit). I suppose the other is possible in addition, though it would make for a surprisingly small world.

To what lengths would Jetstone go to fight an Overlord? They sent thousands of men after Stanley without provocation. Sending a smaller expeditionary force a greater distance... well it does seem in character for them.

BTW, when you say Wanda lacks concern for the common unit... who is your basis for comparison? She did give Bogroll his dream job, that should count for something.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby vintermann » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:56 am

Whispri wrote:To what lengths would Jetstone go to fight an Overlord? They sent thousands of men after Stanley without provocation.


Hardly. He had wiped out the Milquetoast clan. To quote Wanda (Image 5 Book 1:) "Since you began questing for the Arkentools, we have not won a battle. We once held 11 cities. Now, we have only the capital." Stanley was far more than just any random overlord, he was an overlord who had vowed to wrest the pliers from Jetstone, and who insisted that royalty was obsolete and Tool attunement the new mandate from the Titans.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Whispri » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:00 am

vintermann wrote:
Whispri wrote:To what lengths would Jetstone go to fight an Overlord? They sent thousands of men after Stanley without provocation.


Hardly. He had wiped out the Milquetoast clan. To quote Wanda (Image 5 Book 1:) "Since you began questing for the Arkentools, we have not won a battle. We once held 11 cities. Now, we have only the capital." Stanley was far more than just any random overlord, he was an overlord who had vowed to wrest the pliers from Jetstone, and who insisted that royalty was obsolete and Tool attunement the new mandate from the Titans.

And Jetstone wiped out the Side of Spacerock, your point? If Stanley had made any such claims prior to the start of the Arkenwar, this conversation would have gone rather differently. Whatever actions Stanley may have taken to bring war upon himself, fact is, he did nothing to Jetstone. His very existence as an Overlord was all it took to bring their fury down upon him.

Of course, Wanda is the Lady Firebaugh, so it's possible that alone might be enough to avoid Jetstone's murderous attention.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:53 am

Kreistor wrote:You are completely misunderstanding the entire point. Science attempts to explain the natural world. In a universe where mental will can affect change in the universe, Science would simply codify the laws that permit it.
Magic, once defined, becomes Science. And Erfworlder would reverse that to say, "Science, once defined, becomes Magic."

You're confusing science with technology.
Science is a methodology - a means of understanding and predicting. Magic is a force.

An apple that falls from a tree doesn't do so "by science". It does so "by gravity".
A caster enchants, flies, heals, and kills "by magic".

Magic doesn't help you understand the natural world. It's a part of the natural world in which it exists, like gravity, electromagnetism, and nuclear forces are in our world.
Science could be applied to magic. There are numerous examples in literature of magical worlds explored by scientific principals.
But Science and Magic are not simply different ways of expressing the same concept.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby mortissimus » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:58 am

Kreistor wrote:I suspect Wanda is going to save this battle. I don't think Delphine could get away with such a lie unless the Croakamancer to be popped would save the Side.


She will also get away with it if they are going to loose and she is going to die.

Glome wrote:What's odd is that it seems like Delphie is probably going to die with the rest of her side. If not, we would probably have seen something of her in the magic kingdom by now. But given that she should see this coming a mile away, it seems odd that she wouldn't find a way to get to the magic kingdom before the end.


"There is no shame in living in the magic kingdom, unless you are a Predictomancer" - or something to that effect was stated in a text update. She might have decided that it is better to die then to live with the shame, hence the personal decline.

SteveMB wrote:It's a bit more complicated than that. There are plenty of things unexplained by science in the real world (e.g. the reconciliation of quantum mechanics and general relativity), but nobody thinks that they're "magic".


Except New Age people who can seize any opportunity to explain that [some unexplained phenomena] = proof of favorite magic.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby drachefly » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:28 am

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Reconciliation of quantum mechanics and general relativity is neither magic or science for the very simple reason it doesn't exist as far as we know, neither can we properly imagine how it would even work.


There are at least two theories of quantum gravity. They are both vastly underspecified in respect to everything else, like particles. One - string theory - provides a framework for deriving such properties but is so flexible it is extremely difficult to make predictions. The other - loop quantum gravity - doesn't get into the issue at all; you basically overlay quantum fields over it.

The issue at this point is we are just perhaps beginning to have experiments capable of probing the regime where quantum gravity has a significant effect, so there's no basis for devising such a theory. That's all.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby raphfrk » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:18 am

random_guy wrote:In Book 1, Wanda said that what Ansom took away from her was more than what she took away from him when she killed Sir Webinar and all of the Jetstone troops. Is it possible that Ansom led a Jetstone attack that wiped out Goodminton and killed Wanda's family?


Maybe Jetstone is one of the allies that are looking at the as "the last slice of cake", it would combine betrayal as well as wiping out the side.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Kreistor » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:25 am

MarbitChow wrote:Science is a methodology - a means of understanding and predicting. Magic is a force.


Science isn't just a method, it is also the set of discoveries made by that method.

Kinda wondering how the statement "Magic is a force" doesn't attempt to define Magic as a branch of science.

An apple that falls from a tree doesn't do so "by science". It does so "by gravity".
A caster enchants, flies, heals, and kills "by magic".


And Gravity, once codified into a set of equations, became science. Magic, once codified into a set of Laws, becomes science, too.

Magic doesn't help you understand the natural world. It's a part of the natural world in which it exists, like gravity, electromagnetism, and nuclear forces are in our world.


Tell that to the Thinkamancer Isaan Newton, who used the Magic of Thinkamancy to attempt to define the unknown substance "G-strings". He was certainly trying to use Magic to discover unknown properties of that substance.

Science could be applied to magic. There are numerous examples in literature of magical worlds explored by scientific principals.
But Science and Magic are not simply different ways of expressing the same concept.


You're splitting some pretty fine hairs trying to get there.I think you're simply imposing limits on Science that were never there
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby MarbitChow » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:58 pm

Kreistor wrote:Science isn't just a method, it is also the set of discoveries made by that method.

Now you're equating science with scientific knowledge. Science is a method. Scientific knowledge is the result of that method.

Kreistor wrote:And Gravity, once codified into a set of equations, became science. Magic, once codified into a set of Laws, becomes science, too.

But Science doesn't "become magic" if you change your perspective. Technology created as a result of application of scientific knowledge may appear magical, but only to the uneducated.
That's my issue with your statements. Science, and scientific knowledge, is a superset that can contain magic in a universe in which magic exists.
Magic is a force that responds to a caster's will, in the same way that gravity is a force that responds to two objects' respective masses.

Kreistor wrote:Tell that to the Thinkamancer Isaan Newton, who used the Magic of Thinkamancy to attempt to define the unknown substance "G-strings". He was certainly trying to use Magic to discover unknown properties of that substance.

No, he was using scientific methods to understand the magical structure of Thinkamancy. If he was using magic, he would have used somthing like Lookamancy or Predictamancy and just received the answer 'magically'.

Kreistor wrote:You're splitting some pretty fine hairs trying to get there.I think you're simply imposing limits on Science that were never there

You're lumping the Scientific Method, Scientific Knowledge, and Technology all under the umbrella "Science".
Magical Lore might be equivalent to Scientific Knowledge.
Magic Items are certainly equivalent to Technology (and "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic").
But there (typically) is no magical equivalent to the Scientific Method in magical realms, so magic and science are not interchangeable.
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