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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    QoTD: Clocks and Giraffes Comment
    Gregory Morris, 11/20/08 10:18:40 am
    From LabRat, discussing the differences between "hard" science and "soft" science:
    This is why you can take a clock apart and put it back together and still come up with a working clock, but you canít do the same to a giraffe.
    Of course, you could argue that eventually, we might have the technical capability to completely disassemble and reassemble a living giraffe. Even if that were the case, you can simply separate the sciences by degree of application. For instance....
    Sociology is applied Psychology,
    Psychology is applied Neurology,
    Neurology is just applied Biology,
    Biology is just applied Chemistry,
    Chemistry is just applied Physics,
    and Physics is just applied Mathematics.
    (And for giggles, I also like to add that Mathematics is just applied Theology...)

    The problem of the spherical horse arises when the application of a "harder" science (necessarily) uses models which are based on assumptions. If you think of it like I described above, then the "softer" the science gets, the more the margins of error from the base models compound, and the less certainty you get.

    Then there is statistics. Strangely, it is taught by the math department at some universities, when it is really just applied Sociology. Sure, math is needed to compute probabilities, regressions and suchlike, but the devil is in defining the nature and scope problem.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

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