科學精神

讀到朋友湯先生一篇說儒家思想的文章,雖不同意其中一些論點,但其中一段說到”科學精神”,很有意思,這裡節錄與大家分享,

科學精神,有它應用的領域,但不是隨處可用。人情不能說科學精神;藝術欣賞不能說科學精神;科學書籍可以說科學精神,但文學作品便不可說科學精神。如果人的生活只有科學精神,則這人只是一個機械人,或一堆腐肉而已。它只有物質的特性,那有甚麽精神?作者稱「科學講求的是絕對精確」。這證明作者絕對沒有科學思想,只是充作行家而已。事實上,所有科學家與及稍有科學頭腦的人,都知到任何量度,都不會絕對精確,最多只是相對精確而已。例如作者所崇拜的牧師,準八時出席主人宴會,他只是在七時五十九分半,至八時零半分之間 (Correct to the nearest minute) 到步而已。那裏是絕對精確!假如人客有十人或百人,排隊入門也要很長時間,怎能絶對精確準時?太空船回地球,它的飛行速度、角度和高度,在某一誤差範圍內,仍可返回地球。最多這誤差範圍是縮小了,卻非絕對精確。科學精神,絕不求絕對,也無法求絕對;是容許一點差錯的。世界最準確的電子鐘,千萬年後,也有差錯呀!那能絕對?

7 Responses to 科學精神

  1. hevangel says:

    你的朋友似乎在打稻草人。我懷疑他到底知不知道什麼是科學精神﹖

  2. kempton says:

    You claim “你的朋友似乎在打稻草人。” Can you be more specific and provide some quotes and references based on the passage written to illustrate? In some sense, discussing 科學精神 is very important but at the same time, I had expected a much more scientific and evidence based critique of an article about “科學精神”. Make sense?

  3. hevangel says:

    “Spirit of Science” is covered under philosophy of science, or more general, under epistemology. I usually use Karl Popper’s definition, but I am OK with the few major common definitions.

    “Spirit of Science” basically has nothing to do with accuracy, it is more like an altitude towards how human understand and interact with the world. It is a metaphysical understanding of reality in a certain way.

  4. kempton says:

    I see Horace. So your best critique was quoting what others (e.g. Karl Popper) used as definition of “Spirit of Science” and were total unable to think up a critique of your own in the above written text.

    I have no problem with the above discussion of 科學精神 by Mr. Tong. At the end of the day, I look at what someone writes and see if it makes sense to me. I don’t need to go back to whether if what someone (famous or not) think about something.

    Enough said.

  5. hevangel says:

    Ar… when something that is so basic and is wrong, on a subject with no controversy, it is good enough simply point to the textbook answer.

    The mistake is so mundane that I don’t even get the fun of argue over it. It’s more like giving a lecturing about what’s the right concept. Maybe I will write my own article about “Spirit of Science” addressing how the general public misunderstand it, but I won’t waste my time lecturing an unwilling student. (not referring to you, but Mr. Tong) But I wonder how much value for me to write an article on “spirit of science”, I am just merely duplicating what many textbooks has already done.

    Actually, my 2nd paragraph is a very concise summary of what “spirit of science” is. You can see Mr. Tong clearly misunderstanding the concept.

    Science is always a quest for the absolute truth, but at the same time we realize we can never obtain the absolute truth. As I said, science spirit has nothing to do with accuracy, it’s just a parameter used in calculate like other parameters, e.g speed or acceleration.

  6. kempton says:

    I have no idea that there is only one official acceptable way to define and interpret “科學精神” and you happen to know someone who knows that for sure.

    What Mr. Tong wrote about “科學精神” seems insightful and ok to me, which is why I quoted it here.

    Ah, don’t worry about writing something about “Scientific Spirit”, it will probably be a waste of time.

  7. kempton says:

    Hey Horace,

    I just noticed “作者稱「科學講求的是絕對精確」。這證明作者絕對沒有科學思想,只是充作行家而已。” is Mr. Tong responding to someone’s writing. The “作者” was someone Mr. Tong trying to reply to.

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