Manifest Science (was: RE: virus: Cow)

Dan Plante (
Thu, 27 May 1999 16:13:27 -0700

At 05:30 PM 26/05/99 -0500, Brett wrote:

>Technology creates science... not the other way around.

I think you may be misinterpreting a causal chain (with the attendant "chicken-and-egg" problem) with a "static" relationship, as well as mislabeling "technology". Science, as a knowledge base and prescriptive regimen akin to base pairs and transcription factors, does indeed "cause" technology (using the same analytical perspective as gene expression). After all, the strict definition of technology is "applied science", but you could just as well say "expressed science". If you were to replace "technology" with "empirical knowledge", I might agree with you. Understanding can't appear before the knowledge base, and applying what is understood can't appear before acquiring understanding. There may _appear_ to be feedback from technology to science, but it is actually a flow from the _products_ of technology (i.e. more and better empirically-derived knowledge), creating, if anything, a circular relationship.


>While science
>cannot be used to discover the limits of science (and so suggests a
>metaphysic which is outside the bounds of the scientific); technology,
>on the other hand, CAN establish the standards and controls (the
>"reality") according to which what is scientific can be discerned from
>"science fiction". THIS is where the philosophical sciences come in...
>philosophy, psychology, sociology, politics, religion, and metaphysics.
>Thus, the "ethics" of science are the general applications of the
>specific technology (the "moral" of science).