How many trees?

David Beorn dbeorn at freenet.vcu.edu
Tue Jul 16 13:44:22 EST 1996


Thomas Kellar wrote:

> From: Thomas Kellar <tkellar at FSP.FSP.COM>
> Newgroups: bionet.agroforestry
> 
> > Does bias exist in everyone??  Certainly.  Does that mean that TRUE
> > science can't rest on FACTS instead of a PREFERENCE for "leaving the earth
> > alone" and/or believing that "the earth knows better", which while maybe
> > is not stated in those terms is what *I* would perceive as Dave Braun's
> > position - No, it does not mean that.  I think this is a foolish position
> > and true science bears this out. 
> > 
> > There are always some exceptions to rules but by and large MOST things
> > managed responsibly by INTELLIGENCE are better off than things left to
> > themselves (2nd law of thermodynamics - things tend toward greatest
> > disorder i.e. rust, loss of energy, etc.) as some suppose is better for
> > "nature".  Does my philosophy of life affect my decisions??  Certainly. 
> > Does it make me ignore the facts that are there for all to see??  Not at
> > all - even if I don't like the facts, I can't change them and don't try. 
> > 
> I am not going to speculate who really wrote the above two paragraphs but I 
> feel a strong need to comment:
> 
> 1. What is "true science"?  I believe that one thought among some scientists
> and mathematicians is that our beliefs and thought processes very much 
> influence what the facts are seen to be.  In my opinion, there is no such
> thing as "true science".  There are existent sets of hypotheses that might
> fit nicely into a (sometimes explicitly stated) pre-defined framework but 
> that is all.

I wrote it and "true" science means you are actually looking for facts, 
not what you would like it to be nor is it portraying theories as if 
they were facts (i.e. evolution).  "Knowing" the conclusion before you 
run the experiment would also be an example.  There is bias in everyone 
but we CAN minimize it's affects.  
 
>2. That things are "managed responsibly by INTELLIGENCE are better off..." is a
>highly non-scientific statement, it is in my opinion an opinion.

as opposed to what - managed by random chance???  You really think that 
that was an opinion???  What would you substitute for intelligence??  The 
"forest", for instance, left to itself is not as productive as one 
properly managed.  And probably not as "healthy" as well.  
 
> 3. The 2nd law of thermodynamics does not apply to anything but what
> is concerned with  i.e., gases in textbooks. I believe that religious 
> zealots sometimes try to use it (misapplied) to disprove evolution.

So are you saying it's not true???  It only works in textbooks and does 
not apply to life???  Please don't embarrass whatever school you went to 
by mentioning it's name but they should be closed down if that's what you 
think.  Evidence of the 2nd law is everywhere!!!  Rust is a good one, rot 
is another for forest types.  A car is also a good example - you cannot 
get 100% of the energy from gasoline because of losses due to the 2nd law 
of thermodynamics.  

> Thomas
> -- 
> Thomas Kellar      Tkellar at Dayton.fsp.com    
>     How can I wear the harness of toil, and sweat at the daily round,
>      While in my soul forever The drums of Pictdom sound? - REHoward
> 
> 

         *-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^
        *        David Beorn, dbeorn at freenet.vcu.edu (internet)       *
        *        Virginia FREENET                                     *
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