I can also believe in nefarious mushroom-based intelligent life forms living in bizarre underground caverns. To compensate for the neural lag, we have evolved to predict the outcome of events. Of course, an experiment tells us how the the real world works. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. But not impossible. I think They Might be Giants said it best "Science is Real". In days long past, when our ancestors huddled on the brink of existence, they witnessed many things that were beyond their understanding. Bupkis! You rightfully nail the fact that in most super-hero stories, both science and magic are each just a kind of lubricant for the story. Rise in COVID-19 Cases: Good for Approval Ratings? Other than that "magic" and "science" are more the same than they are different. Arthur C. Clarke said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." We are worlds of blood-and-water existing within a larger but finite network of people and settings, and all of that is constrained by the egg-yolk that is the Earth. When people say that the scientific worldview implies a cold, impersonal universe, this is what they're talking about. Or, if you're Jack Vance, you just set your stories far enough in the future that the science seems like magic and you sit back in your golden throne, fold your arms, and cackle like either a mad scientist or a crazy sorcerer-take your pick. Throwing out either some pseudo-science or some magic just allows our minds to say "oh, okay, got it and move on." The spectator has to observe passively, without being able to investigate everything in detail. If, for example, the physical laws of a fantastical or SF world are different than our world, there has to be some explanation, no matter how off-the-cuff. But the process is the same. All magic is science. Ted Chiang, author of Stories of Your Life and Others: Roughly speaking, if you can mass-produce it, it's science, and if you can't, it's magic. Stephen Hunt, author of Court of the Air: A fantasy author creates a monster by having a character in robes of any colour mumbling a spell, whereas the rules clearly state a science fiction writer has to put the character in white robes only, and have them mumbling something about genetic engineering and how at termination of protein synthesis, type I release factors promote hydrolysis of the peptidyl-transfer RNA connection in reaction to recognition of a stop codon. If the results seem too good to be true, they probably are. Science is simply a formalization of our casual worldly explorations. Or Smurfs. For example, a vanishing ball illusion indicates that anticipation plays a factor in what we see, and our minds fill in the blanks. Just as there are few "get rich quick" schemes floating around, there are few fundamental scientific discoveries that appear without precedent. If even something as arbitrary and recent as a sonnet suffers from constraint, then magic can be no different. @Plague: Yeah, I thought he and Stephen both had a good response, which was basically that it's all bullshit so don't pretend it isn't and get on with the story. As well it should. One of the biggest debates among people who like scifi — aside from the Star Wars vs. Star Trek thing — is where to draw the line between science and magic. Not in its motivations, methods, or formal presentation - but in it's less formal presentation to the student, journalist or layperson. But how do scienticists know which experiments to run? Basically, in terms of writing—science fiction or fantasy—science and magic both serve (for me) to form a framework upon which I can hang the rest of the story. These predictions leave us vulnerable to deception, the researchers say. Just because we're careful, doesn't mean that we have to be boring. Nature can not deceive scientists in the same way magicians deceive their audiences. In real life, loads. They're a structural element. So I try to find the coolest bits of either than I can. The more I'm exposed to magic (including Andrew's work) the more I feel that all magic is science, whether the audience or magician wants to believe it. And I did happen to catch your friend Andrew's terrific performance at the Castle. And here's where I think that science should think of itself as "magic". Then it turns out that experiment A uncovers some imporrtant law governing the physical world while experiment B did not. Once one is shown how to do a magic trick, it ceases to be magic. Here's what they said. The magician, as the prime-mover of his own temporary universe, has a home-ground advantage over the spectators and can direct the spectators' observation, preventing them from extracting the truth from their perceptions. Of course the other big dividing line between magic and science has to do with genre: magic appears mostly in fantasy stories, and science (of course) in science fiction. (or even study different phenomena?). Science is different from casual experimentation by its careful, logical exclusion of alternative explanations, an idea proposed in 1605 by the man who first formalized the scientific method, Englishman Francis Bacon. The theme of the weeklong show was "Science versus Magic.". In SF, I think the question's misleading, because I think that whatever SF may think and claim, and however much individual books may justly pride themselves on scientific accuracy, fundamentally the genre is not predicated on 'real' science at all. And shows like Lost and X-Files have frequently mingled the mystical and the rational. Magic is when the universe responds to you in a personal way. It's really all in how it's presented to the non-specialist. Love this one, Ryan. The odds of some "true believers" finding it was slim. As an example, suppose someone says she can transform lead into gold.
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