Saturday, March 8, 2014

Fantasophical Question

If magic makes sense – if how and why it works is understood – doesn't it cease to be magic and become science instead?

14 comments:

  1. Maybe, but one prerequisite of science is that anybody can study, learn and do science, while magic is often restricted to those with the natural aptitude to it. In a such a world, you can know by hearth all the spells, but you couldn't hurt a fly with them.

    In D&D settings, on the other hand...

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  2. Science does like to pride itself on being able to reproduce the results, so if it is inconsistent or fickle, that might make it less likely to be seen as science.

    If the source of magic is divine, you're outside the realm of science as it's all about petitioning the gods for favors.

    If it's a very hermitic style - say this incantation, wave your staff in this fashion, and use these components - I think that's where you get into the area of most confusion.

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  3. Arthur C. Clarke's third law of prediction:
    3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

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    1. But the reverse isn't by nature of a statement in regard to fiction, true.
      "Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology. " jus doesn't have the same ring.

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  4. Because magic is cast by magicians...science is used by scientists. That's all I got.

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    1. Science is used by all of us everyday when we flip[ a light switch, check out smartphones, and read some blogs. You don't have to be a member of the cult of scientists to make use of science.

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  5. Replies
    1. What was your favourite goal you scored for Manchester City?

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  6. It would be science, yes, but I don't know that it ceases to be magic. Magic may just be our term for the particular type of energy.

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  7. Not necessarily. Voodoo is pretty well understood by the witch doctors I know, but it's still magic. Usually ineffective magic, but that's another story.

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  8. Thanks for the answers everybody -- very helpful as I ponder pro's and con's of moving beyond Vancian magic at some point.

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  9. Magic, even if it has it's own rules, breaks the 'normal' rules of the universe.

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  10. I'm firmly in the magic isn't science camp myself as magic is prone to the influence of will and ego. Science doesn't care who is mixing the chemicals but demons, spirits, and gods do care who are casting spells.

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