Saturday, March 13, 2010

XKCD On The Purity Of Sceintific Fields.

I think the only thing wrong with this cartoon in the placement of mathematicians so far to the right. :)

1. Silly - mathematicians aren't scientists at all they are poets. Saying they are to the right of physicists is like saying linguists are because physicists often use words to describe phenomena.

2. Wow, Clark, great point. I'm going to have to remember this one for the future. There have been a few mathematicians who have directed me to this comic... Now I will be ready. :)

3. Thank Heidegger...
(grin)

4. I should also note it's debatable whether psychology is reducible to biology. Some parts are. Arguably the parts that they can actually make headway in. But I think some fundamental parts aren't. There's actually still a bit of an ongoing debate as to whether biology is reducible to physics. Although enough people are physicalists so as to have faith that it is.

5. Yes, it is an interesting question: "How much of psychology is reducible to biology/chemistry/physics/etc.."

6. I think the same argument can be made in each of the steps. To say "physics is just applied mathematics", for example, is to say that you can derive the universe from pure math, which just doesn't work. Not only that, but as an experimentalist, I must say that another good response is that this also arranges field by utility, with the arrow going the opposite direction.

7. Arrange the filed by utility!!! HERESY!!!