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How? or Why?


gubba
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G'day folks,

 

Wondering what you think re. the following ?

 

What's the more pressing question for scientists' to ask, WHY? or HOW?

Reasons for your choice would be delightful and, I'M SURE, most informative.

cheers gub.

 

ps. yes this is for some reading I've sucked myself into at the moment. (fool, fool,---fooool !!!). gub

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G'day folks,

 

Wondering what you think re. the following ?

 

What's the more pressing question for scientists' to ask, WHY? or HOW?

Reasons for your choice would be delightful and, I'M SURE, most informative.

cheers gub.

 

ps. yes this is for some reading I've sucked myself into at the moment. (fool, fool,---fooool !!!). gub

Welcome gubba, so I'll give a stab at trying to answer this question. I believe the scientific method will first investigate how by discovering the evidence for action and reaction. Once the how is determined, it is also possible that an answer to why will follow. Let me explain however that the first question to be asked might be why, even if the question of how will usually be attacked first.

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Good question gub! I'm going to take the simplistic position that except where "why" is used as a synonym for "how", "why" is a metaphysical question that many scientists would ignore (not that I'm saying that that's a good thing!). Sometimes a simplistic thesis can really get these things going....

 

Cheers,

Buffy

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Good question gub! I'm going to take the simplistic position that except where "why" is used as a synonym for "how", "why" is a metaphysical question that many scientists would ignore (not that I'm saying that that's a good thing!). Sometimes a simplistic thesis can really get these things going....

 

Cheers,

Buffy

 

Very good point Buffy.

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G'day folks,

 

Wondering what you think re. the following ?

 

What's the more pressing question for scientists' to ask, WHY? or HOW?

Reasons for your choice would be delightful and, I'M SURE, most informative.

cheers gub.

 

ps. yes this is for some reading I've sucked myself into at the moment. (fool, fool,---fooool !!!). gub

 

It seems like sometimes these two would be intertwined.... as in, "why did the meteor strike the earth?" and "how" the meteor was manipulated by gravitational forces, etc. I know they're not exactly the same, but it does seem like sometimes in order to get to a how question you have to ask a few whys to get there... As for me, in order to understand the how I must also understand the why. I don't think either is more important of a question - science is the collection of facts and researching things - it does seem like why can become something external from the field of science, but I can think of many cases where the why and how questions are both a part of science. Why did this chemical react this way; How did it react? But, the other example might be, "why do we exist; how do we exist?" In that case, I don't think the why falls into the realm of science... in my humble opinion.

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What's the more pressing question for scientists' to ask, WHY? or HOW?

I would think the first question to be answered is WHAT? That is, a scientist needs to determine WHAT is actually happening, before he moves on to mechanism (HOW?) or causes (WHY?).

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Good question gub! I'm going to take the simplistic position that except where "why" is used as a synonym for "how", "why" is a metaphysical question that many scientists would ignore (not that I'm saying that that's a good thing!). Sometimes a simplistic thesis can really get these things going....

 

Cheers,

Buffy

 

I was going to say something rather simular that Science is designed to answer the how, more than the why. Its not that we do not from time to time ask why. Some of us do it all the time, at least in the background. But why is an open question in itself. Its more of a philosophy issue. Its also true that in general the common answer on why stems from the How process. In the case of science the why would be simply because natural processes brought it about. We generally base that upon our discovered answers of how.

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Why do objects fall downward?

 

Because the force of gravity pulls them down.

 

Why are things pulled down by gravity?

 

Because they have mass, Earth also has mass and things that have mass attract each other.

 

Why do things that have mass attract each other?

 

Because because they curve space time around them.

 

Why do things that have mass curve space time around them?

 

Because they send out streams of little gorbwiffs and as these fly through space-time they grab all the lines they pass and give them a bend.

 

Why do gorbwiffs........................

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I really don't think there is an answer to this. Just about any 'How' you can think of is going to generate 'Why's and vice versa. There are many legitimate science questions that begin with either of these and it would not be possible to enumerate all of them to find the statistical winner.

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BTW, shouldn't 'What' be a candidate here?

etc.....

I totally agree, "what" should be included

 

I think that scientists use a collection of questions that are totally dependent on each other, as every question answer leads to another question to be answered

 

It usually starts by " what is "something"?" or " what to do on "something"?!"

the next question is then "why is it "something"?" or " why to do "something"?"

then the last question is "how to do "something"?"

 

This is somehow the general form of questions "in my point of view", because it's conventional for a scientist to wonder about a particular subject and to figure out if it's worth working on it, if it does, the scientist will try to find out how to work on this thing

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