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How? or Why?


gubba
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You get the same answer with" how is the sky blue?" as with "why is the sky blue?" so they are essentailly equivilant in this instance. Howerevr they are not alway as such. Take evolution. "How do we evolve" is a very different question as to "why do we evolve?" Science is not concerned with why we evolve, it is a philosophical question.Science is concerned with the mechanisms involved.

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that's what I was saying! i know other questions won't fit the replacement, but that one did.

It goes both ways. Why can't you mix hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide together? Of course you could also ask 'What happens if you mix hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide together?'. You could probably think of a 'How' way to word this as well but the 'Why' gets to the point just fine. The terms are basically interchangeable in many cases with the only difference being a grammatical preference.

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I

how Audio pronunciation of "how" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hou)

adv.

 

1. In what manner or way; by what means: How does this machine work?

2. In what state or condition: How is she today?

3. To what extent, amount, or degree: How bad was it?

4. For what reason or purpose; why: How is it that he left early?

5. With what meaning: How should I take that remark?

6. By what name: How is she called?

7. By what measure; in what units: How do you sell this corn?

8. What. Usually used in requesting that something be said again: How's that again?

9. Used as an intensive: How we laughed!

 

why Audio pronunciation of "why" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hw, w)

adv.

 

For what purpose, reason, or cause; with what intention, justification, or motive: Why is the door shut? Why do birds sing?

 

There are many overlaps, but for most a how question is more apropriate for the nature of science. Why, with the definition of "with what intention", is not.

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I

 

 

There are many overlaps, but for most a how question is more apropriate for the nature of science. Why, with the definition of "with what intention", is not.

It's kind of funny that both of those definitions depend on 'What'.....

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There are many overlaps, but for most a how question is more appropriate for the nature of science. Why, with the definition of "with what intention", is not.

 

yes, there are a lot of overlaps, but I just feel like "how" can totally take the place of "why" but can not be in the place of, say" what", for example, and by "what" I don't mean the question "what causes something to” or "what is the reason for ?" I just meant "what" in it's simplest for as a question for a definition.

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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.

 

This quote has been the one to follow most closely to my own train of thoughts thus far. In order to answer "why" something works, it is arguable that the "how" must first be determined, which would then explain why.

 

As far as deciding what sort of question is most pressing (whether it be why, how, what, etc.) does not matter as much as continually questioning and attempting to answer the questions posed.

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G'day folks,

 

Thanks folks for the response. I'm chuffed and overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of so many of the posts. You have exceeded expectations and I'll be forced into an even deeper analysis than I had hoped for. WOnddeerrrffffuuuuullllll I think(?) OH well, better print off some hard copies and work out when I can spend some time on them, get back with some results soon as, cheers gub.

 

----I never engage in experiments! doodle in historical research maybe ------ mumble mumble

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G'day folks,

 

Some results from my informal little survey!

 

First I found it necessary to categorise your responses into 4 distinct groups divided into two sectors. The first group had the first sector all to itself and consists of those who thought "HOW?" was the more significant question. The second sector which I've labelled the NON-HOW sector consisted of 3 distinct groups: those who voted for "Why?", those who opted for EITHER how or why, and then those who chose NEITHER. Statisically the results were:

The first or HOW sector 58.33% of the vote

The second Non-How sector 41.67%, divided as follows;

Why group 8.33%

Neither group 16.67% (Interestingly they strongly preferred their alternative of "WHAT")

Either group 16.67%

So all in all pretty even and not unsurprising to me as I assumed that there was the possibility for a strong case for either option. However I found the following co-relations of much greater interest and I wonder if you"ll agree?

 

The HOW voters, almost to the last person, held to a vision of the role of science or of how science functions, and determined their choice to fit with this viewof science. From Buffy's slighty negative - "why" is a metaphysical question that many scientists would ignore - to Fishteacher's more positive -....a how question is more appropriate for the nature of science - the focus is on the doings of the scientific community as a whole.

 

All the NON-HOW voters approached the question from a procedural point of view and, no matter which of the 3 alternatives they plumbed for, they appeared to be attempting to elucidate research practise. eg. Zadojla's succinct - ....the first question to be answered is What? That is a scientist needs to determine What is actually happening, before he moves onto mechanism(HOW?) or causes (WHY?). - to Digital Master Alex's extended discussion of the scientific method of evaluating the worth of potential research. Also, compared to the HOW voters, they were more focussed on the individual rather than the general.

 

The split was clear cut and for me, at least, indicative. Trouble is I'm not too sure of what, so I'll hang onto my notes for awhile and come back to them. Once again thanks to those who participated, cheers gub.

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I side with Qfwfq here, as every question in its fundamentals is a Why question.

 

Why is the sky blue?

This is because a rain drop acts as a natural prism. There are lots of rain drops in the sky even when

there is not a cloud in the sky. Only the bluer light (photons) scatter everywhere. Thus is blue.

 

Why is it I cannot find my mind ? Were I to open up my head, go traipsin' through my brain neuron by

neuron, I will not find it. Yet I use it to think a thought as this. Why ?

 

Why do I dream ?

Why do some of them come true ? (or at least seem to)

Why do I think of someone and they call (all too often) ?

 

What would a universe have to look like to have this be normal ? If so, why ?

 

maddog

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I side with Qfwfq here, as every question in its fundamentals is a Why question.

 

 

This is because a rain drop acts as a natural prism. There are lots of rain drops in the sky even when

there is not a cloud in the sky. Only the bluer light (photons) scatter everywhere. Thus is blue.

 

Why is it I cannot find my mind ? Were I to open up my head, go traipsin' through my brain neuron by

neuron, I will not find it. Yet I use it to think a thought as this. Why ?

 

Why do I dream ?

Why do some of them come true ? (or at least seem to)

Why do I think of someone and they call (all too often) ?

 

What would a universe have to look like to have this be normal ? If so, why ?

 

maddog

 

Quantum Entanglement maddog, Quantum Entanglement.

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