History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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are we anti-science?…//Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur8601404306556: Amazon

October 24th, 2017 · No Comments

Some of our discussions (e.g. free will and evolution) seem to suggest we are somehow caught up in anti-science.

Nothing could be further from the truth and I just received (another marvel of credit card debt) a copy of a beautiful intro to quantum field theory. I am not a ‘gifted amateur’ but I am certainly an amateur. But I have done a lot of self-study over the years, especially in applied math, but never got as far as QFT. So this book, beyond my level (I always read beyond my level) is part of a larger project of self-tutoring in physics. To reach string theory you have to pass the monsters of QFT which I thought beyond my capacity. But this book is downright juicy: one can survey the subject more or less. Already the mystery of Feynman diagrams looks less incomprehensible . This book has a unique charm and it is enough for an amateur to get a rough sense of the subject before doing the same with an equivalent book on string theory. At my age a ‘relaxed’ approach is more than indicated. I won’t be tested!
The fact remains that I remain critical of much science and caution against scientism and adopt a Kantian take on issues of free will and like Shroedinger keep an eye on that mysterious genius Schopenhauer whose formulation along with that of Kant just might be cogent to the issues that haunt quantum mechanics.
The issue of evolution is so far beyond the capacity of biologists who nonetheless have made immense progress in many areas related to the question. But, as per Kant’s challenge to resolve the issue of history with a question about teleology, the question of evolution is probably rendered hard to grasp due to an intangible teleology (or directionality in specific segments of time) that science/physics simply disregards. Scientists went to a lot of trouble to extricate themselves from Aristotle but the result, as Kant again pointed out, was misleading, and it misled biologists at the dawn of evolutionary theorizing. Meanwhile the question of string theory is a new joker in the deck that must remind us that we have every right to question science for the simple reason there is no comprehensive scientific perspective on reality.

Source: Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur: Tom Lancaster, Stephen J. Blundell: 8601404306556: Amazon.com: Books

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