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B. de Corbin
26 Nov 2015, 06:09
Here is Richard Feynman on the subject:


http://youtu.be/cRmbwczTC6E

thalassa
26 Nov 2015, 06:25
Yes, and no...

So, I think science, in the short-term does reduce the appreciation of beauty. To understand something, you often have to deconstruct it. Sometimes, you have to deconstruct it over and over and over and over and over and over, until you've destroyed it. But.

In the long run...that knowledge deepens how we define beauty and adds infinite dimensions to how we see it.

B. de Corbin
26 Nov 2015, 06:44
I'm of the opinion that the "deconstruction" is actually a re-focusing on specific details - an aesthetic shift from the total to the partial - rather than a temporary loss in aesthetic appreciation.

But I do agree that knowledge and understanding do, in the long run, create an added dimension of aesthetics that is not available to those who avoid knowledge and understanding.

For myself, I am not sure if a love of science made me a better artist, or if my love of art created a love of science. You look at a leaf, you draw it over and over and over, and then you see all those things that make a leaf a leaf.

And you begin to wonder... what are those precisely spaced little hairs there for?

thalassa
26 Nov 2015, 07:12
I'm of the opinion that the "deconstruction" is actually a re-focusing on specific details - an aesthetic shift from the total to the partial - rather than a temporary loss in aesthetic appreciation.

I guess I'm thinking that while there is a beauty in that re-focusing (one probably only appreciated by the nerdy or obsessed), that its really not an aesthetic appreciation.

B. de Corbin
26 Nov 2015, 07:15
I guess I'm thinking that while there is a beauty in that re-focusing (one probably only appreciated by the nerdy or obsessed), that its really not an aesthetic appreciation.

We prolly have slight differences in our concept of aesthetics ;)

Or maybe I have a strange approach because of my various interests.

anunitu
26 Nov 2015, 07:45
Have no idea,but I know beauty when I feel it...

B. de Corbin
26 Nov 2015, 07:46
Have no idea,but I know beauty when I feel it...

Judging from the position of your hand, that's not beauty you're feeling...

anunitu
26 Nov 2015, 08:01
You sir are possessed of a dirty mind,not to mention bad comedic timing...

B. de Corbin
26 Nov 2015, 08:06
You sir are possessed of a dirty mind,not to mention bad comedic timing...

I am at a total loss to understand where that is coming from. I thought you were petting an ugly dog...

:rolleyes: :cool:

anunitu
26 Nov 2015, 08:14
Baddda BOOM,badda Bing...rim shot!!!!!!

Thrudr
26 Nov 2015, 11:11
I think things become even more beautiful when you understand what they are and what they do, because then you won't only see the surface, but the deeper layers of it as well. Without science, we wouldn't see the beauty that goes on underneath that surface.

DragonsFriend
26 Nov 2015, 11:30
^^^^ so true!

Spiny Norman
27 Nov 2015, 06:45
I think things become even more beautiful when you understand what they are and what they do, because then you won't only see the surface, but the deeper layers of it as well. Without science, we wouldn't see the beauty that goes on underneath that surface.

Absolutely. I love watching waves, and some years ago I came across a mathematical equation that described the motion of a wave....it definitely enriched my appreciation, understanding better the physics of how the water moved.

R. Eugene Laughlin
27 Nov 2015, 08:33
Arts and Crafts

When the scope of impact is proportional to the simplicity of the design: elegance.
Therein lies the essence of craft. But art, the essence of art is born of vague intuitions
and deep yearnings. Often triggered by some subtle incongruity too nuanced to articulate,
some facade so common and well-worn that it covers over the truth like a warm
and comforting blanket.

The artist though, uniquely sees what is so readily overlooked, suspects a truth lie hidden
beneath and labors to reveal it. Even when peeling back that old blanket leaves one exposed,
feeling cold and naked,
the truth is served and it is beautiful.

Designing elegant experiments is the craft of science.
Revealing truth is the work of artists, whatever the medium.

Herbert
27 Nov 2015, 09:23
Of course, many artists primarily seek to 'reveal' lies. Propaganda posters have to be drawn by someone, alongside certain political cartoons... But in any case, science is an art in and of itself, and science is beautiful, so the only way it could reduce appreciation of beauty is through an overabundance of it ;)

R. Eugene Laughlin
27 Nov 2015, 09:46
Of course, many artists primarily seek to 'reveal' lies.

A lie revealed affords a measure of truth.



Propaganda.

Truthiness.

Herbert
27 Nov 2015, 11:31
I more meant in the sense that said artists primarily seek to show things that aren't true, and portray them as being true. Including in areas such as, you guessed it, propaganda.

Briton
27 Nov 2015, 12:53
Since beauty is subjective, this cannot possibly be answered. But lets pretend for a minute that beauty is a quantifiable asset. I think beauty is only reduced by science of your appreciation of it is based more on wonder than what it actually has to offer. When it comes to the natural world, beauty appears to be largely made up of wonder for a lot of people. It is the same wonder that causes attraction to a person when you are intrigued by them. I think if you are prone to see beauty in the natural world with questions that require inquisition rather than ignorance, beauty is more likely to grow.

R. Eugene Laughlin
27 Nov 2015, 14:09
Since beauty is subjective, this cannot possibly be answered.

Suppose Truth and Beauty are but two qualities of a multifaceted, ultimately unified thing, an unimaginably comprehensive ultimately unified thing. Call it Life, Nature, Spirit, or some such thing. The two qualities might be understood this way: the experience of beauty is a momentary perception of truth. That's how we might equate a great painter with a great scientist, by their shared capacity to bring others to a momentary perception of truth.



I think beauty is only reduced by science of your appreciation of it is based more on wonder than what it actually has to offer. When it comes to the natural world, beauty appears to be largely made up of wonder for a lot of people. It is the same wonder that causes attraction to a person when you are intrigued by them. I think if you are prone to see beauty in the natural world with questions that require inquisition rather than ignorance, beauty is more likely to grow.

You have something of the Fluency Hypothesis in philosophical Aesthetics captured there. The hypothesis posits that the degree to which a person experiences beauty when confronted with a truth is a function of how fluent the person is in the terms of the presentation. Most everyone with normal vision is well-versed in the terms in which an unusually colorful sunset presents. We learn those terms implicitly, by living life with normal vision, by the influence of cultural and personal experience, etc. Seeing the beauty in a mathematical equation requires more effortful learning, but at the underlying processes are assumed to be equivalent.

Truth, beauty, eye of the beholder.

thalassa
27 Nov 2015, 14:53
Truth is not always beautiful.

R. Eugene Laughlin
27 Nov 2015, 14:54
Truth is not always beautiful.

I'm interested to hear some examples.

thalassa
27 Nov 2015, 14:57
Ever watched a baby with whooping cough?

Briton
27 Nov 2015, 14:59
A quarter of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Truth is not always beautiful indeed.

R. Eugene Laughlin
27 Nov 2015, 16:39
Ever watched a baby with whooping cough?


A quarter of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Truth is not always beautiful indeed.

Let me offer a prayer that all your children be free of illness, and all your pregnancies be free of complications.

I have no status to defend Nature against the suffering and seeming injustices that accompany life in our biosphere. I'm living life. I have family and friends. I know what pain and loss are. All I can say here is that my spiritual path calls me to seek the meaning of my life, including the awful things. Many spiritual paths call for seeking the beauty in our suffering. I might add that as a Pagan, I'm not given to call Nature ugly.

The equation of Truth and Beauty is a traditional philosophical framework that I felt was apropos to the thread, offered here as meditation on how scientists are like artists. The poem I posted earlier in the thread expressed the same theme.

Briton
28 Nov 2015, 00:01
As a pagan? Describing the behaviour of nature will vary. As a pagan, I would say the complete opposite, that I am prone to point out its ugly side. No offence meant, I just don't think you can make assumptions about anyone using the broad term 'pagan', that one would not call nature ugly if one was to describe themselves so.

B. de Corbin
28 Nov 2015, 05:44
Although "aesthetics" is, technically, the philosophy exploring "what is beauty?", it does, of necessity also include the contemplation of "what is ugly?", since no thing can be understood without also understanding it's not thing.

Beauty is subjective; it changes from one person to another. I appreciate the elegance of an animal skull, others find them morbid.

Beauty is often created out of ugly; a sunset reflects the quantity of particles in the air (i.e.: pollution).

Beauty is about relationships between dissimilar things; parasites and their hosts are dissimilar things in an amazingly intricate relationship.

I could go on and on and on, but I gottses stuff to do.

However, recogognizing these things does not reduce the immediate affect of one's gut-level response to the perception of beauty; instead, they create additional avenues of appreciating beauty on an intellectual level - as well as through yer bowels.

Spiny Norman
28 Nov 2015, 08:40
Truth is not always beautiful indeed.

The truth can be very uncomfortable some times. Initially, anyway.

- - - Updated - - -

A couple of years ago I went to a talk on rainbows at the local astronomy club, which was fascinating. I hadn't realised for example that rainbows make a full circle under the right conditions.
http://earthsky.org/earth/can-you-ever-see-the-whole-circle-of-a-rainbow

R. Eugene Laughlin
28 Nov 2015, 08:45
As a pagan? Describing the behaviour of nature will vary. As a pagan, I would say the complete opposite, that I am prone to point out its ugly side. No offence meant, I just don't think you can make assumptions about anyone using the broad term 'pagan', that one would not call nature ugly if one was to describe themselves so.

I was expressing personal sentiments that developed as part of my personal Pagan orientation. I wasn't defining Paganism for everyone. I do respect that other adopters of the Pagan label arrive at different sentiments. That's the Nature of Paganism in contemporary, information-rich society, and it's a beautiful thing!


Although "aesthetics" is, technically, the philosophy exploring "what is beauty?", it does, of necessity also include the contemplation of "what is ugly?", since no thing can be understood without also understanding it's not thing.

I'm not convinced of that. If one likes the concept of Beauty as the experience of perceiving Truth, a juxtaposition to conceptual ugliness may not be clarifying. The opposite of a perception isn't a different thing, it's rather a a non-event, something that might happen but hasn't. Further, what might we call the opposite of recognizing Truth when we see it? A missed opportunity? Misunderstanding? Error, perhaps?

It's not that I don't understand the common parlance or that I don't appreciate the linguistic value of the juxtaposition. I get it, but because I do like the equation of Truth and Beauty, I'm probably more inclined to use different terms to express the more common comparison: maybe ugly vs. pretty, for example.




[examples snipped for brevity]

...However, recogognizing these things does not reduce the immediate affect of one's gut-level response to the perception of beauty; instead, they create additional avenues of appreciating beauty on an intellectual level - as well as through yer bowels.

Do you think there's a meaningful difference between the guttural response and appreciation?

B. de Corbin
28 Nov 2015, 09:59
I'm not convinced of that...

...Do you think there's a meaningful difference between the guttural response and appreciation?

OK. I'm disinterested in convincing any body of any thing. For the record, though, there are two basic ways of knowing a thing that often work in conjunction (often, but not always. "Dark Matter" for example) - knowing what a thing is, and knowing what it is not (in art terms, foreground and background).

No. A gut response is one of many ways of appreciating.

R. Eugene Laughlin
28 Nov 2015, 10:52
OK. I'm disinterested in convincing any body of any thing.

Apologies. I wasn't literally asking you to try to convince me of anything. That phrase was intended as a rhetorical lead-in, an alert that an alternative perspective would follow. While a response to the alternative ideas was/is welcome, it was neither requested nor expected. I use question marks to signal that.

Bjorn
29 Nov 2015, 11:08
If you allow science to steal your appreciation of beauty then you probably didn't have much of an appreciation in the first place.

Science is like falling in love. You find someone amazing and you want to know ALL about them. You want to know more BECAUSE you love it, not in spite of it.

That's like saying "does knowing that music uses a lot of complex math make you appreciate it any less or start to view it like homework?"

It's asinine.

Spiny Norman
29 Nov 2015, 11:14
That's like saying "does knowing that music uses a lot of complex math make you appreciate it any less or start to view it like homework?"


Absolutely. Understanding how things work is very inspiring.

ThePaganMafia
29 Nov 2015, 14:10
It is a common religious attack that atheists fail to see beauty in the world. I would argue that understanding how nature works enhances the beauty of the Universe.

R. Eugene Laughlin
29 Nov 2015, 18:46
Here's another perspective that might bear on the topic:




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE6P6_AphGI

MaskedOne
29 Nov 2015, 19:45
Depends on the "beauty" in question and the person viewing. There are things that I wouldn't appreciate at all without understanding them, things where I find understanding to be irrelevant to appreciation and things/people where the phrase, "familiarity breeds contempt" applies many times over.

Kiesha'ra
29 Nov 2015, 19:46
It doesn't reduce appreciation for beauty at all. If anything it enhances it!

Have you ever seen the smallest particles or materials under a microscope? It's like its own art. Its stunning, even a strand of DNA can be beautiful. Gases in space from Hubble looking at a nebula... thats science and its simply amazingly gorgeous. Watching particles collide into its smaller parts... again beautiful. All these things are what make everything beautiful on a microscopic and quantum level, without science you would never see their beauty at all.

habbalah
29 Nov 2015, 19:56
Not at all. Like others have mentioned, science has allowed us to see things that we couldn't with just our own eyes. Galaxies, planets, snowflake formations, and how beautiful things are on a microscopic level.

Spiny Norman
29 Nov 2015, 21:40
Have you ever seen the smallest particles or materials under a microscope? It's like its own art. Its stunning, even a strand of DNA can be beautiful. Gases in space from Hubble looking at a nebula...

The Hubble stuff is fantastic, I have several prints on my wall, better than art. http://hubblesite.org/gallery/wallpaper/

- - - Updated - - -

The live feed from the International Space Station is cool ( you might need to wait till it's back in daylight though, you can check it's location further down the page ).
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/HDEV/

B. de Corbin
30 Nov 2015, 01:58
Everybody like to believe his/her self is special. If one is science blind, one gots to find a way to make that special, too...

- - - Updated - - -


Here's another perspective that might bear on the topic:




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE6P6_AphGI

LOL - I saw that once when I was a kidling, and still remember it... A distorted view of reality is far more appealing than is a clear view...

R. Eugene Laughlin
30 Nov 2015, 07:38
Everybody like to believe his/her self is special. If one is science blind, one gots to find a way to make that special, too...

LOL - I saw that once when I was a kidling, and still remember it... A distorted view of reality is far more appealing than is a clear view...

I tend to focus on two themes:

The little mole was able to see a whole new world of wonder with the new technology (i.e. a clear view of a butterfly, the detail of the flowers, etc.), but at the cost of seeing his fairy palace for the pile of junk that it really was. Seeing truth can have a cost, and science can have that kind of impact.

For a germane example, people who practice magick can develop an inflated sense of their effectiveness as a result of a handful of well-studied cognitive biases. Knowing the research around such biases and acting on the knowledge gained from them can improve that self-assessment, but a more accurate record of ones hits and misses may feel less satisfying to some. I think that tends to be a temporary effect though.

I've had a lot of conversations with people who claim to cause some pretty remarkable effects with a high degree of efficiency. When asked, if you're mistaken about your effectiveness, would you want to know? Pretty much everyone says yes, and means it.

And then, a darker theme, less directly relevant to this thread, is that having the new technology exposed the little mole to a host of unexpected dangers, because he was naive and unprepared. Nuclear fission comes to mind.