Is science a learned magic?


A spirit fox
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Sometimes in Maine, sometimes in Pennsulvania
One of the popular romantic notions of magic it the ability to fly, to summon fire at will, to control winds and storms. Yet some of these things that we call magic can actually be done in our world now. It was a long dream of man to fly and now we have airplanes, machines that weight tons, yet they can get off the ground and carry many people on them. Man has been toying with fire for so long we come up with easier ways to summon it and many ways of doing that. We're able to control electricity to power everything we learn to use, a power we only witnessed when thunderstorms came. We have carrages that don't require horses to move. We're able to capture people on boxes and watch them in live action.

You can argue that magic is something that isn't logical, yet the only ones who are able to use magic in fiction are the ones who somehow know how it works, not the ones who know nothing about it. I don't know how well I got this point across or if a similar topic has been started already, but I feel that science and magic are almost one and the same. Before the things we learned to enjoy were invented and became somewhat common knowledge they were called magic.

Yes, you are right about the magic and science connections...and the farther that we progress into the future of science and technology, the more magical it will all appear to the uneducated and uninformed.

Arthur C. Clarke, the eminent science fiction writer, whose story Stanley Kubrick based his famous film upon, 2001 A Space Odyssey, was known to have stated that sufficiently advanced technologies would appear to be magic to those uninitiated into the knowledge of their origins. You should also look up and read an obscure book by the late Morton Smith, a professor of religion at Columbia University, titled, Jesus The Magician.

Indeed Leaf, you have hit the nail on the head. We live in an amazing magical world and our mages can harness incredible powers to hurl people at enormous speeds, heal the sick, allow communication at a distance, and more.

However, people are so used to this magic we call science that they take it for granted to the point that they are bored by it or see it as mundane. In addition, they often don't want to put forth the effort it takes to learn how to master such magic.

As a result, many of these people begin to form in their minds, fantasies about fictional magic, and imagine themselves to have abilities they don't have or come to believe in all manner of nonsense and superstition - all in an effort to live in a more magical world than the one they believe they live in.

The strange thing is, if these folks actually lived in such a fantastical-style magical world, they would probably take it for granted as well, and shun the wizards who would admonish them to study their scrolls harder. They would probably invent some unreal 'super-magic' to try and inject the mytique into their percieved 'mundane world'.

But if they were only more appreciative of the wonders of the magic called science, they would see that they already live in a wondrous universe - no superstition or fantasy needed.

With Compassion,
DT Strain
Humanist Minister