Redundant Expressions in Science

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Hrvoje
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Redundant Expressions in Science

Post by Hrvoje » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:25 pm

Is it usually just a bad style, redundant, instead of concise and precise, or is it usually a sign that a content is also lacking quality?
I can give you one example (you may not agree with me), for which I think it is just a bad style. The syntagm "Natural Selection" in Darwin's theory is redundant in a sense that the word "Natural" could/should be omitted, as there is no alternative to nature when we talk about reality, ie not imaginary processes but real processes.
As a naturalist, I reject existence of supernatural processes that may influence natural processes, and as an evolutionist I reject existence of artificial processes, that are somehow separate from natural processes. What criteria could we establish to distinguish between them (at least in the context of evolution)? If we define artificiality as a human intervention into nature, then this is also too anthropocentric for me, and any true evolutionist should disregard that definition, because homo sapiens is just one natural species among many of them.
The other alternative is to talk about "Environmental Selection" process, as it has more sense, as environment is that agent that is acting selectively.

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Re: Redundant Expressions in Science

Post by -1- » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:02 am

Hrvoje wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:25 pm
Is it usually just a bad style, redundant, instead of concise and precise, or is it usually a sign that a content is also lacking quality?
I can give you one example (you may not agree with me), for which I think it is just a bad style. The syntagm "Natural Selection" in Darwin's theory is redundant in a sense that the word "Natural" could/should be omitted, as there is no alternative to nature when we talk about reality, ie not imaginary processes but real processes.
As a naturalist, I reject existence of supernatural processes that may influence natural processes, and as an evolutionist I reject existence of artificial processes, that are somehow separate from natural processes. What criteria could we establish to distinguish between them (at least in the context of evolution)? If we define artificiality as a human intervention into nature, then this is also too anthropocentric for me, and any true evolutionist should disregard that definition, because homo sapiens is just one natural species among many of them.
The other alternative is to talk about "Environmental Selection" process, as it has more sense, as environment is that agent that is acting selectively.
"natural selection" as opposed to "football team selection", "ice cream selection", "candidate selection".

Had Darwin omitted the word "Natural", then "Selection" would not be descriptive of what the topic is.

Most of Natural Selection had occurred in Nature, and to pull man and his creations into the umberella of "nature" results in a washed-down meaning of the word "nature". If you include ALL that man has done and is capable, then the entire word "nature" and "unnatural" can be scrapped; but its function is, when you use it properly, is to indicate whether man has contributed to a process or change, or man has not.

It is true that man is part of the reality we perceive; but to make it CONVENIENT for people to know what the origination of a result was, we use "natural" and "man-made".

I think this was the idea behind the title "Natural Selection".

If you want to contrast it, use "man-made selection". If you want to combine the two, "man-made seletion" and "natural selection", then use "selection occurring in reality."

Hrvoje
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:37 am

Re: Redundant Expressions in Science

Post by Hrvoje » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:46 am

No, had he omitted it, it would just be more consistent, accurate and logical. This is not just about, you say descriptiveness, I say redundancy, it is about his anthropocentric thinking, that led him to contrast man-made selection and selection that is made by other natural agents, in the first place. And why do you think "selection occurring in reality" is better than "Environmental Selection"? I mean, both are good proposals, that will never be accepted by the biological community, but who cares?

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