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POETIC & SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVES

What poets and scientists have in common is that both make guesses about the nature of the real world.
Scientists call these guesses hypotheses.

The appeal of poetry, at least in part, lies in its lack of restrictions and the total subjectivity of the poet’s descriptions.

Scientists, however, test their hypotheses in such a way that their observations can be checked by others who use the same methods of investigation. The basic idea is not to have to take someone’s word for things.

~ William C. Levin

By permanwilson
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10 comments

1

I think it's about why we have two parts to our brains. I forget which half does what but they work great together. One seems to compute and the other seems to feel. I love poetry. I'm reading TS Eliot this week -complements of Tim Berners-Lee and the nerds (no offense) in universities.

brentan Level 7 July 16, 2018
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I am a 40 year scientist and science teacher. I am also a published poet and play write. So I can speak a little to this topic I think.

First, yes there is a certain amount of faith and gursding in science. But not the way you portray it. I cannot split an atom in my classroom. So knowing how the scientific process works. Since it has been accepted by the scientific community. I have faith that the proper protocols were followed in their experiment, the peer process, and in the reporting.

A hypothesis are not guesses based upon faith. It is the logical extention of the prior knowledge already obtained through extensive experiment and reporting. A hypothesis is a guess based upon the changing of one variable and predicting according to physical properties the anticipated outcome.

Now poetry has many sources. It can proceed like an experiment with words being the tools of expression. It can proceed like a storm in which words have less import than the structure or the feeling garnered. Poetry has many rules if you chose to follow them. Form poetry is not rules free. Free form is not without rules, just fewer and less restrictive.

t1nick Level 7 July 16, 2018
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All projects start as hypotheses. This sets the approach to the internal structure. If the initial premises are correct, the result is joy and happiness.
If the initial concepts are incorrect, the project will be show itself to be unattainable, the work forced, prolly unfinishable, unsustainable, and therefore short lived.

Shit rolls downhill. So does cake.

An interesting exploration of this is "The Goal" by Goldratt. it is a semi-fictional business novel. But all the concepts and advice pertain to every human endeavor.

Jacar Level 7 July 16, 2018
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I feel like this is another example of why analogies can be useless... this tries contrast the appeal of poetry due a lack of restrictions with how scientists test hypothesis and how. What the heck? I think this analogy is not analogous smile009.gif

Kepler-452b Level 2 July 14, 2018
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I think you should also use the word theory. We have scientific things that I really like: Theory of Relativity; Theory of Gravity; Theory of Evolution; Quantum theory etc.

gsiamne Level 7 July 13, 2018
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The least appeal of poetry is its lack of restrictions (well, I am not sure what they means, and I have two degrees in literature and teach lit courses) or the subjectivity of the poet's description.

Gwendolyn2018 Level 7 July 13, 2018
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I'll take science over poetry any day.
I don't like most poetry. I find it to be primarily self-indulgent nonsense.

KKGator Level 9 July 12, 2018
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But just like science, poems work or not. A good poet is just like a scientist in testing and reworking until it fits for as many as possible.

Jacar Level 7 July 12, 2018
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Quite agree. And with top notch poetry you don't get any idea that it has been crafted. Any poets here know that the muse has been on her best behaviour if it turns out right first time!

Edited
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I don't know you, but I lie a lot on my poems.

GipsyOfNewSpain Level 8 July 12, 2018
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I am quite sure that "to make guesses about the nature of the real world" is not the main desire of poets. On the contrary: poets - at least modern poets, not those in Antiquity - are mainly interested in their subjective reflection of the outer and inner world

Matias Level 7 July 12, 2018
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True. Life as filtered through a particular consciousness and set of experiences.

Quite so. You can't verify or disprove a poem.

And the likes of Robert Frost present you with an internal journey to follow while TS Eliot expands your perceptions by arcane descriptives and classic/Renaissance/multi-cultural imagery placed in a contemporary context

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