Stand-alone technology

January 2, 2014

Buckminster Fuller may well have sought beautiful solutions, but that view is more in line with technology than science (“Both sides of the equation”, 12 December 2013).

Working “solutions” such as toasters, churches and wind turbines are not part of the world’s natural regularities; consequently, we do not have to agree with any design team that claims that a wind turbine is elegant. By contrast, disciplines such as physics, chemistry and geology deliver public knowledge on the world as it is, hence we have to concur with whatever happens in repeatable experiments.

Yes, scientific findings (such as magnetism) are applied in gadgets and perhaps many scientists are curious about the workings of machines, but in the main science seems a learning system for understanding (a remarkable number of) natural entities. It is distinct from technology.

Neil Richardson
Kirkheaton

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