Wow. Quite a response. I am honored that my comment inspired such a well reasoned and thorough reply. While I am in total agreement with the thrust of your argument there is at least one key point with which I object. I draw a more sharp distinction between the field/pursuit/goal of science and those of technology than you seem to. Technology and technologists make use of scientific principles and appeal to the scientific method when defending their goals and applications and products. However they are willing abandon the core values at the heart of the scientific process anytime these values conflict with their ultimate aims. Technology is solely focused on the consumer, the end user, how technology might benefit people, and hopefully turn a profit in the exchange.

Science, in its purest form, cares not for applications, or people, or anything beyond the pursuit of truth, the acquisition of knowledge for its own sake. Of course this idealized version of science is rarely achieved in reality but the goal is alway foremost in the ideal scientists mind. The only goal the technologist thinks about is personal advantage or profit.

And what of magic? For the technologist magic is a cool idea. Something they hope to replicate or maybe mimic with the latest gadget they invent. If a new device is magical the unwashed masses of mouth breathers might be tempted to spend their meager two weeks pay from the McDonalds drive through on it. For the scientist magic is something that the established laws of nature can not explain. Magic exists outside these laws. That is what the scientist finds so appealing about it. He has spent his entire life being taught and teaching others that magic is impossible. But proving the impossible possible is what he fell in love with about science in the first place. To see magic or what the Mage claims is magic would reignite that passion. The scientist would redouble his efforts to find an explanation for the things the magician can do.

Only if and when all such natural explanations fail will the true Mage be revealed. Then the scientist, if he is able to suppress his ego, will admit that his methods are not capable of explaining everything. Personally I hope that might be the case yet all the evidence, all the historical precedent, and all our current understanding suggests it is not. This makes me very sad. I very much believe magic is possible. Perhaps not in this universe but maybe in one of the many others.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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