Debate:Can science consider any aspect of human beings beyond the human body?

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By the way, in response to "Whether science should consider the human body (including the brain) as "all there is" remains an unsettled question."

I was under the impression the real debate was whether science could consider anything beyond the human body, since science can only consider things that can be measured and quantified. It's the essential line between science and philosophy, you know? AManInBlack 11:34, 13 July 2007 (EDT)


Aspects of reality that transcend the directly observable material world can be measured and qualified. For example, human emotion. People can report to researchers how they feel about certain things, events, people, etc. Even though no one knows for certain whether emotion is 100% a physical phenomenon, psychologists and sociologists do measure it and make theories about it.

Advertisers and partisans study the emotional responses of human beings, as do movie directors.

It is not even necessary to make a distinction between the material world and aspects which may transcend it, as long as the thing studied can be quantified in some way. --Ed Poor Talk 13:53, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

My point was that something that can be quantified and measured is part of the material world, even if it has a transcendent nature, that's all. AManInBlack 13:58, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

Those who say no generally do so on the basis of their presupposition that either (1) there is nothing beyond the material world (including the electrical and chemical activity of the human brain), or that (2) if there is anything, there is no way to study it.

This, of course, is directly contradicted by those who define the supernatural in such a way that, if any part of it becomes measurable it will be claimed as "part of nature" and thus no longer supernatural. --Ed Poor Talk 14:02, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

It's a basic definition. It's like the definition of four; it can't really be defined except reflexively. AManInBlack 14:05, 13 July 2007 (EDT)
See my chart in talk. --Ed Poor Talk 14:12, 13 July 2007 (EDT)


Can an aspect of the human being beyond the body be anything other than supernatural? I say no. Therefore, science (the study of the natural, physical world) cannot consider it. --Ĥøĵĭmåçħôńğtalk 13:55, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

Who says "science" is the study of the natural, physical world? (Or were you referring only to the physical sciences? Are the social sciences part of "science"? Math and logic are not physical at all. Are they scientific, part of science, or what?
All these are boundary questions. Where does one field of inquiry end, and the next begin? Who set up the bounds, and why? --Ed Poor Talk 14:15, 13 July 2007 (EDT)