This is a matter of how I see things, I matter of how I see how magick works in the Dangerous Journeys engine, and most specifically in the Mythus RPG. It may not be how you see things working, but it works for me.
What is Science?
Science really is not a thing, it is more a way of seeing things, or handling the matter of investigation. From what I’ve read science is more a set of techniques for learning and discovery, a way to test the truth of a propostion, to verify its validity.
- First you make a guess as to what’s going on.
- Then you make obsevations of what is going on, and/or run experiments.
- You carefully note down everything of what happens, even when it contradicts your idea of what’s going on and why
- You try to explain what happened in your observations and experiements.
- When your observations and experiments contradict your idea of what’s going on and why, you change your idea to better fit your observations and experiements.
- When your observations and experimens fit you idea of what’s going on and why you’ve got a better idea of what’s going on and why, and now you can better persuade fellow scientists you’re on the right track and that they can now test your work to see if they can replicate it.
- If they can, by gum you’ve got a theory.
Magick as a Science
Now here it is a matter of how magick can be treated. As far as I can see magick where it works can be treated as a science. In fact, in such a world people will insist on treating magick as as a science because it does work, and treating it as understandable will be more comfortable than just saying it’s a mystery
For you see, we are an animal who insists on understanding, on having a good idea of how a thing works, for with understanding we ease our minds. We hate uncertainty and will do most anything to eliminate it—which is the secret behind quantum physics, which is really our attempt to explain just why certain phenomena puzzle us.
And with magick the science of magick, our explanations of how it works, is really our attempt to come up with a good explanation of how it works.
How we explain things depends a lot on how we can explain. On how we can see what is happening and on how we can understand what is happening.
In aTurtledove series one party took an in depth look at two of the laws of magick on their world, and came to the conclusion that the laws of simularity and dissimularity were different expressions of a more encompassing law. I think you could call it the law of relations. That is, the law of how things relate to each other.
Now here it is a matter of how magick is seen to work, of how it is understood. And on Ærth there is a disagreement as to how magick works.
In dweomercræfting it is a matter of how magick is seen to apply, whether through the law of sympathy or the law of conduction. In priestcræfting it’s seen more as a matter of what happens and which segment of existence is seen as the source.
In other words, it is a matter of how magick is seen as working. Though when you get right down to it, while both theories work as far as people can tell, that they to some extent contradict each other means that either, or both, are wrong.
For a scientific theory is a matter of understanding how something works, or at least of having a good workable idea of how it works. When you have two mutual contradictory workable ideas you’ve got something wrong. At least where your understanding is concerned. And when you get right down to it, it means you really don’t understand what’s going on.
The essential difference between dweomer and priestcræfting may come down to a matter of how magick is seen as working, but as the difference between particles howaves were seen as working earlier in the physics of how world. At least until a certain wit announced that what we were dealing with amounted to a wavicle where matters were both at once and behaved as both at once depending on what was going on and where it was going on.
So in the case of Ærth’s two cræfts magick is both a matter of which plane exactly the effect is to originate from, as well as what is being dealt with and how it is being dealt with.
And when you get right down to it, the planes of existence may have no really physical existence in and of themselves, but be more a matter of how things are handled by those who dwell within.To be examples of how their natures are seen, of how they can be seen, and most importantly with how they can be interacted with.
That is, the gods of Ærth do actually exist in the mundane world, it’s just that how they exist is so different from how the mundane exist that the two can’t interact in any meaningful way unless steps are taken to allow such interaction.
But this is all a matter of how I see things working, and since magick does not actually work here in our real world there’s no good way for us to test and verify my ideas. In other words, we can’t do science on this matter. Aint that a bitch.
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In any case.