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Author Topic: Machines and Magic **  (Read 3013 times)

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Offline MoonHunter

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« on: October 22, 2005, 04:20:50 PM »
Some say Science and Magic are atangoistic, that you can have one or another. The two interfere with other.

Some say that "The Science of their world is Magic".

Some make the division as two different scholarly arts that co-exist and have little to do with each other.

Do you have Scientests in there?
What kind of things are you able to do with Science that you can't do with Magic in your world, and vice versa?
Are the two closely related - is Science a type of precise Magic, or is Magic a subset of Science?

What is it like in your fantasy world? And what are the various options that are possible?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2005, 12:25:18 AM by MoonHunter »
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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2005, 04:21:36 PM »
Science and Magic borrow heavily from each other - Magic borrows many base principles off of Scientific discoveries and laws in that world, but many of those Scientific discoveries were made as a result of observing magicians. Ironically, this means that neither side wants to acknolwedge the other - in much the same way as real-world Chemists and Physicists despise each other.
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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2005, 04:24:29 PM »
Magic is a scientific affair. The forces that constitute magic are still undergoing research and empirical testing. There was a scholarly scientific tradition on the world before comming of magic. Since magic is mostly a matter of study, rather than raw ability, the scholars/ scientists were able to become the magic users.
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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2005, 04:29:21 PM »
Arth: Mages are just another set of craftsmen, who utilize magic instead of wood or metal. The mages dislike this "common" view, as they see themselves as "students of the universe" and "Scholars of cosmic forces". Scholars study the world and learn magic theory, the way people on our world learned law or engineering.

The admusing part now is that there is a "Technical Revolution" going on. Mages took the idea that matter is nothing more than confined magical energy, so matter and material science follows mystic rules. By applying the mystic laws to matter, they have begun a number of new discovereies: the printing press (law of knowledge and law of reversal), optics, gears and clockworks (laws of likeness and as is above, so is below), and material sciences (new alloys and processes which are analogous to magical processes).
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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2005, 04:30:51 PM »
The two co-exist, although there are some scientists that doubt the existence of magic and some mages that call science just another aspect of magic. Both are closely related in that they are both, in many ways, the study and manipulation of energy. It's just that magical energy is produced and used by souls, which certain parts of science doubt the existence of. (They think the energy comes from other sources yet discovered.) Magic is related to that part of the living that gives consciousness. Science maintains that it is electricity in the brain that provides thought and awareness, but only the magic of the soul can provide emotion. Why else can a body live but have no soul?
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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2005, 04:33:57 PM »
Magic and science as flip sides of the same coin in any setting. "Science" as we know it arose out of philosophical traditions that in turn arose out of religious ones--there's a direct line of descent from Hephaestus to Stephen Hawking. Magic is a parallel outgrowth (applied philosophy?).

Thus Magicians ARE the scientists, like the middle ages. They study the universe and learn to manipulate it in the most appropriate way, be it a spell or a material test. They have many of the prejudices of our world's scientists, like an adversion to religion and dislike of pointless non logical tradition.
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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2005, 04:36:07 PM »
Found something fun:
If you use the root meaning of the word science, magic would just be another branch of that, The Knowing. Yes, Science just means knowledge, to know - and there are always more ways than one to know a thing. The Sciences (only certain branches of knowledge in schools these days) used to include Philosophy, etc. all along the list of ways we know things.
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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2005, 04:43:43 PM »
Magic, Science, and Faith are all mutally antagonistic approaches. Scientists and Mages, who work with experimentation and results oppose faith. However mages and sciences dislike each other because magic is elitest (holding power to the few, with serious entry requirements for training and long apprenticeships) and science is expansive (train everyone to science and logic, for a rational society). Mages want a rational society like Scientists do, however they want to be in charge of it.
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Offline Wogden

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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2005, 06:02:20 PM »
For an interesting look at magic being treated as a science, I'd recommend "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel". It's set in an alternate Earth during the Napoleonic Wars, and it takes a different way of treating magic altogether - as a sort of gentlemanly pastime.
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Offline Scrasamax

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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2005, 08:51:36 AM »
I like the approach taken by the Mage game in that magic and technology ar two branches of the same tree that have been made artificially hostile to one another. Magic being the domain of the elite and a closely guarded secret while technology being doled out to the masses in a revolutionary communist style to overthrow the elitist magi.

In the end, the tech gets so high tech that only the elite can understand it and there is a complete reversal of the chain of power and the sorcerers come across as easy to understand.

In modern context, which seems more forbidding, the computer manuals and programming books, or the new age section?


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Offline Pariah

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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2005, 01:06:34 PM »
There's another way for science/magic to interact.  If anyone has ever played the thief games, magic and machine operate side-by-side, and magic is used in many of he machines.
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Offline Phoren

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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2005, 09:28:24 PM »
In the Shattered Galaxy, the setting of Intergalactic Adventures, 'magic' does not exist. It has been discounted completely by science as 'psionic'. However, science has created 'mages', breeding humans and genetically engineering them to have greater psychic potential than the average human. Thus, the two are closely related. Without science, magic would not exist. With magic, science would begin to fatler, as nearly every major breakthrough in a century has been made my 'mages'.