History Main / MagicVersusScience

13th Jun '17 6:17:31 PM intastiel
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'' 3[[superscript:rd]] edition encodes this as a ScrappyMechanic: "Reason" is a force alongside the Divine, Infernal, Magical, and Fae realms; so places like laboratories and people with True Reason erode magic, potentially with PuffOfLogic effects. The ''illogic'' of [[ArbitrarySkepticism Reason being opposed to magic]], when magic is transparently real and is studied through strong scholarly traditions of its own, led to the mechanic being scrapped in later editions.

to:

* ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'' 3[[superscript:rd]] edition encodes this as a ScrappyMechanic: "Reason" is a force alongside the Divine, Infernal, Magical, and Fae realms; so places like laboratories and people with True Reason erode magic, potentially with PuffOfLogic effects. The ''illogic'' of [[ArbitrarySkepticism Reason being opposed to magic]], when magic is transparently real and is studied through strong [[FantasticScience scholarly traditions traditions]] of its own, led to the mechanic being scrapped in later editions.
13th Jun '17 6:15:21 PM intastiel
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'' 3[[superscript:rd]] edition encodes this as a ScrappyMechanic: "Reason" is a force alongside the Divine, Infernal, Magical, and Fae realms; so places like laboratories and people with True Reason erode magic, potentially with PuffOfLogic effects. The ''illogic'' of [[ArbitrarySkepticism Reason being opposed to magic]], when magic is transparently real and is studied through strong scholarly traditions of its own, led to the mechanic being scrapped in later editions.
28th May '17 6:19:23 PM Sabrewing
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* Embodied by two of the new lead characters in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanDeadMenTellNoTales''. Henry Turner, son of a {{psychopomp}}, believes in and understands the magical occurences inherent to the story's world, while Carina Smyth is a woman of math and science who refuses to believe in such superstitious nonsense at first. It takes both to achieve their goal across the film -- her to actually locate the Trident of Poseidon, him to stay ahead of the supernatural dangers closing in on them.
26th May '17 11:46:00 PM Nulono
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Luna says that one of the strengths of the current age of Ponydom was the fact that they haven't let either science or magic dominate the other, but, realizing that the two are not opposites, but counterparts, have even blended the two to create MagiTek, unlike in previous ages, giving examples of how ''both'' have advanced over the centuries. For example, in one age the Earth ponies were nearly as advanced in the technology department as we are today, but had completely lost touch with their magic, while the Pegasi and Unicorns has very little technology, instead basing their civilizations nearly entirely on their native magics. Luckily there wasn't any conflict when they met each other again.

to:

** Luna says that one of the strengths of the current age of Ponydom was the fact that they haven't let either science or magic dominate the other, but, realizing that the two are not opposites, but counterparts, have even blended the two to create MagiTek, unlike in previous ages, giving examples of how ''both'' have advanced over the centuries. For example, in one age the Earth ponies were nearly as advanced in the technology department as we are today, but had completely lost touch with their magic, while the Pegasi and Unicorns has had very little technology, instead basing their civilizations nearly entirely on their native magics. Luckily there wasn't any conflict when they met each other again.
26th May '17 11:44:46 PM Nulono
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** It's mentioned in the expanded universe that magic ''did'' once exist in the current universe and was even practiced in Gallifrey. Rassilon, however, despised magic, and with the Time Lords' ascension, magic was quashed beneath science. There was in fact a race of magic users who began approaching time travel before they went to war with the Time Lords and lost, getting them RetGoned. Had the won, they would've replaced the Time Lords as the dominant race with magic being the common phenomena. So in general, magic vs science actually occurred and magic lost.
*** This might explain the [[FridgeBrilliance Doctor's insistence with magic not existing. His race literally booted it and their followers out. And if it does exist, it means they could be back... and probably be very ''very'' pissed.]]

to:

** It's mentioned in the expanded universe that magic ''did'' once exist in the current universe and was even practiced in Gallifrey. Rassilon, however, despised magic, and with the Time Lords' ascension, magic was quashed beneath science. There was in fact a race of magic users who began approaching time travel before they went to war with the Time Lords and lost, getting them RetGoned. Had the won, they would've replaced the Time Lords as the dominant race with magic being the common phenomena.phenomenon. So in general, magic vs science actually occurred and magic lost.
*** This might explain the [[FridgeBrilliance Doctor's insistence with magic not existing. His race literally booted it and their followers out. And if it does exist, it means they could be back... and probably be very ''very'' very]] ''[[FridgeBrilliance very]]'' [[FridgeBrilliance pissed.]]
19th May '17 10:13:24 PM MeteoXavier
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** Which is kind of a moot point by now since the JREF no longer offers the challenge anymore, as of 2016.
19th May '17 10:02:16 PM MeteoXavier
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** On the flipside, there are many loopholes to the way in which Randi, and other identified skeptics, could or would use to invalidate any psychic or supernatural performance, even if it was genuine. Make no mistake, Randi and many skeptics have done great things to expose an industry of con artists, but if you put an honest-to-God psychic (if such a thing were ever to exist) and that psychic demonstrated true psychic ability even under Randi's testing terms, he is not going to be impressed. Why? Because it's his JOB to not be impressed. A serious skeptic is not going to agree that X-thing exists for the same reason you won't get a professional Christian minister to agree that God doesn't exist. All Randi would need to do is find any series of mechanical failures and posit that the so-called "psychic" is simply just an incredible stage magician while someone on the crew was paid to help them out. Proof has to extinguish doubt, but human beings can find ways to doubt anything (for examples, see the Anti-Vaxx and Flat Earth Society movements) and just not being able to figure it out won't cut it (which is referred to as the "God of the gaps" argument).
3rd May '17 4:33:30 PM secretfan14
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The ''Literature/{{Bordertown}}'' SharedWorld (started by TerriWindling) runs entirely on this trope. Bordertown is the town where Faerie landed when it returned to earth, and magic and science both work more or less half the time there. This is assumed to be a product of the laws of nature in each world - Faerie is a place where magic works, earth is a place where Science! works and Bordertown is half-and-half each way.

to:

* The ''Literature/{{Bordertown}}'' SharedWorld SharedUniverse (started by TerriWindling) runs entirely on this trope. Bordertown is the town where Faerie landed when it returned to earth, and magic and science both work more or less half the time there. This is assumed to be a product of the laws of nature in each world - Faerie is a place where magic works, earth is a place where Science! works and Bordertown is half-and-half each way.
3rd May '17 9:50:57 AM crazysamaritan
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Once upon a time in RealLife, the distinction between the ideas of Magic and Science was not made, and both were very closely attributed to religion. As time progressed (especially in the western world), the idea of magic, the will of a person influencing the universe, waned, while science, the facts and observable evidence in the universe influencing humankind's interpretation, became more prevalent. Alchemy, steeped as it was in astrology and the occult, evolved into chemistry. Scientific theory slowly became independent of the magical and the supernatural. This process was known as the Enlightenment, and shaped science as we know it today.

The modern scientific community is highly skeptical toward claims of the paranormal, and largely disbelieves in the existence of [[FunctionalMagic magic]]; any effective practices such as [[ThatOldTimePrescription the drinking of willow bark tea]] for headaches that were previously termed magic have since been scientifically explained. While, for the scientists, this is just a question of evidence (and scientists have no problem over time accepting counter-intuitive phenomena like radioactivity, quantum physics, hypnosis and superconductivity, [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic so long as the evidence for their existence is compelling;]] they'll just [[InsistentTerminology insist that it not be]] [[MagicByAnyOtherName called "magic"]]), some people interpret it to mean that science and magic are fundamentally opposed. Some authors will then transplant this opposition into a SpeculativeFiction setting: [[FunctionalMagic Magic really does exist]], but [[HarmonyVersusDiscipline for whatever reason]], it's not on speaking terms with Science or Technology. However, what many Anti-Magic Scientists and Anti-Science Magicians seem to forget is that since most magic systems [[MagicAIsMagicA follow a set of rules]], magic itself [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic can be seen as a form of science (though it is often an art instead).]] Nonetheless, one should not expect different types of magic systems to be reconcilable, [[http://everything2.com/title/Resolving+disparate+magic+systems+when+forced+to except when they are.]] Interestingly enough, in pre-scientific times, all of the modern sciences, all forms of industry, and the very laws of nature itself [[http://www.scribd.com/doc/2868464/Magic-in-Games were considered to be magic.]]

{{Psychic powers}} generally blurs the line between the two.

'''There are several different ways this conflict can play out:'''

* '''Magic is an EMP''': Magic and [[WalkingTechbane its users]] cause machines beyond a given technological threshold to malfunction. But why exactly does magic disrupt, say, the electrical impulses in your CD player, but not the electrical impulses in an antique radio? And what did it do before electrical devices were used, like when {{steam|Punk}} was modern technology? [[AWizardDidIt Because it's magic, that's why!]]. Alternately...
* '''[[GameBreaker Magic Is Cheating]]''': Magic is the practice of altering natural laws to produce a desired effect. Science is the practice of utilizing natural laws to produce a desired effect. Thus, your computer won't work too well if you're altering electrical resistance to produce lightning bolts, your car won't work too well if you're altering the combustion point of atmosphere to produce fireballs, and you won't find sharpening a piece of metal to work too well if you're altering its density to make it stronger. Magic is dependent on the skill of the user, and can lead to the creation of [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards demigods]], but can't be mass produced. Technology takes centuries to get its footing, and scientists are thus always squishy, but can inherently change their world. This often leads to cycles where one trumps the other, only to break and give way to the other.
* '''Magic is Mysterious''': Alternately, magic [[{{Calvinball}} follows no rules at all]], therefore [[ScienceIsWrong science will never be able to explain it.]] This scenario tends to work best with [[FunctionalMagic Wild Magic]] and possibly [[ReligionIsMagic Theurgy]] -- most other flavors of magic, both for believable consistency and for dramatic potential, tend to follow [[MagicAIsMagicA some sort of operating rules]], and figuring out operating rules is what science is all about. This is often an [[InformedAttribute Informed Trait]], with the Scientist shrieking that magic isn't scientific because they can't tell how it does what it does -- a clear case of research failure or [[TheWarOnStraw strawman]], as science is [[UsefulNotes/TheScientificMethod cataloging effects and then theorizing on causes; with better theories to replace previous ones not only expected, but encouraged.]] This last point leads into...
* '''Magic is an Ideology''': Magic and science get along just fine, but the magicians and scientists can't stand each other. Petty rivalry or hubris leads everyone on both sides to specialize in their field and completely ignore the other. This conflict can sometimes take a subtler form, where the magicians want to keep knowledge secret and the scientists want it shared with everyone; which side is more sympathetic tends to depend on whether the author (or readers/viewers) think there really ''are'' {{Things Man Was Not Meant To Know}}....
* '''Magic is either the Dimension's Natural Law [[YourMagicsNoGoodHere or Not]]''': Depending on which dimension of TheMultiverse you are in. In World A, you can shoot lightning from your fingertips if you know how and gunpowder does not explode; and in World 1, [[YourMagicsNoGoodHere the reverse happens]]. It becomes a lot harder to industrialize if the oil and coal you're intending to use simply don't work the way they do in the real world.

In some of these settings, if one does successfully [[{{Magitek}} mix Magic and Technology]], the result is (rightly or wrongly) decried as an abomination in the sight of Nature and the PowersThatBe.

Can result in (or is deliberately designed to justify) MedievalStasis; no technological advances are made, either because beyond a certain point mages accomplish what is needed, or simply because science doesn't work the way it does in the real world. If only a few people are mages, then there's a clear caste system. TheMagocracy clearly wouldn't want competition. This doesn't mean no science goes on in these settings though; the scientific method may be applied not to creating technology, but to study a FantasticScience.

Compare {{Magitek}}, and PostmodernMagik. Contrast MagicFromTechnology and UnEqualRites. See DoingInTheWizard for when seemingly magical manifestations are explained as science, and DoingInTheScientist for when scientific anomalies are later explained as magic. See also ScienceFantasy, MaybeMagicMaybeMundane, and ClarkesThirdLaw.

If you were looking for a trope where scientists and wizards actually get into a brawl, see TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar.

to:

Once upon a time in RealLife, Magic is often seen as the distinction realm of mysticism and a violation of scientific laws. Science is often seen as the realm of materialism and technology. These two realms are often viewed as unresolveable opposites; where magic holds sway, science must fail and where science holds sway, magic must fail. This trope builds on the potential factors that cause a divide between the ideas of Magic "science" and Science was not made, "magic" in a work. However, please keep in mind the rules of ClarkesThirdLaw and both were very closely attributed to religion. As time progressed (especially [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic the inverse law]]; there isn't really a difference between the concepts, except for their presentation in the western world), the idea of magic, the will of a person influencing the universe, waned, while science, the facts and observable evidence in the universe influencing humankind's interpretation, became more prevalent. Alchemy, steeped as it was in astrology and the occult, evolved into chemistry. Scientific theory slowly became independent of the magical and the supernatural. This process was known as the Enlightenment, and shaped science as we know it today.story.

The In many stories, modern scientific community is highly skeptical toward claims of the paranormal, and largely disbelieves in the existence of [[FunctionalMagic magic]]; any effective practices such as [[ThatOldTimePrescription the drinking of willow bark tea]] for headaches that were previously termed magic have since been scientifically explained. While, for the scientists, this is just a question of evidence (and scientists have no problem over time accepting counter-intuitive phenomena like radioactivity, quantum physics, hypnosis and superconductivity, [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic so long as the evidence for their existence is compelling;]] they'll just [[InsistentTerminology insist that it not be]] [[MagicByAnyOtherName technology ([[HollywoodScience often called "magic"]]), some people interpret it to mean that science and magic are fundamentally opposed. Some authors will then transplant this "science"]]) is placed in opposition into a SpeculativeFiction setting: [[FunctionalMagic Magic really does exist]], but [[HarmonyVersusDiscipline for whatever reason]], it's not on speaking terms with Science or Technology. However, what many Anti-Magic Scientists and Anti-Science Magicians seem to forget is that since most magic systems [[MagicAIsMagicA follow a set the will of rules]], magic itself [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic can be seen as a form of science (though it is person influencing the universe ([[FunctionalMagic often an art instead).]] Nonetheless, one should not expect different types of magic systems to be reconcilable, [[http://everything2.com/title/Resolving+disparate+magic+systems+when+forced+to except when they are.]] Interestingly enough, in pre-scientific times, all called "magic"]]). This divide can build into TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar, where both sides of the modern sciences, all forms of industry, and debate attempt to eliminate the very laws of nature itself [[http://www.scribd.com/doc/2868464/Magic-in-Games were considered to be magic.]]

{{Psychic powers}} generally blurs
other side. Stories which present the line between divide often use one or more reasons for the two.

'''There are several different ways this conflict can play out:'''

separation, summarized here:
* '''Magic is an EMP''': cheats at Physics''': Magic and its users create localized areas where [[RealityWarper the physical laws operate differently from normal]]. This may be expressed as [[WalkingTechbane its users]] cause machines malfunctions to machines]] beyond a given technological threshold to malfunction. But why exactly does magic disrupt, say, the electrical impulses in your CD player, but not the electrical impulses in an antique radio? And what did it do before electrical devices were used, like when {{steam|Punk}} was modern technology? [[AWizardDidIt Because it's magic, that's why!]]. Alternately...
* '''[[GameBreaker Magic Is Cheating]]''': Magic is the practice of altering natural laws to produce a desired effect. Science is the practice of utilizing natural laws to produce a desired effect. Thus, your computer won't work too well if you're altering electrical resistance to produce lightning bolts, your car won't work too well if you're
threshold, altering the combustion point of atmosphere causes cars to produce fireballs, fail and you won't find sharpening a piece of metal fireballs to work too well if you're altering its density to make it stronger. Magic is dependent on the skill of the user, and can lead to the creation of [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards demigods]], but can't be mass produced. Technology takes centuries to get its footing, and scientists are thus always squishy, but can inherently change their world. This often leads to cycles where one trumps the other, only to break and give way to the other.
form, or electromagnetic waves collapse within magical auras.
* '''Magic is Mysterious''': Alternately, magic [[{{Calvinball}} Magic [[ScienceIsWrong follows no rules at all]], therefore [[ScienceIsWrong [[ScienceCannotComprehendPhlebotinum science will never be able to explain it.]] This scenario tends to work best with [[FunctionalMagic Wild Magic]] Magic (the magic is released by the mage, but not controlled) and possibly [[ReligionIsMagic Theurgy]] -- most other flavors of magic, both for believable consistency and for dramatic potential, tend to Theurgy ([[ReligionIsMagic the divine being decides what spell is cast]]). The concept does not follow [[MagicAIsMagicA some sort of operating rules]], and figuring out operating rules is what science is all about. This is often logically from magic gained from study, becoming an [[InformedAttribute Informed Trait]], with the Scientist shrieking that magic isn't scientific because they can't tell how it does what it does -- a clear case of research failure or [[TheWarOnStraw strawman]], as science is [[UsefulNotes/TheScientificMethod cataloging effects and then theorizing on causes; with better theories to replace previous ones not only expected, but encouraged.]] This last point leads into...
Trait]].
* '''Magic is an Ideology''': Magic and science get along just fine, but the magicians and scientists can't stand each other. Petty rivalry or hubris leads everyone on both sides to specialize in their field and completely ignore the other. This conflict can sometimes take a subtler form, where the magicians want to keep knowledge secret and the scientists want it shared with everyone; which side is more sympathetic tends to depend on whether the author (or readers/viewers) think there really ''are'' {{Things [[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow Things Man Was Not Meant To Know}}....
Know...]]
* '''Magic is either the Dimension's Natural Law [[YourMagicsNoGoodHere or Not]]''': Depending on which dimension of TheMultiverse you are in. In World A, you can shoot lightning from your fingertips if you know how and gunpowder does not explode; and in World 1, [[YourMagicsNoGoodHere the reverse happens]]. It becomes a lot harder to industrialize if the oil and coal you're intending to use simply don't doesn't work the way they do in the real world.

In some of these settings, if one does successfully [[{{Magitek}} mix Magic and Technology]], the result is (rightly or wrongly) decried as an abomination in the sight of Nature and the PowersThatBe.

Can result in (or is deliberately designed to justify) MedievalStasis; no technological advances are made, either because beyond a certain point mages accomplish what is needed, or simply because science doesn't work the way it does in the real world. If only a few people are mages, then there's a clear caste system. TheMagocracy clearly wouldn't want competition. This doesn't mean no science goes on in these settings though; the scientific method may be applied not to creating technology, but to study a FantasticScience.

Compare {{Magitek}}, and PostmodernMagik. Contrast MagicFromTechnology and UnEqualRites. See the following tropes: DoingInTheWizard for when seemingly magical manifestations are explained as science, and science. DoingInTheScientist for when scientific anomalies are later explained as magic. See also ScienceFantasy, MaybeMagicMaybeMundane, MaybeMagicMaybeMundane for when the phenomena is inadequately explained either way and ClarkesThirdLaw.

the characters just can't tell. FantasticScience for when the scientist begins to make magic their field of study. PostModernMagik for when the magic takes cues from technology.

To see Magic A Versus Magic B, there's UnEqualRites.
If you were looking for a trope where scientists and wizards actually get into a brawl, see TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar.
TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar. ScienceFantasy is a genre for the heavy mixing of the two, which may or may not contain such a war. HowUnscientific is a violation of GenreConsistency that allows a work to temporarily operate as ScienceFantasy.
20th Apr '17 9:39:31 PM ultimomant
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* This was the motivation for Nickelodeon to make the trilogy of {{crossover}}s between ''WesternAnimation/{{The Fairly OddParents}}'' and ''[[WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutron Jimmy Neutron]]. Jimmy, despite seeing Cosmo, Wanda, Fairy World as a whole, and several magical feats preformed, still flat out refuses to believe magic has anything to do with it in the first one. In the second crossover and the comics published in ''Nickelodeon Magazine'', he accepts magic, but argues with Timmy over which is the best.

to:

* This was the motivation for Nickelodeon to make the trilogy of {{crossover}}s between ''WesternAnimation/{{The Fairly OddParents}}'' ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' and ''[[WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutron Jimmy Neutron]].Neutron]]''. Jimmy, despite seeing Cosmo, Wanda, Fairy World as a whole, and several magical feats preformed, still flat out refuses to believe magic has anything to do with it in the first one. In the second crossover and the comics published in ''Nickelodeon Magazine'', he accepts magic, but argues with Timmy over which is the best.
This list shows the last 10 events of 424. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.MagicVersusScience