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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Oct 2012
    Boston, MA

    Default Re: Silly Childhood Misconceptions on Fantasy Elements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    You're missing the point. "Science" isn't something that excludes magic, and magic doesn't escape science.

    Science is a process. You can easily have "magical" and "non-magical" things, just as we have in the real world "electrical" and "non-electrical" technology. "Magic" is just some set of things which operate using rules that are part of that...magic. Whether it's "magic energy" that enables things otherwise impossible, or something else entirely.

    If magic defies scientific inquiry, that means it is highly inconsistent. You can do the same thing 11 times and come up with so many different results that you couldn't begin to even do statistics on them. At which point, magic isn't something you can "do."

    The moment magic is something one can "do," it becomes subject to meaningful scientific study, as you can document it, do experiments, and at least get a probabilistic sense for how things will go.
    But that's not necessarily what science is in a story; it might be any number of other things. Maybe it's the danger of humanity overstepping its natural boundaries, and playing with forces it doesn't understand. Maybe it's an imbalance of power between social classes. Maybe it's our salvation, something we should all praise and seek to advance. What's important is what it represents. Things in fiction don't have static, singular definitions the way they do in real life--they can change according to what the writer wants to communicate about the real world. Science doesn't have to be all-encompassing in a story if the writer doesn't want it to be, and there can be room for things beyond its scope.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    So? Even in Doylist settings, readers can (and, for reasonably popular ones, probably have) come up with explanations or at least patterns that are never mentioned in the works set in said settings. Imagine what someone who lived in the world could do.
    But those explanations by the characters don't exist. You can't judge a text based on things that aren't part of it; if you make up explanations for things in a setting that don't appear to make sense, that's no indication that characters in the text have done the same. The only thing that can indicate that is if the text says so. The worlds fiction takes place in are not, by definition, complete worlds, and the logic on which they function isn't complete either; they exist only as much as they need to for the story to be told. If they were complete worlds, they'd be real.
    Last edited by Amaril; 2016-09-22 at 03:54 PM.