Gransnet forums


Magic? Or science?

(71 Posts)
KatGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 30-May-13 10:04:25

Jessica Madge (our very own JessM) looks at the merge of magic with science, and our fascination with the supernatural. What kind of magic do you believe in? If any?

Read her guest blog post here. We have two (e-book) copies to give away to people who comment on this thread.

Oldgreymare Thu 30-May-13 10:14:57

I would love to read this but I am being blocked! sad

Elegran Thu 30-May-13 10:19:06

Well done JessM Everything you write is reasoned and readable.

whenim64 Thu 30-May-13 10:19:48

Great blog, Jess! As someone who has asked uncomfortable questions of adults since a very young age, I find my questions are answered by scientists, and none by mystics, clerics and magicians. Clever popular scientists like Professor Brian Cox have translated so much complex information into easy to understand facts and figures, that our younger generations won't have the great divide to navigate that our generation did, because they get fed so much less mumbo-jumbo than we experienced.

Science for me every time. I have never found consolation or solution by looking in the direction of magic and mysticism.

j08 Thu 30-May-13 11:07:12

I don't class 'ghosts', or spiritual healing as magic.

Stansgran Thu 30-May-13 11:11:44

I thoroughly enjoy the books by Alice Hoffman. I think they have a category Magical Reality which I've seen them called. And many books for children which weren't around when I was a child Which witch? By Eva Ibbotson springs to mind. It doesn't mean that I believe in the supernatural but I do believe in the power of the mind when allied to science specifically modern medicine . Positive thinking can help recovery, it doesn't cure ,the science does that.

j08 Thu 30-May-13 11:13:03

I do not accept that anyone really believes in astrology. Or if they do, where's the harm in it.

So that just leaves "guardian angels". In other words, more religion knocking.


j08 Thu 30-May-13 11:13:48

Science and religion can , and do, co-exist.

janerowena Thu 30-May-13 11:22:54

I don't think she does either - she does say magical, miraculous or supernatural.

It's very true to my own experience. I have a scientific/mathematical OH and son, and they both retreat into scifi when they are feeling down. I do too, but not to the same extent. I think that allowing ourselves to believe in those things for just a few minutes, even while our subconscious minds are chuntering away below telling us it isn't possible, gives our brains a bit of a break.

j08 Thu 30-May-13 11:40:01

"What kind d of magic do you believe in?" And lists amongst other things, ghosts and spiritual healing. (first line)

janerowena Thu 30-May-13 11:41:31

They are kind of magical though, don't you think? In a nice way.

j08 Thu 30-May-13 11:47:35


Galen Thu 30-May-13 11:49:14

I love scifi!

j08 Thu 30-May-13 11:51:30

Most of us will have managed by now to get the gist of how mobile phones work. Regardless of our education. We don't think it's magic! grin

j08 Thu 30-May-13 12:04:34

Yes Galen. But do you confuse it with t he real world?

Butty Thu 30-May-13 12:47:05

Good to see your blog post Jess. Makes an interesting read.

j08 Thu 30-May-13 14:51:27

Why does the writer accuse parents who refuse vaccination for their kids of being un or anti scientific? Many of these parents have researched at great length. Blame the scientists who got it wrong.

j08 Thu 30-May-13 15:01:00

"We need to acknowledge our fascination with the supernatural, know it for what it is and steer it gently but firmly into the realms of fiction"

What is that if not religion knocking?!

Nelliemoser Thu 30-May-13 16:23:31

I do not understand the appeal of the fantasy genre of novels or films.
Like J R Tolkien and other films or novels where muscled bronzed hero's go about waving swords slaying draqons and righting wrongs somewhere in the future.

If something is science fiction then I like it to have good but believable science. As I have an interest in Geology and earth sciences in general I don't like stuff where the science just would not work. Like some geological disaster movies where often, the events shown just would not happen in the same places or with the time scales shown. Volcano and The Day after Tommorow. I must be a harsh realist!

I do like some fantasy type stuff I watched "Midnight in Paris" recently, a lovely literary time travel romp, quite impossibly silly but really engaging. I also enjoy Indiana Jones films. I think its something about such films not trying to take themselves too seriously. Which is what I found with the Lord of the Rings stuff.

annodomini Thu 30-May-13 17:00:33

J08 is showing every sign of being afraid of Jess's challenge to belief in magic and the supernatural. Why?

j08 Thu 30-May-13 17:04:08

Oh yes Annodomini. That'll be it. hmm

Greatnan Thu 30-May-13 17:20:31

I like sci-fi when it is concerned with the possible social order in the future, like 'The Handmaid's Tale' but I am not interested in boys' toys-type technology.
I just can't relate to films, books or plays that rely on any kind of magic or the supernatural. Greek tragedies, where gods can just upset the whole plot, leave me cold. How can you engage with the characters when something quite illogical can happen at any time?

Religion, by definition, is concerned with the supernatural.

Greatnan Thu 30-May-13 17:27:01

I agree with everything you say about quacks and snake-oil salesmen, Jess!
I think mediums and astrologers, tarot readers, etc. are very often charlatans, cheats and crooks who prey upon the naïve and vulnerable.

j08 Thu 30-May-13 17:42:48

Perhaps more spiritual than supernatural.

j08 Thu 30-May-13 17:43:49

Gosh yes! Watch out for charlatans! shock