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Author Topic: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?  (Read 3697 times)

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Draconis Rex

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Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« on: September 18, 2012, 03:27:12 PM »

An intriguing topic for you all to get your teeth into folks. I have no doubt that some of you may have given the same thoughts to this one at sometime, but has anyone really addressed it?
However, let's keep this one nice and clean, no fall outs and all blows above the belt.

It has often crossed my mind that Witchcraft of yesteryear could be considered the science of its age. In the absence of anything vaguely resembling any form of technology, it was all done by hand and with a lot of experimentation. The mixing of herbs to make potions for instance; this could be the precursor to Chemistry, Pharmacology and Botany. Obviously Witches studied nature very closely, studying the very nature of animal and plant life. Biology? And in a way genetics. Lets look at the sky and consider, who at this time was watching the movement of the stars and the phases of the moon? Astronomy/Astrology perhaps?

What about the behaviour of the local inhabitants of the nearby village? Psychology? OK I may be stretching things a little but consider; a witch living alone, mistrusted and frowned upon. That Witch had to be aware of other people's behaviour for the sake of survival. So maybe not so far fetched as it looked.

Obviously I could take this further but at the end of the day, it would seem that ancient Witches were ALL ROUND scientists of their time. Not specialising in a single discipline as scientists do now, but dabbling in most or all aspects.

Now before I get lambasted here, I am in no way saying that Witchcraft is outmoded. I wouldn't dare. I merely offer this topic up for discussion because I am interested in everyone else’s thoughts


                                                             DISCUS!
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Firesong

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 03:43:22 PM »

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Draconis Rex

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 03:53:46 PM »

Well thanx for putting the effort in there Firesong....LoL  :D :-p :D
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Bri

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 06:27:52 PM »

It could be the true science
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oldghost

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 07:55:19 PM »

It was not always that Witch hid outside of village , for them it was not fear but there they were closed to the supplies they need to practice their craft.
 
Yes you could say Witchcraft was the precursor of science , but more likely a distant relative . An one that is very much still around.
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naturalpaganmomma

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 05:36:06 AM »

Lets remember also that healers, mainly female, ended up being classed as witches once upon a time. Most didn't practice magickal arts. They merely had the knowledge of which root, herb, or plant helped ease which condition. They had an understanding of how the body worked. To be perfectly honest, it seemed in many situations the healers treatments were more effective than what was classed as conventional medicine. Think about it, bleeding a sick person is not a very good idea, and some died from the treatment alone.

Now technically, both are forms of medicine. Medicine is a science, but due to the split ages ago with the disagreeing theories and practices of treating patients, one was labeled as witchcraft. Today it's called holistic medicine and sadly still not recognized by most in the conventional medical field as viable, which in my opinion is sad.

This is some additional food for thought on the subject...
You still hear the term "witchdoctor" used in certain circles regarding certain peoples and their beliefs. Now when you read the definitions of science below as per Dictionary.com: witchdoctoring, folk healing, and/or holistic medicine can all be classed as sciences due to their practice and the knowledge the practitioners garner through their workings. All three are forms of "systematized knowledge in general", but none are classed as a science the last I checked.

sci·ence [sahy-uhns]
noun
1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
3. any of the branches of natural or physical science.
4. systematized knowledge in general.
5. knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 12:27:41 PM »

It was not always that Witch hid outside of village , for them it was not fear but there they were closed to the supplies they need to practice their craft.
 
Yes you could say Witchcraft was the precursor of science , but more likely a distant relative . An one that is very much still around.

Point taken and accepted, but I merely used that scenario as an illustration to my post. I would imagine that there would still be a degree of sceptisism by the rest of the inhabitants though, after all, who would be blamed if a milk cow stopped giving milk?

I would'nt say a distant relative, unless your talking great, great, great, great grand mother. I see science as a descendant that branched of into different disciplines. And yes, very much still around; possibly because science hasn't yet managed to explain EVERYTHING about the craft yet.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 12:44:56 PM »

Lets remember also that healers, mainly female, ended up being classed as witches once upon a time. Most didn't practice magickal arts. They merely had the knowledge of which root, herb, or plant helped ease which condition. They had an understanding of how the body worked. To be perfectly honest, it seemed in many situations the healers treatments were more effective than what was classed as conventional medicine. Think about it, bleeding a sick person is not a very good idea, and some died from the treatment alone.

Now technically, both are forms of medicine. Medicine is a science, but due to the split ages ago with the disagreeing theories and practices of treating patients, one was labeled as witchcraft. Today it's called holistic medicine and sadly still not recognized by most in the conventional medical field as viable, which in my opinion is sad.

Of course, and it certainly wasn't my intention to leave out the healers in my OP. The healers of yesteryear have given the medical profession a jump start with the knowledge they already had and passed along. It is indeed unfortunate that more of the old ways haven't been carried further forward and recognised. For many people Holistic healing, crystals, herbalism, and various others have genuine positive results. But, because science can't explain it more conclusively to it's own liking, it's not considered a bonefide practise and still seen as hokum.

This is some additional food for thought on the subject...
You still hear the term "witchdoctor" used in certain circles regarding certain peoples and their beliefs. Now when you read the definitions of science below as per Dictionary.com: witchdoctoring, folk healing, and/or holistic medicine can all be classed as sciences due to their practice and the knowledge the practitioners garner through their workings. All three are forms of "systematized knowledge in general", but none are classed as a science the last I checked.

Again I reference my last comment above.

sci·ence [sahy-uhns]
noun
1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
3. any of the branches of natural or physical science.
4. systematized knowledge in general.
5. knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.

Here I think the dictionary does not describe fully enough the meaning of science. What about determination, experimentation and extrapolation? The very principle of what science is based on. The theoretical sciences like quanta also seem to be missing. A lot of what science is, is principle and theoretical and accepted as rote until otherwise disproved or confirmed.
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oldghost

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 01:52:53 PM »

If there were more Witches around we'd need less doctors . They say science can explain everything , that could be true ( don't believe it myself ) but if you don't going looking for and answer you'll never find it. Also you will not believe things, if you whole life you have been told they are not real .
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 02:09:39 PM »

If things are considered to be "utterly ridiculous" then there's less chance of it being analysed scientifically. Any scientist studying the authenticity of, say, Tarot cards, is in danger of being ridiculed by colleagues and so won't take on the study...... This is an illustration to make a point so don't berate me on the finer points please.....LoL  :D
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oldghost

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 03:49:59 PM »

No one with and open mind would berate you .
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 03:55:02 PM »

I know OG....LoL  ;) Just playing safe. Arf Arf Arf
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oldghost

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2012, 04:25:12 PM »

Just don't open your mind to far , your brain could fall out ::)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 11:40:46 AM by oldghost »
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2012, 04:27:53 PM »

Don't worry OG, not much there to lose anyway.  :-p :-p :-p
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oldghost

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Re: Witchcraft; yesterdays science?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 04:39:53 PM »

Stick around then we'll fill it up for you  ;D .
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