What is Magic and Can it Be Explained by Science?

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 20th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

I answered a discussion of a good friend of mine that said that lucid dreams are magic you can actually change your dreams so they can turn out the way you want them too, well that is true only it is science, psychologists will and can help people with these dreams, so in my view if it can be explained scientifically it is not magic.

Voodoo and curare

Voodoo priests used to make people appear dead and a few days later they were back to life and scaring everyone. But science now knows that they used a drug called curare that paralyzed the person for days and when the drug wore off (incidentally the drug can kill you it is poison) in a couple of days. So that is again science.

Curare has been around for centuries it has been used for good and bad. The ancient African warriors dipped their arrowheads in curare to kill their victims, human and animal alike. Similarly the conquistadors found that they were the victims of poisoning by arrows dipped in curare when they encountered the South American Native people and tried to overtake their land.

In addition curare has been used as an esthetic before an operation. Curare is also useful in blocking the nerves that cause pain and is useful in suppressing convulsions etc.

From a death producing agent, a cheap trick in voodoo as a paralyzing agent and a breakthrough in modern science, curare serves many important functions but it not and I repeat not magic.

What is science

Now of course you can call anything magic, aim your remote control and your TV turns on can be called magic in the broadest sense of the word, but it is not magic, it is science. Even though you or I do not know how to make the remote control work beyond pushing buttons, a scientist does. Nobody put the piece together haphazardly and chanted a few incantations and voila magic happened. The principal of science was used to bring about the functionality of this device.

What is magic?

So how can we define magic, is it a process that is devoid of all science? Is it something that cannot be explained, it is supernatural, divine providence, natural forces or the sleight of hand from a magicians bag of tricks. Is a magician still a magician if everything he does can be explained, or does he deserve the title of magician simply through his ability to entertain?

According to dictionary definitions magic can be any of these things, I see that magic really does not have a clear cut definition and therefore subject to all sorts of interpretations. If that be the case then my friend is not wrong, however, I still base my case on if it can be explained by science than to me it will never be magic.

Should the magician be humble because everything is explained through science or should the scientist be humble that what he or she knows in the future may only be considered as magic?

After all is said, I still base my case on if it can be explained by science than to me it will never be magic.

All photos are taken from the public domain

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Bag Of Tricks, Curare, Divine Providence, Magic, Magician, Magicians, Natural Forces, Science, Science And Magic, Sleight Of Hand, Supernatural, Voodoo, Voodoo Priests

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Kingwell
20th Apr 2015 (#)

I agree with you Carol. Just because something cannot be explained today does not mean that their is no scientific explanation. It simply means we are not able to explain it yet. Blessings.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th Apr 2015 (#)

The tricks of magic are getting unraveled with the spread of internet. Looks like there is no more magic now that cannot be explained by science - siva

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author avatar Utah Jay
20th Apr 2015 (#)

Everything must be proven by science fact, but not so much by theory, which is science unproved...There is no such thing as magic other than it is an art form, a slight of hand trick to make the grandchildren smile. I love your writing Carol and I am sorry that I have missed so much of it lately with the new baby and the convention, but there is good news as I have been invited to have a sales table for my art and a book (if I can get it written in time) for the next convention in October. There were 6000+ who attended so I will be very busy for the next few months, but I will always take time to stop in and read you...Blessings.

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author avatar Retired
20th Apr 2015 (#)

Interesting article, Carol. Ditto what Siva-ji said. :)

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author avatar Carol Roach
20th Apr 2015 (#)

utah I am so happy for you, that is wonderful you work is really good and you deserved all the success and accolades that you can get

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author avatar spirited
21st Apr 2015 (#)

"if it can be explained by science than to me it will never be magic"

What if it can be explained by pseudo-science only for now though?

Science will I guess eventually uncover what is not currently being explained in one way or another.

I believe that even
Jesus walking on water will be explained by science one day.

What I mean is that there must be a knowledge based reason behind it. He knew something that we don't know as yet, I assume here.

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author avatar brendamarie
22nd Apr 2015 (#)

Very interesting article Carol.

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