Does Dr. Brian Cox need to be taken out to the logic woodshed?

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    Seems Feynman’s point about explaining “why” to someone would also apply to explaining “how”, which makes me wonder more why (whoops!) I’m prejudiced against the word why in a scientific context. I can imagine scientists wondering why an experiment worked or not, and then determining how to manipulate its outcome. Kids like to ask why more than how.

    I think I’m overly hung up on this, probably because why is used or implied so much in God and spiritual talk, e.g. “Everything Happens for a reason”, and “God sent that tornado because they’re gay there”. How about someone having really bad luck and wondering “Why is this happening to me?”, as if there’s a mysterious plan or trajectory of events. There’s often an emotional component to why and because that doesn’t exist in the more mechanical how. “How can I fix this?” is usually a lot more useful.

    Anyhow, so I guess that’s why my judgement goes overboard against using the why word, especially in science.

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