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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:29 am 
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I'm asking this in a serious manner.

It seems that the Planeswalker Spark is some magical element that is randomly given to specific beings, of sentient life. This sentient life ends up getting enormous amounts of power as they are able to go to areas others cannot.

I'm thinking about what fields of study this kind of phenomenon ends up being related to. If there is a group of scholars that learned of the planeswalker spark, and want to study it, what kinds of knowledge would they have to employ or overwrite to discover all of its secrets, and possibly replicate the phenomena?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:45 am 
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Well, we know from Yawgmoth's attempts to find a planeswalker's "organ" that it would absolutely not fall under the field of biology. The Spark does not, in any way, appear to be a physical thing, so any of the physical sciences are out. At some periods of Magic's history and the uses some planeswalkers have put their powers to, theology might be appropriate, but I would say metaphysics in general, or perhaps even philosophy.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:06 am 
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The planeswalker's spark is attached to the soul, right? Considering that souls can have real, tangible effects on the physical world in the Magic multiverse, I'd hesitate to say that they can't be comprehended by the physical sciences.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:10 am 
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Pneumatology or possibly Metapneumatology with a minor in psychology.
Or at least that's probably where you'd have to start, in terms of trying to replicate it, that'd require a totally different skill set probably related to the very fabric of the multiverse.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:33 am 
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Metaphysical biology.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:16 pm 
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Well, we know from Yawgmoth's attempts to find a planeswalker's "organ" that it would absolutely not fall under the field of biology. The Spark does not, in any way, appear to be a physical thing, so any of the physical sciences are out. At some periods of Magic's history and the uses some planeswalkers have put their powers to, theology might be appropriate, but I would say metaphysics in general, or perhaps even philosophy.

YAWGMOTH IS AN IDIOT

PHILOSOPHY

The most obvious guess for me is physics. By definition, science is incomplete if it can't explain all phenomena that its laws are supposed to cover.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:29 pm 
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I don't think biology or physics apply. They're both the study of the physical world.
You're going to have to defend your assertion that planeswalker abilities are controlled biologically.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:40 pm 
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Metaphysics
Philosophy
Theology
Arcanology (A fantasy universe needs to have a "Study of Magic" field)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:20 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
I don't think biology or physics apply. They're both the study of the physical world.
You're going to have to defend your assertion that planeswalker abilities are controlled biologically.

With the exception of Karn, which is an artificial Planeswalker that was created by Urza, planeswalkers are mostly biological in nature, and don't have a clearly mechanical means to activate their abilities.

In fact, all mages don't have a mechanical or technological means to activate their abilities. So somehow, their control over these special powers is a phenomena that biology should be trying to explain. Planeswalkers are able to control their powers with significantly more finesse than something that just magically does stuff at random. Therefore, there needs to be a way that they control this power, and be able to think about what they want done with their power.

If we were to show the logic architecture of doing anything, it looks something like this:
Brain -> something -> action.

For controlling machines and irl tech, it looks something like this:
Brain -> move finger -> finger manipulates outside world -> buttons pressed on machine -> machine does instructions.

But what about planeswalking or spellcasting? The logic architecture doesn't have anything to explain how mages call upon energy to do work, or shift spacetime, unless they have an extra, unknown appendage to make this work.

If the laws of physics alone had to bend to ensure this spell casting would work, the movement of everyone is going to be extremely restricted, because the current known ways for a body to interact with the outside world is simply mechanical, or through excretions. At the moment, it appears unlikely the body can produce enough electricity to create an electric discharge strong enough to kill people.

In a world such as MtG, the laws of biology would have to bend to support the multiverse's existing phenomena.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
I don't think biology or physics apply. They're both the study of the physical world.
You're going to have to defend your assertion that planeswalker abilities are controlled biologically.

With the exception of Karn, which is an artificial Planeswalker that was created by Urza, planeswalkers are mostly biological in nature, and don't have a clearly mechanical means to activate their abilities.

Neither does Karn.
Karn isn't an artificial planeswalker in the sense that he's built to planeswalk, but rather, he's the conglomeration of souls that makes up the gestalt being known as Karn.
And one of those souls is Urza.

Quote:
In fact, all mages don't have a mechanical or technological means to activate their abilities. So somehow, their control over these special powers is a phenomena that biology should be trying to explain. Planeswalkers are able to control their powers with significantly more finesse than something that just magically does stuff at random. Therefore, there needs to be a way that they control this power, and be able to think about what they want done with their power.

If we were to show the logic architecture of doing anything, it looks something like this:
Brain -> something -> action.

For controlling machines and irl tech, it looks something like this:
Brain -> move finger -> finger manipulates outside world -> buttons pressed on machine -> machine does instructions.

But what about planeswalking or spellcasting? The logic architecture doesn't have anything to explain how mages call upon energy to do work, or shift spacetime, unless they have an extra, unknown appendage to make this work.

That's exactlt the phyrexian logic that led yawgmoth to look for an organ, but we've been explicitly told it's part of the soul, something that to our knowledge has no physicality.
So how do you propose we find the biology of the soul?
What is, after all, the nature of the soul?

Quote:
If the laws of physics alone had to bend to ensure this spell casting would work, the movement of everyone is going to be extremely restricted, because the current known ways for a body to interact with the outside world is simply mechanical, or through excretions. At the moment, it appears unlikely the body can produce enough electricity to create an electric discharge strong enough to kill people.

In a world such as MtG, the laws of biology would have to bend to support the multiverse's existing phenomena.

The act of planeswalking, in most instances, is described in terms without physical experience. It's a disembodiment because the Blind Eternities are anathema to matter itself.

Part of the problem with trying to use physics is that physics is unequipped to process mana and aether. Our understanding of it can't include those elements.

A huge part of spellcasting is tied to either intellectual pursuit or spirituality, things that are impossible to biologically quantify.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:46 pm 
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If a soul exists, then the examination of how it works is a subfield of biology. Biology, among other things, is the field that analyzes the taxonomy, identification, distribution, evolution, growth, function, and structure of life and living organisms.

If a soul exists, and it's part of the structure of a living organism, then analysis of the soul is a matter of biology.

So nonetheless, any advances in the analysis of planeswalking, at least in regards to how people control or activate it, is a subfield of biology.

I still do think that physics is also involved with planeswalking, because to analyze planeswalking and how it moves through spacetime, it's essentially the analysis of matter moving through another dimension of space, which falls under this field.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:14 pm 
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If a soul exists, then the examination of how it works is a subfield of biology. Biology, among other things, is the field that analyzes the taxonomy, identification, distribution, evolution, growth, function, and structure of life and living organisms.

If a soul exists, and it's part of the structure of a living organism, then analysis of the soul is a matter of biology.

So nonetheless, any advances in the analysis of planeswalking, at least in regards to how people control or activate it, is a subfield of biology.

I still do think that physics is also involved with planeswalking, because to analyze planeswalking and how it moves through spacetime, it's essentially the analysis of matter moving through another dimension of space, which falls under this field.

By that kind of definition, everything is either Math or Physics. Chemistry is just applied Physics and Biology is just applied Chemistry.

If magic and the soul exist in a provable fashion, you need a new branch of science to investigate them. Similarly, higher-dimensional Physics (as the study if the Blind Eternities) would be its own branch separate from Astronomy and its relatives like Astrophysics.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:26 pm 
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If a soul exists, then the examination of how it works is a subfield of biology. Biology, among other things, is the field that analyzes the taxonomy, identification, distribution, evolution, growth, function, and structure of life and living organisms.

If a soul exists, and it's part of the structure of a living organism, then analysis of the soul is a matter of biology.

So nonetheless, any advances in the analysis of planeswalking, at least in regards to how people control or activate it, is a subfield of biology.

I still do think that physics is also involved with planeswalking, because to analyze planeswalking and how it moves through spacetime, it's essentially the analysis of matter moving through another dimension of space, which falls under this field.

But that provides the idea that the soul is part of the structure. In cases of souls, you have to contend with the concepts of the afterlife as well, the existence of life after life.

Another thing that must be addressed is that for the vast majority of their existence, as well as the game, planeswalkers were non-physical entities, a consciousness without body that could create a physical form to wear like a suit.

How do you define that in terms of biology? It would require a totally new method to the point that it wouldn't qualify as related to any other form of biology, and at that point, would it even count?

My suggestions are the study of the spirit and the soul. Pneumotology and Psychology respectively. They seen the most accurate to the question at hand.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:10 pm 
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Its almost like magic is by definition beyond comprehension...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:12 pm 
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Spoiler

By that kind of definition, everything is either Math or Physics. Chemistry is just applied Physics and Biology is just applied Chemistry.

If magic and the soul exist in a provable fashion, you need a new branch of science to investigate them. Similarly, higher-dimensional Physics (as the study if the Blind Eternities) would be its own branch separate from Astronomy and its relatives like Astrophysics.

Your logic is sound, and I cannot break it. But, it doesn't prove that the study of planeswalking does not fall under biology, because the set of all biological knowledge (biology) also includes knowledge about how specific organs work (neurology). So I guess it would be a subset of biology.

I still think the idea of
Barinellos wrote:
I don't think biology or physics apply. They're both the study of the physical world.

is still false.

There is still the problem where a lot of walkers can end up dead (and planeswalking ability removed) through decapitation, as even Urza was weakened heavily when he was decapitated, and that is not even considering the consequences of Phylactery Lich and other such characters existing. Not to mention the many other ways a walker can end up dead, no less by being impaled by a god.

So there's some requirement for a planeswalker to be alive if they want to planeswalk in the first place. Also, I noticed that Urza's spark only activated when he gotten the mightstone and weakstone close together, which could be a mechanical means of planeswalking created by the Thran Empire. So him still being a powerful mage when almost dead, as well as Karn being a planeswalker, is certainly an outlier.

Its almost like magic is by definition beyond comprehension...

You're fired.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:46 pm 
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You'll recall that decapitation is not actually fatal to a walker. But more so, since we know, beyond doubt, that the spark is a portion of the soul, we have to look at that as the basis for the research. Getting into the fact that the soul can exist separately from the body, as in the case of liches and ghosts, we have to conclude that the soul itself is not beholden to biological function. It transcends life, in this context.

Now, we do identify that the spark, on the other hand, is tied to a vital force, but stating it is a biological function and can be explained as such, runs contrary to the explicit statement we have regarding the soul, as well as the empirical evidence we can observe add to the soul's existence after death.

And no, the might and weakstone were not mechanical means to planeswalk. Even if you want to take that angle, the only way you can is by acknowledging that they contained Glacian's soul, and consequently his latent spark, further cementing that it is a non-biological phenomenon.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:20 pm 
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Saying that the spark is biological because biological components (the brain) can interact with it is like saying that a ball is biological because I can use my biological foot to kick it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Wouldn't the study of souls fall into necormancy in some schools of magical study?

Study of the blind eternities and planeswalking would probably be found in something along the lines of 'transplanar cosmology'?

You might have to do some weird things if math doesn't apply to the blind eternities though, which could be possible under some descriptions of it, although most descriptions it is safe enough to say that at least math should still apply in some fashions, although likely not most concepts of normal physics as we know them in this world, and likely not most elements of physics found in the typical magical world, quite possibly including normal concepts of conservation of energy. Just about one of the only things we do know applies to the blind eternities (if only because of the side effects to it of time travel) is causality.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:20 pm 
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Wouldn't the study of souls fall into necormancy in some schools of magical study?

Study of the blind eternities and planeswalking would probably be found in something along the lines of 'transplanar cosmology'?

You might have to do some weird things if math doesn't apply to the blind eternities though, which could be possible under some descriptions of it, although most descriptions it is safe enough to say that at least math should still apply in some fashions, although likely not most concepts of normal physics as we know them in this world, and likely not most elements of physics found in the typical magical world, quite possibly including normal concepts of conservation of energy. Just about one of the only things we do know applies to the blind eternities (if only because of the side effects to it of time travel) is causality.


I don't know about the rest of this discussion, but from what I have read distance is still a concept in the blind eternities, so math yet apply to it.


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