Science Can Keep You Alive is Magic Fails

Harry thought, considered, chose his weapon. "Draco, you want to explain the whole blood purity thing to me? I'm sort of new."

A wide smile crossed Draco's face. "You really should meet Father and ask him, you know, he's our leader."

"Give me the thirty-second version."

"Okay," Draco said. He drew in a deep breath, and his voice grew slightly lower, and took on a cadence. "Our powers have grown weaker, generation by generation, as the mudblood taint increases. Where Salazar and Godric and Rowena and Helga once raised Hogwarts by their power, creating the Locket and the Sword and the Diadem and the Cup, no wizard of these faded days has risen to rival them. We are fading, all fading into Muggles as we interbreed with their spawn and allow our Squibs to live. If the taint is not checked, soon our wands will break and all our arts cease, the line of Merlin will end and the blood of Atlantis fail. Our children will be left scratching at the dirt to survive like the mere Muggles, and darkness will cover all the world for ever." Draco took another swig from his drinks can, looking satisfied; that seemed to be the whole argument as far as he was concerned.

"Persuasive," Harry said, meaning it descriptively rather than normatively. It was a standard pattern: The Fall from Grace, the need to guard what purity remained against contamination, the past sloping upwards and the future sloping only down. And that pattern also had itscounter... "I have to correct you on one point of fact, though. Your information about the Muggles is a bit out of date. We aren't exactly scratching at the dirt anymore."

Draco's head snapped around. "What? What do you mean, we? "

"We. The scientists. The line of Francis Bacon and the blood of the Enlightenment. Muggles didn't just sit around crying about not having wands, we have our own powers now, with or without magic. If all your powers fail then we will all have lost something very precious, because your magic is the only hint we have as to how the universe must really work - but you won't be left scratching at the ground. Your houses will still be cool in summer and warm in winter, there will still be doctors and medicine. Science can keep you alive if magic fails. It'd be a tragedy, but not literally the end of all the light in the world. Just saying."


Rational Harry Potter explains to Draco the error in his thinking that muggles are thinning out the magic in the world and making it weaker.

Folksonomies: science two cultures magic self reliance

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Harry Potter (0.928171): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Francis Bacon (0.674155): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Blood (0.672628): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Wrong, Less and Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2010), Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Retrieved on 2013-04-08
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  • Folksonomies: science humor satire fan fiction