Magic and Science



The Scottish anthropologist James Frazer wrote, in his classic study of primitive beliefs The Golden Bough

If we analyze the principles of thought on which magic is based, we shall find they may be expressed in two laws; first....; and second that two objects, having once been in contact with each other, continue to exert a mutual influence after the connection has been severed.

Most of Physics, and all of Science, is based on the converse of this, which is Einstein's Principle of Locality. Note that, elsewhere in The Golden Bough, Frazer refers to magic as "the bastard sister of Science".

For further remarks on the more general humanist implications of my argument, see my title page Einstein the enigma.