Senior Member
In the book "Dreams of a final theory," Steven Weinberg says (page 47):

This discussion of the reality of the laws of nature might become less academic if we made contact with other intelligent beings on distant planets who had also worked out scientific explanations for natural phenomena. Would we find that they had discovered the same laws of nature? Whatever laws were discovered by extraterrestrials would naturally be expressed in different language and notation, but we could still ask whether there is some sort of correspondence between their laws and our laws. If so, it would be hard to deny the objective reality of these laws.

What is the meaning of "less academic" in this context, please? Thank you.
  • Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    "Academic" = not practical; "less academic" = more practical.
    See definition #3 in the dictionary at the top of this page.
    (Actually, two dictionaries are quoted, and it is #3 in both of them.)
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