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Author Topic: Religion...and SCIENCE! (Nee - Re: Oh..those people at westboro baptist are at it again! o3o)  (Read 13300 times)

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Online HairyHeretic

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Why can't a scientist be a Creationist I don't see a conflict one can fully accept the Universe and its mysteries as science is the rationalization of what we see. Creationism is the Mystery of God as to how He made it as revealed in the Bible a matter of simple faith. Just ignore the former when it conflicts with the latter.

The problem would be that most Creationists seem to be of the variety that think the Earth is about 6000 years old. You can see how that might conflict somewhat with science.

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The problem would be that most Creationists seem to be of the variety that think the Earth is about 6000 years old. You can see how that might conflict somewhat with science.
I personally think that when you deal with a being like God (or a god the Bible does not deny the existence of others) that time truly is relative. 6000 years is as good as 65 billion, is as good as six seconds.

Moses: "God how long did it take you to make the earth, and the universe, and everything?"
God: "Well it really took me about ten microseconds but... lets just say shy of seven days for a nice round number."

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As the hymn goes, 'A thousand ages in God's sight / are like an evening gone / short as the watch that ends the night / before the morning comes.'

One creationist that I met used that to completely correlate Genesis with the fossil record.

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As the hymn goes, 'A thousand ages in God's sight / are like an evening gone / short as the watch that ends the night / before the morning comes.'

One creationist that I met used that to completely correlate Genesis with the fossil record.
I have pointed out several times that the Big-Bang Theory almost perfectly parallels the Creation in Genesis.

Offline Brandon

And, of course, there isn't any pressure at all within the scientific community to eschew belief in an imaginary friend up beyond the clouds.

Hint for all you non-scientists: There is.

Acctually Ive suspected that was the case for a long time.

One interesting stereotype Ive seen in the past (and only once on Elliquiy) is that any scientist with a spiritual belief must be using their expertise to prove things from the bible/god. That thinking is of course perposterous, although if it were an individual that had done that before I can see skeptism coming into play. Anyway, by that same thinking atheism cant be trusted either because theyre trying to prove events from the bible and the existance of god dont exist. If going by that logic the only scientists you could really trust are Agnostics (people who are undecided)


Offline Silk

I have pointed out several times that the Big-Bang Theory almost perfectly parallels the Creation in Genesis.
He disagrees

What Genesis Got Wrong: Part 1

Offline Trieste

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Acctually Ive suspected that was the case for a long time.

One interesting stereotype Ive seen in the past (and only once on Elliquiy) is that any scientist with a spiritual belief must be using their expertise to prove things from the bible/god. That thinking is of course perposterous, although if it were an individual that had done that before I can see skeptism coming into play. Anyway, by that same thinking atheism cant be trusted either because theyre trying to prove events from the bible and the existance of god dont exist. If going by that logic the only scientists you could really trust are Agnostics (people who are undecided)

Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear usually suspects this is the case... or knows it.

Scientists have in the past bent the facts to suit their spirituality. Of course, scientists have also used their research to prove that Jews/blacks/women/Poles/everything are inferior to Gentiles/whites/men/oppositePoles/yougetthepoint. That there is bias in scientific research is pretty indisputable. That's why we have the peer-review process, to make sure there is protocol in place for other professionals to look over scientific work and call bullshit if need be. The only real folly in the bias itself exists when the scientist(s) refuses to acknowledge - or, worse, tries to mask - his(their) bias.

And there you go, lumping anti-Theists in with Atheists again. Atheists don't have to prove anything, nor are most trying to. Just because someone doesn't believe in divine power or gods doesn't mean they are biased against the idea; saying they are is akin to saying I'm anti-Santa Claus because I don't believe in him (but I wish I did!). For the most part, Atheists as a general group just want theists to leave them the hell alone, already. I am not Atheist, but I have known enough of them for enough years to say with confidence that the majority really, really don't give a flip about the Bible, save in the same way they would study the Rosetta stone.

Offline Serephino

Actually, yes, there is belief in Science.  For instance, in school we learned that the earth is layered.  There is the crust, which is rocks and dirt, then the mantle, which is really hard rock?  Then deep down is magma in the outer core, and a solid inner core.  This is also what is supposed to create gravity if I remember right. 

We know that magma comes up through volcanoes as lava.  That we can see, so it's got to be down there somewhere.  But no one has ever been to the earth's core, so how can you prove that there is a solid center?  I don't even think anyone has gotten all the way through the crust, so how do you know there is even a mantle, let alone how thick it is?  Yes, we know the size of the planet, but how can we know how much of it is mantle, if it's even really there.  What if the center of the earth is really hollow?  That would be interesting... 

That's the only example I can think of right now, but I'm sure there are others.  Also, yesterday on Yahoo news I saw where someone has a theory that gravity isn't real. 

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/features/view/feature/String-Theorist-Gravity-Is-an-Illusion-1604

So yeah, what is scientific law today could be disproved in twenty years.  I don't know if this guy is nuts or what, but I do know that we humans don't know everything, and likely never will.  I'm okay with that. 

 

Offline Brandon

Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear usually suspects this is the case... or knows it.

Scientists have in the past bent the facts to suit their spirituality. Of course, scientists have also used their research to prove that Jews/blacks/women/Poles/everything are inferior to Gentiles/whites/men/oppositePoles/yougetthepoint. That there is bias in scientific research is pretty indisputable. That's why we have the peer-review process, to make sure there is protocol in place for other professionals to look over scientific work and call bullshit if need be. The only real folly in the bias itself exists when the scientist(s) refuses to acknowledge - or, worse, tries to mask - his(their) bias.

And there you go, lumping anti-Theists in with Atheists again. Atheists don't have to prove anything, nor are most trying to. Just because someone doesn't believe in divine power or gods doesn't mean they are biased against the idea; saying they are is akin to saying I'm anti-Santa Claus because I don't believe in him (but I wish I did!). For the most part, Atheists as a general group just want theists to leave them the hell alone, already. I am not Atheist, but I have known enough of them for enough years to say with confidence that the majority really, really don't give a flip about the Bible, save in the same way they would study the Rosetta stone.

I'm having a hard time understanding the difference Trieste. Anti-theists, as you call them, are just a subset of atheist. I might consider them a vocal minority but the word is still synonymous with Atheist and Atheism. Why is it alright for others to continually complain about the vocal minority of religious groups and how the larger groups don't stand up against them, yet when it comes to atheism we see Anti-theists not being chastised by Atheists and thats somehow ok?

Offline Trieste

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That's precisely the problem: you keep saying it's not okay. Which, okay, sure - but don't make the same mistake with a belief system not your own that you don't want people to make about your belief system.

Offline Jude

Actually, yes, there is belief in Science.  For instance, in school we learned that the earth is layered.  There is the crust, which is rocks and dirt, then the mantle, which is really hard rock?  Then deep down is magma in the outer core, and a solid inner core.  This is also what is supposed to create gravity if I remember right.
Gravity is a force that all matter has in common.  The strength of the gravitational attraction is relative to the masses compared and the distances between them.  Of course the equation is more complicated than that, but that's it in a nutshell (the gravitational constant comes into account).  The earth has absolutely nothing to do with it.
We know that magma comes up through volcanoes as lava.  That we can see, so it's got to be down there somewhere.  But no one has ever been to the earth's core, so how can you prove that there is a solid center?  I don't even think anyone has gotten all the way through the crust, so how do you know there is even a mantle, let alone how thick it is?  Yes, we know the size of the planet, but how can we know how much of it is mantle, if it's even really there.  What if the center of the earth is really hollow?  That would be interesting...
People didn't just "guess."  It's all about coming up with the implications of what you hypothesize, then putting in a test to see if those implications hold out.  For example, if you wanted to test that someone was afraid of spiders, there's no real way to "see" arachnophobia by looking at a person.  You have to expose them to a spider and see what happens.  Even then, there's a certain degree of uncertainty involved, which is why you expose that person to a spider over and over again if you want to get a more certain result.  This is how they determined the composition of the earth:  multiple lines of concluding evidence all coming together to indicate that one particular outcome.  That's consensus.

Scientific evidence indicates a potential outcome with a certain degree of likelihood, which is what makes it different from common belief (which typically is lacking rigor, thus incredibly fallible).  Ultimately, you can never know anything for sure.  I think I spoke to my girlfriend this morning before work, but maybe I'm misremembering and it happened another day.  Of course, it's also possible that I imagined the whole affair and I suffer from schizophrenia.  You can never know anything 100%, you can just get close and increase in probability.

That's the only example I can think of right now, but I'm sure there are others.  Also, yesterday on Yahoo news I saw where someone has a theory that gravity isn't real. 

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/features/view/feature/String-Theorist-Gravity-Is-an-Illusion-1604
If you read the article he isn't saying gravity isn't real--that's a great example of poor science journalism--just that he believes that gravity is motivated by other underlying forces, similar (though different) to how magnetic fields can be generated by electrical charges moving (and vice versa).

So yeah, what is scientific law today could be disproved in twenty years.  I don't know if this guy is nuts or what, but I do know that we humans don't know everything, and likely never will.  I'm okay with that.
Every discovery is the doorway to more questions.  I agree, humanity will probably never know everything.

I'm having a hard time understanding the difference Trieste. Anti-theists, as you call them, are just a subset of atheist. I might consider them a vocal minority but the word is still synonymous with Atheist and Atheism. Why is it alright for others to continually complain about the vocal minority of religious groups and how the larger groups don't stand up against them, yet when it comes to atheism we see Anti-theists not being chastised by Atheists and thats somehow ok?
You must not be looking.  One of the first things that most atheists do once they grow out of the anti-theist phase that tends to precede true lack of belief is disassociate themselves from that point of view.  Anti-theists are reactionary in a very disturbing way.  They call on religious institutions for evidence and at the same time proclaim that god does not exist (a position which they have no positive evidence for because it truly cannot be disproven).  It's hypocritical at best, and most people either move on from that point to a definition of atheism that is explicitly a lack of belief (not a belief in a lack) or agnosticism.

Maybe your presumptions against atheists have kept you from actually listening to those who define atheism in the aforementioned way and agnostics.  You definitely wouldn't see agnostics and atheists scolding anti-theists unless you actually involved yourself in the same communities they frequent.

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/

There's one such podcasting group that also serves as the focal point of a community and there's a lot of discussion of atheism, agnosticism, and anti-theism there.  They have a lot of religious listeners despite mostly being atheist (in the lack of belief sense), you might find it interesting.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 12:46:08 AM by Jude »

Offline Trieste

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Every discovery is the doorway to more questions.

QFT, and because I like it.

Offline Brandon

Alright I will try to put in proper distinction between Atheits and anti-theists, however I also need to point out that we have both around here.

@Jude: If lack of belief is a personal definition then alright I can get behind that. Sometimes personal definitions are more precise and meaningful. The idea confuses me a bit though because the dictionary defines atheism as a doctrine or belief that there is no god or disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings

Offline Jude

Up until about 3 months ago I thought atheists were defined as "people who don't believe in god" and that agnostics were people who "didn't know" aka people who didn't have belief in god.  Then when I was listening to the aforementioned podcast, they made mention of that, and one of the atheists on the show mentioned the definitional difference.  There are people who call themselves atheists who don't believe in a god and people who call themselves atheists who believe that there is no god, so you're absolutely right to be confused.

The term "anti-theist" is rarely employed; I don't hear people call themselves that much.  It would be a nice distinction to have, sadly because atheism lacks any sort of structure and is an entirely personal, individualistic belief, there's not really room for any inclusive and exclusive defining.

That's why I always liked the term agnostic (and I guess I still consider myself one even though I do fall loosely into one of the atheistic categories), that way I'm not associated with people like Dawkins and Hitchens who I very much dislike.

Offline Vekseid

Actually, yes, there is belief in Science.  For instance, in school we learned that the earth is layered.  There is the crust, which is rocks and dirt, then the mantle, which is really hard rock?  Then deep down is magma in the outer core, and a solid inner core.  This is also what is supposed to create gravity if I remember right. 

We know that magma comes up through volcanoes as lava.  That we can see, so it's got to be down there somewhere.  But no one has ever been to the earth's core, so how can you prove that there is a solid center?  I don't even think anyone has gotten all the way through the crust, so how do you know there is even a mantle, let alone how thick it is?  Yes, we know the size of the planet, but how can we know how much of it is mantle, if it's even really there.  What if the center of the earth is really hollow?  That would be interesting... 

Earthquakes, nukes (and occasionally other large explosions), and magnetic field analysis.

You can learn a lot about something by the sorts of sound waves that pass through it. If you have a friend and are near a railroad track, for example, you can take a couple of hammers, space yourself far enough apart that you can notice the difference in time between seeing and hearing the hammerfall, then put your ear to the rail and notice how much faster the sound travels through the rail.

There are different types of waves, but the concept is fundamentally the same - by analyzing the different types of waves, and different arrival times for these different types (or in the case of shear waves, if they arrive at all), presents for us very detailed layers of Earth's structure - a solid crust, a plastic mantle, a liquid outer core and a solid inner core.

So the evidence for our understanding of Earth's basic structure is pretty solid (pardon the pun). This gets corroborated with magnetic field analysis, for example. Any further hypothesis, to be a start for further explanations, needs to also explain previously gathered data. While in some instances, saying that prior data gathering was erroneous may apply, this is not exactly the case for a machine anyone with a personal interest can setup in some field somewhere.

For an example of something more contentious, requiring a much keener analysis of our understanding of Earth's internal structure, look up mantle plumes.

Quote
That's the only example I can think of right now, but I'm sure there are others.

Anything you can think of has an explanation. Quite literally - that's what science means. You apply the scientific method over and over again until you have a complete understanding of the Universe.

For the (monotheistic) religious, what better way could there be to know God?

Quote
  Also, yesterday on Yahoo news I saw where someone has a theory that gravity isn't real. 

Be careful about taking your understanding of science from common sources. The only thing we know about gravity is that the effect itself exists, and we know the math that it plays by, but we can only guess at what causes it.

As opposed to electromagnetism and nuclear reactions, which we have a much better understanding of. Explaining what force is exactly is still a doozy, but explaining what light is in terms of the motion of electrically charged particles is a lot easier.

Quote
So yeah, what is scientific law today could be disproved in twenty years.

No.

A valid hypothesis must first explain all previous data.

The Hebrews believed the world was flat. And on local scales, the Earth is flat. It's a reasonable thing to believe, in isolation.
The Greeks managed to figure out that the world was in fact a sphere. This was the dominant philosophy for over two thousand years. It's still taught today.
In the 19th century it was discovered that the Earth had a greater diameter about its equator than it did about a meridian - an oblate spheroid. This is often taught to students, but if someone says the Earth is a 'sphere', we don't generally bother making the correction. It's good enough.
At the dawn of the satellite era, it was then discovered that the Earth was in fact slightly egg shaped. Who bothers with caring to specify that? There are cases where it may matter, but not really.

Now we have such precise measurements of Earth's shape that we most properly call it geoid, meaning Earth shaped.

Cute. The term 'nitpicking, pointless detail' comes to mind. Knowing the Earth's -exact- shape is extraordinarily useful, for a great many things, but if someone calls the Earth a sphere or oblate spheroid, that's good for 99.9999% of our general usage.

Similarly, the way Einstein's Relativity surpasses and encompasses Newton's Laws. Yet we still teach Newtonian mechanics.

Why?

Because it's greater simplicity still has enormous value, primarily. Handling relativistic transformations is a pain in the ass and is not particularly useful at low relative speeds, so why bother?

Similarly, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics will eventually be superseded and encompassed by a new theory. String 'theorists' like to claim it will be their hypothesis, but there are alternate competing hypothesis - loop quantum gravity, for example. Eventually, assuming we don't destroy ourselves, some synthesis will explain both Relativity and QM.

Will that halt teaching of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics?

Looking at the math for them I rather doubt it. Relativistic transformations are for the most part pretty simple, compared to the underlying math that backs them.

Online HairyHeretic

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The term "anti-theist" is rarely employed; I don't hear people call themselves that much.  It would be a nice distinction to have, sadly because atheism lacks any sort of structure and is an entirely personal, individualistic belief, there's not really room for any inclusive and exclusive defining.

I'm not sure it's an 'official' term, but I personally use it to describe the 'angry atheist' type. They're the equivalent to the religious fundamentalist, each completely certain that theirs is the truth, and you're a <CENSORED> moron for not seeing this and agreeing with them.

I think its human nature that when someones beliefs change, they tend towards a full on manifestation of those beliefs, and a vehement rejection of previous ones. I've seen it in a few different beliefs now.

Offline Silk

I don't care about calling myself a Anti-theist, although I am a Athiest also, a lack of belief in god gives me Atheism. My personal feelings and experiences bringing me to the conclusion that religion is detremental to society makes me a anti-theist. While there are nutjobs like the WBC the direct influencers like the texas school board of education. Cover up of crimes in the catholic church or scientology, and outright glorifications of crime from muslim extremeism. Childhood indoctrination and people killing others for their beliefs (refusing blood transfusions etc) I will continue to feel that way. There is none else in modern society that we let get away with so much.

Religion is not a victim to me like the patriarchy was not a victim during the early feminist movement. Just because your on the defensive does not make you a victim and its high time alot of people learned that. Can call me a extremist if you like, but what is more extreme killing people for my beliefs, or contesting religious belief and countering religious claims when they are asserted? You still have it a long shot worse on the extremeist section compared to the atheist community so again, stop acting as if its a equal playing field.

If there was valid evidence to why your beliefs work within the scientific method (something that has given humanity alot more than anything else. You can blame things like the arms race for larger weaponry, but then when your enemy is making such weapons you tend to forget your ethics. And things such as bombs and guns have alternative uses in hunting defence and demolition. They are just usable for killing also, the knife and the hammer are also alternative tools that are capable of killing, however if I was to get killed I would sooner the gunshot to being beaten with the hammer.

Just because religion is not always actively trying to kill people doesnt mean it is not indirectly killing people. Let alone constantly attempting to stunt our educational growth by wanting to adhere to bronze age dogmas think how much further we as a race could be without that oppressive tool of the mind.

I'll end my rant here before I get particularly vicious to me no good comes from religion and in my life religion has done nothing but give me extreme pain. Like the femenists whos never ending ranting to me about how I'm a mysogynist makes me such because it doesn't give me good expreriences of such. Religion always trying to "save" me only makes me push away harder.
I'm not sure it's an 'official' term, but I personally use it to describe the 'angry atheist' type. They're the equivalent to the religious fundamentalist, each completely certain that theirs is the truth, and you're a <CENSORED> moron for not seeing this and agreeing with them.

I think its human nature that when someones beliefs change, they tend towards a full on manifestation of those beliefs, and a vehement rejection of previous ones. I've seen it in a few different beliefs now.

And no Hairy there no no equivilant to a extremeist Atheist to a extremist religious. However angry Atheist may not be the best choice either. Again taking mine for example, I have no problem with moderates that just get on with their lives. In fact I tend to prefer those to moderate Atheist's. However my feelings that religion as a whole is detremental to society and my push backs at unfounded claims, attempts to "save" me and pretending that I'm somehow the big bad opressor to their freedom when a good section of the religious want me dead due to my homosexuality and trans, force their beliefs on me. I think I have a right to be angry at those types of people. Its called bullying and I long since refused to take it. Now I'm playing it at their own game and they don't like it.

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Not every religion, or system of belief, behaves in the way you're describing though. For what its worth, I disagree with the likes of the WBC, the Texas crowd trying to rewrite history, the suicide bombers and all the rest of it. Hell, I'm in Ireland, so I expect I've seen a lot more of what the catholic church has been up to than most people. I believe in the rule of secular law, and that religion should be a personal and private thing.

I can understand that your own experiences have shaped your views on religion, but you cannot tar everyone and everything with the same brush. Yes, you have a right to be angry with those who try to force their beliefs on you. But not everyone is going to do that.

My beliefs are mine. They may not work for anyone else, but they work for me. Can I say they're 'real'? No, I can't. I have no proof in what I believe, not in terms that could be scientifically tested and evaluated. I do not know what will happen to me after I die. I know what I believe, but until it happens .. *shrugs*

Offline Wolfy

I found the perfect picture to explain how nearly everyone (Besides themselves, of course) feels about Westboro Baptist.



:D o3o

Offline Lithos

The whole issue is so meaningless that it is hard to imagine why there is so much talk about it.

Science is not any one belief and it is constantly changing cause it is on core based only on things that can be proven by experiment. It can be very inaccurate at some fields but it also constantly improves.

Religion is our own belief of how things are like, not affected by any evidence to one way or another.

These things have nothing to do with each other so I do not really see point in debating about it. Religion is entirely subjective, and as long it does not try to fish new members, spread or affect any thing other than peoples personal beliefs I could care less. If it tries above mentioned things, then such religious organizations need to be disbanded and things will get back to peoples own personal beliefs soon enough. There is really no issue to banter about.

Also, scientist can be religious just fine, as long as you conduct your work (research) by principles of empiric science, what does it matter what you personally believe? Most great minds have had their own religious beliefs too, Einstein among them. Having personal beliefs is not a weakness that way. When you become part of the cattle that is fed one belief that has not even necessarily been formed within yourself, that is when things become dangerous.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 07:15:00 AM by Lithos »

Offline Brandon

@Silk: There are two problems I see with your argument. First you're painting with two wide of a brush. Second you seem unwilling (or perhaps unable) to accept evidence that proves you wrong in your points. I did type out a huge post pointing out a lot of places where you were wrong as well as citing numerous sources but Elliquiy ate it. So now Im just at a point where Im done, I feel like no matter what kind of evidence I put forth to you it will be ignored...again. So why bother?

@Wolfy: Ok that made me laugh, Ill be saving that one


Offline Silk

Not every religion, or system of belief, behaves in the way you're describing though. For what its worth, I disagree with the likes of the WBC, the Texas crowd trying to rewrite history, the suicide bombers and all the rest of it. Hell, I'm in Ireland, so I expect I've seen a lot more of what the catholic church has been up to than most people. I believe in the rule of secular law, and that religion should be a personal and private thing.

I can understand that your own experiences have shaped your views on religion, but you cannot tar everyone and everything with the same brush. Yes, you have a right to be angry with those who try to force their beliefs on you. But not everyone is going to do that.

My beliefs are mine. They may not work for anyone else, but they work for me. Can I say they're 'real'? No, I can't. I have no proof in what I believe, not in terms that could be scientifically tested and evaluated. I do not know what will happen to me after I die. I know what I believe, but until it happens .. *shrugs*

I'm not taring anyone with the brush, even when I want too I only respond to claims the other has made, its not like I'm starting such threads I join in on them when someone claims something I disagree with, in this case it was the defenition of atheism that I took fault with and joined in. If the claim isn't there I don't get involved.

Offline Nyarly

It seems the difference between atheist and anti-theist lies not in actual world view, but purely on personal experience.

Atheist never had any bad experiences with religious people, or no experience with them at all (like me).

Anti-theists on the other hand, seem to have particularly bad experiences with religious people or as I, in reference to Richard Dawkins, put it some time: Were spanked by their mommy with a bible. With them it seems to be questionable, if they are even really atheists or if they actually maltheists. After all, there is a difference between "believing that there is no god" and "being angry at god".

Offline Lithos

But what does it matter what anyone thinks about god?

Offline Silk

But what does it matter what anyone thinks about god?

Because thoughts lead to actions in most cases.