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Author Topic: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe  (Read 12916 times)

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Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #150 on: September 08, 2010, 11:58:03 PM »
But I will say that studies can be biased towards the group that funds them and who truly knows the truth anymore in our age of information overload.  Selective spin doctoring is an art especially when you have billions in grant money riding on the results.  I will always try to find the funding source of all studies scientific.  I'm not discounting the science already proven and experimentally repeatable.  I will be a skeptic until I can trust the source of the studies or see the evidence for myself.
How skeptical would you be if the results of the studies were in line with your beliefs?  There is evidence that people tend to treat evidence differently depending on how it affects their beliefs and opinions.

My point is that you can always find a reason to discount any piece of information.  If nothing else, I can say that I don't personally know all of the people involved in the study, and therefore the whole thing is invalid to me.  Any one of the people involved could have fudged the results in some way.  But at some point, it becomes counterproductive, and casts science in its entirety as suspicious and unusable.

We do have a peer-review process.  I believe that most of the people involved in science today actually care about the truth, and about finding it.  That's not to say that there aren't despicable assholes out there pandering to the hand that feeds them (or to their own preconceived notions, even worse), but to write off science completely because of that is unfortunate and unnecessary.

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #151 on: September 09, 2010, 03:41:08 PM »
How skeptical would you be if the results of the studies were in line with your beliefs?  There is evidence that people tend to treat evidence differently depending on how it affects their beliefs and opinions.

Yes, exactly my point.  Even scientists are susceptible to such bias.  Everyone is susceptible to such bias.

Quote

We do have a peer-review process.  I believe that most of the people involved in science today actually care about the truth, and about finding it.  That's not to say that there aren't despicable assholes out there pandering to the hand that feeds them (or to their own preconceived notions, even worse), but to write off science completely because of that is unfortunate and unnecessary.
I agree with you on your points.  Would you consider that even in a peer-review process, you will still have some bias towards the group's premise of belief.  There will always be a bias because of one's own beliefs and so any study will begin from that premise of belief.
The seeker of truth will not discount any possibility for the answers and may even find the answer in the impossibility because the seeker of truth will look outside one's own premise of belief.

What is the truth?

I agree one should never write science off completely.  I think science and faith go hand in hand.
Our finite science still has to find the keys to open the mysteries.




Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #152 on: September 09, 2010, 03:48:49 PM »
Yes, exactly my point.  Even scientists are susceptible to such bias.  Everyone is susceptible to such bias.
I agree with you on your points.  Would you consider that even in a peer-review process, you will still have some bias towards the group's premise of belief.  There will always be a bias because of one's own beliefs and so any study will begin from that premise of belief.
The seeker of truth will not discount any possibility for the answers and may even find the answer in the impossibility because the seeker of truth will look outside one's own premise of belief.

What is the truth?

I agree one should never write science off completely.  I think science and faith go hand in hand.
Our finite science still has to find the keys to open the mysteries.

Experimental processes are designed specifically to limit the influence of that bias.  Peer-reviewing limits it further. 

You say that you don't believe in writing off science completely, and yet you see rampant bias everywhere.  If you don't believe a scientific study can be made in an impartial, dependable manner, then what is the value of science?

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #153 on: September 09, 2010, 06:07:31 PM »
What is the truth?

I agree one should never write science off completely.  I think science and faith go hand in hand.
Our finite science still has to find the keys to open the mysteries.

I'm sorry to butt in, but I take issue with this. Faith and science couldn't possibly go hand in hand - they're diametrically opposed. I mean, by definition, faith and science ( or rather the scientific method ), are opposites. If you have evidence, you don't need faith. If you don't have evidence, well, then faith is worse than guesswork, because you're assuming something based on nothing at all.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #154 on: September 09, 2010, 06:10:50 PM »
I'm sorry to butt in, but I take issue with this. Faith and science couldn't possibly go hand in hand - they're diametrically opposed. I mean, by definition, faith and science ( or rather the scientific method ), are opposites. If you have evidence, you don't need faith. If you don't have evidence, well, then faith is worse than guesswork, because you're assuming something based on nothing at all.

*shrugs* They can go hand in hand if you want them to.  They don't for me, mind you, but it can be done.  The trick is that you have to disregard large portions of both to make them fit.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #155 on: September 09, 2010, 06:33:15 PM »
I'm sorry to butt in, but I take issue with this. Faith and science couldn't possibly go hand in hand - they're diametrically opposed. I mean, by definition, faith and science ( or rather the scientific method ), are opposites. If you have evidence, you don't need faith. If you don't have evidence, well, then faith is worse than guesswork, because you're assuming something based on nothing at all.

Faith can lead to goal setting, which is not something that science does or provides - it can help with finding subgoals, but it never presents a picture of how we should shape the world, just how to do so.

I can't say I support using ancient dogma for such a thing, but that is a realm where faith can 'work with' science.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #156 on: September 09, 2010, 07:10:57 PM »
If you have evidence, you don't need faith.

"...and then God vanished in a puff of logic. And Man went on to prove that white is black and black is white, and got himself killed on the next zebracrossing..."
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

[/random levity]

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #157 on: September 09, 2010, 07:58:33 PM »
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein

It seems to me that there is only perceived conflict between science and religion because some people want conflict. Generally speaking the behavoir of the two groups is often Aborrhent, instead of respecting each other and agreeing to disagree while admitting that neither side has concrete proof they breed animosity and hatred toward one another. To me this shows a relative immaturity between the two groups and desire to antagonize each other (Note: I was generalizing through that entire paragraph)

I think whats often overlooked is faith and religion is not just the belief in god or the supernatural. It is philosophy, it is history, it is culture, it is morales. It compliments science in every way by providing things that science can not and in turn science compliments faith with the one thing it doesnt do. You need both to form a successful society, when a society lacks one of them (either one of them) it is doomed to failure.

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #158 on: September 09, 2010, 08:22:36 PM »
Experimental processes are designed specifically to limit the influence of that bias.  Peer-reviewing limits it further. 

You say that you don't believe in writing off science completely, and yet you see rampant bias everywhere.  If you don't believe a scientific study can be made in an impartial, dependable manner, then what is the value of science?

A study can be made in an impartial, dependable manner.
My contention is which ones are reliable and which ones are not.

The value of science is to discover the why of the world around us and use it to make our world a better place to live.

Tell me this, please.
How do you think the study of the expanding universe at the quantum level will benefit the world and improve our lives?
What are they searching to find and why?

Quote from:  Oniya
"...and then God vanished in a puff of logic. And Man went on to prove that white is black and black is white, and got himself killed on the next zebracrossing..."
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

I enjoyed Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  Thanks for that bit of laughter.  I needed a good chuckle after a long day at work.



Offline Noelle

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #159 on: September 09, 2010, 08:37:57 PM »
A study can be made in an impartial, dependable manner.
My contention is which ones are reliable and which ones are not.

What is your criteria for what you think is dubious and what isn't? How exactly do you go about deciding which ones are "reliable enough" and which aren't?


Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #160 on: September 09, 2010, 08:40:26 PM »
The argument that religion is a necessary part of society is pretty lacking my view (not that I think anyone has made it specifically yet).  I don't think faith is what's important as much as belief (though I suppose they are sort of one in the same).  Belief can take a number of forms, be a guiding principle of a person's life, and avoid religious connotations.  It's possible to be guided by a philosophy which includes moral concepts and be a productive member of society who has no need for religious beliefs.  As such, I don't see why supplanting religion with a particular philosophical bent wouldn't work for an entire society the same as it does for an individual.

The religious like point at failed states that were Atheistic as a counterexample to this, but they fail to take into account several errors in their judgment:

1)  There have been very few Atheistic states.  Certainly not enough to form any sort of reliable sample for judgment.

2)  All of the examples of Atheistic states that are true examples also happen to be Communist states; there are two correlations here, and they're not controlling for that as a potential cause for failure (as opposed to the purely secular component).

3)  They often give examples of states that were in fact not at all Atheistic while making their arguments, such as Nazi Germany.  Nazi Germany was not an Atheistic state.

4)  There has never been, to my knowledge, an Atheistic society to actually judge.  In Modern Western Society we don't really have religious states, we have nations that happen to have religious cultures, but the government takes no position.  If a state enforces Atheism as part of its government, that is essentially a Theocratic arrangement.  Judging Theocratic arrangements as a "proper example" of a secular society is obviously going to skew the data if liberty leads to stability (which most would agree it does).

To be able to actually judge fairly you'd have to find an example of a largely secular society that has conditions, rules, and a constitution similar to other Western Societies.  Clearly the data is lacking.  I suppose it could go either way, maybe it's true that society can't exist without religion, but until I actually seem evidence either way I'm choosing to believe in the potential of secularism (see what I did there?).

EDIT:  As for what studying cosmology and the origins of the universe is good for, well, you need a very solid model before you can make predictions about the phenomenon that is being modeled.  If we come to understand how the big bang happened precisely then we can work forward through time from there and understand the formulation of literally the entire universe.  A greater understanding of that will allow us to better predict the behavior of our own solar system, to understand the likelihood of finding other earth-like planets, and it will also lead to a greater understanding of the underlying patterns in our universe.

While we work on grasping that problem, we also refine other laws and concepts.  Attempting to understand the Big Bang has highlighted potential errors in other fields of science.  String Theory certainly wouldn't exist without some of those concepts, and string theory has the potential to greatly unify our understanding of reality.

When we actually travel in space, and we will have to some day if we want to survive the death of our solar system, all of this information will be of immense importance for us to understand.  Right now, it's true that there isn't a whole lot of practical use, but in the future it will be very important.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 08:51:00 PM by Jude »

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #161 on: September 09, 2010, 09:04:31 PM »
Tell me this, please.
How do you think the study of the expanding universe at the quantum level will benefit the world and improve our lives?
I tend to think that knowledge is its own reward.  We are an inquisitive species, so I don't find it odd that people would research something even if there were no apparent applications for it.

Even so, quantum mechanics has plenty of possible applications (Our computers could end up running a lot faster, for sure).  But even if it didn't, I don't see how that would make it less worthy of study.  Plenty of things we take for granted in our world came about by accident, with no one "planning" on inventing them.  Penicillin comes to mind.  With that to consider, can you imagine what sorts of technology could come from understanding the most fundamental aspects of our universe?  My mind boggles.   

Quote
What are they searching to find and why?
They're searching for the truth, for understanding, because that's what humans do.  Do you think they should stop?  What are they hurting by looking?  I have to say, I'm having a hard time pinning down how you feel about science in general.  You've questioned the integrity and worth of the entire field, while still maintaining that it goes hand in hand with faith.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #162 on: September 09, 2010, 09:15:45 PM »
The sceintific community itself has protocols for questioning and disproving theories, why is it wrong for the average person to question it?

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #163 on: September 09, 2010, 09:17:07 PM »
There's a difference between questioning specific pieces of information for the purpose of finding the truth, and questioning the entire field for the purpose of dismissing it.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #164 on: September 09, 2010, 09:25:11 PM »
It's not wrong for anyone to question it so long as they actually have the knowledge and experience to do so.  The problem is, the average person doesn't have the knowledge or the experience to do so.  Their criticisms are typically non-scientific.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #165 on: September 09, 2010, 09:26:22 PM »
I dont see anyone dismissing the entire field, in fact I see people trying to promote it. Unless someone says science has to be dismissed because of XYZ reason(s) then you're assuming things which is your problem, not theirs

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #166 on: September 10, 2010, 02:09:09 AM »
I think whats often overlooked is faith and religion is not just the belief in god or the supernatural. It is philosophy, it is history, it is culture, it is morales. It compliments science in every way by providing things that science can not and in turn science compliments faith with the one thing it doesnt do. You need both to form a successful society, when a society lacks one of them (either one of them) it is doomed to failure.
I highly doubt that religion is needed to form a successful society. Of course, that's purely hypothetical as there is no culture that was shaped without religion.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #167 on: September 10, 2010, 02:30:53 AM »
At the very least, there is the need for a system of defining proper behavior.  In existing cultures, this is initially codified in one religious text or another, be it the Ten Commandments, the Rede, or the appropriate verses in the Qu'ran.   (I was able to find them at 6:150 and 6:151, but I don't know if there's an official name.)

Most of the laws that we follow derive in some fashion or other from those religious codes - at least, the framework does.  I'm not sure about things like it being illegal to get a fish drunk, or walk an alligator without a leash.  I'm not saying that it's impossible to reach this framework in the absence of a religion, only that such a framework is necessary, and I don't think it can be provided by science alone.  Morality is a far softer discipline than science.  It's that thing that says - at a bare minimum 'I wouldn't like that done to me, so I won't do it to someone else.'   

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #168 on: September 10, 2010, 02:40:53 AM »
The frequency with which religion influences society only implies that the human mind is built for faith.  It can't really prove that religion is a necessary component of society.  As was said earlier, there haven't been nearly enough examples of non-religious societies to draw any conclusions about that.

Obviously any society needs a moral compass.  Obviously it won't come from science.  But it doesn't have to come from religion, nor does it have to come from any kind of metaphysical/supernatural belief system of any kind.  I don't have any codified set of beliefs myself, and yet I manage to not kill people on a daily basis.  Hell, sometimes I even let people out in traffic.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 02:41:59 AM by Will »

Offline Lithos

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #169 on: September 10, 2010, 02:48:00 AM »
Also, it can be added that religion has never prevented killing people on daily basis, often promoted it. It is very hard to build any system for moral beliefs that is fool proof though. Religion has been made by us humans just the same as regular laws, and both fail horribly many times. Perhaps forgetting grand ideals that tend to become more valuable than human lives and trusting common sense might be decent ways?

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #170 on: September 10, 2010, 03:13:40 AM »
I may have misunderstood you but it sounds like you guys are blaiming the faith instead of the people. Credit (or blame in this case) should be given where credit is due. If a person twists faith to create a war then it is the person, not the faith, that is at fault. Likewise it is the power involved and the steps they will go to to ensure compliance that is yet another problem. I recall Pope Benedict XVI once talking about his youth and being forced into the Nazi party (in this case the Nazi's were a philosophical and political group) because of their overwhelming power over Germany. His father opposed them and in turn was punished in some way (I dont recall how). Agian blame the people acting on it

Does that make sense?


Offline Noelle

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #171 on: September 10, 2010, 03:28:17 AM »
You'd likewise have to agree that people are motivated to do good deeds of their own accord, too, which essentially makes religion an unnecessary tool for moral framework.

And actually, what I think Lithos is referencing is the fact that a good portion of the Bible speaks of wars and selling your daughters and such. If you're building moral framework from religion, it's not always the perfect tool because of things like this.

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #172 on: September 10, 2010, 05:07:18 AM »
Faith is also created by people. Despite what some fundies say, no one is born, "knowing" that there is a god.

So, I don't really see any noteworthy differences between blaming faith and blaming people.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #173 on: September 10, 2010, 05:19:01 AM »
Accountability. Lets say hypothetically by using science someone creates a dangerous strain of bacteria. That bacteria gets out, there could be a number of reasons for this like faulty testing conditions, failed equipment, or faulty maintenance on the testing facility. Whatever the case that bacteria gets out and kills millions of people, perhaps even clears out an entire country or continent. By that logic, everyone could put the blame sqaurly on science and the scientific community. It doesnt matter if Dr. Lesko was the guy who was in charge and purposfully released the bacteria to get a better idea about how it would effect a bigger populace. The idea (science), not the person, is responsible.

Does that make more sense?

As a general note I dont like what if situations in the first place because the one presenting them gets to make up the details and twist it into an impossible to win scenario (I tried to be fair here). However I felt it was the best way to get the point across
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 09:19:03 AM by Brandon »

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #174 on: September 10, 2010, 05:27:15 AM »
Faith can lead to goal setting, which is not something that science does or provides - it can help with finding subgoals, but it never presents a picture of how we should shape the world, just how to do so.

I can't say I support using ancient dogma for such a thing, but that is a realm where faith can 'work with' science.

Well, that is different from what I had in mind, but I see your point. Faith and evidence going hand in hand, to me, seemed to imply finding answers - that is, explanations for things science can't yet explain - in faith. If providing a purpose is what was meant, then you can to a large extent disregard what I said.