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Author Topic: Evolution and Religion  (Read 16575 times)

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Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #125 on: January 03, 2011, 01:56:02 AM »
One of the beautiful things people seem to enjoy doing with science and religion is ridiculing fundamentalists, but then putting more ridicule on those taking science into account of their belief.  A sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.  Of course when science is shown to be wrong, then science has corrected itself.  Religion adapts itself to new information and ideas, then religion is simply wrong.  Religious figures accept scientific principles, finding that they coexist with their beliefs with no alteration they are executing a defense mechanism.  A scientists has to retract entire lines of publishing for which grant money and time was used to explore, that is simply the pain of science.  Religious thought and philosophy are not allowed to progress, but science is free to blunder away without fanfare.  Can't have both.

Well, I never said science could not prove or disprove anything.  Science is limited by the resources at hand.  If you want though, I will give you an example of something science has yet to explain.  Tell me how Tylenol works. 

Science exists without logic and reason.  Science exists through observation, experimentation and reproducing results.  A philosopher can use logic all day long to think a situation out, but if that logic cannot be shown through the scientific method than there is no science.  Likewise, if a scientist has an experiment that does not follow to a logical conclusion they do not ignore the results.  Science does not need logic to exist.

As for Raptor Jesus, I am hopeful that there is not one speaking with us.  The bones do speak and scientists do conduct research on those bones.  There is definitive data about the creatures leaving behind such bones, the regions the bones were discovered in and what some of those time frames can mean.  Scientists than infer possibilities based on that evidence.  If one pays close attention to the openings of these episodes on Discovery Channel the narrator often says, "this is how scientists believe the world to have existed then."  Translation, this is their best guess.  Also in regard to forensic evidence, keep in mind that often times in a court room an expert witness, scientist, is called to refute those same findings.  There is a lot of interpretation left to forensic evidence.  Science requires observation, experimentation and reproducibility.

Science certainly has limitations and people experience those limitations.  Not all things are explained at this time by science, so an intelligent person keeps their mind open.  Supernatural events can become natural ones with the right insight, tools and techniques.  Dismissing people as disgruntled with science because they believe in supernatural occurrences is close minded.  Many discoveries in our world were made by people that witnessed something peculiar and pursued that information to a conclusion.  If tomorrow ghosts were discovered to be real, then science would claim that as a field.  What then?  Were ghosts never supernatural?  Or were they simply part of our world not yet measured and understood.

"religion contributes little to nothing to the scientific arena in terms of that particular subject (and...in general, really), soooo."  - That is a statement of ignorance that deserves only a response of pointing out the ignorance of it.

Offline Noelle

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #126 on: January 03, 2011, 05:30:31 PM »
One of the beautiful things people seem to enjoy doing with science and religion is ridiculing fundamentalists, but then putting more ridicule on those taking science into account of their belief.  A sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.  Of course when science is shown to be wrong, then science has corrected itself.  Religion adapts itself to new information and ideas, then religion is simply wrong.  Religious figures accept scientific principles, finding that they coexist with their beliefs with no alteration they are executing a defense mechanism.  A scientists has to retract entire lines of publishing for which grant money and time was used to explore, that is simply the pain of science.  Religious thought and philosophy are not allowed to progress, but science is free to blunder away without fanfare.  Can't have both.

I'm sorry, but I can't really muster up a lot of pity for the religious when they have impeded on great advances in science with their dogma and continue to be the reigning majority that shape and influence our policies and politics where they have no business. I reaaaally can't stretch my sympathy for a group that is trying to "teach the controversy".

Also, science doesn't claim to be the absolute or ultimate truth. Makes a difference when your goal is to find the truth rather than beat your bastardized and imperfect version of it into other peoples' heads while making unofficial annotations for what works best for you.

Quote
Well, I never said science could not prove or disprove anything.  Science is limited by the resources at hand.  If you want though, I will give you an example of something science has yet to explain.  Tell me how Tylenol works. 

That really must be something if science can't explain how Tylenol works, and yet Google is all over that.

Quote
Science exists without logic and reason.  Science exists through observation, experimentation and reproducing results.  A philosopher can use logic all day long to think a situation out, but if that logic cannot be shown through the scientific method than there is no science.  Likewise, if a scientist has an experiment that does not follow to a logical conclusion they do not ignore the results.  Science does not need logic to exist.

Yes, and that's precisely where we start getting Creationism and Young Earth "science". It's only science in the loosest form. But here's a hint: it's not accurate.

Quote
"religion contributes little to nothing to the scientific arena in terms of that particular subject (and...in general, really), soooo."  - That is a statement of ignorance that deserves only a response of pointing out the ignorance of it.

Then might I point out most of your post? I googled "how does tylenol work" and got millions of results in mere seconds. You're being dismissive and frankly, quite rude, and most of your opinions have little to no backing or show a poor understanding of the material at hand. If you'd like to give me an example of how that is so ignorant and continue discussing this civilly, do feel free.

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Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #127 on: January 03, 2011, 05:59:43 PM »
That really must be something if science can't explain how Tylenol works, and yet Google is all over that.

Then might I point out most of your post? I googled "how does tylenol work" and got millions of results in mere seconds. You're being dismissive and frankly, quite rude, and most of your opinions have little to no backing or show a poor understanding of the material at hand. If you'd like to give me an example of how that is so ignorant and continue discussing this civilly, do feel free.

Actually, if you read further, the exact mechanism of how acetaminophen inhibits pain is still the subject of speculation
Quote
Acetaminophen is often categorized as a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID), even though in clinical practice and in animal models it possesses little antiinflammatory activity (1). Like NSAIDs, however, acetaminophen inhibits pain and fever and is one of the world's most popular analgesic/antipyretic drugs. Despite acetaminophen's long use and popularity it lacks a clear mechanism of action. Flower and Vane showed that acetaminophen inhibited cyclooxygenase (COX) activity in dog brain homogenates more than in homogenates from spleen (2). This gave rise to the concept that variants of COX enzymes exist that are differentially sensitive to this drug and that acetaminophen acts centrally. Yet, even though two isozymes of COX are known, neither isozyme is sensitive to acetaminophen at therapeutic concentrations of the drug in whole cells or homogenates. Instead, COX-1 and -2 in homogenates frequently exhibit the paradoxical property of being stimulated by submillimolar concentrations of acetaminophen and inhibited by supermillimolar levels of the drug (1). This finding suggests that neither isozyme is a good candidate for the site of action of acetaminophen.

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #128 on: January 03, 2011, 06:04:51 PM »
One of the beautiful things people seem to enjoy doing with science and religion is ridiculing fundamentalists, but then putting more ridicule on those taking science into account of their belief.  A sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.  Of course when science is shown to be wrong, then science has corrected itself.  Religion adapts itself to new information and ideas, then religion is simply wrong.  Religious figures accept scientific principles, finding that they coexist with their beliefs with no alteration they are executing a defense mechanism.  A scientists has to retract entire lines of publishing for which grant money and time was used to explore, that is simply the pain of science.  Religious thought and philosophy are not allowed to progress, but science is free to blunder away without fanfare.  Can't have both.
Science is a method, not a set of ideas, and because the method itself does not claim to produce error-proof dogma, it's not a big deal when the theories that science develops turn out false as that's built right into the system (it admits its fallibility).  Religion however, claims to be truth, and is dogmatic to its core.  If religious figures admitted they were just acting based on what they believe to be truth to their best intentions but that they don't actually know anything for sure, then science and religion would be given the same benefit when errors arise.  However, religious figures and adherents alike claim they speak directly to god and glean information about the inner workings of reality.  The difference is that religion claims to be ultimate truth, science claims to be strong conjecture backed by meticulously gathered evidence.

Granted, there's no reason why religion couldn't be softer and admit that it's an approximation, an attempt at finding the truth and pursuing it, latching onto an idea because it makes intuitive sense, and seeking for better answers at the same time as admitting they simply have a hunch and they're going with it.  That kind of religion I could perhaps get behind (in fact I'd say I'm religious in that way even), it's just sad that religions are not that way generally speaking.  There probably are groups that resemble this out there somewhere more than likely, but they certainly are not the norm.

Well, I never said science could not prove or disprove anything.  Science is limited by the resources at hand.  If you want though, I will give you an example of something science has yet to explain.  Tell me how Tylenol works.
There's lots of things that science hasn't explained.  Everything science does explain tends to open up more questions.  I'm not sure what your point here is though.

Science exists without logic and reason.  Science exists through observation, experimentation and reproducing results.  A philosopher can use logic all day long to think a situation out, but if that logic cannot be shown through the scientific method than there is no science.  Likewise, if a scientist has an experiment that does not follow to a logical conclusion they do not ignore the results.  Science does not need logic to exist.
This is not at all accurate in any way shape or form.  Please read up on the philosophy of science before you make statements like this.  I will give you a quick irrefutable example:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning  < this is key to science.

As for Raptor Jesus, I am hopeful that there is not one speaking with us.  The bones do speak and scientists do conduct research on those bones.  There is definitive data about the creatures leaving behind such bones, the regions the bones were discovered in and what some of those time frames can mean.  Scientists than infer possibilities based on that evidence.  If one pays close attention to the openings of these episodes on Discovery Channel the narrator often says, "this is how scientists believe the world to have existed then."  Translation, this is their best guess.  Also in regard to forensic evidence, keep in mind that often times in a court room an expert witness, scientist, is called to refute those same findings.  There is a lot of interpretation left to forensic evidence.  Science requires observation, experimentation and reproducibility.
I really don't see how that refutes her point.  If we can find evidence that dinosaurs once existed, why couldn't we find evidence of a supposed great flood?  There is not a single miracle mentioned in the bible which has actually been corroborated by research.  That I'm aware of anyway -- feel free to present counter evidence.

Science certainly has limitations and people experience those limitations.  Not all things are explained at this time by science, so an intelligent person keeps their mind open.  Supernatural events can become natural ones with the right insight, tools and techniques.  Dismissing people as disgruntled with science because they believe in supernatural occurrences is close minded.  Many discoveries in our world were made by people that witnessed something peculiar and pursued that information to a conclusion.  If tomorrow ghosts were discovered to be real, then science would claim that as a field.  What then?  Were ghosts never supernatural?  Or were they simply part of our world not yet measured and understood.
The definition of close minded is to make a determination on an event or a phenomenon without weighing the evidence before coming to that conclusion.  The evidence points to the supernatural being nonexistent.  It is not inherently close minded to reject the existence of the supernatural.  Can one be close minded in rejecting it?  Yes, to discount the idea out of hand without any critical thinking or entertaining other people's ideas is close minded no matter what the subject.

"religion contributes little to nothing to the scientific arena in terms of that particular subject (and...in general, really), soooo."  - That is a statement of ignorance that deserves only a response of pointing out the ignorance of it.
Religion contributes absolutely nothing to science.  Even in previous discussions where we've gone back and forth on this topic, the only thing you've given in response is that there are religious people who have advanced science.  That speaks of the action of individuals, not the action of religion.  Religion is a set of beliefs, please show me where these sets of beliefs encourage people to weigh critically all of the available evidence and come to a determination based on that analysis, not preconceived notions.  The best you'll be able to do in response (and I know this because you've tried to do it before) is pull out a few fables or statements which seem to speak the virtue of doubting accounts by others -- never once does religion encourage people to question religion.

Yet I can provide you with numerous examples where religion encourages questioning or rejection of anything that comes into conflict with it (including science).  Granted, many of these examples either include religious people making these statements or religious authorities (the latter of which has validity in the Pope's case given that he makes religious dogma), but I'm well aware that none of that will shake your point of view in the least.  Why?

Science casts doubt on the supernatural accounts given by Christianity.  History shows that Christianity as we know it is a construct put together by the early Roman empire and that Jesus' story is a common myth echoed throughout the ancient world before and while it was told/supposedly occurred.  There is not a speck of independent verification for any of the fantastical claims contained in the bible.  The evidence overwhelmingly comes down against Christianity.  Does this disprove religion?  Nope -- Christianity is one religion.  Does this disprove Christianity?  No.  Does it make Christianity extremely unlikely to be true?  Yes.

But again, I don't expect you to change your point of view or even recoil in the least from anything I've said.  Why?  Because you're a Christian so you already believe something that is incredibly unlikely.  You can claim time and time again that religion and science are not in conflict, that one does not invalidate the other, but science, empiricism, and historical facts merge to form a great big shadow of doubt, and if there's one thing that Christians are good at, it's ignoring that.  This is key to the thread as well, it's why some reject evolution on the basis of their religion (along with everything else they don't want to believe).

Now, I'm not saying religion is a scourge (it's not -- I don't believe the world would be better off without it).  I'm not even saying Christianity is a force of negativity in the world (again, I don't think it is).  I believe that Christians do more good than harm in the modern world.  Christianity is responsible for a great deal of charity.  However my respect for the good that they do in this world, acknowledgment that they are not a force of negativity, and  belief that they are good people does not mean that the ideas which they hold sacred are beyond reproach.  You can separate the ideas a person holds to be true from the individual and judge it separately, even if the individual can't accept that for reasons of cognitive dissonance.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 06:12:40 PM by Jude »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #129 on: January 03, 2011, 08:14:43 PM »
Well Noelle, Google is certainly an amazing resource to use.  So are nursing drug manuals and Micromedex, which is what hospitals and pharmacies often use for their information.  Both of those sources list the mechanism of action for Tylenol as unknown.  There are actually quite a few medications that drug guides list as unknown for mechanism of action.  Really though, that is no real reflection on science as a discipline merely a reflection on the instruments.  Many over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have unknown mechanisms because they are from an older era.  Often times their doses are given in an apothecary style if an older physician is writing the prescription.  Those drugs are actually ďgrandfatheredí into production now legally as many observers have pointed out they would not pass current FDA guidelines. 

As for the point of bringing up Tylenol, she asked.  Those familiar with science would see that the question is ridiculous, but she did ask.  There are things science has not discovered, proved or explained.  I do not see this as a fault of science or as proof that science will not uncover these truths, merely an example that science is not the end all be all of knowledge in this world.  Once more, she asked for something science had not discovered.  I figured something as simple as Tylenol would illustrate the problem of her question nicely.

As for my statement about experimentation and logic being inaccurate, the wiki page you linked describes inductive reasoning as an educated guess.  That is the same definition given to a hypothesis, the start of the scientific method.  While I suppose that would bring inductive reasoning into part of the scientific process that is more the simple portion.  The meat of the scientific method comes from the experimentation and observation portion.  A strength of science, which is used over and over in these arguments, is that science can prove itself.  One cannot claim this has an integral strength while not recognizing the limitation. 

Evidence was left behind, but the information gained from that evidence is an inference.  As for the Great Flood, there is a good deal of evidence to suggest many cultures across the world experienced this flood.  Could they have been describing different regional floods, perhaps.  I will provide a link to an article regarding the Great Flood.  I donít expect the article to shake the pillars of the sky or suddenly change minds, but I will put forth the article as asked. 
http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/storms/great-flood1.htm

Once more we could go back and forth regarding the contribution of religion to science.  I could point out the money given by religious institutions to educational structures, such as Loyola University.  Probably be told that the contribution isnít real or isnít noteworthy.  Point out missionary work that spreads education to poor countries, provides money to send them to school.  Probably be told that this is religion just trying to indoctrinate, even though they are teaching science and sending children to school to become doctors, who understand evolution.  Point out religious philosophers that promoted research under the guise that science allowed people to understand Godís creation.  Probably be told once more this is the work of an individual, not a religion.  More than likely most any contribution I list to science will be rebutted, because people want to see religion as the enemy. 

My reference to ignorance was more to what was contained in parenthesis in Noelleís statement.  To take part of someoneís culture and faith, and then describe that portion as pointless is insulting and demeaning to that individual.  That is an example of ethnocentrism and is not scientific in any way, shape or form.  Since people enjoy wiki so much, here is a definition.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnocentrism

My relationship with this portion of the thread to evolution is more sidebar.  Mainly that those who press for science need to be aware that rarely are things so cut and dry.  One can point toward Noelleís response to finding out Tylenol was not so absolutely certain as an example of how people seem to view science.  Also the reference to Jesus having no historical basis, when that subject is the center of quite a large debate among historical scholars.  Once more, wiki speaks.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

Both sides need to recognize their limitations and show respect to the other.  I have never argued for anything more.

On a personal note, donít ever make the mistake of believing that I am ill informed on whatever topic I choose to discuss.  My involvement in the scientific field has stretched back for a long time.  From studying both the hard and soft science, to helping conduct research through literature review and survey creation to practicing the results of science via medical treatment.  If you believe me wrong in my beliefs, that is well and good.  I accept that possibility by merely speaking on these forums.  Do not assume I am lacking knowledge to formulate my opinions or that I am somehow deficient in understanding my words.  I do my best to withhold that judgment for others and certainly try to keep them from my writing on these forums. 

That is called being civil.

Offline Noelle

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #130 on: January 03, 2011, 09:00:54 PM »
Quote
  Probably be told once more this is the work of an individual, not a religion.  More than likely most any contribution I list to science will be rebutted, because people want to see religion as the enemy. 

I had a reply for you, but now that I see this and the rest of your post, I'm not really going to continue arguing this with you. Like Acinonyx, I could go on and continue the discussion, but if this is what you're going to boil every single argument towards religion down to, it's not really worth the time to continue. You have not shown respect and you have been rude and condescending in tone. I don't really wish to contribute to this with you any more.

Have a nice evening.

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #131 on: January 03, 2011, 09:04:16 PM »
I implied that you were ignorant because you were making statements that are blatantly false.  You said science does not employ logic or reason and exist independently of it, so I gave you an example where it does.  Your response was to dance around the blatantly incorrect information you gave.  Want more examples?

- Performing experiments
Logic, in its most pure form, is used in formulating a test for a hypothesis.  How?  Because a hypothesis is typically a complicated statement that cannot be tested directly.  For example, if you hypothesize that gravity exists, testing such a hypothesis requires that you set up an experiment that either confirms or denies the existence of gravity.  An observable implication is derived from the hypothesis using logic and reason directly (often with the aid of Mathematics which is also based on logic and reasoning).  You need to have a sophisticated understanding of the logic of cause and effect in order to be sure that your experiment is actually measuring what it intends to measure.  Without that, you're merely doing something and inferring relationships informal, which confers no knowledge or understanding of reality whatsoever.

- Formulating theories
Theories are made up of networks of ideas that have been confirmed, called laws.  Without logic it's impossible to understand when these laws come into conflict with each other, because you don't have deductive methods to compare them in order to draw out the contradiction in rigorous terms.  Many other inductive tools are also employed in the formulation of theories, such as Occam's razor.

If you're not expressing ignorance of the methods, process, and concepts of science here, then you're telling blatant falsehoods.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #132 on: January 03, 2011, 09:41:55 PM »
What I said is not blatantly false or really false at all Jude.  People like to think that logic and reason are so integral to science that they cannot be dismissed.  Most of the people who enjoy this sort of fantasy are those that do not involve themselves in the reality of science.  They would like to imagine that sitting in a lawn chair, thinking about the universe leads to scientific discovery so that every man might be a scientist.  There is much more involved in the discipline and in the research.  Scrutiny goes beyond logic and into proof. 

By the way, a scientific hypothesis must be testable.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothesis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science#Philosophy_of_science

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #133 on: January 03, 2011, 10:19:59 PM »
Testable via testable implications.  Of course an untestable concept is not scientific, you're talking about the principle of falsification.

And maybe you're right, maybe people DO think that, but I'm not these "people" and nor am I making the claim that science is based purely on abstract logical thinking.  Experimental trials are grueling, psychological principles are involved in the construction of these, and a lot of science is hard, brute-force work done with painstaking attention to detail in an attempt to capture the proper cause/effect relationship divorced of bias.

Even so, science divorced of reason and logic does not work.  There would be no way of judging the validity of experiments to determine what data is useful, fitting things into a theoretical framework for greater understanding, or scrutinizing what is or isn't good science.  Observation and experimentation on their own will lead you into a world of false conclusions unless you have sound logic guiding the process.

Every experiment has what's called "operational definitions."  Operational definitions are directly linked with testable implications in that they are how you are claiming what you observe is linked to what you're trying to demonstrate.  The devil is in these details, because it's easy to create false experiments based on faulty logic, such as failure to remember that correlation is not causation and the like.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 10:22:08 PM by Jude »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #134 on: January 03, 2011, 11:14:00 PM »
Jude, you stated clearly that a hypothesis is a complicated statement that cannot be tested directly.  That is blatantly against its definition.  Part of the reason a hypothesis is complicated is because the wording must make the hypothesis testable.  One of the first acts done when reviewing the literature of an experiment is to review the hypothesis to see if the researchís hypothesis is testable and is testable by the experimental model presented in the paper.  This is why those sections exist in a research paper. 

Logic and reason certainly do help narrow down frivolous experiments, but are still not at the heart of science.  Logic and reason certainly help in communicating science to others, but once more science stands without that principle.  In no way do I say that logic and reason are not useful instruments, but they are instruments alongside science.  They are not part of that field so that if removed science does not exist.  By that token, saying something makes logical sense does not carry with it the weight of scientific research and experimentation.  Many people make that mistake, especially in reference to forensics and historical study.

Operational definition is important, but not sure how that relates to this discussion.  An operational definition is how you define a variable in an experiment.  I assume you mean that an operational definition must be logical, but then again thatís wrong.  If I for instance set my operational definition to say that measuring taste was based on my personal measurement, there is nothing wrong with the statement.  The problem comes that any result I get from the experiment is not applicable to anything else.  The universal application of the experiment does not exist.

I am not sure how a difference of opinion on science and its relation to logic makes me a liar and ignorant. 

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #135 on: January 04, 2011, 12:36:49 AM »
Jude, you stated clearly that a hypothesis is a complicated statement that cannot be tested directly.  That is blatantly against its definition.  Part of the reason a hypothesis is complicated is because the wording must make the hypothesis testable.  One of the first acts done when reviewing the literature of an experiment is to review the hypothesis to see if the researchís hypothesis is testable and is testable by the experimental model presented in the paper.  This is why those sections exist in a research paper.
Yep, you're absolutely right, I said that a few posts ago and I was wrong when I did.  A hypothesis is not always a complicated statement that cannot be tested directly.  I was thinking of hypothesis as in the sense of a general rule that eventually becomes a law put into a theoretical framework.

You're right that a hypothesis of an individual experiment must be testable directly.  Generally how it works though is that all of the evidence available is considered, an individual scientist spots a potential trend, then comes up with an instance of that trend in order to test it.  For example, if you were a scientist working pre-Newton and had a hunch about gravity to the effect that you believed the rate at which an object falls accelerates at 32 ft/s, you would be right, but you can't test that statement because it's a law that describes a trend.

You would need to test the object falling from various heights, called cases, which are the testable implication of the idea you're trying to confirm/disconfirm.  Basically you'd try dropping it from a frame of reference stationary to the ground about 20 ft over it then see how fast it's moving after that 20 feet, right before it hits the ground.  Then you'd try again with an initial velocity and subtract the initial from the final and see if the pattern still fits.  Then you'd do both of those things with different variables and numbers put in to see if the pattern holds.  Only then can you say that your idea on the acceleration of gravity being 32 ft/s was confirmed by the experiment.

If you used a false test case, for example not taking the initial velocity into account, you would get a false answer.  There are any number of ways to come up with test cases  that are not an expression of the hypothesis you're trying to figure out.  That's where logic, both mathematical and purely causal, comes into play heavily.

Logic and reason certainly do help narrow down frivolous experiments, but are still not at the heart of science.  Logic and reason certainly help in communicating science to others, but once more science stands without that principle.  In no way do I say that logic and reason are not useful instruments, but they are instruments alongside science.  They are not part of that field so that if removed science does not exist.  By that token, saying something makes logical sense does not carry with it the weight of scientific research and experimentation.  Many people make that mistake, especially in reference to forensics and historical study.
Are you familiar with Theoretical Physics?  It's a branch of science that has little or no verification or experiments performed whatsoever.  It's based on considering all of the models available and analyzing the consequences of combining them mathematically.  A whole lot of quantum mechanics is purely based on mathematical consequences and logical deductions as well.  Are you saying theoretical physics isn't science?

Experiments certainly add validity to an idea, but the concept of performing many experiments from different angles in order to arrive at a solid conclusion is one founded purely in inductive reasoning.  Statistical confirmation is an absolute cornerstone of all experimental trials.

Operational definition is important, but not sure how that relates to this discussion.  An operational definition is how you define a variable in an experiment.  I assume you mean that an operational definition must be logical, but then again thatís wrong.  If I for instance set my operational definition to say that measuring taste was based on my personal measurement, there is nothing wrong with the statement.  The problem comes that any result I get from the experiment is not applicable to anything else.  The universal application of the experiment does not exist.
An operational definition must reflect what it intends to reflect or else you don't get a result which is at all useful or truthful, which is the goal of the scientific method.  That's why operational definitions and any methodology used in an experiment are so important.  Studying logic and human psychology is absolutely necessary if you want trials that actually measure what they intend to measure, so that the information can be generalized into a trend.


I am not sure how a difference of opinion on science and its relation to logic makes me a liar and ignorant.
This is not an opinion.  To say science doesn't utilize logic in nearly everything it does is fundamentally incorrect.  You can't even talk about the concept of "proof" without invoking logic.  Proof is a logical concept.  Science without logic is empirical investigation, but it's not science.

For example, Mary believes in aliens because she believes she was abducted once.  She has evidence based on observation that validates this belief.  That is an empirical opinion.  It is not scientific because it isn't reproducible in any other experiment (which is necessary in order to generate a statistical probability to associate with it ala inductive logic), it fails to account for pre-established competing explanations (fallibility of memory, dreams, et cetera) which fit neatly into solid theoretical frameworks (whereas belief in alien abduction would require serious alterations to current systems of knowledge), her theory has no added explanatory benefit (it does not explain anything that accepted scientific conventions cannot already), and there are numerous testable implications which can be derived from her hypothesis that do not pass even basic scrutiny (if aliens were monitoring planet earth and abducting people there would most likely be some recorded evidence of their presence, some strange piece of physical evidence would be left behind, etc).

You can put together a very simple argument that any belief is empirical, in fact that's a very basic consequence of the philosophical concept of empiricism.  What makes science more reliable than that, is that it is a body of ideas that attempts to account for the failures of observation with its rigor.

The distinction that you're not seeing is the same as the distinction between evidence-based medicine and science-based medicine.  For more on that, check this out:  http://www.skepdic.com/sciencebasedmedicine.html
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 01:03:40 AM by Jude »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #136 on: January 04, 2011, 07:02:45 AM »
If you guys want to debate whether or not science is grounded in logic and reason, please take it to the dialogue section. This discussion is only tangentially on topic.

Please also watch the condescension if you choose to continue on the topic, because the level is creeping back up again. Thanks.

Offline Flow

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #137 on: January 05, 2011, 01:29:42 AM »

Evidence was left behind, but the information gained from that evidence is an inference.  As for the Great Flood, there is a good deal of evidence to suggest many cultures across the world experienced this flood.  Could they have been describing different regional floods, perhaps.  I will provide a link to an article regarding the Great Flood.  I donít expect the article to shake the pillars of the sky or suddenly change minds, but I will put forth the article as asked. 
http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/storms/great-flood1.htm


I understand where you're coming from with this. When I was in high school my science teacher provided this evidence to support the story of Noah.

However, there's absolutely no way to know if the people who wrote records of a "great flood" were describing a divine act of a supernatural being, or a simple natural catastrophe (such as an asteroid strike to an ocean causing worldwide tsunamis) even if all the records are dated to the exact same day. It's like seeing an Unidentified Flying Object and immediately assuming it's from outer space, has weapons, is manned by alien lifeforms which fly ships like we fly planes, and is here to kill us; rather than taking the proper response: admitting that we don't know what it is and taking the necessary steps to find out.

Even if the flood was real--how does that prove the rest of the story?

Besides, isn't faith about not needing evidence?

As for the OP,

Personally, I have been struggling with this. As a Biology major, we talk about evolution daily in my classes. It has been proven over and over and over. I grew up religious, but lately have been re-thinking my views. Everyone I talk to seems to think that it either has to be you believe in God and therefore do not believe in evolution OR you don't believe in God and you believe in evolution. Why? I believe that God created the Earth, but then things fell into place by his own design... this means that the Bible shouldn't be taken LITERALLY, but perhaps metaphorically...

I don't know...

What do y'all think about this topic?

You don't have to believe in anything. It's perfectly fine to just not know. The Bible is just a book; people put way too much value in its words because they've been taught to.

The Bible and other holy books attempt to do what all people did when they first began to gaze into the night sky; or better yet, themselves: explain what it all means. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of human life, and something every human being ought, and should be given the opportunity to do. It's a pity that people use religion in an attempt to extinguish this burning desire within us, but it's wonderful that it never truly succeeds. Even the most devout have pangs of doubt which ring through their being like curious children being born into existence. The human imagination is incredible.

Religions claim to know happiness; yet they still seek it. They claim to know truth; yet they still lie. They claim that mysteries exist which we cannot ever explain; yet they still ponder them.

Science makes but one claim: that we can know.

Think about it. The Earth is one planet. One planet in orbit of one star, the Sun--almost a thousand times the mass of the Earth--in one galaxy containing billions of stars and solar systems. And the known universe contains billions of galaxies. As Carl Sagan so eloquently puts it:

Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot

I felt a wonderful sense of freedom when I realized that absolutely anything, ANYTHING can be real. Even the world around you is a product of your mind. Every dream you've ever had could be just as real as the air you breathe, or think you're breathing. The Bible can be real too, and I'm sure some people would love for the Bible to be reality--and it is, for them. It really is.

But if you can choose your own reality, why choose a book's?

Offline AtlasEros

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #138 on: January 22, 2011, 10:15:35 PM »
Evolution clearly happened, and is still happening.

Online Kiari03

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #139 on: January 23, 2011, 05:42:12 AM »
I had a Biology teacher in high school that was a former preacher. He didn't leave his profession because he lost faith, I know that, but I don't know why he left to teach to a bunch of high school kids. Anyway, one day we asked him which he believed in, God or evolution. He said both. The way he saw it, the time it took for us to go from swimming like tadpoles in the primordial ooze to where we stand in His likeness now is a blink of an eye in comparison to the eternity God has created for us. And who is to say that this evolution was not God's way of creating us in his likeness? His special way of making sure we made it here for the long term, because this world is very unforgiving to the foreign. Should he have just plopped us down here without any developed immunities we would have been extinct a long time ago. That is how he saw it and I now see it as well. Hope that helps ^ ^.

Offline Falcot

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #140 on: January 28, 2011, 11:12:41 PM »
The controversy is only with biblical literalists. The story of creation (Genesis) is a 'story' of how sin came into the world. The way I and many others view it is as a story with a moral (or something to teach). Now what I believe many people have come to accept is yes evolution makes sense to the modern opinion but if you need to bring God into it, why not say evolution was part of God's plan.


There is not conflict between religion and evolution unless you create it.

You can simply see evolution as a miracle; there is no sacrilegious context or harm

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #141 on: January 28, 2011, 11:22:39 PM »
The controversy is only with biblical literalists. The story of creation (Genesis) is a 'story' of how sin came into the world. The way I and many others view it is as a story with a moral (or something to teach). Now what I believe many people have come to accept is yes evolution makes sense to the modern opinion but if you need to bring God into it, why not say evolution was part of God's plan.


There is not conflict between religion and evolution unless you create it.

You can simply see evolution as a miracle; there is no sacrilegious context or harm

Thanks, but I'd rather see evolution as the scientific process for which it is.  We, as rational individuals, have come to understand how it happens fundamentally as well as scientifically and I don't believe there is really a need to see it as some sort of "miracle".  Why mystify something like that?

Offline Caehlim

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #142 on: January 29, 2011, 10:52:31 AM »
If an omnipotent, omniscient being created the universe, then it certainly seems possible that they could have done so by starting off a lengthy process that would yield the desired results.

However it seems implausible to me, that such a being would then author a book discussing their creation and include incorrect information. Particularly if they possessed that sort of foresight and thus should realize that people would eventually discover the correct information themselves and discredit the book.

Offline Noelle

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #143 on: January 29, 2011, 11:13:43 AM »
That's if you consider the Bible a document written by God himself -- but as we know, it's a document that's been woven in and out of its original language by various translators which is already a loss in the quality of language, and then sifted through the filter of countless individuals who imbued their own meaning and tossed out the ones they didn't like. The Bible is like a game of telephone -- by the time it gets to you, the message went from "love each other" to "homeless pancake flipper". Besides, in its historical context up until about Darwin or so, they just didn't have the scope of knowledge to understand evolution at all.

I guess it depends heavily on just how seriously you're taking Biblical information in this case, but that's also why fundamentalists usually can't reconcile science and faith.

Offline Sandman02

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #144 on: January 29, 2011, 08:18:07 PM »
  Whenever I hear this topic being argued, I only bring up one simple point, which is as follows: The argument of religion/Creationism vs Evolution is not simply a matter of who is "right" - a rational, logical mind must always bear in mind the possibility that what they think - even what they think they can prove - can still be wrong. The real issue is calling something it isn't - namely, the attempt to label Creationism as Science. Creationism is not Science because the premises that they are based on come from religious literature and not purely from observations of the natural world (starting a hypothesis and then following through with the Scientific Method). So feel free to discuss and teach Creationism anytime, anywhere so long as it is not behind a door that reads "biology class." Creationism is not Science, and the attempt to include it in science textbooks is a joke move that is not befitting an intelligent, educated society.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #145 on: January 30, 2011, 06:55:08 AM »
That's if you consider the Bible a document written by God himself -- but as we know, it's a document that's been woven in and out of its original language by various translators which is already a loss in the quality of language, and then sifted through the filter of countless individuals who imbued their own meaning and tossed out the ones they didn't like. The Bible is like a game of telephone -- by the time it gets to you, the message went from "love each other" to "homeless pancake flipper".

If this deity can foresee 4 billion years of mutating DNA and arrange it to end with a desired result, then it would be comparatively only child's play to track 2000 years of linguistic shifting.

My point is that it seems very unlikely that any being responsible for any deliberate creation of human life via evolution also wrote the bible.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #146 on: January 30, 2011, 09:19:19 AM »
Well, for one evolution is a natural process not a scientific one.

Also, for the sentiment against mystifying the process there is much reason to see faith and the unknown.  The process is complex but at the same time so simple.  Results so vast and amazing come from such a simple configuration that there is much to marvel over.  Just because science has found the elements of the process and moves to understand them does not detract from the beauty or the awe that can be found in life.  I can easily see why someone would find God there. 

As for the Bible, perhaps a being that understands how we think and learn would know better than to just hand over the blue prints.  Maybe there are things we are supposed to learn first, wisdom to be had before we charge forward recklessly. 

Offline Noelle

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #147 on: January 30, 2011, 12:06:16 PM »
If this deity can foresee 4 billion years of mutating DNA and arrange it to end with a desired result, then it would be comparatively only child's play to track 2000 years of linguistic shifting.

My point is that it seems very unlikely that any being responsible for any deliberate creation of human life via evolution also wrote the bible.

That was kind of my point, as well. Any original meaning is pretty much diluted down by now and doesn't even take into account the other religions in existence that defy the whole 'one religion to rule them all' thing. We can't all be right in that regard.  I think (hypothetically; I'm agnostic, myself) God's got better things to do than to take the time to author his own book and then drop it off in the hands of his creations that he pretty much already know are gonna slaughter the thing on down the road.

However, if I had to believe in the existence of God right this instant with no reservations, I think I could probably reconcile an idea of evolution being kick-started by a higher power and then left to develop of its own accord. I think it's far more agreeable than Creationism in general.

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #148 on: January 30, 2011, 02:22:00 PM »
I think there's room in evolution for god.  However, there is nothing in the theory of evolution or our observations of reality that implies that the gaps in our understanding necessitates (or even implies by any reasonable measure) that they be filled by an intelligent agent.  And that is the difference between intelligent design and science.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 02:23:15 PM by Jude »

Offline squidsyd7

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #149 on: March 29, 2011, 01:50:16 AM »
First, remember that everything in science is always just a theory.  Nothing is proven.  Gravity is still a theory.  Scientists have come to accept that not everything can be proven, but they can make educated guesses and come to a conclusion of what is the most likely answer.

That, for me, is the main difference between religion and science.  Science accepts the fact that they can't have all the answers for everything, and instead puts their efforts towards continuing to try to find answers.  Religion, in my opinion, substitutes faith for that reasoning in order to come to a less educated conclusion.  I believe that the idea of God and religion was created to fill in the blanks of what we didn't know at the time.  Look back to ancient religions - I'll use ancient Rome as an example (because I'm a huge classics nerd).  They were polytheistic (until Christianity came along), and had many different myths that explained the creation of various items - thunder, the ocean, wind, etc.  This was because they didn't know what caused thunder, they didn't know how the ocean came to be, they didn't know why some days were windy and some weren't.  Their ancient religion was created so that they would feel secure in this "knowledge", however unproven it may be. 

When it comes down to it, mankind just wants to know stuff.  The one driving force that dictates everything we do is the quest for knowledge.  Why do we explore new places, experiment with different objects, test things?  Because we want to know.  When we don't know, we don't feel at ease with our own existence.  We don't know why we're here, so we're trying to learn.

I realize that I've gone off on this huge tangent trying to answer your question, so I'll pull myself back to my original point.  In my opinion, both should be taught in schools as theories (which they both are).  Evolution, though there is a lot more evidence that backs it up and is the answer that most fits what we already know about evolution and animals today, is still a theory.  Creationism has nothing to back it up and is pretty much just a story, but it is still a theory.  If we want to be fair, we will teach both of them as such, and lay out all of the evidence to let people make their own informed decisions.