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Correlation between science and atheism/agnosticism

  1. I belive in some sort of supernatural being(s)

    10 vote(s)
  2. I'm an atheist/agnostic

    24 vote(s)
  1. Apr 12, 2010 #1
    I am searching for correlation with science and atheism/agnosticism. If this thread conflict with the rules (which I don't think it does), I accept that. If so, just remove it.

    If allowed: Discuss the correlation between science and atheism/agnosticism.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2010 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    As long as we do not get into religion-specific debates, or religion bashing, we can give it a try.

    This is about your personal beliefs - not anyone else's - and not about the truth of any particular belief.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  4. Apr 12, 2010 #3
    Right. I'm actually most interested in the poll
  5. Apr 12, 2010 #4
    I don't see, Zetison, how your poll is designed to discern the information you're looking for. All you're going to find out is how many people, who frequent a physics homework forum, and a skepticism sub-forum, who may or may not have any interest or expertise in science, per se, do or don't believe in supernatural beings.

    Can you design some way to work science criteria into your options?
  6. Apr 12, 2010 #5


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    You don't need a poll to tell you that a large majority of members here do not believe in a supernatural being.

    And to those of you who do, before you speak up, I said "a large majority", not "all", so chiming in with "Nonsense! I do!" is pointless.
  7. Apr 13, 2010 #6
    I believe you're supernatural Dave :!!)

    does that count for anything?
  8. Apr 13, 2010 #7

    Math Is Hard

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    I think Georgina has explained the flaws with the poll perfectly.
  9. Apr 13, 2010 #8
    I know. It's is not any documentation. So just relax. It is just to be interesting :smile:

    I have founded what I wanted so far in the poll :smile:
  10. Apr 13, 2010 #9
    In my opinion, I thoroughly enjoy physics and believe in the possibility of the supernatural, yet seek scientific validation of "proposed" findings.
  11. Apr 13, 2010 #10
    What is "the supernatural" for you then? Do you have any definition?
  12. Apr 13, 2010 #11
    Smilie face notwithstanding, I don't believe I need to be told to "just relax" simply because I'm trying to have a lucid discussion with you. You specifically indicated that you were looking for, and I quote your thread title, "Correlation between science and atheism/agnosticism", and I was simply discussing an idea with you about how your poll wouldn't suit your purpose. Maybe you didn't intend to be rude, but you've certainly presented yourself that way.
  13. Apr 13, 2010 #12
    Oh, I'm sorry then. It's just my way to talk. I'm from Norway, so I suppose that our expressions can't be directly translated. And my english sucks. :smile:
    I'm never rude :smile:
  14. Apr 13, 2010 #13
    I'm glad you asked that. I do not know "what" my definition would be other than "beyond natural explanation/speculation" If you were to ask if I would include some of the weird aspects of quantum physics as 'supernatural", my persoanl answer would be no.
    I guess what I'm saying is that I do not have a good answer to your question with respect to "my" opinion.
  15. Apr 13, 2010 #14
    While I voted "atheist/agnostic", however, as most people tend to view that as non-religious, I am a practitioner of Buddhism.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  16. Apr 13, 2010 #15
    Thank you for clarifying that. Your English is very good. :smile: And yes, I agree, expressions rarely translate well from one language to another. I believe entirely that you are never rude.
  17. Apr 13, 2010 #16


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    I believe in science, and I am also Christian. I am a firm believer in the idea that science and religion are separate and not mutually exclusive. The realm of science does not touch the supernatural by definition...otherwise, we'd call it the natural. IMO
  18. Apr 15, 2010 #17
    I take issue with your view of "supernatural". It's the same problem we find with "miracles" etc. the Dalai Lama has pointed out that people regard miracles and the "supernatural" as something outside of nature. This is nonsense. If it exists it is natural. The Dalai Lama correctly notes that miracles are nothing more than the "unexpected". He pointed out that modern jets and laptop computers are clearly "miracles" to anyone from a former age. Or as has been pointed out by Arthur C. Clark, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".

    Hence we see that "supernatural" only means it's nature that we simply don't understand. The reason it is called "super" is the egotistical assumption that the part of nature that man understands is the ONLY part that exists. Things that are not understood are denied no matter what the evidence. Hence if it's not understood, it must be "above" nature. Of course, this ranks with flat earth, no life on other planets, earth at the center of the universe theories. It's basically arrogant ego.

    The choice here you will find is between social Darwinism that views men as nothing but animals and a "revealed" higher science which we are yet to understand. Neither choice seems productive. But those who by their knowledge claim authority, for the most part do all they can to impede any such investigation through a fatal skepticism.
  19. Apr 15, 2010 #18
    Hmm, well I think science does do a number on particular holy scriptures, not dragging any into question. So I don't buy this 'religion and science are seperate'. It's a fallacy.

    Maybe GOD and SCIENCE are seperate because gods are by definition supernatural and science only deals with the natural but religion is definitely a wordly and natural thing. It is not out of the scope of science.
  20. Apr 17, 2010 #19
    I was atheist (not the militant kind, I just didn't care) before I studied math and physics in college.

    1) Energy/Mass is conserved, meaning the universe had to be created. Something from nothing has never been observed.

    2) The genesis story in the bible, while the timetable isn't perfect, is generally describes how the solar system/earth/evolution happened. It's sort of creepy.

    3) The Fermi Paradox

    4) Humans have been breeding cats and dogs from wild animals, I believe they are more intelligent, anyone with a pet they care about would agree. If this keeps up for another 10,000 years they will probably be even more intelligent. I believe someone screwed with primitive man's DNA; not in a corny Star Trek way, but it doesn't seem random.

    5) Fire--->Steam power---->Internal Combustion Engine---->Nuclear power. The physical world seems to be setup to where we can't exploit nature unless in a consecutive laborious manner. Why isn't there a chemical reaction that rivals nuclear power? Were stuck on this damn planet with these crappy rockets.

    There are allot of strange coincidences that don't match up with "random".

    Oh I forgot.

    6) If the cosmos, universe, or whatever you want to call it is so infinite and grand and wonderful then everything you can imagine is happening right now simultaneously somewhere out there, including waking up from the dead. Right now, somewhere out there on a planet with low gravity, a flying spaghetti monster has evolved. Atheists have no imagination, no offense.
  21. Apr 17, 2010 #20


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    Har har very funny. No need to make fun of Believers.
  22. Apr 17, 2010 #21
    All semantics and specific scenarios aside, I feel that something must be behind all of this energy moving about. My curiosity in physics (SR, at the moment) is partly a means of trying to understand how this suposed "creator" operates.
  23. Apr 17, 2010 #22
    If you don't force your religion, or lack there of on me. I won't force my religion on you. Simple as that. Whether or not someone believes in God, or doesn't believe in God, it should not affect their reputation in the science community.

    "Oh well that man believes in God, his work must all be foolishness"
  24. Apr 17, 2010 #23


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    That is a property of the human mind.

    Our minds are built to seek ordered pattern in chaos - even where there is none.

    We see turtles and ponies when we look at fluffy clouds in the sky but that does not mean we are so foolish as to think they are real.
  25. Apr 17, 2010 #24

    Keep the discussion within the guidelines.
  26. Apr 17, 2010 #25


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    I stepped outside no guidelines. I simply invoked Occam's Razor to show thack45 that the appearance of apparent order does not have to be explained by an organizing force.

    [EDIT: Upon reflection: you probably wanted your comment pointed at thack45, who is trying to open the 'What I believe' door.]
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
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