Faith - did it evolve or is it natural?

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wolram
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So did it evolve or is it natural, i can think of many acts that would test my faith.
 

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Evo
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Faith as in the supernatural?
 
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The only thing I have faith in is the people on Physic's Forums. I no longer do research on anything. I just ask a question here and I know within about 15 minutes I'll have all the answers I need. If I ever prayed it would be to Moonbear and Astronuc, but I'm pretty sure Moonbear requires a sacrifice of some type.
 
wolram
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Faith as in the supernatural?
Only faith in our leading lights of science.
 
turbo
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Woolie, you may wish to read this paper titled "The Case Against Cosmology". It was written by an observational astronomer named Michael Disney. His position is that cosmology is founded on such a small number of relevant observations, and propped up with so many freely-adjustable parameters and assumptions that it cannot (at present) be considered a science, but a belief system. I have posted this link before, so you may have already have read this paper.

http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0009020

Here is another link that might interest you. Scroll down to Nov 2, 2005 and watch Michael Strauss' presentation to the Space Telescope Science Institute. Strauss is the scientific spokesperson for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and has co-authored many important papers. There are several points that he makes about quasars in this presentation that should give any loyal BB-adherent pause.

1) SDSS has observed quasars out to z~6.5. Because luminosity falls off as a function of the square of the distance (absent absorption), if quasars are at the distances implied by their redshifts, these distant quasars would have be be powered by black holes of several billion Solar masses, cannibalizing host galaxies of over a trillion Solar masses. Since z~6.5 corresponds to a time a few hundred million years after the BB, how did these monsters have time to form?

2) These high-z quasars have solar or super-solar metallicities. Our Sun is presumably the product of generations of supernovae, so how did these massive bodies get so metal-enriched so early?

3) Cosmologists expected to see some evolution in the metallicities of quasars with redshift. SDSS found none, even out to z~6.5, either in absolute or relative metallicity.

4) Cosmologists expected that higher-redshift quasars would stand a much higher chance of being lensed because of the very long distances and the increased appearance of massive objects on our line-of-sight to them. None of the z=5.7-6.5 in the SDSS survey are lensed.

Strauss points out in this presentation that theorists have not been able to reconcile these observations with the current cosmological model. He is not a maverick - he is a senior member of perhaps the most prestigious observational consortium operating today, and his words bear heeding.

http://www.stsci.edu/institute/itsd/information/streaming/archive/STScIScienceColloquiaFall2005/ [Broken]
 
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wolram
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turbo, i have read all these things and more, the more i read the more i wonder if cosmology is even a science , i think it is maths nuts trying to out do one another, and i think they have lost contact with reality.
 
russ_watters
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I'm pretty sure Moonbear requires a sacrifice of some type.
As long as you do the paperwork...
 
russ_watters
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So did it evolve or is it natural, i can think of many acts that would test my faith.
In "The Demon Haunted World", Sagan argues that humans have "belief engines". We are pre-programmed for pattern recognition to a degree that causes us to see patterns where none exist in an effort to make sense of what we see. This is where all sorts of beliefs (including faiths) come from.
 
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And Occam Razor of course, if there is a simpler explanation for a problem, choose the simpler. However, if there are two or more different explanations, perhaps, you should not choose in the first place and have so much faith in that, because that's basically a affirming the consequent fallacy.
 
wolram
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And Occam Razor of course, if there is a simpler explanation for a problem, choose the simpler. However, if there are two or more different explanations, perhaps, you should not choose in the first place and have so much faith in that, because that's basically a affirming the consequent fallacy.
Occams razor is just an idea and it is just so loaded.
 
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Would Evo be the goddess of clumsiness and self-injury?
 
turbo
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Occams razor is just an idea and it is just so loaded.
Occam's razor might be just an idea, but consider how horribly convoluted cosmology has become, with new entities and new freely adjustable parameters introduced to explain every discordant observation. If Occam's razor ever had a ripe target, it is cosmology. Particle physics, quantum theory, condensed-matter physics, and on and on are well-founded, well-motivated, and supported by experimentation. Most of cosmology is inaccessible to experimentation, and necessarily must rely on observation. When observations conflict with theories, it's prudent to engage in epistemology and ask ourselves whether our theories need to be drastically overhauled. Einstein's memoriam on the death of Ernst Mach addressed this need to re-examine theory.
How does it happen that a properly endowed natural scientist comes to concern himself with epistemology? Is there no more valuable work in his specialty? I hear many of my colleagues saying, and I sense it from many more, that they feel this way. I cannot share this sentiment. ... Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve such an authority over us that we forget their earthly origins and accept them as unalterable givens. Thus they come to be stamped as 'necessities of thought,' 'a priori givens,' etc. The path of scientific advance is often made impassable for a long time through such errors. For that reason, it is by no means an idle game if we become practiced in analyzing the long common place concepts and exhibiting those circumstances upon which their justification and usefulness depend, how they have grown up, individually, out of the givens of experience. By this means, their all-too-great authority will be broken.
 
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turbo
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Would Evo be the goddess of clumsiness and self-injury?
Certainly! That is not an article of faith. As Will Sonnet used to say "No brag, just fact."
 
Astronuc
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Would Evo be the goddess of clumsiness and self-injury?
Watch for a lightning bolt! :biggrin:

I see Evo being a combination of Aphrodite (Love and Beauty), Artemis (Forest and Hunt) and Hestia (Home and Hearth). :approve:
 
turbo
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Watch for a lightning bolt! :biggrin:

I see Evo being a combination of Aphrodite (Love and Beauty), Artemis (Forest and Hunt) and Hestia (Home and Hearth). :approve:
Might I add that she is the goddess of the pratfall (aka Carol Burnett) on PF?
 
Evo
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Would Evo be the goddess of clumsiness and self-injury?
:biggrin: Yes, that would be me.
 
Danger
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I'm going to say this only once, since the last time I got involved in a thread about this topic it got locked pretty quickly. I absolutely cannot believe that any individual who has not been exposed to the idea from an external influence would ever consider the existence of a supreme being. It's such a ludicrous concept that it takes a society to come up with it.
 
russ_watters
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And Occam Razor of course, if there is a simpler explanation for a problem, choose the simpler. However, if there are two or more different explanations, perhaps, you should not choose in the first place and have so much faith in that, because that's basically a affirming the consequent fallacy.
Some people disagree, but just to be pedantic, I like to separate faith into a sub-category of belief, with faith requiring an absence of evidence.
 
russ_watters
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I absolutely cannot believe that any individual who has not been exposed to the idea from an external influence would ever consider the existence of a supreme being. It's such a ludicrous concept that it takes a society to come up with it.
It really is pretty basic: since our belief engines have to assign a cause for every effect, when there is something we don't understand, it becomes convenient to attach a supernatural element to it. That's why basically everything that happened in the natural world used to be attached to the supernatural. People simply didn't understand what was going on and couldn't conceive of a natural explanation, so they attached a supernatural one.

Now this is where it gets sticky and where some have said that I've replaced the default assumption of a supernatural element with an equivalent faith/belief in science for situations where there isn't much evidence to go on. Its true that I use a default assumption of science, but I'm ok with it: I see the success of science as evidence that it works and evidence that even for new situations, there is probably a scientific explanation. So I don't consider that to be faith.
 
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Danger
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That's why basically everything that happened in the natural world used to be attached to the supernatural. People simply didn't understand what was going on and couldn't conceive of a natural explanation, so they attached a supernatural one.
Exactly! People... not a singular person. No isolated individual would think of such a thing.
I agree fully with the second part of your post.
I'm not going to participate further in this thread, since I tend to get a bit... belligerent about the subject, but I'll keep reading it.
 
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:biggrin: Yes, that would be me.
Evo has a sense of humor. I like that....
 
Ivan Seeking
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I absolutely cannot believe that any individual who has not been exposed to the idea from an external influence would ever consider the existence of a supreme being. It's such a ludicrous concept that it takes a society to come up with it.
Obviously someone had to come up with the idea in the first place. And it would appear that most cultures develop the notion of a supreme being or beings.

The problem that I have with many ideas expressed here is that they assume that there are never legitimate reasons for faith. Ironically, this is being taken on faith as true without question.

Also worthy of mention: As I understand it, Sagan had a change of heart about all of this before he died.
 
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russ_watters
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Exactly! People... not a singular person. No isolated individual would think of such a thing.
I didn't mean it that way. I do think that it is a combination of the two.
 
666
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Watch for a lightning bolt! :biggrin:

I see Evo being a combination of Aphrodite (Love and Beauty), Artemis (Forest and Hunt) and Hestia (Home and Hearth). :approve:
blech
 
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Also worthy of mention: As I understand it, Sagan had a change of heart about all of this before he died.
I kind of doubt it. I couldn't find a single credible source to confirm the above statement. What I did find was a lifetime of agnosticism, and an epilogue written by his wife in his book 'Billions and Billions.'
Ann Druyan said:
Contrary to the fantasies of the fundamentalists, there was no deathbed conversion, no last minute refuge taken in a comforting vision of a heaven or an afterlife. For Carl, what mattered most was what was true, not merely what would make us feel better. Even at this moment when anyone would be forgiven for turning away from the reality of our situation, Carl was unflinching. As we looked deeply into each others eyes, it was with a shared conviction that our wondrous life together was ending forever.
I have difficulty believing that the person who loved him most would outright lie about the events of his deathbed. I see no reason to disbelieve her.
 

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