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Faith - did it evolve or is it natural?

  1. Mar 11, 2008 #1

    wolram

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    So did it evolve or is it natural, i can think of many acts that would test my faith.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2008 #2

    Evo

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    Faith as in the supernatural?
     
  4. Mar 11, 2008 #3
    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.
     
  5. Mar 11, 2008 #4

    wolram

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    Only faith in our leading lights of science.
     
  6. Mar 11, 2008 #5

    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/
     
  7. Mar 11, 2008 #6

    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.
     
  8. Mar 11, 2008 #7

    russ_watters

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    As long as you do the paperwork...
     
  9. Mar 11, 2008 #8

    russ_watters

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    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.
     
  10. Mar 11, 2008 #9
    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.
     
  11. Mar 11, 2008 #10

    wolram

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    Occams razor is just an idea and it is just so loaded.
     
  12. Mar 11, 2008 #11
    Would Evo be the goddess of clumsiness and self-injury?
     
  13. Mar 11, 2008 #12

    turbo

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  14. Mar 11, 2008 #13

    turbo

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    Certainly! That is not an article of faith. As Will Sonnet used to say "No brag, just fact."
     
  15. Mar 11, 2008 #14

    Astronuc

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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:
     
  16. Mar 11, 2008 #15

    turbo

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    Might I add that she is the goddess of the pratfall (aka Carol Burnett) on PF?
     
  17. Mar 11, 2008 #16

    Evo

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    :biggrin: Yes, that would be me.
     
  18. Mar 11, 2008 #17

    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.
     
  19. Mar 11, 2008 #18

    russ_watters

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    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.
     
  20. Mar 11, 2008 #19

    russ_watters

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  21. Mar 11, 2008 #20

    Danger

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    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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