Faith in Science

  • Thread starter Kerrie
  • Start date
  • #26
Tom Mattson
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,500
8
anyway, back to the topic...

Originally posted by Phobos
I posted back in PF 2.0. Here's the Reader's Digest version...

Here are the faiths of science...
(1) The universe exists.
(2) The universe works according to certain laws (patterns).
(3) Those laws are understandable.
I would agree with zimbo when he says...

Originally posted by zimbo:
I agree with those. I would have added that we have faith that those laws of the universe are fundamental and unchangeable over time. (Hence scepticism about induction: So far, each time I drop a piece of paper in my room, it falls. But am I using faith when I believe that the same will happen whenever I do it in the future?)
And even to that, I would add that the laws are the same everywhere. This one was challenged a surprising number of times at PF v2.0. What makes us so sure of it?
 
  • #27
LURCH
Science Advisor
2,549
118


Originally posted by Mentat
"Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demostration of realities, though not beheld" (Hebrews 11:1).

I think this sums it up pretty well. Science is not based on faith, because the "demonstration of realities" is beheld.
I think this is an excellent disription of the faith modern man places in science. I would wager that most of us here are fairly confident that medical science will eventually discovered a cure for cancer. This confidence is "faith" as described by the biblical passage above. There is "evident demonstration" in the fact that medical science has solved many similar problems in the past. However, no one has ever "beheld" medical science actually finding the cure for cancer.
 
  • #28
3,077
4
Mentat
I agree with Adam here. Faith may be involved in the first two steps of the Scientific Method (the ones I attribute to being in the realm of "Philosophy"), but it has no place, after experimentation.
Would one define "after experimentation" as when the wavefunction has "collapsed"? Are faith and physical reality then antithetical? Does the wavefunction represent faith before experimental measurement?
 
  • #30
3,762
2


Originally posted by LURCH
I think this is an excellent disription of the faith modern man places in science. I would wager that most of us here are fairly confident that medical science will eventually discovered a cure for cancer. This confidence is "faith" as described by the biblical passage above. There is "evident demonstration" in the fact that medical science has solved many similar problems in the past. However, no one has ever "beheld" medical science actually finding the cure for cancer.
Actually, you (and njorl, in a previous post) are describing faith in the possibilities of scientific discovery. However, this is not the kind of "faith in science" that I thought Kerrie was talking about. I thought she was talking about how much faith is involved in actual scientific study.
 
  • #31
RuroumiKenshin
In my opinion, faith in science is based on the postulates collected from experiments(although such experiments don't neccesarily have to be done in the physical world: i.e, metaphysics).


Originally posted by Mentat
"Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demostration of realities, though not beheld" (Hebrews 11:1).


I agree with that scripture. But when you relate it to "faith in science", I don't believe "though not beheld" applies to all aspects of science, but metaphysical aspects of it. Or have I interpreted it wrong?
 
  • #32
no, I don't have any 'faith' in science. There's no point to it. After all, science in man's creation and science will die along with mankind.
 
  • #33
RuroumiKenshin
true, psyber freek. but, the context of "faith in science" refers to now, while humans still exist.
 
  • #34
Kerrie
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
827
15
i think humanity continues to have "faith in science" (not the same perspective as i intentionally meant) because it is the only "truth" we can "rely" on for now...
 
  • #35
RuroumiKenshin
Edit: Humanity relies on the results of science.
The definition of science is...
The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
~from www.dictionary.com

So, does humanity rely on "the observation indentification, description, experimental investigation and theoretical explanation of phenomena"? I think not, but the results of it. But then, in the end, these results are functions of science.
 
  • #36
Obviously, we need rely on science to benefit ourselves, but we can't believe completely in science because thats not the sole reality. For example, consciousness exists but it can't be scientifically observed.
 
  • #37
Kerrie
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
827
15
excellent point psyber freak...we know it's there, but can't physically sense it with our known 5 senses...
 
  • #38
RuroumiKenshin
Currently, we can't "observe" it. There's been a fairly new discovery of biophotons. They're supposed to unite QM with consciousness, so to speak. Anyhow, biophotons could be the possible key to our understanding of consciousness, which could very well be a series of EM/electric currents. This will all be resolved through further study of biophotons.
 
  • #39
3,762
2
Alright, I'm glad that some of you are remembering the difference between faith in the potential of scientific discovery, and faith in the current level scientific knowledge.
 

Related Threads on Faith in Science

  • Poll
  • Last Post
4
Replies
76
Views
11K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
90
Views
6K
  • Last Post
6
Replies
135
Views
10K
Replies
72
Views
6K
Replies
10
Views
3K
  • Last Post
10
Replies
235
Views
31K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
99
Views
9K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
97
Views
6K
Top