Help My Science vs. Religion paper

  • Thread starter Whalstib
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Hi, I initiated a discussion that got over heated before this simple question was answred so perhaps someone would like to comment on it. This began as a simple question regarding evolution and for me has become the focal point of a series of papers for a writing class. The discussion was veering into religion and I don’t want to go there but here is my question: It regards the Big Bang Theory

Did Georges Lemaître’s religion get in the way of his science?
Was his science influenced by his religion?
Was he attempting to prove some sort of mechanism for creation?

While I’m aware the Big Bang has been expanded upon I understand it is still a credible idea.

I ask this question as this stage of my project is an oral presentation and I have taken the extremes of science and religion and polarized as much as possible and now am asking the question if they can co-exist, if any issues are present between religion and science are they legitimate concerns for scientists? Can one be a great scientist and devout religious in this day and age? At what point does one interfere with another? Would you be concerned if a science colleague harbored extreme religious views?

Thanks for any input. It’s a first year writing course and not for publication and will actually not be written but commented upon in a powerpoint presentation, something like “members of a scientific forum had these sort of comments….”

W
 

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  • #2
ideasrule
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The topic of science vs. religion has been discussed to death all over the world in every field imaginable, and in some that are not. I don't want to interfere with your presentation, but this seems much too broad a topic to be addressing. Are you sure you don't need to narrow your focus? Something like "how did Lemaitre's religion affect his science?" would be better because you'll have the chance to invent original ideas, instead of re-stating the arguments others have already used.

About the Big Bang: Lemaitre himself actually said that believed in keeping science and religion separate. See http://books.google.com/books?id=4i...snum=3&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAjgU#v=onepage&q&f=false", for example. I quote: "Hundreds of professional and amateur scientists actually believe the Bible pretends to teach science...this is a good deal like assuming that there must be authentic religious dogma in the binomial theorem."
 
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  • #3
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The topic of science vs. religion has been discussed to death all over the world in every field imaginable, and in some that are not. I don't want to interfere with your presentation, but this seems much too broad a topic to be addressing. Are you sure you don't need to narrow your focus? Something like "how did Lemaitre's religion affect his science?" would be better because you'll have the chance to invent original ideas, instead of re-stating the arguments others have already used.

Actually the presentation is called Science Religion and Faith and a taking off point is both science and religion are taken as faiths by many. I have asked many people with science backgrounds to elaborate about evolution (not here) and they can't articulate the most basic premise of evolution yet firmly believe it. They quickly get defensive. I myself am in a faith mode as I'm not a biologist and rely upon those whose opinions I respect to guide me until I have the back ground. Isn't this faith? I'm not judging.

Lemaitre seems to be the poster boy for serious science and serious religion in one. Thanks for the link I was drawing blanks on his thoughts on the matter.

W
 
  • #4
Drakkith
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Isn't this faith? I'm not judging.

I don't see it as faith. I see this as trust in the scientific method and in thousands upon thousands of scientists through the ages. Trust that for the most part, science and it's findings are correct. To me the key here is that I can go back and do the same experiments they did and find the same results. And this happens ALL the time in science classrooms around the world along with amateurs in their own back yards or basements. I don't see that as faith, I see that as trust.

I have asked many people with science backgrounds to elaborate about evolution (not here) and they can't articulate the most basic premise of evolution yet firmly believe it. They quickly get defensive.

What would you like to know? Or are you just seeing if they know the background on it? I'm not a scientist but I do read alot and I think I have a pretty good grasp on how evolution works. Also, don't mistake the inability to explain it as proof that they simply take it on faith. It is about evidence. And some people, me included, are NOT good at explaining things lol.
 
  • #5
ideasrule
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Actually the presentation is called Science Religion and Faith and a taking off point is both science and religion are taken as faiths by many.
I have asked many people with science backgrounds to elaborate about evolution (not here) and they can't articulate the most basic premise of evolution yet firmly believe it.

Just curious: what do you consider the most basic premise of evolution? What are some of the incorrect answers you received?

They quickly get defensive. I myself am in a faith mode as I'm not a biologist and rely upon those whose opinions I respect to guide me until I have the back ground. Isn't this faith? I'm not judging.

I would call it faith, but it's fundamentally different from faith in religion. I have faith that my computer won't explode and kill me because although I don't know its exact design, my computer has never exploded before, my friends' computers have never exploded before, and even though some computer batteries have exploded, these instances are rare. I have faith in the police because the police has never harassed me or my friends, and although there are instances of police harassment, these are rare and vastly outnumbered by the number of amount of justice police officers do. Similarly, I have faith in the scientific community because it has consistently produced excellent results, many of which have resulted in revolutionary technology, and although scientific fraud does exist, it is rare and vastly outweighed by the amount of genuine knowledge created by science.

On the other hand, many (most?) religious people openly admit that there's no evidence for religion, and that their belief is solely based on faith. I highly doubt they would ever claim that there's no evidence their computer wouldn't explode, so it's a very different form of faith.
 
  • #6
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Some religions such as Anglicanism and Catholicism ie the larger Christian denominations believe in the big bang and evolution. It's only the Muslims and a tiny minority of literalitsts and fundamentalists that disagree with anything in science these days. I am of the belief we should just ignore them and maybe they'll get bored. It's not like they have any substantive argument beyond God must of done it because I can't imagine how it happened. Which is pretty much creationism in a nut shell. I never learned this properly so I will attach myself to any old misapplied rubbish and pretend my grandfather want no damn ape etc.
 
  • #7
Pythagorean
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The necessary fallacy in the sciences is an appeal to authority.

But it's deeper than that, really. We're taught about verifiability/repeatability, the idea being that everyone has access to the information no matter who they are. Of course, this isn't actually true since some experiments cost a lot of energy and time (i.e. money) and not every university has access.

The spirit however, is good faith as a student. You are able to perform many classical experiments with very little budget (it's especially good knowledge in that it's repeatable on almost any chunk of matter you find). So you appeal to authority. You assume the rigorousness persists in all the branches you aren't a part of. And if you look (and many do, many scientists are skeptic of scientific claims. There's a particular kind of personality that helps weed-out unfounded claims.)

It's a lot like open source programs. You generally trust them because for every program, there's several archiving nerds out there that are making sure it's legit.

So yes, we have good faith in our community... for the most part:

"A scientist is a mimosa when he himself has made a mistake, and a roaring lion when he discovers a mistake of others." ... --Albert Einstein
 
  • #8
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Actually the presentation is called Science Religion and Faith and a taking off point is both science and religion are taken as faiths by many. I have asked many people with science backgrounds to elaborate about evolution (not here) and they can't articulate the most basic premise of evolution yet firmly believe it. They quickly get defensive. I myself am in a faith mode as I'm not a biologist and rely upon those whose opinions I respect to guide me until I have the back ground. Isn't this faith? I'm not judging.

Lemaitre seems to be the poster boy for serious science and serious religion in one. Thanks for the link I was drawing blanks on his thoughts on the matter.

W

The most basic premise is The Origin of species: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

There you can go and tell your friends that someone did it over 200 years ago.

Just asserting something is true by anecdote doesn't mean it is true. You are not even remotely correct. Some terms in science are imprecise because there is no distinct border and it is meant as a conceptual term. This does not make the over arching structure and sheer weight of evidence incorrect, it just means that given the span of history is so large it is not possible to pin down exact iotas in time as exactly anything. Creationists use this as a means to claim therefore the sphere is false but these are just issues of ignorance and poor understanding. This is just another specious argument in a long line of falsehoods that isn't even remotely pertinent.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13620-evolution-24-myths-and-misconceptions.html

This debunks the 24 most popular myths promoted by creationists.

There are literally hundreds of these arguments, some are down right lies (often deliberate) others are just the result of ignorance and bad scientific understanding.
 
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