Is Science Man Made?

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I've read about Skinner's Pigeons in recent psychology textbooks. I believe zoobyshoe was using that as an example. This was a classic experiment, not to mention the fact that the web page was called psychology Classics. This is a real effect. People debate about for Skinner's experiment, but only in the context of whether it is operant conditioning or classical.
My point was that there is a respectable scientific claim that animals can be superstitious. That can be construed as partway toward being religious, depending on the extent an observer equates religion with superstition.

For my money, the more primitive the religion the more it is a collection of superstitions aimed at trying to control the external world: the weather, the hunt, personal safety, etc.
 

Evo

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Neither I understand why some scientific people feel the urge to devalue and misinterpret religions.
That's not it at all. Religion has a place for people that need it. But it is not science. No one should try to pretend religion is science, or is even remotely similar. Scientific people would like the religious to stick with their religion and stop attacking science, like the two have anything in common, they don't.
 

FinixUnion

To say that the scientific method and religious belief don't conflict is ignorant of the controversy, and is practicing wishful thinking.
 

chiro

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Both science and religion have to at some point work under faith.

Religion works under a different faith though: it requires often a faith that does not make use of controlled observations like science does in the way that they don't use the scientific method. (Funnily enough though, there have been some great thinkers and scientists that have come from very religious backgrounds).

Science does require of course that you can produce results using some formally defined controlled procedure that other scientists can replicate to generate results. From this scientists agree (or disagree) on the results and upon some kind of consensus within the scientific community, results are at some point established.

But the thing is that science does not answer why: people speculate about the why just like priests speculate about Jesus Christ, Krishna, Mohammed, and even what many call 'God' and this reality that we perceive and engage in.

Scientists speculate about these things in different ways. Look at for example Quantum Mechanics. You have the Copenhagen interpretation and you have also the Everett interpretation and even now we have various additions and twists on these kinds of things.

The thing that underlies both science and religion is the nature of uncertainty. We have abandoned the idea that we can have complete predictive power as a result of the results in Quantum Mechanics. Both the scientists and the religious of the world are bound by this even though scientists make highly controlled observations from highly controlled experiments and religious do not.

We are all bound by uncertainty, and scientists if they think that they are less bound by it even with their current understanding of the 'how' should think long and hard about what they are saying.
 

Ryan_m_b

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Both science and religion have to at some point work under faith.
No it doesn't. Faith is the acceptance of a claim without and even in spite of evidence. Science works on the acceptance of claims that have met their burden of proof. People often think and say that science has "faith" when what they are really referring to is that it relies on tentative trust.
But the thing is that science does not answer why: people speculate about the why just like priests speculate about Jesus Christ, Krishna, Mohammed, and even what many call 'God' and this reality that we perceive and engage in.
Of course science speculates on the why for example: "Why does Y happen when X happens" or for a more practical example "why do organisms seem suited for the environment they are in?" Obviously the scientific method is then employed to find answers to these questions. The utterly mundane problem comes when people conflate the use of the term why with some sort of intent/purpose/intelligence.
Scientists speculate about these things in different ways. Look at for example Quantum Mechanics. You have the Copenhagen interpretation and you have also the Everett interpretation and even now we have various additions and twists on these kinds of things.
Yes, science speculates on the basis of previously established conclusions (in turn based on previously established data) in an attempt to construct logical hypotheses to test in order to answer questions about the universe. Saying "it's just a different way" is true but misleading because you neglect to point out that one way is logical and useful in determining truth and the other isn't.
The thing that underlies both science and religion is the nature of uncertainty. We have abandoned the idea that we can have complete predictive power as a result of the results in Quantum Mechanics. Both the scientists and the religious of the world are bound by this even though scientists make highly controlled observations from highly controlled experiments and religious do not.

We are all bound by uncertainty, and scientists if they think that they are less bound by it even with their current understanding of the 'how' should think long and hard about what they are saying.
I have no idea what your point is here. A foundation of science is that there is no absolute certainty whereas many religions not only claim absolute certainty but do so even in the face of contradictions and changes in dogma over time.
 

chiro

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No it doesn't. Faith is the acceptance of a claim without and even in spite of evidence. Science works on the acceptance of claims that have met their burden of proof. People often think and say that science has "faith" when what they are really referring to is that it relies on tentative trust.
The point I'm trying to make is that there is faith. Scientists do use their results to back up their argument, but it is faith. There is nothing wrong with this and I would rather see faithful arguments based on something that is clarified and also based on what is known, but it is faith.

Faith and trust are both elements of faith. People of all kinds have different trusts for all kinds of different reasons and this includes scientists.

Faith is also not a bad thing.

Yes, science speculates on the basis of previously established conclusions (in turn based on previously established data) in an attempt to construct logical hypotheses to test in order to answer questions about the universe. Saying "it's just a different way" is true but misleading because you neglect to point out that one way is logical and useful in determining truth and the other isn't.
At the very end of it all people will have to take a leap of faith. It's a lot easier for many people to accept the scientific method, but again there is going to be uncertainty and when it comes to putting your foot down on making a decision what to believe and what to trust, then that is where faith comes in.

We all as human beings have to do this: we are inundated with information from every possible source in every way and we all have to make sense of it and decide from this uncertainty what we will believe which will affect how we live our lives.

Also logical is a misnomer because many people have different definitions of what logical actually is.

The other thing is that logic is different for different people depending on not only what is being proposed but who is proposing it. I would never expect on average a person who has been intimately working in a field to have a lower logical understanding of something in that field than someone who hasn't had much experience in that field.

If a scientist who spent 20 years of their life explained what they thought about what they have been studying all that time, I would take their view a lot more strongly than someone who is speculating without any experience.

You can have scientists (and anyone for that matter) make claims on what they think is 'logical' for things that they do not know and it doesn't make it any better just because they are scientists.

The best thing is to ultimately make up your own damned mind and sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. This applies to everyone including priests, their congregation, non-religious non-scientists and also scientists.

I have no idea what your point is here. A foundation of science is that there is no absolute certainty whereas many religions not only claim absolute certainty but do so even in the face of contradictions and changes in dogma over time.
I agree that religions do have a tendancy to create a kind of 'business' shall we say of 'selling beliefs' even if it means doing that any cost whether that means having all the dogma, contradictions and so on.

But this is more or less also a large reflection of human beings. Human beings do this all the time. You can't tell me that there are no scientists that don't 'cook data' or 'fudge numbers' when something big is at stake because that is absolutely ridiculous.

Everything that we do is based on some kind of faith of which most people know as trust. When trust is broken, thing's get crazy.

We have faith when we go to work in that we trust that we will get paid. We have faith in our money being worth what it is worth to facilitate commerce. We trust our government to do it's job that it is assigned to do. We trust that our childrens teachers do their job and don't prey on kids.

The point is that trust is something that people have to do in so many ways on a regular basis. Trust is not just for religion and science, but it is for pretty much everything that humans are involved in.
 
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The point I'm trying to make is that there is faith. Scientists do use their results to back up their argument, but it is faith. There is nothing wrong with this and I would rather see faithful arguments based on something that is clarified and also based on what is known, but it is faith.

At the very end of it all people will have to take a leap of faith. It's a lot easier for many people to accept the scientific method, but again there is going to be uncertainty and when it comes to putting your foot down on making a decision what to believe and what to trust, then that is where faith comes in.
But this is more or less also a large reflection of human beings. Human beings do this all the time. You can't tell me that there are no scientists that don't 'cook data' or 'fudge numbers' when something big is at stake because that is absolutely ridiculous.
Faith is a human behavioral tendency to look for positive outcomes. Sure even scientists also use it in their field . But science itself does not make use of faith.In science a negative result as important as a positive one. Either the hypothesis is correct or not(of course this is a simplistic view).

The other thing is that logic is different for different people depending on not only what is being proposed but who is proposing it. I would never expect on average a person who has been intimately working in a field to have a lower logical understanding of something in that field than someone who hasn't had much experience in that field.

You can have scientists (and anyone for that matter) make claims on what they think is 'logical' for things that they do not know and it doesn't make it any better just because they are scientists.
Logic itself is not sufficient to know about something. Sure everyday people use their own logic to go through life. But that by itself does not make it true. Superstitious people try to use logic and try push their personal experiences as something to justify their logic. Answer is logic itself is not sufficient always.Even some scientists can ideally speculate on something just by reading about it.
 

Ryan_m_b

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Sorry chrio but you're using an utterly alien definition of faith in order to prove your point. Tentative trust based on what has currently been demonstrated to be true is different to accepting a claim without/in spite of evidence.

Your whole argument boils down to "people take faith in science, people take faith in religion, therefore they are similar/the same". Arguments based on faulty premises rarely produce anything of merit.
 

FinixUnion

Faith? I'm sure faith in something or somebody is different than religious faith.
I do have faith in the scientific method, and in the philosophy of science, but not a religious faith. I have believe it's the best method available rather than believing it's the most valid method without any evidence. Let's try to be less ambiguous here.

Chrio, the way you put your argument was by using an ambiguous and alien definition of faith.
 
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That's not it at all. Religion has a place for people that need it. But it is not science. No one should try to pretend religion is science, or is even remotely similar.
Yes, I fully agree with this.

Scientific people would like the religious to stick with their religion and stop attacking science, like the two have anything in common, they don't
To say that the scientific method and religious belief don't conflict is ignorant of the controversy, and is practicing wishful thinking.
However, you are talking about politics here not science. Science is a profession and converting other people to believe in or accept science is not a part of that profession IMO.
 
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I do not believe that Chiro is using an alien definition of the term "faith". I believe that some religious people use an alien definition of the term "faith", particularly in the sense of "blind faith". For instance, I as a lay person, have "faith" in science. I have not run any experiments nor done any of the research necessary to actually have "knowledge" of the science that I consider "true". I have "faith" in the scientific community to screen this information and use rigorous peer review. I have "faith" in my ability to read the information as presented and consider the soundness of the methodology. Ultimately I do not actually "know" anything about the sciences, it is all taken on "faith" in the system and philosophy of science.

When you believe a thing no matter what, that is not "faith", that is generally called "brainwashing". It is only called "faith" by orthodox apologists.
 

Ryan_m_b

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I do not believe that Chiro is using an alien definition of the term "faith". I believe that some religious people use an alien definition of the term "faith", particularly in the sense of "blind faith". For instance, I as a lay person, have "faith" in science. I have not run any experiments nor done any of the research necessary to actually have "knowledge" of the science that I consider "true". I have "faith" in the scientific community to screen this information and use rigorous peer review. I have "faith" in my ability to read the information as presented and consider the soundness of the methodology. Ultimately I do not actually "know" anything about the sciences, it is all taken on "faith" in the system and philosophy of science.

When you believe a thing no matter what, that is not "faith", that is generally called "brainwashing". It is only called "faith" by orthodox apologists.
I would replace every use of the word faith there with trust. It makes more sense.
 
I would replace every use of the word faith there with trust. It makes more sense.
The first definition for faith from dictionary.com...

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

By etymology dictionary "duty of fulfilling one's trust"...
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=faith&searchmode=none

"Faith" and "trust" are not such different things based on a standard, non religious orthodox, definition.
 

Ryan_m_b

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The first definition for faith from dictionary.com...

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

By etymology dictionary "duty of fulfilling one's trust"...
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=faith&searchmode=none

"Faith" and "trust" are not such different things based on a standard, non religious orthodox, definition.
Therein lies the problem. The word is used to describe two utterly different things needlessly and interchangeably. There is no need to use the word faith when you mean trust, all it does is open the door to potential conflation with religious faith.

For example: to say "I have faith in science" is a statement used by proponents of religion in place of science to conflate the two. Someone arguing against using religion as a means to determine truth about the world could rightly point out the necessity of faith and why that's an intellectual dead-end, if the debate is in the public sphere it's dishonest but easy for someone to argue that scientists have faith too.
 

FinixUnion

However, you are talking about politics here not science. Science is a profession and converting other people to believe in or accept science is not a part of that profession IMO.
What are you talking about? What do you think influences policy? The fact that scientific discoveries conflict with religious belief is highly evident. You speak for all scientist?
 
Science predicts the future based on measurable [and measured] properties of the environment. Religion predicts the future based on supernatural authority. Both methods produce incredible results, but, science produces repeatable results.
What incredible results does religion produce? Compared with science?
 
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What incredible results does religion produce? Compared with science?
well, when's the last time science started wars, etc.? Not the same kind of results, but definitely "results". In ancient and medieval times, religion was also a wonderful way for the rules of the day to keep the populace settled and peaceful.
 

Ryan_m_b

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well, when's the last time science started wars, etc.? Not the same kind of results, but definitely "results". In ancient and medieval times, religion was also a wonderful way for the rules of the day to keep the populace settled and peaceful.
:tongue2:
 

Evo

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well, when's the last time science started wars, etc.?
true, science has not started wars, but religion has.
In ancient and medieval times, religion was also a wonderful way for the rules of the day to keep the populace settled and peaceful.
Actually in ancient and medieval times the church helped keep the populace under their control, and the church also controlled the kings and emperors to a great extent. Poor people were forced to work for free on church lands and pay tithe. The local Abbots and Bishops were filthy rich from taking grain, animals, money from the peasants (they also levied taxes, although they paid none), and taking land. Not to mention gifts from rulers that wanted the churches favor. There was major corruption.

There were crusades and other church sanctioned holy wars. The inquisition. It's a long list, it's off topic, and we're not going to start a discussion about it here. I just wanted to make sure we remember things correctly.
 
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I'm not saying it was *good*, I'm just saying it was a *result*. Quite widespread and influential results.
 

Evo

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:tongue2:
I'm no medieval scholar, but I'm pretty sure that most people back then led "peaceful" lives. In that they did not join the army. They probably got stomped on by wars pretty often, but did not enjoy it.

but yeah, I'm not arguing any apologies for religion, just pointing out other kinds of "results".

There's plenty of bad things and also good things that happened because of religion in the world. I'm making no point about the goodness or badness of these things, just pointing out that some things happened because of religion, and they were not insignificant in the scheme of things.
 

Ryan_m_b

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I'm no medieval scholar, but I'm pretty sure that most people back then led "peaceful" lives. In that they did not join the army. They probably got stomped on by wars pretty often, but did not enjoy it.

but yeah, I'm not arguing any apologies for religion, just pointing out other kinds of "results".

There's plenty of bad things and also good things that happened because of religion in the world. I'm making no point about the goodness or badness of these things, just pointing out that some things happened because of religion, and they were not insignificant in the scheme of things.
I don't think anyone was seriously arguing that religion hasn't had a significant effect on the world but rather comparing the results of science and religion is irrelevant. It's like comparing the speed in which a building has been constructed with the score of the local football team. Science is a tool for ascertaining truth about the world and using that knowledge to innovate better tools and methods for survival, proliferation and happiness. The only real way you can compare it to religion is where they both have claims in the same field i.e. at ascertaining truth.
 
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I don't think anyone was seriously arguing that religion hasn't had a significant effect on the world but rather comparing the results of science and religion is irrelevant. It's like comparing the speed in which a building has been constructed with the score of the local football team. Science is a tool for ascertaining truth about the world and using that knowledge to innovate better tools and methods for survival, proliferation and happiness. The only real way you can compare it to religion is where they both have claims in the same field i.e. at ascertaining truth.
rereading the discussion, I agree that I misunderstood what was meant
 

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