The Religion of Science

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Zero

Originally posted by Royce
I offer nothing but ideas and thoughts. I don't want or expect you or any one else to accept anything. I just expect my thoughts and ideas to be read and thought about with an open mind as I try to do with all of yours; considered and accepted or rejected on their own merits, not rejected out of hand because they have within them the words "God" or "religion."
Oh, I did read them...and they are pretty standard stuff. You seem to be coming from it at the angle of 'religion is just as good as science at what science does'...and since that is patently false, you try to re-label science as just another religion.
 
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Originally posted by Royce
Wuli, I don't take it personally. Admittedly I am slow and hard headed and I admit that I too have a closed mind about some things such as communism and organized religion; but, you only have to hit me on the head with that proverbial 2X4 few times before I open my eyes and mind and start looking around to see what's trying to get my attention.
I have never run across such closed minded people out side of a fundamentalist babtist church before. They profess to be logical and scientific, and 'religiously' follow the scientific method. They must be doing it in brail with gloves on.
Shhhh! Don't laugh too loud. You might wake them up. Nawww, that was stupid of me. we couldn't wake these guys up with dynomite.
I live on a commune in southern Baptist redneck territory. Radical conservative communists are every bit as unreasonable and foam at the mouth as the worst religious fundamentalist. Put 'em all in the same room together and they'd kill each other-- in the names of God and science of course. They are two extremes of the same fundamentalism which can be directly traced to its sources within the welfare states and is well documented.

The more capitalistic the country, the more intensely fundamentalist. The heirarchies of the Catholic church tend to do best in the underdeveloped countries where the disparity between rich and poor, royalty and peasents is pronounced. Calvinism does better in wealthier capitalistic societies where people are encouraged to rise above their social class and the sciences are supported more.

There are at least four hundred definitions of socialism, but for our purposes here I will give a simplified definition. Essentially, socialistic countries are distinguished from capitalistic ones by the fact that the government owns much of the foundations of the economy such as the chemical and energy industries, and provides guaranteed basic support for everyone. For example, they provide food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and education. Most european countries are socialist in such respects.

Whereas the US guarantees only a few years of welfare support at around $16,000.00 a year for a family of four, the average in europe is around $22,000.00 a year and is unlimited. In the US, some eighty plus percent of the population is religious while in europe the percentages tend to be reversed. When people feel they can trust each other to provide morality religion looses much of its appeal.

Fundamentalism, both religious and scientific, is notoriously violent and its violence is notably creative. The number one manufactured export of the US is weapons, most of which are developed in time of war. As a result, the US routinely rakes in half the Nobel prizes.
 
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Originally posted by Zero
That's what you guys must love about philosophy and religion...not only can you make up whatever suits you, but you can call others 'close minded' for not accepting your ideas as anything more than your imagination. Science has facts, you have mystic mumblings and myths.
And you apparently have a negative philosophy which contradicts the facts.
 
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You miss my point and the point of this thread.
Point 1.
Religion is as good in religious and spiritual matters as science is is good in science and physical matters.
Pt 2.
Both science and religion are valid appropriate fields of study and contemplation.
Pt 3.
Both science and religion are, to us laymen, a matter of trust beleif and faith.
To us laymen who are not the scientist that actually perform the experiments, science is our taking sombody else's word that the facts, evidence and conclusions are true. We believe the scientist without performing the experiments ourselves or actually seeing the evidence with our own eyes. This is belief in science and scientist.
This is faith in science and scientist just as I believe and have faith in God as well as science and scientist. I see no difference in the two in that aspect.
Pt4.
Science is based on evidence and experiment. We accept that evidence as truth.
Religion is based on evidence and experiment but mostly of a subjective manner but is not only rejected but ridiculed, slandered and debased by the very people who claim to have open objective minds.
This is contraditory.
Pt 5. My most important point.
Science and religion are not mutually exclusive. Both are valid legitamate fields of knowledge to be studied and considered
 

AutisticSavant

Originally posted by Royce
You miss my point and the point of this thread.
Point 1.
Religion is as good in religious and spiritual matters as science is is good in science and physical matters.
Pt 2.
Both science and religion are valid appropriate fields of study and contemplation.
Pt 3.
Both science and religion are, to us laymen, a matter of trust beleif and faith.
To us laymen who are not the scientist that actually perform the experiments, science is our taking sombody else's word that the facts, evidence and conclusions are true. We believe the scientist without performing the experiments ourselves or actually seeing the evidence with our own eyes. This is belief in science and scientist.
This is faith in science and scientist just as I believe and have faith in God as well as science and scientist. I see no difference in the two in that aspect.
Pt4.
Science is based on evidence and experiment. We accept that evidence as truth.
Religion is based on evidence and experiment but mostly of a subjective manner but is not only rejected but ridiculed, slandered and debased by the very people who claim to have open objective minds.
This is contraditory.
Pt 5. My most important point.
Science and religion are not mutually exclusive. Both are valid legitamate fields of knowledge to be studied and considered
1. correct
2. correct
3. wrong
4. correct on first part, wrong on second part
5. wrong
 
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Originally posted by Royce
You miss my point and the point of this thread.


Better make up your mind as to what the point of this thread is. Your original post suggested the point was that science is a religion, which is patently absurd, however science and religion do have some things in common as I have pointed out.

As for religion being just as good as science, that I believe is patently absurd as well. The most progressive and humane nations in the world today are largely secular. Again, as I have already pointed out, religion has supported the development and rapid growth of the sciences, but at horrific cost. As the world grows steadily smaller it can no longer support the capitalistic and feudalistic systems that support religion.
 

ahrkron

Staff Emeritus
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A couple comments,

Originally posted by Royce
Point 1.
Religion is as good in religious and spiritual matters as science is is good in science and physical matters.
It seems to me that this statement is basically void.
Every human activity is "good" when evaluated using its own criteria. An extreme example woould be to say that "antisemitism is as good in race-perfecting matters as science is in physical matters".

The only way to break the tautology would be to use a criterion that applies to both... which is where the problem starts.

Pt 2.
Both science and religion are valid appropriate fields of study and contemplation.
Again, in order to treat them on the same footing (and evaluate how "valid" or "appropriate" they are), we would need to agree to a criterion. In principle, such criterion should not be contained on either (or be equally important in both). This is a hard task, since they basically cover all of our experiences (making it difficult to find a criterion outside both of them) from very different perspectives (which makes it hard to find a criterion shared by both with equal importance).

Pt 3.
Both science and religion are, to us laymen, a matter of trust beleif and faith.
I think this is should not be the case.
It is very unfortunate that science education sometimes ends up teaching "scientific dogma", and making people memorize data and "laws".

The very essence of science is the method, not the results. Memorizing free fall equations and the value of g is no different to religion (acceptance based on authority).

The difference comes when a student understands how such equations correspond to reality. When he takes a wrist watch and times a rock falling, either by himself or in a school lab.

Once this happens, it is not any more the same kind of "faith", since then he knows how every step should relate to experiences.

Not only that. Also, if he wants and is interested enough, it is always always possible for him to go to the lab where any chosen piece of science was found and say "show me that what you published is true". People there will most probably be happy to show him the equipment and the records of the finding, and to explain how the conclusions were obtained.

Science classes shoud have a much closer relation to the corresponding labs.

This is faith in science and scientist just as I believe and have faith in God as well as science and scientist. I see no difference in the two in that aspect.
Again, science should not be regarded as a matter of "faith" any more than sports, economy, politics, etc.

There is a level in which all human interaction is a matter of faith (you have to trust the person that says he is your father, the waiter that takes your credit card for a moment, the boy that parks your car at a restaurant, the people that handles your bank account information). This is true of any organized social effort, as science is. This "ground level" of faith cannot be avoided.

However, religious faith is clearly much above this "ground level" of faith.
 
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Originally posted by Zero
This confuses me...your statement is consistant with the idea that religion is either delusion or brainwashing. If you have to believe before you can see it, what is to say that you aren't imagining it out of your need to see it?
But, in Science, on needs to first have faith in the human ability to understand the objective Universe (whose existence they must also have faith in), and only then can they benefit from "proof".

Note: I am not saying that Science is a religion, as I am rather positive it is not (since, in order to be a religion, it would have to have some kind of deity (at least by most definitions of "religion")).
 
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Wuli and all, I apologize. My last post was in response to Zero's last post which at the time was the last one visible to me. Apparently we were writing our replies at the same time and yours was posted before mine. I had not yet read it when I posted myreply. I should have shown the quote to which I was replying. Again, sorry about that.
Now to reply to all of you.
I do not think that science is a religion. That is absurd as wuli says. My original post was a parody, humor, or at least my feable and apparently poor attempt at humor. My one and only purpose at the time was to show the absurdity of the position that so many others have taken in other threads in this forum that science is solely based on fact, experiements and physical evidence; and, the any and all religion being based solely on faith is illogical, foolish and stupid. A minor point at the time was that they totally reject as nonexistant or lies or delusions the centuries of philisophical debate, the millions of testimonys and witnesses of religios and spitual phenomina. All saying that we have NO evidence.
The other point came about and were developed though out the response to the many reponses in this thread.

ps
I firmly belief that though a parody there is some truth in everything I wrote in the original post. Obviously none of it were whole truths but half truths at best. Thats why I thought it humorous. Obviously if I have to explain the humor, the piece is not humorous.
 

Zero

Originally posted by Royce


ps
I firmly belief that though a parody there is some truth in everything I wrote in the original post. Obviously none of it were whole truths but half truths at best. Thats why I thought it humorous. Obviously if I have to explain the humor, the piece is not humorous.
Try the general board, pal...humor gets lost everywhere else!
 

Zero

Originally posted by wuliheron
And you apparently have a negative philosophy which contradicts the facts.
Show me a fact, just one...something conctrete...please!
 

kat

12
0
Originally posted by wuliheron

The more capitalistic the country, the more intensely fundamentalist. The heirarchies of the Catholic church tend to do best in the underdeveloped countries where the disparity between rich and poor, royalty and peasents is pronounced. Calvinism does better in wealthier capitalistic societies where people are encouraged to rise above their social class and the sciences are supported more.

There are at least four hundred definitions of socialism, but for our purposes here I will give a simplified definition. Essentially, socialistic countries are distinguished from capitalistic ones by the fact that the government owns much of the foundations of the economy such as the chemical and energy industries, and provides guaranteed basic support for everyone. For example, they provide food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and education. Most european countries are socialist in such respects.

Whereas the US guarantees only a few years of welfare support at around $16,000.00 a year for a family of four, the average in europe is around $22,000.00 a year and is unlimited. In the US, some eighty plus percent of the population is religious while in europe the percentages tend to be reversed. When people feel they can trust each other to provide morality religion looses much of its appeal.

I think your numbers for welfare in the U.S. are too high. The last study I reviewed concerning this had U.S. family of four at under 6k a year, and under 10k if you are including supplemental food stamps.
Also where are you getting a 20% religious-80% non-religious figure for Europe from?
 
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Originally posted by kat
I think your numbers for welfare in the U.S. are too high. The last study I reviewed concerning this had U.S. family of four at under 6k a year, and under 10k if you are including supplemental food stamps.
Also where are you getting a 20% religious-80% non-religious figure for Europe from?
The statistics for welfare I obtained from Utne magazine, which is not likely to inflate such figures. However, I have heard them criticized as not accounting for differences in cost of living.

The non-religious/religious statistics was a mistake on my part. I ment to say Fundamentalist/Nonfundamentalists. Recent statistics gathered show a clear progression and preference for Fundamentalist religions in the most capitalistic countries, less fundamentalist ones in less capitalistic countries, and Atheism in communist countries. In other words, the more capitalistic and classist a country, the more religious.

If you want, there are also a number of interesting statistics correlating crime and religion as well. However, religious statistics and how meaningful they are admittedly difficult to tabulate. One study of people in the US claiming to attend church regularly, for example, demonstrated they often lie about such things.

Here is one of the better websites I know of on the subject:

http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/atheism.html#related [Broken]

They claim there are an estimated one million atheists in the US and 18 million in europe.
 
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Originally posted by Royce
...Presumably apples didn’t fall from trees prior to Newton’s discovery of gravity or surely someone else would have noticed a few thousand years earlier...
[?]

Einstein... discovered first Special and then General Relativity by proving that everything was relative doing away with most of Newton’s work...


...Schrodinger... invented or discovered Quantum mechanics by putting a cat in a box with a “diabolical device’...


Now of course everyone understands Relativity the gist of which seems to be that no one can tell how fast he is going unless he looks out a window and no one canever know what time it is even if they look out the window as all of their clocks will be wrong. He also did away with Newton’s gravity by showing that space was bent, twisted and deformed by matter and everything tended to run down hill as a result.


Dare I go on?

Good Goddess almighty. Someone needs to hit the books.
 

Alexander

Originally posted by wuliheron
Considering at least eighty percent of the US alone is religious, evidently a great deal.
Eighty percent in US still believe in mythology? This is well behind of other idustrialized countries.
 

Alexander

Originally posted by Hurkyl
Many a religous person would disagree. They have seen evidence of the splendor of God, and you too would be perfectly capable of seeing that evidence if you would only have faith.

Interesting twist.

If you see an apple falling down, the the only thing which prevents you from seeing the evidence of apple falling up (in the direction of heaven) is the faith that apples fall up, not down.

As soon as you get strong faith that apples fall up - you start seeing them falling up everywhere.
 
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Originally posted by Alexander
Eighty percent in US still believe in mythology? This is well behind of other idustrialized countries.
That's a conservative estimate, and the vast majority of them are fundamentalists. You know, religions that say women are inferior to men, evil must be fought by all means possible, etc. A good percentage of the Atheists I know in the US are just as fundamentalist, but with different beliefs. Ted Kazinsky, the unibomber, was an atheist who believed technology is evil. Others I know believe capitalism is the source of all evil, but most seem to believe religion is the source of all evil. Evil is perhaps the most destructive myth ever invented.
 

FZ+

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Evil is perhaps the most destructive myth ever invented.
Indeed. Both I fear modern society has long developed an addiction to the premise of a simplistic system of good vs evil, them vs us. It would be very hard to break such a thing, which is ingrained in so much of world culture.
Then again, it is reassuring that not every atheist is an unibomber..:wink:
 
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Originally posted by FZ+
Indeed. Both I fear modern society has long developed an addiction to the premise of a simplistic system of good vs evil, them vs us. It would be very hard to break such a thing, which is ingrained in so much of world culture.
Then again, it is reassuring that not every atheist is an unibomber..:wink:
According to some statistics, atheists in general are peaceful, law abiding citizens in comparison to the religious. That's not to say Atheism doesn't have its own drawbacks, especially fundamentalist atheism. Just that many of the arguments put forward in favor of religion are highly questionable.
 

Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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If you have to believe before you can see it, what is to say that you aren't imagining it out of your need to see it?
Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't it the case that most of the experimental evidence for scientific concepts relies on believing other scientific concepts? For instance, how can we take the missing electron neutrinos as evidence that neutrinos have mass without believing the theoretical derivation of the laws of neutrino mixing? How can we take the redshifted light from distant galaxies as evidence of universal expansion if we don't first believe General Relativity is right? And how can we take any scientific experiment evidence for anything if we don't first have faith in statistical reasoning?
 

FZ+

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Maybe we don't have faith in statistical reasoning, but simply conclude that one theory has a larger consistency with the data than the alternative? Hence we don't believe our current system of knowledge to be true, we simply state that it fits the data best out of all the known possibilities?
Does that make sense?
 
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Originally posted by FZ+
Maybe we don't have faith in statistical reasoning, but simply conclude that one theory has a larger consistency with the data than the alternative? Hence we don't believe our current system of knowledge to be true, we simply state that it fits the data best out of all the known possibilities?
Does that make sense?
Does it ever, there are lies, damn lies, and then statistics!
 

russ_watters

Mentor
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Originally posted by Hurkyl
Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't it the case that most of the experimental evidence for scientific concepts relies on believing other scientific concepts? For instance, how can we take the missing electron neutrinos as evidence that neutrinos have mass without believing the theoretical derivation of the laws of neutrino mixing? How can we take the redshifted light from distant galaxies as evidence of universal expansion if we don't first believe General Relativity is right? And how can we take any scientific experiment evidence for anything if we don't first have faith in statistical reasoning?
Yes, you are wrong. You've mentioned this before (as have others). The experiments, observations, calculations - all of the evidence - of all scientific theories are available to you if you choose to look at them. So no, you do NOT need to rely on belief in order to get up to speed on science. It may be a lot to learn, but you can learn it if you choose to (and are smart enough).

Contrast that with religion, for which there IS no evidence for you to investigate on your own.
 
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Originally posted by russ_watters
Yes, you are wrong. You've mentioned this before (as have others). The experiments, observations, calculations - all of the evidence - of all scientific theories are available to you if you choose to look at them. So no, you do NOT need to rely on belief in order to get up to speed on science. It may be a lot to learn, but you can learn it if you choose to (and are smart enough).
________________________

Where ,pray tell, are we going to learn it? From books, other people,
in classrooms? That will still be taking someone elses word for the truth. Faith that they are telling the truth and giving us fact that they themselves got from some other source. Unless we individually perform every experiment that has ever been done and perform all the valid and invalid math maniplulations that has been done ourselves we are still relying on the word and integrity and accuracy of others. That is we believe them without visible proof the we our selves have collected. That is an act of faith. Nothing wrong with it. Its unavoidable but it is not the almighty logical physical undeniable absolute truth that all of you make it out to be.

_____________________

Contrast that with religion, for which there IS no evidence for you to investigate on your own.
____________________________

You are doing just exactly what I'm complaining about 3 thousnand years of study, debate and writings don't exist? Go to any library in the country and look at the religious and the philosophy section. Then tell me that we have no evidence or are you really that blind and biased that you cannot see anything but what you want to see.
Which is exactly what you accuse us religous people of being. Read the post in just this one thread and see how many time it is claimed that science has all the hard physical evidence and relion has none.
Possibly you will detect a biased unfounded attitude. It is not just you its all of the scientific community.
 
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Zero, I hate to admit it but your right. Humor does get lost here as well as a number of other things.

I am going to say this one time and then I'm through beating my head against this brick wall and am going to move on.

The scientific, community has no PROOF either, not personally nor collectively about most of the modern theories. There is no PROOF that SR, GR, or QM are complete or wholly correct. That is why they are theories. We have evidence that supports some of what the theories imply but no complete proof. we can not even understand much less explain what we have learned about QM. It is still bound up in the Great Mystery, we can only speculate. That is not PROOF.
 

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