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Thread: Science and religion (culled from "Earth not center" thread)

  1. #361
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    I liked that diatribe against pop-culture physics, it was humorous and insightful albeit a bit polemic in its critique. It kind of takes the thread in a new and interesting direction-- when does the misuse of the language and concepts of physics itself begin to supplant religious reverence in ways that are quite different from the proven and reliable value of physics?

  2. #362
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    It is weird that I, the raving athiest would take this stance but science does not prove anything to be baloney. According to my best understanding, the faithful believe that god created the world as it. He simply blinked into existence the many things that we believe to be evidence of age. According to the scriptures, he has that capacity.

    "Can Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that even he can't eat it?"



    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Nope, no more than we should have to with pseudoscience kooks. But when mainstream says something that looks erroneous, it does deserve attention. This is true with much of mainstream religion, IMO. There really aren't that many claims from mainstream religion that would offer exposure to the claims of mainstream science. The 6000 year age for our universe claim, however, is one that does fall into "The Overlap" between science and religion as science has solid evidence that justifiably says "baloney".

    Any solid scientific claim that contradicts a religious view should be regarded by religion as enlightenment and added to the context used to interpret their historical views or scriptures. Be sure to tell them I said so, though St. Augustine warned them first.

    [Surprisingly, there is one religious theory that does this and is compatabile with astronomy and Genesis.]

  3. #363
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    It is weird that I, the raving athiest would take this stance but science does not prove anything to be baloney.
    Science now knows most of the ingredients in meats to qualify some meats as.... baloney.

    Note, however, I did not say anything about proof, but there is a point where certain claims are demonstrably ridiculous. The religious, pseudoscience, and philosophical claims that include objective elements will allow scrutiny from science. It is wise to hear what science says, and the vast majority of religion and philosophy should, and do, listen and learn.

    According to my best understanding, the faithful believe that god created the world as it. He simply blinked into existence the many things that we believe to be evidence of age.
    A small fraction think it took Him 6 days, but the time is not as important as understanding we are criticizing a small group of people. Of course, when a small group becomes politically active, then those with reason will usually speak-up, including Christian judges like Jones in Dover, PA.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  4. #364
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    A small fraction think it took Him 6 days, but the time is not as important as understanding we are criticizing a small group of people. Of course, when a small group becomes politically active, then those with reason will usually speak-up, including Christian judges like Jones in Dover, PA.
    A large fraction in the U.S.

    Some of my professors in Del Mar College believe that's how it happened, and they have no excuse!

  5. #365
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    I think they have an excuse, and more importantly the right to hold that belief. So long as they don't try to teach you that it's science.

  6. #366
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    I think they have an excuse, and more importantly the right to hold that belief. So long as they don't try to teach you that it's science.
    Indeed, they have the right to hold the belief and they have an excuse.

    Doesn't mean that I won't roll my eyes at their silliness.

    Because, in the end, it's a silly belief.

  7. #367
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    What is silly and what is not silly is a matter of opinion. I might even say that it's (oops!) subjective.

    Rolling your eyes at people with views you think are silly is not a very polite thing to do. Remember that Galileo and Kepler, which you no doubt admire, were also in the minority in their day, and had their "silly beliefs" derided.

  8. #368
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    Rolling your eyes at people with views you think are silly is not a very polite thing to do. Remember that Galileo and Kepler, which you no doubt admire, were also in the minority in their day, and had their "silly beliefs" derided.
    Politeness is a pretty subjective thing, too. What's polite to you may be impolite to me.

    Also, Galileo and Kepler were able to demonstrate that they had objective reasons to follow their beliefs.

    Copernicus, however, decided on his model purely on aesthetic reasons, and could churn out no predictable data on his model. Galileo, however, was able to develop the telescope and use it to build a model of heliocentric theory, and was able to make accurate predictions.

    Comparing Galileo to those that take the Bible literally today is very insulting. But I don't expect you to understand that.

    Just remember: You can make fun of scientology all you want, but you can't touch Christianity.

    Either way, people can throw out "subjective" and "objective" all day long. It'll take more than that to convince me that any particular religion should be taken seriously, and despite what Ken G likes to talk about "majority rule", the U.S. does not rely on majority rule. Furthermore, to enact religious views onto the political body of the U.S. goes against the Constitution of the United States, more important the Bill of Rights. We also don't, as Ken G earlier suggested, live in a pure democracy. We live in a democratic republic, with the concept of balance of power. Furthermore, as the majority of our population does not actually vote, the idea of "majority rule" is pretty fallacious overall.

    The things you learn in U.S. Government class that you just can't learn on internet forums...

  9. #369
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Also, Galileo and Kepler were able to demonstrate that they had objective reasons to follow their beliefs.
    Would the harassment they got have been O.K. if they had been wrong, in your opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Comparing Galileo to those that take the Bible literally today is very insulting.
    That, too, is a matter of opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Either way, people can throw out "subjective" and "objective" all day long. It'll take more than that to convince me that any particular religion should be taken seriously, and despite what Ken G likes to talk about "majority rule", the U.S. does not rely on majority rule. Furthermore, to enact religious views onto the political body of the U.S. goes against the Constitution of the United States, more important the Bill of Rights. We also don't, as Ken G earlier suggested, live in a pure democracy. We live in a democratic republic, with the concept of balance of power. Furthermore, as the majority of our population does not actually vote, the idea of "majority rule" is pretty fallacious overall.
    I'm actually not quite sure where you're going with this paragraph. Are people like your professors part of that majority you seem to find so threatening?

  10. #370
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    Would the harassment they got have been O.K. if they had been wrong, in your opinion?
    They had the means to demonstrate whether they were right or wrong. Those that take the bible literally do not offer such an alternative.

    That, too, is a matter of opinion.
    One that's not colored by theism.

    But go ahead. Go with the YEC, and say that the Universe was created 6000 years ago. I really don't care. You can't show it, you can't prove it, and you're basically just making it up as you go. I have no reason to give it credence at all, and comparing Galileo to, "I read some book and thus conclude this as necessary truth", then I'll laugh. I'll keep laughing. Then I'll ignore you.

    I'm actually not quite sure where you're going with this paragraph. Are people like your professors part of that majority you seem to find so threatening?
    Oh, my U.S. Government professor is just fine. Ken G however, earlier stated that we live in a democracy, and the will of the majority tends to overwhelm that of the minority; in this case, religion. He was making a case that my (minority) viewpoint doesn't matter, and that religion SHOULD influence me and my life.

    I.E., he was defending the idea that the public government can influence everyone with public majority religion. Pardon me if I disagree. There's a reason why it's called a secular government.

  11. #371
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    They had the means to demonstrate whether they were right or wrong. Those that take the bible literally do not offer such an alternative.
    So in your opinion it would have been wrong to mock Galileo or Kepler, but O.K. to mock Copernicus...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    One that's not colored by theism.
    I don't see how theism needs to have anything to do with the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    But go ahead. Go with the YEC, and say that the Universe was created 6000 years ago. I really don't care. You can't show it, you can't prove it, and you're basically just making it up as you go. I have no reason to give it credence at all, and comparing Galileo to, "I read some book and thus conclude this as necessary truth", then I'll laugh. I'll keep laughing. Then I'll ignore you.
    I'm not trying to convince you that your professors are right, Lonewulf.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Ken G however, earlier stated that we live in a democracy, and the will of the majority tends to overwhelm that of the minority; in this case, religion. He was making a case that my (minority) viewpoint doesn't matter, and that religion SHOULD influence me and my life.

    I.E., he was defending the idea that the public government can influence everyone with public majority religion. Pardon me if I disagree.
    I doubt that that was his point.

  12. #372
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    So in your opinion it would have been wrong to mock Galileo or Kepler, but O.K. to mock Copernicus...
    He could produce any results, I'd change my mind.

    But see, he posited a theory that could be proven or disproven. So tell me, how will you prove the earth was created 6000 years ago? If you have the relevant data, let's open a new thread and discuss the matter seriously, using evidence and science.

    If you can not use evidence and science, then why shouldn't I mock it? And further, what will you do to prevent me?

    I don't see how theism needs to have anything to do with it.
    It has a lot to do with it. You seem convinced that Galileo and his abilities were equivalent to the average person that takes the Bible literally, while not using evidence or science.

    Galileo used evidence, science, and objective data when constructing a viewpoint of reality. You'd have to have some pretty theist-colored glasses to be blind to that...

    I'm not trying to convince you that your professor is right, Lonewulf.
    I'm not sure if you even unerstand what my professor said. Ken G was the one that claimed that public rule should overcome minority religion (or lack thereof). I'll go back and quote him if you wish.

  13. #373
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    We both live in democracies. That means, whatever views have the greatest traction with the populace, will rule the day. That is why I feel scientists will increase their political relevance when they learn to be better communicators. But that's politics.
    While he may have a point, I will note that both political parties in the U.S. are run by extremists, while the majority of the populace are moderates...

    So I'm somewhat dubious.

    Either way, it doesn't matter what the majority populace believes or doesn't believe. I don't think that a view of reality should only be constructed because it has "value" to us. That's baloney.

    Can you imagine if I did that to history? "I choose to believe that indians were not killed by Americans. It doesn't give me value to do so because I like America".

  14. #374
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    I don't know about you all, but I live in a republic where individual rights are sovereign even above the will of the government, and individuals can live their lives and associate free of their neighbors' collective whims. At least, that's the goal...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASEI View Post
    I don't know about you all, but I live in a republic where individual rights are sovereign even above the will of the government, and individuals can live their lives and associate free of their neighbors' collective whims. At least, that's the goal...
    Yes, I do. When did I say that people should be persecuted for their beliefs?

    My point was that religion should not have public influence on me, and furthermore I'd add that "freedom of speech" applies to all speech, even impolite speech. Quite frankly, I am opinionated on this subject, and further I believe that when you're making a model of reality, it should be an accurate model of reality.

    People like Ken G don't want an accurate model of reality. They just want to make up whatever they want to. And that's fine, but I'll mock them for it. And comparing people like biblical literalists with, say, Galileo is downright ridiculous. The two are on two totally different levels.

    But like I said earlier, I don't expect them to comprehend that.

  16. #376
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Either way, it doesn't matter what the majority populace believes or doesn't believe.
    Nonsense. Of course it matters.

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    Wasn't directed at you. I was directing it at whoever posted the "majority rules" thing. Ugly stupid things can happen under unrestricted majority-rule that doesn't respect individuals. Example - witch trials, acceptance of honor killings, persecution of minority denominations (heck, Europe had nasty external/civil wars over which brand of Christian you were for hundreds of years)

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    Lonewulf, not only have you just misunderstood ASEI, but you are seriously misunderstanding what Ken G has been saying in this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    And... aren't people trying to stop the Kansas School Board? If the majority should make the rules, then why stop them? There's no need to, obviously...

    Of course the majority matters, but are you seriously going to say that the majority of people in the U.S. truly have the majority of the power?

  20. #380
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    Lonewulf, not only have you just misunderstood ASEI, but you are seriously misunderstanding what Ken G has been saying in this thread.
    Okay, then, explain this.

    He said that we should take beliefs on value, not on factual objective content. Why is that, then? Why should "value" be the only requirement for a belief?

    If value is the only reason to get behind a belief, then why shouldn't I apply such a thing to, say, history? Why can't I rearrange history if the "new" history has value to me? Heck, religious extremists do it all the time! They revision the U.S. constitution as having been built up by pure Christians; by Christians, for Christians. The ignore that many of the founding fathers wanted church out of it, were Deists, and didn't believe in Church (though they did believe in God, but also believed in questioning whether or not God exists -- Jefferson called this using "The Reason He gave us".)

  21. #381
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    And... aren't people trying to stop the Kansas School Board?
    They have stopped it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    If the majority should make the rules, then why stop them? There's no need to, obviously...
    If you are equating the Kansas School Board that was tried with "the majority", I think you are making a mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Of course the majority matters, but are you seriously going to say that the majority of people in the U.S. truly have the majority of the power?
    They have an important influence on those who wield power in the country. What the majority thinks can sway, embolden, or intimidate political leaders, in a democracy. Or even in a non-democracy.

    P.S. As for what Ken G wrote, I think it would be preferable if he clarified it for you, but I would urge you to reread some of the discussions in this thread, making an effort to be more open-minded, and ask yourself whether what he was saying really was what you have understood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    If you are equating the Kansas School Board that was tried with "the majority", I think you are making a mistake.
    Ah, so you haven't seen the polls of U.S. citizens that, say, believe in literal creationism, literal interpretation of the bible, etc.?

    I think that you may be leaping to a conclusion, here.

    They have an important influence on those who wield power in the country. What the majority thinks can sway, embolden, or intimidate political leaders, in a democracy. Or even in a non-democracy.
    You're right. See stem cell research.

    But it wasn't the majority that created the U.S. Democracy, it was a group of elites. Regardless, do you still contend that Galileo is comparable to someone that claims the entire universe was created 6,000 years ago?

    Please explain why. Give examples and data. Show how the YEC uses observational data and objective evidence as Galileo did. Show how the YEC designs (or uses) instrumentation to arrive at the conclusion.

    Further, if you have evidence for it, you might as well show any evidence (if it exists) that Gallileo would not have shifted his model if objective evidence was provided that showed him that it was wrong. Perhaps some letter he wrote expressing such?

    If you can provide none of these things, I ask you to retract the comparison, please.

  23. #383
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Ah, so you haven't seen the polls of U.S. citizens that, say, believe in literal creationism, literal interpretation of the bible, etc.?

    I think that you may be leaping to a conclusion, here.
    I have looked at some. In my opinion, people sometimes overanalyse them, reading fundamentalist Biblical literalism into replies which can just as well be interpreted as theistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    But it wasn't the majority that created the U.S. Democracy, it was a group of elites.
    The elite project of a U.S. Democracy would not have survived without the support of its masses. Not considering that it had to fight a war to break free from its former colonial master.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Regardless, do you still contend that Galileo is comparable to someone that claims the entire universe was created 6,000 years ago?

    Please explain why. Give examples and data. Show how the YEC uses observational data and objective evidence as Galileo did. Show how the YEC designs (or uses) instrumentation to arrive at the conclusion.

    Further, if you have evidence for it, you might as well show any evidence (if it exists) that Gallileo would not have shifted his model if objective evidence was provided that showed him that it was wrong. Perhaps some letter he wrote expressing such?

    If you can provide none of these things, I ask you to retract the comparison, please.
    This is not a question of proof for me. I do not need to prove anything. I merely argued that all people should be treated with respect, regardless of their beliefs. It should not matter whether the beliefs in question are true, false, provable, or absurd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    This is not a question of proof for me. I do not need to prove anything. I merely argued that all people should be treated with respect, regardless of their beliefs. It should not matter whether the beliefs in question are true, false, provable, or absurd.
    And the absurd beliefs should not be ridiculed, then?

    If you say "no", then you'll find that majority view may be different from yours.

    As for the polls: Call me mistaken all you want, but if there are contradictory polls, you cannot choose which is right and which was wrong. Though I admit, if you demonstrate the validity of the contradictory poll, then I will change my viewpoint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    And the absurd beliefs should not be ridiculed, then?

    If you say "no", then you'll find that majority view may be different from yours.
    That would not bother me. I am used to following my own path in matters of morality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    As for the polls: Call me mistaken all you want, but if there are contradictory polls, you cannot choose which is right and which was wrong. Though I admit, if you demonstrate the validity of the contradictory poll, then I will change my viewpoint.
    Wait, what other poll do you have in mind?
    Last edited by Disinfo Agent; 2007-Feb-14 at 03:17 AM. Reason: last comment updated, as Lonewulf edited his post.

  26. #386
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    That would not bother me. I am used to following my own path in matters of morality.
    Then it's all your opinion, and quite frankly (going by previous arguments), doesn't affect mine. You see, Ken G can talk all he wants about not caring about the opinion of great people like Dawkins and the like. To me, he's just another name on an internet forum, and even less valid in his opinions. But that's just me.

    Did you look at them, Lonewulf? Don't be so trigger-happy; take a few minutes to read the questions and the answers carefully, and thik through what they might mean.
    Who were the polls done by? Who did they interview? I'm more interested in whether or not the polls may be valid more than anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Then it's all your opinion, and quite frankly (going by previous arguments), doesn't affect mine.
    Quite possibly, though of course I'm hoping this time will be different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Who were the polls done by? Who did they interview? I'm more interested in whether or not the polls may be valid more than anything else.
    Aren't you putting the cart before the horse? Anyway, all that information is accessible through the links I have provided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    Quite possibly, though of course I'm hoping this time will be different.
    Won't work. See, bad ideas should be shown to be bad ideas. It doesn't matter who believes them, or why they're believed.

    If you exclaim that you believe that the entire universe was created 6,000 years ago, then I'll roll my eyes. If you keep pushing your religion on me, then I'll explain how I believe in Zeus, Thor, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster as my "holy trinity", along with a sprinkle of Xenu. One silly belief begets another, and I think that silly beliefs should be shown to be silly. It's quite frankly that simple.

    If you can demonstrate your idea as valid, then it comes to a matter of demonstration. That is why you were so fallacious in comparing Galileo to the YEC.

    You sounded just like the Conspiracy Theorist or ATM advocate that compares himself to... well... galileo or the like. They say, "Well, they laughed at Galileo!" Then the response is, "yes, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown". Just comparing yourself to great men that bucked the system does not make your viewpoint valid, nor does it put you on the same playing field. Galileo had the advantage of proper equipment, a desire to actually search for truth through objective methods, etc. A YEC has no such thing.

    Aren't you putting the cart before the horse?
    What?

    You mean that I shouldn't question whether or not a poll is valid before looking at it? Okay, then. Give me two days, and I'll poll people at Del Mar College. You'll then have to accept that poll on my word; I'll try to make it look official!

    You'll also have to trust all the information in the poll... including that I didn't try to weasel a response out of the person I'm questioning than they would otherwise have given if it was phrased differently (one technique pollsters use). You'd have to trust that I totally randomized the selection instead of selected a small group of people giving me a result that I desire. I don't think I have to go on with this, do I?

    Anyway, all that information is accessible through the links I have provided.
    Okay...

    It was done under the direction of the Princeton Survey Research Associates, and involved a sample of 2000 adults, 18 years of age or older...

    Hmm...

    I wonder if the other poll involved those below the age of 18.

    Anyways, looks decently valid, though a small overall selection compared to a population size of 300 million. Which I suppose is a problem of any poll, to be honest.

    Nationwide, though... 2000 people... I'm not sure if that's really that relevant. I mean, that's about... what? At the least, 40 people per state. Hmm... I'm not sure if you really can come to conclusions based on that.

    I'd have to look at the other survey... I think it was Gallup, right? Their procedures are questionable, I think...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Ken G however, earlier stated that we live in a democracy, and the will of the majority tends to overwhelm that of the minority; in this case, religion. He was making a case that my (minority) viewpoint doesn't matter, and that religion SHOULD influence me and my life.
    Disinfo Agent is right-- you have completely misconstrued my point. You'll note that I never said that any particular opinion "didn't matter", I said that political clout relies on convincing the majority in a democracy. How you managed to construe that fairly obvious observation in terms of a statement of how anyone should have their own beliefs influenced is beyond me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    You see, Ken G can talk all he wants about not caring about the opinion of great people like Dawkins and the like. To me, he's just another name on an internet forum, and even less valid in his opinions.
    My opinions are irrelevant, I present arguments to support them and those arguments are all that matters. Do you imagine that I expect the fact that I have a certain point of view to carry any weight? I don't even care what my own opinions are, let alone someone else's-- I care about the quality of the argument presented. This is the point of a forum, not to expect people to care what your opinions are.

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