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Science versus religion
#1
Many religions have sacred books. It is an offence against the religion's principles to doubt the word of the sacred book. The authority of the book is absolute.

To the scientist, no authority can be absolute, and everything we claim to know must be questioned. Only repeatable demonstration can verify a statement, and any counter-example requires the re-assessment of the statement.
Limited experiments show that unsupported objects fall to the earth. Why is a helium balloon an exception? This needs us to show that air can support a balloon. Astronimy shows that celestial objects tend to fall towards the sun ... and so understanding progresses, because scientific theories are always being criticised and modified.

However, to the religious, there has been one perfect revelation, and this was described by someone hundreds of years ago. No criticism and no modification can be accepted.
By the way, not all religions follow the same revelation.

This makes it difficult for a scientist to be religious.
#2
You describe science as it should be, but not as it is. What you described is the ideal which should be aspired to. But there are human elements which divert scientists from doing so in real life. First is the ego, which resists recognition of it's errors, even when shown proof. Ego is very underestimated. Then there is money and prestige. Scientists in the real world are professionals with careers and they must make money like everyone else. Often this is an interest conflicting with objective investigation. Some scientists are really only opportunists and have no scientific aims.

"To the scientist, no authority can be absolute, and everything we claim to know must be questioned." In practice this is far from the truth. Science has long and frequently been the god of many people, who claim it is the last authority. Science has been many people's religion. Science is not the highest authority because (1) it does not encompass all fields of knowledge or arts; and (2) it is a human endeavor and therefore, even with the best will and all honesty, it is inherently limited. The whole reason we have science is that we don't know everything about the world, so science is by it's very nature incomplete and our knowledge from it is incomplete.

Another way in which science can and has become a religion for many people is that many scientific ideas have been imposed by authorities who forbid those ideas to be questioned, regardless of numerous "repeated demonstrations" to the contrary. This is not real science, but a mixture of science with ideology or vested political and/or financial interest. Certain scientific ideas have served as religions for many people, because of their philosophical orientation.

An example of this is the climate change "consensus". Climate change "consensus" treats science as if t is a democracy. If science were a democracy, it would mean that the academics of Galileo's day were right about the universe being geostationary and geocentric, even though scientists changed their minds centuries later. Science is based on evidence and reason, not majority opinion. If one scientist out of a million had a position based on evidence and reason and all the rest did not, that one scientist would still be right.

Your central notion that science conflicts with religion is contradicted by history. Modern western science was founded by devoutly Christian men who based their investigation upon their religious ideas. They were not merely deferring to the dominant religion of their time and country. They had no "difficulty" being religious. There was no conflict with their religion and their science - their science stemmed from their religion.

You are right that religious books are revelatory, sacred and authoritative. But this does not mean that a religious book necessarily contradicts scientific discovery. Your assumption that it does is based on your unstated assumption that all religions are wrong. Therefore you are arguing in a circle or begging the question; i.e. you are assuming the conclusion of your argument as a premise for your argument, thereby ensuring that that conclusion is reached. This is a common logical fallacy, and a very unscientific one - a very biased one. It demonstrates nothing but your bias against religion.

If one religion is right (and only one can be completely right), then scientific discovery will confirm it and not conflict with it. That is, if the God of this religion created the natural universe and made revelations to those living in it, then scientific investigation of the universe will not conflict with those revelations. No modification to the revelation needs to be accepted, because it will not disagree with scientific discoveries.

So your task is to show that science contradicts all religions and, further, that it disproves any conceivable religion, e.g., that it disproves the existence of any kind of God.
#3
Quote: You describe science as it should be, but not as it is.
Answer: No, I describe what I and my associates learnt, taught and practised. Yes, I've seen ego interfere with the pursuit of truth and research distorted by financial constraints; but usually there comes a breakthrough, often based on new techniques of observation.

Quote: Science is not the highest authority
Answer: No, truth is the highest authority, and true science often the best way to discover truth.

Quote: many scientific ideas have been imposed by authorities who forbid those ideas to be questioned
Answer: Yes, as Lysenko's work was upheld by Stalin and therefore "unquestionable"; but where are Stalin and Lysenko now?

Quote: Your central notion that science conflicts with religion is contradicted by history. Modern western science was founded by devoutly Christian men who based their investigation upon their religious ideas. They were not merely deferring to the dominant religion of their time and country. They had no "difficulty" being religious. There was no conflict with their religion and their science - their science stemmed from their religion.

Answer: Yes, Galileo and Copernicus held views on the solar system which were obviously shaped by their religious environment. Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace's views on evolution were obviously derived from their religious beliefs. Or were they in fact condemned by religious authorities? (What a sarcastic #### I am)

Quote: So your task is to show that science contradicts all religions and, further, that it disproves any conceivable religion, e.g., that it disproves the existence of any kind of God.

Answer: No. It is impossible to disprove the existence of "any kind of God". For instance, consider a microscopic God, who has not acted in our universe for a million years. The existence of such a God would be very hard to disprove or prove.
First, define your God. State what God's nature is, and what God's actions are, and I will happily go in search of the entity you define, and be delighted if I find God. But "any sort of God" is far too vague a definition.
As well might I attempt to prove or disprove the existence of the great invisible sea serpent, which never yet has been seen.
#4
jfish1936 Wrote:Quote: You describe science as it should be, but not as it is.
Answer: No, I describe what I and my associates learnt, taught and practised.

So you learnt, taught and practised it as it should not be?

Quote:Yes, I've seen ego interfere with the pursuit of truth and research distorted by financial constraints; but usually there comes a breakthrough, often based on new techniques of observation.

My point was that science is not a perfect system; simply because, since it is a human endeavor, human factors are involved. Even when the steps are conscientiously adhered to, human limitations and error are involved. The whole reason we have science at all is that human knowledge is limited, and this is itself one limitation on current scientific investigation itself.

You and other scientists aspire to the ideal in scientific investigation, but not all scientists are. We can't just consider the good scientists and ignore the bad ones. The scientific community is made up of interdependent individuals, so we cannot isolate the good scientists from the bad ones.

Therefore you cannot hold science up as a perfect standard against which to compare other fields, like religion, as you implied in your original post.

Quote:Quote: Science is not the highest authority
Answer: No, truth is the highest authority, and true science often the best way to discover truth.

Truth is not itself an authority. An authority is a source of truth (real or alleged). Truth cannot be an authority on itself. Truth doesn't just turn up to your university and proclaim itself - it must be discovered and reported. ("Authority" can have the sense either of being a genuine source of truth or somebody who decides and/or imposes supposed truth.)

Whether or not science is the best way to find truth, it is not perfect itself. Science only deals with truth in one field: the natural world. The natural world does not include everything that exists, therefore science cannot be the highest source of truth about everything or even the things it does deal with. There are other kinds of truth: philosophy (which science was originally classed as just one branch of, and properly still should be), theology, the arts, mathematics, and so on. Science is a branch of philosophy because it is a system of human thought and inquiry, one particularly concerned with the natural world.

Theology is not invalidated as a field by science, because science can only make statements about the natural world. It cannot directly confirm or deny the truth of religion, since religion is concerned with the supernatural - things outside of the natural world, to which science is restricted.

However, scientific discoveries and theories can be used to judge the truth of religious claims where they concern the natural world in some way. But at that point we are engaging in philosophical thought apart from direct science, which is only about direct investigation of the natural world.

Quote:Quote: many scientific ideas have been imposed by authorities who forbid those ideas to be questioned
Answer: Yes, as Lysenko's work was upheld by Stalin and therefore "unquestionable"; but where are Stalin and Lysenko now?

It didn't stop with Stalin and Lysenko. It doesn't just happen under political dictatorships and other such dictatorships are still in existence. Russia is still a dictatorship; Stalin is gone but he was replaced. Lysenko and Stalin are both gone, but unscientific ideas continue to be imposed by others.

Quote:Quote: Your central notion that science conflicts with religion is contradicted by history. Modern western science was founded by devoutly Christian men who based their investigation upon their religious ideas. They were not merely deferring to the dominant religion of their time and country. They had no "difficulty" being religious. There was no conflict with their religion and their science - their science stemmed from their religion.

Answer: Yes, Galileo and Copernicus held views on the solar system which were obviously shaped by their religious environment.

The church did not officially sanction the geocentric universe. The Bible does not support a geocentric universe. Galileo was originally only opposed by academic establishment, not the church. Hence it was a case of scientific dogmatism. That dogma didnot come from the Bible but from ancient Greek ideas which were still popular though much of it had long been discarded by many scholars. The church only became involved in censuring Galileo when he made an offensive remark about a high church official, who up until then had been a good friend who was supportive of his work.

Galileo never actually proved his ideas at that time - they were not proven until 200 years later. Copernicus was not officially or widely denounced by the church at all in his lifetime - he was criticized only by a minority of clerics who believed in extreme literal interpretations of scripture, which the text itself does not indicate are correct ones. His ideas came under church censure only after Galileo's falling out later on. Add to that, Galileo and Copernicus were themselves Christians, and they even used passages from the Bible to defend their views.

Religious authorities have persecuted alleged heretics for various reasons, not necessarily to do with actual , genuine religious ideas. Usually such persecution is politically motivated or based on religious apostasy rather than orthodoxy. And of course some religions are bound to be in error from the beginning, as some of them must be for others to be true. But this is not exclusive to religion. The same has frequently happened in science, and science is just as prone to it, because just as there were those who treated religion as the final authority, there are those who treat science as the final authority and are reluctant to admit it is prone to perversion and error.or that their own particular notions are unscientific.

Quote:Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace's views on evolution were obviously derived from their religious beliefs. Or were they in fact condemned by religious authorities? (What a sarcastic #### I am)

What the many early scientists whose ideas are the solid foundations of modern science, such as Newton, Pascal, Boyle, Kepler, Linneaus, Fleming, Faraday, Herschel and Dalton?. They were inspired in their work by their religion and their thinking stemmed directly from their religion. They weren't fighting it.

Darwin was not a founder of western science. Darwinism is also not supported by any scientific evidence and actually conflicts with numerous observations. It had to be revised many times from it's original form to even keep up with later discoveries. It serves no useful purpose in other scientific work. Scientists spend most of their time just trying to fit the idea with the evidence and vice versa.

Evolution was merely a dogma based on philosophy rather than science, as many leading Darwinists and a number of evolutionist commentators have openly admitted. Many of these, such as Thomas Huxley, referred to evolution as their "religion". So yes, Darwin did derive his ideas from his religious beliefs - or at least his ideas about religion. Darwin's scientific ideas were very much shaped by his religious background.

You can prove with repeated experiments that Isaac Newton or Michael Faraday were right but you cannot use it to prove that Darwin was right. You can't make any direct observations at all of evolution occurring in the past or in the present.

Quote:Quote: So your task is to show that science contradicts all religions and, further, that it disproves any conceivable religion, e.g., that it disproves the existence of any kind of God.

Answer: No. It is impossible to disprove the existence of "any kind of God". For instance, consider a microscopic God, who has not acted in our universe for a million years. The existence of such a God would be very hard to disprove or prove.
First, define your God. State what God's nature is, and what God's actions are, and I will happily go in search of the entity you define, and be delighted if I find God. But "any sort of God" is far too vague a definition.
As well might I attempt to prove or disprove the existence of the great invisible sea serpent, which never yet has been seen.

If it depends on the type of god, if it's too vague, then why are you certain that science necessarily conflicts with all religions?

Proving the non-existence of a particular type of God is not something you could do in one forum thread and arguments over it would go on forever in my experience. All I meant to do was correct a logical error in your post, which was that you indirectly assumed that all religions are wrong when you assumed that science conflicts with all of them. You don't know that it does.

I think you have taken it on authority that science disproves religion and have not investigated for yourself. This is not scientific thinking. In order for science to be reliable, scientists need have a complete and correct perspective on the nature and proper place of their field

Another false assumption underlying your OP is that religion is exclusively theistic. Non-theistic beliefs can be religious in nature as theistic beliefs are. Evolutionism is religious and, as I already mentioned, leading evolutionists have eagerly admitted. it. Evolutionism is not based on science, it is an interpretation of scientific observation according to a theological belief or assumption: "God does not exist". Evolution itself is not science, it is a philosophy according to which observations are interpreted, and often selectively and with extreme bias.
#5
Quote:Evolution was merely a dogma based on philosophy rather than science, as many leading Darwinists and a number of evolutionist commentators have openly admitted.
Evolution was and is a scientific theory based on facts.


Quote:You can prove with repeated experiments that Isaac Newton or Michael Faraday were right but you cannot use it to prove that Darwin was right. You can't make any direct observations at all of evolution occurring in the past or in the present.
You can make indirect observations of evolution occurring in the past and direct observations of evolution occurring in the present.
Micro-organism that have a very short lifespan like bacteria evolve constantly.

Here is a video that will explain what is evolution:



Unlike religion that does not believe in evolution science itself evolves.
Old theories always "mutate" and when a new "mutant" theory turns out to be better than the old dominant theory, it replaces it with time. The old theory either dies or finds a narrow niche where it can be used. This is the power of science it always evolves.

And here is why creationism is not correct:
#6
For me science and religion are two extremely different things.There can be no comparison between the two.
#7
(07-28-2011, 09:26 PM)admin Wrote: Evolution was and is a scientific theory based on facts.

That is not a fact, it is a blatantly fallacious argument based on a fact. If humans once had the same number of chromosones as apes it would not mean that we evolved from them, it would only mean that we are genetically similar to them. There is no evidence that the fusing of those two chromosones via a mutation is what changed us from apes to humans. All it means is that they became fused at some point early in our human ancestry.

Quote:You can make indirect observations of evolution occurring in the past and direct observations of evolution occurring in the present. Micro-organism that have a very short lifespan like bacteria evolve constantly.

Indirect observations are not observations. You are talking about reasoning or supposition based on direct observations or other things. Evolution has never been observed. You are talking about either mutation, cellular adaption or natural selection

Quote:Here is a video that will explain what is evolution:

Then why don't you know what it is?

Quote:Unlike religion that does not believe in evolution science itself evolves. Old theories always "mutate" and when a new "mutant" theory turns out to be better than the old dominant theory, it replaces it with time. The old theory either dies or finds a narrow niche where it can be used. This is the power of science it always evolves.

In science, hypotheses are made based on observations and if they are confirmed by further observation they become models and then theories. To be valid, theories must successfully predict future observations. If they don't, they are modified or discarded, depending on how badly they conflict with the observations.

That is not "mutation". Mutation in genetics is a random error, not a deliberate and constructive modification. Scientific theories evolve due to deliberate and intelligent reasoning. They aren't independent organisms, they are the products of intelligent and rational minds.

Evolution was never a theory. It was never even a valid hypothesis. Darwin admitted at the start that there were observations it could not explain or which flatly contradicted it. Every observation since has contradicted evolution. That is why it keeps "mutating": because it keeps being proven wrong and has to switch to some other hypothesis to avoid being scrapped. None of it's modifications have been in response to actual observations or been confirmed by observations.

Quote:And here is why creationism is not correct:

Dawkins is wrong that organisms all fit into a neat tree structure based on genetic similarities. He is also wrong about "vestigial/relic" features. Many of what were once assumed to be vestigial features have been shown to have important present-day functions. In fact, they were only assumed to be vestigial because of the influence of evolutionary assumptions on purely scientific reasoning.

Dawkins criticism of Kurt Wise is unfair. Wise said that he would admit that the evidence pointed toward "old earth" but would retain his belief in "young earth" out of faith in Scripture. That is not the same thing as refusing to acknowledge scientific evidence. It is merely a faith that further evidence will present the opposite picture. A number of leading evolutionists and atheists (including Isaac Asimov) have made similar statements in reverse, i.e., that even with a huge lack of evidence for evolution or enormous evidence against it, they would still have faith that an evolutionary explanation exists. Many atheists have proclaimed that their belief in evolution is a faith and not purely based on science.

Dawkins is an effete ignoramus.
(07-28-2011, 09:26 PM)admin Wrote: Here is a video that will explain what is evolution:

Evolution is not natural selection, it is based on natural selection. Natural selection is the adaption of populations to their environment due to it's favoring of some genetic features over others. That is not evolution. Natural selection had been known about before Darwin's trip to the Galapogs Islands. Darwin did not discover natural selection. What Darwin proposed was that natural selection, over a great length of time, leads to evolution into different species. Natural selection alone occurs within species, it does not produce new species. Darwin speculated that over a longer time it would produce new species.

But the mechanism of heredity, genes, had not been publicised in Darwin's lifetime. Mendel's discoveries were not published until after Darwin's death. Now it is known that natural selection filters out genetic information, it does not add more information. It merely makes a population more specialised. However, the results of natural selection can be reversed if the environment changes to favor the original genetic features within the population.

For example, those peppered moths did not evolve into another species. All that happened was that the moths which inherited darker colouring survived better than the ones with lighter colouring. There was no new species of moth. They were the same moth. All you got was a predominance of descendents of darker moths. When their habitat became lighter, the population of moths got lighter again.

Heredity doesn't work the way Darwin theorised that it does. Genetics proved him wrong. That is why evolutionists abandoned normal genetic variation as the mechanism of evolution and changed it to genetic mutations, which occur when the original DNA passed on is wrongly copied. Mutations are genetic errors. Today, evolutionists say that evolution occurs when the environment favours a mutation, not an inherited genetic feature. This is a different kind of "natural selection" to the normal kind, which Darwin originally based his theory on.
Don't quote me boy cuz I ain't said shit.
#8
"There is no evidence that the fusing of those two chromosones via a mutation is what changed us from apes to humans."
Nobody said it is.

I have one question for you, what is this in the video?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVqpWTTCNiU


Island genetics, the tendency of small, isolated genetic pools to produce unusual traits, has been observed in many circumstances, including insular dwarfism and the radical changes among certain famous island chains, for example on Komodo. The Galápagos islands are particularly famous for their influence on Charles Darwin. During his five weeks there he heard that Galápagos tortoises could be identified by island, and noticed that Finches differed from one island to another, but it was only nine months later that he reflected that such facts could show that species were changeable. When he returned to England, his speculation on evolution deepened after experts informed him that these were separate species, not just varieties, and famously that other differing Galápagos birds were all species of finches. Though the finches were less important for Darwin, more recent research has shown the birds now known as Darwin's finches to be a classic case of adaptive evolutionary radiation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation


#9
(01-13-2013, 10:54 PM)admin Wrote: "There is no evidence that the fusing of those two chromosones via a mutation is what changed us from apes to humans."
Nobody said it is.

When you posted the video, you typed "Evolution was and is a scientific theory based on facts." just above it. The title of the video is "Genetic Proof of Evolution". At the end of the video, the speaker comments on DNA being "powerful evidence" for common ancestry between humans and other species, apparently referring in particular to the fused chromosones, which are the topic of the video.

But you are right, nobody explicitly said that the fusing is evidence of evolution. Silly me.

Quote:I have one question for you, what is this in the video?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVqpWTTCNiU

Not sure. Twelve fingers and toes is outside of normal human genetic variation. It is probably a mutation which occurred generations ago and has been passed on. Some mutations are beneficial, most are not. Mutations are errors in gene copying, i.e. they are not inherited, but they can be passed on and inherited by future generations. Mutations are not evolution, they are just errors.

Quote:Island genetics, the tendency of small, isolated genetic pools to produce unusual traits, has been observed in many circumstances, including insular dwarfism and the radical changes among certain famous island chains, for example on Komodo. The Galápagos islands are particularly famous for their influence on Charles Darwin. During his five weeks there he heard that Galápagos tortoises could be identified by island, and noticed that Finches differed from one island to another, but it was only nine months later that he reflected that such facts could show that species were changeable. When he returned to England, his speculation on evolution deepened after experts informed him that these were separate species, not just varieties, and famously that other differing Galápagos birds were all species of finches. Though the finches were less important for Darwin, more recent research has shown the birds now known as Darwin's finches to be a classic case of adaptive evolutionary radiation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation

This is just normal natural selection. Natural selection is not evolution, it is merely the supposed mechanism for evolution. It was not even Darwin who first discovered natural selection, though he was the first to give it that name. However, although natural selection is popularly supposed to be the mechanism of evolution, and this is the mechanism Darwin supposed it to be, genetics has shown this not to be the case. Now mutation - errors in gene copying - are the supposed mechanism. Natural selection cannot lead to evolution of newer and more complex organisms because selection can only be performed on an existing genetic variation and it actually reduces genetic variation, it doesn't increase it.

So in isolation, organisms develop "unusual traits" because they are isolated in a different environment to other organisms of the same descent. It is still within the limits of normal genetic variation.

That is what Darwin really discovered in the Galapagos. His reflection "nine months later" that it shows that species are changeable was due to his atheist, uniformitarian bias, which was in place before he left England. It meant no such thing and modern studies of the Galapagos have shown it not to be the case.
Don't quote me boy cuz I ain't said shit.
#10
(01-14-2013, 08:29 AM)justifier Wrote: But you are right, nobody explicitly said that the fusing is evidence of evolution. Silly me.
"Genetic Proof of Evolution" !=  "fusing of those two chromosones via a mutation is what changed us from apes to humans."

(01-14-2013, 08:29 AM)justifier Wrote: This is just normal natural selection. Natural selection is not evolution, it is merely the supposed mechanism for evolution.
It is not just, it is THE mechanism of evolution, without which evolution can not happen. Mutation happens all the time in human population but because there are no natural selection forces almost all human mutation dies off as useless.

(01-14-2013, 08:29 AM)justifier Wrote: Natural selection cannot lead to evolution of newer and more complex organisms because selection can only be performed on an existing genetic variation and it actually reduces genetic variation, it doesn't increase it...
Mutation creates variation, Natural Selection selects the useful one and makes sure it is "saved" (transmitted to as many descendants as possible)... after enough changes a new species is born that can not mate and create offspring with the old species. The new species might be very similar to the old one but because they can not mate they cannot restore the old genetic material so with time it becomes more and more unique.

There are digital algorithms based on evolution that show that the idea works and creates more effective programs.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_programming


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