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Willum
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:04 am  Religion vs Science - Proof Reply with quote

Why is it that it requires tons and tons of evidence and even practical application to demonstrate a theory in science.
And theories are treated with contempt, as if our world didn't rely on gravity and electricity.

But religion has three books, no back-up and virtually everything is contested, not observed or shown to be false, yet it has such a strong following?

What can explain the idea overwhelming proof can not dismiss anecdotal or idealistic religion?
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 41: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:29 pm
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[Replying to post 40 by DeMotts]

We can also cut him open, examine the bone tissue, and inspect the atomic composition of the structural material, applying knowledge of the elements' known rates of decay, and come up with an average dietary composition.

We can also examine the composition of his internal organs, the proteins that his body naturally produces, and the enzymatic processes that determine what foods he is or isn't capable of digesting.

To those who maybe aren't getting it: Using one very simple assumption, we can glean a lot of information from physical remains. This assumption: The universe's physical laws are constant, meaning we will not observe a change that alters the relational interaction between physical objects in the universe. Sure, it's an assumption, but it's also one that every single human readily applies to their daily lives, and is only contested with the mysticists try their darndest to subvert science with their superstitions and myths.

Because the universe's laws are the same now as they were five minutes ago, we can extrapolate that they were the same a year ago. Two years, 3 years... Well, look at that, we look at the mineral composition of the ground beneath our feet and that tells us there were a range of complex physical interactions resembling those we observe today. So the universe existed many more years ago. And look at this, when we observe something happening now, and we see evidence of that thing happening in the past... we can infer it happened in the past! Even a child could understand this.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 42: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:11 am
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[Replying to Neatras]

Yes, exactly! I've always wondered why some people advocate so strongly for the supernatural - if your stance is that any property of the universe can change at any point for any reason, then why would you ever expect things to behave normally or consistently? And yet we do, of course. The alternative is ridiculous.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 43: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:25 am
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DeMotts wrote:

[Replying to Neatras]

Yes, exactly! I've always wondered why some people advocate so strongly for the supernatural - if your stance is that any property of the universe can change at any point for any reason, then why would you ever expect things to behave normally or consistently? And yet we do, of course. The alternative is ridiculous.


Indeed. Not only that...but how can such a person prove that the laws were actually different? Oh sure they could try to date things using scientific methods such as carbon 14 dating...but wait...oops! Laws can change, seemingly on a dime!
What we have, what the situation is, we have stories that depict a world that operates under physical laws quite different to our own. The believer knows that the real world is at odds with the story world, and so says, that both worlds exist, and that the ways matter and energy interact were actually different a mere few thousand years ago. But sans the story, he has literally nothing at all to go on. How can he prove that, prior to Noah's flood for instance, that all animals were herbivores (yes, I've seen this claim being made)?
What data can such a person gather if he operates under the axiom that data is inherently untrustworthy?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 44: Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:12 pm
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DeMotts wrote:
How can he prove that, prior to Noah's flood for instance, that all animals were herbivores (yes, I've seen this claim being made)?
What data can such a person gather if he operates under the axiom that data is inherently untrustworthy?


But that's a literal reading of the bible. Sensible religious people don't approach the bible like this. The Old Testament bible is not a religion, it is an account of Jewish history. It is not meant to be take literally.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 45: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:29 pm
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mgb wrote:

DeMotts wrote:
How can he prove that, prior to Noah's flood for instance, that all animals were herbivores (yes, I've seen this claim being made)?
What data can such a person gather if he operates under the axiom that data is inherently untrustworthy?


But that's a literal reading of the bible. Sensible religious people don't approach the bible like this. The Old Testament bible is not a religion, it is an account of Jewish history. It is not meant to be take literally.

Bit of a "No True Scotsman" fallacy there mgb. Do "sensible religious people" believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Do they believe also that the dead saints came out of their graves and appeared to people in Jerusalem? (Matthew 27)

What level of supernatural literalism do sensible religious people attribute to the inerrant word of god?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 46: Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:40 pm
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DeMotts wrote:
Bit of a "No True Scotsman" fallacy there mgb. Do "sensible religious people" believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Do they believe also that the dead saints came out of their graves and appeared to people in Jerusalem? (Matthew 27)

What level of supernatural literalism do sensible religious people attribute to the inerrant word of god?



Do sensible scientists talk about how far you have to travel in the multiverse before you meet a copy of yourself? There's science and there's science. There's religion and there's religion. It depends on many things.

Careful reading of the gospel stories suggest that it was an appearence of the spirit of Jesus that people saw. Likewise with people coming out of their graves. None of this may be physical. At any rate, it is not necessary to believe the bible stories to be religious. None of them are essential to religion. Not even the ressurection. The essence of Jesus's teaching is 'I am the way'. That's it. That is Taoism (The Tao = The Way). Religion is a very broad word and you cannot address religion by picking a story out of the bible and presenting it as typical of religion. Religion and religious beliefs are not the same thing. Religion, in its purest form, is a way of life, not a belief in theology. Personally I don't think it is the least important whether Jesus is the Son of God (in the way doctrine says He is). Ultimately religion is not about theology at all. It is a vastly complex subject.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 47: Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:08 pm
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[Replying to post 46 by mgb]

I think that the hallmark of a sensible scientist is one that knows where the line is between what they can prove and what they can't.

The dividing line on religion for me personally has always been: where does it start interfering with other people's lives? If you want to follow the teachings of Jesus and love your neighbour, be my guest. If at any point you start using a belief in the supernatural to justify an otherwise unfair position I take issue. Advocating for intelligent design in science classrooms, trying to ban abortion or birth control, limiting rights for LGBTQ people - any time someone takes a stand on a issue like that not because they're informed but because they're convinced god wants things a certain way is my "line" so to speak.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 48: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:46 am
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DeMotts wrote:

[Replying to post 46 by mgb]

I think that the hallmark of a sensible scientist is one that knows where the line is between what they can prove and what they can't.

The dividing line on religion for me personally has always been: where does it start interfering with other people's lives? If you want to follow the teachings of Jesus and love your neighbour, be my guest. If at any point you start using a belief in the supernatural to justify an otherwise unfair position I take issue. Advocating for intelligent design in science classrooms, trying to ban abortion or birth control, limiting rights for LGBTQ people - any time someone takes a stand on a issue like that not because they're informed but because they're convinced god wants things a certain way is my "line" so to speak.



I tend to agree. But discussions about the social aspects of religion are a subject in itself. This is quite separate to whether there is spiritual truth in religion or whether God exists. If atheists do bad things that does not directly determine the truth or otherwise of atheism.

neatras wrote:
The universe's physical laws are constant, meaning we will not observe a change that alters the relational interaction between physical objects in the universe. Sure, it's an assumption, but it's also one that every single human readily applies to their daily lives, and is only contested with the mysticists try their darndest to subvert science with their superstitions and myths.


I don't think mystics, in general, try to deny the laws of nature. Generally speaking, sensible religious people don't try to subvert science. Leibnitz was a scientist and invented the calculus the same time Newton invented it. The church, down through the ages, supported science and was a great benefactor of science. Your statement is very simplistic.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 49: Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:29 pm
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Hi, topic author here:
What the heck are you folks talking about?

Please address the OP.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 50: Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:29 pm
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Re: Religion vs Science - Proof

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Willum wrote:


Why is it that it requires tons and tons of evidence and even practical application to demonstrate a theory in science.

Rhetorical. Scientists set their own standards. Do not try to place blame on religionists.

Quote:
And theories are treated with contempt, as if our world didn't rely on gravity and electricity.

Are we to think the law of gravitational attractions is not a law, but a theory, surely not.
Are we to think Ohm's law, and Kirchhoff's law, are not laws, rather theories, surely not.


Quote:
But religion has three books, no back-up and virtually everything is contested, not observed or shown to be false, yet it has such a strong following?


Oh my, major error there. There are many more than three sacred scriptures.
What's this about no backup. Tons of back up. Well supported by all of the faithful. Testimonies abound.
Shown to be false? You mean believed to be false. No one yet has been able to prove God does not exist.
What in science is not contested? The moon landing is contested for goodness sake.
Global warming? So much disagreement, not even close to a consensus.
Evolution. Right. No disagreement there - is that a joke?
What is reality? The only thing science really should be able to describe, and theories are worlds apart.
Beginning of the universe - pet theories galore, no consensus.
Even the Scientific Method. Dozens of versions. Multiple versions in any one discipline.
Popper, or Kuhn. Little similarity, and some scientists do not care for either one.

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What can explain the idea overwhelming proof can not dismiss anecdotal or idealistic religion?


"Overwhelming proof"? There is no proof in Science. That is what the scientists say. The wannabes, well, different story there.
Ask a real scientist. They will tell you. No proof for anything.
The possibility of any event, is some number greater than zero. Ask them. They know nothing with certainty. That is what the PHDs in Science have told me.
If I am going around a blind turn on my two wheeler, the road might suddenly end, with no warning. That is what the scientists tell me.
I do not even know with certainty what I ate for breakfast. I think they were eggs, from a chicken. Good chance, but maybe not. Maybe they were alien spores. That is possible, say the scientists.

Science has always had this credibility problem. They try, but they just can not shake it. They keep trying to tweak the process. One step forward, one step back. Sometimes forward moving, sometimes backwards.

Just look at the Scientific Method. Good example of regression, not on purpose, but regression all the same.

Modern Science is about 500 years old. Ancient Science much older. Not as old as Philosophy, or religion, but much older than 500 years.
The Scientific Method has been taught at universities for less than 200 years. The roots go back to the Greeks, but not formalized until fairly recently. And it has gone through some changes, big changes.

There was a time when scientists - actually they were natural philosophers, but same thing. Science was begat by Philosophy. An ungrateful child, some would say. Too big for their britches.
Anyway, these natural philosophers were so full of themselves, they started saying they had proof of this or that. They knew things with absolute certainty. Except, whoops, they were wrong, very wrong.
Time after time. They would proclaim some truth, but danged, they had it wrong.

One of the problems was these thought experiments. A bunch of natural philosophers would get together, talk about something, and make a pronouncement about how the natural world operated. Sometimes right on the money, sometimes off by a country mile. Not good for public relations, not to mention the deaths it caused.
Somewhere along the line they wised up. They decided hands on experiments were more reliable. Good idea. Their success rate greatly improved. Not perfect, by any means. They still got things wrong. But it was better.
They felt much better about these "Absolute Truth" pronouncements - except when they were wrong. The sun was not the center of the universe after all. Oh well.

Eventually they had a cure for errors. They just made them part of the system. If you can't beat them, make them part of the system.
New game plan. Nothing is absolutely True. Science had no proof for a blessed thing. Things were believed to be true, but if they were not, they would let us know. When you say up front you know nothing with absolute certainty, and I do mean N-O-T-H-I-N-G, when you discover something is not as it had been described, well, that's the way the ball bounces. We never promised you a rose garden. We do the best we can.

So by the late 1800s things were going fairly smooth. Natural Philosophers were feeling all grown up, and mature, and made a break from Philosophy. They started calling themselves "Scientists".
The SM was getting standardized. Hands on experiments, and peer review of even routine work had improved credibility. There were still errors, big errors sometimes. So big they caused paradigm shifts in the perception of reality. If that sounds important, its because it was.
Newton was close - well, not on that alchemy stuff, dead wrong on that, but other stuff, pretty good. Einstein plugged up some holes. No one is perfect after all, not even the big E.

Just when you think they were on the right track, regression.
This hands on experiments, and peer review was troublesome. It was darned inconvenient. Especially for things where hands on experiments were not possible, like evolution, and astrophysics. The really important stuff.
How could they say there was scientific certainty, when they could not even do experiments. Forget proof. They gave up on that long ago. Scientific certainty was good enough. That meant they were very, very, very confident. But, no experiment, and they did not even have that.

Wait, remember the ancients. They did not have to do real experiments. Thought experiments. That was the key. Computers were getting very good. No more vacuum tubes. Punch cards and micro chips. That was the way to go.
So, in the late 60s or early 70s, no one knows for sure, thought experiments were once again acceptable. Hallelujah! Now they could could do "experiments" that spanned millions of years. Hundreds of millions. Heck, they could do experiments back to the very beginning of time itself - almost. Not the very beginning, but close, a few nanoseconds from the beginning. Very impressive.

Another thing about computers. They helped to produce a lot of work. So much work, there was no time for peer review. Especially in the medical field. Reduced peer review, opened the door to error, and It was compounded.
In their rush, sometimes experimental results did not match the theoretical. Guess which won. Dump the experimental results, stick to the theoretical. That study would go without review, with bogus results, and that data would become background for another study, and another. Error on top of error.to

And that is where we are today. The gold standard of the Scientific Method, is sometimes little more than tarnished brass.

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