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Author Topic:   At what point should we look for a non-materialistic explanation?
cavediver
Member (Idle past 3727 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


(1)
Message 1 of 160 (537522)
11-29-2009 7:39 AM


In the context of believing in God, bolder-dash stated the following as a valid argument Message 268:
"...I think the Theory of evolution has so many basic problems to it scientifically, in terms of reconciling the randomness of their mutations, and being able to develop and subsist life and all its complexities in this environment and so forth, so it seems there must be a non-materialistic explanation for some things..."
When it was noticed that the advance of perihelion of the orbit of Mercury could not be explained by Newtonian gravitation, was that the time we should have decided that "there must be a non-materialistic explanation for some things"?
When it was found that an electric current could deflect a compass, was that the time we should have decided that "there must be a non-materialistic explanation for some things"?
When it was found that radium could fog a photographic plate, was that the time we should have decided that "there must be a non-materialistic explanation for some things"?
If you think there are large holes in any theory, then you develop a new theory which explains to better degree what we see. You don't go running off, crying - see, see, we need a non-materialistic explanation. If scientists acted like that we would still be in the dark ages.
"Is it science?" I guess...

Replies to this message:
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Message 2 of 160 (537671)
11-30-2009 6:56 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum

  
Larni
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Posts: 4000
From: Liverpool
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Message 3 of 160 (537676)
11-30-2009 8:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by cavediver
11-29-2009 7:39 AM


I guess that if you have virtually no hypothesis to test you could reasonably look for a non materialistic explanation for the purposes of reducing confusion.
What I mean by this is when one dose not understand something (say thunder)one can feel anxious and by giving an explanation (any explanation will do) that we can cleave to (even if it is not a hypothesis that would stand up to the rigours of the scientific method- such as lightning is ) we can reduce our anxiety.
When I was a kid thunder was explained as god moving his furniture. To my unsophisticated mind this worked for me, at the time.
When something is unknown it is scary but when you can give a name to it it becomes less so; even if in the real world of adults it makes no sense.
An illusion? Certainly; but one that works for many people who feel anxious about uncertainty.
So when should we look for non material explanations?
When we don't know the answer and we are scared.

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Replies to this message:
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Stile
Member (Idle past 127 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 4 of 160 (537677)
11-30-2009 8:44 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Larni
11-30-2009 8:29 AM


When the Truth no longer matters
Larni writes:
So when should we look for non material explanations?
When we don't know the answer and we are scared.
I agree.
We should look for a non-materialistic explanation as soon as "understanding the truth" is no longer our highest priority.
Factors affecting this are emotions or time-management or other restricting concerns.
Once we turn to non-materialistic explanations, there is no way to confirm if our provided explanation is right, wrong, real, imagined, or even has anything to do with the phenomenon at all. Therefore, "understanding the truth" is an impossibility.

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Straggler
Member (Idle past 149 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 5 of 160 (537684)
11-30-2009 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by cavediver
11-29-2009 7:39 AM


Abso-friggin-lutely!!
Cavediver writes:
If you think there are large holes in any theory, then you develop a new theory which explains to better degree what we see. You don't go running off, crying - see, see, we need a non-materialistic explanation. If scientists acted like that we would still be in the dark ages.
Abso-friggin-lutely!!
I don't understand how anyone can think that the god of the gaps argument holds any rational water at all. Nor can I comprehend why anyone would willfully revel in such dead end ignorance rather than seek a method of valid investigation.
Cavediver writes:
At what point should we look for a non-materialistic explanation?
At the point that you decide to abandon any hope of ascertaining the nature of reality and simply wish to have an answer regardless of reliability. Perhaps for emotional or personal reasons. But ultimately an answer for answers sake.
If you are going to accept untestable irrefutable supernatural answers then anything goes. There is no more evidential reason to think god (whatever that means) created the universe than there is to think it was hatched from an ethereal egg laid by an immaterial celestial chicken.

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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 160 (537685)
11-30-2009 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Larni
11-30-2009 8:29 AM


How much genome DNA complexity does it take before we look for a non-materialistic explanation for life?
Only a small portion of a creature's DNA is protein-coding genes (around 1.5% in humans). In the 1970s, evolutionists began calling the rest of it "junk DNA", saying this collection of useless evolutionary debris showed there was no intelligent design involved. Decades later, researchers are finding that the "junk" does vital work. Some of this DNA plays a role in turning genes on and off at the right moments in a developing embryo22. Other bits separate coding and regulating sections, like punctuation marks in writing, so that DNA is not a long run-on sentence23. Other bits called Alu elements, found only in primates, can be spliced in or out during RNA processing to make different versions of the same gene.24 The "junk" label discouraged research into this part of the genome for many years; who would want to waste their time studying it?
Scientists have found that the number of genes a creature has is not a good measure of how complex it is. For example, the human genome is 23 times larger than the fruit fly genome (3.2 billion base pairs versus 137 million), yet humans have only about 2 times the number of protein coding genes (almost 25,000 versus 13,000 according to Human Genome Project Information). Yeast has about 6,000 genes

BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 2224
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 7 of 160 (537686)
11-30-2009 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by cavediver
11-29-2009 7:39 AM


cavediver writes:
At what point should we look for a non-materialistic explanation?
Maybe when bubble chamber pictures start looking like this?
But seriously, I think the answer is "never". By definition, we can never find a non-materialistic explanation, let alone prove we have found it. We can only make them up, and that's where science and fantasy part ways.
Edited by Parasomnium, : if -> when

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

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Huntard
Member (Idle past 2378 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 8 of 160 (537688)
11-30-2009 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by cavediver
11-29-2009 7:39 AM


We should look for non-material explanations when....
We can measure and test the immaterium reliably. And not before.

I hunt for the truth
I am the one Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.
-Lyrics by Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead

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Stile
Member (Idle past 127 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 9 of 160 (537692)
11-30-2009 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Huntard
11-30-2009 9:52 AM


Re: We should look for non-material explanations when....
Huntard writes:
We can measure and test the immaterium reliably. And not before.
Yes, that was my first thought.
But isn't the definition of a "material thing" something that can be measured and tested?
So I thought that once a non-material thing becomes testable and measureable... then it is no longer a non-material thing, and we're still not dealing with considering non-material answers... we're just finding new material things that we didn't know existed before.
But that's just semantics, and I may even be getting them wrong. Anyway, I agree with the sentiment of what you're saying, for sure.

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cavediver
Member (Idle past 3727 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 10 of 160 (537696)
11-30-2009 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Buzsaw
11-30-2009 9:32 AM


How much genome DNA complexity does it take before we look for a non-materialistic explanation for life?
Excellent question. And the answer is...???

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Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 5025 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 11 of 160 (537698)
11-30-2009 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Larni
11-30-2009 8:29 AM


Hi Larni
What I mean by this is when one dose not understand something (say thunder)one can feel anxious and by giving an explanation (any explanation will do) that we can cleave to (even if it is not a hypothesis that would stand up to the rigours of the scientific method- such as lightning is ) we can reduce our anxiety.
That sounds fair enough until you consider the problems you might have later when people have become so convinced by their made up explanation that they find difficulty in accepting a newly discovered materialistic explanation.
I'm sure we can all think of at least one example where that has happened!

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 12 of 160 (537699)
11-30-2009 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by cavediver
11-30-2009 10:18 AM


Obviously, Buz' answer is "when you start feeding exclusively on creationist pap." Such as the source that he quoted.

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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 2224
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 13 of 160 (537702)
11-30-2009 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Buzsaw
11-30-2009 9:32 AM


Heaps of simplicity
Buzsaw writes:
How much genome DNA complexity does it take before we look for a non-materialistic explanation for life?
Dropping one grain of sand on another makes two grains of sand. Dropping another makes it three. Keeping on dropping grains of sand eventually makes a heap of sand.
Some people look at that heap and think it is something fundamentally different than accumulated grains of sand. For some purposes it pays to look at it that way, but you must keep in mind that it came about by simply dropping one grain of sand after another.
What you mistake for non-materialistically created complexity is really materialistically accumulated simplicity.
In fact, DNA is a prime example of finding materialistic explanations for previously baffling phenomena, where seemingly only non-materialistic explanations would suffice.

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
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Larni
Member
Posts: 4000
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 14 of 160 (537709)
11-30-2009 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Buzsaw
11-30-2009 9:32 AM


I've no idea of the point you are trying to make, here.
Please clarify.

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Larni
Member
Posts: 4000
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 15 of 160 (537710)
11-30-2009 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
11-30-2009 10:30 AM


I'm sure we can all think of at least one example where that has happened!
No idea what you mean but I'll strive to work it out (if god wills it).

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