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Author Topic:   Is science a religion?
nwr
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Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 3 of 295 (290683)
02-26-2006 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by subbie
02-26-2006 5:44 PM


My question is, why must we define science to include only naturalistic explanations?
In my opinion, there is no need for such a requirement. Rather, the requirement is that scientific accounts have significant consequences that are empirically testable.
The idea of a clear distinction between natural and supernatural is mistaken, in my opinion. Much of what was once considered supernatural is now considered natural. There is no fixed division into natural and supernatural. We simply label as "natural" that which we reasonably understand, and label as "supernatural", that which still seems mysterious.
As a result of scientific progress, what is considered natural has grown, and what is considered supernatural is shrinking.
Imagine a room, where the floor is being painted. Long ago, the floor was mainly colored supernatural. But more recently it has been repainted as natural. Because of the way that they base their beliefs on the supernatural, creationists have allowed themselves to be painted into a corner. Their world of the supernatural is still shrinking, and they can only maintain their belief in it by massive self-delusion.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 10 of 295 (290721)
02-26-2006 7:12 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by subbie
02-26-2006 7:07 PM


Re: Is there any compelling reason to exclude the supernatural
Suppose someone were able to accruately predict, without any use of the five senses that we are aware of, the exact sequences of all 52 cards in a randomly shuffled deck of cards, and they attributed this ability some sort of undefined and unquantifiable psychic ability.
In fact scientists have tested this kind of ability, and found that the evidence doesn't support it.
If scientists are willing to test this, then it seems clear that they are not ruling out events which are alleged to have supernatural causes. Had they been able to demonstrate the effect, we could expect them to try modifying the experiment in various was - shielding certain types of radiation, for example. The idea would be to try to narrow down to a more precise explanation.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 22 of 295 (291000)
02-28-2006 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by subbie
02-28-2006 2:11 AM


Re: Defining "Supernatural"
While perhaps we cannot, by your definition, detect, measure or study the supernatural, might it not be possble, hypothetically, to detect, measure and study the effects of a supernatural agency?
Here is a little secret for you.
It turns out that we can't actually detect, measure, or study much of the natural. So we are left with studying the effects of the natural, and inferring what is natural from its effects.
While a god might not appear to us in a form that we can directly experience, it's conceiveable that a god might perform acts that, by their nature, would allow us to infer that a supernatural agency is at work and, in studying what it does, learn something about it.
Yes, this is conceivable. And if it happens, we shall start calling what we experience "natural". We will not infer any supernatural agency. Rather, we will extend and enrich our notion of "natural" to include these new observations.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 29 of 295 (291344)
03-01-2006 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by subbie
03-01-2006 8:15 PM


Scientists need not be perfect
Keep in mind, science is done by scientists who are, by and large, just like regular people. They are often motivated by the same irrational drives that the rest of us mere mortals suffer from.
That's why reproducibility is important to science. Because results are checked and reproduced, the foibles of individual scientists don't cause much of a problem for the overall scientific results.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 48 of 295 (295225)
03-14-2006 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by 2ice_baked_taters
03-14-2006 4:35 AM


Let me just say that your acknowledgment of "me" here, is evidence of: The iron shaving pattern you might attemt to argue my "show me gravity" request with.
I'm wondering whether you are confused between gravity and magnetism.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 60 of 295 (295953)
03-16-2006 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by 2ice_baked_taters
03-16-2006 11:37 AM


Re: Requirements of religion
2ice_baked_taters writes:
I see science as the bare search for facts without meaning.
I don't. Where do you get that "without meaning" part, and what do you mean when you say that?

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 99 of 295 (310797)
05-10-2006 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by brianforbes
05-10-2006 4:22 PM


Re: More of the same
An interesting consideration is that you can’t test the past. You can only test the present and prepare to test for the future.
What we call "the past" is an inference from the present. Therefore, being able to test the present is all that is needed to be able to test what we call "the past".
If science had stuck to the original definition (truth), we wouldn’t be having all these debates about the validity of science .
Religion did stick to "truth". We are having all sorts of debates about the validity of religion. As far as I can tell, there isn't much being debated about the validity of science.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 156 of 295 (311191)
05-11-2006 8:58 PM
Reply to: Message 154 by brianforbes
05-11-2006 8:32 PM


Re: More Clarity
The problem, however, is that Evolutionism doesn't address emotional concerns.
I'm not sure what "evolutionism" is. As far as I know, it is some sort of mythical religion that creationists invent, as part of their campaign to discredit science.
The theory of evolution is part of biology. The emotions are studied in psychology. I'm not sure what you would expect evolution to say about emotions, other than that they are a product of evolution. The science that studies emotional concerns is psychology, not biology.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 182 of 295 (311364)
05-12-2006 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 158 by brianforbes
05-11-2006 9:08 PM


Re: More Clarity
It's obvious to me that you're not internalizing what I'm saying. I said that the categorizing of subjects is too convenient to let it slide. You categorize because you CAN'T answer emotional concerns such as the ones I've addressed if you believe in Evolution.
It is obvious to me, that either you don't understand what you are talking about, or that you are expressing yourself so poorly that nobody can understand you.
You keep throwing out the word "emotion" as if it were some magic incantation. However, your use of that term is not making any sense at all.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 200 of 295 (311512)
05-12-2006 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 194 by brianforbes
05-12-2006 3:44 PM


Re: More Clarity
Perhaps you have to put away your bias or maybe adopt mine to see where I'm coming from.
You would have to explain well enough that we could see what is your bias.
That strengthens my point that there should be more ID scientists allowed to teach in colleges,
Nobody is preventing ID scientists from teaching in colleges. The problem is that there are no ID scientists, for there is no science in ID.
I've been thinking and discussing the difference of logic and emotion for a good two or three years now.
Perhaps you have been watching too much "Star Trek", and are overly influenced by Mr Spock and his supposed use of logic rather than emotion. But Mr Spock is a caricature. There is no clean separation of logic and emotion.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 223 of 295 (311751)
05-14-2006 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 220 by brianforbes
05-14-2006 3:53 PM


Re: Misunderstandings
Science would do well to say more often, "We don't know."
You have that backwards.
Scientists are often saying "We do not know." It is creationists who assert knowledge in the absence of evidence, or worse still, assert knowledge in the presence of massive contrary evidence.
You have been lied to. Creationists have spread falsehoods about science, and you have accepted those falsehoods on faith.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 257 of 295 (312918)
05-17-2006 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 256 by brianforbes
05-17-2006 3:13 PM


Re: My conclusion
All your voodoo of the past few days has been working . but I went to a doctor, so lets test your magic against medical science! (My temp is now 102f . )
I doubt that anyone here has been practicing voodoo. I'm sure we all wish you the best, and hope you will soon be feeling better.
Thus my conclusion is that Science, as it was defined though this thread, is fundamentally a filter by which we see the world.
My view is that science is more like a camera. Granted, a camera is imperfect, so the picture is presents can sometime distort what is pictured. But science attempts to minimize that distortion.

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