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07:42 AM on 06/26/2010
both science and religion have some made some embarrassing assertions over the years. sensibilities change, and both evolve. both science and religion have been at the root of progress and destruction. science need not preclude religion, religion need not preclude science. both are full of imagination; krista seems to be asking all of us to be open enough to consider their kindred questions.
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12:48 PM on 06/26/2010
Just what embarrassing assertions has science made? The point to science is that it is self-correcting and while there may be a period where it is going down the wrong path with some fairly wild ideas, it does correct itself. So, yes, phlogiston was an embarrassing concept, but it was shown false and discarded. Science is NOT about sensibilities, it is about what is verifiable, what is rational and what, most importantly, is predictable. It is about continual self-criticism and skepticism. It progresses by its own willful self-destruction. Religion has none of these properties and is simply a sop for the deluded. Art does exist for the expression of feeling and the ineffable and, as art, religion has some value. For example, some Anglican ritual is great theater. But as a basis for morality, for understanding the world or humanity, it is a very poor vehicle indeed.
05:39 PM on 06/26/2010
Science and Religion have both proposed ideas that are unfounded. Both are birthed in human imagination. However science based methods necessarily involve skeptism. Skeptism isn't a method for new ideas or theories but a method for filtering out bad ideas. Skeptism is a necessary part of science.

What method does relgion have for filtering out bad, worng religious ideas? NONE except one and unfortunately that affects just you.

When I hear relgion and science can co-exist, what they really mean that scientsists or the average person should be using less science and more religion.

When a fundy talks about how everyone else is condemned, there is no doubt that person has never applied the one and only method for filtering out bad religious ideas.
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haridan
Advocate for Character and Ethics
07:15 AM on 06/26/2010
Agreed, it is not science or faith, it is faith is science, science is faith. At the core of each of the lies several commonalities from my view. Both have the element of theory and the quest to prove it be it in the physical world or the metaphysical world.

Our desire as humans to "explain" things holds together both the pursuits of science and faith. We desire to KNOW, to somehow use logic to make sense of things, yet as we explore deeper, more to explore is revealed.

Logic and reason seemingly flies in the face of faith. There is not a single scientist, engineer or mathematician I know that, once they have a theory, a sense of FAITH that it is provable, kicks in.

Theory by nature evokes the unknown. It is an idea that as some deep level of our being we KNOW to be true. The quest to prove it drive us to madness sometimes. Many times I have had an idea about how to achieve something, that has never been done. Have found myself saying , "I just KNOW it." Beyond logic or reason, our deepest intuitive thoughts are fed by the collection of our experiences that we have not consciously internalized the lessons of.

We move through our days, layering knowledge upon knowledge, to bring us to a place of knowing, without ever consciously seeking the knowing. This layering of knowing informs our faith in things, people, the world.
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12:55 PM on 06/26/2010
You confuse faith with premise. In some sense, your argument is pointless since ANY argument must start with a premise. One cannot go through even a few minutes of life without making some assumptions. The difference between what you call the FAITH of the scientist and that of the religious is that that of the scientist is subject to independent testing, to verification, and most of all, must produce predictable outcomes. This is what gives science a veracity that religion can never provide. And then logic kicks in and the conclusion is reached that the initial premise of the scientist has more basis for credibility than the "faith" of the religious. The is a substantial difference in these faiths that you so easily commingle.... they are, both objectively and rationally, quite different.
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Tim Ostrander
skeptic, humanist, father
11:30 AM on 07/06/2010
Well said. He is also missing the semantic difference between Faith and Intuition. Intuition does not presuppose that it is right, whereas faith does.

The scientist allows herself to believe in her intuition (to "have faith in it" so to speak) because that motivates her effort to find objective verification for it. Sometimes that desire for their idea to be true overpowers their sense of objectivity and then they veer away from true science. That does not damage the integrity of science, however, but the integrity of the scientist. But the human error inherent in the scientific method is slowly but systemically rooted out by the peer review which is built into the method itself.

No one would say that we should live our lives based entirely on intuition, would they? Intuition is a tool we use for motivating ourselves and opening our minds to possibilities. Like imagination, it fuels our "spirit" and "mind" with creative juices. The problem lies when these qualities run rampant and take on supernatural airs of authority--namely religion as most of us think of it. For some it means that we have peculiar ideas about how the world works. For some of us it means that we have a supernatural claim to authority that is indisputable though impossible to validate.
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oMeoMi
02:29 PM on 06/26/2010
Science is a methodology not a position.

For example, say my 'method' of taking a test is to study really hard first, show up on time to take the test then answer all the questions to the best of my ability.

Someone else's 'method' for taking a test might be to have faith that they know all the answers, show up and then answer all the questions to the best of their ability.

That is sort of like the difference between the scientific 'method' and the 'faith' method.
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wulidncr
Believe nothing. Question all. Love boundlessly
10:58 PM on 06/25/2010
Science and religion share a common goal of wanting our existence to be explained and understood. They differ in that religion just makes things up and then persecutes those who differ; even when those differences are observable and demonstrable. Religion thwarts science and science reveals religion to be the scam it is.
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SrAN
1st time proud pagan mom since May 16
01:08 AM on 06/26/2010
Not all religions persecute those who see things differently. People persecute those who think differently regardless of their religious views/teachings.

And science has yet to explain everything whereas religion, depending on your views, can give at least an idea to start on.
01:27 AM on 06/26/2010
"And science has yet to explain everything"

Whoever said it has?

"whereas religion, depending on your views, can give at least an idea to start on. "

Okay. What?
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wulidncr
Believe nothing. Question all. Love boundlessly
03:14 AM on 06/26/2010
You highlight another difference. Religion says, Here ARE the answers! Except when it can't answer one. Then it says some mumbo jumbo like, "God's ways are mysterious to us." Talk about wanting to have it both ways! Science says, let's find out, observes, probes, tests, theorizes, peer reviews, AND remains open to revision. Science NEVER says, We know it all. Religion says and believes it does and has an historical record still being written of concerted efforts to thwart scientific discovery. The position on homosexuality taken by many religions today is completely contrary to science and compassion.
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10:22 PM on 06/25/2010
Why oh why must ethical thinking be macerated in spirituality and religion? It has been demonstrated repeatedly that moral life can exist without the spiritual or religion. The repetition by Tippett that scientist were "purveyors" of terrible weapons is outrageous. They were impressed by their governments to do so; in the US they complied and there is strong evidence in Germany they did not. Tippett should provide examples where the scientists were responsible for causes of demand for destructive power before she tars them with the brush of savagery. A much stronger case can be made that the conflicts and subsequent demand for weapons come from her precious religious folk than it ever has from scientists. I challenge the old saw that science cannot provide a guide to "what should be." Application of the scientific method can produce such a guide ONCE the fundamental premise, say the "golden rule", is made. From then on, the scientific method of reason and observation will produce the kind of ethical society all would appreciate. Of course, we need other ways to EXPRESS ourselves than mathematics. But just because we need the arts for this, does not mean that we cannot use science to inform our behavior. Religion, spirituality, etc. get us nowhere. The creation and use of terrible weapons using science was not a failure of science, but of the bankrupt and antediluvian ethical and moral framework that could not keep up with the advances of science.
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07:16 PM on 06/25/2010
Why religion will cease operations in North America first.
As a given, each generation is more liberal than the previous generation. From the 1800’s to 2000’s, the leaps in technology have been extreme, with little sign of letting up. Within that timeframe, the human understanding of the Universe had been in conflict with religious dogma. And yet, conflict notwithstanding, humans still continue to find scientific evidence, knowing that it’s creating conflict. That knowledge will always filter into the human population, no matter of regional cultures. But here’s hoping that it will take place here in N.A. first.

Please, finish this with your own personal examples.
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oMeoMi
07:50 PM on 06/25/2010
- Cluelessness: there is knowledge and expertise outside everybody’s personal cognitive event horizon. People can be clueless in a million ways, even when trying to get things right in an honest way. Deficits in knowledge or information the world is giving them, leads people to false beliefs.

- Self-deception: To self-deceive, a person knows “X” and deceives self into believing “not-X.” How can a person both believe and disbelieve “X” at the same time? This is for philosophers to argue about (they have, for centuries) and for scientists to try to figure out how to demonstrate in the lab.

- Denial: Psychologists over 50 years have demonstrated the sheer genius people have at convincing themselves of congenial conclusions while denying the truth of inconvenient ones. You can call it self-deception, but it also goes by the names rationalization, wishful thinking, defensive processing, self-delusion, and motivated reasoning. There is a robust catalogue of strategies people follow to believe what they want to. All this rationalization can lead people toward false beliefs, or perhaps more commonly, to tenaciously hang on to false beliefs they should really reconsider.

paraphrased and/or quoted from: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/24/the-anosognosics-dilemma-somethings-wrong-but-youll-never-know-what-it-is-part-5/
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oMeoMi
07:57 PM on 06/25/2010
Forgot to add my point: I think human cluelessness, self-deception and denial will be more than adequate forces to maintain religion's prominence for the foreseeable future.
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SrAN
1st time proud pagan mom since May 16
01:55 AM on 06/26/2010
Not all human understanding of the universe is in conflict with all religious dogma, just mainly with Abrahamic religions (i.e Islam, Christianity and Judaism). My religion (Paganism), for instance, tends to accept scientific truths easily since they can be proven. At the same time we have our own set of beliefs of the unexplainable (as with Christianity, Paganism has many different denominations so beliefs vary). One belief, healing touch, is now being studied by many scientists and has yet to be disproven and is unexplainable in some cases (cancer that is healed without medical intervention, depression reversed without medication...just 2 examples that come to mind). My mother in law practices healing touch and would be able to give me the articles and information if anyone is interested.
07:06 AM on 06/26/2010
It's really only the "fundamentalist" sects of those three religions that are anti-science; well, anti-non-warfare-related-science to be exact. We know that fundie Christians have no problem with atomic theory since it gave them "the bomb" but they draw the line at the application of physics to atmospheric sciences which tell them that their beloved oil corporations may be responsible for climatic shifting.

However, to cover the entirety of these three religions with the views of their most ignorant minorities is a bit disingenuous.
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oMeoMi
06:18 PM on 06/25/2010
If in fact there will be a discussion between religion and science here on HP, I suggest that this book be prerequisite reading for all participants:

http://www.amazon.com/Name-God-Evolutionary-Religious-Philosophy/dp/1405183810
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Tulka2
Solidarity. Courage. Humor.
05:52 PM on 06/25/2010
The moment science disproves a religious dogma, that must be the end of that religious dogma. No problem. This must be the stance of religion if it means to be taken seriously by anyone in reality base camp. It's not scientific people who hiss at religious dogmas that cannot be proved or disproved.
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05:12 PM on 06/25/2010
bis“La Bible le Coran et la Science”
Is the name of a French book, by French medical Doctor Maurice Bucaille, who
decided one day to compare the content of the holy books to what is well established
today by Sciences. An important effort that led him when arrived to the Koran to
study the Arabic language because this book was completely preserved in its original
language.
I shall try to present some of his findings: he concluded that in many places the Old Testament was in contradiction with scientific findings. Not that God made mistakes! but rather because of alterations and human manipulations
For the Koran a statement by God included in it, promises that this Last Testament
shall be preserved for ever! This led to an exceptional preservation of the Arabic Language too. Some findings:
1-The relativity of time, (one day in another system equivalent to 50000y from our time - Sourat 70, verse
2- The fact that the universe (earth and what is in the skies today) where one and God
reperated them (big bang?) -Sourat 21, verse 30-.
3- Difference between light generated in the sun and only refected by the moon -
Sourat 10 verse5-.
4- The expansion of the universe, - Sourat 51 verse 47 -
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Funkstronaut
The Prince of Wassoon
05:29 PM on 06/25/2010
Very, very poor scientific language. But what do you expect from ancient goat herders who are trying to dream-up a new religion?
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06:07 PM on 06/25/2010
Personal attacks and no analytical critisism to ideas speaks about the writer even if he hides behind a pseudoname and has no moral honnesty, courage or ability to attack specific ideas openely.
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10:04 PM on 06/25/2010
1- This has nothing to do with the relativity of different physical frameworks and what the Sura is referring to is just a matter of definition, i.e. for example, a month. It may be based on a lunar or solar cycle or, for that matter, any periodic phenomenon. This has nothing to do with relativity.
2- The Sura is hardly any different from Genesis or other ancient myths. It certainly is not at all what the big bang is about because the Sura is dealing with matter and the question is one of energy.
3- The Maya had also figured out the light of the moon was reflected as did Hellenistic observers. The Qu'uran postdates these observations and thus is not exceptional.
4- The expansion/contraction of the universe is an ongoing discussion, far from definite resolution and it is quite questionable if the concept of universe or expansion in present cosmological theory has anything to do with the limited concept of matter in the Sura.

There is probably more of scientific relevance to be found in the Mayan religion, based on much more sophisticated observations, than from the poetry of a 7th century middle eastern merchant.
gutteringdawn
It's the Enlightenment, St*pid!
04:13 PM on 06/25/2010
Can you imagine how refreshing it would be for Tippett to take part in this conversation rather than making her little pronouncementorial and then flying off to her ethereal realm?
03:14 PM on 06/25/2010
Iron sharpens Iron, is that a fact or a metaphor or both? What purpose did science have to do test tube babies? For a woman that couldn't carry a baby in the womb. To prove it could be done. What's the purpose of cloning, to see if it can be done? They do say it can be used for body parts for tranfers. What's the purpose of the suicide pill? To end life. Something to talk about, these three things that science is doing is what religion says goes against moral law. This is where religion and science does not meet.
gutteringdawn
It's the Enlightenment, St*pid!
03:21 PM on 06/25/2010
This is really like nails on a chalkboard, but this can't go unanswered.

The fact that YOUR religious beliefs tell YOU that some branch of science goes against "god" is fine as long as it doesn't delay for one second MY child getting some new life saving therapy.

Therein lies the whole problem with science vs religion.
gutteringdawn
It's the Enlightenment, St*pid!
03:35 PM on 06/25/2010
I don't mean to imply there should be no limits on science, obviously, just that they shouldn't come from the likes of you.
02:34 PM on 06/25/2010
Get a glass of water and put a pencil in it. Looking through the glass it looks like the pencil is broken. But is it? Pull the pencil out, it's not broken. Just because what we see with our eyes may not always be fact, truth or reality.
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Funkstronaut
The Prince of Wassoon
02:51 PM on 06/25/2010
Useless.
You can just take the pencil out and see that it isn't broken.
gutteringdawn
It's the Enlightenment, St*pid!
02:54 PM on 06/25/2010
There are two approaches to your pencil problem:

1. Use the experiment to measure and figure out the nature of light and the way it interacts with things that it can travel through at different densities. Then we come up with a theory about the world that will help discover find out yet more and explain things that were mysteries before. Most importantly now we know how to correct for things that fool our eye.

2. Decide God did it and stop trusting our eyes. Thought that's a problem because how can we believe the Christian bible since it comes in through our eyes?

And, by the way, if you think a glass of water distorts reality and can't be trusted, just try 2000 years of history and multiple language translations!
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Chaotician101
02:33 PM on 06/25/2010
There is absolutely no common ground between science and religion. First off, religion is purely a business to exploit peoples weaknesses, fear of death, and search for purpose and meaning. Science may use some of these same motivators; namely a search for meaning, as goad to search! Religions by their very existence attempt to end search and claim some "eternal" truth without foundation or usefulness! Religion attempts to use science as a source of proof for its unprovable assertions and tries to deny science truth whenever it conflicts with established religious dogma! Not to long ago, Christian cults claimed to know from GOD no less that the Earth was flat, the Sun revolved around the Earth, and every creepy crawly bug, microbe, dinosaur, jungle creature, arctic creature, fresh or salt water critter depending on if the 40 days and nights of rain were salty or not, every bird of every type, lizard, mongooses and mink, black people and white, natives of America and China all got onto Noah's little boat!
01:24 PM on 06/25/2010
Where is there room for Metaphor in science?
01:31 PM on 06/25/2010
WHAT?!?

The real question bscky11 is: why are YOU trying to insert metaphor into science? Why are YOU trying to insert superstition and myth into a method that is designed to REMOVE these things. Myth and superstition cloud the intellect (every single word you have contributed to this discussion supports this).
02:04 PM on 06/25/2010
And WBP I still can't figure out why you use a picture of Pope Benedict? Do you know he and the catholic church is against stem cell research? Just to name one thing that science is doing.
01:34 PM on 06/25/2010
Who says there needs to be?

Science is a method of inquiry. The scientific method. Look it up or Google it.

"Metaphor." I think you have a different magisterium. Look it up or Google it.

Just stop trying to make the rest of us do your research for you.

Are you terminally lazy? Or what??
01:53 PM on 06/25/2010
Metaphors are used in teaching, like parables are used for teaching. Can parables be proven? No, they are parables or metaphors as teaching tools. So just because a metaphor or parable can not be proven as fact, doesn't mean the lesson of what it is teaching, and I will repeat, lesson in what it is teaching about the human nature is not accurate.
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Beth Boyle
01:14 PM on 06/25/2010
My Dad loved Science and taught for 40 years. He also loved the Bible and read it often. There is no conflict between science and religion.
01:24 PM on 06/25/2010
With respect to your Dad, who sounds way cool, how is there not a conflict between rational thought and magical thought?
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SonicUltimate
01:42 PM on 06/25/2010
You can rationalize portions of religion with science, but you can not do the reverse. His dad likely didn't get bogged down in specific dogma and more into what science demonstrates about the vastness of God.
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07:30 PM on 06/25/2010
There is nothing magical in the experience of Beth's Dad. He probably noticed some contradictions between the bible and Sciences maybe due to human manipulations to the original text. But this was not enough for him to put asude a message from God! Maybe!
01:35 PM on 06/25/2010
Beth? I would assert that there is no conflict between science and religion FOR YOUR DAD. The scientific method empties out every single assertion made by religion. Therefor there IS conflict a conflict between fact and mythology regardless of whether your father embraced it or not.

I do not want to sound snarky and certainly do not want to disparage your father and that is NOT the point of my comment.
07:14 AM on 06/26/2010
Science can't tell us *how* to live our lives; science can't inform us on ideas of loving our neighbors and our enemies alike; science can't provide us a moral framework.
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12:53 PM on 06/25/2010
Good science understands it limits. Science carefully defines things for the purpose of the experiment. Science proceeds in very small and careful steps isolating a given variable as much as possible. I think most scientists would admit that things like atoms and molecules and other concepts are not so much real as they are makeshifts concepts which we use to help us see things better from a given viewpoint or in certain contexts or for certain purposes but they are not "real" in the way most people think.
gutteringdawn
It's the Enlightenment, St*pid!
01:32 PM on 06/25/2010
I actually agree with what you say here.

The problem is when people take the fact that we can't really imagine the very small or the very large and use that as license to imbue the with desirably magical properties. The ancients did that with the weather. Today modern mystics are smart enough to mostly attempt it only with quantum mechanics.
08:13 AM on 06/26/2010
i'm curious about what informs "good" and "bad" science. from where does good science find its "understanding" of limits?
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07:03 PM on 06/30/2010
i dont understand what you are attempting to ask. good science for example would carefully define a concept and use that definition for a specific experiment. bad science would not. bad science would address a question about the correlation between a and b without saying how the scientist decided what phenomena fit the definition of a or b. just as an example. good science would carefully define the criteria and would understand it was an operational definition. that understanding would inform and limit its application or extrapolation.