The appeal of science....

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The appeal of science....

Postby Stacie Cook » Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:26 pm

After watching a documentary today (yes, documentary, faux pas, I know...) about the universe and different thoughts on how the earth was made, etc. I was left thinking about this question....

What is the appeal for science over religion (if those were the only two choices to make, which I don't think is accurate)?
I understand that science offers logic, deductions, proof, things one can hold to firmly, etc. I like logic. I like reason. I like things I can hold firmly to. I like that science has helped us as humans to understand so much more than we used to as a whole.... But no matter how much logic and reason there is, there are still so many unknowns about science, where it could be headed, which theories on the age of the earth, how the earth got here, etc.
Science has just as many unknowns as it has knowns.
How is that much different than religion?

My questions are sincere and meant to invoke discussion and not meant to be accusatory or demeaning in any way. Thank you.
If you want to meet God... then the cross is the place to which you go. - Alistair Begg
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Re: The appeal of science....

Postby Og3 » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:56 am

I also believe that science does not conflict with religion.

But to me, the appeal of science is its power. I am particularly good at troubleshooting, and that's because I have studied science. I know that an electrical circuit is not black magic: It begins at a point and it ends at a point. If the electricity is not making it around that circuit, I know that there is a physical cause, and that I can follow a logical scientific path to find and correct that cause. I know that water pipes do not work by magic, nor gas heaters. I am freed from the fear of the unknown.

Science also has a wonderful defensive power. When people come to me with absurd ideas -- such as that an "over-unity" motor can produce more power than it takes in, I need merely apply science, and in particular, the second law of conservation. If the proponent of this fraud tells me that "They said the Wright brothers couldn't fly" I will merely point out that the Wright brothers used science to discover how to fly. If someone tells me that "One day we will know how to get around the second law" I merely introduce them to the third law, or better still, I explain that in an expanding universe, energy density overall must necessarily decrease, as the universe expands. And finally, I ask them to consider a universe in which fires made their own power, and thus could not be extinguished; candles re-lit themselves; and car engines couldn't be shut down. Only in such a universe -- a contracting universe, at that -- could an over-unity engine work.

So science, to me, is power. It is the power to solve problems and the power to avoid frauds.
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Re: The appeal of science....

Postby Simplyme » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:15 am

Science has just as many unknowns as it has knowns.
How is that much different than religion?


What does religion have that is known?

That creation was made in 6 days?
That a global flood happened
That a virgin gave birth?
That a man died and was resurrected in three days?

Not different at all.
I find it rather amusing, when thought of as ignorant or stupid(though I can be on many subjects). Especially by those who believe in a deity up in heaven watching our every move, and rewarding or punishing us after we have expired.
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Re: The appeal of science....

Postby spongebob » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:19 am

Stacie Cook wrote:After watching a documentary today (yes, documentary, faux pas, I know...) about the universe and different thoughts on how the earth was made, etc. I was left thinking about this question....


The first point I was to make is that there's nothing inherently wrong with documentaries, although you will learn more if you read a few books by reputable authors.

What is the appeal for science over religion (if those were the only two choices to make, which I don't think is accurate)?
I understand that science offers logic, deductions, proof, things one can hold to firmly, etc. I like logic. I like reason. I like things I can hold firmly to. I like that science has helped us as humans to understand so much more than we used to as a whole.... But no matter how much logic and reason there is, there are still so many unknowns about science, where it could be headed, which theories on the age of the earth, how the earth got here, etc.
Science has just as many unknowns as it has knowns.
How is that much different than religion?


OMG! This is the line of thinking that drives me the MOST nuts! There is absolutely no reason to begin a discussion like this, let alone to being one's scientific education like this. This is not how science began and the only type of people who really think like this are fundamentalists who want to defend their traditions at all cost. I just wonder where you got the idea that this is a realistic starting place. It is not!

If you want to understand science, you only need to understand one thing, there are things about our universe that we don't know, but if you are clever enough and thorough enough, you can manipulate what we do know to find out what you don't know. That's it; there's not much more to it. You cannot answer every question with the scientific method, but you can answer a lot with it. All of this religion vs. science is 98% manufactured by people who just won't accept solid scientific results because they are too steeped in their traditions or delusions to do so.

Read any nonfiction book by Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan or Neal Degrasse Tyson. Read The Social Animal by David Brooks or Big Bang by Simon Singh. Read Our Inner Ape by Frans de Waal or A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. For a more layman's approach you could read A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. All of these are fascinating reads. You won't hear any of these people say religion is bad or useless. You might hear them say that religion sometimes gets in the way of science because that is true but you won't hear them say science knows everything or can answer anything. And if you really want to understand science at a much deeper level, you will have to start reading scientific magazines like Scientific American and New Scientist, or scientific journals, and there are scores of those.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: The appeal of science....

Postby Stacie Cook » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:47 am

spongebob wrote:
Stacie Cook wrote:After watching a documentary today (yes, documentary, faux pas, I know...) about the universe and different thoughts on how the earth was made, etc. I was left thinking about this question....


The first point I was to make is that there's nothing inherently wrong with documentaries, although you will learn more if you read a few books by reputable authors.

What is the appeal for science over religion (if those were the only two choices to make, which I don't think is accurate)?
I understand that science offers logic, deductions, proof, things one can hold to firmly, etc. I like logic. I like reason. I like things I can hold firmly to. I like that science has helped us as humans to understand so much more than we used to as a whole.... But no matter how much logic and reason there is, there are still so many unknowns about science, where it could be headed, which theories on the age of the earth, how the earth got here, etc.
Science has just as many unknowns as it has knowns.
How is that much different than religion?


OMG! This is the line of thinking that drives me the MOST nuts! There is absolutely no reason to begin a discussion like this, let alone to being one's scientific education like this. This is not how science began and the only type of people who really think like this are fundamentalists who want to defend their traditions at all cost. I just wonder where you got the idea that this is a realistic starting place. It is not!

If you want to understand science, you only need to understand one thing, there are things about our universe that we don't know, but if you are clever enough and thorough enough, you can manipulate what we do know to find out what you don't know. That's it; there's not much more to it. You cannot answer every question with the scientific method, but you can answer a lot with it. All of this religion vs. science is 98% manufactured by people who just won't accept solid scientific results because they are too steeped in their traditions or delusions to do so.

Read any nonfiction book by Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan or Neal Degrasse Tyson. Read The Social Animal by David Brooks or Big Bang by Simon Singh. Read Our Inner Ape by Frans de Waal or A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. For a more layman's approach you could read A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. All of these are fascinating reads. You won't hear any of these people say religion is bad or useless. You might hear them say that religion sometimes gets in the way of science because that is true but you won't hear them say science knows everything or can answer anything. And if you really want to understand science at a much deeper level, you will have to start reading scientific magazines like Scientific American and New Scientist, or scientific journals, and there are scores of those.


Ha. I like the title of the book by Bill Bryson. That appeals to me.

I am watching a show on quantum physics. As one scientist explained regarding scientific experiments... Science is used to take what we do know to find out what we don't know. But as he explained (if I understand correctly), in this particular experiment if they worked backwards they would get different answers depending on whether they chose to follow one electron backwards to origin vs following a group of electrons backwards to origin. Indicating that different answers arrive depending on the different factors within the experiments.

The reason I ask this question is because I am getting the sense that some people think that science DOES know everything and CAN answer everything. I could be perceiving things that perhaps are not there. Please forgive me if I am. And I am NOT saying everyone on the science 'side' of things believes this but there are perhaps a few....
There are people on all areas of the pendulum. One far side says only religion exists. The opposite far side says only science exists. Then there are variances everywhere in between. I would place myself somewhere about the midway in between both sides or dare I say 100% of both... I don't think there needs to be a 'choose one or the other' position. I don't think any of us can say with 100% certainty that what we believe holds true. I am trying to understand the perspective from those who do believe in 100% certainty of science and seem to imply science has no error....


What do you know about Alex Flippenko from Berkeley? He is very animated.
I am watching "The Universe, Microscopic Universe" on Netflix.

Thank you for the discussion despite the frustration. I appreciate it and the references.
If you want to meet God... then the cross is the place to which you go. - Alistair Begg
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Re: The appeal of science....

Postby Simplyme » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:23 am

I am getting the sense that some people think that science DOES know everything and CAN answer everything.


Your perspective are rather childlike.

I find it hilarious you consider yourself somewhere midway between the two.

Can you call out someone who is claiming the above? I will wait just like im waiitng for an example of a church that teaches alternate views. Of course i will not hold my breath. You are though reminding me of someone else in here who i have not heard from in a while.
I find it rather amusing, when thought of as ignorant or stupid(though I can be on many subjects). Especially by those who believe in a deity up in heaven watching our every move, and rewarding or punishing us after we have expired.
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Re: The appeal of science....

Postby Stacie Cook » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:31 am

Thank you Simplyme.
You know, I think we are alike in some ways. We are both quite eager for someone to post something that we can think about.....
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Re: The appeal of science....

Postby Og3 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:35 am

Stacie Cook wrote:Thank you Simplyme.
You know, I think we are alike in some ways. We are both quite eager for someone to post something that we can think about.....

I have the Bill Bryson book, and it is very good. Funny in many places, profane and vulgar in a few places, but an interesting read and worthwhile. It does make as an assumption the entire atheist worldview, but that's to be expected.
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Re: The appeal of science....

Postby spongebob » Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:23 am

Og3 wrote:
Stacie Cook wrote:Thank you Simplyme.
You know, I think we are alike in some ways. We are both quite eager for someone to post something that we can think about.....

I have the Bill Bryson book, and it is very good. Funny in many places, profane and vulgar in a few places, but an interesting read and worthwhile. It does make as an assumption the entire atheist worldview, but that's to be expected.


What are you referring to regarding this assumption? It's been a few years since I read this book and I don't know what you mean by this.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: The appeal of science....

Postby spongebob » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:38 am

Stacie Cook wrote:The reason I ask this question is because I am getting the sense that some people think that science DOES know everything and CAN answer everything. I could be perceiving things that perhaps are not there. Please forgive me if I am. And I am NOT saying everyone on the science 'side' of things believes this but there are perhaps a few....
There are people on all areas of the pendulum. One far side says only religion exists. The opposite far side says only science exists. Then there are variances everywhere in between. I would place myself somewhere about the midway in between both sides or dare I say 100% of both... I don't think there needs to be a 'choose one or the other' position. I don't think any of us can say with 100% certainty that what we believe holds true. I am trying to understand the perspective from those who do believe in 100% certainty of science and seem to imply science has no error.....


In most cases when I hear a religious person complaining about people who believe science knows or answers everything, they are drastically misunderstanding something or exaggerating something that was said. You really can't make much sense of it in general terms; you have to get specific about who said what.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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