"Science vs. Religion: What Scientist...

"Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think"

There are 27381 comments on the Examiner.com story from Jan 22, 2012, titled "Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think". In it, Examiner.com reports that:

It is fascinating to note that atheists boast that most scientists are atheists.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Examiner.com.

humble brother

Helsinki, Finland

#4803 May 16, 2012
rpk58 wrote:
Human knowledge is so vast that it is impossible to know everything. That makes it inevitable that you have to rely on others as source of knowledge.
I do have to rely on others and I am aware that those I rely on very often fail.

It is a human trait to fail. Anywhere you go to do anything, the operation of others always slows you down. You see people everywhere displeased with the service they get.

I try to rely on other people as little as I can.
humble brother

Helsinki, Finland

#4804 May 16, 2012
rpk58 wrote:
Then your understanding of the scientific observation is incomplete. I am not bending goal posts. Tell me, how will you investigate a phenomenon that occurred in the past?
Or are you saying that we can never investigate anything that occurred in the past?
That's the whole point. Natural science can not deal with the past. Natural science deals with the natural phenomena that can be observed in the present.
humble brother

Helsinki, Finland

#4805 May 16, 2012
Bluenose wrote:
Yeah, and the Apollo moon shots were all filmed on a sound stage in the backlots of Hollywood...
It is logically possible. Should I care? How should those films affect my own actions now?
humble brother

Helsinki, Finland

#4806 May 16, 2012
Chimney1 wrote:
Now, Mr. "I strongly believe that I believe nothing", you are in over your head.
A fossil is observed.
A thousand fossils are observed.
It is also observed that they forms patterns and trends through the various strata. They could have been arranged in any old order, but they are not. Their temporal order forms a specific pattern.
The pattern is an observable phenomenon asking for an explanation.
Evolution explains the observed pattern.
It really does not matter whether the observations apply to a first order phenomenon (a fossil) or second order phenomena (the observed relationship between fossils).
So evolution is explaining something that is observed - the changes in the appearances of fossils through the rock strata.
I have not rejected the scientific method. In fact I have studied it intensively. You on the other hand appear to have pulled this ridiculous argument out of some idiotic creationist playbook.
In natural science you observe occurrences of natural phenomena and then hypothesize to explain HOW THEY OCCUR. Natural science can not explain how they occurred a million years ago. You must explain how they occur when you observe them.

Only pseudoscience explains that which is not observed.
humble brother

Helsinki, Finland

#4807 May 16, 2012
Chimney1 wrote:
No, you only believe you have observed many places in the USA. You might have been created yesterday with those memories implanted. You might be a psychotic delusional sitting in a mental ward right now imagining all this. Even ignoring these possible scenarios, you have no way of knowing whether places you observed in the past still exist.
On the other hand, you could stop playing word games where you substitute the word "believe" as used by English speakers generally, for the word "faith" as so used, and thinking its a marvelously clever trick. It would be a fail in either English 101 or Philosophy 101.
You are so afraid of "deception" but you deceive yourself with your fake profundity based on arbitrary redefinitions.
By choosing this fallacy you will lose all scientific probabilities, you can not do science at all. All your observations may have been implanted as memories yesterday. So your own fallacies bite you in your neck.

Choose you frame of reference more carefully.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#4808 May 16, 2012
humble brother wrote:
<quoted text>
That's the whole point. Natural science can not deal with the past. Natural science deals with the natural phenomena that can be observed in the present.
The fossil record presents a pattern.

The pattern is, forms diverge from modern forms as you go deeper into the strata, and contemporary forms (those in the same strata) converge with each other as you go deeper into the strata.

This quite clearly is a peculiar pattern (observed), demanding explanation.

Evolution provides this, with common ancestry and a clear mechanism for speciation. The proposed mechanism is the long term effect of the following observable phenomena:

1. Organisms reproduce geometrically (observed) with heredity (observed) that is imperfect (observed), producing variation (observed).

2. Unlike the ability to reproduce exponentially, the available resources do not expand exponentially (observed)

3. Given the observed factors above, organisms will compete for survival (observed) and not all of them can succeed (observed).

4. In the competition for survival, variants with some survival advantage will tend to out-reproduce those without that advantage, and so the beneficial variation will come to predominate in the gene pool, changing the genome of the species population (observed).

This series of observable and testable phenomena will result in gradual change in the genes over time (observed). In isolated populations of a species where interbreeding is restricted by geography, for example, the two populations will diverge over time (observed), due to a different set of variations tending to accumulate in the two populations (observed).

This process, given long enough, will result in speciation (observed directly to some degree, inferred from the pattern of fossils as well, and observed in the bio-geographical patterns of species today).

If fossils are insufficient evidence alone, we have another purely observable source of evidence in the genome itself.

Random variations in the non-specific portions of the genome or expressed proteins should follow the same nested hierarchy pattern suggested in the fossil record, among living species. This is a highly specific testable prediction of evolution, and has been verified in multiple cases. The chances of this occurring without common ancestry and thus evolution are infinitesimal.

Natural science is doing just fine with all this, using the scientific method. No other explanation for the range of observable and testable phenomena we encounter has come close to explaining what evolution both explains and predicts. As a side line, evolution also easily explains atavisms, pseudogenes, aspects of embryology, disease patterns, how artificial selection works, various imperfections in living organisms, and of course, the pattern of the fossil record. This is a huge range of clealry observable phenomena that both lead to the conclusion of evolution and/or make no sense without it.

If you cannot accept that this is a legitimate part of the scientific endeavour, I suggest you go back to counting lightning strikes and clear any silly notions that they might be caused by theoretical particles like "electrons" from your head.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#4809 May 16, 2012
humble brother wrote:
<quoted text>
By choosing this fallacy you will lose all scientific probabilities, you can not do science at all. All your observations may have been implanted as memories yesterday. So your own fallacies bite you in your neck.
Choose you frame of reference more carefully.
I accept the possibility of Last Thursdayism, and in fact have no way of saying how probable it is either. What I do acknowledge though, is that it is not a useful or practical way to make sense of the world. For that I need to look at the world carefully and discover what it can tell me about its own nature, and assume LT is not true, knowing I am doing so.

You are hung up on degrees of certainty, and as you know, there is really no certainty about anything phenomenal. You could be just a brain in a vat being fed illusions. But it soon becomes irrelevant because that is a theory that you cannot verify or do anything useful with.

So, accepting that my memories might have been implanted anyway, I proceed on the assumption that they are not. Then I find out useful things.

You want to confine our knowledge to "first order" phenomena and that is nothing but self-induced brain damage. When you have worked out what killed the dinosaur fossil and how it came to be preserved, you are still presented with the mystery of how a dinosaur came to be in the first place. Its a legitimate scientific question, IF we can form a hypothesis based on observable phenomena to test the hypothesis with. And we can, and do.

We can also connect that hypothesis to a wide range of observable and testable phenomena in the world today, including other fossils, and test it in a multitude of ways. We can, and we do, and its science.

So IF I was NOT created last Thursday, its a fairly good bet that what we can observe, and the hypotheses we develop that explain those observations and successfully predict others, are valid.
humble brother

Helsinki, Finland

#4810 May 16, 2012
Chimney1,

Ok. Let's do this again.

Natural science explains how occurrence of phenomena occur as they are observed.

What is your observed phenomenon from fossils?

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#4811 May 16, 2012
humble brother wrote:
<quoted text>
In natural science you observe occurrences of natural phenomena and then hypothesize to explain HOW THEY OCCUR. Natural science can not explain how they occurred a million years ago. You must explain how they occur when you observe them.
Only pseudoscience explains that which is not observed.
You are basically talking bull.

A coherent explanation (theory) that makes successful predictions of future observations (tests), even if the things being tested are the "remains" of past events, is a perfectly valid part of the scientific method. Everything we need observe to reconstruct the past, we do from what we observe today.

A fossil is a natural phenomenon that exists TODAY. And its clearly a remnant of an organism that existed in the past. Natural science has no problem with building a testable hypothesis of what we should observe TODAY if the hypothesis is a valid explanation for what happened in the past. If the hypothesis is NOT a valid explanation, then we will observe something different TODAY from what the hypothesis predicted and so falsify the hypothesis.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#4812 May 16, 2012
humble brother wrote:
Chimney1,
Ok. Let's do this again.
Natural science explains how occurrence of phenomena occur as they are observed.
What is your observed phenomenon from fossils?
Again:

1. The immediate characteristics of each fossil - size, shape etc.

2. The stratum in which the fossil was embedded - age, environment etc.

3. The relationship spatially and temporally to all other fossils ever found.

The pattern of multiple fossils is an observable one, and demands an explanation. Evolution provides one that works.
sid

Brisbane, Australia

#4813 May 16, 2012
I am no evolutionary scientist but it seems to me that modern agricultural plant breeding is a form of accelerated evolution, or maybe interventionist evolution where specific traits such as pest resitance, disease resistance, drought resistance etc are selected and enhanced to produce a plant to suit specific conditions, am I talking shit, I don't know.
sid

Brisbane, Australia

#4814 May 16, 2012
sorry about the spelling

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#4815 May 16, 2012
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
You are basically talking bull.
A coherent explanation (theory) that makes successful predictions of future observations (tests), even if the things being tested are the "remains" of past events, is a perfectly valid part of the scientific method. Everything we need observe to reconstruct the past, we do from what we observe today.
A fossil is a natural phenomenon that exists TODAY. And its clearly a remnant of an organism that existed in the past. Natural science has no problem with building a testable hypothesis of what we should observe TODAY if the hypothesis is a valid explanation for what happened in the past. If the hypothesis is NOT a valid explanation, then we will observe something different TODAY from what the hypothesis predicted and so falsify the hypothesis.
You are being very patient, but it won't help. HB either is incapable of learning or purposefully chooses not to.
humble brother

Helsinki, Finland

#4816 May 16, 2012
Chimney1 wrote:
Again:
1. The immediate characteristics of each fossil - size, shape etc.
2. The stratum in which the fossil was embedded - age, environment etc.
3. The relationship spatially and temporally to all other fossils ever found.
The pattern of multiple fossils is an observable one, and demands an explanation. Evolution provides one that works.
Then you ask the questions which are answerable while observing:
How do they occur?
How can you model their occurrences?

You don't ask questions which are unanswerable while observing:
How did they occur in the past?
How can you model their past occurrences?

So by asking the question "how do they occur as you observe them?", what is your explanation from all your fossil observations?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#4817 May 16, 2012
humble brother wrote:
Chimney1,
Ok. Let's do this again.
Natural science explains how occurrence of phenomena occur as they are observed.
False. Natural science explains phenomena using information we collect.
What is your observed phenomenon from fossils?
The fossils *are* the phenomenon.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#4818 May 16, 2012
humble brother wrote:
<quoted text>
Then you ask the questions which are answerable while observing:
How do they occur?
How can you model their occurrences?
You don't ask questions which are unanswerable while observing:
How did they occur in the past?
How can you model their past occurrences?
So by asking the question "how do they occur as you observe them?", what is your explanation from all your fossil observations?
Absolute hogwash. Asking how things occurred in the past, based on evidence that is available to us today, is a perfectly legitimate scientific endeavour.

All I can say is that if I were a murderer, and you were the forensic scientist assigned to my victim's case, I would be very relieved.

"Sorry Judge, we can make no inferences that Mr Chimney1 was the murderer, because we were not there to observe it. The evidence we have today cannot be used to model a past event beyond direct observation...it would not be scien-TI-fic, your Honour!"

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#4820 May 16, 2012
humble brother wrote:
Only pseudoscience explains that which is not observed.
What we have here is that you have obviously been sucked in (probably willingly), to the Creationists' last ditch attempt to put science back in the box Galileo sprung it from 400 years ago. You twits have been trying this ever since, wanting to return science to the handmaiden's role under an overarching theology, trying to limit the damage as science exploded one biblical shibboleth after another.

Who but creationists invented these silly notions of "historical" versus "observable" science? Its ALL observable science, whether it happened today or a billion years ago - events and processes leave a mark, and investigating these is perfectly legitimate.

Well, while you try to kid yourself that science has no business investigating evolution or the real age of the earth or the universe, or the processes that led to what we observe today, guess what?

Science is simply going to ignore your silly creationist circus tent side show. Thousands of scientists all over the world today are successfully applying the real scientific method and ignoring your attempts to bastardise it. You have already lost, and human knowledge has gained, no thanks to you and your ilk.

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#4821 May 16, 2012
humble brother wrote:
<quoted text>
This is exactly why it is not natural science but it is something else. By definition natural science requires actual observation of occurrences of natural phenomena.
Evolutionary science is some form of pseudoscience.
Fossils are a natural phenomena and can be observed.

DNA is a natural phenomena and can be observed.

Your philosophy can be reduced to "golly, gee wiz, I dunno." A completely useless world view.

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

“...sigh”

Since: Nov 09

Smithtown, NY

#4822 May 16, 2012
:)

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#4823 May 16, 2012
humble brother wrote:
If you choose 2. as your reference frame, then science becomes usable for you. You then accept all observations (thoughts generated from sensory input) as 100 % correct, you hypothesize relative to that.
This is incorrect. All observations are *provisionally* presumed to be 100% correct - until experiment shows otherwise. The observation is a starting point, not the conclusion.

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