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08/07/2009

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Emmi

[this is good] Great post! It's the kind of discussion we all need more of.
The only techical correction would be to use the word "hypothesis" instead of "theory". If a scientist is still trying to prove something, it's a hypothesis. Theories are that which have already been proven.
Most scientists (including myself) are dismayed at the sterotype which has been forced onto them. Scientists are not automatically athiests. They are Christian, agnostic, Wiccan, some athiests, etc. There can be no assumptions except that a good scientist will leave their religion at the door.

PappawJack

Thanks Ellie,I guess the definition of a theory really depends on your definition of "proven". The dictionary says a theory is; "A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena." The dictionary doesn't mention the word "proven" and many theories have been proven wrong over the years. Theories can be too broadly stated or not tested for all conditions for which they are said to apply. Like Newton's theory of gravitation which was not tested at relativistic speeds nor in the presence of extremely massive bodies and so had to be corrected by Einstein. So I guess I still want to stick with "theory".If you think a good scientist can leave their religion at the door, you should read a recent article by Sam Harris called; "The Strange Case of Francis Collins". It can be found at:
http://www.reasonproject.org/index.php/archive/item/the_strange_case_of_francis_collins2/

Emmi

[this is good] Thank you so much for the link! I'll check it out.
Good point about the word proven. In science we are required to test a hypothesis and replicate studies again and again under lots of different conditions in order to make them proven theories. It is truly a process, not just one single event! :)
I have a wonderful piece (from a highly respected scientist) that explains the scientific difference between a hypothesis and a theory, that does a better job clarifying what it means in the context of real science.
Also my favorite scientist, Kevin Padian, does a good job of explaining how scientists get their work through to be accepted as respected science!

Emmi

[this is good] And of course as Eugenie said in the video, laws (like the Law of Gravity), are just descriptions of things that happen. Laws are not the same thing as theories, and gravity is not a theory, it's a law.

Snowy

[this is good] If a true scientist ever claims to believe dogma then I believe he/she is a hypocrite.I'd have said the same once. Now I'm not so sure. Don't get me wrong, I'm emphatically atheist, but because I think that way, it doesn't mean that others have to. If a scientist can rationalise his/her scientific knowledge with his/her religious convictions then I guess I have to respect that. I may not agree with it, but who am I to say he/she is wrong.So long as the religious believers don't try to impose their beliefs on me through legislation, then I'm content to live and let live. Trouble is, so many of them aren't, and that's when I pull the boxing gloves on.

PappawJack



Thanks Snowy,I woke up this morning thinking of a new quote to add to my "Quote Me" VOX article; "Oxymoron: A hypocritical scientist."
True science and hypocrisy are mutually exclusive because true science is not based on beliefs but on evidence. If you think a good scientist can rationalise his/her scientific knowledge with his/her religious convictions then you should read what Sam Harris has to say about Francis Collins on his "The Reason Project" blog at: http://www.reasonproject.org/

Snowy


If you think a good scientist can rationalise his/her scientific knowledge with his/her religious convictions
The good scientist may very well do this to his/her satisfaction. Who am I to say that he is wrong? While I may not be able to rationalise science with religion, I'm not a good scientist. The article seems to be in response to Sam saying that a Christian can not hold down a responsible scientific position. While I may agree with Sam on most things, I can't agree with him on this one. The man's religious convictions are his own business. If he doesn't let them interfere with his science, then he has done no wrong, so far as I can see. As an aside, this attempt to ignore science in favour of religion seems to have come to an inglorious end. God must have been looking the other way.



Emmi

[this is good] Pappaw Jack,
Thank you for the link. That article was indeed very compelling. But it ignores the most important thing in science: the methods.
As Padian said on the video I posted, science is not embodied in the people. It's embodied in the Methods. All scientific articles have that section, and its explicit purpouse is (among other things) explain how the science was conducted; it's like a cookbook recipe.
It will be clear from the methods if an experiment or study was conducted wrong. No matter what's going on in their heads, if a scientist conducts the methods correctly, the work is solid. Religion cannot screw it up.

SURIN

Thanks for giving a view in Science and Religion. The article is quite impressive. I too believe that science has progressed a lot. However there are some things that is still untravelled by Science to which religion has the answer. Religion and Science are not two compelete different things to each other. If Science cannot prove something Religion has the answer and if religion cannot say something science has the answer. Science has no answer in particular about emotions i.e. love, joy, happiness. It shows only in data but cannot explain it. Sometimes religion too seems to be blind in some cases. Therefore, science and religion both are not separate streams but depending on each other. So the need is there to bring science and religion together to ceate a better understanding of humanity.

Cryin' for the Dyin'

[this is good]

I feel you believe what is being said. In every word in all comments I see one thing....a desire for reason....a true resolve. In philosophy...Simply put...I feel that knowing onself is the first truth. I believe that the true power and resolve of organized religion is in the energy of the uncountable living that came before...those living now....the universal energy...proven by science....IE nothing can be destroyed only changed. I agree we live on this earth and a purpose for the time can be changed in a destructive way. I believe that is mostly the act of mankind. The universe as we know it, from this time, knows only positive, it makes negative visable thus available. I think people, for reasons unknown to anyone else, sometimes to themselves, insist on dragging some of the negative into this world.There is theever compelling argument of balance.There is another good one for comparison. Religion is universal in unconnected cultures. Interesting. Possibly a transfer or 'God made me do it' type of thing.Religion and faith is personal. The universe appears endless. It follows- that this is true for everything part of the universe.We live here. I live here. My faith takes me to truth, or a search for it in all my times. My love helps me keep the pathof my time through social redundancy. Some words give me peace in the pit of my stomach in times of heavy...I believe mankind is always catching up to himself...when that ends...I believe we will proceed to the next step on a partially fated ladder. Peace Tony





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