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Why do religious people keep trying to invent a conflict between belief and Science?


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I am a bit disappointed (but not at all surprised) by the way this thread went.

 

I was more interested in finding out why some religious people are anti-science than why some atheists are anti-religion. After all, the latter has been expressed, with varying degrees of eloquence, on this and other science forums.

 

It seems much harder to get a clear explanation from religious people who are against science.

 

In my experience, the religious folks who come here denouncing science are usually trying to make science seem less accurate and powerful as an explanatory tool, to sort of blunt the edge they feel is cutting into their souls, if you will. One member recently made the point that we're supposed to focus on the fact that his god made the heavens and the Earth, and that all the discrepancies in the detailed development of that in the Bible were unimportant.

 

I think it's a case of wanting the validation that science would provide for their stories and histories, but not wanting everything that turns up in a rigorous examination. Like opening up your home to inspection, only to find out that the inspectors are using a powerfully bright light to see into every dirty corner. It's cherry-picking the way you test your information, hoping for favorable results that don't contradict the rest of what you believe. It's not good science, but I don't think that's what they're looking for in the first place.

 

I think many religious people are anti-science because science doesn't stop looking for explanations, and they've already found what they believe are answers.

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There is both geological, fossil, and genetic evidence that shows conclusively there was never a first human. If you could indeed line up a picture of ever one of your ancestors over many thousands of

I don't actually find usually it necessary to wait for explanations from original poster, this being a case in point. I only mention that I can't read people's minds from time to time when they compl

Science has something to say about how the universe evolved, not about how it came to be.

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You can't answer that. You don't believe it happened. Who cares. But you can't use science to show that your belief is correct. How are you going to scientifically test for divine intervention? How are you going to objectively measure a "soul"?

I have for quite some time ponder this question. I think it is only natural (survival instinct) to want to believe in an immortal soul and anyone is welcome to do so. The soul, apart from being largely undefined and entirely open to personal interpretation, preferences, etc, remains a sticky subject. Personally I tried to rationalise it by virtue of our known evolutionary stance among our fellow animals and my anti-anthropocentric views, hence my argument. I see no reason why our species should qualify for special divine treatment, the mere notion of it sounds horribly unnatural and unscientific - as I have argued. It also adds a lot of baggage to the equation, some of which I already highlighted. To just shrug them off by saying that science cannot test for divine intervention or measure a soul seems short-sighted, back to the gaps so to say. Other complications include questions about the deity itself, its role in creation, its purpose with this act of intervention, etc.

 

Whether I want to, or don't want to believe in divine intervention or in immortal souls is irrelevant. I am attempting to think and rationalise about it in a logical and scientific manner. How would one define a soul? Is there an alternative like conscious energy/information that may survive bodily death? Where does it leave us w.r.t. sin and heaven/hell? Personally I perceive the original sin doctrine, or the so-called "sinful nature" of man, as a deeply disturbing psychological menace for those who (willingly or unwillingly) fall for it. I really struggle with the idea of a theistic god, slightly less so with a deistic god, but not so much with the idea of a pantheistic god of nature.

Edited by Memammal
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Whether I want to, or don't want to believe in divine intervention or in immortal souls is irrelevant. I am attempting to think and rationalise about it in a logical and scientific manner.

You may be trying to think of it in a logical manner, but it is not scientific.

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Perhaps I misunderstood your first paragraph. In what way do you feel you are following a scientific approach? I am unsure how to address in a scientific way anything that cannot be measured.

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Please refer to my post #44 read together with #46. The argument is based on what we know about the evolution of our and other species. The reaction from Strange was that science cannot test for- or disprove divine intervention within the evolution of our species, or to measure a soul. Uhmm..?

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Uhm, what? You're not making sense. Instead of referring people to previous posts that have already been described as unclear, the onus is on you to convey your point another way to ensure accurate understanding.

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I have for quite some time ponder this question. I think it is only natural (survival instinct) to want to believe in an immortal soul and anyone is welcome to do so. The soul, apart from being largely undefined and entirely open to personal interpretation, preferences, etc, remains a sticky subject. Personally I tried to rationalise it by virtue of our known evolutionary stance among our fellow animals and my anti-anthropocentric views, hence my argument. I see no reason why our species should qualify for special divine treatment, the mere notion of it sounds horribly unnatural and unscientific - as I have argued. It also adds a lot of baggage to the equation, some of which I already highlighted. To just shrug them off by saying that science cannot test for divine intervention or measure a soul seems short-sighted, back to the gaps so to say. Other complications include questions about the deity itself, its role in creation, its purpose with this act of intervention, etc.

 

 

This is an argument from incredulity (which is entirely appropriate when it comes to matters of faith, unlike science) with post-hoc attempts at rationalisation. That is as silly as someone of faith trying to find objective evidence to support their beliefs.

 

 

 

I really struggle with the idea of a theistic god, slightly less so with a deistic god, but not so much with the idea of a pantheistic god of nature.

 

I don't struggle with any of them. They are all entirely irrelevant to me.

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Please refer to my post #44 read together with #46. The argument is based on what we know about the evolution of our and other species. The reaction from Strange was that science cannot test for- or disprove divine intervention within the evolution of our species, or to measure a soul. Uhmm..?

You seem to be confusing "scientific manner" with simply referring to science based topics in your argument. Just because you mention Evolution does not mean you are following a scientific methodology.

 

In addition, you keep making assumptions and using them as proof for your argument. For example,

 

"As such our species cannot be different to other animals w.r.t. having immortal souls or the ability to "sin" unless there was some sort of divine creation/intervention. Only we know our species was not created, we evolved."

 

You do NOT know there was no divine intervention. You cannot prove it. You are providing no evidence. And therefore, while you are mentioning 'science' in your argument, you are not able to draw any scientific conclusions from your argument.

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You seem to be confusing "scientific manner" with simply referring to science based topics in your argument. Just because you mention Evolution does not mean you are following a scientific methodology.

 

In addition, you keep making assumptions and using them as proof for your argument. For example,

 

"As such our species cannot be different to other animals w.r.t. having immortal souls or the ability to "sin" unless there was some sort of divine creation/intervention. Only we know our species was not created, we evolved."

 

You do NOT know there was no divine intervention. You cannot prove it. You are providing no evidence. And therefore, while you are mentioning 'science' in your argument, you are not able to draw any scientific conclusions from your argument.

 

 

Do you seriously think that because it cannot be proven that there was no divine intervention we have to consider there was some? Do we have to prove there is no bigfoot before we can assume there are none? Do we have to consider fairies to be real until we can prove there are none?

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You seem to be confusing "scientific manner" with simply referring to science based topics in your argument. Just because you mention Evolution does not mean you are following a scientific methodology.

 

In addition, you keep making assumptions and using them as proof for your argument. For example,

 

"As such our species cannot be different to other animals w.r.t. having immortal souls or the ability to "sin" unless there was some sort of divine creation/intervention. Only we know our species was not created, we evolved."

 

You do NOT know there was no divine intervention. You cannot prove it. You are providing no evidence. And therefore, while you are mentioning 'science' in your argument, you are not able to draw any scientific conclusions from your argument.

 

Ironically, it is an example of the fallacy of begging the question.

 

Ironic because a common example is:

"The Bible is true"

"How do you know that?"

"Because it is the word of God"

"How do you know that?"

"It says so in the Bible. So it must be true."

 

 

Do you seriously think that because it cannot be proven that there was no divine intervention we have to consider there was some? Do we have to prove there is no bigfoot before we can assume there are none? Do we have to consider fairies to be real until we can prove there are none?

 

And that is a straw man. No one (here) is saying that you have to consider there was, just that you can't prove there wasn't. (So if others think there was, you can't prove them wrong. You can only disagree.)

Edited by Strange
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Do you seriously think that because it cannot be proven that there was no divine intervention we have to consider there was some?

No, but I seriously think that because it cannot be proven, you cannot make any scientific claims about it.

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No, but I seriously think that because it cannot be proven, you cannot make any scientific claims about it.

 

 

You can claim that no scientific evidence exists to suggest it is true, therefore the null hypothesis comes into play..,.

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Science will also guide our future thinking.

 

 

Sorry John but you're also missing my point:

How do you know what will inform our future thinking?

That's because science will change, though religion won't.

 

 

Religion changes all the time, new factions are always popping up with a new interpretations of the bible; that lacks understanding.

That's the origin of the conflict, and nobody had to "invent" it.

 

No but someone started it.

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The null hypothesis is that it is not true...

 

Yes, I was just wondering why you were telling me that. You seem to be making a point with me but I don't know what it is.

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You seem to be confusing "scientific manner" with simply referring to science based topics in your argument. Just because you mention Evolution does not mean you are following a scientific methodology.

 

In addition, you keep making assumptions and using them as proof for your argument. For example,

 

"As such our species cannot be different to other animals w.r.t. having immortal souls or the ability to "sin" unless there was some sort of divine creation/intervention. Only we know our species was not created, we evolved."

 

You do NOT know there was no divine intervention. You cannot prove it. You are providing no evidence. And therefore, while you are mentioning 'science' in your argument, you are not able to draw any scientific conclusions from your argument.

The "soul" might be only a meaningless "weasel word". For example religious people make claims about when the soul, rather than the mind, is imparted (zygotes do not have minds). However, they really mean your mind when they talk of your "soul" being rewarded after death. It's not really that interesting to say that a meaningless claim cannot be test. Edited by MonDie
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The "soul" might be only a meaningless "weasel word". For example religious people make claims about when the soul, rather than the mind, is imparted (zygotes do not have minds). However, they really mean your mind when they talk of your "soul" being rewarded after death. It's not really that interesting to say that a meaningless claim cannot be test.

 

 

how was Nietzsche wrong when he declared "God is dead"; the idea seems prophetic.

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Strange: you write that

“There is no scientific theory that describes the creation of the universe. There is speculation from the likes of Hawking, but I am not convinced that is any better (in terms of scientific support) than "goddidit".’

 

My point about Hawking was that he popularized the concept that the universe did not have a beginning, and either suggested that it was cyclic or that the question as to what existed before the universe began was meaningless.

 

I think scientists such as Higgs would strongly disagree that there explanations about the origins of the universe are no better than “goddidit.” Research done on the Higgs Boson is more than just idle speculation. Apart from the amount of money spent on such research (about $13.25 billion according to Forbes) , The head of the world's biggest atom smasher says they have discovered a new particle that is consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson known popularly as the "God particle," which is believed to give all matter in the universe size and shape. This research is supported by two teams of scientists, one of 2,100 and the second of 3000. Research on the Higgs Boson is steadily providing more pieces to support the overall standard model accepted most widely today about the theory of the beginning of the universe:

 

“The discovery of a Higgs boson is only the beginning. Attention will immediately shift to studying the particle in detail… The data from Cern is quite consistent with the plain vanilla Higgs particle predicted in the simplest model but there are already hints that things may not be so straightforward and that really whets the appetite for the future.”

To say that scientific evidence for the Higgs Boson is no better than “goddidit” suggests to me that you have not been actually reading about the research. Keep in mind that all I have to do is to demonstrate that there is some scientific evidence to support the Higgs-Boson field theory (e.g., data that is consistent with the already organized and systematic evidence backing the Big Bang theory) as opposed to the "goddidit" claim which has zero! scientific evidence of any sort whatsoever to support it.

 

And yes, it seems that you agree with my point that the U.S. is full of anti-science fundamentalists, as opposed to Zapatos’s (who lives in the U.S.) claim that “religious people are not what I would call anti-science.”

 

You also state that, “As for vaccinations I have never heard of any connection between that and religion.”

 

Again, it only takes a couple of minutes to read a little about the research to find such a connection:

 

“Religious objections to vaccines are based generally on (1) the ethical dilemmas associated with using human tissue cells to create vaccines, and (2) beliefs that the body is sacred, should not receive certain chemicals or blood or tissues from animals, and should be healed by God or natural means.

For example, in Philadelphia in 1990, a major measles outbreak occurred among unvaccinated school children who were members of two fundamentalist churches that relied on prayer for healing, and opposed vaccines. In 1994, a measles outbreak occurred in a Christian Science community that objected to vaccination.

Religious and political objections by Muslim fundamentalists have driven suspicions about the polio vaccine in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. For example, the local Taliban in Southern Afghanistan have called polio vaccination an American ploy to sterilize Muslim populations and an attempt to avert Allah’s will. Resistance to vaccination has even resulted in violent beatings and kidnappings. Similar objections halted polio vaccination campaigns in Nigeria.”

http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/cultural-perspectives-vaccination

I’m willing to bet I could find dozens of other specific examples in a half hour.

 

The above research on the Higgs took me about 4 minutes to find, copy, and paste, and the info on vaccinations only took me three minutes to find, copy and paste information that, with a little effort you could have found yourself.

 

Edited by disarray
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Strange: you write that

“There is no scientific theory that describes the creation of the universe. There is speculation from the likes of Hawking, but I am not convinced that is any better (in terms of scientific support) than "goddidit".’

 

 

When did 'Strange' suggest there was?

You've read them all, right, 'disarray', understand Nietzsche, much?

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Yes, I was just wondering why you were telling me that. You seem to be making a point with me but I don't know what it is.

 

The point is that in the face of a lack of evidence, and by evidence i am talking about methodological naturalism, the scientific stance is that what ever is lacking evidence does not exist...

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The point is that in the face of a lack of evidence, and by evidence i am talking about methodological naturalism, the scientific stance is that what ever is lacking evidence does not exist...

 

 

No, the point is “what ever is lacking evidence ” is null.

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No, the point is “what ever is lacking evidence ” is null.

 

 

That would mean that it is assumed not to exist would it not? In the face of a lack of evidence that bigfoot exists the null result is that bigfoot cannot be said to exist..

Edited by Moontanman
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That would mean that it is assumed not to exist would it not? In the face of a lack of evidence that bigfoot exists the null result is that bigfoot cannot be said to exist..

 

 

Again no, it means there's no assumption to be made.

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