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Thread: Science and Faith

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bluesky's Avatar
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    Default Science and Faith

    Seeing as the other thread has kind of gone off the rails with the questions of science and faith, I thought I would begin a new thread. For starters here are a couple of contrsadictory quotes -

    'Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.' Bertrand Russell
    'The existence of a limit to science is, however, made clear by its inability to answer childlike elementary questions having to do with first and last things - questions such as "How did everything begin?"; "What are we all here for?"; "What is the point of living?" ' Sir Peter Medawar
    The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bluesky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Is there an agreed upon definition of science?
    The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.

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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    "Science is the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence."

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/b...-francis-bacon

    Next definition.

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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    All of science revolves around the same central process.

    First, someone makes a proposition - a hypothesis, which is essentially a proposition of fact, or truth.

    Then, an experiment is designed, in an effort to prove the hypothesis.

    Using empirical methods, namely the collection of measurable and observable objective data, scientists gather their results from the experiment, then analyze whether or not the results support the hypothesis.

    Then, other scientists must be able to use similar methods, and come up with similar results. Then the actual method is re-examined, looking for structural flaws. Then, peer groups review the data, to determine their validity.

    It goes on and on, before any one hypothesis becomes accepted as fact. Many other experiments are tried, alternative hypothesis are explored, and sometimes, the debate rages on for years between many scientists, until an actual fact can be considered reality.

    It is a co-operative, multinational, multi-disciplined approach to finding truth, with a myriad of checks and balances. It is the best tool humanity has, for learning the truth.

    That is why it is so damned funny to watch local yocals throw a single weather report or statistic out there, and claim that they have solved the riddle of global warming.

    Thankfully, the scientific community marches on, oblivious to the street level wisdom at play in every corner of the globe.
    Currently being ignored: The Voice, The Official Cat of Soonet, Barry Morris, and Aristotle.

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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Quote Originally Posted by The Left Sock View Post
    All of science revolves around the same central process.

    First, someone makes a proposition - a hypothesis, which is essentially a proposition of fact, or truth.

    Then, an experiment is designed, in an effort to prove the hypothesis.

    Using empirical methods, namely the collection of measurable and observable objective data, scientists gather their results from the experiment, then analyze whether or not the results support the hypothesis.

    Then, other scientists must be able to use similar methods, and come up with similar results. Then the actual method is re-examined, looking for structural flaws. Then, peer groups review the data, to determine their validity.

    It goes on and on, before any one hypothesis becomes accepted as fact. Many other experiments are tried, alternative hypothesis are explored, and sometimes, the debate rages on for years between many scientists, until an actual fact can be considered reality.

    It is a co-operative, multinational, multi-disciplined approach to finding truth, with a myriad of checks and balances. It is the best tool humanity has, for learning the truth.

    That is why it is so damned funny to watch local yocals throw a single weather report or statistic out there, and claim that they have solved the riddle of global warming.

    Thankfully, the scientific community marches on, oblivious to the street level wisdom at play in every corner of the globe.
    Question One: Do all kinds of science use this methodology?

    Question Two: What kinds of evidence are there??
    My apologies if defending seems defensive!!

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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    The same method is used for physical sciences, as well as social sciences. It is a universal methodology, accepted by scientists of all stripes, around the world.

    As for evidence, there are many kinds of evidence to be gleaned from experiments, depending on the nature of the thing being studied. Social sciences rely heavily on statistical analysis, whereas physical science can be as simple as a positive result for traces of a particular element.
    Currently being ignored: The Voice, The Official Cat of Soonet, Barry Morris, and Aristotle.

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    Senior Member Anapeg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Hard, proof based science I can get my head around but the theoretical stuff I hold at arms length for similar reasons I have reservations for religion.
    The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.
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    Senior Member dancingqueen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Anapeg View Post
    Hard, proof based science I can get my head around but the theoretical stuff I hold at arms length for similar reasons I have reservations for religion.
    That's just it Anapeg, theoretical science is just that... theoretical.
    Theories come before the hypothesis Lefty outlined.
    Basically, theories are just educated observations, kinda like a scientist saying "hmmm, I noticed this, I wonder.... Now lets collect more data to see if a hypothesis can be made."
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    Senior Member Bluesky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    `Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs... in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment... to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. ' -Richard Lewontin

    http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Lewontin_on_materialism
    his materialistic convictions are presuppositional. He claims his materialistic views are not based on science, rather his commitment to materialism determines the nature of what he is observing.
    Last edited by Bluesky; 05-03-2014 at 08:58 AM.
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    Senior Member Bluesky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Speaking of presuppositions that some scientists hold -

    `I am not an agnostic. I am an atheist. My attitude is not based on science, but rather on faith... The absence of a Creator, the non-existence of God is my childhood faith, my adult belief, unshakable and holy.' -George Klein, immunologist.
    The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.

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    Senior Member Bluesky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Can Buddhists be materialists and still maintain the main tenets of Buddhism?
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Materialism is simply one school of thought in philosophy. It is closely associated with determinism. In a nutshell, materialism basically states that our reality is physical. All things are made up of matter, with a predictable, knowable cause and effect. Determinism takes it one step further, and states that all events in reality have a knowable cause, and that the history of everything that has ever happened in the universe can be mapped in a linear progression. Darwin's Theory of Evolution is based in these kinds of thoughts.

    It's a nice, comfortable package, but unfortunately, it doesn't explain everything. And you don't have to be dedicated to these thoughts in order to create good science. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle threw everything into a tailspin, when it was discovered that at the subatomic level, our understanding of reality breaks down.

    So, following Darwin's theories can help you raise a really great herd of sheep. Adhering to materialism and determinism can get you to design a really hot sports car, but in the end, these theories have limits. Despite all of our knowledge and technology, the condition of autism currently stumps the scientific world, and more and more kids are being afflicted with a developmental disability that will impact them for their entire lives. Science is great, but it has very defined limits. As we move from rocks, to trees, to animals, and then finally on to humans, our science becomes less and less secure.

    As far as the question of whether or not Buddhists can be materialists and still be Buddhist, it suggests an either/or proposition is at play. That is not the case. I can know the boiling point of water at the sea level elevation I currently live in, and still follow the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, without experiencing any spiritual conflict.

    Cause and effect play a major role in Buddhist thought, especially the concept of Karma. But, many people misunderstand Karma, and it does not come in a neat materialistic, deterministic package. Materialism and determinism are merely thoughts, human constructs. There are others. The true goal for a Buddhist, is to try and appreciate whatever truth is contained in all thoughts, without falling into an either/or style of thinking.

    Sometimes, the answer is 'both'.
    Currently being ignored: The Voice, The Official Cat of Soonet, Barry Morris, and Aristotle.

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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Science gave you the internet. That is what defines science. They provide things that did not exist before.
    Science gave you space travel, , air travel, water travel, cars, phones, power sources, and the list goes on.
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    Senior Member Bluesky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Science gave you the internet. That is what defines science.
    May I quote you? Profundity personified.
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Sure, you may quote me as making that statement.
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    So would you agree with this statement? `There is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence' Peter Atkins

    Or, "only science can lead to truth"
    The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.

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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    I believe given enough time, there is no reason science cannot deal with every aspect of existence.
    Science has proven the earth is round, the earth is not the center of the universe, everything we know is made up of atoms, and a whole bunch of other aspects of our existence. In time, more and more scientific data will lead to the unraveling of more and more "mysteries of life".

    As for science only leading to truth, that would depend on what truth you are trying to find.
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    Senior Member Aristotle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    I believe given enough time, there is no reason science cannot deal with every aspect of existence.

    I believe in time all will be known, when this world is over and Eternity begins. So,you and I both are going on faith in something that cannot be proven.
    The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.

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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    How do you arrive at the conclusion that something cannot be proven?
    Science has actually shown that many things that we thought could not be proven has been proven. And that proof cannot be denied.
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    Senior Member Aristotle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and Faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    How do you arrive at the conclusion that something cannot be proven?
    Science has actually shown that many things that we thought could not be proven has been proven. And that proof cannot be denied.
    I agree much has been proven. But how much more needs to be proven? Do you know?

    So, you have faith science will prove all some day.

    In the end, you have faith.
    The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.

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