A recent essay published in salon.com entitled "Neil deGrasse Tyson vs. the right: “Cosmos,” Christians, and the battle for American science" made the following points:
"The religious right has been freaking out about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” for what feels like an eternity. And, while the theological complaints seem laughable for their rancor and predictability, it’s time we thought harder about what they represent, because the Christian right’s “Cosmos” agita actually indicates a far deeper problem in religious conservatism — the selective acceptance of Enlightenment values. Religious conservatives have selectively adopted the legacy of liberal Enlightenment, from free speech to science, and jettisoned it when it does not suit their narrow ideological aims...The odd conflict of science and religion has come to define modern religious fundamentalism. While most religious people happily accept scientific theories about gravity, claims about the age of Earth are subject to a strange scrutiny by those who believe that the literary creation narratives in the Bible describe actual events."
Is this true?
Have right-wing Christian fundamentalists engaged in a cherry-picking of science (akin to their cherry-picking of the Bible) in ways, it seems, designed to support the political and social goals and objectives they have set for American society and culture?
Have right-wing Christian fundamentalists fallen victim to their our scientific illiteracy?
Or, are other forces at work?
One reason many in Christianity believe the bible is a structure for all things is in:
2Timothy 3:16. Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,
It also talks about arguments.
2 Timothy 2:23-25
"Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,"
It seems that Christians are more than willing to engage in very aggressive anti-science rhetoric and action; more than willing to be "quarrelsome".
This said, it seems clear that right-wing Christian cherry-pick the Bible and equally clearly do NOT use it as a the sole framework or structure for all things.
Clearly, they ignore some of what the Bible has to say---that which does not serve their larger political and social agendas while emphasizing any part of it that they have determined to be reinforcing of their political and social agendas.
"It seems that Christians are more than willing to engage in very aggressive anti-science rhetoric and action; more than willing to be "quarrelsome"."
I would only change one thing in this sentence and that is Christians. I would say "some" of "an increasing number of" Christians as not all are guilty of which you speak. Unfortunately the human condition allows for an arrogance when belief is the only proof. The problem comes when the opposing belief is as arrogant.
Science is not a belief system.
Therefore when religion a belief system challenges the authenticity of science---facts, data, information knowledge AND is seen as credible (when religion is seen as credible), then we have a serious problem as a society.
In other words: The problem is the false equivalency of religion and science as so-called "ways of knowing".
I agree that science is not a belief system in its purity but sometimes educated guess's are injected that throw the argument back at science. Does that mean the science is incorrect or misleading? No, but in the case of a zealot trying to make points it confuses the facts for some. Hey I am on your side but all I am saying is how do you convince someone who believes with all their soul and fiber that what the pastor has told them is true while the logic of science eludes them because of it?
I think you ask THE question of this century:
How do we overcome the power of religion to destroy logic and reason and to discredit information and fact?
We don't. Because, it's simply not our business.
Some will perhaps come around to your way of thought eventually, some will not. But even more dangerous to society as a whole than people who disregard science - are people intent on forcing those cultists to accept something contrary to their beliefs.
As humans, we have no duty or right to decide what is right or wrong for anyone else. We've tried it before (forcing Native American children) to learn in English-speaking schools, with disastrous results.
If we are truly scientifically oriented - we realize that groups and pockets of people advance in their own time. We have no need to descend on isolated villages in the Amazon just to "help" save those people from themselves.
No one, as far as I know, has yet cornered the market on morality, although many are very strong in their beliefs that they have done just that.
Radical Christians want to change the world to suit what makes them comfortable. Radical Islamists try to do the same thing. But, so do those who view the former two groups with disdain.
In the long run - it's probably more effective to allow others to do what pleases them - rather than what pleases you. Btw, I love Cosmos. Great show!
But, I recognize that others do not agree with me - and that's okay.
This discussion is not about a "pocket" of people living their lives following their religious traditions who make no effort to impose their beliefs on others nor is it about people "advancing" on their own schedule.
This discussion is about radical religious activists who--regardless of the faith to which they subscribe (though in the American case they are decidedly right-wing Christian), seek to impose their worldview not only on themselves, but on public policy in such a way as to promote themselves and their very public and secular agenda via the discrediting of scientists and scientific fact.
The consequences of such radical religious activism are not consequences limited to questions or debates about what is moral or what pleases me or anyone else. The consequences of such activism is, it seems, a fight for the heart and soul and future of the United States as a secular state.
Howard, if that really be thy name, it is my duty to caution you about your attempts to be reasonable. That is my job. The job of the Curmudgeon.
If you continue to offer such rational responses I will be forced to register formalCopyright complaints on your each and every utterance.
When the religious attempt to insert their beliefs into science I believe most times it is fringe ideology that is difficult to prove as fact through the scientific process.
Take Evolution for example, Religiously atheistic zealots tend to hold onto assertions of evolution despite the overwhelming lack of evidence or historical data. They instead create a cult of belief that requires every individual in the scientific community to acknowledge said ideology without giving any audience to arguments from opposing viewpoints.
The same goes for environmental zealots who insist that global cooling, or warming, or climate change, or whatever weather patterns they can use politically to cause the most panic, is a man made catastrophe fabricated by evil capitalists.
Really? Evolution, probably the most widely accepted scientific theory ever thought up, is a "fringe ideology" and "difficult to prove as fact"?
Yes, there is no evidence for it yet it is widely accepted. Sort of like a popular religion.
I particularly enjoy watching them make up numbers for the big bang theory. George Lemaitre initially said all the matter in the universe was compiled into a twelve trillion mile mass, then in 1965 they condensed it down to 275 million miles, then in 1972 it shrank down to 71 million miles, in 1974 it shrank again to 54 thousand miles across, and in 1983 all the matter in the universe started as a mass one trillionth the diameter of a proton. Oh and now they are saying it came from nothing at all.
Now that's science!
I'd have to say, if you think animals or plants cannot evolve, that you need to study the subject a little harder. We see it all the time, from "forced" evolution carried out at man's whim to natural evolution in species man has not paid much attention to.
It's pointless to try to talk sense to him. He even denies that the Big Bang was a thing, yet he probably yells at his TV when it goes static-y. According to him, TV static can't be real.
Well, I don't know - I get digital static every time it snows or rains particularly hard. Hard to claim it isn't really there...
But I don't yell at the TV. Just the cable box or satellite dish.
Exactly. It is pointless for those of us who possess information and literacy (in terms of science) to attempt to engage those who are brainwashed by religion (I am driven to use a term I dislike---"brainwashed") into an incapacity to accept facts, data, information, and knowledge OR those who are so lacking in even a baseline of elementary school science that they do not have a grasp of the simplest of facts as evidence.
What some people in the scientific community refer to as micro evolution is the only observable form of evolution in nature, if you can even call it evolution. This is nothing more than a variance in species, Big dogs, little dogs, long dogs wrinkly dogs. All of which are still dogs, and are compatible with each other.
Nothing provides any hard evidence or proof of cosmic, chemical, stellar, organic, or macro evolution.
Ah, of course! Two birds of the same kind that won't mate with each other. Close the book! We have living proof of evolution!
But, I wonder what would happen if they were cross bread in a lab? Do you think we might get another bird? Perhaps they would eventually grow gills. Opposable thumbs maybe? They might get smarter. Maybe seagulls will eventually figure out how to build an internal combustion engine. (After they grow the thumbs of course). Nope, I'm thinking they're still going to be just birds.
So we're still fishing around in the micro evolution category. What else have you got?
I'm sorry, but your "micro" and "macro" evolution are made up words by the religious community in an effort to disprove it.
And yes, your "macro" evolution, where species change to where they can no longer mate with the original species, does occur. There is a species of iguana (in the Galapagos?) that can no longer survive on the diet of it's forefathers or even eat it for that matter (nor can the original eat or survive on the diet of the new species. And of course there is always the mule; a species that cannot mate with it's parents.
But part of the problem is defining "species" - the creationists very carefully define it as anything similar at all and of course that eliminates all mutations from ever producing a new "species".
(Do you think an afghan hound and a Pomeranian can produce offspring without human help?)
I think Humans helped make them different in the first place. But as far as I know the word micro evolution was created in 1909 by a botanist named Robert Leavitt. Not sure if he was part of the religious community. Him or the Ukrainian guy who popularized it in his creation science book "Genetics and the Origin of Species".
Humans helped make what different? Not the iguanas - they did that all on their own. Or did you mean dogs? Humans are a part of their environment, you know, and most definitely affect which dog gets to reproduce.
"creation science"? What in the world does that mean, outside of just another oxymoron?
Creation science, like evolution, is another religious approach to science. It is fringe ideology that attempts to scientifically explain the origins of life and the universe, but is not necessarily agreed upon by all creationists. But since neither creationists or evolutionists were present at the begining to tell the tale I believe that the "I don't know's" have it.
And of course if you believe "Genetics and the Origin of Species" is actually a creation science book then I think you have much more faith in Evolutionism than originally conceived.
If you do not believe in Evolution - what is left for you then? I'm not being sarcastic - it's a genuine query.
There is NO SUCH THING as "creation science". Creationism is belief in a myth; a myth contrived by people.
As for theories of the evolution of the earth and its inhabitants:
The claim that since no one was there, we cannot know what happened is utter nonsense and speaks loudly of your lack of knowledge of the record of evolution left behind not only within the planet itself, but within the beings that inhabit it.
There is ample evidence of evolution.
There is ZERO evidence of any "creation" as reported in the Bible.
In response to Prodio:
The earliest physical evidence for life on Earth is biogenic graphite in 3.7 billion-year-old metasedimentary rocks discovered in Western Greenland and microbial mat fossils found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia. ALL life on earth---including human life evolved these earliest forms of life.
Your comment, which you think is so funny, demonstrates your lack of knowledge of the evolution of ALL life on earth. If you understood even the basics of human genetics, you would understand that evolutionary biologists generally agree that humans and other living species are descended from bacteria-like ancestors.
Saying there is no such thing as creation science is really thinking inside the box. Atheists can be so narrow minded sometimes.
But how can you say that there is no evidence of creation as described in the Bible? It says there was light, and the sky, seas, rivers, land, mountains, stars, grass, herbs, trees, birds, fish, cattle, etc. All of which are observable.
We've never observed macro evolution even in the purported "fossil record". Although I saw a fish grow legs once. It turned out to be a frog. Turns out all frogs start and end the same way.
But don't take it from me. Even prominent Evolutionists have a hard time coming to grips with that reality.
"The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution." -Stephen Jay Gould
"Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory." -Ronald R. West
So, the authors of the Bible were able to look out their windows and write down what they saw: ie. birds, trees, cattle, etc., and somehow this proves Creationism?
Uh yeah, we have. But that doesn't matter, the fossil record is not required at all to show evolution is a fact.
It might help if you made yourself aware of what evolution is all about before commenting.
Therefore, someone unfamiliar with Gould who would read the quote alone, above, who does not understand Gould's argument in the paper nor his scientific history will not realize he's just questioning gradualism as a theory of evolutionary change, and not realize he's simultaneously proposing a better idea of evolutionary change to fit the observed data.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/ … rt1-3.html
"It seems here that West was correctly pointing out circular reasoning, but
it is not against the theory of evolution. His argument is that
uniformitarianism should be used to explain the fossil record using the
Darwinian theory. He does not imply that the Darwinian theory is wrong, or
how data is forced into an evolutionary framework. Creationists argue
against the concept of Uniformitarianism, something West supports and
explains in this article. Uniformitarianism falsifies many of the claims
made by creationists concerning their literal interpretation of the Book of
Ronald R. West, "Paleoecology and Uniformitarianism", The Compass of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, Vol. 45, No. 4, May 1968, p. 216]
Yet your buddies use the fossil record to prove evolution all the time? Keep the faith brother!
Scientists continue to discover fossils, that is a fact. They also find that after careful study, what they find agrees with and supports evolution, that is a fact.
Other scientists discover in their fields things that also agree with and support evolution, that is a fact.
Hence, even though scientists continue to find fossils that agree with evolution, the fossils are not a requirement to show evolution is a fact simply because there are other fields of science that show evolution to be a fact.
Sorry, that you don't agree with facts.
The facts are if you find something in the dirt all you know is that it died. You don't know if it had any offspring, you can't say that any other species is it's progeny because there is no definitive record that solidifies that claim. In all actuality their assumptions are faith based.
No, you can't say another species is it's progeny. You are neither biologist nor scientist enough to make that determination.
Others are, and can. They have done the study necessary to make the connections you cannot understand.
Sure I can. And anybody who studies anthropology knows that finding something in the dirt is akin to finding a single piece to a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The limited information we have on past societies in the last 5,000 years alone is incalculable. But I understand that you have an unshakable faith in the all knowing scientific community. Keep the faith brother!
My apologies. I did not realize you were a biologist. But if you can, yourself, can deduce what progeny a fossilized set of bones might have given rise to, why do you say it isn't possible?
Me, I could look at a chunk of fossilized bone and never recognize that's what it was, let alone that it was the forelimb of a T-rex (that 10,000 piece puzzle you mention), descended from an Allosaurus. Or whatever - you get the idea.
Right, we can learn little from things found in the dirt. Plus we don't really need to bother because we can just read what people thought a few thousand years ago from a book. No need to think, it's all there.
Actually your savior Darwin wrote his little bible a lot later than that.
You're right - man's "book of knowledge" had grown considerably, unlike his "book of imagination", and Darwin added greatly to it even as he drew on what was already there to help him do so.
But your point is?
Again, that is certainly not something anyone with the integrity and sincerity to refute evolution would ever say.
But, you have no idea what you're talking about because you don't understand science. It's just like all the anti-Relativists attempting to discredit Relativity, they simply have no idea what they're talking about.
If you did actually know what you were talking about, you wouldn't be offering up childish answers like saying that all we know about something we find in the dirt is that it is dead, you would actually be attacking the postulates of the subject matter by refuting them with evidence. But, you aren't doing anything even remotely similar.
You make some good points... but,
Your reasoning is comparable to a blind man's reasoning for why the sky isn't blue. Consciousness/spirit - whatever you call it - exists. Evolution? What evolution? Do you think human beings appeared out of bacteria?
Again, you have a strong belief that Evolution is 'correct'. And it has made you accept 'insane ideas' (like a bacterium becomes a human being and such) as factual events in history. Good standing!
There is NO SUCH THING as "Creation Science".
The words, spoken together, create an oxymoron.
You need to take some basic science classes.
Start with cell biology; then perhaps microbiology; then basic chemistry, and finally genetics.
Your response proves to me something that I have resisted: The United States is in desperate need of a major and national science information and literacy program and now.
There is ample evidence. Just because you are unaware of it does not mean the evidence does not exist.
I hear you wilderness...I really do.
I started school almost 55 years ago. Even then evolution was accepted as factual and as mainstream.
Sometimes I wonder how we have devolved to the point that in the present we are having some sort of public debate as to whether or not evolutionary biology is a "fringe ideology" or a weak scientific theory "difficult to prove as fact.
Do you not do the same when discussing topics that are close to your heart?
Do you ever wonder why the are so many sects of Christian faith? Could any parallel be drawn to non-religious political discussions?
Is there just one brand of Republican or Democrat? Are you confident that any sect of either that differs from your views is totally wrong?
Are you so confident in your disagreements that you are sure your criticisms won't turn around and bite you?
The bonus for you is that is agree with what you said - except that to you it is a righteous condemnation, to me it is just understanding that I don't know the answers.
This is a fair point and the root of much misinformation. "Instruction in righteousness" is not instruction in Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Genetics, etc... but in morality, right thoughts, right action, and the imitation of Christ. It is equally sad when those who do not believe use this same kind of passage to demonstrate that Christians are self-righteous and hateful. That was not the aim of the author.
While some Christians believe the earth is relatively new, the prevailing view amongst many "Old Earth Creationists" is that the earth is definitely very old, but that God created it... and that he also created the soul at conception.
The problem I have with Neil deGrasse Tyson is that he is incredibly arrogant. He has admitted to discharging students from his classes if they even dare to ask a question about creationism and/or God's possible role in the universe. Now, that is a rather narrow and oppressive view of education... when a student isn't even allowed to ask a question for fear of being removed from the class altogether. What is Tyson afraid of? This absolutist view of education is just as harmful as some of the beliefs held by extreme right wing Christians. The fact is, extreme liberals are just as fundamentalist in their views as the extreme right wing--they just don't admit it. Many don't even recognize it. But, refusing to explore another premise is not progress--rather, it is a form of absolutism--and that's not good, as it can lead to unrestricted control of ideas that may be too heavily biased or restrictive, or even misleading.
Souls have never been shown to exist, how would you know that, where is your evidence?
Do you have a source for that claim?
Exploring what other premise? Creationism? How is that going to progress mankind? Please elaborate?
Well, the trouble is - that the world has been troubled with too much doubtism and infantile skepticism. That's the trouble!
Wow, I'm speechless. Your insight, logic and reasoning coupled with your command of the English language has me at a loss for words.
Do you do seminars and lectures on infantile skepticism?
Where did you that nonsense phrase?
There's always one in a crowd. Someone trying to pedal a way into heaven.
Right, we should just believe what we are being told.
Islam is right about God.
Don't be a doubter now...
A careful epsitemological examination of DeGrasse-Tyson's narrative on the series "Cosmos" will show that his own prejudices, self-contradictions and editorializing, rather than the presentation of scientific fact, are present throughout. I have little trouble with the factual information presented, it is the dubious nature of the logical contradictions that are presented along with fact. It is a subtle dogma rather than the revolutionary way of thinking that is science.
Name one logical contradiction presented along with fact from Tyson?
It takes 10 seconds to figure them out!
This is true, unfortunately... because Tyson reaches a very large audience who is not necessarily inclined to recognize his "editorializing."
Since retief2000 has made those claims but has not backed them up, perhaps you can provide examples of this alleged "editorializing"? You obviously must consider yourself one of the few who can recognize it. Please share your insight.
It's not possible to sum that up so easily. There are many factors that come into play.
To some attempting to conflate anthropology and biology, but who do not know the basics of either:
Do you really think that stuff "dug up from the dirt' can't be dated and analyzed and mined for information?
Have you ever heard of forensic anthropology? Any idea even what it is?
I think it is a nature human tendency, even among scientists, to chose those ideas that bolster our sense of self and discard those that would challenge or undermine the beliefs we hold about our selves. Scientists are not perfect creatures descended from the heavens but merely men and women. They do not possess some special knowledge about life and its meaning which is hidden from everyone else, as if they were a secret priesthood. Scientists - like clergymen, politicians, soldiers, teachers, nurses, philosophers, etc...- are subject to human failure, foibles, emotions, addictions, etc.... After all, liberals are NEVER cherry picking ideas.
Being hard headed and rigid in some things has redounded to our evolutionary benefit. A stubborn dedication is frequently admirable. I imagine scientists and theologians might agree with the idea that a strong will and fierce dedication to a cause has advanced both our scientific understanding and our moral understanding.
Seems you're not really aware of what scientists do and how the results of their work are scrutinized through the peer review process, which isn't present with clergymen, politicians, philosophers, etc.
Yet scientists, like everyone else, offer opinions on subjects with which they have only cursory knowledge or understanding, yet, unlike with everyone else, we are expected to take their personal musings as the product of scientific rigor. I very well understand science, do you?
Many times there are changes made in public policy because of "science" that is not subjected to the appropriate rigor yet stamped with the impramatur of science. The most recent and very glaring "saturated fat" fraud comes to mind. How much of every day life was re-ordered to comport with the results of "science" that was anything but rigorous yet widely accepted by science?
Do lefties readily accept scientific studies financed by organizations or corporations with which they have a political disagreement? Are scientists hired to study whether second hand smoke actually causes cancer by a cigarette manufacturer not scientists? Science and scientists do not exist in a social vacuum. The wider world may not influence the weights and measures but do they influence the men and the resulting policy implications?
How many times have opposing ideas been dismissed because they do not conform with the idea of the moment - ask Einstein (and innumerable others)
It is as if the angels arrived on Earth wearing lab coats and were heralded as perfect. Science is not perfect method, untainted by vanity, money or all the other corrupting influences that can creep into the most noble endeavors. Scientists are not saints and scientific methodology can be as twisted as any other human activity. Scientists conducted horrific experiments on the mental handicapped, black people and poor children in the US; all the non-Aryans by Nazi Germany; American war prisoners and Chinese villagers by Japan and everybody they wanted by the Communists in Cube, Russia and China.
I do understand science, do you?
Who does that, exactly? Your claim is specious, at best.
No, I don't think you do, that's seems obvious from your posts.
Why don't you tell us, you're the one making the claims. So, back them up with some evidence.
No, you don't.
And, you still have yet to provide one single example from Tyson as I requested.
No...scientists did NOT conduct such experiments. Nazis did.
Not according to the New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/21/us/na … today.html
As did American scientists
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_s … experiment
Scientists conducting human experimentation is nothing new.
http://listverse.com/2008/03/14/top-10- … periments/
Nor is it isolated the the erstaz super villain Nazis.
The real historical super villains, the Communists, make the Nazis look like pikers.
http://www.haciendapub.com/medicalsenti … experiment
http://seagullreference.blogspot.com/20 … using.html
http://www.haciendapub.com/medicalsenti … other-spec
All scientific experiments, and lest we forget about the value of the scientific method, the German scientists were especially methodical , dispassionate and rigorous in their pursuit of knowledge. It is not scientific understanding Nazi scientists lacked, it was morality.
Analogizing whatever we do not agree with or take exception with to Nazi is just past worn-out and past-absurd.
You clearly entirely missed the point of my comment.
Then make your point. There is far more than Nazis in my comment and why not mention the people at the very root of the single most formative event of the 20th century.
It wasn't an analogy, either. Acquaint yourself with the meaning of analogy. It isn't analogous it is illustrative.
They have fallen prey to human arrogance, which only breeds ignorance.Our creative capacity is both a blessing and curse.There are those in both camps who mistakenly believe that the microscopic human brain has the ability to understand the secrets of the universe! I am reminded here of the Planet of the Apes.The best that we can do is speculate and explore possibilities. Scientific literacy is no more capable of explaining the meaning of life than religious dogma.Many believe that they must embrace one or the other,but this is a false notion.There is no school of thought that has a monopoly on the truth.
The reliability of scientific data is called into question when we realize that all measurements and theories are postulated from within the subject; the subject being the universe itself.Since everything within the universe is moving and vibrating in relative motion to each other, it is difficult if not impossible to obtain accurate measurements.For instance,when two people are caught in an ocean tide,the distance between the two may remain the same,and they may not even feel the pull of the tide.But when they look toward the shoreline,they will see that they are both moving away from the shore toward the open sea.Much of our science is based on the assumption that we can see the metaphorical shoreline.But what if we can't?
Yes science can produce the technology that will drive a locomotive,or propel a rocket ship to the moon, but science will never uncover the truth of creation, no more than a flea will ever read and appreciate Shakespeare.Only through faith and humility, can we hope to have a glimpse of a mere fraction of the truth.We have allowed Science and Religion to become a stumbling block.
One question in response to your comment about motion and the impossibility of measurement:
Have you ever taken calculus?
Science cannot find the meaning of life, no, but that's because there IS no meaning in the sense you intend it.
The truth of creation, however, CAN perhaps be found. If you mean how it happened, anyway - if "truth" refers to some supernatural mumbo jumbo then science will not find it.
Finally, faith cannot produce anything known to be truth, just opinions that are the result of wants and desires. Those opinions may or may not correlate to reality and truth, but we cannot know until faith is set aside in favor of proof.
Agreed the human brain has a limited capacity - but I do not believe it is restricted to certain understandings or values. For example, if it were described as a limited number of terabytes, fine, but that does not restrict the data contents of those terabytes.
With the developments in the science of genes and the DNA structure, why are you so sure science will never "discover" the truth of creation? How many years has it been since medical science thought "bleeding" was good? (is it still bad?) And how can you be so sure a flea does not appreciate Shakespeare?
I know the latter sounded silly, but really, if you argue science can never understand creation - never know the unknowable, then what is the basis for your confidence in understanding the flea's abilities?
Think a minute before responding. I think a life of faith is a good thing. It is the choice of faith that is the important point. And I am referring to no religion.
ps. from the direction this thread appears to have taken, it should have been in the religion forum - oh my. have I wandered onto forbidden ground?
I too am uneasy with the direction this is taking. I have never seen something a fervent as a man and his belief in God. Logic is not an application one can make as nothing can be proven either way when a passionate front is taken.
I hear you.
My sense, as a historian of science, is that something more than just religious fanaticism is functioning to create a public environment in which acceptance and appreciation of science as a fact-based and as a reasoned and logical and information-based explanation of the "world" in which we live is increasingly under attack.
Clearly, we see politicians and others with credibility in the public sphere seeking power and some larger less-defined gains (perhaps like never before) by exploiting America's inherent anti-intellectualism.
And clearly, we see an American public that is pathetically uninformed AND misinformed about even the most basic elements of what science is, what it does.
And even more clearly, we see a public choosing to discredit and disregard science for mythologies and assorted other "New Age" ways of knowing.
The question is why?
What has happened in the last 50 years or so that has created a cultural climate in the US that drives the embrace of mythologies (whether deities or "ancient aliens" or assorted esoteric, occult, or cryptic beings and experiences) and rejects information, facts, science?
Yes---money is a good answer to explain the motivations of those empowered by money in the public sphere (politicians, celebrities, corporate executives, business owners, etc.), but then how do we explain the larger American public?
I remember a time when the public---the people, embraced science and understood its credibility.
What has happened to the public who has nothing to gain from rejecting science?
Science has, for the most part, debunked religion pretty thoroughly. Not proven wrong, but effectively proven there is great question, and those questions just don't have answers that make sense.
People have seen science grow from Newton and his apple to things they don't understand and that don't fit their (still religious based) view of the world. Unable or unwilling to do the study to understand, they then turn to things like the occult, ancient aliens, etc. People have never learned to distinguish between belief and truth; those unproven concepts fit right into the mold.
I hear you.
I think I just may have come across the answer to my question:
To paraphrase the NSF:
Surveys of public attitudes have consistently shown that while the public may have a generally positive view of science, it has little scientific understanding; little scientific literacy. The greatest deficit remains the public's understanding of the scientific method.
Clearly, much of what I have read in this forum as well as in several other web-based forums (most of which I presume are populated by the public) tells me that the problem whose explanation eludes me is, in fact, a deep lack of understanding of the scientific method itself.
I agree. We continually see people that haven't a clue what a scientific theory is, how it comes about or what goes into it. The scientific method seems to be the proper way to fill a test tube or dissect a frog.
Not surprising - if we look at most universities we see the cause. Take out the liberal arts, engineering and math; what is left is but a tiny subset of the total curriculum or student body. Not many study science any more; it is too difficult. Science left the realm of common sense some time ago and when it did it left most people in the dust. When intuition can't supply the answers, it becomes just too much effort, and doubly so when those answers contradict intuition or common sense.
I wonder how many people think a cannon ball falls faster than a BB?
Students can---in most cases, graduate from high school with 1 year of math and 1 year of science and from associates and bachelors level programs having just a couple of math-related or science-related courses. The key word is "related".
I guess it has to do with the science in question. If it is disease research I think there is a great deal of interest as people wish to prolong their own lives by whatever means possible. Lots of money out there for this science. Space exploration continues today despite huge cutbacks and mobility. I think the economy is basically the culprit in that case. When you come to climate change I think all agree to a certain extent that it is taking place . The problem lies in those that believe it is man made or cyclical. With some scientists there was either a miss diagnosis or conjecture that turned the tide against their conclusions thus sending the whole premise into a tailspin. With religionists this lends itself to the doomsday scenario as described in Revelations in the Bible. Mix all that together and you have a hard stew to stomach.
I do think that there is a lot of dependence on Biblical explanations---they are easy and compatible (as is some intelligent designer) with the remnants of our primitive selves that linger in our brains and minds.
They require no thought.
They require only acceptance.
I read and study many different religions for my own edification. I would never try to impose my beliefs on another's belief or non belief. I really think the problem comes when people read into the holy books the literal translation of them. This in itself takes the scripture out of context. The holy books are for the study of the human condition and how it relates to one's belief in a deity. Thinking I can relate God's plan to nuclear fission or the Aids virus is way off base and really has no bearing on how an individual has or has not led a righteous life or where his priorities are.
And yet, that "microscopic human brain" is indeed unraveling the secrets of the universe, and it is understanding those secrets.
The meaning of life? What meaning do you want to hear? What will satisfy those who seek meaning?
Science offers truth as it unravels and explains the secrets of the universe. It may not have a monopoly, but it works.
That is a very poor and irrelevant analogy of how science works. And yes, science can indeed obtain accurate measurements.
And yet, science IS uncovering the truth of our origins and that of the universe.
Sorry, but faith does not provide truths, it provides only ignorance.
Religion is the stumbling to science, that is entirely the point of the essay in the OP.
Faith breeds and reinforces ignorance and offers explanations for the universe for those who cannot (as they say) "do the math".
"And yes, science can indeed obtain accurate measurements."
Are you sure? When science can measure the wobble induced in a star's travel by the motion of a small planet orbiting it, and do it from light years away, does that classify as "accurate"?
Maybe not, but using General Relativity, we can accurately take measurements within our own solar system.
Gee, you think?
Some of the precision associated with cosmological fact is stunning!
It is interesting how the discussion of people's beliefs interfering with public policies of science is merely a theoretical one here. I will kindly point out an actually scientific policy that bec of the United States' faulty growing influence by the religious right led to devastating results ( and I would be glad to add many more, speaking as a science teacher). In the eighties as AIDS began to wipe out millions of pple in the western world, the religious right would not let out government give out clean needles in our cities to stem the tide of the disease. They would not give funding to our research so France developed the drugs before we did. They would not make the drugs affordable to our dying populace. And one of the most stunning moves, the United states was sending medication to Brazil where many were dying and bec the religious right would not agree to make the medication available to everyone including the prostitutes in Brazil, Brazil refused the medication and many died for this reason.
Reagan's refusal to recognize that epidemic, fueled by the religious right, led to millions more dying in this advanced society with money and abilities to develop research than should have. It is a nice thought when you are young to be able to say 'let pple believe what they want ..I don't care', but it really is not a feasible thing when those pple can control our lives. Our pervasive fundamentalism is insidious , bec we are letting it and it is a very dangerous thing for this country's health and survival in the future.
Don't get me started about stem cell research.
People (men, women, children) died in the US as the direct result of right-wing Christian political and public policy activists refusing to even begin to engage in any scientific and medical conversation about AIDS, and essentially, controlling the public health policies of the Reagan era.
The same is true today, as you note, in terms of stem cell research and an abundance of other important research projects.
The right-wing Christian controlled House of Representatives is currently trying to force a bill through Congress that will, essentially, derail ALL scientific research that does not meet with its approval. And such "approval", of course, will require that any research that is funded does not challenge right-wing Christian activists and donors who (essentially) control the majority in the House.
You refer I believe to a comment I made about motion.Apparently, you should read my post again. Calculus,geometry ... all of the known sciences, have been constructed from within the subject, which is the universe.You have obviously taken the position that we are standing on solid ground,and that nothing exists outside of the material universe.Finally, to answer your question, I studied calculus very briefly in college,and it did not interest me.Science in general interests me as a form of entertainment,but I do not consider science to be the savior of mankind, nor do I take it too seriously.Mankind will exist as it was designed to exist,and when it has run it's course, it will be no more.What exists outside of the physical realm is far more interesting,and permanent,than the physical universe.But you clearly do not believe in such things,so I will not digress.
But the study of calculus has no bearing on my argument, as I have indicated. It is not possible for calculus to "prove" anything that exists outside of the material universe.A science that has been developed within a physical universe,from a physical perspective, has no application outside of it's original domain.It is only human arrogance that would suggest otherwise.
It is not possible for humans to "prove" anything that exists outside of the material universe either. A mind that has been developed within a physical universe, from a physical perspective, has no application outside of it's original domain. It is only human arrogance that would suggest otherwise.
Will you now throw away your own mind/intelligence as well as one of the most basic tools of knowledge?
If you'd paid a little bit more attention in calculus or studied it a bit, you would know that calculus is (at least partly) the mathematics of "things" in motion---any kind of "things". You would also understand that calculus is a powerful tool in calculating and understanding movement of objects with respect to each other. As such calculus deflates your faulty claim that because objects in the universe are in motion, we cannot accurately describe them.
And if you find science to be a "form of entertainment", then talking with you about it (or about calculus) is utterly pointless.
Of course, because that's all it is, a belief. It is not based on reality, facts or evidence, but instead, an irrational belief.
That is perfectly acceptable because the physical universe is where we live.
That's maybe your belief, lol! It'a a troubled world
No one actually believes that a pissant has any understanding of a computer, a cell phone, or the philosophy woven throughout "Atlas Shrugged". Although I don't know of anyone who has spoken to a pissant,I am sure that most everyone,even you and mcbuggish, would agree that this would be impossible.Of course I cannot "prove" that they are incapable of such understanding,but my good sense tells me this is so.
I cannot "prove" that if you touched your tongue to a red hot burner on an electric stovetop that you would make any sound at all.But unless you are a mute,I am certain that you would immediately start making unusual sounds,and maybe even collapse to the floor in agonizing pain.To coin a phrase,"His life quickly devolved into a wilderness of pain".
By the same token, I understand that the science of man must necessarily be quite primitive compared to an entity or force capable of the intelligent design we have witnessed here in the physical universe.The fact that we cannot explain or prove our world to a pissant does not mean our world does not exist.It only means a pissant cannot comprehend at this level.
The fact that I cannot prove to you that a universe, and a life,exists outside the physical universe,only means I am not intelligent enough to articulate such a wonder,and I suspect that a worshipper of a primitive science would not be intelligent enough to comprehend,even if I could explain.But my purpose here is not to enlighten the world, because I do not believe such a thing possible.My only purpose here was to answer a simple question.I only explained myself earlier so that mcbuggish would understand the basis of my response.Once again: Because of their arrogance,both the religious zealots and the lovers of science have missed the boat. See "Ship of Fools" for more info.
Why do you never "space" between a period and the start of a new sentence? Is it copy & paste error, or are you a bot?
I suspect while wrenchBiscuit was busy in school ignoring calculus and being "entertained" by science and commiserating with other super-intellectuals, he also failed to study---because it surely is meaningless to the creator/intelligent designer, the basic rules of keyboarding.
"compared to an entity or force capable of the intelligent design we have witnessed here in the physical universe."
Very sorry, but not a single person in the history of the earth has ever witnessed this "intelligent design" you claim exists. You would probably be better off to exert some real effort to learn about the universe around you rather than simply making up stories you can then present as factual. Most of the pissants see right through such stories rather quickly.
If anyone took the time to read the article they will see that it's just more of the Dog and Pony Show.When we step out side of the box, we can clearly see how public opinion is being manipulated and channeled,especially concerning the problem of global warming.What this all means is that nothing is going to change.
These are not opposing sides. What we see here is both sides working together in order to continue distracting the American public from the real issues, such as global warming.I have no doubt that many Americans will focus on the Science v Religion theme the press has now implanted in their thick,soft, spongy, tissue.They have already begun choosing sides and standing up for their"cause",be it Science or Religion.For more info see: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/an_sci/extensi … rdKidd.htm
Casting A Pearl Before Arnold
The notion of relative motion within a closed system casting a shadow upon the foundations of what many consider to be an empirical and irrefutable science ,is threatening to intellectuals who have structured their world view,and many of their theories,upon this supposed empiricism. It is even more threatening to the average working class American who must also struggle to maintain an illusion of freedom within the context of a slave state.For them, the notion that mathematics, and certain scientific "facts", may have no relevance in systems existing beyond the physical universe, is simply unbearable.
There are many throughout the world who are now challenging the status quo on many different levels, and in many schools of thought,such as Science and Religion.It should be evident to the reader that even the mere expression of a new, or unpopular concept that the majority finds threatening,or difficult to grasp, will elicit a strong negative response.It is no wonder that many activists during the civil rights era of the 50's and 60's were murdered by ignorant Americans who preferred to remain in darkness.Many still do.
But I have bad news for the so-called lovers of freedom,democracy,and materialism.Your world of illusion is about to collapse all around you.Soon ,you will no longer be able to freely roam about the world; infecting and polluting the mind body,and soul,of each future generation.The Earth is not a mindless rock floating around in space,inhabited only by monkeys who are building rocket ships to reach the stars.As we move toward the 23rd Century,the imagined supremacy of the materialists will become increasingly hard for them to "imagine",and it is well and good that the human race is finally making real progress ... after enduring 500 years of pure evil.
The Return of the Antibody,
Based on many of these comments,I am convinced that not all,but certainly some human beings originated from bacteria, and then progressed into monkeys.Since moving on from the monkey kingdom, they seem to have gotten stuck in a sub-human state,just one step away from human.And that one small step could be a giant leap for mankind.This very thread could be a crucial turning point in the history of the world.
But as for me,I was designed to be as I am.I was created from a human being, who was created from another, and so on. It is even doubtful that evolution has occurred within the species, considering that those who worship science over reason, cannot explain how such a wonderful, and omnipotent science, could have delivered the world to the very brink of destruction.Weapons of war, environmental pollution, and worldwide poverty can hardly be held up as examples of a positive human progress. We cannot blame the believers of God and spirit for this mess.The capitalists at the helm of this human disaster can hardly be considered followers of Jesus,or Buddah.Science is just one of the many gifts from God that the human race has,through the gift of free will,abused and fashioned into an idol.
Many cry,"Proof! Where is your proof?" But the proof is all around us! Such demands are as ridiculous as a man standing at the shoreline asking the man standing next to him: "Where is the ocean?" If a man cannot already see,hear,or smell the ocean, my words alone cannot heal his infirmities.But here is the good news.A man can heal himself by departing from his arrogant nature, and by then humbling himself before the divine creator.God will only speak to those who are ready to listen.Such things cannot be revealed through a cumbersome, primitive ,human language that is spoken or written in a book.
mbuggish,you will soon depart from this world.Those who have deceived you, and now rally to your side, are aimless wanderers.They cannot erase the sting of death, as it even now approaches.Here is an opportunity for you to question, and break away from the false, materialistic values that have enslaved you; an opportunity to find peace, before and after your impending departure.
I find solace in the thought that not only can I not prove God exists to anybody but I can't prove he (or She) exists even to myself. My version of God is that we have not evolved to the point of understanding what the Holy Spirit even consists of. It is like a table trying to understand who made it. An innate object will never understand the human that created it. Such is the theory of a God. A mortal being trying to understand an infinite spirit. I guess if it is true we will have to die to find out. But the most peculiar thing is that I am comfortable not knowing either way.
No,it is only a fact.We cannot live forever in this physical form.Thus,for even the baby that was born today,death is only a moment away.Has someone convinced you otherwise? Perhaps a scientist?
And when all of those who you have loved, and who have loved you, have surely turned to dust; long after their putrid flesh has fallen off the bone; after ten generations when there is no one left to even whisper your name, what then mcbuggish? Will you be dead ... and will you stay dead? Or do you now suggest that you will live on through the genetic code.
I am clearly not as tied to immortality as you; clearly not willing to abandon reason so that I can comfort myself with a myths and imaginings of immortality.
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