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Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:21 AM

The dictionary is wrong – science can be a religion too

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2012/nov/15/dictionary-wrong-religion

Contrary to the popular definition, too many modes of belief and behaviour can function as 'religious' for it to be a simple category

Andrew Brown
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 15 November 2012 07.30 EST


Would a hypothetical future alien race view the Great Pyramids of Giza in the same way as the Large Hadron Collider? Photograph: Paul Brown/Rex Features


John Sulston is one of the smartest men I know – well, he ought to be, as a Nobel prize winner – and last week I got him talking about religion in front of an audience for the Westminster faith interviews.

One of the things that came up in this, as so often before, was the definition of "religion". Sulston was brought up as a low church Anglican, and still feels that religion must involve God and a belief in the supernatural, and that ritual is secondary to theology.

I came up with my usual counter to this – that there are atheistic religions; that there was ritual long before there could be theology and that we ought to take scientists – even social scientists – more seriously than dictionaries. This last point because Sulston had gone to the trouble of looking up and printing out one of the OED definitions of religion, which he felt proved his point.

"Belief in or acknowledgement of some superhuman power or powers (esp a god or gods) which is typically manifested in obedience, reverence, and worship; such a belief as part of a system defining a code of living, esp as a means of achieving spiritual or material improvement."


I can see that it must be frustrating, if you have such a definition in front of you to get some slippery Durkheimian answer about religion being actually the way that society understands and defines itself. You might, if pressed, agree that Americans treat their constitution as a sacred scripture, of universal application to the world. But it doesn't seem properly supernatural.

more at link

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Reply The dictionary is wrong – science can be a religion too (Original post)
cbayer Nov 2012 OP
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #1
patrice Nov 2012 #30
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #31
patrice Nov 2012 #36
bowens43 Nov 2012 #2
cbayer Nov 2012 #4
patrice Nov 2012 #14
patrice Nov 2012 #22
Warpy Nov 2012 #3
cbayer Nov 2012 #5
trotsky Nov 2012 #6
TalkingDog Nov 2012 #15
trotsky Nov 2012 #43
SheilaT Nov 2012 #102
trotsky Nov 2012 #104
SheilaT Nov 2012 #105
trotsky Nov 2012 #106
skepticscott Nov 2012 #108
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #147
DonCoquixote Nov 2012 #128
skepticscott Nov 2012 #131
DonCoquixote Nov 2012 #140
skepticscott Nov 2012 #141
DonCoquixote Nov 2012 #144
trotsky Nov 2012 #133
DonCoquixote Nov 2012 #138
trotsky Nov 2012 #139
patrice Nov 2012 #18
patrice Nov 2012 #23
rexcat Nov 2012 #34
trotsky Nov 2012 #44
rexcat Nov 2012 #55
skepticscott Nov 2012 #60
skepticscott Nov 2012 #111
TalkingDog Nov 2012 #9
cbayer Nov 2012 #11
Confusious Nov 2012 #51
skepticscott Nov 2012 #61
skepticscott Nov 2012 #64
trotsky Nov 2012 #69
skepticscott Nov 2012 #71
skepticscott Nov 2012 #96
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2012 #136
skepticscott Nov 2012 #142
DetlefK Nov 2012 #7
cbayer Nov 2012 #8
TalkingDog Nov 2012 #10
patrice Nov 2012 #17
patrice Nov 2012 #19
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #77
bananas Nov 2012 #99
rrneck Nov 2012 #12
patrice Nov 2012 #32
rrneck Nov 2012 #37
cbayer Nov 2012 #38
patrice Nov 2012 #41
longship Nov 2012 #13
cbayer Nov 2012 #16
longship Nov 2012 #21
cbayer Nov 2012 #24
longship Nov 2012 #45
cbayer Nov 2012 #46
longship Nov 2012 #47
cbayer Nov 2012 #48
longship Nov 2012 #50
Humanist_Activist Nov 2012 #52
trotsky Nov 2012 #59
patrice Nov 2012 #39
longship Nov 2012 #49
On the Road Nov 2012 #20
patrice Nov 2012 #25
cbayer Nov 2012 #27
patrice Nov 2012 #35
On the Road Nov 2012 #62
cbayer Nov 2012 #26
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #28
cbayer Nov 2012 #29
patrice Nov 2012 #33
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #40
patrice Nov 2012 #42
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #57
Confusious Nov 2012 #53
TrogL Nov 2012 #54
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #56
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Bradical79 Nov 2012 #63
humblebum Nov 2012 #65
TrogL Nov 2012 #66
humblebum Nov 2012 #67
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #68
humblebum Nov 2012 #70
skepticscott Nov 2012 #73
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #75
skepticscott Nov 2012 #76
humblebum Nov 2012 #80
skepticscott Nov 2012 #81
humblebum Nov 2012 #84
skepticscott Nov 2012 #85
humblebum Nov 2012 #88
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #78
humblebum Nov 2012 #79
skepticscott Nov 2012 #82
humblebum Nov 2012 #83
skepticscott Nov 2012 #86
humblebum Nov 2012 #87
skepticscott Nov 2012 #89
humblebum Nov 2012 #90
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #92
humblebum Nov 2012 #93
skepticscott Nov 2012 #94
humblebum Nov 2012 #95
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #97
humblebum Nov 2012 #98
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #100
humblebum Nov 2012 #101
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #109
skepticscott Nov 2012 #110
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #112
humblebum Nov 2012 #115
skepticscott Nov 2012 #117
humblebum Nov 2012 #121
skepticscott Nov 2012 #116
humblebum Nov 2012 #122
skepticscott Nov 2012 #132
humblebum Nov 2012 #137
humblebum Nov 2012 #114
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #119
humblebum Nov 2012 #113
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #120
humblebum Nov 2012 #123
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #124
humblebum Nov 2012 #125
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #126
humblebum Nov 2012 #127
Humanist_Activist Nov 2012 #72
skepticscott Nov 2012 #74
skepticscott Nov 2012 #118
humblebum Nov 2012 #130
Humanist_Activist Nov 2012 #134
humblebum Nov 2012 #135
2ndAmForComputers Nov 2012 #145
LeftishBrit Nov 2012 #91
SheilaT Nov 2012 #103
cbayer Nov 2012 #107
DonCoquixote Nov 2012 #129
Taverner Nov 2012 #143
intaglio Nov 2012 #146

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:33 AM

1. Pretty standard human behavior; change the definition to fit the times so as to stay relevant.

If there is one thing that Religion has excelled at over time, it has been redefining itself to more closely match current cultural norms.

It did this in recent times with slavery (it was for it before it was against it), segregation, and now gay marriage (it is in the middle of that part now).

And as "god" becomes harder and harder to define within the parameters of the reality we inhabit, Religion is attempting to redefine that as well. We can see that happening right here in this Group by our resident "Serious Theologian".

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:27 PM

30. That's what human brains do, put a different set of how-tos on it & you have science. The point of

Last edited Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:31 PM - Edit history (1)

de-construction is RE-construction, if you know HOW, and how is what you learn by taking "it", _____________, apart. What you create once "it" is deconstructed depends upon how you change the how, in what manner, of the re-construction.

Some constructions, de-/re- or otherwise, are monstrosities, e.g. an auto de fe, Shock and Awe, and . . .

Other constructions, de-/re- or otherwise, "ugly" though some may be, are beauteous and nourishing/real, for example:

'Hold hard, my county darlings, for a hawk descends,
Golden Glamorgan straightens, to the falling birds.
Your sport is summer as the spring runs angrily.''

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), Welsh poet. "Hold hard, these ancient minutes in the cuckoo's month."

http://www.poemhunter.com/dylan-thomas/quotations/

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Response to patrice (Reply #30)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:48 PM

31. For the most part, yes.

I'd like to discuss this further but I am on my phone. More to come when I get home...

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #31)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:07 PM

36. Looks as though we just decided, below, that we're not going away. Later.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:34 AM

2. nothing but word games. science cannot be a religion.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:38 AM

4. His argument is that the definition needs to be changed/expanded.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:30 AM

14. All is in process/negotiation and I seem to be a verb > how is at least as important as what.

More important, actually, since it (how, in what manner) is soooooooooooo neglected and everything is about uone-upping-the-Jones'-What.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:59 AM

22. It is the essence of science that it is not-religion/ous, so to that extent, through negation of

religion it is science, but anti-religion is not its identity; the identity of science is its own thing, of which religion negating is a by product, of/by/for those who prioritize religion over science, though not necessarily of those who regard religion and the religious as another proper domain of the scientific effort/process(es).

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:34 AM

3. Science is subject to rapid and often radical changes

as new information comes to light and is accepted.

Religion is rigid and insists on faith, not experimentation or reason, both of which are anathema to it.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:41 AM

5. OTOH, sometimes the rigidity of certain scientific beliefs can impede scientific progress.

And radical change in science is particularly slow to be accepted or embraced.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:54 AM

6. "radical change in science is particularly slow to be accepted or embraced"

I'd really like to see some support of your claim that scientific change is "particularly slow to be accepted." As compared to what?

The Catholic Church has been around for almost 2000 years. Women are STILL viewed as 2nd class humans within its structure. Can you point to ANY "radical change in science" that has taken even a significant fraction of those years to be adopted?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:31 AM

15. Way to build an inherently flawed argument.

That's not debate, that's finger pointing.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 02:11 PM

43. What?

I'm asking cbayer to back up her claim. I'd like to see some evidence that science has been "particularly" slow to adopt change.

If you have a particular beef with me or what I've written, then present your case.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #43)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:21 PM

102. Plate tectonics.

That took only about 70 or so years to be accepted.

The germ theory of disease. It was several decades before doctors got on board with that. President McKinley didn't die from the gunshot wound, but from the incompetence of his doctors who didn't bother to wash their hands before poking their fingers into the wound. Women continued to die from doctor-caused infections because they saw absolutely nothing wrong with such things as performing an autopsy and then going straight to delivering a baby without handwashing. This continued for years after Semmelweiss proved conclusively that this practice was directly killing women.

I believe it was in the 1950's that it was suggested that bacteria might be a significant cause of ulcers. How silly. Everyone KNEW that ulcers were from stress and spicy foods. The bacteria causing a lot of ulcers was identified in 1982.

These are just off the top of my head. There are times science really is slow to adopt change.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #102)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:29 PM

104. Thanks, but that's not the point.

Yes, some ideas have taken time to be adopted. I never claimed otherwise. As I originally said, I want some evidence showing science as being "particularly slow," as cbayer claimed.

2000 years and women still aren't equal in the RCC. I'd really like to see an example, when one looks at that figure, of what makes science "particularly slow" at changing. Do you have any?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #104)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:34 PM

105. Gosh. You're going to use your own definition of

particularly slow to ignore decades of intransigence to valid ideas?

I think thousands of women dying from unwashed hands over several decades meets my definition of particularly slow. The resistance to plate tectonics for the better part of a century is likewise particularly slow.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #105)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:41 PM

106. Gosh, no I'm not.

cbayer made a claim. Unless you know what she meant by "particularly slow" then I'd say your opinion here is irrelevant.

Unless it comes from your direct experience being particularly slow to accept the valid idea that people can have the flu and be carriers for the virus but not display symptoms?

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #102)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:22 PM

108. You need to educate yourself before spouting such nonsense

The claim that continental drift occurred was accepted within a couple of decades after it had been proposed (in 1912), but it took longer before the actual mechanism behind it (plate tectonics) was discovered. To withhold full acceptance of the theory until then was entirely appropriate. That didn't happen until the 50s, so your claim of "about 70 or so years" is blatantly false.

And the fact that people died of infections due to practices know to cause infections does not equate to a demonstration of germ theory. Not remotely. Read Microbe Hunters or any of a number of other good books on the subject to learn what was required.

In both of these cases, you're talking about only a few decades to firmly demonstrate and establish theories that are absolutely fundamental in their fields. Calling that "particularly slow" or "really slow" or even "slow" is simply laughable.

The claim that the medical research community was unduly slow and reluctant in accepting bacteria as the demonstrated cause of some ulcers is purely a myth. Educate yourself, and then get back to us:

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/bacteria_ulcers_and_ostracism_h._pylori_and_the_making_of_a_myth/

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #108)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 10:53 AM

147. I'd still like one of these people to establish the standard of

"Rate of change acceptance" by which science can be measured and demonstrated to be slow. In other words, answer the question repeatedly posed here "compared to what?"

I think a possible good answer is, science is slow to accept change compared to the fashion industry.

A more typical criticism of the culture of science is actually the opposite complaint, that what was considered fact yesterday has been discarded as bunk today.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:32 AM

128. not particularly slow, however

When one long held idea is challenged, it too can impeded progress as much as any other orthodoxy.

Want some examples?

http://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-245141.html

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin,
president, Royal Society, 1895.

"There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains
is more and more precise measurement" - Lord Kelvin.

"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the
intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon." - Sir John Eric Ericksen,
British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria
1873.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - Ken
Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp.,
1977.

Now, the point is not to deny that Religion is not slow to change ideas: indeed, there are times it regresses. Back when Spain was the islamic kingdom of Al Andalus, the king's title was "the king of three religions." because Jew, Christian and Muslim were expected to co exist. Sadly, the daily news shows that few nations today can pull off what Al-Andalus did, because religion has actually regressed.

However, we do not want to exempt scientists from being human, and many of the foolish ideas the web page showed were held on to for way too long. Any time someone invests in an idea, they will be slow to give it up.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #128)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:41 AM

131. Oh, please..tell us how Lord Kelvin's

pronouncement impeded progress on heavier than air flight when people had already designed and operated heavier than air flying machines BEFORE he said that.

These are all short-sighted pronouncements by individuals that, while amusing, did not impede scientific and technological progress in any significant way.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #131)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:01 PM

140. the fact that Lord Kelvin could say that

despite the fact that machines were about actually makes my point; Lord Kelvin operated under a bias, which, if you were around during his era, could have been easily disproved. You might have been able to ask him "Sir, what about that glider Cayley made? It is more ironic considering Bayley and he worked in the UK. Yet he said that, with all the influence his stature gave him.

Yes,Lord Kelvin was an individual who thankfully did not stop aeroplanes from being built, although much of the credit could be given to the fact that two bicycle makers in another continent did not care what Kelvin said. Considering that Cayley built the first heavier than air machine that could fly back in 1853, it stands to reason that the UK could have beaten the Wright bothers to the invention of an aeroplane, sadly, despite the progress of Cayley, they did not.

And no, this is not to glorify religion; see my earlier message about how Moorish Spain was much more liberal than modern Islamic governments, it is to simply admit that all of us are human, and humans tend to form biases about anything and everything.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #140)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:30 PM

141. Nice try at BS

But nowhere in all that muddle is there any evidence that "When one long held idea is challenged, it too can impede progress as much as any other orthodoxy", (which was the point you tried to argue above) or that "sometimes the rigidity of certain scientific beliefs can impede scientific progress" (which was the claim originally being challenged).

And if now you've backpedaled "to simply admit that all of us are human, and humans tend to form biases about anything and everything", how is that a point that was ever in the slightest dispute to begin with?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #141)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:48 PM

144. Look here

OK, let's take a look at the facts:

Lord Kelvin made a statement that slammed the idea of Heavier than air flight. Granted, he was not the only person doing that at the time, despite the fact that another person in the UK had already proved it possible back in 1853. His idea affected the development of Aeronautics in the UK, especially since he made a big deal of speaking against the idea of heavier than air flight and aeroplanes, and refusing to join the Aeronautic society:

http://zapatopi.net/kelvin/papers/interview_aeronautics_and_wireless.html

This was an idea he held on to as late as 1902, until those bike mechanics from North Carolina made an airpane work. Granted, once that happened, the British made airplane, but considering heavier than air flight was established in the UK back in 1853, we can see a sign of progress retarded. There was no reason the British could not have beaten the Wright Brothers to the airplane.

Oh, as a side note, I realize you are aggressive, however, slinging sarcasm (such as BS) does not help an argument. You have debated enough religious types to know that when the person starts pulling out insults, it is because they are insecure; don't repeat their mistakes.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #128)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:50 AM

133. Thank you for confirming there's nothing "particularly slow" about scientific progress.

Be sure to let cbayer know.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #133)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:31 PM

138. eh?

Actually,I agreed your point with the al andalus bit where religion cannot be counted on to progress, all I did was state that humans as a whole can find ways to block progress, no matter what the framework is.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #138)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:54 PM

139. Yes, humans are a interesting bunch.

cbayer made a claim that science was "particularly slow" at accepting change. I wanted her to explain why she chose those words. Your input, while interesting and informative, doesn't address my question. But thanks!

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:50 AM

18. Thomas R. Kuhn says that rigidity is actually part of the dynamic of scientific revolutions.

It is of the nature of science itself to, at minimum, ask the unavoidable questions about the "anomalous".

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:02 PM

23. Challenge "destroys" and/or strengthens. nt

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:01 PM

34. Please be specific as to..

what scientific "beliefs" are impeding scientific progress. I think we are all interested in hearing your POV on this topic.

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Response to rexcat (Reply #34)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 02:16 PM

44. We will see no response.

That's been a consistent pattern of behavior - throw out an unsubstantiated claim that serves her agenda, then never support it with any facts. And ignore appeals to do so, accusing those who ask questions of being rude and/or bigoted.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #44)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:32 PM

55. I knew she would not respond...

because her premise is absurd and she has nothing to back up her claim, as usual. She as alluded to me some time back that she works in the "sciences," now that is a scary thought!

on edit: I am trying not to post in this group but there are times where some premises need to be challenged.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:31 PM

60. "Radical change" in science

means change from a long held, well-supported paradigm to something new. That change requires new evidence sufficient to outweigh the significant accumulation of evidence already in place, so of course it's not going to be speedy. But you have zero, zip, nada evidence that it is "particularly slow", and in fact, I'm betting you can't even provide a coherent definition of what you mean by "particularly slow".

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:49 PM

111. Your desire for "dialogue" is exposed as bogus...yet again

You make claims: "sometimes the rigidity of certain scientific beliefs can impede scientific progress" and "radical change in science is particularly slow to be accepted or embraced", and then when those claims are questioned or challenged, you run and hide, utterly refusing to discuss or debate them, and apparently expecting that everyone will accept those things just because cbayer of the Excellent Post said them.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:12 AM

9. Yeah... history doesn't bear out your statements. It "can" happen that way.

But often doesn't. (BTW, religion is also subject to "rapid and radical changes", take a few history courses that have an emphasis on Religion if you don't believe me. Protestant Reformation anyone?)

History is rife with examples of scientific ideas and theories that were reasonable, well-researched and correct, yet were mocked and rejected by well-respected scientists of the day who clung to the dominant paradigm, sometimes for decades... even centuries. These are the fundamentalists. People who insist on adherence to (scientific) doctrine as it is.

Now, is that religion? No, it's faulty thinking. Yet, when a fundamentalist Muslim tries to force women to wear a burka or a fundamentalist Christian blows up an abortion clinic somehow they are not guilty of faulty thinking, they are guilty of imposing their flawed religion on others.

If one wants to place blame for the attempts to push science into the category of religion, one needs look no further than people who insist that when they behave in a certain way, it is acceptable or within the historic "norm" but insist that when "others" do it, it's based on a superstitious belief.

People who can't or won't see past labels to note the underlying similarities in things, be they power structures or other complex systems, really don't end up making very good scientists.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:24 AM

11. Excellent post. I really like this writer's takes on areas where the lines get

crossed, like stonehenge. And his proposal about how aliens would view things like the pyramids and the supercollider.

Overall, it is, imo, a fascinating concept worth exploring and thinking about.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:52 PM

51. I doubt your statement

Which scientific ideas, which had ample proof, were mocked and rejected for decades, even centuries? If you have to back more then 250 years, well things have changed since then and the old standards don't apply.

The difference between science and religion is religion is based on faith, while science is based on proof. There is no meeting in between.

Faith: belief in the absence of proof.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:36 PM

61. If "history is rife with examples"

Then give us some. Three or four will do. But I'm calling total bullshit on your claim, and betting you can't even come up with one.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:26 AM

64. Apparently I was right

You have no examples to back up your claim, which is obviously a blatant lie (Even though our resident uncritical thinker gave you the prestigious Excellent Post (R) Award).

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #64)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:23 PM

69. Of course you were.

It is clear that some want this group to be a place where you may throw out whatever thoughts you have on a religion-related subject, and anyone who wants to see claims actually supported by some reasoning or evidence is viewed as an unreasonable disruptor.

Never mind that this group specifically says that all viewpoints are welcome and permitted.

Never mind that there are numerous safe haven groups for believers to say whatever they want to disparage science or non-belief, and no atheist will challenge them.

Just like in real life, atheists and other non-believers are expected to defer to religious belief and grant it special privileges, most notably the right to be exempt from rigorous questioning. Any atheist who does not adhere to these requirements is branded an intolerant bigot and shunned.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #69)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:19 PM

71. And wow...do the religionists and apologists here have no shame

about lying and lying and then lying their asses off, then lying through their teeth, and then making shit up out of thin air, and then lying some more?

I'd be tempted to say that lying has become a religion in this group.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:33 AM

96. Still waiting for those examples

that history is "rife with" Tick Tock.

Honestly, though...aren't you ashamed to just make shit up like this? Or did you really think that nobody would dare to challenge you on it here?

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:34 AM

136. "Somehow"? How the hell can you say "somehow they are not guilty of faulty thinking..."?

They are obviously, blatantly, self-evidently "guilty of imposing their flawed religion on others" because they "trie(d) to force women to wear a burka" or "(blew) up an abortion clinic". So, yes, those are "imposing their flawed religion on others". They involve force. It's bleeding obvious. Comparing use of force like that to scientists who cling to an outmoded belief on a scientific subject is absurd. In fact, it's faulty thinking.

If you want to compare a scientist "who clung to the dominant paradigm" while being wrong to someone, try comparing them to the billions of believers who cling to the dominant paradigms in their religion, eg that a person was an incarnation of a god, or that a person received a message from a god, or that their prayers are heard by a god, or that there is an afterlife, or that they will be reincarnated. Of course, the scientists had far better evidence for their wrong conclusion than, for instance, a person who thinks Jesus was resurrected. Does this mean you regard all religious believers are fundamentalists?

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:39 PM

142. Wow...guess history wasn't as rife as you pretended

Or maybe you're researching those examples diligently. Just like OJ looking for the real killer.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:04 AM

7. Too many believe in scientific facts without understanding them.

Not kidding, found in a video at the pseudoscience-forum:
String-theory. -> "Strings" that "vibrate". -> Sound is a vibration. -> You can heal a person by manipulating her "energy" with sound.


I consider this to be the problem:
Science has advanced so far, that it has become too abstract for the vast majority of people to understand. Of course, in theory, all of science is understandable, because it's verifiable. But in practice, one's intellect is the limit. Your imagination is the limit in theoretical sciences, but can only travel so far into the swamp of the abstract before you get stuck.
Of course, you could declare the swamp of "I-know-that-I-don't-know" you are in to be the solid ground of knowledge, by means of belief, and go forth with your expedition. But don't forget: As you made that land, you laid the seeds for the paths you will find in it. There is no guarantee, that the comfortable paths in the land of "belief" will lead you to the same places of enlightenment as the tricky and exhausting paths of the swamp would.




Sorry, if that sounded too esoteric. I'm a scientist myself and I tried to mold the mental struggle for knowledge into words to the best of my abilities.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:12 AM

8. My college had a science requirement, of course, which many who were

majoring in the humanities dreaded.

We had one brilliant physics professor who held a 101 course called "Physics for Poets". It was, by far, the most requested science class for non-majors.

It is people like him and Neil deGrasse Tyson and others that are masters at making difficult concepts not only understandable but attractive.

OTOH, I struggled with things like economics. As a scientists, I needed proofs and verifiable experiments, which economics always seemed to be sorely lacking.

Some of the most religious people I know are seekers - constantly asking hard questions of others and themselves and remaining open to where those questions lead.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:13 AM

10. THANK YOU! see my post above.

And note that some of those people who believed in scientific "facts" without truly understanding them were also scientists.


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Response to DetlefK (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:43 AM

17. Yes! If we don't understand the HOW of something, how can we know its significance?

What were Aristotle's "four causes"?

How is at least as important as What. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more so actually, in a dialectic that has so much WHAT in it. All things evaluated relative to one-upping-the-Jones'-WHAT results in a -How, negative process(es), -inertia that enslaves anything and everything in that system.

The how of science is its very own thing, the meta-ground from which knowledge continually manifests itself. It is treated as though it is ir-relevant, which, because of the undeniability of inevitable truth, a.k.a. reality, increases it negative valence and ignorance acquires power.

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Response to patrice (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:52 AM

19. IOW, as polling just so clearly illustrated, significance is way more than a statistical formula(e).

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:12 PM

77. String-theory.->"Strings" that "vibrate".->Sound is a vibration.->You can heal a person....

That's not going into the abstract. That is just simply a bad logical falacy.

They don't just NOT understand science, they simply do not know how the THINK rationally.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:45 PM

99. Mathematically formalized as Tarski's Undefinability Theorem

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarski%27s_undefinability_theorem

Tarski's undefinability theorem, stated and proved by Alfred Tarski in 1936, is an important limitative result in mathematical logic, the foundations of mathematics, and in formal semantics. Informally, the theorem states that arithmetical truth cannot be defined in arithmetic.

The theorem applies more generally to any sufficiently strong formal system, showing that truth in the standard model of the system cannot be defined within the system.

<snip>

In 1931, Kurt G๖del published his famous incompleteness theorems, which he proved in part by showing how to represent syntax within first-order arithmetic. Each expression of the language of arithmetic is assigned a distinct number. This procedure is known variously as G๖del numbering, coding, and more generally, as arithmetization.

<snip>

The undefinability theorem shows that this encoding cannot be done for semantical concepts such as truth. It shows that no sufficiently rich interpreted language can represent its own semantics. A corollary is that any metalanguage capable of expressing the semantics of some object language must have expressive power exceeding that of the object language. The metalanguage includes primitive notions, axioms, and rules absent from the object language, so that there are theorems provable in the metalanguage not provable in the object language.

<snip>


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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:25 AM

12. Form and content.

In a painting, form is anything you can point at; line, shape, edge, value, color, texture, surface. Content is what it means or why it's made. That dynamic applies to the entirety of the human experience. The things we do must have meaning, and the things we make are expressions if that intent.

If you want to know if science is a religion, ask a scientist how they feel about it.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:53 PM

32. and also: "how" is not just what steps, but the order of those steps themselves is a manifestation

of in-what-manner.

That is the manner in which ________________ is evoked from what is. For example, in regard to that which is referred to as "meta-physics", the OED on that prefix 'meta' refers to Greek for that which stands behind, like the ground from which a base-relief is evoked. The manner of being, the how, evokes the order of the steps which manifest knowing/truth/reality with more or less validity.

One set of steps is religion/religious.

Another set of steps, no less open in its nature but still an essentially different how, is science.

When outcomes are of the highest priority you don't HAVE TO discount either process, religion:science, you can even have both if you don't feel that violates one's integrity (I belong to this cohort, myself), but if consequences are dangerous so you need the best chance at validity as possible, it's probably advisable to err in favor of science.

With the caveat that any attempt to make an absolute out of science negates the nature of its HOW identify, i.e. it becomes that which is not science, i.e. religion or superstition or something like that. For example, should we govern the nation's long-term-care resources as spreadsheets and data-bases, exclusively numbers, and/or should we seek consensus(es) evoked from specific living experiences?

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Response to patrice (Reply #32)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:10 PM

37. Form follows function. Mostly.

A scientist can pour years of passionate effort and faith finding out if her predictions will be proven accurate, and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata can be used as a ringtone.

We are the nexus between fact and fiction, constantly flirting with both. I think it's the movement between the two that describes the human condition.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #37)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:15 PM

38. Agree. The lines are not also that clear.

I remember feeling something akin to rapture when I was doing my first fruit fly experiments in college.

Sometimes I listen to *sacred* music and just let myself be moved. Other times, I pick apart the instrumentation. Entirely different experiences.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #37)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:37 PM

41. I've always liked that one . . . for the DOING of it.

You and I are alike; I just went to Dylan Thomas to say what I was trying to say about "that which Is" above.



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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:26 AM

13. Utter rubbish argument.

There is always the unsolved (and likely unsolvable) demarcation problem, but that is a philosophical issue, not one that would concern anybody except those deeply steeped in such affairs.

But the argument here just leaves me face-palming.

By any practical definition, science is not a belief, nor does it have priests, let alone authority figures. Truly, there are famous scientists who have made their names, but as any one of them should be honest enough to admit (at least to themselves), the only authority in science is nature herself (personifying the universe).

Also, the article ignores the other fact that science is not a set of beliefs, but a methodology -- and here is where the big difference lies. Both the methodology and the findings of those methods are tentative, subject to revision and verification. (Both are requirements of the method.)

No matter what our preconceived notions of nature might be, the goal of science is to set that all aside and discover models which have sufficient fecundity to be both accurate and predictive. (Again, both are required.) The actual accuracy must also be measured and reported.

To my knowledge, religion does none of these things.

Vive la difference.

It seems what we have here is a theist scientist trying to square a circle, in other words, trying to justify his theist beliefs by redefining science.

However, I may be wrong about that as all the data is not in.

on edit: as usual, my friend, you post things which spurn DU to new heights. Even though I disagree with the article, it helps me, and hopefully others, to come to grips with these issues. Thank you for that.

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Response to longship (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:34 AM

16. He would agree that using the OED definition of religion, science could not be classified as

such. His argument is that the definition is wrong. I like the case he makes, though I am not sure I fully agree with it. He does not try to argue that religion is science.

The demarcation problem seems to be inhibited by the definitions used, so perhaps there is a need for redefinition.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:54 AM

21. Well, you may be able to predict my response.

But the OED doesn't tell me anything about what I learned about science in the physics curriculum. Science is far more flexible and adaptive than what the Oxford scholars lay down in the definition. That is one attribute which sets science apart from religion which seems to calcify.

The demarcation problem is recognized to be unsolvable, but one thing is certain. Religion is on one side of the line and science is on the other. They are two different things, both in kind and in characteristics. That's why I cringe when stuff like this gains foothold.

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Response to longship (Reply #21)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:07 PM

24. You are making his point for him in your first paragraph, don't you think?

The OED also doesn't tell theologians anything about what they know of religion.

What about the pyramids and stonehenge? Are the lines fully demarcated in those cases?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 04:06 PM

45. Maybe only his premise.

But I think where he goes horribly wrong is aligning Stonehenge and the pyramids with the LHC.

There is no doubt that Stonehenge was aligned to celestial events -- not so much for the pyramids. But those alignments were undoubtedly not for finding out new things about the celestial bodies. The pyramids were tombs for pharoahs who were said to be gods themselves. All we know about Stonehenge and the pyramids we know because of science. Many gaps remain, but that's another main attribute of science.

Nobody claims science is perfect, but it seems to work just fine just the same.

I just don't like it when people make claims that science is a religion. In my experience that suggests that they may either have an inordinate interest in religion, or an animosity to science. I think this Nobel laureate is the former.

Sorry for the rant, my friend.

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Response to longship (Reply #45)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 04:36 PM

46. What to you constitutes an inordinate interest in religion?

One of the points he makes about things like Stonehenge is that we really do not know what role or what kind of religion might have been involved.

I thoroughly enjoy your rants, longship.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #46)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 05:57 PM

47. Thanks!

Well, Stonehenge will probably never reveal all its secrets about the society which built it. It's fun to speculate about these things, but science doesn't work by speculation. It is likely that there was some cultural aspect to it, but how in the Sam Hell are ya gonna figure it out?

Some things about the past may never be known, or only via the fog of inferential evidence.

So I find it disengenuous that this Nobel laureate to cite Stonehenge as an analog to the LHC. We do know some things about the culture of the times of Stonehenge. Anybody in the future discovering the remnants of the LHC would similarly be familiar with some of our culture, as well. I think that they would properly infer that the LHC is different in purpose and different in kind, if only from the inferential cultural evidence. You cannot rip these things out of their cultural contexts.

If you don't know the culture of the Stonehenge builders, than that's all one can say about it. One certainly cannot say that because one doesn't know, that one can use it as an analog for future LHC archeologists. If one doesn't know, one doesn't know. That's yet another principle of science. You don't get to make shit up (commonly termed the argument from ignorance).

Regardless, I find this stuff absolutely fascinating. Many of your posts here fall into that category, cbayer.

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Response to longship (Reply #47)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:11 PM

48. Actually, unless I am reading this wrong, he does draw a distinction between

Stonehenge and LHC. He says that if, say, aliens landed and saw both, they might assume they were both religious symbols of some sort. But, they would be able to figure out the LHC and replicate what it is supposed to do. In doing so, they could ascertain that it was a scientific instrument and replicate what it was originally used for.

The difference, then, is that we can probably never know that about Stonehenge or the pyramids and, therefore, have to assume that they had some kind of significance beyond science. Or did they?

The argument from ignorance is, I agree, false. But I don't overtly reject the god of the gaps.

While neither you nor I may agree with this author, it is one of the more interesting things I have read lately and a good conversation starter. I am really glad you joined in.

Do you have an inordinate interest in religion, my friend?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #48)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:29 PM

50. I listen to the Bible Geek podcast every week.

So, I guess you could say so. Robert Price is a bit of a character, but his biblical knowledge is compendious, way beyond my pay grade. I stopped going to church some fifty years ago. I was thirteen.

I only understand a little of what Price is talking about. But I am still hooked.

BTW, he is a fairly staunch republican and an atheist, but he only occasionally talks politics, usually abortion. (He's agin it.)

I also love the Reasonable Doubts podcast, which is based in my home state, just down the road from me in west Michigan. They get heavily into apologetics, bible interpretation, and the psychology of religion. It is a very nerdy podcast for religion. They get somewhat heavier into politics and they're all basically liberals. This one is probably more suitable for the general DU Religion group. It is generally very well done. The hosts keep things light hearted.

The Bible Geek tends to be heavy shit.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #48)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:58 PM

52. That's stupid, aliens would most likely instantly recognize the LHC for what it is...

a very large particle accelerator. The laws of physics are the same throughout the Universe, and any aliens advanced enough to visit Earth would be more than aware of particle physics and the equipment needed to examine those particles.

Stonehenge is a calendar, that much has been known for a long time, and most likely had cultural/religious significance as well, the Pyramids are tombs for pharaohs, we know this because they wrote down why they were built. Hell we even know who designed them, and saw the development of the technology needed to build them(including the failures like the Bent Pyramid).

Expanding the meaning of the term religion is ridiculously stupid, it renders the term meaningless.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #52)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:05 PM

59. These attempts are typically an effort to "absorb" non-belief/atheism/science.

Since religion cannot address the questions posed by actual inquires, this is a relatively new way they try to render those questions moot. Science is "just another religion!" There! Ha ha, don't have to answer your questions now!

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Response to longship (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:20 PM

39. Just a note to myself here to follow up on demarcation problems, later, I am doing laundry & stuff

right now.

Note to note to myself: consolidation and differentiation in neural nets; also more on terminology, e.g. religion/-ous, superstition, "spirituality", and instinct . . . & rational:scientific.

Note to longship: I really! like! what you posted here and want to look closer at it later.

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Response to patrice (Reply #39)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:11 PM

49. Thanks.

I am no philosopher. The demarcation problem is mind numbing and eye-glazing. I know enough about it to be dangerous. I do know that it's one of those philosophical issues that in the smoke-filled rooms of philosophy departments likely ends up in chair throwing.

I am a fairly militant atheist, with one caveat. I have no problem what other people believe. I do have a huge problem with religion's apparent stranglehold on culture, especially in context with the people at the top of the hierarchy, who -- allegedly educated -- should know better.

I am also a fierce defender of science with regards to the apparent war on science by religious charlatans. The same with regards to first amendment issues.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:52 AM

20. Two of the Most Prominent Writers on Belief Systems,

William James and Eric Hoffer, both discuss religious and atheistic beliefs systems alongside each other as functional equivalents.

People who depict atheists as free from religious dogmatism generally do not have a good insight into their own behavior or the bahavior of those who agree with them. A belief in God is not what makes people dogmatic or accept statements about the world without proof.

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Response to On the Road (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:12 PM

25. Thank you for this. Time to go find Eric Hoffer in a stack of crates of books around here somewhere.

Also love William James and what do you think of Alfred North Whitehead?

You remind me of others: EO Wilson & G. Bateson for perspectives on biology.

Hoping I can get these for Kindle.

Thanks for reminding me.

There are so many good voices.

............................

Maybe this group should have a reading list pinned to the top, just an informal way of continuing the conversation with a real voluntary way of sharing, giving context to what we're talking about here.
.................................................

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Response to patrice (Reply #25)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:16 PM

27. I like the idea of a reading list and even a book club kind of approach.

Science Friday on NPR now has a book club where listeners read the same book (nominated and selected by them) which can then be discussed.

That might be a fun, interesting and enlightening thing to do here.

Would be interested in what others think about it.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #27)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:04 PM

35. I would support that by getting one of my own suggestion + someone else's suggested book on my

Kindle.

And at minimum, just jump in there and post quotes and then everyone just kind of free-write about whatever turns up.

Maybe we could get an interview on community radio? I know those folks here in KC; I'm sure that there are others and pirate radios too, who would be interested in a SUSTAINED discussion environment of some respectful sort.

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Response to patrice (Reply #25)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:40 PM

62. Never Read Albert North Whitehead

But have read almost all of Eric Hoffer's books. They are very slim but very compact -- "The True Believer" is largely aphorisms and poetic observations.

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Response to On the Road (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:15 PM

26. He makes the point that there was likely ritual and dogma before there was religion.

Is it ritual and dogma that make something *religious*? If so, then science would seem to fit in that category. Does religion necessarily require theism? Your point would seem to be that it does not.

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Response to On the Road (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:18 PM

28. true a belief in god is evidence of a gullible personality choice

 

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #28)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:24 PM

29. What is a "gullible personality choice"?

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #28)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:00 PM

33. Which god? What's a god? IF there were such a thing that could be called a "G/god" would we

be able to define it?

Why is skepticism even able to talk about something that it claims doesn't exist? Isn't that kind of crazy?

I call BS. If it doesn't exist, or even if you just don't believe, what in the whole cosmos could one have to SAY about it?

The only way that's possible is to pose a definition and then say you don't believe in it or it doesn't exist.

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Response to patrice (Reply #33)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:29 PM

40. using language one may talk about all sorts of fictional entities

 

we can talk about zombies all day long but it doesnt mean they exist

similarly walking on water and raising the dead and the end of the world are all fictional and yet they have real effects in the world. thats why skeptics can talk about such things they were already part of the conversation

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #40)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:52 PM

42. There are none who live off of the lives of others? Would NOT exist were it not for that?

And, yes, just because language, and English in particular I hear, has both denotative and connotative meanings, both of which can be more or less relevant to a given phenomenon, doesn't mean that anyone has ever walked on water in anything more than a metaphorical sense (and I'd like to suggest the OED on the etymology of the prefix "meta-" ... oh, and eco- too, as in economics, which also has an interesting evolution).

Some things may in fact FUNCTION like seas with their own nature(s), similar in all traits but wetness and what wetness entails, and some folks may seem capable of skating/sailing/flying/walking across those elements, perhaps sustained by their very turmoil, events and persons of the last year come to mind, but diligent watchers, RESPONSIBLE "knowers", know the difference between the kind of awareness that goes into that particular estimate of more or less valid and reliable significance/relationships, within its own context, and different other descriptions of other more or less reliable validities.

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Response to patrice (Reply #42)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:34 PM

57. who decides when a miracle is supernatural and when its not?

 

leaves a lot for debate between literalists and figurativists but not a lot of room for discussion with nonbelievers.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:03 PM

53. Total bullshit based on buildings

While avoid the underlying definition of religion.

Religion is based on faith, which is belief in the absence of proof

Science is based on proof.

Crap.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:14 PM

54. Science and math are not faith

Got into this argument a few weeks ago. Some religious freak was telling me imaginary numbers required faith. No, they exist otherwise the devices based On them like this phone stop working

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Response to TrogL (Reply #54)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:32 PM

56. well to be fair

 

its not just imaginary numbers that are figments of our imagination. all pure maths are abstract (you may be thinking of applied maths which is not the same thing). that said theres a big difference between math and science. the former is abstract whereas the latter is concrete. we can prove all kinds of things mathematically that we cant demonstrate empirically (string theory comes to mind). its that whole empirical demonstration of the supernatural that we're still waiting on.

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Response to TrogL (Reply #54)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:35 PM

58. add even though math is abstract it doesnt require faith though

 

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:14 AM

63. I'm not sure he really understands what science is.

Science is all about the scientific method. While it's entirely possible to hold onto previous scientific theories and discoveries in an irrational manner, like religions and other faith based beliefs, doing that is not science. Science has to be rational and evidence based to be science, and we have a very well tested modern day method that reliably leads us in the right direction when followed. It doesn't mean people who are labeled as scientists think in a logical Vulcan like manner every second of the day immune to the same emotions and inefficient thinking that the rest of us deal with. Just because a scientist says or does something, doesn't mean it's scientific.

So I think that Science itself cannot be a religion, though that religious mode of thinking can occur in people who work as scientists when defending their own flawed works, those who get too emotionally attached to a particular hypothesis, or even writings of a favorite scientist authority figure.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:43 AM

65. Scientism is a religion without a god. nt

 

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Response to humblebum (Reply #65)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:22 PM

66. Please show your definition for "scientism" and "religion".

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Response to TrogL (Reply #66)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:45 PM

67. It really doesn't need to be explained.

 

Religion is a collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the Universe.

Scientism is a term used, usually pejoratively, to refer to belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints. The term frequently implies a critique of the more extreme expressions of logical positivism and has been used by social scientists such as Friedrich Hayek, philosophers of science such as Karl Popper, and philosophers such as Hilary Putnam to describe the dogmatic endorsement of scientific methodology and the reduction of all knowledge to only that which is measurable.

Both from WIKI

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Response to humblebum (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:53 PM

68. 'impressionism' was a perjorative term that

 

only came into wide use after the art movement embraced it. i dont think scientists are embracing this term, so it doesnt count when its wielded as an insult. that is: there is no such thing as scientism until its reclaimed (if its reclaimed) by those it was intended to insult.

iow: fail

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:55 PM

70. Whether or not you agree doesn't matter. The word is widely used and has an defined meaning.

 

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Response to humblebum (Reply #70)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:34 PM

73. The word "unicorn"

is widely used and has a defined meaning, but that doesn't mean there is such a thing in real life.

And strangely enough, Herr Ryder can't seem to name or describe any of those "other ways of knowing", let alone show that they lead to any actual knowledge, let alone show that they outdo science in areas where science SHOULD be applied and is proven to be effective.

A scientistic culture privileges scientific knowledge over all other ways of knowing. It uses jargon, technical language, and technical evidence in public debate as a means to exclude the laity from participation in policy formation.

Uh, well yeah...when the policy to be formed INVOLVES science, why the fuck would you NOT use technical language and technical evidence as an aid in sound decision making? What alternative does he offer to reason? Fuzzy-wuzzy feelings? Not even that. Maybe if the "laity" weren't wallowing in self-imposed ignorance about science, it wouldn't be a problem at all.

Does science weigh in with scientific jargon and other intimidating stuff to scare the "laity" away when the policy debate is over funding for the arts?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #73)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:45 PM

75. You must be really, really bored, SS.

If you have resorted to toying with humblebum and his nonsense, you really must have nothing better to do.

So far, so good. Keep it up.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #75)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:03 PM

76. Outing liars is my new hobby

Of course, this one needs about as much outing as Liberace...

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #76)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:12 PM

80. "Outing liars is my new hobby" and lying is your old one. nt

 

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Response to humblebum (Reply #80)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:46 PM

81. I'll out you again

by defying you to point to my supposed many lies. Observe class, how bummy will retreat into passive aggressive avoidance and go through all manner of contortions to avoid actually backing up his claims with evidence, and to excuse his laughable failure to do so. That's how you know he's a damned liar.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #81)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:10 AM

84. Well I guess such a list would be ridiculously long and go back quite a ways in time, but

 

recently - "I never said that "really is" by itself are your words," but your quote "how the Universe "really is" (your words) calls them my words. Yep. You lied.

Or this beauty - "Lie, Lie, Lie, Lie ... Show me where I have ever claimed to have ONE "method and epistemology."

Well, you have certainly claimed that there are no "other ways of knowing" and yet you are now claiming to have more than one "method and epistemology"

That, sir, is precisely what other ways of knowing are. Another lie? Do ya think?

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Response to humblebum (Reply #84)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:15 AM

85. Epic fail

You apparently failed to grasp the explanation that was provided here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1218&pid=54496

Where it was made clear:

I never said that "really is" by itself are your words. Obviously they're not. You falsely inserted the word "exactly" (hence the italics) to dishonestly attribute something to Sagan that he never said or claimed

In other words, I directly repudiated what you said i claimed. If you couldn't grasp what I was referring to when I said "your words", I can't help you (I did predict that the subtleties would escape you).

And then you double down on your lies...how typical. Show me ANYWHERE where I have said that there are no other ways of knowing. ANYWHERE. I've challenged people here to describe the other ways of knowing that they CLAIM exist, and to show how they provide knowledge and understanding. Demanding evidence that something exists before accepting that it does is not remotely the same as asserting that it definitely does NOT exist. You don't even grasp that simple concept do you? Well, don't feel badly...you have a lot of company in this group.

If that's the best you can do to prove I'm a liar, you're sinking deep into desperation, bummy.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #85)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:14 AM

88. Now you are admitting that there are other ways of knowing again.

 

Either there are or there aren't. As far as your word "exactly"- you inserted the 'your words' next to 'really', not 'exactly.'

But that changes nothing. If you claim that this is how something "really is," That is no different than saying this is "exactly" how it is. Neither word leaves any room for equivocation.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #73)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:40 PM

78. It uses jargon, technical language, and technical evidence in public debate as a means to ...

...merely keep definitions universal so everyone knows what is being talked about.

Like every "craft"... there is "jargon, technical language, and technical evidence"...so other like-craftsmen know what you are talking about.

Take sewing.

I know what a bodice is no matter its form....and so does every other clothes-maker. But do I mean a shirtwaist, doublet, or waistcoat? Like I know what a "farthingale" is as opposed to a "pannier". I'd use those terms instead of "hoops" because then I don't have to explain it to other period costumers.... tho' I might have to to the actress wearing one. It's not as a means to exclude her.... but to make things easier for the workers in the sewing room!

I can say "leg bone" but "femur".... or tibia or fibia... is more accurate.

I can say "metacarpals" and "metatarsals: and I know the difference, but it's not to confuse the layperson. It's to be accurate.

This argument is just plain stupid. I think he's confusing technical language with something like the church using Latin...to keep the commoner having to come to a priest to understand what it means. Besides, religion is full of jargon! Alb, chasuble, vestibule, apse....

Very disingenuous.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #73)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:11 PM

79. You have already intimated that there are indeed

 

other ways of knowing. And where it is not too easy to point out any actual unicorns (one of your favorite retorts), evidences of scientism are readily available.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #79)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:50 PM

82. No, I've intimated that some lame folk CLAIM

Last edited Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:22 AM - Edit history (1)

that there are all of these "other ways of knowing", which do as well in their alleged realms as science does in its own. Trouble is, like your buddy Ryder, they can't even begin to tell us what those ways are or to show that they work to increase knowledge and understanding. At all.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #82)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:47 PM

83. Those so-called "lame folk" are those who don't share your very narrow point of view. You

 

have already said that there are no other ways of knowing and now you are trying to deny it. Your idea of "knowledge and understanding" is a manufactured one that is designed to fit your manufactured narrow-minded reality. The definition of scientism fits you to a tee.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #83)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:39 AM

86. No, those lame folk

are the ones who make claims and then can't back them up with evidence and logical arguments, and in fact don't even try (hence, lame, like your buddy Ryder). Disagreeing with me is not a problem if they can back it up. Simple concept...do you grasp it?

You're also free to expound on your improved alternate notions of "knowledge and understanding", but I'm not holding my breath. And scientism? I claim that science is the best method we have for finding things out about the natural world. If you'd care to dispute that, go ahead, and I'll hand you your shriveled little ass. I freely acknowledge that there are questions which are not within the realm of scientific, empirical, rational inquiry. If you still feel the need to label THAT as "scientism", feel free, but you'll look pretty foolish doing it.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #86)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:04 AM

87. SS. You are truly the spin master.

 

Ad hominems and ad hoc arguments are your specialties.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #87)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:28 AM

89. Ah, I see

You have nothing left but flailing. No evidence, no facts, no arguments.

Rounds are over. You go wallow in your lies.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #89)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:31 PM

90. And you plainly have nothing. But at least we have established that there

 

are indeed other ways of knowing, or IOW other ways of obtaining knowledge.

BTW, it's standard procedure that when you are quoting someone to use quotation marks around their quote.But i think you Know that and are just trying to spin out of it as usual.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #90)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:24 PM

92. But at least we have established that there are indeed other ways of knowing

And they are....?

And how have they improved life in, say the past 100 years?
"We" haven't established anything, except you still believe in some vague fantasy you call "other ways of knowing" but cannot define or show even exist.

You have gotten nowhere.

And "sciencism"...or whatever that made up word is.... is nothing but... a made up word. Like "gobbledygook"... which is also in the dictionary.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #92)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:07 AM

93. You appear to be the epitome of scientism by considering

 

science itself as the only way of knowing.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #93)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:46 AM

94. Repeating the same unsubstantiated bullshit over and over

does not bring it any closer to being true.

Your claim that people here have declared science to be the only way of knowing is simply a lie. When you've been asked to show where anyone has actually stated that claim, you fail miserably.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #94)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:27 AM

95. Show me where i have actually mouthed those words. However, when

 

people discount any other ways of knowing, they have certainly narrowed the choices to one. Positivists are a prime example of scientism. YOU are trying to have it both ways. Either other ways of knowing exist and have value and relevance or they do not. There is no middle ground.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #93)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:18 AM

97. the epitome of scientism

The epitome of a made up word. Sure...if you wanna think so.

Again, what are those other ways of knowing? And how have they advanced our knowledge in the past 100 years. (Making things up is not knowing, y'know...or maybe you don't)

(chirp chirp chirp chirp)

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #97)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:24 PM

98. The subject of Other Ways of Knowing has been hashed and rehashed countless times here

 

over the past couple years and sources cited, and in spite of SS's rants to the contrary. And as far as Scientism is concerned, all words are made up words, but the word scientism is fairly synonymous with positivism, also a a "made up word" having a well defined meaning.

Like SS, if you cannot grasp it, you call it bunk. You might want to educate yourself on these ideas. Whether you agree with them or not, they do exist and are given credibility by many.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #98)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 01:06 PM

100. they do exist and are given credibility by many.

So does religion... and it is bunk.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #100)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 01:46 PM

101. Nothing biased about your line of thought LOL.

 

Religion is a made up word, too.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #101)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:23 PM

109. Religion is a made up word, too.

Last edited Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:38 PM - Edit history (2)

Still waiting for that list of "other ways of knowing" and how "they" have been helpful....


Just what are the methodologies of other ways of knowing, while you're at it.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #109)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:43 PM

110. Don't hold your breath

He's been claiming that these things exist for a long time, but every time he's asked to expound on them, he reverts to the same old lie, to the effect of "already did that a long time ago". Trouble is, he never did it, and can never prove otherwise.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #110)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:46 PM

112. Don't hold your breath

I know.

Just seeing how long it would go on, or I could stand it.

Sciencism... a fake word made up to make science seem like it's as flaky as religion. It always amazes me how those who poo poo science try to (without irony) legitimize their nonscientific notions by dressing them up in science like terms and procedures.

And I hate new-agey made up words...like "healthful" as in "This is a healthful way of eating" or "healthful living and activities". the word is "healthy". Why make up a new one? Deepok, is the you?

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #112)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:57 PM

115. So who poo poos science? I use and rely on it on a regular basis. It is

 

indispensable. However, science isn't applicable to all situations and problems all the time. Go ahead educate yourself.

Pointing out that Science cannot answer all questions is by no means detracting from Science.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #115)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:10 PM

117. No one has ever, in the history of the world, claimed

that science IS applicable to all situations and problems all the time.

You win the award for the biggest straw man in human history. And cbayer will probably be along to give you an Excellent Post! (r) Award any time now.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #117)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:30 PM

121. So no one has ever made an attempt to establish a unified theory of science? Interesting.

 

The spinmaster keeps on spinning.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #112)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:06 PM

116. As predicted

in 113 and 114, he doubles down on the same old lie, but fails to back up his bullshit, even though it would be easy to do so. He thinks if he just doesn't admit that he's full of shit, no one will notice that his evidence is never forthcoming.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #116)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:32 PM

122. And I see you are lying as usual right on schedule. nt

 

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Response to humblebum (Reply #122)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:42 AM

132. Prove it

or slither back under your rock. Everyone reading is waiting, bummy...they can see you for what you are as well as I can

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #132)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:57 AM

137. Not too sure exactly what you are waiting for, but happy waiting. All anyone needs do

 

is a little self-education and search the extensive history on the subject with the DU search function. Your posts have always been agenda driven and not reality driven. All blather.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #110)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:51 PM

114. Been addressed by quite a few more than just myself. nt

 

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Response to humblebum (Reply #114)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:24 PM

119. Been addressed by quite a few more than just myself.

Then it should be easy for you to pull up and show us! I mean you're so proud of it all.

Me... meh... who cares? You think this is the only time I've head of "other ways of deluding oneself"... I mean "knowing"? I've heard about it since childhood...and no one STILL can come up with a single viable example.

I'll stop teasing you.

Enjoy your fantasy.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #109)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:50 PM

113. Like I said, look it up for yourself. Subject's been discussed ad nauseum in the group. nt

 

And SS has been responding with the same tired retorts just with each discussion. Of course, those who are wedded to scientism have difficulty grasping anything outside their own limited perspectives.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #113)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:26 PM

120. have difficulty grasping

Those of us who know what science is and recognize it all around us have no difficulty grasping things that are real.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #120)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:35 PM

123. So who decides what is real and what is not? If the limits of your reality are

 

that which can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched/felt, then you are indeed very narrow minded.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #123)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:27 PM

124. If the limits of your reality are that which can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched/felt

Is that all you think science shows us to be real?

Are you 5?

It would help if you got off your imaginary high horse. I may think science is great... but that's because it's been wildly successful for the past 200 years. Look around, why don't ya. But you won't. You are smug and secure in your fantasy knowledge. (Who's close minded now?)

I am not narrow minded in the least just because I don't believe in every dumb ass fantasy that comes down the pike. Got it.? Insisting that things that are not there are real is not being open minded. It's delusional.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #124)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:14 PM

125. Who is attacking science? No one.

 

That is nothing more than a red herring on your part to distract from the anti-religious nature of your posts.

And, "Insisting that things that are not there are real is not being open minded." - again I would inquire how you know that things are not real. Or is it your very limited "way of knowing" that proves such to you?

BTW, "delusional" implies a mental illness. So I can only assume that you consider anyone who doesn't think like you to be mentally ill.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #125)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:13 PM

126. Who is attacking science? No one.

"Sciencism" is an attack on science.

You are disingenuous beyond belief. Good riddance, Deary.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #126)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:27 PM

127. Just how is scientism an attack on science?

 

Scientism refers to someone who adheres to the philosophy that science has all the answers. Hardly an attack on science. Total baloney.

Just another smoke screen to distract from your attacks on religion and religious believers.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:31 PM

72. I think the problem is this, "Scientism" as it were, seems to be a term that was...

invented by those who adhere to "soft" sciences that lack methodology and standards typical in scientific inquiry. Usually as a means to try to disqualify natural sciences as the most accurate and best means of inquiring about the nature of the universe. What they fail so hard at is actually coming up with an alternative means of inquiry that works better than scientific inquiry.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #72)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:37 PM

74. Expect bummy to jump in here with his usual lie

that evidence for all those "other ways of knowing" has been expounded at great length and for many years on this board. As usual too, he won't be able to point to a single one, or re-iterate any of the alleged "evidence". That's how the class knows he's lying out his ass.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #72)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:11 PM

118. And like clockwork, he does

113 and 114...But...but..but..I already GAVE that evidence...wahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #72)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:33 AM

130. Actually, the"soft" sciences use the same methodology, the Scientific Method, and

 

the same epistemology as the "hard" sciences. The Scientific Method is adaptable to almost any discipline.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #130)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:31 AM

134. But not the same rigor, because its not possible, either due to practical or ethical concerns...

recognizing that they try to downplay empiricism, but fail to come up with anything that is its equal.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #134)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:21 AM

135. You sound like there is some organized conspiracy to appear as something that they are not and

 

Last edited Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:58 AM - Edit history (2)

that is absurd. Any information utilized by the soft sciences or other disciplines is subject to varying degrees of subjectivity and objectivity, which is a normal part of life. They are not trying to downplay empiricism by any means. As a matter of fact the modern Scientific Method itself, based upon the constructs of Logical Positivism uses both empiricism and rationalism, not solely empiricism.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #65)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:52 PM

145. Dude, seriously.

Did your girlfriend dump you for a scientist or something? That kind of fixation ain't healthy. Let it go.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:14 PM

91. Almost anything CAN be treated as a religion

However, in nine cases out of ten, when people are accused of 'treating science as a religion', it is simply because they prefer scientific evidence to relying on faith in matters that involve the origins of the world and humanity. This rarely means that they are 'treating science as a religion'; it usually just means that they cannot muster faith in God/creation/etc. They cannot, to put it crudely, believe something that they don't believe. Few people think that science can explain everything; few people think that science can determine what our goals and ethics ought to be, though it might sometimes give us guidance on how to achieve our goals.

Those who treat science, or usually a particular scientific theory, as akin to a religion are generally non-scientists or bad scientists. An example that occurs to me is the sort of evolutionary psychologist who considers that social conventions are set in stone because they are allegedly products of evolution. For example, Kanazawa, who has described feminism as 'evil', because it supposedly contradicts the way that sex roles have evolved, just as a creationist fundie might consider feminism as 'evil' because it contradicts supposedly God-given sex roles. But people like Kanazawa are not respected by most of the scientific community.

Most serious scientists are very aware that there is much in the world that is unknown and un-explained. The fact that some (not all) of them think that these things cannot be explained by God, does not mean that they regard science as a religion.

There are far more people who treat their favourite spectator sport, in the UK most often football, as a sort of religion, than who treat science as a religion.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:27 PM

103. Perhaps there should be a separate thread,

but a lot of sports in this country are treated like religion. They have their houses of worship, the stadiums or other places where the sport is played. Their gods -- the players, the coaches, the owners. Although some of these could be viewed as saints.

Like regular churches, many sports get huge tax breaks, or a required donation in the form of student fees.

A lot of people worship quite regularly in this manner.

Of course, hardly anyone thinks of sport this way, and I'm not trying to equate it perfectly with traditional religions, but there sure are a lot of things in common.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #103)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:48 PM

107. Isn't that the truth. And some, but not enough, do *good deeds* as well.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:38 AM

129. let's be careful

Like any idea, there are those that claim to base their ideas on science, and those that actually are. The problem is not with the atheist or scientist per se, especially since, as has been repeated ad nauseam, atheism is not a creed in and of itself. The danger comes in when people use their interpetation of atheism and science, and make a whole bunch of constructs that have no more basis in fact than any myth that crawled out of Jerusalem. Take Ayn Rand's disciples, offically atheist, but they have a bunch of ideas about morality and economics that are just as capable of killing people as any other myth. The Soviets were nominally scientific, nominally athiest, but again, take one look at history, and they took their beliefs places that Karl Marx might not have even stepped near, or at least made him state some variant on his famous "I am not a marxist" line.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:18 PM

143. ...and if my granmother had nuts, she'd be my grandfather

 

Semantics, all fucking semantics

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:02 AM

146. Having read the blogpost I can say nonsense

Essentially the author is declaring that the purpose of Stonehenge was "scientific." What we actually know about Stonehenge is that it was, probably, used for observation(1), may have had ritual significance(2) and could have been used ceremonially(3); I have hedged all of these statements because we do not know for what that monument may have been used.

Similarly the Alien archaeologist would not know that the LHC was constructed using sound and rationally based engineering, that some repetitive activity occurred and that some ceremonial features (plaques, decoration) are there. If enough infrastructure and documentation was also found the alien could reconstruct the whole matching the reconstruction to the remains. They would then know that the structure was used for observing the interactions of sub-atomic particles but they could not say for what reason the observations were carried out as the context would be lacking.

Fairly obviously observation, ritual and ceremony can be associated with scientific endeavour but they do not define science because it ignores the speculation, argument and reasoned interpretation that follows as well as the motivation that precedes it. To declare that the motivations of religions that prompt the study of the precession of the equinoxes and the lunations are scientific is specious. The observations and rituals used by the faithful are designed to serve other rituals that have magical significance and we know this from the magical uses modern religions apply to such rituals.

_________________________________________
(1) The solar and stellar alignments seem not to be accidental
(2) Small sacrificial items and burials have been found associated with these stones and at other, similar, structures
(3) The Cursus the associated monuments near Stonehenge and, perhaps, the sonic environment produced by the stones are indicative of ceremonial

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