Science vs Religion

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Science vs Religion

Postby bijane » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:02 pm

Is it just me, or does religion seem to insist on being contrary to science, regardless?
It's almost understandable with the evolution/creationism 'debate' (even though evolution has clearly won), because evolution discusses something also discussed in their holy books: as does the Big Bang. Topics like that, it's possible to understand why they reach for misleading and often false information; even with things like carbon dating, which demonstrate the age of the Earth.

Past that though, things like the death of the dinosaurs. Does anyone know why many creationist sites insist on contradicting the meteor-strike? There's no passage in the Bible which says 'and the dinosaurs died out by...' or 'a meteor has never hit the Earth and wiped out a species of giant lizards'.
The apparent 'explanations' are generally awful too; such as Jack Chick saying the dinosaurs made it onto Noah's Ark, and died when they came off as the air had changed as the plants had died (...even though it doesn't explain why all died out, and makes God openly negligent and cruel).

But really, why is it needed to come up with some huge, new (and most likely obviously flawed) hypothesis in order to explain this? Science does a fine job of it, and the Bible and similar holy books don't even try.
Is it just me, or do a lot of religions, especially the more conservative, go against science for little more reason than 'it's science'?
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all the plants what?

Postby dobbie » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:52 pm

On what J. Chick's commentary wrote:>Jack Chick saying the dinosaurs made it onto Noah's Ark, and died when they came off as the air had changed as the plants had died<

Good ole Bible commentaries. You gotta love them. This time, the air had changed (cough) ... but the other animals in the ark came out and were okay with the new air.

And the people came out of the ark and were okay with the new air, too.

And the Bible God went to the trouble of sending the dinos into the ark only for them to kick the bucket thanks to the new air.

Meanwhile Genesis fails to say that all the plants had died, and so Jack Chick adds the element to the story (what else is new ... commentarial is the name of the game, in order to try to make modern sense out of the Bible).

In fact the dove flew out and came back to the ark with an olive leaf in its mouth. Looks like not all the plants had died?

Genesis 8:10 [A]gain he sent forth the dove out of the ark. 11 And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf.
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Re: Science vs Religion

Postby DjVortex » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:24 am

bijane wrote:It's almost understandable with the evolution/creationism 'debate'


You seem to equate "religion" with "young-earth creationist judeo-christianity". Evolution and religion in general are not incompatible at ideological levels. Young earth creationism is.

OTOH, even many old-earth creationists often despise the theory of evolution. The sole reason for it is that it postulates that humans were not created ready-made, but instead evolved from an ancestral species (which ultimately had evolved from single-cell organisms). That's all. That's the sole reason for disliking the theory. But of course it cannot be left at that. If that one thing is wrong, then everything about it has to be wrong as well. It has to be discredited in all possible aspects (even those which do not affect the tenets of the religion in any way).

Past that though, things like the death of the dinosaurs. Does anyone know why many creationist sites insist on contradicting the meteor-strike?


The logic goes: Since the universe is only 6000 years old, then everything that is postulated to have happened before that must be wrong. It doesn't matter what. It's a question of principle. Anything that could support the claim of an old universe must be discredited at all costs.

The apparent 'explanations' are generally awful too; such as Jack Chick saying the dinosaurs made it onto Noah's Ark, and died when they came off as the air had changed as the plants had died


What makes that hypothesis really ridiculous is that it assumes that all dinosaurs were huge, when in fact the vast majority of dinosaurs were much smaller than eg. elephants and giraffes which didn't seem to have any problem with the new air after the flood. (I'm not a paleontologist, but I think that the vast majority of dinosaurs were actually as small as and smaller than dogs, making it even more implausible that they died because of lack of oxygen, while all other bigger animals survived.) The hypothesis seems to completely ignore all the small dinosaurs.
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Re: Science vs Religion

Postby Apate » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:08 am

bijane wrote:Is it just me, or does religion seem to insist on being contrary to science, regardless?
It's almost understandable with the evolution/creationism 'debate' (even though evolution has clearly won), because evolution discusses something also discussed in their holy books: as does the Big Bang. Topics like that, it's possible to understand why they reach for misleading and often false information; even with things like carbon dating, which demonstrate the age of the Earth.

Past that though, things like the death of the dinosaurs. Does anyone know why many creationist sites insist on contradicting the meteor-strike? There's no passage in the Bible which says 'and the dinosaurs died out by...' or 'a meteor has never hit the Earth and wiped out a species of giant lizards'.
The apparent 'explanations' are generally awful too; such as Jack Chick saying the dinosaurs made it onto Noah's Ark, and died when they came off as the air had changed as the plants had died (...even though it doesn't explain why all died out, and makes God openly negligent and cruel).

But really, why is it needed to come up with some huge, new (and most likely obviously flawed) hypothesis in order to explain this? Science does a fine job of it, and the Bible and similar holy books don't even try.
Is it just me, or do a lot of religions, especially the more conservative, go against science for little more reason than 'it's science'?


It is a myth that religions are against science or knowledge , one must separate the loudmouth apologist from the common folk .
Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth .
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Postby Lausten » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:52 pm

Apate wrote:It is a myth that religions are against science or knowledge , one must separate the loudmouth apologist from the common folk .

No definition of "myth" or "religions" that I know of can make this statement work.

That you mention "loudmouth apologist" tells me you have heard real people speaking against scientific facts and science in general, but it sounds like you think they are few and far between. Have you been listening to what the established leaders of the Catholic Church have been saying recently in the debate about insurance? They think Obama is forcing them to go against their beliefs. Have you looked into the details of the "Clergy Project"? This is a religious org that says it promotes teaching science, and in some ways they do. But they never discuss how science can inform religion, answer its question and especially, question its assumptions. When they invite science to do that, then I'll say that religions are not against knowledge.
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Postby Apate » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:56 pm

Lausten... your making a mistake , the so called catholic bishops only represent themselves .

When the Reason Rally happens will the secular attendees have thoughts of their own or should they be percieved as sheep led by Dawkins and Barker simply because they come out as secular ?

I should make it clear that religion to me is not what one believes but instead what one tries to do to others . A person may believe in God and a 6,000 year old earth but if they dont ask the powerful to force it upon you are the really a danger to society ?
Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth .
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Postby Lausten » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:48 am

Those are big questions. Not difficult ones, but they deserve an answer.

To the first one, there will always be followers, that doesn't mean that the leaders are wrong or that reason is not worth pursuing.
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Postby DjVortex » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:57 pm

Apate wrote:I should make it clear that religion to me is not what one believes but instead what one tries to do to others .


Coming up with your personal definition of a term, which differs significantly from the common definition, is only going to cause confusion.

It's the same as using the label "god" for something else than a sentient, intelligent supernatural being who created the universe. You can use the label "god" for something else, but if you do, you'll only cause confusion. (The prime example would be Einstein, who used the word "god" to mean the universe, later clearly and explicitly clarifying this, and that he does not believe in a personal god. This didn't stop many believers from arguing how Einstein believed in God (iow. the God of the Bible).)
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Postby BahRayMew » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:36 am

To simplify, religion is fine with science just so long as it's gets to be the master of science. But science doesn't work that way.

The problem is that religious people tend to be authoritarians and priests moreso. And authoritarians are typically averse to the intense criticism and willingness to question conventional wisdom that science thrives on.

Dysfunctional authoritarians don't work the way you or I do. Jack Chick probably only believes dinosaurs existed because everybody else does.

And they haven't even slightest sense of irony to understand that they haphazardly pick these beliefs as a freak circumstance of their birth and upbringing. This goes for political ideologies as it does with religion.

Knowledge is revealed, not derived, by these people. This is their survival strategy. They latch onto a power they find acceptable and toe the party line.

The average person doesn't really respect science or honest intellectual endeavor anyway. They just have to crankily deal with their animal needs in the most efficient way they can, so they can go back to pretending that they're really not actually animals which are slowly dying.

Especially middle-class artistic types in their adolescence are more concerned with infinite free self-expression and don't regard the philosophy of science itself to be anything other than a soul-numbing bit of drudgery.

But even then, formal art requires a certain dedication to technicalities and an ironic mind capable of benefiting from real world experience; which ultimately separates the mediocre artists from the exceptional.
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Postby Lausten » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:31 am

Apate wrote:When the Reason Rally happens will the secular attendees have thoughts of their own or should they be percieved as sheep led by Dawkins and Barker simply because they come out as secular ?

I should make it clear that religion to me is not what one believes but instead what one tries to do to others . A person may believe in God and a 6,000 year old earth but if they dont ask the powerful to force it upon you are the really a danger to society ?

That first question is just kinda rude. There will be many people there, some original thinkers, some followers. We all must choose an ideology and do our best to test it as we go. If we wait to figure out life before living it, life will have past us by.

2nd question
They may not be a danger, but they may not be of much help either. That's okay, not everyone needs to be a thinker. We need plenty of doers. Still, that is looking at it as just individuals. Any one person could be harmless and believe all sorts of odd things. That ignores that people know how to use belief systems to manipulate populations. People don't believe in the Christian God because they read several books of mythology and some Dawkins and decide that it was the best choice. There are a number of ways to get people to believe and many ways to use people once you have their trust. You ignore those things at your own peril.
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Re: Science vs Religion

Postby Skept » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:50 am

bijane wrote:Is it just me, or does religion seem to insist on being contrary to science, regardless?


What you mean by religion is perhaps creationism? Creationists cannot accept evolution because they think essentially that life cannot come from non-organic matter. In their view matter is dead until animated by God. This is the basis for their ethics and morality. I guess the way they see it, the alternative would be that if humans are simply spawned from matter they would not be morally responsible anymore.

So I think their struggle is not against science per se, but against what they see as a threat to their moral system.
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Re: Science vs Religion

Postby DjVortex » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:46 pm

Skept wrote:Creationists cannot accept evolution because they think essentially that life cannot come from non-organic matter.


What does life forming from inorganic matter have to do with evolution?
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Re: Science vs Religion

Postby BahRayMew » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:19 am

DjVortex wrote:
Skept wrote:Creationists cannot accept evolution because they think essentially that life cannot come from non-organic matter.


What does life forming from inorganic matter have to do with evolution?

Life is magic. Anything inanimate is not magical. Or as they sometimes try and say, life is "irreducibly complex."

Which is just jargon that tries to say that life is essentially supernatural and that the quality of life itself is some kind of special exception to the rules.

Only magic begets magic. Nothing mundane will do the job of making something magical.

It's also why people used to believe in spontaneous generation. The pressing philosophical question of the day was if the world was a set of arbitrary illusions, perhaps imposed on us by an angry sky-daddy.
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Postby BahRayMew » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:48 am

Apate wrote:Lausten... your making a mistake , the so called catholic bishops only represent themselves .

Nope. They're complaining that "Catholic" hospitals or medical services will now be required to insure contraception. At no point is a Catholic actually required to use those services. They just get insurance if they ever presumably wanted to.

Catholic universities and hospitals still have to service people who do not share their religion and who would want contraception.

It also shows what an idiotic idea a "Catholic hospital" is. Unless they antisocially refuse to participate in broader society, the distinction is essentially meaningless.

Imagine the Church of Latter Day Saints having hospitals and complaining that it was now required to insure blood transfusions.

It also shows that religious authorities don't know the difference between religious freedom and a theocracy. And frankly, it's probably because they don't actually care.
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