(Close Window)
Topic: Science
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (May 19, 2015 04:54AM)
A while back I posted a topic called, "Do you believe in science"? Ever the poor communicator, I didn't get to the heart of the matter.

What [i][b]*IS*[/i][/b] science?



(I contend that the world has become very confused about what constitutes "truth" or "knowledge" or "facts". The Unhinged can't clear this up for anyone. But he can point out that y'all are confused. You are.

Still, I love you. I'm a weird guy.)
Message: Posted by: Salguod Nairb (May 19, 2015 06:03AM)
[img]http://i.imgur.com/y1IDwl9.gif[/img]
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 19, 2015 06:49AM)
Weird can be good, especially in a world in which "being bored" is a self-inflicted disease.

"Science" is a label like "technology" to be applied to anything for which you cannot find a person to blame for a mistake.

In the abdication of responsibility game, saying "the devil/god made me do it" is passe' -- safer to say, "can't argue with science" or "technology made me do it."

data, fact, information, believing, certainly, certitude, knowledge, understanding --

a transitional track that is very scientific, but it easier to just say "found it on FaceBook" as a superstition.

no confusion -- just delusion
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (May 19, 2015 07:58AM)
Science is a method of arriving at an understanding of the world. It is a process that allows us to gather facts, form theories, then test those theories and either reject, accept or modify them, always leaving the door open for further change as more facts become available.

We have been doing science for less than half a millennium and look how far it has got us, but in the technological spin-offs, and in the advancement of knowledge. Religion and superstition and magical barely got us out of the caves after tens of thousands of years.
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 19, 2015 08:14AM)
Way back in my halcyon days of academia, I studied Physics (and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in it).

I have done some personal introspection into what [i]science[/i] is, and my opinion is that it is an attempt to comprehensively describe the world. That is all.

It is a quest for determining [i]how[/i].

It is not a search for [i]truth.[/i]

It is not a search for [i]why.[/i]

And, being a quest for [i]how,[/i] scientists build models intended to be accurate descriptions - if the models are good ones, they are usually predictive (that is, they often describe things that were not observed before the model was developed).

Scientists operate under certain rules for constructing their models, rules like a simpler model is usually better than a more complicated one (e.g., planetary epicycles were ultimately rejected in favor of a heliocentric model of the solar system; both were acceptable models, but the epicycle model was much more complicated and subject to continuing [i]refinements[/i]).

Scientists are human, though, and are often reluctant to change: as a result, real game-changing breakthroughs are often rejected at first. Eventually the stronger model prevails. But again, there is no search for the [i]true[/i] model - there are just revisions and refinements that describe more things, or describe existing things better.

These things are often spoken of in terms of [i]proof[/i] and [i]truth,[/i] and I think much of that is due to non-scientists and anti-scientists asserting premises contraindicated by the evidence and scientific predispositions.

For example, scientists use carbon dating techniques to date things (like fossils) from the earth's distant past. This technique is built on a number of conclusions drawn by scientists as described in their models. And if these models are accurate, we can calculate the age of dinosaurs, etc. Anti-science crusaders may argue that carbon dating is bogus, but they normally have no credible basis for rejecting the model. Rather they argue that it is all [i]theoretical,[/i] [b]and it is,[/b] but the normal understanding of theoretical is insufficient to describe what it really means, at least to scientists. I just looked up the synonyms and antonyms for the word [i]theoretical[/i] in Merriam Webster online. It gives the following synonyms for theoretical: academic, conjectural, hypothetical, speculative, suppositional; it gives the following antonyms: actual, factual, real. The anti-science folks believe that scientific descriptions, because they all fall out of theories, are not actual, factual or real; and because they can make up stuff too, they feel fully equipped to reject scientific theories and replace them with their own theories.

So, when you ask, "Do you believe in science?" my answer is, "Yes. I do."

But science is not a search for truth, or even causality; it describes (or attempts to describe) what [i]is.[/i] That is all. I do not think science even attempts to do anything else.

For truth, you need to resort to philosophy.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 19, 2015 08:30AM)
Well said 0pus.

Tom
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 19, 2015 08:57AM)
Nice post Opus, but I would make a minor change.

Instead of "The anti-science folks believe that scientific descriptions, because they all fall out of theories, are not actual, factual or real;",

I believe you should change it to, "Some folks believe that scientific descriptions, because they all fall out of theories, 'may not' be actual, factual or real;"

First off, no need to label someone who may question 'scientific fact' as 'anti-science', and secondly, using your example, they may not necessarily believe carbon dating is bogus, they may simply believe that it 'may' not produce accurate results since it is theoretical.
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 19, 2015 10:20AM)
Exactly my point.

The evidence in favor of the accuracy of carbon dating is so strong to a scientific mind, that just pointing out that it is "theoretical" does a severe injustice to the evidential basis for the carbon dating model.

It is like saying computers "may" not work because they are based on things like Maxwell's equations, which are "only" theoretical.
Message: Posted by: NYCTwister (May 19, 2015 10:25AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, 0pus wrote:

For truth, you need to resort to philosophy. [/quote]

Yeah, like that's worked so well thus far.
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (May 19, 2015 10:58AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
Science is a method of arriving at an understanding of the world. It is a process that allows us to gather facts, form theories, then test those theories and either reject, accept or modify them, always leaving the door open for further change as more facts become available.

We have been doing science for less than half a millennium and look how far it has got us, but in the technological spin-offs, and in the advancement of knowledge. Religion and superstition and magical barely got us out of the caves after tens of thousands of years. [/quote]

Depending on what you want to call science has been 500 years. When Babylonian astrologers mapped the heavens and recorded movements of planets, was that science? When shaman recorded herbs that treated sickness, was that science? Science has been built on thousands of years of research by different types of scientists. Many religious. Most of the groundwork for your 500 years was laid over thousands of years by those stupid superstitious magical 'scientists'. Gee and those Greek guys with their discoveries, hum that was thousands of years ago. A little credit where it's due.
Message: Posted by: NYCTwister (May 19, 2015 11:14AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
Science is a method of arriving at an understanding of the world. It is a process that allows us to gather facts, form theories, then test those theories and either reject, accept or modify them, always leaving the door open for further change as more facts become available.

We have been doing science for less than half a millennium and look how far it has got us, but in the technological spin-offs, and in the advancement of knowledge. Religion and superstition and magical barely got us out of the caves after tens of thousands of years. [/quote]

Depending on what you want to call science has been 500 years. When Babylonian astrologers mapped the heavens and recorded movements of planets, was that science? When shaman recorded herbs that treated sickness, was that science? Science has been built on thousands of years of research by different types of scientists. Many religious. Most of the groundwork for your 500 years was laid over thousands of years by those stupid superstitious magical 'scientists'. Gee and those Greek guys with their discoveries, hum that was thousands of years ago. A little credit where it's due. [/quote]

Sure, ZREO credit to the superstitious, religious part of their minds.

All the credit, and thanks, to the rational, logical. courageous part of their minds.

That good enough for ya?
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (May 19, 2015 11:21AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, 0pus wrote:

For truth, you need to resort to philosophy. [/quote]

Yeah, like that's worked so well thus far. [/quote]

It hasn't not worked, either.

Disagreeing about "truth" doesn't mean that truth doesn't exist. It only means that people disagree.

If all we want to consider "knowledge" is what people can agree on, then science has a good claim. Take, for example, global warming. We can all agree on that, right?

Like science has worked "so far". Sure, we have blu-ray players and iPhones. Well done, science.
Message: Posted by: NYCTwister (May 19, 2015 11:27AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, 0pus wrote:

For truth, you need to resort to philosophy. [/quote]

Yeah, like that's worked so well thus far. [/quote]

It hasn't not worked, either.

Disagreeing about "truth" doesn't mean that truth doesn't exist. It only means that people disagree.

If all we want to consider "knowledge" is what people can agree on, then science has a good claim. Take, for example, global warming. We can all agree on that, right?

Like science has worked "so far". Sure, we have blu-ray players and iPhones. Well done, science. [/quote]

We've gotten a little more than IPhones but I hear ya.

Serious question - What is the goal, the purpose, of a philosopher?
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 19, 2015 11:29AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
Science is a method of arriving at an understanding of the world. It is a process that allows us to gather facts, form theories, then test those theories and either reject, accept or modify them, always leaving the door open for further change as more facts become available.

We have been doing science for less than half a millennium and look how far it has got us, but in the technological spin-offs, and in the advancement of knowledge. Religion and superstition and magical barely got us out of the caves after tens of thousands of years. [/quote]

Depending on what you want to call science has been 500 years. When Babylonian astrologers mapped the heavens and recorded movements of planets, was that science? When shaman recorded herbs that treated sickness, was that science? Science has been built on thousands of years of research by different types of scientists. Many religious. Most of the groundwork for your 500 years was laid over thousands of years by those stupid superstitious magical 'scientists'. Gee and those Greek guys with their discoveries, hum that was thousands of years ago. A little credit where it's due. [/quote]

Sure, ZREO credit to the superstitious, religious part of their minds.

All the credit, and thanks, to the rational, logical. courageous part of their minds.

That good enough for ya? [/quote]



Now, this is where I start to get lost.

NYCTwister posts TWO prior comments and then makes a snide comment. I am lost. Is NYCTwister agreeing with The Hermit or with TonyB2009?

Does NYCTwister want to be critical with respect to a prior comment? Does that advance the discussion?
Message: Posted by: NYCTwister (May 19, 2015 11:36AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, 0pus wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
Science is a method of arriving at an understanding of the world. It is a process that allows us to gather facts, form theories, then test those theories and either reject, accept or modify them, always leaving the door open for further change as more facts become available.

We have been doing science for less than half a millennium and look how far it has got us, but in the technological spin-offs, and in the advancement of knowledge. Religion and superstition and magical barely got us out of the caves after tens of thousands of years. [/quote]

Depending on what you want to call science has been 500 years. When Babylonian astrologers mapped the heavens and recorded movements of planets, was that science? When shaman recorded herbs that treated sickness, was that science? Science has been built on thousands of years of research by different types of scientists. Many religious. Most of the groundwork for your 500 years was laid over thousands of years by those stupid superstitious magical 'scientists'. Gee and those Greek guys with their discoveries, hum that was thousands of years ago. A little credit where it's due. [/quote]

Sure, ZREO credit to the superstitious, religious part of their minds.

All the credit, and thanks, to the rational, logical. courageous part of their minds.

That good enough for ya? [/quote]



Now, this is where I start to get lost.

NYCTwister posts TWO prior comments and then makes a snide comment. I am lost. Is NYCTwister agreeing with The Hermit or with TonyB2009?

Does NYCTwister want to be critical with respect to a prior comment? Does that advance the discussion? [/quote]

NYCTwister simply disagrees that you need philosophy to find the truth.

NYCTwister also disagrees with the assertion that just because certain scientists were religious that their superstitions had anything to do with their search for the truth, or their finding any.

Please let NYCTwister know if he can be of further assistance.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 19, 2015 11:37AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, 0pus wrote:
Exactly my point.

The evidence in favor of the accuracy of carbon dating is so strong to a scientific mind, that just pointing out that it is "theoretical" does a severe injustice to the evidential basis for the carbon dating model.

It is like saying computers "may" not work because they are based on things like Maxwell's equations, which are "only" theoretical. [/quote]

A poor example in my estimation. Computers can be proven to work simply by turning one on. Carbon dating can't be 'proven' to be accurate. (I'm not trying to argue against carbon dating. I'm not a scientist by I don't have any reason not to believe that it's relatively accurate.)

However, it does appear that carbon dating is not 'quite' the exact science that some may wish us to believe.

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/05/31/us/errors-are-feared-in-carbon-dating.html
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 19, 2015 12:25PM)
Well, I wasn't suggesting we use carbon dating to time sprints.

And the article says it is generally pretty accurate for dating up to 9,000 years ago.

But one of the underlying models upon which carbon dating is based asserts that the proportion of carbon 14 a living thing absorbs during its lifetime is related to the amount of atmospheric carbon available, and the amount of atmospheric carbon available (and the proportion of Carbon 14 in that available carbon) has not varied significantly over the period being measured. The uranium-thorium dating method has found that for things more than 30,000 old, carbon dating gives an age that may be 3,500 years less than the dating provided by the uranium-thorium method (perhaps because of increased atmospheric Carbon 14 during some of those periods).

I think that this simply displays the evolution of the scientific model; the discrepancies between the carbon and the uranium-thorium dating methods need to be reconciled, and I think that they will be.

I would like to point out, however, that the non-science/anti-science challengers normally assert that things are much younger/newer than carbon dating would indicate. This new data demonstrates, if anything, that things are even OLDER than carbon dating indicates.
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (May 19, 2015 01:49PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
Science is a method of arriving at an understanding of the world. It is a process that allows us to gather facts, form theories, then test those theories and either reject, accept or modify them, always leaving the door open for further change as more facts become available.

We have been doing science for less than half a millennium and look how far it has got us, but in the technological spin-offs, and in the advancement of knowledge. Religion and superstition and magical barely got us out of the caves after tens of thousands of years. [/quote]

Depending on what you want to call science has been 500 years. When Babylonian astrologers mapped the heavens and recorded movements of planets, was that science? When shaman recorded herbs that treated sickness, was that science? Science has been built on thousands of years of research by different types of scientists. Many religious. Most of the groundwork for your 500 years was laid over thousands of years by those stupid superstitious magical 'scientists'. Gee and those Greek guys with their discoveries, hum that was thousands of years ago. A little credit where it's due. [/quote]

Sure, ZREO credit to the superstitious, religious part of their minds.

All the credit, and thanks, to the rational, logical. courageous part of their minds.

That good enough for ya? [/quote]

Almost. Trying to divorce modern science from ancient or to assume one is superstitious/bad and one is rational/good is not fair to the contributions. Also to chime in on the philosophy and truth issue - To ancient man all reality was spiritual. That's the difference in outlook from then and today. They looked for meaning in the heavens and saw the motions as providing some part of that. Today we only care about the motion, the fact. Ancient man was using science to find truth. We have segregated much of that approach. Philosophy is about the ultimate reality and what is or is not knowable. Science can describe effects, not ultimate reality. We will always be stuck with the fundamental question of what is knowable? How do we know we exist and what is that existence really? That is more the realm of philosophy than science. As to throwing away the religious part, how about St Augustine, Mendel? They were scientists and thinkers that were motivated by religion. Hard to separate them.
Message: Posted by: Payne (May 19, 2015 02:03PM)
[quote]
On May 19, 2015, rockwall wrote:

However, it does appear that carbon dating is not 'quite' the exact science that some may wish us to believe.

[/quote]

Which is why scientists often use multiple methodologies for dating artifacts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_methodologies_in_archaeology
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (May 19, 2015 02:19PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, 0pus wrote:

For truth, you need to resort to philosophy. [/quote]

Yeah, like that's worked so well thus far. [/quote]

It hasn't not worked, either.

Disagreeing about "truth" doesn't mean that truth doesn't exist. It only means that people disagree.

If all we want to consider "knowledge" is what people can agree on, then science has a good claim. Take, for example, global warming. We can all agree on that, right?

Like science has worked "so far". Sure, we have blu-ray players and iPhones. Well done, science. [/quote]

We've gotten a little more than IPhones but I hear ya.

Serious question - What is the goal, the purpose, of a philosopher? [/quote]

Serious answer: to be courageous.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 19, 2015 02:20PM)
Science. You're using it now.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 19, 2015 02:52PM)
Iíve seen some pretty good arguments from the young earth people about Carbon dating, so I have mixed feeling about it.
Just makes sense to me that nature seems to find a way to fix itself, and if for some reason something needed aging in a hurry maybe it did it.

Come to think of it, I saw a Superman movie onetime where he speeded up the earth to change time.:)

Tom
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (May 19, 2015 02:55PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Science. You're using it now. [/quote]

We are using technology, not science.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 19, 2015 03:08PM)
Facts do not exist in reality.

How many facts are in a ton of facts anyway?
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (May 19, 2015 04:18PM)
Apparently at least 7000 lbs. or maybe that's 3 1/2 ton of facts

http://gizmodo.com/5988530/how-much-would-wikipedia-weigh#
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 19, 2015 05:29PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, 0pus wrote:
...

I would like to point out, however, that the non-science/anti-science challengers normally assert that things are much younger/newer than carbon dating would indicate. This new data demonstrates, if anything, that things are even OLDER than carbon dating indicates. [/quote]

Which only goes to point out that possibly BOTH groups were wrong!
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 19, 2015 07:13PM)
Http://www.globalclimatescam.com/epa/sessions-dismantles-epa-chief-for-stunning-ignorance/

Facts eh
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 19, 2015 07:15PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
As to throwing away the religious part, how about St Augustine, Mendel? They were scientists and thinkers that were motivated by religion. Hard to separate them. [/quote]

Perhaps, but the "religiously motivated" scientists of the past (and granted, there were many) used [I]science[/I], not religion, as their methodology for discovery. If we had always relied strictly on religion/spirituality and never developed the scientific method to gain understanding and to make discoveries and technological advancements, where would we be today? It would be a pretty bleak place. But switch that scenario and replace religion with science for most of human history and one can only imagine what we may have achieved by now. It's literally a WORLD of difference. :-)

Ron
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 19, 2015 07:16PM)
One of the biggest problems among so-called science deniers is their failure, or often refusal, to recognize the difference between the normal meaning of the word "theory" and the scientific meaning:

[quote]Scientific theories are testable and make falsifiable predictions.[6] They describe the causal elements responsible for a particular natural phenomenon, and are used to explain and predict aspects of the physical universe or specific areas of inquiry (e.g. electricity, chemistry, astronomy). Scientists use theories as a foundation to gain further scientific knowledge, as well as to accomplish goals such as inventing technology or curing disease. [b]Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge[/b].[4] This is significantly different from the common usage of the word "theory", which implies that something is a conjecture, hypothesis, or guess (i.e., unsubstantiated and speculative).[/quote] [emphasis added]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

Those who dismiss evolution, for example, as being "just a theory" are completely oblivious to the distinction.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 19, 2015 07:30PM)
Darn straight! Wikipedia said it! It's indisputable!
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 19, 2015 07:31PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
Iíve seen some pretty good arguments from the young earth people about Carbon dating, [/quote]

No you haven't, Tom. You've seen propaganda of the most egregious kind. The margin of error in claiming a 6,000 year old Earth is equivalent to saying that the distance from New York to L.A. is 20 feet! And that's not hyperbole either - do the math comparing 4.55 billion years to 6,000 years and you'll see for yourself.

[quote]
Just makes sense to me that nature seems to find a way to fix itself, and if for some reason something needed aging in a hurry maybe it did it.

Come to think of it, I saw a Superman movie onetime where he speeded up the earth to change time.:)

Tom [/quote]

What could possibly need "aging in a hurry"? And why?

And you do realize there is no such thing as Superman, do you? :-)

Ron
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 19, 2015 07:45PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
One of the biggest problems among so-called science deniers is their failure, or often refusal, to recognize the difference between the normal meaning of the word "theory" and the scientific meaning:

[quote]Scientific theories are testable and make falsifiable predictions.[6] They describe the causal elements responsible for a particular natural phenomenon, and are used to explain and predict aspects of the physical universe or specific areas of inquiry (e.g. electricity, chemistry, astronomy). Scientists use theories as a foundation to gain further scientific knowledge, as well as to accomplish goals such as inventing technology or curing disease. [b]Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge[/b].[4] This is significantly different from the common usage of the word "theory", which implies that something is a conjecture, hypothesis, or guess (i.e., unsubstantiated and speculative).[/quote] [emphasis added]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

Those who dismiss evolution, for example, as being "just a theory" are completely oblivious to the distinction. [/quote]

It's actually quite surprising how many people still to this day don't get the whole "scientific theory" thing. So it seems this point can't be stressed enough. If something graduates to a scientific theory, then it's incredibly substantiated, reliable, and predictive (like the Theory of Gravity). Anyway, thanks for pointing that out, Bob.

Ron
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 19, 2015 08:13PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, Starrpower wrote:
Darn straight! Wikipedia said it! It's indisputable! [/quote]

Check the footnotes to the article. Would you prefer if I quote the original source? Are you really that oblivious as to what a scientific theory is?

BTW, the quote from Wikipedia comes from the National Academy of Science:

http://nationalacademies.org/evolution/TheoryOrFact.html

You might also look at the source for the following if you'd like to actually learn something about scientific theories and the scientific method:

[quote]A theory in science is not a guess, speculation, or suggestion, which is the popular definition of the word "theory." A scientific theory is a unifying and self-consistent explanation of fundamental natural processes or phenomena that is totally constructed of corroborated hypotheses. A theory, therefore, is built of reliable knowledge--built of scientific facts--and its purpose is to explain major natural processes or phenomena. Scientific theories explain nature by unifying many once-unrelated facts or corroborated hypotheses; they are the strongest and most truthful explanations of how the universe, nature, and life came to be, how they work, what they are made of, and what will become of them. Since humans are living organisms and are part of the universe, science explains all of these things about ourselves.

These scientific theories--such as the theories of relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, evolution, genetics, plate tectonics, and big bang cosmology--are the most reliable, most rigorous, and most comprehensive form of knowledge that humans possess. Thus, it is important for every educated person to understand where scientific knowledge comes from, and how to emulate this method of gaining knowledge. Scientific knowledge comes from the practice of scientific thinking--using the scientific method--and this mode of discovering and validating knowledge can be duplicated and achieved by anyone who practices critical thinking.[/quote]

http://www.geo.sunysb.edu/esp/files/scientific-method.html

But please enlighten to us uneducated folks why the NAS or the world's scientists don't know what they're talking about, and tell us what a scientific theory is, according to you.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 19, 2015 08:56PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, R.S. wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
Iíve seen some pretty good arguments from the young earth people about Carbon dating, [/quote]

No you haven't, Tom. You've seen propaganda of the most egregious kind. The margin of error in claiming a 6,000 year old Earth is equivalent to saying that the distance from New York to L.A. is 20 feet! And that's not hyperbole either - do the math comparing 4.55 billion years to 6,000 years and you'll see for yourself.

[quote]
Just makes sense to me that nature seems to find a way to fix itself, and if for some reason something needed aging in a hurry maybe it did it.

Come to think of it, I saw a Superman movie onetime where he speeded up the earth to change time.:)

Tom [/quote]

What could possibly need "aging in a hurry"? And why?

And you do realize there is no such thing as Superman, do you? :-)

Ron [/quote]

Now how in the world do you know what Iíve heard and what I havenít heard?
Besides, Iím not saying I agree with it all, just that some of it makes sense to me.
I have no idea how old the earth is. I donít think itís as old as some think oh.


You are right about Superman, he is not realÖ....but I do know this other guy with some pretty good powers. :)

Tom
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 19, 2015 09:13PM)
Global warming is a conspiracy theory.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 19, 2015 09:36PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, R.S. wrote:
...
It's actually quite surprising how many people still to this day don't get the whole "scientific theory" thing. So it seems this point can't be stressed enough. If something graduates to a scientific theory, then it's incredibly substantiated, reliable, and predictive (like the Theory of Gravity). Anyway, thanks for pointing that out, Bob.

Ron [/quote]

Going back to wikipedia, so if scientific theories are essentially 'facts' as they are 'incredibly substantiated, reliable, and predictive', how is it that this article lists several dozen theories that have been either proven false or superseded?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superseded_scientific_theories
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 19, 2015 10:18PM)
Isn't the answer obvious? As scientific knowledge of the universe grows, theories are adjusted, rethought or discarded accordingly. If that were not the case, science would no longer be science.

Note how old most of the "superceded" theories listed in the article are. Science has progressed quite a bit since the ancient theories of phlogiston, heliocentrism, geocentrism, flat earth, etc.

As already stated, currently accepted scientific theories are indeed 'incredibly substantiated, reliable, and predictive.' But that doesn't mean that our quest for knowledge is complete. To be scientific, a theory MUST be falsifiable, otherwise it is just blind dogma. But the burden of proof is on the party proposing that the theory be changed. And that's how science progresses.

It doesn't appear that you actually read the article you cited, for it answers your question quite completely.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 19, 2015 10:37PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
Are you really that oblivious as to what a scientific theory is?

[/quote]

I don't know why you're getting your undies in a bundle. Wasn't I agreeing with you?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 19, 2015 11:18PM)
Actually, you took a snide potshot at the fact that I quoted Wikipedia:

[quote]Darn straight! Wikipedia said it! It's indisputable! [/quote]

Do you think everyone here is so dense that they will read that as an agreement?

Nice try at backpedaling, though.

So, do you have anything useful to contribute to the discussion?
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 20, 2015 05:29AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, R.S. wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
Iíve seen some pretty good arguments from the young earth people about Carbon dating, [/quote]

No you haven't, Tom. You've seen propaganda of the most egregious kind. The margin of error in claiming a 6,000 year old Earth is equivalent to saying that the distance from New York to L.A. is 20 feet! And that's not hyperbole either - do the math comparing 4.55 billion years to 6,000 years and you'll see for yourself.

[quote]
Just makes sense to me that nature seems to find a way to fix itself, and if for some reason something needed aging in a hurry maybe it did it.

Come to think of it, I saw a Superman movie onetime where he speeded up the earth to change time.:)

Tom [/quote]

What could possibly need "aging in a hurry"? And why?

And you do realize there is no such thing as Superman, do you? :-)

Ron [/quote]

Now how in the world do you know what Iíve heard and what I havenít heard?
Besides, Iím not saying I agree with it all, just that some of it makes sense to me.
I have no idea how old the earth is. I donít think itís as old as some think oh.
[/quote]

Tom, Tom, Tom. You just told us that you've "seen some pretty good arguments from the young earth people". And that it makes sense to you. But what makes what they say more credible than what actual scientists have to say? The Young Earthers will say the earth is 6,000 years old [I]no matter what the actual evidence says[/I], because THEY HAVE AN AGENDA! Don't you get it? They don't care about facts! The evidence for the age of the earth is overwhelming. It's not a great mystery anymore. The fields of anthropology, biology, paleontology, geology, and astronomy all triangulate to a 4.55 billion year old earth (plus or minus 1%).
http://www.talkorigins.org/

And a Nobel prize and world fame is waiting for anyone to show that those calculations are wildly wrong and that the earth is 6,000 years old. Anyway, now you know how old the earth is. If I, or someone, asks you in 2 months how old the earth is you have no excuse not to tell them it's actual age. Unless of course, YOU too have an agenda.



[quote]
You are right about Superman, he is not realÖ....but I do know this other guy with some pretty good powers. :)

Tom [/quote]

Spiderman? :-)

Ron
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 20, 2015 05:37AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, rockwall wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, R.S. wrote:
...
It's actually quite surprising how many people still to this day don't get the whole "scientific theory" thing. So it seems this point can't be stressed enough. If something graduates to a scientific theory, then it's incredibly substantiated, reliable, and predictive (like the Theory of Gravity). Anyway, thanks for pointing that out, Bob.

Ron [/quote]

Going back to wikipedia, so if scientific theories are essentially 'facts' as they are 'incredibly substantiated, reliable, and predictive', how is it that this article lists several dozen theories that have been either proven false or superseded?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superseded_scientific_theories [/quote]

The beauty of the scientific method is that Theories can be revised, improved upon, or discarded [I]if the evidence warrants[/I]. But for the time, they encapsulate the observed phenomena to the best of our knowledge. And we should be glad that science is willing to oblige new evidence as it comes along. That's how we progress. To be dogmatic and unyielding is a recipe for NON-progress. And who wants that, right? :-)

Ron
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (May 20, 2015 07:04AM)
[quote]

Serious answer: to be courageous. [/quote]

It's interesting that I'm apparently so boring and cryptic that no one responded to this rather...ah...uh...courageous definition of philosophy.

Science wasn't always easy, and required bravery. But today? Scientists get Nobel prizes.

The philosopher, on the other hand, remains courageous enough to question the conventional. Truth--raw, dangerous, explosive--is the point. Not the method, not the system, and not the safe and dependable. Just truth (whatever that may be).

Lobo and Magnus were debating logical positivism and what is "rational". Well, to the philosopher, even the word "rational" is up for grabs. Who says what is rational? Reason itself presents itself, and it does so without rules invented to confine or define it.

This may all sound cryptic (and tautalogical!), but I think it's true. Reason is what reason is. And the philosopher is the one who tries to grasp Reason for what it is.

Philosophy is superior to science because it attempts to engage Reason face to face, without microscopes or test tubes or the Large Hadron Collider. Philosophy is purer, and more courageous. There's nothing to fall back on. A philosopher can't say, "well, all the studies show..." The philosopher can only present an attempt to understand Reason, and succeed or fail on the basic of pure logic and language, limited though both might be. The philosopher DARES to walk the tightrope between faith in God or faith in...whatever else. The philosopher lives without any faith at all, except maybe the faith that Reason exists. And yet maybe Reason doesn't exist, and all is nonsense, and we must stop reasoning and start dancing.

(All of this I learned from Hegel and Nietzsche, by the way. I'm not a particularly original thinker.)

What is science? Science is the attempt to break down nature into parts small enough to understand. (Scientific cosmology isn't really science, but philosophy.) Science is limited by design to what can be proven and/or tested empirically. (Again, cosmology is different; cosmology is philosophy.) Science is unholistic. Science is BEAUTIFUL and sexy. I'm glad we give Nobel prizes. But when we turn out the lights at the end of the night, scientist go to sleep like everyone else. Philosophy doesn't sleep. It takes too much courage.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 20, 2015 01:55PM)
There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world,
or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.

Plato
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 20, 2015 02:51PM)
I think the following goes to one of the main problems we have with science education in this country. It speaks for itself and requires no comment from me:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/11/louisiana-scientists-burn-stake_n_7259486.html?cps=gravity_2685_6409627427836035167
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 20, 2015 03:10PM)
Well, maybe a little commentary would have been helpful. So you think a MAIN problem with science education in the ENTIRE country is because of a law in Louisiana that doesn't affect any other state in the union. A law, by the way, doesn't FORCE teachers to teach creationism and I can't even tell if ANY schools actually add creationism to the curriculum. It may be a stupid law but it hardly could be described as a MAIN problem throughout the ENTIRE country!
Message: Posted by: NYCTwister (May 20, 2015 03:21PM)
Aaaaaaand we're off.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 20, 2015 03:24PM)
Amazing how you so blatantly distort what I wrote. Like I said, the video speaks for itself. If you think that kind of ignorance is confined to Louisiana you simply haven't been paying attention.

How about doing a little research into extremists in virtually ALL of the red states who continue to advocate that creationism to be taught in science classes, while at the same time seeking to cut funds for science and real science education?
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 20, 2015 03:31PM)
I don't see how I distorted anything you wrote. I mean, heck, I practically quoted you. But tell me, how many other states have similar laws if it's not confined to Louisiana?
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 20, 2015 03:43PM)
I did a little more research and found this article:

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/creationism_louisiana_educatio.html

"As many as six parishes have some evidence suggesting creationism is taught, Kopplin said, noting the constructional challenges that could be argued in court."

So YES!! Batten down the hatches! Man the forts!!! The United States is entering the dark ages!!! SIX, count them, SIX parishes in Louisiana MAY be teaching creationism as an alternative viewpoint in their science classes. How will we ever survive!!!

Whew. It's hard to be as breathless as Bob gets over this kind of stuff.
Message: Posted by: NYCTwister (May 20, 2015 04:10PM)
[quote]On May 20, 2015, rockwall wrote:
I did a little more research and found this article:

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/creationism_louisiana_educatio.html

"As many as six parishes have some evidence suggesting creationism is taught, Kopplin said, noting the constructional challenges that could be argued in court."

So YES!! Batten down the hatches! Man the forts!!! The United States is entering the dark ages!!! SIX, count them, SIX parishes in Louisiana MAY be teaching creationism as an alternative viewpoint in their science classes. How will we ever survive!!!

Whew. It's hard to be as breathless as Bob gets over this kind of stuff. [/quote]

Not even remotely the point.

Nice to see how dismissive you are about a blatant attempt to institutionalize stupidity.

But I guess six schools teaching nonsense as knowledge is no big deal. After all it's only the minds of children, so no big deal right?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 20, 2015 04:32PM)
Of course he missed the point. And I believe he did it intentionally. I asked him to research the entire country for documented evidence of the continuing effort to introduce intelligent design or creationism into public school science classes. So, what does he do? He sticks to his distortion of the statement I made and only researches Louisiana.

That's not just being disingenuous. It's downright dishonest.

But that is par for the course for science deniers.

Even the most cursory attempt at research would have led rockwall to the following:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_and_evolution_in_public_education_in_the_United_States#Movements_to_teach_creationism_in_schools
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 20, 2015 05:49PM)
So, "one of the main problems we have with science education in this country", (your words, Bob), is that some people are 'trying' to get public schools to teach crationism. (Not that any of them are succeeding! Except for maybe 6 parishes in Louisiana.)

You know, I suspect you hate it when people actually read your posts.

NYCTwister obviously didn't even read your post since he also can't figure out what you claimed.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 20, 2015 06:39PM)
[quote]On May 20, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
...
Not even remotely the point.

Nice to see how dismissive you are about a blatant attempt to institutionalize stupidity.

But I guess six schools teaching nonsense as knowledge is no big deal. After all it's only the minds of children, so no big deal right? [/quote]

It appears that you're the one that "not even remotely" gets the point. But instead of just making that claim without any supporting logic, I'll explain.

Bob said, "I think the following goes to one of the main problems we have with science education in this country."

He didn't say, "This is a stupid law in Louisiana and could cause problems", or "Louisiana is attempting to institutionalize stupidity". What he said was that this was a "MAJOR PROBLEM ... IN THIS COUNTRY". That's like saying Quakers driving carriages on the roads of Pennsylvania is one of the major problems on the highways of the US. It's just stupid. Then, he tried to make it sound like this is problem is more widespread than just Louisiana. But no, the only proof he has is that there are a few other people who have tried (and failed) to introduce similar legislation.

But if you disagree, tell me exactly, how is this causing major problems throughout the US school systems?
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 20, 2015 06:47PM)
I wonder what kind of backlash there would be if there was the same kind of push - the same continuing effort year after year - by scientists to teach science [I]in churches[/I]. Does anybody think that would be downplayed? I think one news channel in particular would have daily conniptions over it. :-)


Ron
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (May 20, 2015 07:31PM)
[quote]

Serious answer: to be courageous.

[/quote]

"To be courageous" is a sentiment that can be applied to anyone in any field of endeavor that strives to break new ground. For example, it took courage for Copernicus to buck thousands of years of geocentrism to propose a radical way of looking at our place in the universe. This is true in astronomy, mathematics, physics, economics, music, art, writing, politics, etc.

My answer to the question "what is the purpose of philosophy?" It is to answer questions that are beyond the reach of science.

The earliest philosophers focused almost exclusively on metaphysics--the study of reality. What is real? What is the fundamental nature of being? Although there are still some interesting philosophical questions in this arena science has made leaps and bounds over the last several hundred years helping us understand the nature of reality and our place in the universe.

Philosophers were left with less to discuss in metaphysics, so there was a major shift into epistemology, the study of knowledge, which encompasses truth, belief and justification. Science invaded this realm, too, with psychology, chemistry, biology, and a much deeper understanding of how the brain works. Admittedly, science has a long way to go to fully understand the human mind but these disciplines left the philosopher with even less to ponder.

This has moved the modern philosopher into areas like logic, axiology and ethics. These branches of philosophy are rife with questions to which science has no substantive answers, or by definition, will never have substantive answers.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 20, 2015 08:29PM)
Does philosophy exist in reality?
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 20, 2015 08:30PM)
[quote]On May 20, 2015, R.S. wrote:
I wonder what kind of backlash there would be if there was the same kind of push - the same continuing effort year after year - by scientists to teach science [I]in churches[/I]. Does anybody think that would be downplayed? I think one news channel in particular would have daily conniptions over it. :-)


Ron [/quote]

Well, personally, if a church or two were teaching some science during Sunday School, I doubt anyone would complain. Now if Scientists were trying to force churches what to teach, yeah, I can see a lot of complaints. Although, if they weren't making any headway, I doubt many would make statements that, "This was causing the greatest problem in religious education today!"

I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of ignorant people think that people that go to church don't believe in science.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 20, 2015 08:52PM)
[quote]On May 20, 2015, tommy wrote:
Does philosophy exist in reality? [/quote]

How could anyone know if (philosophy) did not exist? Kinda comes packed inside the any, one, know, reality, does bundle of language.

Does a notion exist for those who have not yet considered it?
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 20, 2015 10:29PM)
I am a simple guy.

I thought that one of the "main problems we have with science education in this country" is the idea that you can legislate science - that science is a popularity contest.

Science establishes its conclusions through the scientific method, not by how loudly fundamentalists deny its conclusions, or by how many votes are taken.

Only a cotton headed ninny muggins would think that a legislative body can take a vote and validate unsupported hypotheses as "science."

And it is a complete perversion of the educational system to teach our children that such rubbish is science.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 20, 2015 10:33PM)
97% don't agree.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 20, 2015 11:32PM)
Regardless, everyone will use the fruits of the scientific method, technology.

Science deniers use the Internet and computers frequently.

Case in point, this thread.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (May 21, 2015 01:48AM)
[quote]On May 20, 2015, tommy wrote:
Does philosophy exist in reality?[/quote]
Does reality exist in philosophy?
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (May 21, 2015 01:54AM)
It seems to me that anyone who wants to know what scientists mean by the word "theory" should look at the queen of the sciences: mathematics.

[list]group theory
number theory
ring theory
measure theory
Galois theory
homology theory
probability theory
knot theory
cohomology theory
field theory
homotopy theory
and on and on . . . .[/list]
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (May 21, 2015 02:05AM)
[quote]On May 20, 2015, R.S. wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, R.S. wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
Iíve seen some pretty good arguments from the young earth people about Carbon dating, [/quote]

No you haven't, Tom. You've seen propaganda of the most egregious kind. The margin of error in claiming a 6,000 year old Earth is equivalent to saying that the distance from New York to L.A. is 20 feet! And that's not hyperbole either - do the math comparing 4.55 billion years to 6,000 years and you'll see for yourself.

[quote]
Just makes sense to me that nature seems to find a way to fix itself, and if for some reason something needed aging in a hurry maybe it did it.

Come to think of it, I saw a Superman movie onetime where he speeded up the earth to change time.:)

Tom [/quote]

What could possibly need "aging in a hurry"? And why?

And you do realize there is no such thing as Superman, do you? :-)

Ron [/quote]

Now how in the world do you know what Iíve heard and what I havenít heard?
Besides, Iím not saying I agree with it all, just that some of it makes sense to me.
I have no idea how old the earth is. I donít think itís as old as some think oh.
[/quote]

Tom, Tom, Tom. You just told us that you've "seen some pretty good arguments from the young earth people". And that it makes sense to you. But what makes what they say more credible than what actual scientists have to say? The Young Earthers will say the earth is 6,000 years old [I]no matter what the actual evidence says[/I], because THEY HAVE AN AGENDA! Don't you get it? They don't care about facts! The evidence for the age of the earth is overwhelming. It's not a great mystery anymore. The fields of anthropology, biology, paleontology, geology, and astronomy all triangulate to a 4.55 billion year old earth (plus or minus 1%).
http://www.talkorigins.org/

And a Nobel prize and world fame is waiting for anyone to show that those calculations are wildly wrong and that the earth is 6,000 years old. Anyway, now you know how old the earth is. If I, or someone, asks you in 2 months how old the earth is you have no excuse not to tell them it's actual age. Unless of course, YOU too have an agenda.



[quote]
You are right about Superman, he is not realÖ....but I do know this other guy with some pretty good powers. :)

Tom [/quote]

Spiderman? :-)

Ron [/quote]

Triangulate?!
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 21, 2015 05:29AM)
[quote]On May 20, 2015, rockwall wrote:
[quote]On May 20, 2015, R.S. wrote:
I wonder what kind of backlash there would be if there was the same kind of push - the same continuing effort year after year - by scientists to teach science [I]in churches[/I]. Does anybody think that would be downplayed? I think one news channel in particular would have daily conniptions over it. :-)


Ron [/quote]

Well, personally, if a church or two were teaching some science during Sunday School, I doubt anyone would complain. Now if Scientists were trying to force churches what to teach, yeah, I can see a lot of complaints. Although, if they weren't making any headway, I doubt many would make statements that, "This was causing the greatest problem in religious education today!"

I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of ignorant people think that people that go to church don't believe in science. [/quote]

I'm not so sure about that. Heck, despite the fact that there is ZERO effort by scientists to force churches to teach science, many religious folks claim there is an ongoing "War on Christianity" in this country. And every year during Christmas time, one particular news channel dedicates a good portion of it's time to cover a supposed "war on Christmas". :-)

I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of religious people feel threatened by facts.

Ron
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 21, 2015 05:34AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:

Triangulate?! [/quote]

Indeed! :-)

Ron
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (May 21, 2015 06:57AM)
[quote]On May 20, 2015, Steven Keyl wrote:
[quote]

Serious answer: to be courageous.

[/quote]

"To be courageous" is a sentiment that can be applied to anyone in any field of endeavor that strives to break new ground. For example, it took courage for Copernicus to buck thousands of years of geocentrism to propose a radical way of looking at our place in the universe. This is true in astronomy, mathematics, physics, economics, music, art, writing, politics, etc.

My answer to the question "what is the purpose of philosophy?" It is to answer questions that are beyond the reach of science.

The earliest philosophers focused almost exclusively on metaphysics--the study of reality. What is real? What is the fundamental nature of being? Although there are still some interesting philosophical questions in this arena science has made leaps and bounds over the last several hundred years helping us understand the nature of reality and our place in the universe.

Philosophers were left with less to discuss in metaphysics, so there was a major shift into epistemology, the study of knowledge, which encompasses truth, belief and justification. Science invaded this realm, too, with psychology, chemistry, biology, and a much deeper understanding of how the brain works. Admittedly, science has a long way to go to fully understand the human mind but these disciplines left the philosopher with even less to ponder.

This has moved the modern philosopher into areas like logic, axiology and ethics. These branches of philosophy are rife with questions to which science has no substantive answers, or by definition, will never have substantive answers. [/quote]

Philosphers get the left-overs?

I'm not sure Socrates would agree. But, you know, he drank the hemlock, and you and I haven't had to do that yet.
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 21, 2015 07:20AM)
Maybe science deals with the unknown while philosophy deals with the unknowable.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 21, 2015 07:28AM)
What does science think about church? A published NY Times article said this; ďone of the most striking scientific discoveries about religion in
recent years is that going to church weekly is good for you. Religious attendance ó at least, religiosity ó boosts the immune system and decreases
blood pressure. It may add as much as two to three years to your life. The reason for this is not entirely clear.Ē

The article went on to say: ďAnd we know that social support is directly tied to better health. Certainly many churchgoers struggle with behaviors
they would like to change, but on average, regular church attendees drink less, smoke less, use fewer recreational drugs and are less sexually promiscuous
than others.Ē

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/opinion/sunday/luhrmann-why-going-to-church-is-good-for-you.html?_r=0


Tom
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (May 21, 2015 10:16AM)
Most scientists would probably say that a correlation isn't causative. In other words, people that go to church are often the same types of people that drink less, smoke less, don't use drugs, etc. That fact alone means that church-goers will possess stronger immune systems because in general, they participate less in activities that would compromise their immune systems. It does NOT mean that going to church alone will strengthen your immune system and reduce your blood pressure.

The social aspect of church, though, is an important component to the equation. If your primary social group is in church where you can be amongst like-minded people, that can certainly provide a health benefit. But in that regard, church would be no different than a group of Civil War re-enactors, RC airplane enthusiasts, ceramic cat collectors, etc. If you create a support network of like-minded people (whatever the focus) there are substantive health benefits to be gained. This has been shown in study after study. Per Wikipedia:

[quote]

Chronic loneliness can be a serious, life-threatening health condition. It has been found to be associated with an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.[34] Loneliness shows an increased incidence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.[35]

Loneliness is shown to increase the concentration of cortisol levels in the body.[35] Prolonged, high cortisol levels can cause anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems and weight gain.[36]

″Loneliness has been associated with impaired cellular immunity as reflected in lower natural killer (NK) cell activity and higher antibody titers to the Epstein Barr Virus and human herpes viruses".[35] Because of impaired cellular immunity, loneliness among young adults shows vaccines, like the flu vaccine, to be less effective.[35] Data from studies on loneliness and HIV positive men suggests loneliness increases disease progression

[/quote]
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 21, 2015 10:43AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, R.S. wrote:
...
I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of religious people feel threatened by facts.

Ron [/quote]

And what makes you think I'm a religious person?

(I think the fact that you DO, doesn't reflect well on your critical thinking skills!)
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (May 21, 2015 12:00PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, R.S. wrote:
...
I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of religious people feel threatened by facts.

Ron [/quote]

You wouldn't be the best informed to make a generalization like that. Based on your clear contempt, you don't seem the type that would condescend to speak to a person of faith so how would you know what they believe?

In my own experience, science and the media spend a disproportionate amount of energy arguing with biblical literalists, whereas the overwhelming majority of theists aren't anti-science and in fact, fully embrace the value of science and technology in our lives.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (May 21, 2015 02:30PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, Steven Keyl wrote:
[quote]On May 21, 2015, R.S. wrote:
...
I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of religious people feel threatened by facts.

Ron [/quote]

You wouldn't be the best informed to make a generalization like that. Based on your clear contempt, you don't seem the type that would condescend to speak to a person of faith so how would you know what they believe?

In my own experience, science and the media spend a disproportionate amount of energy arguing with biblical literalists, whereas the overwhelming majority of theists aren't anti-science and in fact, fully embrace the value of science and technology in our lives.[/quote]
I'm a theist and a mathematician. You can't get more scientific than that.

In Ron's defense, he and I speak often; he's been nothing but a gentleman.
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (May 21, 2015 03:26PM)
Thanks for the info, Bill. It's quite possible I took the comment out of its appropriate context and inferred something that wasn't there. If that's the case, my apologies Ron.
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (May 21, 2015 03:46PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, S2000magician wrote:
It seems to me that anyone who wants to know what scientists mean by the word "theory" should look at the queen of the sciences: mathematics.

I don't think we should be making gay-bashing comments about mathematics
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (May 21, 2015 03:54PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
[quote]On May 21, 2015, S2000magician wrote:
It seems to me that anyone who wants to know what scientists mean by the word "theory" should look at the queen of the sciences: mathematics.[/quote]
I don't think we should be making gay-bashing comments about mathematics[/quote]
I presume that that was an attempt at humor.

Needs work.
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (May 21, 2015 04:03PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, R.S. wrote:
[quote]On May 20, 2015, rockwall wrote:
[quote]On May 20, 2015, R.S. wrote:
I wonder what kind of backlash there would be if there was the same kind of push - the same continuing effort year after year - by scientists to teach science [I]in churches[/I]. Does anybody think that would be downplayed? I think one news channel in particular would have daily conniptions over it. :-)


Ron [/quote]

Well, personally, if a church or two were teaching some science during Sunday School, I doubt anyone would complain. Now if Scientists were trying to force churches what to teach, yeah, I can see a lot of complaints. Although, if they weren't making any headway, I doubt many would make statements that, "This was causing the greatest problem in religious education today!"

I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of ignorant people think that people that go to church don't believe in science. [/quote]

I'm not so sure about that. Heck, despite the fact that there is ZERO effort by scientists to force churches to teach science, many religious folks claim there is an ongoing "War on Christianity" in this country. And every year during Christmas time, one particular news channel dedicates a good portion of it's time to cover a supposed "war on Christmas". :-)

I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of religious people feel threatened by facts.

Ron [/quote]

I don't think religious people are threatened by facts. You don't have to believe in young earth to be religious. The war on Christianity is real from a governmental intrusion. Let's look at Obamacare and birth control. The whole point of religious freedom is the idea that the state will not interfere with beliefs and make the people subscribe to religious ideas that they don't agree with. The more government intrudes into peoples lives, it will eventually pit itself against religion. Also, atheists and others are going out of their way to remove religious symbols from the public. I don't know if this is right or not. Our heritage in this country is interwoven with Judeo-Christian culture. It doesn't mean we were always a Christian nation. It does mean that heritage informed and drove our institutions and community values.

Why can't Intelligent Design theory be taught along with Evolutionary Theory. They're both theories. Let the students decide for themselves what makes sense. ID is agnostic to a degree - I think.

Also no one has a hold on 'facts' Neither the layman or scientist. Facts change with knowledge.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 21, 2015 07:08PM)
[quote]On May 20, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
So, do you have anything useful to contribute to the discussion? [/quote]

Just my support. If you'd like, I can rescind it.
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 21, 2015 07:36PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, Steven Keyl wrote:
[quote]On May 21, 2015, R.S. wrote:
...
I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of religious people feel threatened by facts.

Ron [/quote]

You wouldn't be the best informed to make a generalization like that. Based on your clear contempt, you don't seem the type that would condescend to speak to a person of faith so how would you know what they believe?

In my own experience, science and the media spend a disproportionate amount of energy arguing with biblical literalists, whereas the overwhelming majority of theists aren't anti-science and in fact, fully embrace the value of science and technology in our lives. [/quote]

In context, I was responding (in a tit-for-tat fashion) to Rockwall's unnecessarily derisive comment:

[quote]
I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of ignorant people think that people that go to church don't believe in science.[/quote]

His baseless assumption that I believe that "people that go to church don't believe in science" was unfounded.

Anyway, I agree that the majority of theists aren't anti-science and embrace the value of science and technology in our lives. But, there is a segment that is clearly disdainful of science. And the reasons for that would be obvious.

Ron
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 21, 2015 07:43PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, S2000magician wrote:
[quote]On May 21, 2015, Steven Keyl wrote:
[quote]On May 21, 2015, R.S. wrote:
...
I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of religious people feel threatened by facts.

Ron [/quote]

You wouldn't be the best informed to make a generalization like that. Based on your clear contempt, you don't seem the type that would condescend to speak to a person of faith so how would you know what they believe?

In my own experience, science and the media spend a disproportionate amount of energy arguing with biblical literalists, whereas the overwhelming majority of theists aren't anti-science and in fact, fully embrace the value of science and technology in our lives.[/quote]
I'm a theist and a mathematician. You can't get more scientific than that.

In Ron's defense, he and I speak often; he's been nothing but a gentleman. [/quote]

Well, I don't know about that, Bill. But thanks. I'll have to say that you though, are the consummate gentleman. :-)

Ron
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 21, 2015 08:48PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
[quote]On May 21, 2015, R.S. wrote:
[quote]On May 20, 2015, rockwall wrote:
[quote]On May 20, 2015, R.S. wrote:
I wonder what kind of backlash there would be if there was the same kind of push - the same continuing effort year after year - by scientists to teach science [I]in churches[/I]. Does anybody think that would be downplayed? I think one news channel in particular would have daily conniptions over it. :-)


Ron [/quote]

Well, personally, if a church or two were teaching some science during Sunday School, I doubt anyone would complain. Now if Scientists were trying to force churches what to teach, yeah, I can see a lot of complaints. Although, if they weren't making any headway, I doubt many would make statements that, "This was causing the greatest problem in religious education today!"

I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of ignorant people think that people that go to church don't believe in science. [/quote]

I'm not so sure about that. Heck, despite the fact that there is ZERO effort by scientists to force churches to teach science, many religious folks claim there is an ongoing "War on Christianity" in this country. And every year during Christmas time, one particular news channel dedicates a good portion of it's time to cover a supposed "war on Christmas". :-)

I can understand why you might think that though. A lot of religious people feel threatened by facts.

Ron [/quote]

I don't think religious people are threatened by facts.
[/quote]

Galileo found out that they were in his day. Does that mindset persist to some degree today and in some parts of the world? Probably.


[quote]
The war on Christianity is real from a governmental intrusion. Let's look at Obamacare and birth control. The whole point of religious freedom is the idea that the state will not interfere with beliefs and make the people subscribe to religious ideas that they don't agree with. The more government intrudes into peoples lives, it will eventually pit itself against religion.
[/quote]

Seriously? The "war on Christianity is real"?? Let's see, almost every single President and Senator and Congressman since the inception of this country have been theists of some sort - and most were/are Christians. 75% of the country identify as Christian. 90% of the country are professed believers. Our money says "In God We Trust". There are over 350,000 churches in the country. The Bible is the most printed book. Seven states still have laws on the books that state that an atheist cannot hold public office (there are no laws that prevent Christians from holding office). So any "war" is purely imaginary on the part of Christians. It probably stems from the trend over the past decade or two for people to identify more and more as "nones" - no religious affiliation, coupled with a slight increase in atheism. That gets misperceived as some sort of "war on Christianity".

Obamacare and birth control aren't taking away anybody's personal religious freedoms. Besides, I'm pretty sure Jesus would have been for healthcare for everyone and preventing unwanted pregnancies. (Ironically, some people are all for governmental intrusion when it comes to a women's choice, or for prohibiting gays from marrying, or in some cases on outlawing certain sex acts between adult consenting heterosexual couples).

[quote]
Also, atheists and others are going out of their way to remove religious symbols from the public. I don't know if this is right or not. Our heritage in this country is interwoven with Judeo-Christian culture. It doesn't mean we were always a Christian nation. It does mean that heritage informed and drove our institutions and community values.
[/quote]

Why should there be public religious symbols in the first place? And which symbols are OK? Islamic symbols? Hindu symbols? Mormon symbols? Scientology symbols? Do you believe in the separation of church and state? Have you read the Treaty of Tripoli?

[quote]

Why can't Intelligent Design theory be taught along with Evolutionary Theory. They're both theories. Let the students decide for themselves what makes sense. ID is agnostic to a degree - I think.
[/quote]

ID is simply creationism masquerading as science. It has no place in public science classrooms. And for crying out loud, have you read any of the previous posts in this thread about the definition of "theories"?? And why "let the students decide for themselves what makes sense"? We don't do this with math or with history or with chemistry, do we?

[quote]
Also no one has a hold on 'facts' Neither the layman or scientist. Facts change with knowledge. [/quote]

My money is on the scientist/expert over the layman. You? :-)

Ron
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 21, 2015 09:16PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, S2000magician wrote:
[quote]On May 20, 2015, tommy wrote:
Does philosophy exist in reality?[/quote]
Does reality exist in philosophy? [/quote]

How could anyone know if what you believe you mean by the word reality does not have some meaning in their existence even as a notion?
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 21, 2015 09:19PM)
"Why should there be public religious symbols in the first place?"

Because 90 plus percent of the country are professed believers ?

Would that be a good reason, or should we just try and please the ten percent?

Tom
Message: Posted by: kambiz (May 21, 2015 11:03PM)
I'm not sure why there is a concern about religious people contributing greatly to science throughout history?

Science is science, religion is religion.

Personally it would take a fool to utilize religion solely as a means to discover the realities that are within the realms of science alone.

Science discovers the progressively the realities of the physical universe, but for many throughout history this drive to discover these scientific realities has been provided by the impetus of "spirit"......

Kam
Message: Posted by: kambiz (May 22, 2015 12:03AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, 0pus wrote:
Maybe science deals with the unknown while philosophy deals with the unknowable. [/quote]

Very true :)

Kam
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (May 22, 2015 12:56AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
Facts change with knowledge.[/quote]
I'm pretty sure that they don't.
Message: Posted by: NYCTwister (May 22, 2015 02:44AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
"Why should there be public religious symbols in the first place?"

Because 90 plus percent of the country are professed believers ?

Would that be a good reason, or should we just try and please the ten percent?

Tom [/quote]

Really?
Message: Posted by: kambiz (May 22, 2015 03:51AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
"Why should there be public religious symbols in the first place?"

Because 90 plus percent of the country are professed believers ?

Would that be a good reason, or should we just try and please the ten percent?

Tom [/quote]

I think an effective use of religious ideals would be at least listen to and understand the 10%, and strain every nerve to find a compromise where all parties can feel fairly treated

Kam
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 22, 2015 05:18AM)
Listen, everybody is perfectly free to have their personal beliefs and to worship as they wish in their own homes or churches. What more would one want/need? The religious are fond of emphasizing that their relationship with God is [I]personal[/I]. That should be all that matters. So why intrude into the public square (or in the workplace or in schools) with one's own particular brand of religion? If you are so confident that you are right with God then YOU will be rewarded in the "afterlife" and all the other heretics will pay the price.

And this thing called science marches on. As will philosophy. And human curiosity. And it's all good. :-)


Ron
Message: Posted by: NYCTwister (May 22, 2015 06:39AM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, R.S. wrote:
So why intrude into the public square (or in the workplace or in schools) with one's own particular brand of religion?

Ron [/quote]

Because, like any good ongoing con, there is a spread the word component. Gotta make up for that pesky attrition.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 22, 2015 06:47AM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, R.S. wrote:
Listen, everybody is perfectly free to have their personal beliefs and to worship as they wish in their own homes or churches. What more would one want/need? The religious are fond of emphasizing that their relationship with God is [I]personal[/I]. That should be all that matters. So why intrude into the public square (or in the workplace or in schools) with one's own particular brand of religion? If you are so confident that you are right with God then YOU will be rewarded in the "afterlife" and all the other heretics will pay the price.

And this thing called science marches on. As will philosophy. And human curiosity. And it's all good. :-)

Ron [/quote]

a worthy thought, but your statement of "then YOU will be rewarded in the "afterlife" and all the other heretics will pay the price," is s public statement of your own religious bias (particular brand of religion) that defies the point you are attempting to make.

Why is there even a presumption that "being right with God" has anything to do with religion?

For me, the only common factor in all religions is man's attempt to limit divinity to man's limited view of self. Pretty scientific, actually.

Spiritual contemplation is valuable and perhaps essential for the human intellect. Why mess that up with either religion or science?
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (May 22, 2015 10:12AM)
I find it interesting how much many magicians have taken up the banner for atheism and are vehement in their attacks on religion. They all seem to want to show how ignorant the believers are vs the men of science. A lot of it is extremely condescending. I am not a Christian, so I have no dog in the fight, but as a performer I find that being spiritual is necessary to convey the idea of mystery to an audience. I know everyone has their approach, but it seems that magicians today feel it's very important to remove a God from the picture. I guess it really started with Randi and then Penn. Our craft in many ways comes from the shaman/priest heritage and bringing mystery and entertainment to the masses.

I know there's still Christian magic and all that. It just seems there are magicians that feel it's really important that people only be rational and accept the idea of no God. I have seen Jamy Swiss perform twice and lecture once. In all instances, he weaves his atheism into the pitch. He often is condescending in general, but he has a real 'hard on' for believers. It's just an interesting part of the magic community that I don't remember being a part of it as a young magician. Viewing the universe as filled with intelligence and a source of mystery is important for me. I understand it's not for others. I know you can feel the universe is mysterious without a supreme being. But for me, it's seems hollow.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (May 22, 2015 10:55AM)
+1
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 22, 2015 11:09AM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
I find it interesting how much many magicians have taken up the banner for atheism and are vehement in their attacks on religion. They all seem to want to show how ignorant the believers are vs the men of science. A lot of it is extremely condescending. I am not a Christian, so I have no dog in the fight, but as a performer I find that being spiritual is necessary to convey the idea of mystery to an audience. I know everyone has their approach, but it seems that magicians today feel it's very important to remove a God from the picture. I guess it really started with Randi and then Penn. Our craft in many ways comes from the shaman/priest heritage and bringing mystery and entertainment to the masses.

I know there's still Christian magic and all that. It just seems there are magicians that feel it's really important that people only be rational and accept the idea of no God. I have seen Jamy Swiss perform twice and lecture once. In all instances, he weaves his atheism into the pitch. He often is condescending in general, but he has a real 'hard on' for believers. It's just an interesting part of the magic community that I don't remember being a part of it as a young magician. Viewing the universe as filled with intelligence and a source of mystery is important for me. I understand it's not for others. I know you can feel the universe is mysterious without a supreme being. But for me, it's seems hollow. [/quote]


Excellent and I'm glad I am not the only one that sees it this way.

Iíve asked this same question before here. Why is it that magic and atheism have so much in common?
Of course most say there isnít any but I think the mindsets are a lot alike.

Yes many have copied Randi and Penn.

Tom
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 22, 2015 01:10PM)
Actually, both religion and atheism have their missionaries. I view both as zealous proselytizers. I am not too thrilled with either; a conversation with either (regardless of purported subject) sometimes makes me feel like I am stuck in one of those interminable timeshare pitches.
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (May 22, 2015 01:54PM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, 0pus wrote:
Actually, both religion and atheism have their missionaries. I view both as zealous proselytizers. I am not too thrilled with either; a conversation with either (regardless of purported subject) sometimes makes me feel like I am stuck in one of those interminable timeshare pitches. [/quote]

Certainly true. It's just interesting to me that skeptics have become such a wing of magic. I know Houdini was an exposer and for some reason many magicians feel that is a tradition to uphold. Save the masses from the charlatans and all that. Which is more ego based than anything.

I too believe many here get dogmatic about their religious beliefs. I get religious people being dogmatic, but the idea of a skeptic being so dogmatic on evolution or science is the final word for rational man and such is weird. It seems the only thing they are skeptical about is the possibility of a metaphysical reality apart from our current one. I believe in lots of things, but always hold out that I could be completely wrong. I don't see much skepticism on science and those world views.
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 22, 2015 02:23PM)
I knew an astronomy professor when I was in college and he was invited to be interviewed on television. He was a little blindsided by the TV people because, unbeknownst to him, they had also invited an astrologer, and they wanted the two of them to "mix it up a bit" for the cameras. The professor began to engage on camera with the astrologer, but shortly into the encounter, as he recounts subsequently, "it dawned on me that this [astrology] was a religion. You can't argue with that! It's [i]belief[/i], not science."

I think I agree with the astronomy professor. And I let it be.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 22, 2015 02:27PM)
I tried mixing it up a bit with someone on the boards about AGW but shortly into the encounter it dawned on me that this (AGW) was a religion to him. I found that you can't argue with that. It's belief, not science.
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 22, 2015 02:35PM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, rockwall wrote:
. . . AGW . . . It's belief, not science. [/quote]

Yeah. It's just a [i][b]theory[/b][/i].
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 22, 2015 02:37PM)
Ahh. I see that you're one of the faithful.
Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 22, 2015 03:30PM)
In my first post in this thread I stated:

[quote]
. . . when you ask, "Do you believe in science?" my answer is, "Yes. I do."

But science is not a search for truth, or even causality; it describes (or attempts to describe) what [i]is.[/i]

[/quote]

Your "observation" is superfluous and seems to be intended as some kind of obnoxious wisecrack.

Poor form.
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 22, 2015 05:06PM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, funsway wrote:
[quote]On May 22, 2015, R.S. wrote:
Listen, everybody is perfectly free to have their personal beliefs and to worship as they wish in their own homes or churches. What more would one want/need? The religious are fond of emphasizing that their relationship with God is [I]personal[/I]. That should be all that matters. So why intrude into the public square (or in the workplace or in schools) with one's own particular brand of religion? If you are so confident that you are right with God then YOU will be rewarded in the "afterlife" and all the other heretics will pay the price.

And this thing called science marches on. As will philosophy. And human curiosity. And it's all good. :-)

Ron [/quote]

a worthy thought, but your statement of "then YOU will be rewarded in the "afterlife" and all the other heretics will pay the price," is s public statement of your own religious bias (particular brand of religion) that defies the point you are attempting to make.
[/quote]

We may have our wires crossed here, so let me clarify somewhat so that we're not misunderstanding each other. First, I am not religious. And second, I was speaking [I]from the perspective of the believer[/I]. Most believers believe that there is a "correct" religion/belief system and if you adhere to said doctrines/practices you will be rewarded in the afterlife, while those who do not adhere to those particular doctrines/practices will be punished in the afterlife. It's not something that I believe, but most believers do believe it. That's the point I was making.

[quote]
Why is there even a presumption that "being right with God" has anything to do with religion?
[/quote]

Don't most people derive their God beliefs through religion?

[quote]
Spiritual contemplation is valuable and perhaps essential for the human intellect. Why mess that up with either religion or science? [/quote]

"Spiritual" is one of those nebulous words that mean something different to everyone you ask. So to say that "spiritual contemplation is valuable" doesn't tell me much. Why not just say that "contemplation is valuable and perhaps essential for the human intellect"? :-)

Thanks Funsway.

Regards,
Ron
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 22, 2015 05:16PM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, The Hermit wrote:
I know you can feel the universe is mysterious without a supreme being. But for me, it's seems hollow. [/quote]

Thanks Hermit, I understand where you're coming from. My view can be summed up by the Douglas Adams quote...

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"

So it's great that we can both at least appreciate the beauty and the mystery of this universe we find ourselves in.

Best,
Ron
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (May 24, 2015 06:41AM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, 0pus wrote:
Actually, both religion and atheism have their missionaries. I view both as zealous proselytizers. I am not too thrilled with either; a conversation with either (regardless of purported subject) sometimes makes me feel like I am stuck in one of those interminable timeshare pitches. [/quote]

I don't know anything about you, so I won't say I agree with you.

However, I would agree with this sentiment.

There are few things as boring as people who insist that the "Theories" of science are a fact, or that the stories of religion are fact.
Religion and science have "proven" themselves true for centuries, yet always have been proven wrong.
They themselves mock themselves for their arrogance in the past and see nothing wrong with their current arrogance.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 24, 2015 12:17PM)
That's really a false equivalency based on a false premise. Science is NOT, nor has it ever been, in the business of "proving" things to be true. Scientific theories simply supply the best explanation,based on current technology knowledge and understanding, of empirically observed facts. All scientific theories must be falsifiable otherwise they are not science. Hence it is actually the LEAST arrogant of disciplines.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 24, 2015 12:21PM)
What do you think a scientific proof is?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 24, 2015 12:40PM)
"Scientific proof" is a misnomer. What it refers to is simply persuasive evidence. "Proofs," per se, only exist in mathematics and logic.

[quote]...One of the most common misconceptions concerns the so-called ďscientific proofs.Ē Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a scientific proof.

Proofs exist only in mathematics and logic, not in science. Mathematics and logic are both closed, self-contained systems of propositions, whereas science is empirical and deals with nature as it exists. The primary criterion and standard of evaluation of scientific theory is evidence, not proof. All else equal (such as internal logical consistency and parsimony), scientists prefer theories for which there is more and better evidence to theories for which there is less and worse evidence. Proofs are not the currency of science.

Proofs have two features that do not exist in science: They are final, and they are binary. Once a theorem is proven, it will forever be true and there will be nothing in the future that will threaten its status as a proven theorem (unless a flaw is discovered in the proof). Apart from a discovery of an error, a proven theorem will forever and always be a proven theorem.

In contrast, all scientific knowledge is tentative and provisional, and nothing is final. There is no such thing as final proven knowledge in science. The currently accepted theory of a phenomenon is simply the best explanation for it among all available alternatives. Its status as the accepted theory is contingent on what other theories are available and might suddenly change tomorrow if there appears a better theory or new evidence that might challenge the accepted theory. No knowledge or theory (which embodies scientific knowledge) is final. That, by the way, is why science is so much fun.

Further, proofs, like pregnancy, are binary; a mathematical proposition is either proven (in which case it becomes a theorem) or not (in which case it remains a conjecture until it is proven). There is nothing in between. A theorem cannot be kind of proven or almost proven. These are the same as unproven.

In contrast, there is no such binary evaluation of scientific theories. Scientific theories are neither absolutely false nor absolutely true. They are always somewhere in between. Some theories are better, more credible, and more accepted than others. There is always more, more credible, and better evidence for some theories than others. It is a matter of more or less, not either/or. For example, experimental evidence is better and more credible than correlational evidence, but even the former cannot prove a theory; it only provides very strong evidence for the theory and against its alternatives.

The knowledge that there is no such thing as a scientific proof should give you a very easy way to tell real scientists from hacks and wannabes. Real scientists never use the words ďscientific proofs,Ē because they know no such thing exists. Anyone who uses the words ďproof,Ē ďproveĒ and ďprovenĒ in their discussion of science is not a real scientist.[/quote]

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 24, 2015 12:52PM)
Are mathematics and logic sciences?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 24, 2015 01:17PM)
Logic derives from philosophy and mathematics are symbolic logic. There are many definitions of what mathematics actually is. Einstein observed, "as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 25, 2015 04:50AM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, R.S. wrote:

Don't most people derive their God beliefs through religion?

"Spiritual" is one of those nebulous words that mean something different to everyone you ask. So to say that "spiritual contemplation is valuable" doesn't tell me much. Why not just say that "contemplation is valuable and perhaps essential for the human intellect"? :-)

Ron [/quote]

Your first question indicates why distinctions of "contemplation" are necessary. The ability to contemplate is simply a mental ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind and compare them without discorporation or insanity. Human seem to have this ability more than other animals, at least to comparing two imaginary concepts, or a "known fact" with an imaginary alternative. The process itself seems to provide some endorphin rewards.

To contemplate on the differences between two existing organized religious practices may assist in making a decision, including rejecting both.

Contemplation of a concept that life has more meaning than eating pizza requires no decision, but can lead to a spiritual postulation useful in the first contemplation, e.g. how does religion "A" deal with the concept of "more than the sum of its parts."

Your later quote illustrates this (for me).

I do not feel that one can just appreciate the beauty of a garden without some prior contemplation of what "beauty" is, why many (or all) humans find such a garden esthetically pleasing and a reenforcement of memories of similar gardens and related pleasures.

The longer one sits in this garden the greater the chance that contemplation will be of a spiritual nature (no pun intended), and one's knowledge and experience will flavor that contemplation.

A Christian might ask, "What was the Garden of Eden really like?" or "is it allegorical to my concept of heaven?" Those are religious questions.

A scientist might ask, "How can that pine tree have cones that only germinate when burned?" This could lead to a scientific study or spiritual musing or religious fear.

A poet might muse, "The attention that allows the incredible flower also tolerates me," is very spiritual but neither scientific or religious.

Some, like myself, might engage in all three processes, plus one asking, "I wonder is my beloved is also looking at a garden today?"

The point is that "spiritual" thinking is not necessarily religious or scientific or fanciful,

and my learning so thus far is that such contemplation is more basically human that the other three examples.

The philosopher should not have said, "I think, therefore I am," but "I question, therefore I am."
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (May 25, 2015 06:41AM)
[quote]On May 25, 2015, funsway wrote:

The philosopher should not have said, "I think, therefore I am," but "I question, therefore I am." [/quote]

Actually, he did. That's precisely the sort of "thinking" he was talking about. Questioning can't be done without thinking. So asking questions proves I am thinking, and it is the nature of questions that they are my own. So if I ask a question like, Am I thinking, then I know that the thought is my own rather than thoughts put into my head by some devil or angel. If the thought is my own, then I know I exist.

I'm not saying that I agree, mind you. I'm just letting y'all know what Descartes's argument was.

Which is not totally off topic, by the way. Descartes is widely considered to be the first philosopher of "modernity" (whatever that is), and would thus stand at the threshold of "natural philosophy" becoming modern science. Descartes view of knowledge arguable helped lead to that change.

Or so I've been told. Again, I'm not sure that I agree. I'm just reporting the facts, Ma'am. (Whatever "facts" are.)
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 25, 2015 07:41AM)
[quote]On May 25, 2015, funsway wrote:

Your first question indicates why distinctions of "contemplation" are necessary. The ability to contemplate is simply a mental ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind and compare them without discorporation or insanity. Human seem to have this ability more than other animals, at least to comparing two imaginary concepts, or a "known fact" with an imaginary alternative. The process itself seems to provide some endorphin rewards.

To contemplate on the differences between two existing organized religious practices may assist in making a decision, including rejecting both.

Contemplation of a concept that life has more meaning than eating pizza requires no decision, but can lead to a spiritual postulation useful in the first contemplation, e.g. how does religion "A" deal with the concept of "more than the sum of its parts."

Your later quote illustrates this (for me).

I do not feel that one can just appreciate the beauty of a garden without some prior contemplation of what "beauty" is, why many (or all) humans find such a garden esthetically pleasing and a reenforcement of memories of similar gardens and related pleasures.

The longer one sits in this garden the greater the chance that contemplation will be of a spiritual nature (no pun intended), and one's knowledge and experience will flavor that contemplation.

A Christian might ask, "What was the Garden of Eden really like?" or "is it allegorical to my concept of heaven?" Those are religious questions.

A scientist might ask, "How can that pine tree have cones that only germinate when burned?" This could lead to a scientific study or spiritual musing or religious fear.

A poet might muse, "The attention that allows the incredible flower also tolerates me," is very spiritual but neither scientific or religious.

Some, like myself, might engage in all three processes, plus one asking, "I wonder is my beloved is also looking at a garden today?"

The point is that "spiritual" thinking is not necessarily religious or scientific or fanciful,

and my learning so thus far is that such contemplation is more basically human that the other three examples.

The philosopher should not have said, "I think, therefore I am," but "I question, therefore I am." [/quote]

Thanks funsway. But still, I'm just seeing the word "spiritual" tossed about with no actual definition.

[quote]
The longer one sits in this garden the greater the chance that contemplation will be of a spiritual nature[/quote]

Why? But more importantly, what exactly is meant by "spiritual" nature?

[quote]
The point is that "spiritual" thinking is not necessarily religious or scientific or fanciful,[/quote]

Then what is it? We know what "thinking" is, so what then is the "spiritual" component of thinking? Is it possible to think deeply about a subject without that thought process being "spiritual"?

Ron
Message: Posted by: rockwall (May 25, 2015 09:28AM)
[quote]On May 25, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]On May 25, 2015, funsway wrote:

The philosopher should not have said, "I think, therefore I am," but "I question, therefore I am." [/quote]

Actually, he did. That's precisely the sort of "thinking" he was talking about. Questioning can't be done without thinking. So asking questions proves I am thinking, and it is the nature of questions that they are my own. So if I ask a question like, Am I thinking, then I know that the thought is my own rather than thoughts put into my head by some devil or angel. If the thought is my own, then I know I exist.

I'm not saying that I agree, mind you. I'm just letting y'all know what Descartes's argument was.

Which is not totally off topic, by the way. Descartes is widely considered to be the first philosopher of "modernity" (whatever that is), and would thus stand at the threshold of "natural philosophy" becoming modern science. Descartes view of knowledge arguable helped lead to that change.

Or so I've been told. Again, I'm not sure that I agree. I'm just reporting the facts, Ma'am. (Whatever "facts" are.) [/quote]

That's the sort of thinking that's going to get us in trouble with robots!
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 25, 2015 04:15PM)
[quote]On May 25, 2015, R.S. wrote:
Is it possible to think deeply about a subject without that thought process being "spiritual"?
Ron [/quote]

Of course -- never meant to imply that spiritual is a requirement or default, only that "spiritual contemplation" need not be either religious or scientific.

However, some of the neurobiology texts I have read suggests that any consideration of mystery is "of spirit" rather than "of nature." Thus, "spirit" does not necessarily imply divinity or etherial or ghostly -- only consideration of something other then the 4F's.

This sort of discussion works well in person and poorly on the Internet. Then I might say, "I can sense your presence across the room," and we could explore whether that is a spiritual statement or not.
Message: Posted by: R.S. (May 25, 2015 05:06PM)
[quote]On May 25, 2015, funsway wrote:
[quote]On May 25, 2015, R.S. wrote:
Is it possible to think deeply about a subject without that thought process being "spiritual"?
Ron [/quote]

Of course -- never meant to imply that spiritual is a requirement or default, only that "spiritual contemplation" need not be either religious or scientific.

However, some of the neurobiology texts I have read suggests that any consideration of mystery is "of spirit" rather than "of nature." Thus, "spirit" does not necessarily imply divinity or etherial or ghostly -- only consideration of something other then the 4F's.

This sort of discussion works well in person and poorly on the Internet. Then I might say, "I can sense your presence across the room," and we could explore whether that is a spiritual statement or not. [/quote]

Ok, so you're still repeating what spiritual [I]isn't[/I] without ever saying what it is.

[quote]
any consideration of mystery is "of spirit" rather than "of nature."[/quote]

What does that even mean? I consider lots of mysteries, but I don't know where "spirit" enters into it.

[quote]
This sort of discussion works well in person and poorly on the Internet. Then I might say, "I can sense your presence across the room," and we could explore whether that is a spiritual statement or not. [/quote]

I don't see how the "in person" aspect adds anything useful to the discussion of what "spiritual" means.

Ron