Sunday, March 26, 2006

Life, the Universe, and Everything (with apologies to the late Douglas Adams)

From: Christina
Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2006 9:14:11 PM
Subject: [new-continuum] Re: Inflating the Universe...

-why does "god" have to be unscientific?
-why does "god" mean a supernatural explanation?
-belief without evidence is not science by definition...human
definition....why think that science will explain everything? Is there
a reason *to* assume that science can answer everything? Isnt that
belief in itself...unscientific?

-- In , myxtplkn wrote:
By definition and by all that we know in religion God is a not a
natural being but beyond that he is believed to be super--natural.
Believed in by having faith. Scientific is a supposed system where by
the use of logic either by deduction or induction we can logically
derive an answer or fact. God is not scientific since it requires no
facts to believe in a god. just belief. The reason that we believe
that science can solve everything is that scientific process and
procedures have in fact produced more and more information on the
Worlds Processes and the way it was formed and the way it is
evolving. Things like Carbon dating. Things like no the World is not
flat. Yes there is much that we don't know--we can talk human but
we can't talk dog or cat or even chimpanzee--in fact we don't know
what chimps call each other or the names they have for one another.
Yes if I think that science will eventually succeed in solving
everything--that is a belief system, but it is
a system based upon a series of solutions to a great many problems
in a stepwise progression; whereas the belief in the supernatural
beings or gods is and has been the same since man-kind has records of
the gods. We know that the gods work in mysterious ways because
someone told us that is what we needed to believe. I use to sit and
listen to my Grandmother read the St James Bible to me most every
night for a number of years--she believed--I did not but listened to
her because I loved her and it made her happy that I listened.
Believing that science can solve most other problems is not
unscientific in the sense that you expect the progression in
solutions to follow scientific method in their proofs. Hope these
meanders help explain some of my thoughts but don't think I'll be able
o change any of your beliefs with them.; but perhaps you may have
more to add as you continue to exchange ideas with others. EdB

From: Christina
Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2006 11:38:57 PM
Subject: [new-continuum] Re: Inflating the Universe...

-Im all for the scientific process dont get me wrong...and i
comprehend the "rules" behind it.
God. Science. Our ideas, or perspectives of them, the ones you
describe...these are all based on human definitions.
Science exists. Science has always existed even before humans. The
cosmos came to be, the planets came to be, life came to be. All
science....presumably you would agree with that no? Humans have
derived a way, a process by which to study ~~everything~~: how the
world works, was created, where its going etc blah etc. Everything
that we do, to try to parse out the secrets to ~everything~ is via the
scientific process within the scientific community.
Personally.....i think its limiting.
I dont have a better way to do it mind you....i just think that its
limiting and that should be recognized. Comments exhaulting the
superiority of the scientific process without acknowledging its likely
fallability and limitations due to our human ineptitudes, is short
sighted. To place that "The Scientific Process"
imo is little better than the blind faith that some religious folks
place in their holy books.
Science...has existed long before "The Scientific Process"....we are
the creators of "The Scientific Process".....its not a part of science
itself. "The Scientific Process" did not invent gravity. Its merely a
means of trying to comprehend it.
Does that explain my perspective?

God. For one thing there are so many different perspectives of god
and so many different definitions of god that frankly, i dont see how
anyone can recognize any of them other than what they are....a human
invention. *IF* god exists...lets assume he does for the sake of
discussion here....then i doubt very much that god exists in any way
that any human can define "him" or even percieve him for that matter.
Just because religion defines god as a supernatural being or defines
him in any other way written in the holy books...does not mean that
god is that way. IMO, the definitions of god within the bible and the
idea that anyone can even begin to comprehend god is limiting...and
frankly i would think blasphemous by religious definition.
If god exists....why wouldnt "he" be part of science? Why exactly
does god and science have to be mutually exclusive? Why wouldnt god
and science be part of the whole enchilada of ~everything~?
In only point is...that Science as defined by humans, and
God as defined by humans...are exactly that.....defined by humans.
Just because we subjectively define it a certain way, doesnt mean that
it exists objectively that way.

-- In, myxtplkn wrote:

Christina--It is true that faith and science are both the inventions
of the human mind. However...............It is much like reading--a
human invention toward more objectivity: a meter reading with a
needle, or the meniscus in graduated cylinder we can read more
correctly without parallax so accepting things on faith is a lot like
reading with a bias in parallax. There is most often not much in the
process of belief that lends itself to a stepwise fashion of logic
toward a system of belief except a history of others who believe the
same and writings that corroborate one another with the same circular
logic with continued admonishments that if you don't accept the belief
then there are dire consequences. Also the system of logic and
processes developed and invented by man do not have one and only books
and scrolls to be revered as the bases of all life Science does allow
for dispute and rearrangement--faith in a God does not. Faith in God
is pretty much a take or
leave it proposition although most alter it to fit their needs like
Thou shalt not commit adultery or Thou shall not kill, or Thy shall
not covet. Science doesn't require you to do any of that sort of
thing unless you get into ethics and morality but I'm not sure we have
scientific processes for emotion per se. There are rules and logical
orders for the treatment of one another which do not require faith in
Gods but do require expectations (faith) of others to respond in a
wide range of so called normal behavior. Science itself is not
without faith it is just more precise than faith alone. Yes I think
we will continue to explore the cosmos and science will contribute to
it's definition but faith in Gods will pretty much stand where it is.
In other words Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc. will not change but
science will progress with new developments.
Next one would say (as my Grandmother would say) why look for
other livable planets and star systems. Let's just tend to what we
have--well the planet is getting crowded with too many "furriners"
(Thomas might say that). I think the Human endeavor will continue to
push for scientific breakthroughs and explanations in spite of faith
interventions. Unless we eventually have a fight between the faithful
and the non-faithful since we seem to always want a we/they type fight
going on. As you said about not having a answer-- we don't have
another avenue of approach except that of of science or just try for
stasis with faith. EdB

On 3/26/06, Christina <> wrote:


There are two distinctions here i think......God and religion.
Religion imo is what you are talking about. I think that the faith
most people talk about these days pertains to a faith that their
religion is correct. I think this faith in religion has little to do
with god.

As for science adhering to the sanitary tenants of "The Scientific
Process" that is soley reserved for pure science imo. Perhaps the
science of mathemetics. Science however, has long long been heavily
influenced by humans. Studies not published because of an existing
narrow mindset in the publishers and/or fellow collegues, statistics
tweaked here and there to support thesis, results completely fudged.
I dont believe that science is anymore "pure" than present faiths.
They are both equally corrupt imo. Religious believers (notice i did
not say god) wave their books and profess to know the truth because
their prophet told them so. Science waves its "Process" and claims to
be objective and grounded in reality when in fact, it isnt.
I hear what you are saying, and agree with much of it. My only point
was that we, all of us, need to be critical of information that comes
to us no matter what the source. I consider much of what falls under
the domain of science almost as fallible as religious claims (ie.
believing the pharmaceutical companies and the crap that they produce).

And certainly, i am not saying to throw the baby out with the
bathwater......all we have at present is "The Scientific Process" and
we most definately do need to continue with advancing it....i never
said otherwise. I firmly believe that ~everything~...and i mean
~everyhting~ could be broken down to a microparticle/macroprocess
explanation but we lack the ability to percieve it and we lack the
ability to comprehend it. I dont think we will ever have that ability
because we are human and physically limited. But we should bloody
well keep trying!

One more point.....i do not think that religion is static.

Elron wrote:

Another point to remember is precisely what we view as 'science' and 'scientific progress.' The traditional view of scholarly competition of ideas is only true to a certain point. Within the current paradign of science, there is competition amongst ideas in certain ways, but the structure of scientific paradigm, like that of religious belief, is designed to reward like-thinking and punish or ridicule thinking outside the box.

Kuhn and Popper talk a bit about what I am saying here, but whenever we've seen a truly revolutionary scientific change, it is never an orderly affair of science accepting a better idea and rejecting the old ones. Instead, the existing paradigm fights long and hard against the newer, "righter" one, denigrating it every turn. When Einstein began talking about relativity, and the essentially similarity between matter and energy, science didn't look at his work and say 'Good on you, old chap ... nice bit of reasoning there.' It took decades of work, and older, classical scientists continued to ridicule Einstein and his work even after it was clearly 'right.' The history of quantum mechanics, of cosmology, of any number of scientific disciplines is the same ... frought with turf battles over entrenched paradigms, VERY similar to turf battles between Catholics and Protestants.

As Christina says, there are two seperate things here. There is science as 'the way the world works' on one side of the coin, and science as 'how we measure, analyse, and perceive the world works' on the other side. Science is about examining the universe, but so is religion, and in both cases, serious heresy is NOT rewarded, it is punished and ridiculed. I think there are FAR more parellels in reality than people would like to admit.


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