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Author Topic: What does science have to do with it?  (Read 4917 times)
anaise
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« Topic Start: June 11, 2011, 10:29:22 am »

I was reading a long thread in which 'science', it's ways and means ,got brought into the discussion. I find this confusing when it is co-joined with a religious debate. Science and religion are chalk and cheese.

Some posts spoke of science being the 'how' and religion being the 'why' . Others mentioned 'facts'. This doesn't make any sense ( just my opinion) . Science is more to the verb, it is a process, not a finished product or statement of faith. Science deals with both 'hows' and 'whys' but the way in which it deals with it is based on observation, not searches for 'truth'. Show me a scientist that talks in terms of absolute proof, facts or truth and I'll show you a scientist talking out of their bunsen burner. The only process that science uses is testing the Null Hypothesis, nothing more. 'Answers' are taken from a preponderance of evidence at the time of testing but even so, it is a given that this evidence may change or turn out to be false and so the process begins again. It's not about 'truth' , it's about exploration and expanding knowledge bases.

Religion is about personal faith. It is subjective and open to a myriad of interpretations. It also is about the 'whys' and 'hows' but stands without proof. To argue the merits or non-merits of a particular faith is like debating the colour of air or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Of course this will be important for some but to try and buttress one's points or ideas regarding any mythology with 'science' isn't logical . I think one of the Paul's hit it with " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" . And it is a totally personal and subjective 'evidence' so never in the purview of 'science'. It doesn't need to be so why bother?

Perhaps this attempt at an artificial conflation of science and religion is a hang-over from the Englightenment. I just don't see the point of it anymore.

There are different ways of looking for 'answers' and the questions, not the desired end product is what will determine which camp it falls into.The type of question will dictate the way someone will search for those answers, whether through personal faith or the scientific method.

So why do people want to combine science and religion?

Anaise
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« Reply #1: June 11, 2011, 10:49:39 am »

I was reading a long thread in which 'science', it's ways and means ,got brought into the discussion. I find this confusing when it is co-joined with a religious debate. Science and religion are chalk and cheese.

Some posts spoke of science being the 'how' and religion being the 'why' . Others mentioned 'facts'. This doesn't make any sense ( just my opinion) . Science is more to the verb, it is a process, not a finished product or statement of faith. Science deals with both 'hows' and 'whys' but the way in which it deals with it is based on observation, not searches for 'truth'. Show me a scientist that talks in terms of absolute proof, facts or truth and I'll show you a scientist talking out of their bunsen burner. The only process that science uses is testing the Null Hypothesis, nothing more. 'Answers' are taken from a preponderance of evidence at the time of testing but even so, it is a given that this evidence may change or turn out to be false and so the process begins again. It's not about 'truth' , it's about exploration and expanding knowledge bases.

Religion is about personal faith. It is subjective and open to a myriad of interpretations. It also is about the 'whys' and 'hows' but stands without proof. To argue the merits or non-merits of a particular faith is like debating the colour of air or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Of course this will be important for some but to try and buttress one's points or ideas regarding any mythology with 'science' isn't logical . I think one of the Paul's hit it with " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" . And it is a totally personal and subjective 'evidence' so never in the purview of 'science'. It doesn't need to be so why bother?

Perhaps this attempt at an artificial conflation of science and religion is a hang-over from the Englightenment. I just don't see the point of it anymore.

There are different ways of looking for 'answers' and the questions, not the desired end product is what will determine which camp it falls into.The type of question will dictate the way someone will search for those answers, whether through personal faith or the scientific method.

So why do people want to combine science and religion?

Anaise

Everyone is different. You have people that wont believe something unless it can be proven scientifically. You also have people that refuse to believe things that are proven scientifically.

Right now I'm operating on the assumption that just because something that is believed in a religious sense doesn't mean it can't be proven scientifically, either now or in the future.

Like "religiously" I believe that everything has energy, from the speck of dust floating around in the air in front of me, to the trees, to the people, and so on, this has been proven scientifically as well, which is nice because I will never have doubts about that belief.

One of my "religious" beliefs is that everything that has energy is also alive and has a spirit, which hasn't been proven scientifically... Like in the talking to rocks thread, I believe a crystal is alive and has a spirit, I don't know if it's aware of its surroundings or anything, but I plan on finding that out.

Do you really need to separate science and religion? I sure don't.
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« Reply #2: June 11, 2011, 11:02:58 am »


So why do people want to combine science and religion?

Anaise

If my religion tells me that I should be able to fly, I'm going to get very hurt when I experience gravity.
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« Reply #3: June 11, 2011, 11:08:47 am »

If my religion tells me that I should be able to fly, I'm going to get very hurt when I experience gravity.

Either that or you'll have to buy an airplane. Or a wing suit, those things are cool.
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« Reply #4: June 11, 2011, 11:36:01 am »

Either that or you'll have to buy an airplane. Or a wing suit, those things are cool.

The non-metaphorical answer being, we live in this world. We live by the laws of science in this world. Our spirituality must have some kind of basis in the science of this world, or it doesn't do us much good in guiding us how to live.
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« Reply #5: June 11, 2011, 11:58:31 am »

The non-metaphorical answer being, we live in this world. We live by the laws of science in this world. Our spirituality must have some kind of basis in the science of this world, or it doesn't do us much good in guiding us how to live.

That's interesting. Could you cite an example of a spirituality that has it's basis in the scientific method?

Also, there are no 'laws' in science as in 'permanent proofs of' that I know of, though there are commonly observed effects   Grin

Anaise
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« Reply #6: June 11, 2011, 12:08:06 pm »

That's interesting. Could you cite an example of a spirituality that has it's basis in the scientific method?
FlameKeeping. http://www.flamekeeping.org/?p=355

The goal of FlameKeeping is to improve the Universe. If I want to improve, specifically, my community, I must look at what the problems are and figure out their actual causes before I determine how best to help. I have to observe reality. Then I have to do something realistic. I can't just walk around and think happy thoughts and try to project sunshine and rainbows at everyone and expect the world to change.

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Also, there are no 'laws' in science as in 'permanent proofs of' that I know of, though there are commonly observed effects   Grin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation
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« Reply #7: June 11, 2011, 12:21:42 pm »

I think one of the Paul's hit it with " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Sicence is constantly looking and hopeing to find things, and recieves evidence of things it can not see, with its current technology.  

As for combining the two, they should be used to enhance peoples understanding of creation, and our place within it.
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« Reply #8: June 11, 2011, 12:28:38 pm »

FlameKeeping. http://www.flamekeeping.org/?p=355

The goal of FlameKeeping is to improve the Universe. If I want to improve, specifically, my community, I must look at what the problems are and figure out their actual causes before I determine how best to help. I have to observe reality. Then I have to do something realistic. I can't just walk around and think happy thoughts and try to project sunshine and rainbows at everyone and expect the world to change.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation


The term 'law' when used in science is a descriptor for the broader area of 'principle'. 'Laws' are that which cannot be (or should not be able to be) broken, principles evolve and change to meet or conform to new ideas or concepts. It's a semantic conceit to use the term 'law' in science as the basic function of science is to further understanding using new information ( or, discovering that which may be new information). Again, science is a *process* - a process is and cannot be a 'law' as the former is active while the latter is static.

As for the first reference, that was more an opinion of what science is and how it may be useful from a religious perspective - a self-serving interpretation ( I don't mean that in the negative sense, I mean it in terms of constructing a definition of 'X' to conform to 'Y' in order to serve the belief system).  Terms like 'Dark Flame' and 'Bright Flame' are religious descriptions, not  scientific definitions. Employing or approving of the scientific method does not mean it backs up a/any subjective belief system.  Or perhaps I'm missing something?

Anaise
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« Reply #9: June 11, 2011, 12:47:32 pm »


A lot of the posts you're talking about are mine.  And, IIRC, I was saying why science was NOT the only way of looking at the world - religion and science deal with different questions.

That said, if my religion tells me something and reality says that ain't gonna work, reality wins.  every time, no question, no second chances.  Gravity won't turn off no matter how many broomsticks I run off of rooftops.

As far as FlameKeeping - it SPECIFICALLY says that the rules of scientific exploration are necessary for understanding the world around us.  There can also be mystic truths, but again, if it doesn't work, it doesn't matter how pretty it is.  We should appreciate and celebrate reality for what it is, even as we try to improve it.

Which is why things like creation science and other pseudoscience is anathema to it - we're supposed to understand the world better, not put up bullshit roadblocks.
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« Reply #10: June 11, 2011, 12:52:07 pm »

Again, science is a *process* - a process is and cannot be a 'law' as the former is active while the latter is static.

I never meant to imply that all of science was law. You said you didn't know of any laws within science so I gave you one.

Quote
As for the first reference, that was more an opinion of what science is and how it may be useful from a religious perspective - a self-serving interpretation.
Yes, I thought that was what we are talking about.

Quote
Terms like 'Dark Flame' and 'Bright Flame' are religious descriptions, not  scientific definitions.
I never said they were.

Quote
Employing or approving of the scientific method does not mean it backs up a/any subjective belief system.  Or perhaps I'm missing something?
Perhaps I'm coming at your question from the opposite direction of which you intended. I am not trying to use science to prove any belief system. I am saying that we use science as a basis for our beliefs and how to interact with the world. Science is just the starting point. It is not the entirety of spirituality. Spirituality picks up where science leaves off. It seeks the answer the questions that science can not.
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« Reply #11: June 11, 2011, 02:35:55 pm »



I have two books to suggest to you. You might find them interesting. (And if not, oh well, that's how it goes.)

The Universe in a Single Atom by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso


There's a LOT of room for science in a Buddhist worldview. HHDL himself has said on numerous occasions that he enjoys the study of science, and has held many convocations worldwide over the past 40 years or so bringing together scientists of various stripes and religious leaders, for the very purpose of investigating the connections between science and religion. A little Google-fu should turn up promising results on that.

The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life by Jean-Francois Revel and Matthieu Ricard. The latter, the son, holds a PhD in molecular biology. He turned his back on a very promising career as a scientist to take the vows of a Tibetan Buddhist monk. His father's a famed philosopher. This book is amazing on many levels.

My two cents (in the form of two book titles), worth what you paid for it.

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« Reply #12: June 11, 2011, 07:08:25 pm »

A lot of the posts you're talking about are mine.  And, IIRC, I was saying why science was NOT the only way of looking at the world - religion and science deal with different questions.

That said, if my religion tells me something and reality says that ain't gonna work, reality wins.  every time, no question, no second chances.  Gravity won't turn off no matter how many broomsticks I run off of rooftops.

As far as FlameKeeping - it SPECIFICALLY says that the rules of scientific exploration are necessary for understanding the world around us.  There can also be mystic truths, but again, if it doesn't work, it doesn't matter how pretty it is.  We should appreciate and celebrate reality for what it is, even as we try to improve it.

Which is why things like creation science and other pseudoscience is anathema to it - we're supposed to understand the world better, not put up bullshit roadblocks.


And if you do manage to get a broomstick to fly, gravity is still there pulling you down. Just like a hot air balloon or an airplane, they had to find some way to balance out forces and stay up in the air.
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« Reply #13: June 11, 2011, 09:51:49 pm »

I was reading a long thread in which 'science', it's ways and means ,got brought into the discussion. I find this confusing when it is co-joined with a religious debate. Science and religion are chalk and cheese.

Some posts spoke of science being the 'how' and religion being the 'why' . Others mentioned 'facts'. This doesn't make any sense ( just my opinion) . Science is more to the verb, it is a process, not a finished product or statement of faith. Science deals with both 'hows' and 'whys' but the way in which it deals with it is based on observation, not searches for 'truth'. Show me a scientist that talks in terms of absolute proof, facts or truth and I'll show you a scientist talking out of their bunsen burner. The only process that science uses is testing the Null Hypothesis, nothing more. 'Answers' are taken from a preponderance of evidence at the time of testing but even so, it is a given that this evidence may change or turn out to be false and so the process begins again. It's not about 'truth' , it's about exploration and expanding knowledge bases.

Religion is about personal faith. It is subjective and open to a myriad of interpretations. It also is about the 'whys' and 'hows' but stands without proof. To argue the merits or non-merits of a particular faith is like debating the colour of air or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Of course this will be important for some but to try and buttress one's points or ideas regarding any mythology with 'science' isn't logical . I think one of the Paul's hit it with " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" . And it is a totally personal and subjective 'evidence' so never in the purview of 'science'. It doesn't need to be so why bother?

Perhaps this attempt at an artificial conflation of science and religion is a hang-over from the Englightenment. I just don't see the point of it anymore.

There are different ways of looking for 'answers' and the questions, not the desired end product is what will determine which camp it falls into.The type of question will dictate the way someone will search for those answers, whether through personal faith or the scientific method.

So why do people want to combine science and religion?

Anaise

Science is a measure of predictability for the environment we exist within. The environment is defined by our capacity to observe it, but there is an internal and external environment. The difference between internal and external is if others can experience it, and such is the weakness of spirituality is that it tends to be internally experienced and usually only communicated externally after being filtered through the human psyche.

So I agree with you, science is not really a process capable of discovering something which itself seems to occur within, or need to use as a medium, the human mind. Pyschology being the science of the mind tends to rely on statistics so much that geniune spirituality is lost in the background noise of data diversity and volume.

I hope quantum physics will provide some insight into magickal mechanism's and perhaps spirituality truths, but I think it might be unlikely that the scientists working on QM have wondered if their own thoughts can somehow influence experimentation because they are probably all dyed in the wool atheists.

So all that said I combine the 2 sometimes to try and better explain the human capacity to observe and interact with its environment, whatever that environment may be. Remembering of course everything....color, sound, smell are all illusions created by our brains to be processed by our minds.
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« Reply #14: June 12, 2011, 04:30:03 pm »

I was reading a long thread in which 'science', it's ways and means ,got brought into the discussion. I find this confusing when it is co-joined with a religious debate. Science and religion are chalk and cheese.

[...] Show me a scientist that talks in terms of absolute proof, facts or truth and I'll show you a scientist talking out of their bunsen burner.

Most people who use science to prove their point aren't scientists. Modern society puts so much importance on science that if a scientist has a study that "proves" something, it must be the way things are. (See: it's been "proven" that vaccines cause autism; and even though the biggest study on this has been discredited, people still cite it.) That's a failure of the education system, not of religion or science themselves - heck, I never ran into the Null Hypothesis during any of my schooling, and I have a chemistry minor.

Quote
So why do people want to combine science and religion?

Why wouldn't they? They aren't mutually exclusive, and one can inform the other. The more I learn about science - be it the way nerves function or that we all give off light - the more I see the hand of Someone in creation. On the flip side, I take the evidence of my own experiences and examine it to create a theory that reconciles those experiences with the broader world, and re-evaluate that theory when I get new evidence. Science & religion aren't incompatible.

I also think science depends very strongly on culture & context, and I define "religion" as "A system of beliefs which explain how the world works".. which includes science. ymmv  Wink
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