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Is science the new religion?


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Showing 226-250 of 518 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 9:16:31 PM PST
barbW says:
"ANY earth-sized planet will have enough heat energy from the gravitational energy of its coalescence to be completely molten [2]; gravity will then bring the heavier compounds to the center."

That's an interesting idea, but Venus and Mars have comparatively smaller cores, that have already died. Venus' core became inactive almost a billion years ago according to geological data from the radar surveys.

But it was the contribution from the protoplanet Theia that gave us such a large core, which still protects us today. Very very lucky for us, Robert.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 9:20:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2012 9:21:06 PM PST
Lj3d wrote:
"71% of Earth is covered in oceans that humans cannot live on. Many other animals can but not humans unless they are on boats. "
===============================================
Does not water come from oceans?
Atmospheric thermodynamics affected greatly by oceans?

You forgot the immense connection of oceans to life on earth (human life). You just see where your pillows sit when you go to sleep.

The vast universe might contain all the angels mentioned in Genesis, transferring messages, back and forth between your DNA and Jehovah.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 9:28:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2012 9:43:58 PM PST
DonJuan says:
Saunders, do you have an dual account here?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A1OS9VB28L8MNL

Matching the face with the demeanor is a funny prospect.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 9:35:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2012 9:37:51 PM PST
Lj3d says:
MFE: Does not water come from oceans? Atmospheric thermodynamics affected greatly by oceans?

Lj3d: Now were getting to the intelligent part and I agree with you here where the connections to life via the oceans are concerned...and the weather. I did mention Earth being tuned, or even fine tuned for life but not necessarily human life. There may also be many planets with water, weather and oceans...but no human like life which would imply they were not necessarily tuned for intelligent life either. We won't know till we develop the technologies to investigate earthlike worlds. At that point, its possible planets like Earth will emerge as better suited for human like life.

I don't just see the pillow where I sleep. I see probably over three billion humans who don't even have pillows to sleep on. People who still have to scrape just to survive...not even get by but just to survive. Poverty striken people in Africa, Asia, India and other less fortunate places in the world. People who do not benefit from modern technology and medicine. Humans who live like me and you are not yet in the majority. Those who live better as in having the financial security to fully provide for them and their families, are even more in the minority.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 9:42:32 PM PST
Lj3d says:
MFE: The vast universe might contain all the angels mentioned in Genesis, transferring messages, back and forth between your DNA and Jehovah.

Lj3d: It might, I wouldn't know. As an agnostic myself, I simply do not know if a supreme being or designer exists. I don't rule them out. I simply see both possibilities (God, or no God) unless or until one is proven right.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 9:51:23 PM PST
None of the verifiable claims in the bible have shown to be correct, I see no reason why the unverifiable claims should be any different.

In fact it makes them even more suspect, since those propagating the false claims are bearing false witness, violating principles set forth in their own book. And the deity in question continues to allow those to happen.

Or the deity in question used their omnipotence to perfectly erase the evidence of the great deeds. Of course perfectly erasing the evidence makes the goodness of the deity highly suspect. (Never minding the highly suspect guidance in other portions of the testament.)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 9:58:47 PM PST
Re DonJuan, 2-24 9:28 PM: The Robert A. Saunders identified there is NOT me, and is no known relation. But he sounds like an interesting chap.

Posted on Feb 24, 2012 10:01:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2012 10:02:26 PM PST
Lj3d says:
No Name Given: None of the verifiable claims in the bible have shown to be correct, I see no reason why the unverifiable claims should be any different.

Lj3d: My position as an agnostic is that I cannot know if there is a supreme being. I cannot rule it out. This does not necessarily mean I think any of the religions are all right...or all wrong. I see religion as a human construct in part for the same reasons you cite. God has so far only come to me through people. People who wrote a book thosands of years ago. People who tell me I should live a certain way because of this unseen God. Or that I will go to hell if I don't become born again. None of the manmade religions have convinced me there is a God and that he wants certain things.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 10:07:18 PM PST
Re werranth413, 2-24 9:16 PM: Interesting. "Venus' core became inactive almost a billion years ago according to geological data from the radar surveys." It may have had fewer radioactives than earth's core. One would need to look into the volatility of compounds of radioactives to say anything intelligent about this.

"the protoplanet Theia ..." Got any citations on this? I shall shortly repair to Google, which may have something.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 4:40:30 AM PST
Christine M. Janis - "There are people who passionately believe in these things."

That poses the question of whether we should avoid debunking such-and-such just because these people find solace in their beliefs, or if we should just look closely at their claims and let the chips fall where they may.

"... and note that not everything can be falsified, nor should we necessarily try to do so."

I suspect we differ on that. I'm not willing to put beliefs off-limits to critical examination, even if the believer finds them comforting. I find the alternative too condescending.

"Doesn't make me any less of a scientist, just curious about the world."

You just said in the previous sentence that there are some things we shouldn't even try to falsify. That's complacency, which is the opposite of curiosity. If you're actually curious, you'd look at these beliefs critically to see if they have merit, because you'd want to know. Science *is* curiosity, only more methodical and rigorous than most people use.

"There's a difference between being dogmatically incredulous "

If scientists had been dogmatically incredulous, they wouldn't have bothered studying the paranormal. The fact that scientists did experiments, double-blind studies, etc indicates they were inquisitive, interested, and committed to studying the issue. That's the *opposite* of what you do if you're "dogmatically" anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 5:15:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2012 5:18:36 AM PST
Lj3d - "I simply see both possibilities (God, or no God) unless or until one is proven right. "

I'm an agnostic also, but I don't really see much reason to put the "God" word on the table at all. That isn't to say one doesn't exist, rather that I've seen little reason to put much merit in the idea. I can't get worked up over whether something does or doesn't exist if the idea itself is vacuous, poorly thought out, and doesn't seem to make much sense.

Plus, it just seems so contrived, so molded to the emotional needs of the believer. Since the "God exists" or "God did this or that" assertions are compatible with pretty much any outcome, they don't really add any information.

So though I'm an agnostic, I'm about as agnostic about the Abrahamic God as I am about Huitzilopochtli or Mithra. You don't hear many people mulling over the issue of Huitzilopochtli, as if "well, hard to say..." They just don't believe, and we don't call them on the carpet to qualify their non-belief in delicate terms. I won't couch my non-belief in the Abrahamic God in more qualified, nuanced, "I could be wrong"-esque language than I will my non-belief in Huitzilopochtli.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 6:35:50 AM PST
Tero says:
>>The vast universe might contain all the angels mentioned in Genesis, transferring messages, back and forth between your DNA and Jehovah.<<

This is one of the mysteries of religion. Just how do these spirits interact with molecules? It is not matter or energy, so how can it interact with objects that are strictly controlled by physical laws?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 7:35:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2012 4:44:05 PM PST
You took molecules for granted as if scientists created them by magical research.

In fact molecules are more mysterious than you think.

Take the simplest molecule of hydrogen. Schroedinger wave equation was solved for the hydrogen atom, not the molecule. But even for the hydrogen atom, schroedinger equation could never predict the freezing point of hydrogen, the enthalpy of phase change, or maximal conductivity at low temperatures.

For the hydrogen molecules, we have no means to accurately predict the physical properties of hydrogen from the constants of the subatomic components of hydrogen such electron and proton masses.

As such, what we take for granted such as molecules and atoms are more puzzling than angels and ghosts. We just attempt to play sane by claiming we know how atoms work, but angels and ghosts belong to unscientific minds. The boundaries between the two are more blurred than we like to believe.

Mohamed F. El-Hewie

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 8:47:22 AM PST
Tero says:
Yeah, that is a problem. I mean the interpretation.

I run into young people who had a semester of physics and chemistry. Then they go to these extreme large and small scales and POOF, a magical world opens.

I have the hardest time convincing chemistry students that molecules are three dimensional objects. They must be, otherwise large objects would not be either. The practical end of the atom, the only one we normally deal with, is the bond, the electrons.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 11:05:18 AM PST
Actually speaking of religions telling people what to do.

My favorite bit of the Christian bible is: Love thy neighbor as thy self.

Well, we all know what "self love is" so that has some rather interesting implications.

:-)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 4:56:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2012 4:57:38 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 9:24:14 PM PST
Re el-Hewie, 2-25 4:56 PM: "The question of whether a cell composed of deuterium, in the place of hydrogen, would perform its function in the same manner as those with hydrogen, has not been asked or answered..." Wrong, as usual: the matter has been studied in some detail. Animals given deuterium water suffer a variety of minor health problems. Plants assimilate it differently than conventional water, which provides information on dates and other phenomena.

However, isotopes other than of hydrogen do not differ in chemical characteristics enough to have much different influence on life, although they DO assimilate differently. This has permitted use of sulfur isotopes to study the oxygenation of the earth approximately 2.5 billion years ago [1, 2].

1. Farquhar et al, Isotopic evidence for Mesoarchaean anoxia and changing sulphur chemistry. Nature, vol. 449, 11 Oct. 2009, p. 706.

2. Ohmoto et al, Sulphur isotope evidence for an oxic Archaean atmosphere. Nature, vol. 442, 24 August 2006, p. 908.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 12:22:52 AM PST
Lj3d says:
Mark Hornberger: I'm an agnostic also, but I don't really see much reason to put the "God" word on the table at all.

Lj3d: I don't know if I mentioned it in this thread, but I'm not convinced of God by any or all the man made religions that exist. I simply say I cannot rule out the possibility of a God, maybe one thats not what the religions say he is at all...or maybe he is a little like all of them. And of course, I can also deal with the idea of no God at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 1:09:18 AM PST
LJ3d - "I don't know if I mentioned it in this thread, but I'm not convinced of God by any or all the man made religions that exist."

No, you were clear about that. I guess I'm just pushing it a bit. My point was just that I think the "God" idea has way too much presumptive deference. True, we don't know that one doesn't exist. However, if you're in an interesting philosophical discussion about the origin and nature of the universe, and you come out with "of course, I'm agnostic about Huitzilopochtli," they'll think you're pulling their leg. There is no reason to even bring up Huitzilopochtli, because, well, what does that cultural construct have to do with anything? It seems frankly silly to put that on the table, and follow it with the caveat of, "well, to be honest, we can't know that Huitzilopochtli doesn't exist." The issue isn't just whether or not we can speak knowingly of its existence, rather the idea is apropos of nothing. So when believers bring "God" to the table, I can't treat it with any more weight I'd give the speculation that Huitzilopochtli is behind this or that.

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 1:17:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012 1:17:27 AM PST
Lj3d says:
Good points, and thats the reason I don't look at any of the various religions as evidence for Gods existence assuming there is a God. It gets back to the "What religion is right" question...Huitzilopochtli? Zeus? or Christian God? That question seems to stump believers of particular Gods while others say their God is the right God.

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 1:50:34 AM PST
Purgatorius says:
And that's one of the biggest problems with the idea- there's this default assumption by believers that their god, whichever one it is, is the only possible god.

It's also one of the larger (intentional?) miscommunications between atheists and believers. When, as Richard Dawkins recently stated (yet again), that he's almost certain that there's no god but can't conclusively rule out the possibility, theists immediately assume he's talking about their god when he's actually talking about the possibility of any god whatsoever. If the subject were dogs, it's the difference between the theist talking about the pet Golden Retriever they had growing up while Richard Dawkins is talking about all members of family Canidae from the Eocene to the present.

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 2:18:33 AM PST
Calling science a religion is like calling connect four an extreme sport.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 9:27:00 AM PST
A. Caplan says:
Lj3d says:
Good points, and thats the reason I don't look at any of the various religions as evidence for Gods existence assuming there is a God. It gets back to the "What religion is right" question...Huitzilopochtli? Zeus? or Christian God? That question seems to stump believers of particular Gods while others say their God is the right God.
>There is no evidence for the existence of G-d; There is no evidence that disproves the existence of G-d. Either you believe or you do not. It is a personal decision.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 9:33:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012 9:39:21 AM PST
DonJuan says:
"No, you were clear about that. I guess I'm just pushing it a bit. My point was just that I think the "God" idea has way too much presumptive deference."

Why don't you say, "I don't know very much about religion, I probably won't really try either, and maybe I should just not talk about it, since that's the case."

Watching you write about "God" is like watching mathematicians argue about mathematics with the restriction that the only number they know is the number 1.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 9:33:46 AM PST
A. Caplan says:
Ryan Williams says: Calling science a religion is like calling connect four an extreme sport.
>Agreed. Science shares no characteristics with religion. Science cannot be used to either prove nor disprove existence of a higher power, call that power G-d or whatever. Unfortunately, some believers think that any science that is not in agreement with their particular beliefs proves that the science is wrong.
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Initial post:  Feb 14, 2012
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