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Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« on: 28/01/2010 18:00:35 »
Are all Scientists atheists?  Using the Scientific Method, I can find no reason to believe in any religion nor in any God.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan


 

Offline Bored chemist

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #1 on: 28/01/2010 19:11:15 »
I'm inclined to agree with you , but you need to define "scientist" and "atheist".
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #2 on: 28/01/2010 19:16:45 »
Dictionary definition for each.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #3 on: 28/01/2010 19:18:43 »
Dictionary definition for each.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline Don_1

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #4 on: 28/01/2010 23:18:16 »
Not all scientists are atheists, not all atheists are scientists.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #5 on: 29/01/2010 04:26:46 »
Ermm... there are dozens of cases of observed speciation

"proven" is a word that really only strictly applies to maths, but for all practical purposes, evolution is proven fact.

I agree that there is no rational reason for belief in a deity
« Last Edit: 29/01/2010 04:29:42 by Madidus_Scientia »
 

Offline Geezer

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #6 on: 29/01/2010 06:17:27 »
Don't you think "atheist" is such a loaded word? To me it suggests "someone who does not believe in something that is obvious, even to the most casual observer". I suspect it was invented by a theist.

Could we not turn things around and create a word with an "a" on the front for those who want to believe what others want them to believe, and another word, without an "a" on the front, for those who form their own conclusions.

Only sayin'
 

Offline Geezer

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #7 on: 29/01/2010 06:26:23 »
Not all scientists are atheists, not all atheists are scientists.

According to Set Theory, that means some atheists are not atheists and some scientists are not scientists.

I wonder if anyone will take the bait.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #8 on: 29/01/2010 07:15:07 »
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Don't you think "atheist" is such a loaded word?

Yeah I do, usually you call someone by what they practice instead of what they don't practice. You don't call someone who doesn't collect stamps a non-stamp collector, you don't call a christian a hinduism rejectionist.

Thunderf00t discusses this point here

He calls himself a "PEARList", Physical Evidence And Reasoned Logic - ist. But I reckon "Rationalist" would do.

Actually most religious people are 99.9% athiests themselves, out of the thousands of religions and gods they only accept one. Athiests/Pearlists/Rationalists just accept one less.
 

Offline Don_1

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #9 on: 29/01/2010 13:20:29 »
Not all scientists are atheists, not all atheists are scientists.

According to Set Theory, that means some atheists are not atheists and some scientists are not scientists.

I wonder if anyone will take the bait.

I've got a headache now.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #10 on: 30/01/2010 02:12:51 »
Sure, there's a whole page of them here http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

some more here http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

And that's not all of them, a case I remembered about frogs here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1702375/
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #11 on: 30/01/2010 02:47:26 »
Let's not mess around. Why would anyone try to deny the evidence for evolution?

I think there can only be one reason: They refuse to accept that humans and apes have a common ancestor.

I think this might be because they want to believe that humans are, in some way "special". I would counter that, if we are "special", apparently we are not doing a very good job.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #12 on: 30/01/2010 02:56:57 »
Indeed. If you take the time to learn about it the evidence really is overwhelming.

I think another possible reason Geezer is that understanding evolution might fill a gap in understanding in a persons head that was previously filled with "God did it" and religious people don't want to lose that ground.

Anyway I realised before that you couldn't really use 'rationalist' or 'Pearlist' to better describe atheists because although all rationalists are atheists not all atheists are rationalists
« Last Edit: 30/01/2010 07:57:19 by Madidus_Scientia »
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #13 on: 30/01/2010 08:03:49 »
Might just have to settle for skeptic then. I think I'll try that next time somebody asks.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #14 on: 30/01/2010 12:07:08 »
Besides, describing yourself as a PEARList, Bright, or rational is really quite biased - it automatically implies that people who have faith are dumb, blind, or in some way intellectually diminished. It's unhelpful when trying to have a meaningful discussion, because it automatically makes people more likely to be defensive or offensive, & that makes it about the person rather than the argument itself.

Science can say nothing about a creator. It is an untestable hypothesis. It is outside the realm of science to answer, just like it is outside the realm of religion to answer the question, "What is the mechanism for photosynthesis?".

It is conceivable that we are just in a programmed virtual world. In that case, there would be a creator.

I bet he's having a right laugh.

I don't see why atheist/theist isn't perfectly acceptable. Keep them as neutral words, & they will remain so to whoever you talk to, provided you give a good explanation of why they should be neutral if challenged.

So, to the original poster, you can use science as evidence of God. Some people do. It was popular a couple of centuries back to do so. It still is, in the form of Intelligent Design. I dislike how they muddy science, but a religion must stay adaptable if it is to survive. The principles of evolution tell us that much ;)

Trying to find God using the scientific method does not show God doesn't exist - it shows the limitations of the scientific method (& they are there for a good reason! Don't shoot me!) in trying to find the truth. This is because God is unfalsifiable - if he exists in this Universe, but we cannot find him, absence of proof is not proof of absence. If he is in another Universe or somewhere crazy like a 16th dimension, we will also not be able to find him. Faith can mean many things, but it is not the opposite of science. Science is to religion as a camel is to a wombat. They have different functions, different reasons for existing.

I'm an agnostic atheist myself. There is no evidence that I can see for God, but I appreciate other people may have access to evidence I don't.
« Last Edit: 30/01/2010 12:14:20 by glovesforfoxes »
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #15 on: 30/01/2010 12:40:12 »
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Science can say nothing about a creator.

A better way of saying this is that the burden of proof of a creator is not on science, but on whoever claims its existence.

If I put forward the belief that there is a celestial teapot somewhere in the solar system but it is so small we could never find it, you would think I was just being silly. But you can't prove me wrong! Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, after all.

But why would you believe me unless I could produce some actual reasoning/evidence for my belief?

Quote
you can use science as evidence of God. Some people do. It was popular a couple of centuries back to do so. It still is, in the form of Intelligent Design.

No, you might pretend to use science as evidence of god, but intelligent design is not science.

If we were intelligently designed then why would the nerve fibres that carry information from our retina to the brain pass in front of the retina, partially impeding the light that gets to the retina in the first place? Why would we have an appendix, an organ which seems to have no use other than to on occasion kill us if not removed? Why would we have goosebumps? Darwin's tubercle? The list of questions such as these could go on forever.
« Last Edit: 30/01/2010 13:23:04 by Madidus_Scientia »
 

Offline graham.d

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #16 on: 30/01/2010 18:32:22 »
"flap their gums" ??

Translation please :-)
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #17 on: 30/01/2010 18:41:04 »
Francis S Collins, MD PhD, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, said:
Quote
I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views.

Myself, I grew up with both religion and science, I deeply appreciate them both, they serve two separate purposes in life, I wouldn't want it any other way, and I find very little conflict with them.

For people who do see a conflict with it, American author F Scott Fitzgerald said:
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The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

This is what the Psychologists call compartmentalization.  Just a thought.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
I do it all the time.  For example, I think I'm a scientist, but no one will hire me.  ;)
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #18 on: 31/01/2010 02:42:29 »
I'm saying that "speciation" (and "species"!) are still very much fuzzy matters ... even for (or, especially for) evolutionary biologists.  And this is where "popular science" peddled by the media and schools differs from the "tire-meets-the-road science".  As I said somewhere else on this forum, real scientists will admit that there's plenty of wrinkles and gaps in science.   

Of course there's wrinkles and gaps, that's what science is about, finding what's in them. But you just told me before that speciation had never been observed, when it most definitely has. So it seems that the "popular science" is either lagging behind or is being intentionally altered on the way from "tyre meets the road" to "popular"

It may be hard to determine exacly when in the past 2 or more different species started to diverge from a single species, but it is easy to see that somewhere along the line they have. And we can see it happening first hand in species that are alive today.

But you don't even need to see first hand something happening to know it happened. If you see footprints in the mud you know that an animal has walked that way. Now sure, maybe the footprints spontaneously formed, maybe an "intelligent designer" put the footprints there just to trick you into thinking an animal walked past, but you can be 99.99999999999% sure that they're just animal footprints.

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The science one conducts in the laboratory has almost nothing to do with any religious belief.


What if you're studying abiogenesis?
« Last Edit: 31/01/2010 02:54:22 by Madidus_Scientia »
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #19 on: 31/01/2010 02:54:34 »
And with the big bang, it's a common reaction from people to scoff and say "pffft, how do they know that?" If they ask this with a curious attitude instead of a dissmissive attitude they might actually learn something. Science doesn't just come up with this stuff from nowhere.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #20 on: 31/01/2010 05:27:41 »
Ok, so there's debate about the specifics of speciation, not whether speciation happens.
 

Offline NothaShrubry

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Are all Scientists atheists?
« Reply #21 on: 31/01/2010 18:18:28 »
Quote
Don't you think "atheist" is such a loaded word?

Yeah I do, usually you call someone by what they practice instead of what they don't practice. You don't call someone who doesn't collect stamps a non-stamp collector, you don't call a christian a hinduism rejectionist.

What about the word "virgin"?

Words which define people by NOT doing something tend to be "loaded" because they also imply a valuation of that choice. For example, historically, being a virgin was seen as good, hence associations such as wearing white at a wedding and imagery of pureness and sinlessness. In modern culture, being a virgin can also be considered as a put-down, or an indication of inadequacy, depending upon the social standpoint of the observer.

"Atheist" carries similar connotations. It is usually portrayed in a negative light: "unbeliever/rejector", but can also be interpreted by those who would describe themselves thus as a postive label: it allows the people who do not to belong to a category by escaping one.

Personally, I find this very contradictory. I don't like being categorised. I am an atheist, but one of the reasons I am atheist is because I reject the principle of organised religion (on my FB page I categorise my religion as "Anti-Markovnikov"). "Organised religion" seems itself contradictory because to me the spiritual side pertains to an individual and although people should share and discuss their beliefs it seems to me a fundamental violation to uniformitise them. Then again, I don't for one moment believe that people do not hold individual spiritual beliefs within organised religions despite them.
 

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Are all Scientists atheists?
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