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Author Topic: Is science becoming a religion?  (Read 20520 times)

another_someone

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #25 on: 24/08/2006 11:47:41 »
quote:
Originally posted by Mjhavok
Science is a method.



Certainly a valid point of view, but in that case most of what is taught as science in schools is not science at all, for what is taught is taught as fact, not as method.

Science 'facts' and scientific 'laws' are not of themselves mere methods, even if they may have been the result of such methods.



George
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #26 on: 24/08/2006 11:52:14 »
quote:
Certainly a valid point of view, but in that case most of what is taught as science in schools is not science at all, for what is taught is taught as fact, not as method.

Yes. Exactly. I find this upsetting, when I stop to think about it.
If kids were taught more about the scientific method and a little less about arbitrary facts, they'd be in a much better position to decide what they think about the stuff they're not taught about and encounter later... rather than being dependent on common sense, which mostly isn't.

quote:
Science 'facts' and scientific 'laws' are not of themselves mere methods, even if they may have been the result of such methods.

No, not methods, and not science either but the result of scientific endeavour.

 

Offline lightarrow

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #27 on: 24/08/2006 13:29:01 »
Of course science would be only a religion, if we accepted its results blindly, without even thinking about them; in that case, it wouldn't be science anylonger. But, even the very activity we are doing in this forum, asking to ourselves and to others questions about science, discussing them, controlling or verifying them with experiments or with mathematics or else, proposing doubts on the very fundations of science, makes the difference between science and religion, I think.

It's true, however, that in science we should be careful to be as aware as possible to which are our believes, our starting points (called "assumptions" or "postulates"). Only when scientists have been able to discuss and to change them, science has made the greatest leaps ahed, I think. (Note that I said: "I think", not "I believe"!).
« Last Edit: 24/08/2006 13:30:57 by lightarrow »
 

Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #28 on: 24/08/2006 21:28:00 »
quote:
Originally posted by another_someone

quote:
Originally posted by Mjhavok
Science is a method.



Certainly a valid point of view, but in that case most of what is taught as science in schools is not science at all, for what is taught is taught as fact, not as method.

Science 'facts' and scientific 'laws' are not of themselves mere methods, even if they may have been the result of such methods.



George




This is true but most of these facts are taught because  people used the scientific method or they just did many experiments and observed the results to make sure it is correct without even knowing a scientific method. Religion in my understanding doesn't have evidence to support it. I consider science to be a way of understand the universe it all its forms. Facts exist that people are taught and  learnt are not the science, it's the how these where found out that is the science. In my humble opinion :-S

That sounded so serious lol. I need a beer.


Steven
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« Last Edit: 24/08/2006 21:36:07 by Mjhavok »
 

another_someone

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #29 on: 25/08/2006 14:47:19 »
quote:
Originally posted by Mjhavok
This is true but most of these facts are taught because  people used the scientific method or they just did many experiments and observed the results to make sure it is correct without even knowing a scientific method. Religion in my understanding doesn't have evidence to support it. I consider science to be a way of understand the universe it all its forms. Facts exist that people are taught and  learnt are not the science, it's the how these where found out that is the science. In my humble opinion :-S



I don't agree at all with this.

Clearly, religion has supporting evidence, otherwise no-one would have believed it at all.  The problem is that the rigorous processes by which we currently expect to challenge evidence was absent at the time the religions originated, and that subsequently the product of the philosophical thought that lead to religion was also hijacked by politics, and distorted by a process of 'Chinese whispers'.  All of these processes of distortion are just as relevant to 'science' as it is to historic religious thought (just look at the way that 'environmentalism' is sold as being scientific fact – if fact it too is a mix of partially validated evidence and politics – but its proponents say we do not have time to wait for the evidence to be fully validated – which makes it in effect a religion).

As Rosy has also said, much of Cosmology is scarcely more scientific than the biblical stories of creation.  It is true that Cosmology is more in tune with current scientific thinking, but there can never be direct evidence for the creation of the universe, all there can be are plausible stories that are consistent with observations of the present.  The biblical stories of creation were just such plausible stories that were consistent with the then contemporary observations of their present day world.  Our understanding of our present is far more complex, so we have had to develop more complex creation myths to go with them.



George
 

Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #30 on: 26/08/2006 00:03:02 »
quote:
Originally posted by another_someone

quote:
Originally posted by Mjhavok
This is true but most of these facts are taught because people used the scientific method or they just did many experiments and observed the results to make sure it is correct without even knowing a scientific method. Religion in my understanding doesn't have evidence to support it. I consider science to be a way of understand the universe it all its forms. Facts exist that people are taught and  learnt are not the science, it's the how these where found out that is the science. In my humble opinion :-S



I don't agree at all with this.

Clearly, religion has supporting evidence, otherwise no-one would have believed it at all.  


George




Are you serious? What is the evidence that supports religion?. I have to say I disagree with you on this one George. The only reason people believed in religion in the past is because they had nothing else to describe the world in all it's splendor. After this people in power forced their religion on others who perhaps didn't have a specific religion or believed in another religion followed by a lot of death. People today believe in religion and in god because it is embedded into society handed down from our ancestors so most have been brought up with it. When you are young you believe totally what you are told until you reach a certain age and start thinking for youself you believe what you are told. By this time a child has already been taken to church/chapel/mosque whatever and told that god is all powerful and he created existance. This is very comforting even to adults that have lost loved ones.

Science accepts new evidence even if it changes fundamental laws or for want of a better word beliefs. Some people in science may challenge new evidence but if has been verified and tested many times then the masses accept it and science is forever changed and we progress.

Can you see the church changing in the same way I doubt it.

No evidence exists that proves Jesus was real and he was the son of god or that the quaran is god word.

I think there is more of a chance of finding a martian in the shape of an ass in the center of mars.

If anyone can provide me with evidence for religion or better put, the statements religions make, then I will listen.


Steven
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« Last Edit: 26/08/2006 00:06:53 by Mjhavok »
 

another_someone

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #31 on: 26/08/2006 00:49:38 »
quote:
Originally posted by Mjhavok
Are you serious?



I am serious that people are not idiots, and to convince them something is true, you have to provide some evidence.  Beyond that, it is always true that the evidence is incomplete, as it still is today – but some evidence must exist – otherwise you must assume that our ancestors were all outright idiots.

I am willing to accept they were wrong (just as we may be wrong in many things), but not that they were idiots.

quote:

 What is the evidence that supports religion?. I have to say I disagree with you on this one George. The only reason people believed in religion in the past is because they had nothing else to describe the world in all it's splendor. After this people in power forced their religion on others who perhaps didn't have a specific religion or believed in another religion followed by a lot of death. People today believe in religion and in god because it is embedded into society handed down from our ancestors so most have been brought up with it. When you are young you believe totally what you are told until you reach a certain age and start thinking for youself you believe what you are told. By this time a child has already been taken to church/chapel/mosque whatever and told that god is all powerful and he created existance. This is very comforting even to adults that have lost loved ones.



Firstly, my comments above were more directly related to the creation myths involved in religion – the issue of religious prophets or holy men or sons of God are a separate matter, although I will try and address them also.

When you look at Genesis, and its explanation of the origins of the universe, and human kind, it may seem silly by modern scientific understanding, but it is rational and consistent with the limited knowledge of the day.

Your comment about religion being forced on people is substantially true, but what the politicians wanted was not so much concerned about whether people believed the creation myths or not, but whether people would obey they religious laws, and whether they would sustain religious solidarity.

quote:

Science accepts new evidence even if it changes fundamental laws or for want of a better word beliefs. Some people in science may challenge new evidence but if has been verified and tested many times then the masses accept it and science is forever changed and we progress.

Can you see the church changing in the same way I doubt it.



Although there are definite cases of some religious sects directly challenging new evidence, but this in reality was the exception not the rule.  Not only that, but most of modern science was developed by religiously devout people (Galileo, for all his problems with the Church, was a very devout Christian, and Gregor Mendel was a monk, to say nothing of all the work done by Devout Muslims in the time when Christianity was still in the dark ages).

As I said above, generally the Church was more concerned about law than about science; but even in that respect, you can see substantial changes in the Churches attitude to many things, from religious wars to the translation of the bible into the vulgar tongues.  True, with all change, there was resistance, but the resistance was ultimately overcome.

quote:

No evidence exists that proves Jesus was real and he was the son of god or that the quaran is god word.

I think there is more of a chance of finding a martian in the shape of an ass in the center of mars.



That Jesus was real: I think there is very good evidence.

That Jesus was the 'Son of God' would have to make many assumptions that I would not make, such as regarding the existence of God himself – but these are different assumptions, and very possibly different language, to what we would use today.

The term 'God' is a very vague and nebulous term, and as such can be interpreted to mean many things to many people.  To say that God is all powerful, and must be obeyed without question; and then to say that your King is God, would scarcely seem contradictory, since in political terms your King may well be all powerful and be demanding of absolutely obedience.

If one then says that all that is is the product of God, and the power vested in your King is given by God is again not unreasonable, insofar as that is no more than to say that your King obtained power through natural processes (even if those natural processes was by force of arms – but if one says that God always dictates who should win any context, then such is not an illogical thing to say – it is just a rather alien way to say it – we would simply say that things evolve the way evolution dictates – but to us, evolution is God – it is merely a different nomenclature).

That Jesus was a political God (i.e requiring absolute obedience, and those who act in his name requiring similar obedience, subject to your accepting which body you judge to rightfully act in his name) is a subjective statement to make, but not provably wrong.  That the King of England was such by virtue of the political evolutionary process that made him so is also a reasonable statement to make, and if one substitutes for the word 'evolution' the word 'God', it changes the form of the statement, but does not invalidate it.

The comparison with Martians is not relevant, because you are demanding a physical reality, whereas the issue with regarding God are about a philosophical reality.  The creation myths were indeed demanding of a physical reality, but they were rational only within the context of the time they were used, and do not stand up to the modern understanding of the world – but equally, our own ;creation myths' may well not stand the scrutiny or our descendents, who may well have a more sophisticated understanding of their reality than anything we can comprehend today.



George
« Last Edit: 26/08/2006 00:56:32 by another_someone »
 

another_someone

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #32 on: 26/08/2006 01:26:14 »
One of the assumptions, quite reasonable as it is, is that science, as a philosophical idea, evolves just as anything else evolves.

In that respect, one also has to accept that religion also evolves, and that the notion of religion today must be very different to the way people thought about religion in the past.  In the past, there was no modern concept of political science of physical science; so religion covered much more of that territory.  In many ways, modern religion must have been substantially shaped by its ever increasing exclusion from the domains of physical science, and  its substantial weakening in the political field, and thus it had to reinforce its differences from these domains by emphasising its spiritual aspects in a way that in the past was only one small corner of what religion was.  In that respect, the very language of religion must have changed meaning over time, and it is sometimes difficult to exactly guess what nuance of meaning our ancestors would have given the words we use in the domain of religion.

It is the use of words, and the nuances of meaning, that I think make it most difficult to understand what our ancestors meant in their religious statements.  We interpret those words in their modern, and often highly spiritual, meaning – but was their historic use really as spiritual as that, or was it a more pragmatic usage that would give a much closer philosophical interpretation to our own, just with a different usage of language?



George
 

Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #33 on: 26/08/2006 01:41:39 »
I'd agree with that.

As I think i've posted on the forum before I do have a bit of a chip on my shoulder with regards to religion. I don't mean to offend anyone with my statements and hope that I don't. I just get angry at things religion interferes with like stem cell research for example. After watching Michael J Fox talk about stem cell research after the decision Geoge W. Bush made on funding for it, I was so angry. It's his religious views that have driven him to make that decision. Very frustrating. Although George W. Bush was elected by Americans it wasn't 100% in his favour. He is now 100% president and shouldn't be just following the views of the majority that got him elected. I so hope a democrat wins the next election. A bit off topic there sorry.

We still cool George? lol

Steven
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Offline thayo

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #34 on: 26/08/2006 03:31:09 »
study this hypothesis and cause it grow;
 i find out that in every possibities there is modicum of impossibility also in every impossibilities there is a possible- theis makes hang on the pieces, looking forward fo establish the law of exception. It has a universal application.

lets keep trying the untried since the birth of science innovations have been like  toy but their impacts have rocked the world
 

Offline VAlibrarian

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #35 on: 04/09/2006 03:22:49 »
MJHavok, I agree with your "chip on the shoulder" attitude regarding religious viewpoints in science. I too have been very disappointed in the delays in stem cell research in the USA due to GWBush's religious nonsense.
The current Pope is at least able to accept that Evolution is more than just a theory. But the Catholic insistence that a fertilized egg cell is the same as a human being still stands- and the papal concept that birth control is immoral has helped to saddle the third world with a crushing burden of overpopulation. Religions are based on faith. Science is not. Science is based on the idea that the belief flows from how the experiment goes, not the other way around. I am not going to argue with religious people that God does not exist. But by the same token, I do not wish for religious people to insist that they understand science better than scientists do.

Perhaps I am being overly political in this rant, but I assure you that scientists in the USA are very aware that their authority and autonomy has been chipped away by an administration that is very willing to use their work when convenient and hide it or deny it when it is inconvenient.

chris wiegard
 

another_someone

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #36 on: 04/09/2006 05:38:37 »
quote:
Originally posted by VAlibrarian
But the Catholic insistence that a fertilized egg cell is the same as a human being still stands- and the papal concept that birth control is immoral has helped to saddle the third world with a crushing burden of overpopulation. Religions are based on faith. Science is not. Science is based on the idea that the belief flows from how the experiment goes, not the other way around.



So how do you provide experimental evidence regarding morality?

What experimental evidence exists that there is indeed overpopulation in the third world (the population density in much of Africa is far less than the density in North-West Europe)?




George
 

Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #37 on: 05/09/2006 05:39:16 »
I don't know about overpopulation but it has given them a crushing burden from HIV infection.

Steven
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Offline VAlibrarian

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #38 on: 05/09/2006 22:16:52 »
Well, yes it has. I do not blame the Catholic Church for the existence of HIV, but her effort to stand in the way of condom use is another example of "knowing better" than science. Such efforts are simply immoral, though carried out in the name of defending morality.  

As for experimental data that overpopulation exists in the third world, well, large scale starvation does accompany major droughts. North America and Europe may have high population per square mile, but we are also politically more stable, well-watered, and possessing a high state of technology in farming. None of these things are common in Africa. Many would agree that the population of Africa is already high relative to the ability of natural resources and political institutions to guarantee a steady food supply. At current birth rates, the problem will get worse before it gets better.

chris wiegard
 

Offline bostjan

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #39 on: 10/09/2006 02:46:03 »
"God is dead' - Nitsche
'Nitsche is dead' - God

Science started out in ancient Greece and China as a way to learn more about nature and the human body, in order to further society.  Religion started out in the middle east and India as a way to control society.  Both have spread throughout the world very successfully.  It's no surprise that the two clash so often.  The two often claim to prove each other wrong, although no one I know of has ever changed their mind.

I think of it this way, although it may seem inflamitory- Science has brought us a cure for polio, an automobile, wireless communications, fire extinuishers, compact discs, microwave ovens, etc.  Religion has brought us a couple good books and a lot of guaruntees that haven't happened yet.  If you want to talk to God, you have to pray, since no one knows God's phone number nor email addresse.  But good luck trying to pray to get ahold of the police or fire department.  LOL

When it comes to modelling nature, science has always been more reliable than religion, but that's not really the point of religion.
 

another_someone

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #40 on: 10/09/2006 03:19:16 »
quote:
Originally posted by VAlibrarian
Well, yes it has. I do not blame the Catholic Church for the existence of HIV, but her effort to stand in the way of condom use is another example of "knowing better" than science. Such efforts are simply immoral, though carried out in the name of defending morality.



But it misses the point – science cannot know morality, it can only know logical outcomes.

The Catholic Church defends it's perception of morality – how would you judge it's notion of morality to be either superior or inferior to any other notion of morality?
 
quote:

As for experimental data that overpopulation exists in the third world, well, large scale starvation does accompany major droughts. North America and Europe may have high population per square mile, but we are also politically more stable, well-watered, and possessing a high state of technology in farming. None of these things are common in Africa. Many would agree that the population of Africa is already high relative to the ability of natural resources and political institutions to guarantee a steady food supply. At current birth rates, the problem will get worse before it gets better.



You start by making a very sensible distinction, that North America and Europe are politically more stable, but then make the wild assertion that the population of Africa is reaching the limits of its resources.  On the contrary, Africa has vast underutilisation of resources simply because the political infrastructure is lacking to fully utilise these resources (this is why the Chinese are investing so much in Africa, in the hope that they will be favoured with better access to these resources).



George
 

Offline xetho

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #41 on: 09/10/2006 23:17:08 »
quote:
Certainly a valid point of view, but in that case most of what is taught as science in schools is not science at all, for what is taught is taught as fact, not as method.

Awesome, another_someone! You're my hero. The best science teacher I ever had in K12 didn't even know the difference between greater than and less than, let alone boolean logic or the scientific method. Those were things I taught myself at 7yrs old. I ranked her the best because she encouraged curiosity. Growing up with a computer (the ol' C-64) taught me more about science than anything else.

quote:
So how do you provide experimental evidence regarding morality?

Morality Definition: "The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct."
"Standards" implies majority, "right or good" is opinion. Put those together and you have majority opinion.

"experimental evidence" which is synonymous with the Scientific Method as stated by http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node6.html [nofollow]
1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

If these definitions are true, then morality can be experimentally tested by observing the reaction of the majority of people to things.
How many people believe birth control is immoral, and how many believe promoting disease through unsafe sex is immoral. Whichever of these has the largest majority supporting it, determines morality.

In Africa the death rate is a problem, but overpopulation is too... Is it just me, or are those mutually exclusive?

...back to the main subject

Religion & Science
---------------------------

Summary & Conclusions
My hypothesis is that either language, and/or thought are fluid and comparisons may yield different results over time. I concluded there is no relation between religion and science, in general the dissimilarities in this thread were less redundant than the similarities. For the time being Theoretical Physics IS similar to a religion, until it requires less redundancy to be described as accurately as religion. (when it becomes more widely understood)

Methods
Ideal Test If every persons thoughts were compared directly, the debate could be settled.
Practical Test Thought is insubstantial and an observable medium is required. Naturally, language is a good parallel to thought, although there are some differences. I intend to analyze language in an effort to compare the similarity of thought by using the words in this thread as the experiments data.

Definitions
Accuracy is a measure of interpretability of a thought put into the fewest words.
A=T^Wm/Wt   accuracy equals thoughts to the power of minimum words that can describe the thoughts, divided by total words
Originality is the number of thoughts per word in the description.
O=T/W
Redundancy is inversely proportional to originality.
R=W/T
Dissimilarity is the difference between the minimal description of thoughts by their accuracy.
S=(Wm1-Wm2)/A1*A2
Similarity is the reciprocal of dissimilarity.
S=1/((Wm1-Wm2)/A1*A2)

Establishing Parallels
Peoples minds created language to communicate thought. How many ways could something be described accurately in words? The quantity of language used to describe things accurately, indicates language is much more redundant that thought, and thought must be expanded to be communicable. The more language redundancy, the greater the accuracy for a single thougth being conveyed.
The more original the similarities, the more likely they are related. They're less likely to be related if it requires an enormous amount of words to describe the similarities.
Effectively, the more something is discussed, the less you should need to say when comparing it to something else. When something is new, the amount of redundancy needed to describe it accurately is much greater, and this obscures wheter it is similar to other things by giving seemingly false positives.

Thread Analysis
Religion and Science aren't new and have been described often, so communication should require more originality and less redundancy than I found in the thread. Therefore there is likely no connection between the two. I suspect in the distant past, science was like religion, because it was too new to compare accurately.

Given the statment "Theoretical Physics is like a Religion". Theoretical Physics is new and most people don't know much about it yet, so it requires more redundancy to be described accurately. How well understood something is changes the results in favor of similarity. Therefore I conclude TP is like Religion. It will be at least until it isn't new, then it most likely wont be.

Later That Day...
-------------------
Me: So Professor, do I get an A?
Professor: You cheated, that bizzaro kid wrote the same thing on two dozen napkins, but had it done on time; where are the numbers supporting your hypothesis, anyway?
Me: I left them out to make it more legitimate and original by being less redundant.
Professor: Yeah, nice try.
 

Offline xetho

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #42 on: 09/10/2006 23:43:20 »
Opps, bad formula. Ah well, nobody reads those.

Dissimilarity is the difference between the minimal description of identical words, times their accuracy for describing the thought.
D=Wm1*A1-Wm2*A2

The closer D is to zero, the more similar they are.
 

another_someone

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #43 on: 11/10/2006 01:22:52 »
quote:
Originally posted by xetho
quote:
So how do you provide experimental evidence regarding morality?

Morality Definition: "The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct."
"Standards" implies majority, "right or good" is opinion. Put those together and you have majority opinion.

"experimental evidence" which is synonymous with the Scientific Method as stated by http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node6.html
1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

If these definitions are true, then morality can be experimentally tested by observing the reaction of the majority of people to things.
How many people believe birth control is immoral, and how many believe promoting disease through unsafe sex is immoral. Whichever of these has the largest majority supporting it, determines morality.



Not sure that one can equate “standards” to “majority”.

But in any case, one has to ask when you are judging popular morality, do you judge what people proclaim as their moral standpoint, or do you observe their actions?

The problem with judging what people say (apart from the fact that it often differs from what they do), is that people will often say what is expected of them, which will depend upon who is asking.

The other problem is that, contrary to what people tell you, people do not generally have a rigid and systematised moral code, but will tend to judge each situation separately from every other situation, often leading to apparent contradictions in what might be gleaned about the moral position on an issue.

Then we come to the issue of defining a majority?  Majority of what?  If one looks at the majority of the human race as a whole, that would probably give the people of China an automatic advantage against most other parts of the world.  Or are you simply talking about the majority of each social group, thus allowing different social groups to have conflicting moral codes.  Clearly, in the real world, different cultures do have different moral codes, but this will inevitably lead to conflicts where those different cultures come into contact with each other.

Certainly, you are right that one can make an observational study of people's codes of conduct (both their publicly stated code of conduct, and the code by which they actually live their lives), but this cannot tell you how you should live your life, it can only tell you how others (the particular group you are studying) live their lives.

quote:

In Africa the death rate is a problem, but overpopulation is too... Is it just me, or are those mutually exclusive?



Insofar as if both statements were true, then the solution to one problem must aggravate the other problem, then the two issue are contradictory.

Whether both, or either, statement is true is highly subjective.  Personally, I see there being a problem with the death rate, but that problem is probably based upon what has become an acceptable norm within my own society.  I do not consider the latter to be true, although I do accept that one argue that if there was absolutely no-one alive in Africa, then we would have no death rate to worry about.

In fact, one may even argue that the low density of population in much of Africa exacerbates the infrastructure problems.  It is true that Africa has serious problems providing services for its expanding urban communities, but it has even greater problems providing services (and in particular, security) for its isolated rural communities.

There is no doubt that Africa has as yet vast untapped and underutilised resources, and if they had an infrastructure on par with anything Europe or America has, it would easily be able to sustain populations far greater than it does at present.

But, ofcourse, this makes assumptions about the level of infrastructure that is theoretically possible, and if one removes those assumptions, one might indeed say that Africa, in general, cannot support its present population levels, and hence causing the death rates that it has (not so much though starvation, although that too is a problem, but more through lack of security – i.e. it has a population that it cannot protect).

quote:

Religion & Science
---------------------------

Summary & Conclusions
My hypothesis is that either language, and/or thought are fluid and comparisons may yield different results over time. I concluded there is no relation between religion and science, in general the dissimilarities in this thread were less redundant than the similarities. For the time being Theoretical Physics IS similar to a religion, until it requires less redundancy to be described as accurately as religion. (when it becomes more widely understood)

Methods
Ideal Test If every persons thoughts were compared directly, the debate could be settled.
Practical Test Thought is insubstantial and an observable medium is required. Naturally, language is a good parallel to thought, although there are some differences. I intend to analyze language in an effort to compare the similarity of thought by using the words in this thread as the experiments data.

Definitions
Accuracy is a measure of interpretability of a thought put into the fewest words.
A=T^Wm/Wt   accuracy equals thoughts to the power of minimum words that can describe the thoughts, divided by total words
Originality is the number of thoughts per word in the description.
O=T/W
Redundancy is inversely proportional to originality.
R=W/T
Dissimilarity is the difference between the minimal description of thoughts by their accuracy.
S=(Wm1-Wm2)/A1*A2
Similarity is the reciprocal of dissimilarity.
S=1/((Wm1-Wm2)/A1*A2)

Establishing Parallels
Peoples minds created language to communicate thought. How many ways could something be described accurately in words? The quantity of language used to describe things accurately, indicates language is much more redundant that thought, and thought must be expanded to be communicable. The more language redundancy, the greater the accuracy for a single thougth being conveyed.
The more original the similarities, the more likely they are related. They're less likely to be related if it requires an enormous amount of words to describe the similarities.
Effectively, the more something is discussed, the less you should need to say when comparing it to something else. When something is new, the amount of redundancy needed to describe it accurately is much greater, and this obscures wheter it is similar to other things by giving seemingly false positives.

Thread Analysis
Religion and Science aren't new and have been described often, so communication should require more originality and less redundancy than I found in the thread. Therefore there is likely no connection between the two. I suspect in the distant past, science was like religion, because it was too new to compare accurately.

Given the statment "Theoretical Physics is like a Religion". Theoretical Physics is new and most people don't know much about it yet, so it requires more redundancy to be described accurately. How well understood something is changes the results in favor of similarity. Therefore I conclude TP is like Religion. It will be at least until it isn't new, then it most likely wont be.

Later That Day...
-------------------
Me: So Professor, do I get an A?
Professor: You cheated, that bizzaro kid wrote the same thing on two dozen napkins, but had it done on time; where are the numbers supporting your hypothesis, anyway?
Me: I left them out to make it more legitimate and original by being less redundant.
Professor: Yeah, nice try.



Lots of interesting ideas, although I disagree with some of your axioms.

Firstly, and most profoundly, your statement that “Redundancy is inversely proportional to originality”.

Language is highly redundant, but the purpose of redundancy is in the first place to provide error correction (i.e. if you happen to hear half of what is said, you can still make a fairly good attempt at reconstructing the other half).

Given that, the more unexpected the ideas being stated, the more one requires a healthy degree of error correction.  Language is not only about listening to what is being said, but also about prediction and expectation.  If what you are saying conforms fairly much to what the listener is expecting you to say, then you can reduce the amount of redundancy in what is being said; but if you are about to contradict the listeners expectation, then it is all the more important that you include that redundancy lest the listener starts hearing what he expected to hear rather than what you have intended him to hear.
quote:

The quantity of language used to describe things accurately, indicates language is much more redundant that thought, and thought must be expanded to be communicable.



This I would agree with, although I am not sure if we agree about the reason for this.

As I said, the redundancy in language is (at least in part) to do with error tolerance.  When the thoughts remain inside your own head, there is less opportunity for error, and so less need to error resilience brought about by redundancy.

I said it is in part due to error resilience, because language has many other social functions that have more to do with the relationship between the speaker and the listener than it actually has to do with the information the speaker wishes to convey.

quote:

Methods
Ideal Test If every persons thoughts were compared directly, the debate could be settled.
Practical Test Thought is insubstantial and an observable medium is required. Naturally, language is a good parallel to thought, although there are some differences. I intend to analyze language in an effort to compare the similarity of thought by using the words in this thread as the experiments data.



This assumes that language and thought are actually different things.

Certainly, we have both accepted that language carries with it redundancy, but if one strips away that extra layer of protocol, have we actually ascertained that language and thought are really different.

Maybe the most obvious case where they are clearly the same is in the realm of mathematics.  Mathematics is a language, but it is also the accurate reflection of the abstract ideas they portray.  The question is: does a mathematician think in mathematical terms, and thus demonstrating that there is no dividing line between thought and language; or does a mathematician think in some other manner, and then translate his thoughts into the language of mathematics?

Or, to put the question another way: is it possible to have mathematical thought in the absence of mathematical language?  Did mathematical thought and mathematical language codevelop, or did mathematical thought exist before the advent of mathematical language?

I think a lot of what you are trying to say about redundancy in language, and its relationship to thought, would be better expressed in information theory, and how much language one needs to utilise to convey a piece of information.  Information theory is a well established science, albeit quite complicated.  It is not clear to me how you relate thought and information, but I am assuming you are regarding them as in some way similar, or closely related.

quote:

Establishing Parallels
Peoples minds created language to communicate thought. How many ways could something be described accurately in words? The quantity of language used to describe things accurately, indicates language is much more redundant that thought, and thought must be expanded to be communicable. The more language redundancy, the greater the accuracy for a single thougth being conveyed.



People did not create language to express thoughts – at least, not abstract thoughts.

Language started out as a series of calls to denote real situations (e.g. food, danger).  Language become more complex, and complex thought codeveloped with it.  I do not believe it is possible for someone who has never learnt a language that contains abstract notions to think consciously in abstract terms.  I believe the two are codependent, rather than language merely being an addition to thought.

quote:

They're less likely to be related if it requires an enormous amount of words to describe the similarities.



I don't think you are correct to say they are less likely to be related if they require a lot of words to express their similarities, although it is reasonable to argue to an extent, but only to an extent, that the more words you need to describe their similarities the more distant their relationship (but that is different from assessing the likelihood of there being a relationship at all).

But then, one also has to balance this against the way language itself changes.  If a group of people regularly express ideas regarding the similarity of two concepts, it is likely that in a fairly short period of time they will start to develop a more compact language to express those similarities.  Does that mean that over time the two ideas have become more closely related, or is it merely a measure of the nature of the discussions undertaken, and the demands those discussions have placed upon the language, causing an evolution of the language?

quote:

Thread Analysis
Religion and Science aren't new and have been described often, so communication should require more originality and less redundancy than I found in the thread. Therefore there is likely no connection between the two. I suspect in the distant past, science was like religion, because it was too new to compare accurately.

Given the statment "Theoretical Physics is like a Religion". Theoretical Physics is new and most people don't know much about it yet, so it requires more redundancy to be described accurately. How well understood something is changes the results in favor of similarity. Therefore I conclude TP is like Religion. It will be at least until it isn't new, then it most likely wont be.



Theoretical physics is far from new – in fact, all science depends upon a base laid down by theory.  What I suspect you are saying is that modern theories of cosmology are fairly new, but they are still older than I am   Although clearly cosmology, like all science, is a constantly developing field, but the Big Bang was first proposed in 1927 – plenty of time for language to accommodate it.

What I think is more pertinent is the politics behind science and religion.  Scientists and theologians do not desire to communicate on the same terms, and each wishes to emphasise the difference it has to the other, and so there has not been a substantial demand placed upon the language to develop a common vocabulary between them, or to develop a compact vocabulary that would describe their similarities.



George
 

Offline roarer

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #44 on: 11/10/2006 02:09:35 »
I have not read ALL the above posts as I have not the time. I have the time however to give my opinion.
Religion( and here I am referring to moral religions not the ONE Razak referred to) is a form of extreme perception which is based on....HEARSAY
Science however is TRUTH. It is not fallible.....however the fact that it relies solely on EVIDENTIAL circumstances....is commendable. There is a huge difference therefore...and it can be easily recognised, between a scientific analyses...and that of a religious analyses
« Last Edit: 11/10/2006 02:12:50 by roarer »
 

Offline VAlibrarian

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #45 on: 16/10/2006 02:16:40 »
HEARSAY- yes that is a good point. If science were to do an analysis of Jesus' resurrection, it would emply DNA comparisons, high speed photography, etc. For Christianity, it is adequate for someone to write down an account of him appearing to Mary Magdalene and the other disciples 2000 years ago.

This is not to say that one is right and one is wrong. We are all free to make our individual decisions on that. But the fact remains, both objectives and methods differ on a basic level between religion and science. Pretending otherwise is sophistry.

chris wiegard
 

Offline na zdrowie

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #46 on: 13/01/2016 01:26:32 »
Science is very much based on fact but you need to understand the understanding of it all to understand it.

Religion is not a science. It's a faith. Hundreds of faiths on this little plant. Lots of religions, no concrete facts, but complete faith.

 

Offline Phractality

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #47 on: 13/01/2016 15:24:37 »
Science is a method designed to eliminate false religious beliefs. Unfortunately, we still have high priests masquerading as scientists and persuading Congress that what they are establishing is not religion, which it is.

Where is the scientific method in the Big Bang liturgy? It's all based on extrapolating physical "laws", which cannot be tested beyond the scale of the solar system and which are assumed to be valid at all times and places.

Scientists discover physical laws which are valid wherever and whenever they have been tested. Priests declare that they are valid everywhere and for all time. Logic, not scientific method, is applied to those laws to derive a history of creation and destruction.
 

Offline Alohascope

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Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #48 on: 14/01/2016 19:42:01 »
All science becomes a religion once Consensus sets in.  The believers worship their own intellect and superiority .. their own image .. their own 'truth.'  That state of course greatly hinders science.  Real scientists have been burned at the stake .. fired (haha pun in there) .. demoted .. left unpublished .. etc.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Is science becoming a religion?
« Reply #48 on: 14/01/2016 19:42:01 »

 

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