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Author Topic: Is science replacing religion?  (Read 3020 times)

Offline thedoc

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Is science replacing religion?
« on: 06/10/2016 22:53:02 »
David asked the Naked Scientists:
   Is Science replacing Religion as a new means of belief?

In other words, Science proving religion has no place in regards to life, the planet and the Universe?

or

Is religions only purpose and function based on the belief of an after-world as a way of softening the prospect of death? (although, I believe it is more to do with social control of a large population).
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 06/10/2016 22:53:02 by _system »


 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #1 on: 07/10/2016 19:22:27 »
There is such a wide variety of religions that it is difficult to identify any common characteristic except that each one teaches you to despise adherents to all the others. Science teaches you to work from observation, not prejudice, and is therefore more likely to bring happiness to the world.

Unfortunately science seems to be in retreat as more and more of the world is ruled by hatred, loathing and contempt, or the irrational dogma of economic expansion. The unholy alliance of Trump-Putin  will inevitably conflict with the disgusting side of islam and civilisation is doomed.
 

Offline Semaphore

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #2 on: 07/10/2016 20:47:27 »
I always think of science as illuminating a dark room, first with a candle, then with an oil lamp, then with a 12V bulb - and now we have floodlights. There's very little room for a god to survive.

Religion was always about crowd control, wasn't it? Promise people (sheeple?) something that costs you nothing - heaven or paradise - and threaten them with something that costs you nothing - hell - and make sure you indoctrinate them from an early age, and that's job done.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #3 on: 07/10/2016 21:28:18 »
"Imagine"

Imagine there's no heaven
 It's easy if you try
 No hell below us
 Above us only sky
 Imagine all the people
 Living for today... Aha-ah...

 Imagine there's no countries
 It isn't hard to do
 Nothing to kill or die for
 And no religion, too
 Imagine all the people
 Living life in peace... You...

 You may say I'm a dreamer
 But I'm not the only one
 I hope someday you'll join us
 And the world will be as one

 Imagine no possessions
 I wonder if you can
 No need for greed or hunger
 A brotherhood of man
 Imagine all the people
 Sharing all the world... You...

 You may say I'm a dreamer
 But I'm not the only one
 I hope someday you'll join us
 And the world will live as one
 

Offline Semaphore

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #4 on: 07/10/2016 21:46:53 »
I used to work in finance, and religion is a decent business model - though rather different from the ones I was used to. No engineering or manufacturing costs, but plenty of investment in marketing, sales and facilities. Sales incentive programs like saints, relics and miracles. Revenue growth would be a problem without growing the business, hence crusades/colonialisation/population growth (no birth control) - but look how rich most religions are, so it clearly works well. Way to go.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #5 on: 07/10/2016 23:38:11 »
Science is all about scepticism and disprovable hypotheses. Religion, politics, conjuring and advertising are about gullibility and nondisprovable hypotheses.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #6 on: 08/10/2016 02:18:52 »
The world-wide occurrence of religion suggests that it confers a significant evolutionary advantage (or at least, it did in the past).

In addition to the negative outcomes quoted above, some have suggested that religion promotes social bonding, an agreed mode of behavior, and an incentive to overcome our darker impulses in favor of a more altruistic outlook. A belief in god enforces a touch of humility, does something to overcome the common aspiration to become "top dog", and encourages people to look beyond the immediate surroundings in which they find themselves.

The hormone oxytocin also promotes social bonding, between mother and baby, and within families. Some people started calling it a "love drug" - until it was discovered that in larger doses it promotes xenophobia (fear of outsiders) and aggression.

At this stage, science does not seem to promote social cohesion (except, perhaps, among scientists themselves); at best, science seems to promote people heading off on independent tracks. For every scientific paper you can point to another which presents an alternative view. This makes it very hard to translate scientific findings into social policy. The FUD vendors (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) have managed to derail public action on smoking, asbestos & climate change for decades, even after the evidence became overwhelming. 


But perhaps the most difficult part of translating scientific findings (or religious beliefs) into law is that this process is governed by politicians, a class who (to some extent) do think that they should be "top dog". And this group is not selected based on scientific or mathematical (or even logical) literacy. Listening to some politicians with a scientific background, it seems that the main barrier is the essential aura of infallibility - that they cannot make (or even be seen to make) an error. Scientific concepts like "This sounds like a good idea, let's trial it, and see if it works" is totally alien and abhorrent, because it may reveal a chink in their aura of omniscience.

If you focus on some of the early work on evolution, you may conclude that the world is a "dog eat dog" place, where the golden rule is "Do to others before they do you", and the only solution is for you to become "top dog", with all the aggression that entails. 

In more recent times, there has been a lot of research on the origins and basis of altruism, which show that there is a continual competition between immediate gratification and longer-term success which plays out at the level of individuals, families, nations and the whole world.

Our interactions, at the level of the individual, families, cities, nations and the world are not a zero-sum game.
 

Offline Semaphore

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #7 on: 08/10/2016 10:46:26 »
I'm sure that religion did provide an evolutionary benefit by bonding the tribe together, which is exactly what we don't need now. The ideas of democracy, equality for women and minorities, freedom of expression and all the other things that people now expect are pretty much opposed to what most religions teach, which is why there has been a gradual move away from faith in some countries at least. Maybe the OP should ask if science is disproving some religious teachings while democracy and its associated ideas are replacing others. We should, after all this time, finally be in the age of reason.
 

Offline Tim the Plumber

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #8 on: 08/10/2016 11:14:01 »
David asked the Naked Scientists:
   Is Science replacing Religion as a new means of belief?

In other words, Science proving religion has no place in regards to life, the planet and the Universe?

or

Is religions only purpose and function based on the belief of an after-world as a way of softening the prospect of death? (although, I believe it is more to do with social control of a large population).
What do you think?

Whilst I woul dlike to think that scientific thinking is replacing religious dogma I find there are a lot of areas where the dogma of religion is used, with scientific words, to support wrong headed bad science.
 

Offline tkadm30

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #9 on: 08/10/2016 11:53:56 »
Whilst I woul dlike to think that scientific thinking is replacing religious dogma I find there are a lot of areas where the dogma of religion is used, with scientific words, to support wrong headed bad science.

I agree. Climate changes is becoming a new religion. By engineering the climate, we can now create artificial rain and snow to force peoples changing their behavior and attitude. But the reality is that God doesn't play the dices with its creations. The risks of climate engineering in creating planetary havoc will be a human error listening to bad science instead of their own consciousness.
 

Offline puppypower

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #10 on: 08/10/2016 12:10:07 »
I don't think science is replacing religion, since each specialized for a different thing. Science is about the outer world, whereas religion is about the inner world.

Science can come up wth important discoveries that can help humanity. But science can also make better bombs, weapons, military grade virus, machines that strip the earth, or technology that can make greenhouse gases, which then make some people paranoid. Religion is there to help people regulate their feelings and impulses, so science can be used more the good than for bad.

Religion does make use of mind control, since religion is about regulating the inner world. This is good practice, since political parties, media and marketeers also use mind control. Usually the latter, do this for short term gain using emotional manipulation and misinformation. Religion provides a checks and balance geared to the needs of the natural inner man. For example, PC manipulates feelings based on placing sounds and noises in the role of god. It places subjectivity ahead of the objectivity taught by science. Religion will help science by saying, these are false gods created by man. These noises have no universal power common to all people. Based on PC, you cannot do objective science, if your research makes the wrong noise.

As another example of mind control, the Democratic presidential candidate does not run on her merits; cause and affect. Instead, they make use of a relative reference illusion. The goal is to pile enough mud on her opponent, to make the other candidate look smaller, so she, without changing anything about her record, can appear to rise above (as the other sinks).

Relative reference, as taught by science, when misused, makes her base vulnerable to this magic trick. Religion does not believe in relative reference, but believes in an absolute reference, and therefore those in religion are less easily conned by relative reference illusions; mud slinging. Mudslinging places subjectivity ahead of objectivity; away from science. Only records are objectively recorded. Religion would teach it members to turn the other cheek, thereby neutralizing the subjective induction, so the victim can remain like a scientist. It will also teach, forgiveness of sin, so the herd does not go subjective and can remain as the scientist.
« Last Edit: 08/10/2016 12:29:19 by puppypower »
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #11 on: 08/10/2016 15:45:29 »
There is much in this thread that I read and think: “If only that were true, the world would be a much better place.”  It’s very easy to contrast good science with bad religion, or bad science with good religion.  We probably all do it at times, just to make our favourite points.

Perhaps it is nearer to reality to reason that there is no such thing as good or bad religion, or good or bad science; only good or bad people using both for their own purposes.

Take this thought a little further, though, and we may find that Jean Liedloff was right and there are no villains -  “just victims of victims.”
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #12 on: 08/10/2016 15:58:47 »
Quote
In addition to the negative outcomes quoted above, some have suggested that religion promotes social bonding, an agreed mode of behavior, and an incentive to overcome our darker impulses in favor of a more altruistic outlook. A belief in god enforces a touch of humility,

Would that be the religion of "an eye for an eye", the Inquisition, or "Make war on those who have received the Scriptures [Jews and Christians] but do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day" ? Does humility include the Divine Right of Kings?
 

Offline wheelMetal

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #13 on: 08/10/2016 16:51:52 »
Do remember that behind the Science, is made up of human, and human is prone to bias.... or human is born to believe.

Example from the Wright Bros, despite public demonstration of human flight, the scientific authorities & US Army & the media dismissed it as hoax (and probably even mock the bros) without examining the evidence. It was only until President Theodore Roosevelt, an even higher authority stepped in, ordered the Army and scientific press to look at the reality..... somehow in this case of "heavier than air flying machine", science became a religion where majority of people choose to believe it is not possible, instead of doing what Science is supposed to do, "explore the possibilities".

A rather interesting case, even the "conservation of energy" also had its fair share of reject from the Scientific Authorities of that time, probably because Julius von Mayer was a nobody, so his scientific papers on the subject was largely ignored. In fact later the credit was given to someone else, and with other misfall caused him to nearly committed suicide.
 

Offline Semaphore

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #14 on: 08/10/2016 17:04:35 »
There is much in this thread that I read and think: “If only that were true, the world would be a much better place.”  It’s very easy to contrast good science with bad religion, or bad science with good religion.  We probably all do it at times, just to make our favourite points.

Perhaps it is nearer to reality to reason that there is no such thing as good or bad religion, or good or bad science; only good or bad people using both for their own purposes.

Take this thought a little further, though, and we may find that Jean Liedloff was right and there are no villains -  “just victims of victims.”
I think there is definately bad religion, which tries to regulate birth control and demonise gay people, or which relegates women to second-class citizens and demonises gay people, and that's just two of the major ones. ISIS anyone?

Science is neither good nor bad, just the search for truth.

No villains? Hitler and Stalin were just victims then....
 

Offline tkadm30

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #15 on: 08/10/2016 17:48:21 »
I think there is definately bad religion, which tries to regulate birth control and demonise gay people, or which relegates women to second-class citizens and demonises gay people, and that's just two of the major ones. ISIS anyone?

BTW, the war on terror and "ISIS" are a fabrication of globalists think tank to destabilize sovereign regimes from having their own nationality and religion. While I agree that some religions used to create violent conflicts, it is the militarization of science and military technology that needs to be replaced, not religions. Please do not let this thread fall into the ideological advocacy of the new world order. Religions are part of human nature and science must not become a tool to promote religious beliefs.     
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #16 on: 08/10/2016 19:44:11 »
The world-wide occurrence of religion suggests that it confers a significant evolutionary advantage (or at least, it did in the past).

That's a plausible interpretation, but I think that it only shows that religion, once established, is an enduring social construct (meme, in the Dawkinsonian sense). I once likened the religion to the shark, and I still like the analogy. Like the shark, it is very old, and hasn't changed very much since, but it really hasn't needed to adapt to much. The religions that exist now (with the exception of recent "cults" that have yet to establish themselves as religions) do an excellent job of surviving, passing on their idea(l)s and limiting the expansion of their competitors.
 

Offline Semaphore

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #17 on: 08/10/2016 20:08:14 »
Sharks kill people.....
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #18 on: 08/10/2016 21:04:31 »
Sharks kill people.....

and people kill sharks, and people kill people, and sharks kill sharks..... :-)

My analogy was not intended to indicate that religion is dangerous to people, rather that it is a very well adapted meme that is firmly intrenched in most (if not all) of our societies.
 

Offline Semaphore

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #19 on: 08/10/2016 21:47:14 »
I think your analogy is very apt. Religion is very well adapted and very dangerous to people.

Look, we're just one stage removed from animals and we're still trying to throw off our bestial nature. We've invented democracy and human rights and justice and equality and science and a host of other things that make us more civilised. The last thing we need is a primitive throwback like religion to keep us chained in the old ways. It's already dying out in Europe and more slowly in the States, and if there was a way to prevent the indoctrination of children it would die out very quickly.
« Last Edit: 08/10/2016 21:51:06 by Semaphore »
 

Offline Conigman

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #20 on: 09/10/2016 05:16:46 »
No its not. Science answers one form of inquiry while religion answer another inquiry.

To say it is replacing it is to confuse agency against mechanism.

Five rational beliefs that cannot be proven by science:

Logical and mathematical truths cannot be proven by science.  Science presupposes logic and math; to try to prove them by science would be arguing in a circle.

Metaphysical truths such as that there are other minds other than my own or that the external world is real or that the past wasn’t created five minutes ago with the appearance of age.

Ethical beliefs about statements of value are not accessible by the scientific method.  You can’t show by science whether the Nazi scientists did anything in the camps that is evil as opposed to the scientists in western democracies.

Aesthetic judgments cannot be accessed by the scientific method because the beautiful, like the good, cannot be scientifically proven.

Science itself.  Science cannot be justified by the scientific method.  Science is permeated by improvable assumptions.  For example, in the special theory of relativity, the whole theory hinges on the assumption that the speed of light is constant in a one-way direction from point A to point B, it must be assumed.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #21 on: 09/10/2016 10:26:09 »
Logical and mathematical truths cannot be proven by science.  Science presupposes logic and math; to try to prove them by science would be arguing in a circle.
Uses, not presupposes. The test is in  experiment, not calculation.

Quote
Metaphysical truths such as that there are other minds other than my own or that the external world is real or that the past wasn’t created five minutes ago with the appearance of age.
A statement is not a truth. Demonstrations of forward causality suggest that the past goes back a long way, and radioactive decay suggests it is continuous. Only Health & Safety Executive inspectors think the laws of physics vary from day to day and place to place. If there were no other mind but yours, who would be arguing with you right now?

Quote
Ethical beliefs about statements of value are not accessible by the scientific method.  You can’t show by science whether the Nazi scientists did anything in the camps that is evil as opposed to the scientists in western democracies.
No problem. 1.Define evil. 2. Look at the evidence of what was done. And don't ever forget that Nazi Germany was a democracy - ask Donald Trump! 

Quote
Aesthetic judgments cannot be accessed by the scientific method because the beautiful, like the good, cannot be scientifically proven.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Ask the beholder.

Quote
Science itself.  Science cannot be justified by the scientific method.  Science is permeated by improvable assumptions.  For example, in the special theory of relativity, the whole theory hinges on the assumption that the speed of light is constant in a one-way direction from point A to point B, it must be assumed.
Never mind "justified" - that's an ethical or emotional judgement. And a working assumption is nothing to be ashamed of. What matters in science is whether your hypothesis stands up to experimental scrutiny, and SR seems to do so remarkably well. In such cases, either we have been extremely lucky in assembling an enormous random set of assumptions, or they were actually correct. The superiority of science over religion is that if it turns out that one of your assumptions was wrong, you just say "bugger" and think again. In religion, if your unprovable assumption is different from mine, I have to kill all your male relatives and rape all the females.   

By their deeds shall ye know them.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #22 on: 09/10/2016 10:29:03 »
Quote from: Semaphore
we're just one stage removed from animals and we're still trying to throw off our bestial nature.
I agree - most human problems are internal, at their basis.

"democracy and human rights and justice and equality" generally change our outward environment.

Some of these things can help reduce inequality, which it has done in Nordic countries; but not nearly as much in the USA, for example.

They don't address the inner cause of most of our problems.

Quote
We've invented ... science and a host of other things that make us more civilised
The real explosion since Galileo has been in the "hard" sciences - physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, medicine, imaging, mechanical, civil, electrical and aerospace engineering, etc. This has been assisted (and enabled, in many cases) by rapid developments in computing.

Medicine has helped us live longer, and less troubled by pain.

The most successful medical advance has been plumbing, which became fairly effective in the Roman era, and even more effective with the application of the steam engine. This has done more to help human health than most medical endeavours, but it's hardly modern.

But none of these really address the inner beast.

For these you must look to the "soft" sciences - psychology, sociology, economics, etc.

For Psychology, we are still very much in the infancy phase, with theories in the last century driven mainly by guesses and hypotheses, with little objective information until the development of Functional MRI - and it's still a fairly coarse tool, unable to resolve volumes smaller than millions of neurones, or timescales faster than a second.

We still have the problem that even today, most experimentally verified psychology is actually based on a study of first year university students. They are forced to participate to pass their course. This has resulted in psychology becoming a WEIRD science - it is very much the study of Western, Educated, and from Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic countries. This is hardly representative of the human population.

Economics is still very much a black art. Everyone hangs on every word from the US Reserve about their guesses this month. And economists try to predict the reactions of other people who have also studied economics - a situation very likely to produce chaotic behaviour!

But most of our problems are still driven by human greed. It is said that if you want to find the cause of something, follow the money. Certainly large amounts of advertising money have managed to stall any progress on major scientific findings in several important cases.

So it's not surprising that it was a religious figure who commented that "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil".
« Last Edit: 09/10/2016 10:36:16 by evan_au »
 
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Offline puppypower

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #23 on: 09/10/2016 13:18:39 »
Science is not self sufficient in terms of resources. Science,is more often than not, beholden to others; third parties, for the money and resources needed to do science. What that means is there is subjective wildcard behind science, attached to resources. If you do the math, the financial foundation of science, is based on the inner man of those who have and provide resources. It is also dependent on the inner man of the scientists who are willing to play by this system.

This means not many scientists are willing to take a stand, if their data goes against the goal of the moneymen, or the prestige of the consensus who follow the moneyman. Religion helps this by quotes like, even though I walk in the valley of shadow of career death, I am not afraid. The example of the Wright Brothers shows how money and prestige can bog down new science. They needed someone; layman, in high places to overcome the bog down. Students begin with idealism, but learn the ways of the world when they start to work for living.

For example, say you worked for a cigarette company and your objective science research could undermine the commercial goals of your company. This company pays you a super premium salary, provides you a state of the art lab, and first class accommodations to all symposiums, where you are a big shot. Your research may need to be placed on the shelf, by management, since it is inconvenient truth. A good soldier for the company, who wishes to move up, may even bring this to management attention for brownie points.

On the other hand, if you speak out, you will bite the hand that feeds you. This could result in you losing your job and all your gravy. You could be also be discredited, as a scientist, since the money involved is huge. All the other,s who are willing to look the other way; career ambitions, will not like you upsetting the cart. One can see this affect in global warming science, where fudged data was ignored by the consensus, while anyone not with the program became subject to ridicule by laymen; henchmen. Inside every objective scientist, is a frail subjective human, who is not fully calibrated to defend the truth all the way. Many will stop with such a defense impact them in a personal and/or financial way. Sometimes all that is left are tenured professors to fight for truth, since they have a defensible career fortification.

If you look at the science of homosexuality and abortion, not all research is allowed. PC pressure and resource allocation will slant the allowable data, so the conclusion is the one decided by politics; moneyman, in advance. Fully objective science is about seeking the truth. This means no goal in advance. Rather all possible paths will be explored, and when all the science is done, we let the truth fall from the data. Religion helps levels the field, since God is placed as the referee; rational determinism needs all the facts. Atheism will place a human as the god, therefore, allowing subjectivity into science; steering currents. This is assisted by a random universe which does not need all the facts.

I often write about water as the copartner of life. This means that water has an equal role to the organics. For example, the DNA has a double helix of organic polymers, as well as double helix of hydration water, with this hydrating water needed for DNA activity. A quadruple helix is the reality of the DNA. The DNA is not active, as shown and taught in textbooks, using only a double helix. This provable truth does not matter. Biology is modeled using statistical assumptions; randomness. However, it was shown, over 50 years ago, that proteins fold with exact folds with probability equal to 1.0. This 50 year old observation, contradicts the  random claim, yet science has not changed. The inner man is afraid of the herd, less you be trampled. Nobody wishes to put it on the line, until the money man is willing to invest and steer.
« Last Edit: 09/10/2016 13:23:07 by puppypower »
 

Offline puppypower

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Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #24 on: 09/10/2016 14:15:09 »
There is another consideration connected to the difference between applied and pure science. Pure science tries to define and model reality as it is. Applied science is about extrapolating the laws of pure science to create manmade things. Sometimes, the line between the two becomes blurred with applied science being used to generate pseudo-pure science, defined as pure. This can allows artificial to called natural. It can be used by scientists to appease the subjectivity  of the moneyman.

For example, say I had the theory that the oldest oil deposits, were originally made from the polymerization of primal gases like ethylene. The polymerization forms long chain polymers, which are stable enough to be modified, over eons of time, under pressure and temperature.

I can use applied science, to make polyethylene in the lab. This is not hard to do. I then mix this with powered rock and other ingredients and use my hot press and more applied science to make complex solids. I then use my trusty extruder, to make oil from these solids, allowing the dirt to settle out. I can say this simulates earth pressure and the movement of the crust. What I have done is make an artificial reality, using applied science, that is now supported by hard lab evidence. If I had someone with money, who liked the idea of being a spokesman for new science, I might be able to pull this off with his financial backing. If there is lots on money, many scientists will chose to work with us. If we all put aside the premise, and focus on just the technical experiments, good science and engineering will still be done. How do you refute hard data if others can also duplicate our results, because our team took special care to make this easy for others?

One can see the applied science affect, in man made climate science. Many of the observed changes are not following the computer models as closely as hoped for. The computer models are applied science, that simulate what everyone wants to hear. The reality data is not cooperating 100% with the models. Applied science is about solving problems, with sometimes the problems being an expected result. If a company needs a better mouse trap, the goal is set in advance. I may need to invent to get to the goal being paid for.

As another example, particle accelerators operate under low gravitational pressures. If we assume a unification of the forces, under extreme gravity, the parameter of the EM forces will not be the same, as on the surface of the earth, since there will be shifts due to the unified force blending the normal four forces.

The analogy is a phase diagram for chemical matter. In this diagrams, there is not one set of phases. Rather, all materials show different phases based on temperature and pressure. Sub particle data only applies at low pressure. Those who invest $billions to make accelerators, don't wish to wait several lifetimes to generate the entire phase diagram for sub particles; full range of pressure and temperature. It is expeditious to sell this data as almost compete, so the investors maintain enthusiasm for bigger toys.

Religion is useful because even though the moneyman adds subjective goals, it is still not right to deceive him by playing into his fantasy with applied science tricks. Science needs to rise above.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Is science replacing religion?
« Reply #24 on: 09/10/2016 14:15:09 »

 

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