Naked Science Forum

On the Lighter Side => That CAN'T be true! => Topic started by: IzzieC on 21/11/2017 16:35:50

Title: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: IzzieC on 21/11/2017 16:35:50
David asks:

Is science superseding religion?

What do you think?
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: unstman on 21/11/2017 18:17:07
The over-whelming evidence would seem to indicate this.

However, there are 2 main issues here, 1. Questioning the religious version of creation and 2. Faith.

There is no doubt, as present science proves, science has had a massive impact on our lives, and the driving force of technology being guided and shaped all the time by science. Our learning of our surroundings, nature, other sciences and social, political and historical influences have been immeasurably affected by science.

We are, I believe, at a stage of our time where we can start to question in greater depth, what it is to be human, and where on the tree of life we are. Science has certainly progressed immensely over the past 3-4 hundred years..........but moreso, I think, by giving most people the ability to read and write, and not to people in power and within the church, which has accelerated technological progress to new heights.

Science has also, quite rightly, brought to the fore our reasoning and judgement of who we are (a question which will always be asked but never really answered) but moreso, to question the evidence given to us by religion and almost 2000 years of ' social conditioning ' the basis of our existence and where we are in this vast scale of life we have only discovered as a consequence of curiosity (the real driving force to science) and science.

Science, like life, is always evolving. It is not the definitive answer, like religion, to answer questions which cannot truly be answered with further questions and further questions and so on.

When it comes to spirituality, this again can be questioned. However, it is not religion we fear as such, it is death, and whether or not there is a form of another life after it.

Religion fills in this gap which science cannot. Whether there is any truth in it is irrelevant, as the whole basis for religion is to soften the blow of death, and nothing else.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: puppypower on 24/11/2017 12:12:36
Science deals with the external world that surrounds humans, which is perceived through our sensory systems. Religion deals with the inner world that underlies our human nature. This is made conscious through internal sensory systems associated with self reflection, imagination and intuition.

For example, if you look at the ten commandments, these rules are all concerned the darker side of human nature, all of which can disrupt the harmony of community living. Science has developed and evolved the external environment and has made better and better tools for community living. However, the innate inner nature of the thief, has not changed over the eons, other than learning to make use of the better and better tools. Religion deals with these timeless human propensities, which never seem to change, until humans become aware and learn how to make a free choice.

If you ever watch science fiction, the image of the future has amazing technological advances and opportunities due to science. However, the futuristic humans, with their new futuristic clothes, still have the same urges and make the same mistakes, due to human nature. Only the outside human is modernized by science.

Religion offers a software approach, instead of a hardware approach, to help humans evolve our human nature. Much of the imagery of religions is symbolic. Symbolism is a 3-D language used by the brain. Science uses the 2-D language based on cause and affect. With this 3-D brain language, command lines can be used to help alter the brain's coding output; epigenetic changes.

For example, fear of death is an artifact of self awareness. If one was not self aware, this extrapolation would not have a center from which to extrapolate, without an external stimulus. This connection is coded into the brain. To alter this, you need certain command lines that can push the right buttons to alter the coding.

The writers of prayers, where among the first neural programmers, which used the natural 3-D language of the brain, to alter the output from the sophisticated neural networks of the human brain; Saints. Alternately, brain programmers, from the dark side, can use command lines to enhance the dark side of human nature.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: Bigjoemonger on 24/11/2017 16:00:51
I think religion has always tried to provide an explanation for the unexplainable. The advent of science started chipping away at what's "unexplained" by proving it through the scientific method. So in that sense you can say science was replacing religion.

But today we have come to a point where the majority of the science being studied is just theories. Theory of evolution, theory of relativity, chaos theory, string theory, m theory, the list goes on. Our ability to think of possible solutions has once again outpaced our technological ability to prove them.

So in that sense I would say that science isn't replacing religion. I would say that science is becoming religion. Scientists are spending their lives dedicated to a theory because they have faith that it can be proven. That's basically religion.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: jeffreyH on 24/11/2017 18:33:31
True science is objective. It is used to analyse the data from observations, derive models that fit the data and then try to interpret those models. The interpretation is the theory, which can be extended and tested. Once the theory becomes more and more complex then something has gone wrong somewhere. Placing faith in this type of untestable theory is not science.

P.S. This is what makes the formulation of general relativity all the more remarkable.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: puppypower on 25/11/2017 12:08:41
True science is objective. It is used to analyse the data from observations, derive models that fit the data and then try to interpret those models. The interpretation is the theory, which can be extended and tested. Once the theory becomes more and more complex then something has gone wrong somewhere. Placing faith in this type of untestable theory is not science.

P.S. This is what makes the formulation of general relativity all the more remarkable.

Say we applied the principles of objective science, to self observation. In this case, one becomes both the scientist and the experiment, so they can observe and record themselves in their own natural habitat. From this observational POV, new things could be learned, which are not possible, by others observing you in the third person. One will have access to inside the mind data.

Third person is the normal approach toward science. We observe the universe from outside ourselves. But there is also a universe inside ourselves, that mediates how we perceive the outside world. However, this inner world can only be seen, objectively, in the first person.

For example, say you had a toothache. Self observing the pain and the symptoms of the toothache, would generate unique data, compared to you observing another person with a toothache in the third person. The first person observational approach, would take away the need for the subjectivity of empathy, so you could extrapolate third person observations, to create a pseudo first person theory, for the nature of having a toothache.

This extra translation/empathy step, needed by third person observation, adds subjectivity to the theory, and is the reason why the sciences of the mind, have become rational polytheism instead of monotheism. In fact, the wide variety of new theory, in most areas of science and math, is connected to this limitation of third person observation. 

In the third person, one is not fully aware of first person data inside themselves; subjectivity and projection, that is modifying their third person observations, when the data is condensed into a theory. There can be an unconscious step, that is not observable in the third person. There will be a certain level of faith, in this extra hunch step, with the hunch step only able to be made objective, in the first person, which is not how science works.

The main problem with first person observation, is that it is not easy to reproduce first person data for others, since other people cannot enter your brain to verify your observations. They can only go inside their own brains, which in turn, is not a place you have access to. First person science has certain advantages, but it also has a disadvantage in terms of the philosophy of science. It will violate this philosophy such that sound objective observations, will often appear to be  subjective. The philosophy was designed for third person and not for first person observation.

First person observation is the nature of religion and faith. It is about observing your own human nature in the first person through self reflection and observation. The wisdom of religions are connected to the summaries of the best first person scientists over the ages. Their observational theories, via symbolism, allows a platform by which further first person observation becomes easier.

Humans are a species with collective propensities; human nature. Self observation, although not transferable under the scientific method, nevertheless can be transferred, due to the nature of collective propensities; similar brain firmware. Many religions project a mapping of the human psyche through its mythological symbolism. This mapping comes in handy for pioneers in first person science.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: jeffreyH on 25/11/2017 15:00:11
@puppypower None of that has anything to do with science. Fitting a function to a curve by hand may be subjective but we have computers to deal with that. The one thing that you may have right is that subjectivity can lead to bias in the interpretation of results.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: Bored chemist on 25/11/2017 15:05:08
But today we have come to a point where the majority of the science being studied is just theories.

So, you don't know what a scientific theory is.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

A scientific theory is as good as things get.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: puppypower on 27/11/2017 12:16:14
@puppypower None of that has anything to do with science. Fitting a function to a curve by hand may be subjective but we have computers to deal with that. The one thing that you may have right is that subjectivity can lead to bias in the interpretation of results.

There is a thing called magic. This  can used to create experimental illusions, that appear to support a theory. This illusion will impact us subjectivity, and therefore will be hard to see through, with objectivity. Man made global warming is an example of this magic trick in science. This can occur because there is little first hand data of the mind to see the hidden wires.

I can show you how to see the hidden wires in this trick with a practical example. Consider this scenario. I will go to the local high school and recruit a large number of science students. The task is for all the students to bring their cellphone or digital cameras to the local park, and photograph any and all the birds they see. The team will be there for a week, returning each day for 6 hours.

When the data collection is done and compiled, I will make the theoretical claim that, "during that week the park had the most birds, it ever had, in the history of the park". Although there is no objective way to prove this claim, there is also no other large source of data, that can prove otherwise. Data from the past, will have limited photographs, and maybe anecdotal evidence from old timers, both of which can be dismissed. Based on devoting the most resources to this task, and therefore having the most data, allows me to make this claim. II am working under the  assumption that the preponderance of the data, rules. Can you see the magic trick?

To continue with the experiment, there will deniers to may claim. So I will challenge them to run a more formal and far reaching experiment. In this experiment, we will gather even more people, with higher tech equipment support, and even expertise in birds, so we can fully examine the habitat. Since this team is  much more professional and thorough, they will find even more birds. The new theory is the number of birds is not only the most, but on the rise. It is hard to prove otherwise, with the data that is already in existence; ice cores.

The more money and the more resources you pump into any data gathering, the more any theory appears to look better. Science is also big business in terms of money, resources and prestige, all of which are subjective motivations, which can be influenced by unconscious processes. If add political induced fear, you can increase further resources for even better preponderance of the evidence. If you take away resources form the opposing POV, you can shrink theory theory data set and make the theory appear to get worse.

As proof of this last claim, I will run a separate test with one student who will work 1 hour/day for a week. We will then compare the his/her data with the prestigious group of experts from the university, to see if the same theory would hold water with only the small data. Without the prestige, this alone would be enough to dismiss. Religion might call this trick the power of the air. 
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: jeffreyH on 27/11/2017 12:59:53
Except that there is an upward trend in temperature, recorded over an extended period. Part of a cycle that is well established by science.

For argument's sake let's say none of it is man made. We're still in trouble.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: Colin2B on 27/11/2017 14:46:28
There is a thing called magic. This  can used to create experimental illusions, that appear to support a theory.
We are all familiar with poor quality science and misleading reports, thatís why peer review is so important. But itís not magic to mislead, nor is it an indication of a religion.
If you really want to decide whether science is replacing religion you need to ask:
- Is science a belief system
- do people believe in it

Scientists would say it isnít a belief system, but based on observation and experiment. They would also say that not many people believe in science eg belief in homeopathy, antivaccine groups, Apollo doubters, flat earthers, etc. Even in the US apparently 25% of people believe the sun goes around the earth http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2014/02/17/1-in-4-americans-believe-sun-revolves-around-the-earth/ .
And, has been pointed out earlier, not everyone understands what a scientific theory is, in fact I would say that very few do.

On the other hand, do you need to understand something in order to believe it? I would say no, but you donít need to understand something to disbelieve it either and I see a great deal of disbelief out there.



Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: Bored chemist on 27/11/2017 19:39:53
There is a thing called magic.
And grown-ups realise it's not real.

Did you think the rest of your post had anything to do with the real world?
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: puppypower on 29/11/2017 12:40:21
There is a thing called magic. This  can used to create experimental illusions, that appear to support a theory.
We are all familiar with poor quality science and misleading reports, thatís why peer review is so important. But itís not magic to mislead, nor is it an indication of a religion.
If you really want to decide whether science is replacing religion you need to ask:
- Is science a belief system
- do people believe in it

Scientists would say it isnít a belief system, but based on observation and experiment. They would also say that not many people believe in science eg belief in homeopathy, antivaccine groups, Apollo doubters, flat earthers, etc. Even in the US apparently 25% of people believe the sun goes around the earth http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2014/02/17/1-in-4-americans-believe-sun-revolves-around-the-earth/ .
And, has been pointed out earlier, not everyone understands what a scientific theory is, in fact I would say that very few do.

On the other hand, do you need to understand something in order to believe it? I would say no, but you donít need to understand something to disbelieve it either and I see a great deal of disbelief out there.

Most people are not educated in science.Therefore, the majority of people will base their belief in science theories, primarily on a prestige affect. Prestige adds a magic layer, which often takes the place of true understanding. A child can recite E=MC2, but may not understand what it means. He will appear smarter by saying it. He may even repeat this, because it makes the external environment more appealing in terms of all the positive feedback. There is a human nature layer to layman science.

Science is not about a consensus, since the facts should speak for themselves At one time, the consensus believed the world was flat. The facts said something else but the consensus was not interested in the facts. There was too much prestige in place, to risk any change, since it might mean the changing of the guard in terms of seating at the big table; maximum prestige.

The idea of the consensus of science, connected to manmade global warming, tells you this is not real sound theory. Science is not about my army being bigger than your army, therefore, I am right, or else I will attack. The term consensus was added enhance the subjectivity of prestige, so the layman would have more faith, like a religion. it also had to attack good and educated scientists, who researched by the rules, but who did not believe. This was an attempt to lower their prestige. All science should be accepted, if done according to the rules. It is not about majority rule, with the majority jockeying for the lion share of funding and prestige.

A religion that speaks of spirits has the same social dynamics, as a scientist dealing with laymen. Both will have a degree of disconnect between their claims, and what the audience is able to infer on their own. I could not, on my own, see an atom any more than I can see an angel. I will need to accept both based on the prestige of the researchers who have pHds and who has access to the expensive equipment,. The same is true of the preacher who has a PhD in theology. Both have to sell in ways that can reach the lay audience, with their prestige helping one to swallow the medicine.

I remember as a freshman in college, I used to question everything and not settle for anything. I was trying to base my understanding of science on reasoning instead of learning traditions. This approach turned out to be too much work and very time consuming. Since I also wanted to enjoy various activities at school, I decided to stop questioning and to just accept and memorize.

This saved me time and allowed me to do well on exams. In the end, doing well on exams meant more, socially, then questioning everything. There was more consensus prestige in getting an A on an exam, than being the rebel. Often it is easier to accept claims, based on prestige, then to stand alone bucking the system, even if your logic is sound. Science often uses the first commandment, of having no strange gods; stick with the status quo, even if you find flaws.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: puppypower on 29/11/2017 13:36:46
There is another psychological affect that science has created for itself, which is connected to free market forces. This has to do with the specialization of labor; science mass production. Specialization is useful for targeting the details of reality, but it has the disadvantage of causing one to lose track of the forest because of the trees. The pitfall is specialist theory will extrapolate from a center outward and may not integrate with the biggest picture.

As an analogy, if you were on a mountain looking at a forest in valley, you can see the big picture. You can see the contours of the land, the bulk changes in the flora. You can see both the new and older regions of the forest. If you go into the forest, to walk among the trees, you can see the individual trees much better, but it is not easy to extrapolate the entire forest from one tree.

If you were standing near a grouping of oak trees, you may be tempted to say this is an oak forest. From the mountain top, one can see this is not the case since you can other types of trees. However, if everyone is among that standing of oak trees; all the same specialists, the consensus may all agree this is an oak forest. What you see are facts, but from the POV, where other facts are left out.

This creates a problem in science. The net affect is each specialist may be an expert in a given tree species. But beyond that tree, they will become a layman in other tree species. One may be an expert with bugs, but you are a laymen with birds. The result is you can't go outward as to the bigger picture, changing expertise as you go. If you go outward, you bring your experts bag everywhere since this is your main prestige; oak forest. Or it may be easier to go inward; more and more specialized, based on a narrow but sound perimeter.

This has an impact on theory, since what should be unified; forest, becomes based on a large number of dissociated specialty theories more geared to an area of the forest but extrapolated to the forest. For example, the preponderance of data in all of science is connected to the chemical and atomic states. It is based on what was easiest to observe. Water is the most research topic in all science.

The amount of particle physics data is tiny in comparison. The question becomes, why isn't particle physics theory required to interface the preponderance of forest data? The specialty mind, does not think in terms of the biggest picture; bulk forest. How does a quark influence hydrogen bonding? The oak tree specialists will ignore, this because they are only concerned with oaks and not with the maples. This is why they will each need prestige affects.

Picture if you are among the trees. Instead of staying in the oak grove, you do a Lewis and Clark and walk throughout the forest, trying to map the bigger picture. This larger scale mapping, tells you things, which help you to place restrictions on speciality theories. One can see where the begin to fizzle out.

 Or better yet, we start with the biggest picture on the map, and build a theory that can touch all the bulk data. This leads to foundation premises that need to carry over when developing speciality theories. It places restrictions the specialist may not be aware of. Can everyone see the pitfalls of specialization in term of larger scale truth? 
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: Colin2B on 29/11/2017 18:30:49
None of this is indicating that science is replacing religion. Many of these arguments can be directed at politics, mass marketing, alternative medicine, etc, there is no reason to single out science.
The interesting observation is that religion (belief system) is diversifying and becoming fragmented down to the individual level. No longer the monopoly of the organised, system approach but more of a pick and mix - a bit of animalism, some earth magic, a smattering of superstitions, a few political beliefs, a fair dash of anti science, and you have concocted your own ďwhat I believe must be trueĒ. At least no one else tells you what to believe - or do they?
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: Bored chemist on 29/11/2017 21:26:01
The idea of the consensus of science, connected to manmade global warming, tells you this is not real sound theory.

No it does not.
The consensus isn't proof that the view is correct but that's not the same as saying it is proof that the view is incorrect.

That's the sort of horse feathers you label as "magic" and that most folk on this site  recognise as nonsense.
This creates a problem in science. The net affect is each specialist may be an expert in a given tree species. But beyond that tree, they will become a layman in other tree species.

That's not realistic is it.
A scholar who knows a lot about oaks is also likely to know more about elms than most people.
OK, he might not know more about  lions than most, but even there , when people tell him that lions are vegetarian, he has a background in understanding evidence and he's likely to be able to question the vegetarian lion assertion.
He might never have seen a lion eating, but, if someone shows him a lion skull and points out the big sharp teeth, more like those of a dog than of a cow, he can understand the nature of that demonstration and come to an opinion of vegetarianism among lions that's better founded than the average Joe.

 Or better yet, we start with the biggest picture on the map, and build a theory that can touch all the bulk data.

We did.
It's called anthropogenic global warming.
We know it's the biggest picture, because it's the summation of the pictures taken by thousands of scientists- each in their own specialism- and it's the only picture that works for all of them.
That's why there's a consensus.

Now, to drag this thread kicking and screaming, back to the topic.
Religion and science are fundamentally different.
In science, if the textbook doesn't agree with the facts, you throw out the textbook.
In religion  if the textbook doesn't agree with the facts, you throw out the facts.

It's been said that, if people get rid of religion, the problem won't be that they believe nothing, but that they believe anything.

Climate change denial is a case in point. They throw out all the data collected (and agreed) by the scientists and then on teh basis of dogma, rather than logic, they claim that people don't warm the planet.

There's a serious risk- with the likes of Trump and Brexit going on, that the fall of religion won't be followed by scientific enlightenment, but by the rise of false news and corruption.
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: Bill S on 22/12/2017 19:52:35
Quote
.......the rise of false news and corruption.

I think that's been around a long time.  Back in the late 60s -early 70s when I was doing a lot of driving, one of the things I enjoyed doing was comparing the news on BBC World Service with that on Radio Tirana. Fascinating!
Title: Re: Is science replacing religion?
Post by: jeffreyH on 22/12/2017 20:05:20
When people only have a vague understanding of science it is easy to believe in any hocus pocus peddled by the pseudo scientist. This then leads to a false and second hand view of science. People should question things but not on the word of the charlatan but with the view to gaining a better understanding.