Science and Faith …. working together in harmony?

The way I see it, it’s not that faith and science cannot find a common ground, it’s that extreme ends of BOTH atheists and theists are the most vocal about it.

Mel Wild.

 

I would like anyone to offer  a list of things they consider qualifies as Common Ground between Science and Faith.

 

Ark.


159 thoughts on “Science and Faith …. working together in harmony?

  1. The more I think about this, the more insidious it is. First of all atheists and theists are being portrayed as extremists, surround a more reasonable and rational center. Good luck with that portrayal. Just who does this guy think is in charge “harmony between faith and science”? Atheists have been vocal and visible for a very short period of time and yet prior to that point we still get the blame for why science and faith hadn’t made nice? Sheesh.

    And, I do not hear this plea from scientists. I do not see articles in science organs lamenting that we are on such poor terms with the religious. On the religious side, science was once in chains to the church. If you didn’t suck up to the Pope or God or both, your book would get banned and you might end up being Catholic Barbecue. Now that science has shrugged off of its chains and has had success after success in enhancing the lives of people (compare to religion’s track record), now theists want to draft the science express and have us pull them along.

    They can all go suck eggs as far as I am concerned.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes Steve I recall a scientist observing that religion is rarely discussed in scientific circles as it is not seen as a relevant issue.

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  2. How about two lists? One from us, one from them. Over the last 400 years, list ways in which science/faith have made people’s lives better. And we will compare the lists to see how much overlap there is. That might be interesting. (This is along the lines of “Look how frisky the Alpo dog is compared to the dead dog over there.” joke.)

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Nope, that’s why the challenge. Not only would there be no overlap on the 400 year lists but our list would be really, really long, and their list would be, what, nonexistent. Has faith evolved to become something better than it was a 1000 years ago? I do not think so, so it cannot claim any improvement. It is static, not growing, etc. In countries where a large percentage of the citizens share the same faith, that faith becomes a danger to the minority citizens. This is hardly an innovation.

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  3. Where are the moderates? Are they publishing papers that say.

    “In the end our data only partially proved our hypothesis, but we have faith that we are right, because God will make it so?”

    There is no theist or atheist light who would take about science in that way. Atheist are most vocal about the incompatibility because we actually live in a society where laws and lawmakers are based more in religion than science and it has to stop.

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    1. People confuse morality/ethics with religion. Possibly because at one time religion held the gun and people conformed or went out of business (the business of living). You have to conform, you see, when in the reach of religion. Hence all the whimpering on the web from people in the Bible Belt of the USA—the stake may be currently out of fashion but ostracism (rule by fear~!) isn’t.

      “If you ain’t one of us—ya got no right living here etc etc”

      To a degree (and only to a degree) science doesn’t do that. Although the scientific equivalent for heretics can be just as damning …

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  4. Seen the changes to the New Mexico science curriculum? No anti-scientific bias at work to see here. Move along, now. No changes at all, really… except for just a few words altered here and there, donchaknow. And what’s a few words between such close bosom buddies in midst of a dialogue as science and religion? We cannot say 4.6 billion years for the age of the Earth; instead, we have to fuzz the edges, move away from fact, and insert wiggle language by talking about the Earth’s unspecified geologic history. We can’t talk about the increasing rise of the earth’s global temperature but, rather, its i>fluctuations.

    See how compatible religion is with science?

    Those facts are just too one-sided, too extreme, too truthful to be polite, don’t you know, and reality is clearly ideologically biased to be liberal. And who wants to be biased? Thank goodness the creationists of all stripes and varying levels of intellectual integrity are here to keep us on track to accept this middle-of-the-road-where-there-is-none reasonable compatibility. Just don’t look to reality or you will become one of those intolerant, militant, fundamentalist, immoral, extremist advocates of scientism. That’s very bad, by the way, and so no one should pay any attention to what such an ideological extremist has to say.

    The problem these changes demonstrate is that one has to step back, step down, step away from good science to make wiggle room for creationist sensibilities no matter how innocuous those sensibilities may appear at first blush… sensibilities that have no basis, no evidence, no inferences from reality. Oh sure, the range of those sensibilities run from batshit crazy to unspoken if slimy apologetics (Oh, says the Catholic, evolution is true, of course… but we can pretend God created and then inserted a soul immutable from but fully compatible with evolution…. unless we actually think about what informs that claim and ignore what evolution actually means: natural, unguided, changes to life over time.) but the point is that the scientific definition is rejected only for religious reasons and then replaced by a watered-down semi-accurate accommodation.

    See? There’s no conflict between religious belief and science where it really does exist, where it is widespread, where it has real life effect, because, well, because we need to believe this to go along and get along. And isn’t that what respecting what’s true really all about, kowtowing to creationist beliefs?

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  5. I’m not sure exactly what Mel Wild’s point was, but I’ll offer this. Let’s not confuse the compatibility/incompatibility of science and faith with that of scientists and the faithful.

    Science, an empirical discipline, is by definition incompatible with metaphysical pursuits such as religious dogma. It’s like comparing apples to oranges or, in this case, verifiable knowledge to spiritual beliefs, myths, and legend.

    However, human beings have the capacity for compatibility despite our differences. Professional scientists can be atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other faith/non-faith. The key to this compatibility is not mixing or conflating the processes of each respective discipline. When performing scientific research, stick to the scientific method and leave your religion outside the door. When praying at the altar, do you really need to contemplate E=mc² (although, you probably should)? One of history’s greatest scientists was Isaac Newton, who could compartmentalize his rational thought from his deep spirituality. His spirituality was so deep, in fact, that it could have got him into serious trouble back then with the Anglican Church of England had he dared to publicize it. As an anti-trinitarian monotheist, Newton believed that to worship Christ as God was a form of idolatry.

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  6. Common ground between Science and Faith? I’m going to take a stab at this Ark…

    Science does not know what is inside (or beyond) a Black Hole. Religious “faith” allows believers to go find out what is inside or beyond a Black Hole. 🙃

    Sounds like we can agree on that one!!!

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    1. Smile.
      I am trying to get Mel to identify this common ground but as usual he is fighting, fighting all the way . Deflection after deflection.
      To people like him such statements are simply vacuous.
      It’s like reading the Vitamin list from the back of a Cornflakes packet. It is simply words to most people that mean little, but sound very clever.
      It becomes disingenuous.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. The purview of religion and faith: metaphysical pursuits, spiritual beliefs, myths, legends … make believe. Dear serious, scientist, I know you are seriously pursuing a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but why don’t you put that aside for a time and pray, er, make believe, with me that such a cure will be found.

    Which do you consider time better spent: researching or praying?

    End of story.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Steve:

      “… that such a cure will be found” raises the fearsome question—

      found, by whom?

      —failing which we can always bimble off to Lourdes (I think that if they don’t do carbonated Lourdes water they’ve missed a trick).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It is not possible to offer a specific and comprehensive list.
    The common ground is anyplace that science does not provide a definitive answer.
    (Which I recently learned on this very blog is virtually everywhere!)

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    1. The object here, JB is to try to find an area in Science where someone like you, who is all for faith as defined by your religious beliefs can offer an example where such faith will have common ground.
      If you were willing to mention a single example I would be very interested to hear what you had to offer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The idea of ‘common ground’ can’t mean ‘overlap’ between science and faith the way you’re describing it. Anything fully defined or described by science doesn’t require faith.

        At the same time, anything that falls outside the purview of science requires faith to believe (so I’m not accused of ‘dodging’)
        The origins of life.
        The source/cause of invisible forces (like gravity).
        Reliability of reason/logic
        The existence of science itself.

        In a recent conversation on this very blog it was finally acknowledged that science contains uncertainty. Faith is believing despite uncertainty.

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        1. It makes a change to see that you agree there is no common ground between science and faith.
          It might be a very good idea if you were able to explain this to Pastor Mel.

          I am unfamiliar with any area of science that requires faith.
          Can you give an example?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It is a shame you weren’t able to explain the problem to Pastor Mel. Now that you see the dilemma, I’ve no doubt you’ll do the right thing and respond to him respectfully and intelligently.

            If you are unfamiliar with any area of science that requires faith then you need to re-read the comment section of your own blog.

            If you still can’t figure it out, have JZ, or Swarn or Scotty-Hug walk you through it.

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          2. I did explain the problem.
            I just feel that you, as a fellow Jesus-follower, might have the right spiritual approach to make him see how his belief in this regard is wrong.
            Rather than risk misinterpretation, and also run the risk of encouraging you into a laboured thread, simply give me a single example where science uses faith in its approach.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. You didn’t explain the problem to Mel because obviously you still don’t understand it yourself.

            You’ve never worried about misinterpreting my position. Your entire worldview is built on it!

            Where are your pals, Doug? Are they gonna leave you twisting in the wind here? That’s not very Christian of them.

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          4. You didn’t explain the problem to Mel because obviously you still don’t understand it yourself.

            This is why I value your input on the matter.
            Could you please explain where science
            relies on faith , JB?

            Liked by 1 person

          5. I really don’t need anyone else to have a conversation for me. I am sure if they wish to engage you they will.

            So, just one example of science relying on faith, please.
            It is a straightforward request and not difficult in the least,

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          6. The question was answered in that post. If you are too stubborn or too stupid to get that, I can’t help you. I thought YOU were the scientific, evidence-minded person? Good grief, Doug! You are denying evidence from your own pals on your own blog!!!!

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          7. Any science requires faith.
            Science requires faith that nature will behave according to certain laws and patterns. There is no guarantee that yesterday’s scientific discoveries will hold true today.

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          8. And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, the the JB Two-Step where he substitutes the same word(s) with very different meaning to fill in for the other…. but only when it’s convenient. It’s so deceitful but then, that’s what JB does.

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          9. Where in these example is there faith?
            Science does not bother itself in such nonsense but will observe and test.

            There is no guarantee that yesterday’s scientific discoveries will hold true today.

            I would think this is perfectly true. And when nature or any other scientific discovery ‘changes’ science( scientists) will investigate why and try to discover the reason.

            It has no faith in evolution for example as it knows it is fact.
            Sorry JB.
            You are obviously wrong here.
            If you can think of another example feel free to offer it.

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          10. Annoyed?
            I find dialogue with you quite enlightening.
            You either lack the intellectual acumen to understand the topic at hand or you are scared to actually think about what science really is and why you are obliged to fall back on your faith to steady the metaphorical ship.
            Let’s face it, JB, you took on Christianity as an adult because of some sort of emotional issue you were unable to deal with.
            This is a common factor in many conversions.
            For you to acknowledge that faith as you understand it in the Christian context, plays absolutely no role whatsoever in science will mean you are obliged to admit the shortcomings of your worldview.
            This is why scientists don’t talk about faith in the way you would apply the meaning and in fact I doubt they ever use the term at all except maybe in a tongue in cheek sense.

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          11. That you had emotional issues of some description related to substance abuse and pornography among other things which was the primary reason for you turning to your god?
            You told me. Though don’t ask me to dig out the thread after all this time.
            I was in no position to ascertain if you were lying. However, based on general evidence from others, this seems to be a popular reason for converting and I usually give most people the benefit of the doubt.
            Were you telling the truth?

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          12. Do you have scientific evidence to back up this statement or am I to take it on faith?

            (OTHER ATHEISTS: If you see what’s happening here and you don’t step in and tell Doug he looks foolish, then you are no friend of his.)

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          13. Could you please describe the scientific evidence I would need to produce in able to verify your previous claim to me of drug and pornography abuse?
            Thanks.

            Liked by 1 person

          14. So, no help from you friends, huh? Okay.

            That’s the point, Diggety-Dug-Dug. There is no scientific evidence that will back up your statements. Believing them requires faith.

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          15. Well, I am sure with a bit of research we can find the evidence.
            First, it would help if you would oblige us and confirm the claim that you turned to faith because of drug and pornography issues.
            Or I could write another post specifically about your problems regarding these issues of faith and evidence and maybe my friends will then have a clearer canvass to offer their insight.
            Maybe we could track down the minister to whom you made your initial confession?
            Or you could give us his name and email address?

            Liked by 1 person

          16. I think you need to read the entire comment,JB.
            We all know your penchant for obfuscation, but there are only a limited number of reasons why adults convert to Christianity, and pornography and drug abuse are among the most popular reasons given and the ones you iterated to me.
            As I mentioned, a bit of research and some help from you and I am sure if you pull yourself together for a while we could soon establish enough evidence to make a definite claim.
            Would you like me to do a dedicated post for you so that we might test this hypothesis?

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          17. Actually, you’re the ‘giant nob’ who suggested it. I’m the kind soul who pointed out that you can’t take my word as ‘evidence’.

            …of course, that means we can’t use your word as ‘evidence’ either.

            (And because your friends have abandoned you, you’re learning this from a dickhead theist…)

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          18. J.B. Now that you brought me into this understand there is no ( as in none, doesn’t exist and is is a figment of your imagination ) part of science that REQUIRES faith. The simple way to say it is this: If you are using faith, you are not using science. That simple. Hugs

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          19. You are a real ass you are. IF you want snark sweetheart I am in the mood this morning. The fact is in science you build on what what was discovered first. You don’t just say I have faith the numbers work out, or I have faith these chemicals work together to get what I want. And if you want me to read a comment then either share it or link to it. Not the whole post. Hugs

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          20. When you start by calling me an ass, you don’t need to end with hugs…

            The fact is in science you DO say “I have faith the numbers work out”. You DO say, “I have faith these chemicals work together to get what I want.” That is precisely what science is! You have faith that what was discovered earlier will hold true.

            Gracious! I didn’t realize you science-guys were this clueless about science!

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          21. John, I give virtual hugs to people like you because by the universe you seem to be the ones who need them the most. People who show by their actions that they can’t seem to handle normal conversation are hiding a pain that needs human warmth, along with a good mental health professional. We seem to be at a word impasse here. You do not seem to understand that science is built on proven data and information. Not guess work. It is not like making chili where I can at a no specific amount and still get a workable result. In cooking I can fudge the recipe to get what I want. That would be horrible science. Science is not faith , it is not faith a deity will just fill in what I missed. Again where you seem to be so sure you are correct, when if you did even simple high school chemistry with “faith it would just work out and so who needs to read the instructions” it would be a disaster fit for a movie. Did you study science at Hogwarts sir? Hugs

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          22. “Science is not faith , it is not faith a deity will just fill in what I missed.”

            Yep. That’s what I said.
            You keep replying to arguments I haven’t raised.

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          23. Dude not going to play the “I did not say that game when I can’t answer” thing with you. Your comments are here to show what you said, even if you did not mean them.

            The fact is in science you DO say “I have faith the numbers work out”. You DO say, “I have faith these chemicals work together to get what I want.” That is precisely what science is!

            There were others sprinkled into your replies to others. Nice try at the wiggle out but not working. If you did not mean what your words said try to clarify them like I did yesterday with Mel. If the comment doesn’t come out to mean what you want, admit it, and try again. Just don’t deny what you wrote, it makes you look bad.

            Any science requires faith.
            Science requires faith that nature will behave according to certain laws and patterns.

            Sorry that is not faith as faith is the belief with out evidence, science is able to product a result of an action because of evidence of such actions. I am not sure John but I sense you are conflicted. You are trying to say something but you are saying two different things and side stepping between them when you try to explain your self. Hugs

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          24. OH well then the online dictionary is wrong.

            Definition of faith

            plural faiths play \ˈfāths, sometimes ˈfāt͟hz\
            1 a :allegiance to duty or a person :loyalty lost faith in the company’s president
            b (1) :fidelity to one’s promises (2) :sincerity of intentions acted in good faith
            2 a (1) :belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) :belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
            b (1) :firm belief in something for which there is no proof clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return (2) :complete trust
            3 :something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially :a system of religious beliefs the Protestant faith
            — on faith
            :without question took everything he said on faith

            B. states it clearly, the rest imply it. The usage at the end is really clear. With out question. OK, fun maybe this is but I have to get a shower and start my day of blog and read. Be well. I will respond later if you comment to me again. Have read what Ark, John, Tildeb, and the others have replied to you, I am satisfied your position is not correct and not defensible. Be well. Hugs

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          25. John as I sit here eating my breakfast of ziti in sauce I wonder if you are trying not to understand. If you want to just be a Newt Gingrich type bomb throwing disrupted. Your statement is silly and in my opinion childish. Hugs

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          26. Well for me you have proven you can be dismissed with out any effort and your assertions are likely to be meaningless and not really worth considering. I regret that as I have seen you interact on Ark’s blog and had hoped you had something to offer. I can see clearly about that I was wrong. You seem to have nothing of any value to add. You seem to have a love of simply denying points of other people by obfuscation, dodging & side stepping, and then after the waters are muddy you claim others are wrong without providing evidence and reasoning., Oh and you love to add insults to prove how little you you have to offer. So I will ignore you and any point you try to advocate. Is this what you wanted? Does it make you happy? It is the result you worked to achieve. Have a good day, Hugs

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          27. “Well for me you have proven you can be dismissed with out any effort and your assertions are likely to be meaningless and not really worth considering.”
            Ditto.

            “So I will ignore you and any point you try to advocate.”

            This a wise decision. Responding to me only highlights the vapidness of your arguments.

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        2. Finally acknowledged?

          Good grief. Your mental density is remarkable, John.

          You confuse your incredible obtuseness with not hearing what people have been explaining to you for years: certainty is not a scientific concept but a faith-based belief. In scientific language, confidence is based on likelihood… a probability that never, ever, reaches P=1. That you’re just realizing this now here on this very blog is not a reflection of other people’s acknowledgment of some deep, dark secret finally admitted to, but of your own dedication to your own long term comprehension problem.

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          1. Yes, yes yes. I’m an obtuse buffoon. I’m simple and stupid and all that blah..blah…blah…

            And that’s why it is so irritating to you when you realize that we agree. It would be much easier on you if I would just babble, “GOD DID IT”.

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          2. And that’s why it is so irritating to you when you realize that we agree. It would be much easier on you if I would just babble, “GOD DID IT”,

            said the mentally unstable person to his doctor as he swallowed his medication.

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        3. >>> “At the same time, anything that falls outside the purview of science requires faith to believe (so I’m not accused of ‘dodging’)
          The origins of life.
          The source/cause of invisible forces (like gravity).
          Reliability of reason/logic
          The existence of science itself.”

          John Branyan, the origins of life do not fall outside the purview of science and neither do the nature of gravity and the existential questions of cosmology. Abiogenesis is the field of study concerned with the origins of life made famous by the Miller-Urey experiment of 1952 (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%E2%80%93Urey_experiment). Einstein’s General Relativity theory was primarily focused on gravity, and it has been repeatedly verified through empirical evidence. Gravity isn’t a force, it is the physical manifestation of the fabric of spacetime. Current research is attempting to reconcile quantum gravity with Einstein’s theory, but so far mechanisms such as the proposed graviton boson have yet to be discovered (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_gravity). As previously mentioned, cosmology is the field of study concerned with the very nature of our existence; that is, does a larger cosmos exist beyond our observable universe, and how did it come into being.

          Conversely, the “reliability of reason/logic” item in your list does fall outside the current purview of science because it is a philosophical concept. Philosophy is a construct of RATIONALISM, whereas science is a construct of EMPIRICISM.

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          1. Here’s something in response to the Miller Urey experiment http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/content.cfm?id=3161

            The origins of life are certainly outside the purview of empirical science. This is not controversial. Origin of life was a one-time event that was not observed. It cannot be tested.

            “Gravity isn’t a force, it is the physical manifestation of the fabric of spacetime.”
            Fine. Let’s go with that. This seems like a statement based on rationalism, not empiricism.

            Do you object to the idea that anything outside the purview of science requires faith?

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          2. Stupid? No. There are no scientific examples that require faith in any capacity whatsoever. None.
            Are you admitting that you are being disingenuous because you are trying to formulate a Gotcha argument simply because you do not understand the terms of the discussion and are afraid to admit that what you are really doing is trying to impose your religious faith- based beliefs upon science?
            That sounds somewhat stupid to me, John.

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          3. Let’s see:

            Men have walked on the moon.
            There’s a scientific fact that you have not personally verified. You accept it by faith.

            See how easy this is, Stupid?

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          4. The problem here of course would be that unless I was actually on the moon with Neil I do not see how I could personally verify the fact.
            I have a friend who was working in a hotel in Zambia at the time of Armstrong’s historic gad about on the lunar surface and when it was announced on the radio ( there being no TV in Zambia at the time) all the patrons at the hotel bar and my friend, Harry, apparently ran outside to look up at the moon.Silly, I know, but it was a monumental occasion and they had been drinking and got a bit carried away I suspect.
            Anyway, he couldn’t personally verify it either. Though Harry told me several of the men passed a pair of binoculars between them.
            However, I did watch it on the TV and have a commemorative mini- newspaper somewhere.
            And there is Youtube these days. And Neil’s own testimony.

            So, in what way does this compare to you believing in an Old Testament Canaanite god called Yahweh and his N.T. alter ego/sidekick being the creator of the universe?

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          5. “The problem here of course would be that unless I was actually on the moon with Neil I do not see how I could personally verify the fact.”
            Correct!
            Finally!

            And there you have it! It takes faith to believe in scientific evidence too!

            Well done.
            Take the rest of the night off.

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          6. Well, we are all entitled to an opinion, I suppose.
            So, are you ready to be grown up and recognise that your religious faith has no part to play in science, John?

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          7. You brought this on yourself. I gave you my definition of faith and you got lost.
            Admit that you’re a moron and I’ll spell it out for you.

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          8. I would not wish to burden you with the task of having to spell so many big words.
            Stick with faith, John. It only has five letters and one syllable.
            Is there any other argument you wish to present or have you exhausted your repertoire of Silly Comments for Wednesday?

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          9. Charles Darwin wrote a book about evolution. There’s another fact that you cannot personally verify as true. You believe it by faith.

            …remember…you’re learning all this from a dickhead, Dig-Dug.

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          10. Are you suggesting there is no evidence of evolution?
            I truly believe you should consider using the term ”Dickhead” as your new stage name and maybe even as an epithet.

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          11. Earning your respect is very important to me.

            Send some private messages to your godless pals and ask them to explain this conversation to you. They’ll appreciate that. It will make them feel smart.

            My goal in conversing with you is not to win you to my position. It’s only to demonstrate the uselessness of your position.

            (And so you don’t have to ask…Yes. I achieved the goal today.)

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          12. Really?
            I would hazard a guess this is a belief only held by you.

            Much like the make-believe deity you genuflect to, you are somewhat filled with your own self-importance.
            And there was I thinking that former drug and porn abusers, such as yourself, who found the Lawd would at least adopt a degree of humility. Yet here you are, as full of hubris and rampant ego as the meglomaniacal deity you believe you owe allegiance to.
            Yes, JB, the epithet Dickhead sits very well with you. Very well indeed.

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          13. “Dickhead” says his mission is “only to demonstrate the uselessness of your position.”

            You could easily have written the same thing … and been more on-target.

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          14. I am baffled by his approach to this subject.
            They give off the impression they are perfectly happy with faith so why the continual harping on that atheists need and utilise faith as well?
            It comes across as a desperate attempt to justify their own ridiculous faith-based beliefs; as if recognizing that in this day and age that pandering to superstitious drivel can somehow be made to look half-way respectable if only they can drag non- believers down to their level.

            Totally nuts.

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          15. From Wikipedia:

            >>> “Truth in Science is a United Kingdom-based creationist organization which promotes the Discovery Institute’s ‘Teach the Controversy’ campaign, which it uses to try to get pseudoscientific intelligent design creationism taught alongside evolution in school science lessons. The organization claims that there is scientific controversy about the validity of Darwinian evolution, a view rejected by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society and over 50 Academies of Science around the world. The group is affiliated with the Discovery Institute, the hub of the intelligent design movement, following its strategy and circulating the Institute’s promotional materials.”

            Einstein’s General Relativity, as I stated before, has been repeatedly verified through empirical evidence.

            That some people rely on faith to solidify their beliefs is quite obvious; therefore, I have no objection – it’s a personal matter. However, I do consider it a rather poor way to obtain knowledge. Empiricists, such as myself, are comfortable with ignorance in lieu of conclusive facts – it makes the learning process that much more exciting.

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          16. Yes. By faith, you can choose a Wikipedia article over the Discovery Institute’s article. That doesn’t make the Miller Urey experiments empirical scientific evidence. Again, the origins of life cannot be empirically tested.

            Einstein’s General Relativity describes what gravity does. It is not empirical evidence that gravity “…is the physical manifestation of the fabric of spacetime” That is philosophical.

            And we agree that faith is a ‘rather poor way to obtain knowledge’ when the definition of faith is “belief without evidence”. That is the unfortunate definition that persists on this blog. Your brand of Empiricism is much more reasonable than many of the other commenters.

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          17. We have evidence of gravity.
            If you doubt this, step out of a first storey window.

            When you have done this I would be interested to hear your view on this lack of evidence.
            You can email me from your hospital bed and I promise to like your selfies on Facebook.

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          18. Thanks for the compliment; however:

            1) The Discovery Institute article on the origins of life is not science by any stretch of the imagination. The Wikipedia article is correct in describing the institute as pushing an agenda and engaging in pseudoscience. That said, the scientific experimentation I referred to previously on the origins of life are indeed empirical; but, it has yet to publish any definitive conclusions other than the successful production of organic compounds which are the building blocks of life. So, I’m not sure what your objection is.

            2) Einstein’s General Relativity absolutely defines what gravity is (i.e. the fabric of spacetime), and because of a century of empirical verification it is universally accepted among the scientific community. Furthermore, some of our modern technology (e.g. space exploration and GPS systems) couldn’t function without it. Denying these easily verifiable facts doesn’t make any sense.

            Liked by 2 people

          19. 1) My objection is that the origin of life is not testable. It is theoretical whether it is the Discovery Institute, Wikipedia, NASA or Mother Goose publishing the theory. We don’t have empirical data for the conditions of the universe when life arose.

            2) I’m not denying any empirically verifiable data. That would be silly. Certainly you can think of gravity as ‘fabric of spacetime’. But it isn’t LITERALLY fabric. Neither is it LITERALLY a force. Science describes what gravity does…not what gravity LITERALLY is. That’s all I was attempting to say.

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          20. John, the scientific experimentation on the origins of life we’ve been discussing aren’t even a “theory” at this point. It’s no more than a “working hypothesis” which have created no life, only 25 or so amino acids – the basic building blocks of life. The sole reason why I brought up this topic in the first place was to refute your earlier assertion that the origins of life lay outside the purview of science which, as I have demonstrated, is incorrect.

            I’ll have to correct you once again on gravity. Yes, Einstein’s General Relativity does describe what gravity literally is; however, if you don’t like term “fabric,” let me try another analogy. Think of spacetime as a large trampoline. Imagine putting a bowling ball in the very center. Notice how it creates a depression in the trampoline which progressively gets deeper the closer it gets to the ball? Now, imagine rolling a tennis ball from the edge of the trampoline towards the bowling ball. As it gets closer, the tennis ball will curve around the bowling ball as if acted upon by an invisible force; but, in reality, the tennis ball is simply following the curvature of the trampoline created by the mass of the bowling ball. This is analogous to Einstein’s definition of gravity.

            Liked by 2 people

          21. Atheist dogma requires that I use very specific language. This conversation was a (failed) attempt to find common ground between ‘science’ and ‘faith’.

            There cannot be common ground because atheists will not admit they employ faith. Our host couldn’t think of a SINGLE EXAMPLE of a scientific fact that he could not personally verify. At the same time, he accused me of not believing in gravity.

            This is typical. Atheists think that if they have faith it will immediately turn them into fundamentalist Southern Baptists.

            The thinking is wildly inconsistent. It leads atheists to declare the origins of the universe as empirical, scientific fact while simultaneously declaring there is ‘no evidence whatsoever’ for anything in Scripture. That’s partially true in that there is no evidence the atheist will accept. Actual science doesn’t care about the nature or origins of evidence though.

            The reason Ark rejected my definition of faith is because it was MY definition of faith. I doubt he would have argued if you had said it.

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          22. I’m sure you being factually wrong and intentionally deceitful as well as making up your own definitions had nothing whatsoever to do with it, John. You’re a piece of work.

            Liked by 2 people

          23. You’re a piece of something too.

            Where was I ‘factually wrong’ and how did you determine I was ‘intentionally’ deceitful. Are you clairvoyant?

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          24. In all honesty I don’t ever recall using the word faith. I probably have at some stage, but certainly not for as long as I can remember.
            I hardly ever have cause to vocalize the word trust either.

            There are millions of scientific facts that have been personally verified by the scientists who have established the facts and those who have repeated the experiments.

            I reject practically everything you have to say, largely because you are a disingenuous arse, and your religiously motivated faith-based world view does not help your cause in the slightest.

            When you dribble over your dinner and offer thanks to the deity you genuflect to without a thought for those who grew the food, you express your faith via prayers to your post-Canaanite god.
            You have faith that your god will look after you, and ensure you have a bib and your favorite plastic spoon when you are finally admitted through the Pearly Gates where you can don your multi-coloured Jester’s Suit and jape around for his godliness.

            Your versionof faith will invariably include some sort of hand wringing plea to the deity who whispers in your ear.

            Normal people eschew such nonsense.
            Normal people are not so insecure.
            Normal people think the religious are simply off their rockers.

            Liked by 3 people

          25. “I reject practically everything you have to say, largely because you are a disingenuous arse, and your religiously motivated faith-based world view does not help your cause in the slightest.”

            Yes! That’s exactly my point!

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          26. What, that you are a religiously motivated disingenuous arse?
            I would have preferred that we could agree on something else, but I’m not that fussy and will settle for this.

            Liked by 2 people

          27. No. That your beliefs are derived from personal bias and not ‘scientific evidence’.

            (Again, maybe Tildeb or Robert or somebody can step in here and help you understand what you just admitted.)

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          28. My beliefs are based on evidence. Where evidence runs out I am in neutral until new evidence comes along.
            Your religious beliefs are not based on evidence, but faith in a god.
            After all, this is why you converted in the first place – because you simply rejected the evidence.

            Liked by 2 people

          29. “Personal bias does creep in. Acceptance of verified established evidence should correct this…”
            Totally agree.

            “I am – you aren’t .”
            This is more proof that bias, not evidence, is your preferred method of understanding.

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          30. No, it is based on the evidence derived from dialogue with you and reading your dialogue with others and your blog.
            Even your latest post is indicative of the way your mind works, preferring to acknowledge and cling to superstitious, un-evidenced clap-trap.

            Liked by 2 people

          31. “…it is based on the evidence derived from dialogue with you and reading your dialogue with others and your blog.”

            And you fell into the same trap AGAIN!
            You never learn!

            (Seriously, Tildeb, Robert, JZ…help your friend out!)

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          32. Sorry! I thought you wanted to engage because you sent a comment this morning.

            I don’t blame you for wanting to quit. That’s probably a good idea.

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          33. Quit?
            *Sigh* I simply feel that there is only so much ”stupid” and subjection to lies that normal people should put themselves through.
            I have reached my limit for this session.
            Others here may have more stamina than me.
            Also, you being part of the Resident Religious Dickheads Club, you provide valuable insight for those of a more faith inclined nature who may be reading along but who are not quite the full-blown Fuckwit variety you are.
            While such folk won’t likely jump ship on my account , your inane drivel may give them suitable pause for thought about the calibre of Arsehole representing their religion.

            Seriously, if it wasn’t for the amusement value you provide I would have banned you ages ago.

            ”Quack!”

            Liked by 2 people

          34. Banning me is an excellent idea.
            In fact, that is the most sensible thing I’ve heard you say!
            As the saying goes, if you can’t beat em’ – ban em’!

            Intellectual debate ends when the name calling begins. It never occurs to you that if my comments are “inane drivel” then it should be easy to respond with something more substantial than, “You’re a dickhead”.

            Ban me.
            Then delete my comments and pretend I don’t exist. You excel at that kind of ‘science’.

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          35. Calling you a Dickhead is not name calling, how dare you! The term when applied to you is simply an accurate character description.
            Intellectual debate suggests that all parties are versed in the term intellectual.
            I truly believe that is a monumental assumption on your part JB, to think you would be included in this.
            You did not attract the epithet of Dickhead because of your erudite intellectual prowess. Haven’t you figured this out already?

            Liked by 3 people

          36. To John: I am not atheist.

            To everyone: The above debate provides a case study in the obviously passionate rift between religious fundamentalism and secularism. What’s going on here is a philosophical war for dominance with the fate of society hanging in the balance. The Christian Dominionists whom are pushing the fundamentalist agenda, and whom are behind the Discovery Institute cited by both John Branyan and myself, are waging a political war even more so than a philosophical war; and, an anti-science assault on the battlefield of education is one of their top priorities in the U.S.

            In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania found:

            “The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID [Intelligent Design] Policy violates the Establishment Clause [the Separation of Church and State]. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.”

            My point is that whether “God” exists or not is a secondary issue which atheists seem overly preoccupied with. Since the idea cannot be empirically disproved at the current time, the debate over it just becomes an endless battle of logic, wits, accusations, and insults. Meanwhile, the dominionists are busy acquiring influence and power which are key to exercising control over our vital social institutions.

            Conversely, fundamentalist incursions into science leave them vulnerable to successful counterattack because they are fighting on unfamiliar ground. Sun Tzu was correct.

            Since professional scientists are loath to step out of their area of expertise, it is up to the secular community to defend against these religious incursions. Make no mistake, this is much more a political war than a philosophical one; and, the real adversary of secularism and science is not the ordinary working-class Joe who attends church every other Sunday. No, the real adversaries are the wealthy drivers of religious fundamentalism.

            Liked by 3 people

          37. “it is up to the secular community to defend against these religious incursions.”

            Bob, do you ever watch Rachel Maddow’s show? Recently I’ve noticed several commercials during her program that show Ron Reagan promoting the Freedom From Religion Foundation. I doubt many of the “big” networks would accept the foundation’s money, but wouldn’t the wider exposure be great?

            Liked by 3 people

          38. I’ve read where they’ve stuck their nose into some pretty contentious “secular” goings-on … and I say YAY for them! A line from their website: The Foundation works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church.

            Liked by 3 people

          39. Nan, I used to watch Rachel Maddow; but, I have since given up on MSNBC. It, like all the other corporate controlled news networks, have long since abrogated their Fourth Estate responsibilities.

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          40. Nan, I forgot to add that I have great respect for Ron Reagan and that general cause. Regarding that particular foundation, I’d have to research it further in order to form some opinion.

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    2. There you go, John: a perfect example of the God of the gaps idiocy that always has religion retreating before the advancement of scientific knowledge. Your god gets ever smaller.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Augustine who is recognised, by friend and foe alike, as one of the great intellects criticised his fellow Christians 1600 years ago for basing their faith on a God of the Gaps. He could see all those years ago that such thinking was building a house on sand that would not survive advances in scientific knowledge.

        Likewise he criticised fellow Christians who talked nonsense on matters of science and thus making them lose credibility in the eyes of those with scientific knowledge. As the wise Augustine concluded this would cause the knowledgeable people to conclude that Christianity also lacked credibility.

        What I ponder is whether a person such as Augustine would be a Christian if he lived in the modern world?

        Liked by 5 people

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