Is your trust in science based on faith or based on science?

What I mean is this: how much do you actually know about the science most atheists parrot? Most atheists know as little science as most Christians know as little theology. Just as a Christian trusts his priest to tell him what he believes, an atheist trusts scientists with a Ph.D. tacked to their name to tell them what they believe. But how many times have the scientists turned out to be wrong? I only ask this because it seems this is central to the problem that most atheists have. They are repulsed by the phrase “believe” – they are addicted instead to the phrase “know”. But honestly, do you really know, or are you just believing what you’re told? I would like to remind you that in the 1970′s the scientists of the day were seriously concerned that we were about to enter an ice age, and less than 30 years later they are now convinced Earth is about to turn into a desert.

Unless you’ve observed something yourself, or observed and interpreted the evidence yourself and drew your own conclusions, you are just as guilty as faith as any religious person.

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But that's the beauty of science, it's not afraid to be wrong, and not ashamed to correct earlier errors.\

Show a Fundie that the Bible says a rabbit chews its cud, then ask if it's possible the Bible could be wrong, and see what kind of answer you get.

However, there is almost unlimited scientific evidence suggesting that humans have imagined and concocted thousands or possibly even hundreds of thousand of gods over many millennia, and the dozens of remaining non-discarded gods are likely no more real than the thousands or hundreds of thousand discarded gods.

There is almost unlimited evidence that humans have imagined and concocted thousands or possibly hundreds of thousands of theories of how the physical world works over many millennia, most claiming to be "scientific", at least in the terminology of the day.

Does it then follow that the remaining current scientific theories are no more real than the thousands or hundreds of thousands of discarded theories?

Of course not.

We presume, with some degree of confidence, that the theories which the community continues to find useful are more valid and worth passing along than the ones which people have been convinced to discard through experience, evidence, or argumentation.

If there really were/are gods, then who, really, told humans about them?

If there really are leptons, then who, really, told humans about them?

Why, other humans of course.  Most of us learned about them in textbooks, and we trusted and referred to those texts and those more learned than we were.  A very small set of us perhaps had some direct experience with leptons through access to experimental apparatus (well, at least ways of measuring the indirect effects of lepton interaction), the we described those experiences to others.

Both science and theology are human endeavors, and they proceed in the ways that most human development and transmittal of knowledge happen.  We should not accord science any magical status.

Oh? I'd have no difficulty believing he is a scientist.

LoL!  Well, going forward, I would suggest not putting very much trust in your analytical skills.  ;-)

You of course are always free to ignore me, I don't mind.

Prof Bob! Good to hear from you again! I trust your visit here will be far less tumultuous than last time --

Was it tumultuous last time?  Honestly, people here tend to be a thoughtful and caring bunch, and being engaged with ideas is a fine thing.   As I tell graduate students, people are to be respected, but ideas should be beaten to within an inch of their lives. ;)

I sadly don't have much time to spend visiting, save at the end of semesters like right now.

Well, as I hope I made clear last time, as far as I'm concerned, you are always welcome here.

That's odd, they let me in whenever I like, but then, I'm adorable.

But you're right, it's much more fun over here. Posting on the other site is kind of like going to college and rooming with Canadians, polite, antiseptic, but not exactly anyone you'd want to slip out to a dingy bar and grab a beer with.

Except for maybe Heather, but then I can't imagine she's exactly a typical Canadian (or a typical anything, for that matter!) --

I'm curious to know which new theories about God, or of the physical world, have been advanced by experience, evidence, and argumentation in the field of religion (especially by evidence). What's the breaking news in the peer-reviewed theological journals these days? Did we discover that God thinks homosexuality is okay after all, or anything?

We presume, with some degree of confidence, that the theories which the community continues to find useful are more valid and worth passing along than the ones which people have been convinced to discard

Islam is proving to be extremely useful, then, I presume. It must have a lot of validity.


A few decades ago, I had a large, 10 pound, bound scientific encyclopedia. Such an encyclopedia today would probably have to be a hundred times larger. And no single version of it could go much deeper than surface-level summary.

I think you are confusing an argument from Authority with positions that are purposely refutable.

It is a mistake to assume that credentials are the important thing here.  The PHD doesn't mean nearly so much as you seem to think it is what the PHD represents...that this person is knowledgeable in their field AND, more importantly, that they use the scientific method to support their claims and evaluate their methodology and conclusions.  The scientific method is based on repeatable experiments that can produce repeatable consistent results.

So it isn't so much that an Astrophysicist tells me a thing and I say, he is an Authority and so he must be right!  It is that he and so many others like him have all used the same method to come to the same conclusions and are actually so adamant about this process that they are more than willing to be WRONG.  YES, the Science can tell you if you are right and if you are wrong.  

You are comparing Apples and Oranges here because one group of people say they can't be wrong and so no alternative evidence is even examined...while the other group of people actually tries to be wrong and so they examine every avenue of approach. 


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