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.
I wear a pair of Smartwool socks labeled "PhD"...so I walk on PhD's all day long...hmmmm.
Wasn't that the little bald guy who used to chase Bugs Bunny? Elmer Phd?
Uhm, if you know that Lorentz Contractions are observable, have been observed, and that the observations correlate with the mathematical prediction for given velocities - how exactly is it that you do not 'believe in' Lorentz Contractions?
The Lorentz contractions do not provide the change in mass due to velocity. The reason you can't go faster than light, through the vacuum of space, is that your clock stops. That's time dilation - another result of high velocity not specified by Lortentz contractions. You are mixing terms here - but at least that makes it clear how you can have some knowledge of the observations without believing them; you just don't clearly understand them.
RE: "Einstein was not always right." - according to Heisenberg, we can't be certain about that.
Just because the math fits the observations, doesn't make the scientific conclusions correct. Einstein was not always right.
It's not just a question of right or wrong, but new understanding and accuracy, and new abilities to predict what was once unpredictable. Einstein added to what Newton explained. Newton's laws worked perfectly, until we had to start explaining physics at speeds approaching light. Newton couldn't even have dreamed of this expansion of knowledge, even if his knowledge answered more questions than everyone before him.
The key to all of this is prediction that can be tested. Einstein's science predicted how the sun would bend the light of a star with gravity, in a way that we could test to prove or disprove. A test proved it. Our knowledge increased, and new questions were posed, considered, and new ideas tested to learn more, and more.
I don't know enough about Lorentze time-space to understand it or "believe in it". But I do know that predictions were made based on those theories and equations, which could be tested, and proven or disproven. Not all new predictions get proven. Just more and more of them.
I'll take the entire matter one step further, Roger - in ancient Judaism, as in most religions, sacrifices were made to appease "the gods," or in the Hebrew's case, a single god. For some reason, gods love the smell of barbecue.
For example, in "The Epic of Gilgamesh," written around 2800 BCE, Mesopotamian king Utinapishtum found himself in a boat, with his wife, in the midst of a flood that lasted for a week, and when the rain stopped and the boat ran aground, old Ut sacrificed an animal, and according to the author, "The gods smelled the savor, the gods smelled the sweet savor and collected like flies over a sacrifice." A couple of hundred years later, Noah had a similar experience and also offered a burnt sacrifice, and in Genesis 8:21: "the Lord smelled the sweet savor."
Now the purpose of a sacrifice to the gods, sweet savor aside, was to prove to the god in question that the god's favor was so important to you, that you were willing to give of your most valuable possessions to obtain it - no palming off a sick or injured animal you were going to lose anyway, the animal had to be perfect.
The New Testament tells us that Jesus, god's son, sacrificed himself for our sins - what satisfaction would a god get from the offering up of his own son as a sacrifice to himself, particularly when he had to make all of the catering arrangements personally!
There is he who does the sacrificing, the one who gets sacrificed, and the recipient of the sacrifice - if the recipient of the sacrifice is the same as the one who does the sacrificing - and the Council of Nicea determined that the Sacrificer and the Recipient were also the Sacrificee - how does that take anyone's sin away? It's like giving myself a birthday present (though a bit more macabre than the average gift for any but members of the Addam's family) - how does that obviate anything?
And Jesus wasn't even barbecued, hence the absence of the all-important "sweet savor"!
Atheism is a conclusion. Religion is a conviction.
I don't 'have faith' in science. I don't pray that my Galaxy III will work all day long. I plug it the fuck in.
If I really wanted to know the 'why' behind plugging it in, or how plugging it in makes it work, I could look up that information and educate myself.
I can't look up 'why' prayer doesn't work, or how to make it work better.
I don't have 'faith' that the vehicle for life is adaptation and evolution. I have transitional fossils and carbon dating and genome sequencing and mitochondrial DNA tracing.
I don't have 'belief' that these things work. I have clinical studies and lab results. I have objects I can go and examine with my own eyes and my own hands. I can replicate expected results with accuracy and have those findings reviewed by other experts who want to prove me wrong.
When prayer heals an amputee, I'll reconsider my stance on science.
Until then, I'll keep letting the evidence take me where it leads.
"Atheism is a conclusion. Religion is a conviction."
I definitely stealing that one. :D
I have arrived late to this post so I am sure my point is somewhat covered already. Most theists, especially the fundamentalists see their god as an Authority. Their beliefs are based on the authority of their special book. Science is not an authority based system. Everyone, even Theists can question or challenge it and Scientists on their work. Science is just a tool of discovery we use. Whatever it may reveal to us is falsifiable and open to scrutiny.
Religion is based on faith and subjective experience while Science is based on the validation of objective evidence. So, unlike religion, scientific knowledge (or Truth) is never a matter of belief. It is always a matter of understanding based on education. You need to read more than one book for that.