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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And let's not forget those Greek polythesists, with their well-populated pantheon and those crazy ideas about atoms, determining the circumference of the Earth and other science-type things.

I haven't read all the posts in this thread all the way though, so I ask in fear I may be repeating what someone else has said. Has no one mentioned the Mayans, with their mastery of astronomy, accomplished entirely without polished glass optics or electronic devices? What about the Hindus, who invented numbers and, some might argue, calculus, 250 years before it was developed by Newton (or, arguably Leibniz)? 

As a scientist, I would beg to differ that it is the same thing as engineering. ;-)

It is true we see elements of proto-science in some places, like the Greek schools around the time of Plato.  Of course, Plato and many of those schools were also proto-monotheists, so much so that those writings were preserved by the early Church.

@Unseen, mathematics may be a different thing.  At least the mathematicians around here would claim so.  They would not characterize what they do as "science."  There's no need for observation or experiment.

Would those be the same monotheists who forced Galileo to recant his assertion that the earth orbited the sun, and didn't admit he was right until 1998? I can certainly see how that must have advanced science --

Well, no... you're conflating the philosophy of monotheism with the actions of individual monotheists, who were largely acting for political rather than faith-based reasons.

That seems to be a common thing here at TA, but it's sort of silly.  Just like me making the parallel claim that Stalin and the Soviets were atheist and therefore atheism leads to mass-murderer.   It's a nonsense argument for the most part.

It's not mostly nonsense. Religious and political practices conflate often, in reality. Dogma enforced by presumed divinity, and worship of a father figure is the problem. North Korea's an illustration of this conflation, just not based on a world religion. Religiosity isn't the only cause of rabid allegiance, but it's historically the largest.

Atheism isn't even patriarchal, much less a cohesive religion. Nor is science. But this is a good discussion. Perhaps divinised, enforced dogma is the real evil, with religion just its (historically) most effective tool.

Perhaps divinised, enforced dogma is the real evil, with religion just its (historically) most effective tool.

I think you need to take it farther, @Pope.

I think perhaps the real evil is tribalism.  It is our genetic predisposition toward tribalism that insists on seeing some people as "us" and some as "them."  Religion can be and often is suborned to this human trait, for sure.  So can politics, as the situation in the U.S. at present demonstrates.   Raising the specter of fear of another tribe empowers dictators of all sorts. 

All wars, whether actual or political, are always, "us" vs "them."


I think perhaps the real evil is tribalism.  It is our genetic predisposition toward tribalism that insists on seeing some people as "us" and some as "them."

I can agree with that mostly, but not absolutely. I wrote a few paragraphs to clarify, but will save it for another thread.

It IS an old tradition, Papi, but we can outgrow it.

Hello @terrence,

I confess I'm not sure what this thread is about any more.  It seems every thread gets turned into a discussion of pedophilia whenever I'm around.   <:(   So I'm not sure what exactly you're responding to.

Do science and religion go "hand in hand"?  Well, I suppose that depends on what you mean by "hand in hand".  I would agree that they are not mutually exclusive worldviews.  I'm perfectly happy being a scientist and a Catholic, as are quite a lot of people now and throughout history.  I would go further and say that they are complementary, and share some essential epistemological features that likely can be traced back to Judaism.

If you really think that science follows a "formal process", then the anthropologists of science are going to have a good chuckle.  That "scientific method" that you learned in elementary school is largely a fiction, when you look at the observational evidence from the actual practice of science.   From my own experience, the process by which my church develops teachings and the process which happens in science are remarkably similar.   That's no surprise, as western universities in general along with western science arose from my religious tradition.


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