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« on: Aug 27, 2017, 06:01AM »

"You're an eloquent man. It doesn't mean you're wrong. In my experience, eloquent men are right every bit as often as imbeciles." - Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones


Since this is the religion section, and somehow science always comes up around here with religion... How does it come up? Saying religion, and faith, is wrong, and that science and validation is a better approach. Approach to what? Same basic questions... where did we come from? How did we get here? etc.

So let's look at the scientific approach...


First: why is science said to be better? It goes off of experimentation. Validation. Repetition. We can see it, test it, try it. But for these questions of long ago... we cannot do any of these.

As noted in another thread:
Quote from: timothy42b
There are theories that can be understood by nonspecialists without math degrees; the last one dates to 1847 or whenever Darwin wrote his book. 

It's not blind faith.  The eclipse did happen at 2:44 PM in my location exactly as the science predicted.  There is a pretty good track record.  But this stuff is not something any of us could verify on our own.  Well, maybe a couple of us.

Which, for the average person, means this isn't about what you can see/hear/think... but trusting in people, or trusting in God. Either way... it is trust. And any trust... is blind. It's inherent. If you could see/know/control than you aren't trusting.

At the same time...
Quote from: timothy42b
What is a bit curious is the large number of people without any math or science background who can instantly spot flaws in theories that the scientists who study them can't detect.  (I'm not putting you in that category.)  You only have to look at any evolution debate or climate debate, or for that matter vaccine debate, to see that.
A co-worker has a house built in the late 50's. Two story, A frame ranch. Fairly standard. weight is born down the sides, and center support. Except... on the bottom floor, they wanted one side to be a bit bigger, and took it out of the other. So the center wall is two feet off center. Only on that floor.

The result, is that the floor of the second story is bowed 3-8 inches.

To his wife, the house is stable. It has been around this long, and will continue.
To him, it's an issue but he doesn't know what to do about it. Best he could think is to stabilize it. But he doesn't really worry about it.
But to a buyer should he try to sell his house, it could easily be a deal breaker no matter how much they like the rest. Because, well, the fix would probably be some major rebuild, and what is to say what the rest of the impact it? Would the entire house need to be rebuilt to correct it?


Quote from: BillO
Faith, to me, is a stronger expression than confidence or trust.  Faith, like faith in God, is given without question or proof because of what God represents.  Nothing in nature can command that.  Scientists learn to build confidence slowly.  Right from the start we are expected to do experiments to show F=mA.  Everything in science is questioned, over and over again.  We don't even call something a 'theory' unless it has shown itself to be right.  Until then it gets labelled with being a mere hypothesis.

...

For instance, I no longer have to repeatedly prove F=mA via experiment.  It has earned it's right to be trusted because it has never been wrong outside of the relativistic or sub-atomic realms for nearly 400 years.  It's probably even better to say I have confidence in it, rather than I trust it.
Order changed for relevance.

In this example, I don't even need to know what F=mA is to know it has problems.

On one hand, it's considered solid. Other the other... It's like saying a software application works great as long as you avoid the places where it freezes and crashes. Just don't click that button, and it works great!

Now... a basic calculation fails in some realms? Why do we even have realms? Because one group of physics calculations and theories that work great and are "proven" over and over again... doesn't jive with another group of calculations that is also said to work great and is "proven" over and over. The fact that they don't work together is more than enough to say something is fundamentally wrong or off.

At that point... it's a matter of, do you live in the house and work around it's problem? Or are you looking to buy it?



Science very much has it's problems as well. But... if it really can't answer the basic questions for the average person.... why is it continually held up as an answer here?
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 27, 2017, 08:14AM »

Since this is the religion section, and somehow science always comes up around here with religion... How does it come up? Saying religion, and faith, is wrong, and that science and validation is a better approach. Approach to what? Same basic questions... where did we come from? How did we get here? etc.

So let's look at the scientific approach...


First: why is science said to be better? It goes off of experimentation. Validation. Repetition. We can see it, test it, try it. But for these questions of long ago... we cannot do any of these.

Why not? What's wrong with studying clues and where possible re-creating the conditions we think led to said clues to see if the ideas hold water? It sounds like you're asking how we study history and figure out anything at all.
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 27, 2017, 08:36AM »

Gods were created to try to explain things we didn't understand.  Why does the Nile Flood and sometimes not.  It's not related to anything we know, so there must be a Nile God who decides periodically to flood.  When we need it to flood, we can pray to the God.

Eventually we discover that the Nile floods when a certain set of conditions were met.  So now we can predict it.  This is Science.

You are getting a bit testy about F=ma.  It works great on the macro scale.  It doesn't work on the atomic scale.  But if we have a big clump of atoms, maybe a baseball, suddenly the equation works great to describe its motion.  In fact, if we tried to adapt F=ma to describe ALL motion, we'd need to introduce a bunch of additional terms, many of which are really ignorable in most cases.  This is how Special Relativity and General Relativity differ.

Science is always looking for the basic reasons for things to occur.  There are gaps in our knowledge; enough for the next 50 generations of PhD candidates.  And by the time the last of them gets his/her/its degree, there will be more gaps as we discover more things.

As to your house model, it's flawed.  We KNOW why the floor sags.  We can put some jacks underneath, hiding them in columns and the house will be as sound as ever.  May not satisfy the homeowner, but that's Science.
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 27, 2017, 09:13AM »


Now... a basic calculation fails in some realms? Why do we even have realms? Because one group of physics calculations and theories that work great and are "proven" over and over again... doesn't jive with another group of calculations that is also said to work great and is "proven" over and over. The fact that they don't work together is more than enough to say something is fundamentally wrong or off.

Unfortunately I'm a little pressed for time to go into this in great detail, but the simple reason we have realms is that the universe works differently at different levels.  You could use relativistic mechanics to help design your new pitching machine for batting practice, but it would be undue work and would not provide different results.  So why bother?  The special relativistic from of F=mA (or more correctly F=dP/dt) when fully written out in it full form is a daunting sight to behold and would take up the better part of a full page.  The general relativistic from would require several pages.  But why use these for such mundane stuff as ordinary mechanical engineering when all you'll do is spend 99.999% of the time find out the most of the terms are zero under these conditions and that you'll then be left with F=dP/dt.  (BTW, F=dP/dt works for the relativistic approaches, however P in those cases is not just a simple 3-vector since both mass and displacement become dependent on velocity)

For quantum mechanics, the calculations required for macro realm solutions boggle the mind as well as any known computer system.  Theoretically it should work, but this has never been tried due to it being a currently impossible task.
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 27, 2017, 09:28AM »

Science of dummies, eh?

Bob, we can do without science.  We did for the vast preponderance of our existence.  However, we have powerful minds that seek answers to questions.  Questions the religious texts cannot answer for us.

What does the bible tell us about where the sun goes at night?

What does it tell us about how the sky can be blue?

Can it answer for what reason leaves are green?

Will it give a solution as to why water turns into a solid if it gets cold enough?

These are all questions that young children ask.  If you reject science how are you going to answer them?  With the one size fits all "God made it so." response?

The writers of the bible had no clue as to how to answer to these, let alone the questions that lead to the building of your computer and the internet which allows you to see my writing.

Well, the bible does tell us God's breath is what freezes water.  I'm happy God see's fit to breath into my freezer for me, given that I don't believe he exists.
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 27, 2017, 09:52AM »

Science of dummies, eh?

Bob, we can do without science.  We did for the vast preponderance of our existence.  However, we have powerful minds that seek answers to questions.  Questions the religious texts cannot answer for us.

What does the bible tell us about where the sun goes at night?

What does it tell us about how the sky can be blue?

Can it answer for what reason leaves are green?

Will it give a solution as to why water turns into a solid if it gets cold enough?

These are all questions that young children ask.  If you reject science how are you going to answer them?  With the one size fits all "God made it so." response?

The writers of the bible had no clue as to how to answer to these, let alone the questions that lead to the building of your computer and the internet which allows you to see my writing.

Well, the bible does tell us God's breath is what freezes water.  I'm happy God see's fit to breath into my freezer for me, given that I don't believe he exists.

The Lord Speaks
38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.

He(The Lord) said:

2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
    and their upraised arm is broken.
16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know all this.
19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
    You have lived so many years!
22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
    for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
    or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
    an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
    and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
    Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
    when the surface of the deep is frozen?
31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
    Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]
    or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
    Can you set up God’s[e] dominion over the earth?
34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
    and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
    Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]
    or gives the rooster understanding?[g]
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
    Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
    and the clods of earth stick together?
39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
    and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
    or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
    when its young cry out to God
    and wander about for lack of food?



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« Reply #6 on: Aug 27, 2017, 10:08AM »

Not a bad technological model for 2000 BC.

God is a good way to explain what we don't know.

Dusty, when you plug a special resistor (light bulb) into an electrical circuit is it God who makes light?  Or is it a glowing element (tungsten, neon, mercury vapor, or semiconductor material, depending on the bulb)?
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 27, 2017, 11:19AM »

The Lord Speaks
Yup - God made it so.  That's the one and only answer that the bible gives us.  And if mankind were satisfied with that, we'd still be living the good old bronze age life. Good!
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 27, 2017, 12:06PM »



Dusty, when you plug a special resistor (light bulb) into an electrical circuit is it God who makes light?  Or is it a glowing element (tungsten, neon, mercury vapor, or semiconductor material, depending on the bulb)?

Light bulbs obey the laws of physics.

If you follow Platinga's reasoning, that proves God exists.  If He did not, there is no reason to think the laws of physics would exist, or at least would work the same way from moment to moment.  So God need not intervene in every day life, but exists to maintain reality. 

Yeah, he's a presuppositionalist. 
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 27, 2017, 12:16PM »

Not a bad technological model for 2000 BC.

God is a good way to explain what we don't know.

Dusty, when you plug a special resistor (light bulb) into an electrical circuit is it God who makes light?  Or is it a glowing element (tungsten, neon, mercury vapor, or semiconductor material, depending on the bulb)?

Who made the elements? You know, copper, tungsten, etc? Man may have discovered a way to use certain elements that God created in a creative way, but how do you take God out of the equation?
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 27, 2017, 12:22PM »


I guess BOB is arguing that the pyramid of knowledge that people before us have assembled and which we can climb without having to duplicate all their work from the lowest layer is a false thing.

If any of it is found to be faulty, then all of it must be!

But pyramids don't fall because one block is cracked.
 

And I guess BOB is arguing that continuing to work with this body of (testable) knowledge without each of us personally restarting the journey from the stone age is the same as "blind faith."  

Those astronomers could be fooling me with their lies because I've never ground out a telescope lens myself to verify it all personally!


To me, these are vapid, time-wasting arguments to engage in. These arguments are more about an endeavor to exploit the ambiguity of a broadly-deployed and multi-use label like "faith" than they are about a search for an understanding of science.


Newton said "I stand on the shoulders of giants." He didn't have to giver birth to the giants to benefit from them.
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 27, 2017, 12:51PM »

Who made the elements? You know, copper, tungsten, etc? Man may have discovered a way to use certain elements that God created in a creative way, but how do you take God out of the equation?


Stars.
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 27, 2017, 01:22PM »

Stars.

Yeah, and those heavy elements when they get all blowed up, like novae and supernovae. Cool, and no super natural dude required.
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 27, 2017, 01:56PM »

On a side note, I'm glad to see Dusty posting.  It means he still has power and has not been flooded out of his house.  Spacetown is in pretty wet shape.

We don't have any element making processes on this planet with the exception of some rather rare radioactive elements (most of which are actually man-made).  The elements are generated elsewhere.  If you refuse to believe that all those stars you see in the sky are actually nuclear fusion engines, I guess God is a good second guess.
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 27, 2017, 02:03PM »

When you cut through all the window dressing this line of argument ultimately boils down to defending:
 
     We don't know yet. = God did it.
 
I really suspect most of those who try to use this line of argumentation actually know better, but the argument from ignorance is appealing because it's fairly easily dressed up to appear solid (at least if you want it to appear solid and you're not too inclined to challenge it). A lot of the argumentation only works for believers, though, because they were socialized to think in the necessary way about religious ideas before they had the tools to filter what's reasonable and even rational from what's not. This is why the raise a child up in the way he should go ethic is so tightly linked to religious indoctrination in most religious franchises. In many cases it's really just a code/euphemism specifically for religious indoctrination. The fact that your religion (or your religious background) is so highly predictable based upon social geography is a pretty blatant tell on this count, and it's also a cause of great consternation for many apologists due to this obvious implication.
 
Another key problem for this line of argumentation is that it's dependent upon either ignorance or denial of how human brains work. The success of science and sound critical thinking are founded upon keeping the human brain in check--rejecting the inappropriate level of trust in it that faith requires. If the plausibility structure behind your beliefs doesn't focus on preventing us from fooling ourselves then it's seriously flawed, and presupposition and faith and such are about defending raw perceptions. This is fundamentally backwards if you're really interested in trying to understand what's real and true.
 
In fact this is a question of whether or not one can learn regarding a certain class of beliefs--sacred cows. Religion (reified) is always trying to validate raw perceptions and presumptions so that keeping them in check and the problems with failing to do so can be ignored--this is the prevention of potential learning. There's a reason for that. There's a very closely related reason I suggest that religious apologists should probably not learn too much about psychology or sociology if they want to maintain a solid sense of security in their beliefs without having to deal with the potential dissonance from high levels of compartmentalization.
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 27, 2017, 02:04PM »

Stars.

Novae and supernovae specifically though--the deaths of stars.
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 27, 2017, 02:15PM »


Novae and supernovae specifically though--the deaths of stars.

For all y'alls who aren't sure: yes, I realize this. I just didn't think that anything more detailed was necessary at the time of that post.

Actually, from what we surmise, elements come from a few different factories: the Big Bang (hydrogen, deuterium, tritum, helium, some lithium), fusion inside of currently active stars (depending on the size of the star, there's a known chain of fusion leading up to iron), planetary nebulas, novas, supernovas, fission of unstable elements formed in those supernovas, and at a very small scale (except perhaps associated with supermassive black holes) high-energy particle bombardments from cosmic rays and curious humans.
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« Reply #17 on: Aug 27, 2017, 02:19PM »

Who made the elements? You know, copper, tungsten, etc? Man may have discovered a way to use certain elements that God created in a creative way, but how do you take God out of the equation?

As explained previously all the natural elements but hydrogen are made in stars.  However man knows how to make elements.  It was first done in 1937.  The following is a list of man made elements.  Notice Plutonium among them.  An element man has made in large quantities.

Element - Symbol - At. No.
Technetium - Tc - 43
Promethium - Pm - 61
Astatine - At - 85
Francium - Fr - 87
Neptunium - Np - 93
Plutonium - Pu - 94
Americium - Am - 95
Curium - Cm - 96
Berkelium - Bk - 97
Californium - Cf - 98
Einsteinium - Es - 99
Fermium - Fm - 100
Mendelevium - Md - 101
Nobelium - No - 102
Lawrencium - Lr - 103
Rutherfordium - Rf - 104
Dubnium   - Db - 105
Seaborgium - Sg - 106
Bohrium - Bh - 107
Hassium - Hs - 108
Meitnerium - Mt - 109
Darmstadtium - Ds - 110
Roentgenium - Rg - 111
Copernicium - Cn - 112
Ununtrium - Uut - 114
Ununpentium - Uup - 115
Ununseptium - Uus - 117
Ununoctium - Uuo - 118

Of these Technetium, Plutonium and Americium are used fairly extensively.  In fact, if you have a modern ionization smoke detector, you have Americium in your house.
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 27, 2017, 02:22PM »

The age where one person can know everything (i.e Renaissance Man) has long passed.  I've yet to find somebody who knows all the vast repository of knowledge.  People can be experts in one thing, but nobody can be an expert in everything.

I guess if you don't want to accept the discoveries of others you will be constantly trying to rediscover the wheel.  Or maybe God made the wheel? :-P
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« Reply #19 on: Aug 27, 2017, 02:27PM »

For all y'alls who aren't sure: yes, I realize this. I just didn't think that anything more detailed was necessary at the time of that post.
I was pretty sure--would have been pretty surprised if you didn't.
 
Actually, from what we surmise, elements come from a few different factories: the Big Bang (hydrogen, deuterium, tritum, helium, some lithium), fusion inside of currently active stars (depending on the size of the star, there's a known chain of fusion leading up to iron), planetary nebulas, novas, supernovas, fission of unstable elements formed in those supernovas, and at a very small scale (except perhaps associated with supermassive black holes) high-energy particle bombardments from cosmic rays and curious humans.
It seems I recall that nickel is a threshold element in this regard--either any elements as atomically heavy as nickel or heavier require a supernova to have been fused, or any elements more atomically heavy than nickel ... or something like that--could also have been supernovae ... ?
 
Anyway, this is why Carl Sagan used to say we're star stuff.
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