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      06-27-2012, 01:23 PM   #67
MiddleAgedAl
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"Science" and popularly accepted fact once proved that the earth was flat, it also proved that the earth revolved around the sun. I wouldn't place any "faith" in what we have currently decided we "know".

For the logical, science and direct observation folks--try answering any of the most profound "why" questions. You'll soon run out of our very sparse facts and miniscule understanding of the universe. Only leaves one way to put it all in a perspective understandable by humans--faith.
The very beauty of Science is that it is not fixed and unyielding in it's assertions. It may start out thinking something is correct, then as we advance, and get a better understanding, science is quick to change it's official position on things. OK, the earth is NOT flat, update the textbooks, and move on. It's continually challenging itself; it ENCOURAGES the challenging of beliefs. If you have a better explanation, then great. They dont rigidly hold on to beliefs despite contrary evidence and ostracize those who seek to ask for proof.

As far as the why goes, I'm not sure how embracing such a belief system actually provides answers to "Why".
Why are we here on this planet? I don't know. I'm totally cool with not knowing, I dont lose any sleep over it at all.

If I felt the need to fabricate some fairy tale to placate my mind, and say "well, God put us all here", that still would not help me sleep better, because the left side of my brain would fire up and say, "OK, but WHY did God put us here? Why is there a God? If creatures are too complicated to be the result of evolution, and could only be the product of intelligent design, then God must have created us, but then who created God? I mean, after all, if humans are too complicated to result from spontaneous evolution, then surely the entity which created us must be even MORE complicated, so it's even less plausible that he could exist without an intelligent creator, so who created him? And then who created the entity which created God? And so on... And why did all this happen ?

People say they embrace religion because it provides comfort and answers, but to me, it just creates more questions than answers.... I find that more unsettling than comforting.
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      06-27-2012, 05:42 PM   #68
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I could not have said it better myself. I detect a hint of Dawkins in there and perhaps some Hitchens and Harris as well

Also, putting forward the question "why are we here?" is flawed by it's very nature; what if there is no why? There is no reason to believe that we (as individuals and as a species) have a reason to exist at all, it may simply be the case that we do and nothing more. This does not make life or the universe any less marvelous or beautiful though.
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      06-27-2012, 07:18 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by MiddleAgedAl View Post
The very beauty of Science is that it is not fixed and unyielding in it's assertions. It may start out thinking something is correct, then as we advance, and get a better understanding, science is quick to change it's official position on things. OK, the earth is NOT flat, update the textbooks, and move on. It's continually challenging itself; it ENCOURAGES the challenging of beliefs. If you have a better explanation, then great. They dont rigidly hold on to beliefs despite contrary evidence and ostracize those who seek to ask for proof.

As far as the why goes, I'm not sure how embracing such a belief system actually provides answers to "Why".
Why are we here on this planet? I don't know. I'm totally cool with not knowing, I dont lose any sleep over it at all.

If I felt the need to fabricate some fairy tale to placate my mind, and say "well, God put us all here", that still would not help me sleep better, because the left side of my brain would fire up and say, "OK, but WHY did God put us here? Why is there a God? If creatures are too complicated to be the result of evolution, and could only be the product of intelligent design, then God must have created us, but then who created God? I mean, after all, if humans are too complicated to result from spontaneous evolution, then surely the entity which created us must be even MORE complicated, so it's even less plausible that he could exist without an intelligent creator, so who created him? And then who created the entity which created God? And so on... And why did all this happen ?

People say they embrace religion because it provides comfort and answers, but to me, it just creates more questions than answers.... I find that more unsettling than comforting.
Please don't assume or overreach on my behalf. I never mentioned religion for a good reason. Trusting doctrine written by my fellow (and fallible) humans is not something I can do. I don't damn anyone else's chosen way of explaining the universe, I just don't trust another person to interpret it for me. Your wise observations on science just reinforce the point that what we "know" is built on sand, transitory and only factual until the next time it's not. It's clear for me that there are a severely limited number of things within my (our collective) ken and everything else is handled some other way by each of us. And no, I don't have any particular vision of "God" nor do I ascribe any particular attributes to him/her/it. It may be that my take on things won't make sense to someone oriented on and trying to explain his world with human verified fact. I'm good with that. We'll all find out the truth later on down the road. Or not.
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      06-28-2012, 07:54 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldArmy View Post
"Science" and popularly accepted fact once proved that the earth was flat, it also proved that the earth revolved around the sun. I wouldn't place any "faith" in what we have currently decided we "know".

For the logical, science and direct observation folks--try answering any of the most profound "why" questions. You'll soon run out of our very sparse facts and miniscule understanding of the universe. Only leaves one way to put it all in a perspective understandable by humans--faith.

Ever been in the delivery room for the birth of your very own child? Of course there is a "God".
Science never proved that the earth was flat and it never proved that we revolved around the sun. Some people had ideas, and others believed them, but there was never any data to support it. In fact, when Galileo had proof of the contrary he was placed under house arrest under threat of being judged by the Inquisition by the church and his writings were banned.
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      06-28-2012, 08:53 AM   #71
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Science never proved that the earth was flat and it never proved that we revolved around the sun. Some people had ideas, and others believed them, but there was never any data to support it. In fact, when Galileo had proof of the contrary he was placed under house arrest under threat of being judged by the Inquisition by the church and his writings were banned.
I'm glad someone called bullshit on OldArmy's claims. First of all, science never "proves" anything; it either supports or disproves a theory. Yes, at one time people assumed the earth was flat, and if you go back far enough, civilization didn't understand much of anything, and attributed it all to gods or spirits. And now OldArmy says that all the unexplained phenomena in the world must be from the hand of God, but he's doing exactly what the ancient no-nothings did.

It would seem just the opposite is true; things that we previously chalked-up to faith have now been explained by science, and so it'll be going forward. And BTW, Aristotle developed the concept of the planets and planetary motion back in the 300's BC, and it stood for nearly 2 millenia. It's due to religion and lack of science that Aristotle's knowledge got lost among greater civilization until Galileo.

And yes, childbirth is amazing and wonderful, but seeing marsupials do the same thing sort of kills the "miraculousness" of it for me.
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      06-28-2012, 11:40 AM   #72
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OldArmy is utilizing a flawed argument known as the "God of the Gaps". It is overused and underwhelming in it's ability to explain anything. I don't want to rehash all the faults in it because I think we all (including OldArmy), as intelligent people already know why it is weak. If prompted to though I will show why.
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      06-28-2012, 12:32 PM   #73
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A much more current example often still used is the incorrect "science says that bumblebees can't fly" argument, which then implies that since we've all seen a bumblebee fly, that there is much that science doesn't know, and can only be explained via supernatural means, a God of some sort. Some even take this further to suggest that this "proves" that science cant be trusted.

This is yet another example of how science improves over time, whereas scripture does not. The argument started back in the 1930's when a prominent German aerodynamicist, using what little was known at the time in that field, did some calculations and found that the lift generated by a bee's wing should not be enought to enable it to fly, given it's weight.

Hearing that, then seeing a bee actually fly does not mean that science is inherently unworthy of your consideration or "faith". It just means that the knowledge to fill in the blanks isn't fully developed yet. Of course, science thinks it's OK to leave some answers blank, or unknown, to be answered later. It does not abhor a vacuum to the point where it must fill in blank with the old stand by "it's the work of God".

In the 1930's, they only knew enough to apply very simplified linear treatment of oscillating aerofoils, which led to the whole "this shouldnt work" answer.
Today, our improved understanding of steady viscous fluid dynamics allows us to accurately model what is happening, and we can prove that their wings leverage vortex separation in every oscillation cycle, which actually increases the lift momentarily.

Nerd link: http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases..._Wang.hrs.html

There are things today we dont fully understand. I have absolute FAITH that as knowledge grows, someday all the things that appear supenatural in origin now, will have a valid explanation, just like the bee. In the meantime, it's perfectly OK to leave that answer blank; you dont need to fill it in with some other speculative, unprovable explanation.
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      06-28-2012, 01:32 PM   #74
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Sidebar: Thanks for the link, I LOVE fluid dynamics
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      06-28-2012, 03:34 PM   #75
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I love intelligent conversation, so refreshing compared to the norm encountered throughout daily life. Also, thanks for the link from me too and thanks to whomever posted the earlier QUALIASOUP link, great video!
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      06-29-2012, 08:47 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleAgedAl View Post

There are things today we dont fully understand. I have absolute FAITH that as knowledge grows, someday all the things that appear supenatural in origin now, will have a valid explanation, just like the bee. In the meantime, it's perfectly OK to leave that answer blank; you dont need to fill it in with some other speculative, unprovable explanation.

I am religious...I think I rated myself 2 on the scale....and this is my exact same feeling or way of thinking. I don't profess that my religion can answer every question nor offer understanding on everything we may wonder about. I also don't believe in magic or the supernatural. I do, at the same time, believe in a God. I am fine not having an answer for everything, and just like you I also have absolute faith that as knowledge increases so will our understanding of the universe which will include the nature of God.

As I said previously, I don't think science and the idea of God need to contradict each other even if they don't always seem to parallel each other. Science is conerned with the discovery and understanding of absolute truth....or rather, things as they really are. I view religion as the same thing although they may go about reaching that goal in different manners (as someone has already pointed out). Certainly science is more proactive at understanding this truth where religion seems to be based more on teachings of prophets that profess to have seen or understand truth and leaving the rest to faith. In the end, the goal, at least to me, is the same....understanding things as they really are. With this mindset, I do believe that someday that the increase of knowledge and understanding of both science and God will collide as we better understand things as they really are. Just my opinion.
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      06-29-2012, 10:05 AM   #77
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I am religious...I think I rated myself 2 on the scale....and this is my exact same feeling or way of thinking. I don't profess that my religion can answer every question nor offer understanding on everything we may wonder about. I also don't believe in magic or the supernatural. I do, at the same time, believe in a God. I am fine not having an answer for everything, and just like you I also have absolute faith that as knowledge increases so will our understanding of the universe which will include the nature of God.
Are those not mutually exclusive? Is a god not by definition supernatural?

Quote:
As I said previously, I don't think science and the idea of God need to contradict each other even if they don't always seem to parallel each other. Science is conerned with the discovery and understanding of absolute truth....or rather, things as they really are. I view religion as the same thing although they may go about reaching that goal in different manners (as someone has already pointed out). Certainly science is more proactive at understanding this truth where religion seems to be based more on teachings of prophets that profess to have seen or understand truth and leaving the rest to faith. In the end, the goal, at least to me, is the same....understanding things as they really are. With this mindset, I do believe that someday that the increase of knowledge and understanding of both science and God will collide as we better understand things as they really are. Just my opinion.
I totally agree. My problem lies with what I said above. I grew up in a fairly devout family and went to church for 18 years of my life, but I believe in due time that we will be able to explain every physical phenomena with science/math.
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      06-29-2012, 10:19 AM   #78
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You are correct. I suppose the two are, by definition, mutually exclusive. The point I was trying to make is that I don't think there is anything magical about God and that the "mysteries' of God probably aren't mysterious if we had more understanding.
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      06-29-2012, 10:21 AM   #79
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I see.
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