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Author Topic:   DarkStar's Manifesto: Is It Science?
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 220 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 1 of 14 (119487)
06-28-2004 10:22 AM


In this post, DarkStar outlines his manifesto for expanding human knowledge in general, and about the origin of life in particular:

DarkStar writes:

My Position on the Origin of Life
Neither the theory of evolution, nor the theory of intelligent design are capable of adequately explaining the origin of life. Science alone serves it's purpose. Religion alone serves it's purpose. Neither is sufficient on it's own merits to reveal all unknowns.

Absolutistic attitudes and beliefs, regardless of the realm in which they are held, are defeatest in nature and are contrary to the promotion of the greater good necessary for the betterment of our society in general, and of our species as a whole.

A blending of social, philosophical, theological, and empirical evidence should be the chosen path of any individual whose mission is the revealing of heretofore undiscovered knowledge, wisdom, and truth. Differing opinions should be embraced, not viewed as a necessity for continual division of thoughts, ideas, concepts, and positions.

To choose a lessor path is to accept the the inevitable limitation of what can be discovered. Close-mindedness serves only individual needs and beliefs, giving no regard to the opinions and beliefs of others. Eagerness to acknowledge and investigate new concepts, and new ideas should be the cornerstone of any intelligent species.

Science serves a purpose, religion serves a purpose, secular awareness serves a purpose, social responsibility serves a purpose, but all must acknowledge their limitations and learn to work within their own framework. None, in and of itself, will ever be sufficient enough to reveal all of the unknowns. Society is better served by the integration of these individual concepts.

These concepts, working in conjunction, one to the others, gives mankind the greatest possibility of uncovering the unknowns. None should be viewed at the only course to travel. None can ever be totally independant of the others and expect to reveal the ultimate truth, for alone they all lead to unanswerable questions, but together they lead to a fuller understanding of our species, and of the origin and purpose of life.

Elitism is best left to aristocrats and royalty. It should receive no foothold in the scientific, religious, or social realms when truth is the ultimate goal. Cooperation is a tool of opportunity that receives far too little utilization. Absolutism is a tool that should be forever discarded, as it serves only the individual needs, giving no regard to the greater good of our society in general, or of our species as a whole.

I acknowledge design, so evident throughout the universe. Whether that design is the result of random chance or divine intervention is not a question for me to answer, nor is it a question that, in my humble opinion, either science or religion is capable of answering on it's own. Perhaps neither ever will but greater are the chances of mankind revealing the unknowns when science and religion are viewed as partners and not adversaries, acknowledging their own limitations, recognizing each others strengths, and agree to walk hand in hand through the myriad of unknowns that are before us. Only then can we honestly say that our ultimate goal is a greater understanding of the knowledge, wisdom, and truth that lay before us, as we surrender no concern to where the path may lead.

DarkStar

I have no idea why we should accept the conclusions DarkStar proposes, aside from the fact that DarkStar tells us to. First off, he doesn't seem to be talking about the same sort of 'unknowns' throughout the post. Is he talking about the origin of life on Earth, or design in the Universe, or the unknown in its entirety? He asserts that some mixture of science and religion is necessary to find out the answers to all these questions, but he never describes how these concepts are supposed to be fused without doing damage to both. "Society is better served by the integration of these individual concepts," he says, but never describes how they are to be integrated.

Elsewhere, DarkStar has attacked evolutionary theory as a religion based solely on metaphysical assumptions and not on evidence. Perhaps he could offer some evidence to support his position that science and religion need to walk hand in hand to solve the mysteries of the Universe. From my perspective, it seems science has solved many of the mysteries of the natural world. However, religion hasn't really been able to solve supernatural mysteries or present a methodology for investigating spiritual unknowns to anyone's satisfaction.

regards,
Esteban Hambre


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Loudmouth, posted 06-28-2004 1:58 PM MrHambre has responded
 Message 11 by Reina, posted 06-29-2004 8:48 PM MrHambre has not yet responded

    
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 14 (119489)
06-28-2004 10:33 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 14 (119541)
06-28-2004 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by MrHambre
06-28-2004 10:22 AM


quote:
Science serves a purpose, religion serves a purpose, secular awareness serves a purpose, social responsibility serves a purpose, but all must acknowledge their limitations and learn to work within their own framework. None, in and of itself, will ever be sufficient enough to reveal all of the unknowns. Society is better served by the integration of these individual concepts.

So what we have are tools that are meant to answer separate questions. Science is the tool used to explain the physical, natural world. Philosophy/religion is a tool used to explain the metaphysical, moral, and spiritual questions that man asks. They are mutually exclusive. I would argue that society should use all of the tools, but they can not be combined into one.

For example, if we want to make a new pesticide to kill off a mosquito outbreak, do we meditate or apply empirical science? If we want to judge someone's actions, do we use science or socieatl/moral standards steeped in philosophy and religion? If we want to calculate the orbit of a satellite, do we pray about it and hope for a vision, or do we use mathematical formula derived from scientific theories devoid of religious content?

The question is this. What separates evolution and the origin of life from the rest of the sciences? We can reconstruct a crime from the evidence left behind, yet we are supposed to read the bible for reconstructing biological evidence left in the rocks. We can use DNA to determine paternity, but we can't use DNA to determine common ancestory. It seems that creationists and flavors thereof want to reap the benefits of keeping religion out of science unless it disagrees with their religion. Science is good enough to double their lifespan, make non-stick pots, make non-religious theories about orbiting planets, but not good enough to describe species diversity.

Science has never been improved, and very possibly ruined, by the inclusion of religious precepts. It wasn't until society decided to separate religion and science that we finally saw the heights to which human invention could reach. I would argue that the last 100 years has seen the removal of religion from science, and at the same time we also observe the greatest increase in technological discoveries and the greatest increase in solid theories that have withstood prolonged testing. Darkstar argues that science would benefit, but the data argues otherwise.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by MrHambre, posted 06-28-2004 10:22 AM MrHambre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by MrHambre, posted 06-28-2004 5:40 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded
 Message 5 by crashfrog, posted 06-29-2004 3:25 AM Loudmouth has responded

  
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 220 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 4 of 14 (119639)
06-28-2004 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Loudmouth
06-28-2004 1:58 PM


Loudmouth writes, on the subject of anti-evolutionists:
quote:
Science is good enough to double their lifespan, make non-stick pots, make non-religious theories about orbiting planets, but not good enough to describe species diversity.
Yeah, why isn't he railing against the 'religion' of computer science? DarkStar, it seems, just makes an assertion and expects everyone to accept it. After all, if we don't take his word, we're just closed-minded elitists. It's obvious he's not scientifically conversant enough to understand the factual basis of evolution (remember, he says the fossil record doesn't show the development of life of Earth), but he's not philosophically adept enough to understand the principle of methodological naturalism.

regards,
Esteban Hambre


This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 14 (119828)
06-29-2004 3:25 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Loudmouth
06-28-2004 1:58 PM


So what we have are tools that are meant to answer separate questions. Science is the tool used to explain the physical, natural world. Philosophy/religion is a tool used to explain the metaphysical, moral, and spiritual questions that man asks.

Well, not that I think it was your intent, but I think that it's a mistake to pretend these questions are of equivalent importance.

I mean, I could say (you'll pardon me for paraphrasing you):

quote:
So what we have are tools that are meant to answer separate questions. Science is the tool used to explain the physical, natural world. The Dungeons and Dragons sourcebooks are tools used to explain the game-rule, character-building, and campaign setting questions that man asks.

Ok, science and the gamebooks are two different tools, yes. But like the gamebooks, religion is a tool for answering questions about made-up stuff. Getting back to DS's manifesto, what on Earth would be the utility of trying to synthesize science and made-up stuff? (Maybe some great books and crappy movies, I guess.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Loudmouth, posted 06-28-2004 1:58 PM Loudmouth has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Mammuthus, posted 06-29-2004 4:16 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 10 by Loudmouth, posted 06-29-2004 12:51 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4582 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 6 of 14 (119838)
06-29-2004 4:16 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by crashfrog
06-29-2004 3:25 AM


quote:
what on Earth would be the utility of trying to synthesize science and made-up stuff?

The use of such a synthesis is to attempt to bolster ones faith with empirical evidence provided by methodological naturalism. Such an approach both demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of methodological naturalism and simultaneously exposes a very weak faith.

I can understand that if your best friend gets killed in a freak accident, you would want some explanation for why him, why now, why at all that science will not provide and faith or philosophy might provide the comfort needed to get past the event. I can even understand peoples inherent fear of death. But I have little understanding for people who claim to base their faith on empirical evidence which includes such ridiculous "facts" as the bible says so or design is self evident.

As Loudmouth pointed out, if you want to test a hypothesis in the lab, no matter how trivial it may be, in what way does inclusion of religion benefit or even address the hypothesis? If I want to construct a vector that will cause overexpression of the prion protein in human neuronal cell lines, what benefit am I going to get by including religion? What does a paternity test based on microsatellite loci gain by including god/gods/the supernatural? You might pray that you are not the father after that night of drinking tequila and vague memories of a girl in fishnet stockings who said she only takes cash, but the test and the science that went into developing the test are purely based on MN with no incorporation of anything mythical.

Darkstar claims we need to include mythology in science to get at the truth but studiously avoids mentioning a single case where this has benefited scientific discovery or how it would even in theory benefit science at all. It is highly likely that his avoidance represents his inability to do so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by crashfrog, posted 06-29-2004 3:25 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by crashfrog, posted 06-29-2004 4:24 AM Mammuthus has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 14 (119840)
06-29-2004 4:24 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Mammuthus
06-29-2004 4:16 AM


Darkstar claims we need to include mythology in science to get at the truth but studiously avoids mentioning a single case where this has benefited scientific discovery or how it would even in theory benefit science at all.

I'm not sure his point is that we have to. I rather think he's referring to some kind of truth beyond science.

How you could know such a truth is simply beyond me. There's absolutely no difference between theological or spiritual inquiry into the universe and making shit up. They're exactly the same thing. What sort of "truth" we would get from adding what we make up to what we've found out about the universe is something I simply don't understand, and something DS has given no examples of.

But yeah. I agree with you. When you take science and add made-up shit, you don't get more truth, you get less.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Mammuthus, posted 06-29-2004 4:16 AM Mammuthus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Mammuthus, posted 06-29-2004 4:49 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4582 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 8 of 14 (119845)
06-29-2004 4:49 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by crashfrog
06-29-2004 4:24 AM


quote:
A blending of social, philosophical, theological, and empirical evidence should be the chosen path of any individual whose mission is the revealing of heretofore undiscovered knowledge, wisdom, and truth.

From this quote I am assuming that he believes that the synthesis is a prerequisite. It is not far off from Willowtree's assertion that one can do science as long as one thanks god for it afterwards (paraphrasing his arguments) though neither of these guys bothers to explain how that in any way shape or form improves the conclusions drawn from methodological naturalism.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by crashfrog, posted 06-29-2004 4:24 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by RAZD, posted 06-29-2004 9:23 AM Mammuthus has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19815
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 9 of 14 (119910)
06-29-2004 9:23 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Mammuthus
06-29-2004 4:49 AM


I would think it obvious that anyone who believes in any form of creation should consider understanding that creation to the fullest possible extent would be like reading the book written by the hand of god and not something filtered through some poor translation.

But that would be me, heh.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Mammuthus, posted 06-29-2004 4:49 AM Mammuthus has not yet responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 14 (119989)
06-29-2004 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by crashfrog
06-29-2004 3:25 AM


quote:
religion is a tool for answering questions about made-up stuff.

But that "made-up stuff" is more important than science to some people. Whether or not I agree with their philosophy, I can't ignore the importance of religion in the lives of a large section of society. I am an agnostic, so to me it seems foolish, but that is a judgement that I make for myself and not for other people (I know you feel the same way, but for the sake of the debate). Just because we might find something unimportant doesn't mean that it shouldn't be important to other people.

quote:
Getting back to DS's manifesto, what on Earth would be the utility of trying to synthesize science and made-up stuff?

Absolutely none. The only synthesis I see within science now is ethics. There are certain ethics that scientists follow when doing human or animal experimentation. I would classify them as areligious, but concern for animal suffering and human consent are often thought of as christian or religious precepts. I think that society and religion has a place in science, not in methodology but rather in the ethical practice of science. There are huge grey areas, and I tend towards a more a more "liberal" practice of science, but I fully realize that we should also consider the feelings of the society that is both benefitting and financially supporting the research. Secular as well as religious voices should be heard, so I support studies on homosexuallity, embryonic stem cell research (I actually use fetal cell lines in my work), and I also support animal studies that include subject euthanasia. However, everything we do has to be passed by an animal protocol board that includes both PhD's and laypeople from the community.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by crashfrog, posted 06-29-2004 3:25 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Reina
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 14 (120154)
06-29-2004 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by MrHambre
06-28-2004 10:22 AM


Acknowledging Design
Here are a couple bits of scientific data. Enjoy !!

http://www.thetech.org/exhibits/online/genome/ ... you have to keep pressing "next" to see the following page.
Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA

To me, this is awesome (the amazing amounts of perfectly-detailed information contained in so tiny a space).

Then, something quite new for me, and perhaps for some here:
http://www.creationinthecrossfire.com/Articles/polonium_pleochroic_halos.htm ... and http://www.halos.com/

The second does not address the "design" issue directly, but it is an interesting bit of information, just the same.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by MrHambre, posted 06-28-2004 10:22 AM MrHambre has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by crashfrog, posted 06-29-2004 10:24 PM Reina has not yet responded
 Message 13 by NosyNed, posted 06-29-2004 11:07 PM Reina has not yet responded
 Message 14 by Loudmouth, posted 06-30-2004 1:03 AM Reina has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 14 (120171)
06-29-2004 10:24 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Reina
06-29-2004 8:48 PM


Off-topic
To me, this is awesome (the amazing amounts of perfectly-detailed information contained in so tiny a space).

I don't believe that there's anything that could be considered "perfect" about the genome. As a whole it's an example of being just good enough.

A quartz crystal represents "perfect" ordering of minerals. Is that evidence that God designs quartz crystals?

Then, something quite new for me, and perhaps for some here:

You'll find that paleochroic halos are new to nobody here, nor are they new to geologists. As a refutation of evolutionary timelines they've been substantially debunked. You can read the refuttal here:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/po-halos/gentry.html

The main problem with the halos is that there's no evidence that they're actually the result of polonium decay and not substantially longer-lived isotopes like radon or uranium.

Anyway this is all off-topic in this thread. If you cared to discuss either of these examples in greater depth you should open new threads in the Proposed New Topics forum.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Reina, posted 06-29-2004 8:48 PM Reina has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 7.5


Message 13 of 14 (120182)
06-29-2004 11:07 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Reina
06-29-2004 8:48 PM


Bare Links
It is against forum guidelines to use bare links. You should use them in support of something stated in your own words. Thanks
This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Reina, posted 06-29-2004 8:48 PM Reina has not yet responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 14 (120219)
06-30-2004 1:03 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Reina
06-29-2004 8:48 PM


Re: Acknowledging Design
quote:
To me, this is awesome (the amazing amounts of perfectly-detailed information contained in so tiny a space).

The only problem is that you must first believe that there is a designer before you can conclude that there is a designer. There are physical laws that allow the accumulation of information in the DNA molecule that are observable and measurable, no faith needed. These physical laws are natural selection and mutation. IOW, a designer is neither been evidenced nor is one necessary.

This is why there shouldn't be a mix between religion (design inferrence) and science. If religion is allowed to enter, then every kind of non-evidenced mechanism can be inserted that doesn't require evidence, only faith. This is why science was created, to get rid of "snake-oil salesmen" who try to sell their cause using unsubstantiated claims, or even worse unsubstantiatable claims.

This message has been edited by Loudmouth, 06-30-2004 12:05 AM


This message is a reply to:
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