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Author Topic:   Science and Myth
bambooguy
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 13 (36817)
04-12-2003 1:22 AM


It seems to me that the disagreements between 'evolutionists' and 'creationists' are not really about science. They seem to be about the validity of various truth-finding methods. I have heard assertions from Es, that the only data that may be considered is physical data, science. But many Cs will assert that 'faith' is legitimate evidence for the validity of their position.

Here's the question, can we obtain true data only from science? Or are there other methodologies to choose from?

Evan


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by NosyNed, posted 04-12-2003 2:44 AM bambooguy has not replied
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 Message 6 by THEONE, posted 04-14-2003 6:13 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8971
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 2 of 13 (36823)
04-12-2003 2:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by bambooguy
04-12-2003 1:22 AM


true data?
Please describe data that isn't "physical". If I just feel that something is right does that count as data?

I don't understand how to use 'faith' as evidence for something. This is for a bunch of reasons. One being that every item of faith from one person is contradicted by someone else with exactly as much claim to truth. How would I ever distinguish between them?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by bambooguy, posted 04-12-2003 1:22 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 4507 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 3 of 13 (36834)
04-12-2003 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by bambooguy
04-12-2003 1:22 AM


Couldn't agree more.

If evidence of evolution is presented to a creationist, they are obliged to tell you why it isn't evidence, this means attacking the rationale of the scientific method, but ultimately they have to attack logic itself, this is where the discussion usually breaks down, not even creationists like to be seen as illogical. PhospholipidGen is doing this at the moment.

Mark


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joz
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 13 (36835)
04-12-2003 1:16 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by bambooguy
04-12-2003 1:22 AM


Am I the only one who reads this....

But many Cs will assert that 'faith' is legitimate evidence for the validity of their position.

As "the fact that I hold this position with no supporting evidence is evidence for this position", this seems a little (I want to say retarded but I'll play nice) circular.....


This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 779 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 5 of 13 (36845)
04-12-2003 5:01 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by joz
04-12-2003 1:16 PM


As "the fact that I hold this position with no supporting evidence is evidence for this position", this seems a little (I want to say retarded but I'll play nice) circular.....

I'd say it's more of an "argument from personal credulity".


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THEONE 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 6 of 13 (36941)
04-14-2003 6:13 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by bambooguy
04-12-2003 1:22 AM


It's not only about evidence and the methodes of obtaining them. The basic principals of two approaches are completely different. The Es are driven by question "HOW", where Cs are driven by question "WHY". Es think that if they'll know how we came about they'll have understanding of why. Cs think that by finding out why, they'll be able to explain how. (correct me if I'm wrong)

quote:
Here's the question, can we obtain true data only from science? Or are there other methodologies to choose from?

I don't really understand obtaining "true data" from science part. I'm under impresion that science "uses" (physical) data for its theories and proofs.

However, thats the paradox, data is the limit to science. If you can't measure it or weight it or dig it up... it does not exist.
For example, I can't scientificaly prove my love for my parents. I mean, I can manifest this feeling physically (hug them or take them out to dinner), but the feeling itself can't be scientifically measured or calculated. Therefore in scientific world it does not exist, I guess its just a byproduct of some chemical reactions in my brain, which has no significance.

Cs, however, put the metaphysical things above everything else, almost completely disregarding the physical evidence and scientific process. Which to me is kindof maximalistic as well.

I guess, I'm one of those few people who think that only a combo of both can achieve the ultimate results. After all, physical and metaphysical things exist in our universe, why not take both into consideration?

[This message has been edited by TheOne, 04-14-2003]


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Quetzal, posted 04-14-2003 8:02 AM THEONE has replied
 Message 10 by Gzus, posted 04-15-2003 8:20 AM THEONE has not replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5184 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 7 of 13 (36952)
04-14-2003 8:02 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by THEONE
04-14-2003 6:13 AM


It's not only about evidence and the methodes of obtaining them. The basic principals of two approaches are completely different. The Es are driven by question "HOW", where Cs are driven by question "WHY". Es think that if they'll know how we came about they'll have understanding of why. Cs think that by finding out why, they'll be able to explain how. (correct me if I'm wrong)
E's are driven by the questions of "how", "what" and "when". Moreover, they are concerned with how different whats interact. E's are, on the other hand, totally unconcerned with "why" beyond the simple form of "why did X happen (a more how-related question)". They don't care about "purpose". This is your fundamental error.

By contrast, C's proclaim they know "why", are unconcerned with "how" since they already know that as well, and couldn't care less what and when if it disagrees with their presuppositions.

I don't really understand obtaining "true data" from science part. I'm under impresion that science "uses" (physical) data for its theories and proofs.
Correct, as far as it goes. However, data is used as a basis to either formulate or test explanations (hows and whats) for observations. If data conflicts with the explanation, then the explanation might need to be revised. If it's in accord, then that lends support to the explanation - but doesn't "prove" it, since proof assumes some kind of unbreakable Truth.

However, thats the paradox, data is the limit to science. If you can't measure it or weight it or dig it up... it does not exist.
Almost. Science never makes pronouncements like "it does not exist". However, if whatever "it" is cannot be measured, inferred, etc, then it can't be used as part of an explanation. In other words, science depends on an empirical approach that can be tested. That's all.

For example, I can't scientificaly prove my love for my parents. I mean, I can manifest this feeling physically (hug them or take them out to dinner), but the feeling itself can't be scientifically measured or calculated. Therefore in scientific world it does not exist, I guess its just a byproduct of some chemical reactions in my brain, which has no significance.
That's false. The scientific method doesn't rule out love, or any other purely subjective "feeling". It merely (in the case of love, for instance) says it is not measureable since the sample population is n=1. There is no empirical way of testing "love" beyond a certain set of physiological responses - which differ between different people - because every single individual has a different response and different feelings. Science tries to discern patterns and regularities. N=1 means there can be no pattern. You can't get a line from a single point.

Cs, however, put the metaphysical things above everything else, almost completely disregarding the physical evidence and scientific process. Which to me is kindof maximalistic as well.
Yep. You say that like this is a good thing. How often have you seen a new food source or new technology or new medicine created by metaphysics. C's are quite free to ignore physical evidence. But I think they would die out fairly quickly if they tried to use God as an explanation for physical processes.

I guess, I'm one of those few people who think that only a combo of both can achieve the ultimate results. After all, physical and metaphysical things exist in our universe, why not take both into consideration?
Okay. Why can't we? Give me some concrete examples where science can make use of supernatural processes, phenomena, entities or explanations and actually accomplish something.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by THEONE, posted 04-14-2003 6:13 AM THEONE has replied

Replies to this message:
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THEONE 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 8 of 13 (37015)
04-14-2003 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Quetzal
04-14-2003 8:02 AM


quote:
Okay. Why can't we? Give me some concrete examples where science can make use of supernatural processes, phenomena, entities or explanations and actually accomplish something.

I only know of one learning that combines both theology and science to its fullest. Kabbalah. I can give you "concrete examples" from its teachings, however, please, keep in mind that I'm NOT trying to preach or convert anybody. With that said:

(Kabbalah is primarily based on knowledge passed down through generations and written down by Rav Shimon bar Yochai in the book called "The Zohar". 2000 years ago, little befor the Christ times)

Concreate Example:
The ancient Zohar states the function of the liver is to "devour the fatty parts" of the blood. Then the purified blood "is offered to the heart". (only in 18th century Albrecht von Haller discovered that the liver's bile helps digest fats).
Zohar also revealed that there are two kinds of fats - pure and impure, good fats and bad fats, circulating in out body, stating that "...in the body there are pure and impure fatty parts, clean blood without waste matter and blood contaminated with waste matter..." (Zohar, Vol.20, 40:220) Zohar also says that pure fats are associated with healthy heart, whereas impure fats are dangerous, used by particular negative angel (who dweals in our liver) to cause ailments of the heart and brain.

Today, science knows that human liver synthesizes cholesterol for the body. Cholesterol is involved in producing bile acids, which help the body process fat. holesterol is a lipid. Lipids are fats ("fatty parts" in the language of The Zohar). There are two kind of cholesterol HDL and LDL. Too much LDL (bad fat or cholesterol) clogs the arteris with fat build up.. It helps to form plaque which narrows the arteries thus decreasing blood flow to the hart and brain. Less blood = less oxygen, lack of oxygen can cause heart attacks and strokes.

To make clear, people who contributed to the Zohar, did not study modern science and did not have multi million dollar labs. Their knowledge came from Theological study and insight.
I can give you example after example after example, untill I turn blue from typing. You ask me " how we can make use of supernatural processes, phenomena, entities or explanations and actually accomplish something?", my answer is, dedecate same amount of time studing all secrets of the scripture as you dedicate to science and maybe you'll be able to answer that question yourself. However, you did say that you don't care about the "purpose", so why even care about anything then?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Quetzal, posted 04-14-2003 8:02 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Quetzal, posted 04-15-2003 5:19 AM THEONE has replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5184 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 9 of 13 (37053)
04-15-2003 5:19 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by THEONE
04-14-2003 6:52 PM


That's interesting. I didn't realize you were a Kabbalist. For some reason I thought you were Christian. My mistake. Apologies.

I'm not a rabbinical scholar, so won't dispute the quotes you provided, except to point out that the authorship of the Zohar is - to say the least - problematic. Most things I've read indicate that it was compiled by the Spaniard Moses de Leon in the 13th Century. However, I'm aware this is disputed (i.e., an oral tradition ultimately compiled by de Leon). In any event, how does Jewish mysticism - primarily a commentary on the five books of the Pentateuch - provide any rationale or methodology for understanding the natural world? The whole thing is concerned with the so-called tree of life, mystical spheres, religious allegory, etc etc etc.

When I asked for an example, I meant something along the lines of using the methodology to solve concrete, real world problems. For example, show how the Kabbalah and/or the Zohar can be used to understand metapopulation extinction - and how to prevent it. Or show how the Zohar predicts the geological column. Or show how kabbalah can be used to explain the adaptation of eyed creatures to life in endless darkness (such as blind cave fish). Or the evolution of cholera virulence. Or the life cycle of trypanosome parasites, etc.

(edited to add link to the Jewish Encyclopedia entry on the authorship of the Zohar. It appears this edition calls the Zohar a forgery - if not in so many words ("pseudepigraphic" = written under a false name). I have no idea, actually. Zohar. )

(edited a second time because my idiot friend who gave me the link insisted I had misspelled "pseud-O-epigraphic" - an error I have now fixed in the text. Some people... )

[This message has been edited by Quetzal, 04-15-2003]

[This message has been edited by Quetzal, 04-15-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by THEONE, posted 04-14-2003 6:52 PM THEONE has replied

Replies to this message:
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Gzus
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 13 (37065)
04-15-2003 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by THEONE
04-14-2003 6:13 AM


The question 'Why are we here' assumes that there is some 'meaning' behind our existence. The question 'how are we here' does not. The first statement makes an unfounded assumption which the second does not.

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THEONE 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 11 of 13 (37182)
04-16-2003 10:15 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Quetzal
04-15-2003 5:19 AM


Oh man, I just wrote a HUGE reply, but forgot to enter User name, clicked submit and lost EVERYTHING! AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!

I'll reply when I get home, sorry.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Quetzal, posted 04-15-2003 5:19 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Quetzal, posted 04-17-2003 2:49 AM THEONE has not replied
 Message 13 by Mike Holland, posted 04-17-2003 11:08 PM THEONE has not replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5184 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 12 of 13 (37196)
04-17-2003 2:49 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by THEONE
04-16-2003 10:15 PM


I hate it when that happens
No problem, take your time. I'm not going anywhere...

This message is a reply to:
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Mike Holland
Member (Idle past 46 days)
Posts: 179
From: Sydney, NSW,Auistralia
Joined: 08-30-2002


Message 13 of 13 (37243)
04-17-2003 11:08 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by THEONE
04-16-2003 10:15 PM


Hello TheOne,
I disagree about Creationists asking 'Why'. They do not ask
Why did God create the universe and Man?
Why did God need dust to create Adam?
Why did God use Adam's rib to create Eve?
Etc., etc. I could go on for pages. Can you give any examples of 'why's'?

In fact, all they ask is 'How'.
How can they interpret/distort the 'facts' of science to make them conform to their fundamentalism?
How can they discredit the theories of science in the eyes of their congregations?

As far as ancient Jewish scientists and mystics are concerned, they are not relevant to science. Scientists must ask 'what is the evidence?', 'what alternative theories are there?', 'How can we test the theories in the laboratory or field?', 'Can the experiments be reproduced by others?'. Appeals to authority have no place in science.

Mike.


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