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Author Topic:   Religion and Science
Aquilegia753
Member (Idle past 4035 days)
Posts: 113
Joined: 11-08-2007


Message 1 of 7 (452291)
01-29-2008 11:50 PM


Have you ever thought that religion and science may be teaching the same thing? They're just viewing from differant points and differant angles.

Just think about this.

After a freak volcanic eruption around the turn of the 23rd century, most of Italy, including Rome and the Vatican, were buried under five hundred feet of ash.

Hundreds of years later, an archaeologist discoveres Rome. This great city that was once the center of a world-wide religion is now one of the greatest finds in earth's history, ranking up there with King Tut's Tomb.

However, when they discovered the Vatican and the Sistene Chaple, they were awed at the perfectly preserved colored painting on the roof. Having never found anything like it before, they bring in the top scientists.

These scientists look at the painting. They take hundreds of pictures, close-ups only. They said you could only truly understand the painting's value if you examine each pixle (which grew much smaller in the five hundred years).

So, these scientists picked apart the painting. They looked at the pictures through microscopes, examining each stroke of the painter's brush. They looked at each minute smudge that was made.

And they said that these smudges couldn't have been made by somebody. They're too imperfect. Just by looking at the pictures, they can't tell what the picture is even of. Therefore, the sun and wind must have blown on the original, perfect painting, smearing and fading it.

However, one scientist went back to the Chapel and looked up. He instantly understood. He went back to the scientists and told them that the picture made sense. It was complete, whole, real. Some scientists agreed with him and went back to the Chapel, but looked at the cieling only through telescopes, again looking at each smudge.

The one scientist tried to talk to the others. "Listen," he said, "this was obviously painted by hand, recently! Those smudges you see are purposeful, giving the painting a cool, real look. It's a real painting!"

"No," they said, "it can't be. Here's a smudge that wouldn't make sense if it was a painting." "Look at this speck," said one. "This blur," said another. "This smear," said a third.

"Take a step back and look at the picture," the one said. He looked up in amazement at the painting. "Just look. That speck you mentioned, that blur that smear, it all comes together to form a perfect picture! Look at the whole picture, and you'll see!"

Two of the twenty scientists stepped back and looked up. "Oh," they said, "it all makes sense. My little dot, it fits!"

"This is amazing," said one of the new observers.

"I want to see what more I can find out," said the second.

So, both went back to their telescopes and microscopes and found things that woulnd't fit normally. Then, they'd take a step back and look at the picture and realize how it does fit.

Science is looking at what makes life up, all the physical properties of the universe, the equations, the formulas, the proofs, the evidence. Science is finding out the little pixels that make up the picture, and relition is finding out how all those little pixels come together to form the huge picture of life.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Chiroptera, posted 01-30-2008 9:51 AM Aquilegia753 has responded
 Message 4 by Granny Magda, posted 01-30-2008 12:48 PM Aquilegia753 has responded

  
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Message 2 of 7 (452407)
01-30-2008 9:49 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Chiroptera
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Posts: 6563
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Message 3 of 7 (452413)
01-30-2008 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aquilegia753
01-29-2008 11:50 PM


Have you ever thought that religion and science may be teaching the same thing?

Yes, I have, and I've decided that they don't.

Science is about discovering empirical knowledge about the world.

Religion is about how people should live together with one another.

Very different things. The confusion arrives when people mistake their religious beliefs for descriptions of reality.


Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter;
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters:
A choice of cancer or polio. -- The Rolling Stones
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Aquilegia753, posted 01-29-2008 11:50 PM Aquilegia753 has responded

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 Message 6 by Aquilegia753, posted 01-31-2008 9:44 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 25 days)
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 4 of 7 (452464)
01-30-2008 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aquilegia753
01-29-2008 11:50 PM


Unfortunately, your example portrays the scientists as idiots. To suggest that anyone would consider a microscope the first tool to use in looking at a painting is ridiculous. You are attempting to portray scientists as obsessed with detail, to the exclusion of the big picture, but this is not the case. The reason that scientist concentrate on minutiae is simply that the world is a big place, with an enormous amount to study. There is simply too much information in modern scientific study for any one person to get to grips with the whole thing at once, so people specialise. They have to.
Nonetheless, science is all about the big picture. Why else would physicists pursue the so-called "Grand Unified Theory"? Why would biologists quest after the most complete possible description of life on Earth? In reality though, the only way to address these questions is bit by bit, with each specialised area of study contributing to the whole body of human knowledge.
Religion and science do indeed both seek to describe the same universe, from different angles, but your depiction of the relationship between the two is one that strikes me as being unfair and inaccurate.


Mutate and Survive
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Aquilegia753, posted 01-29-2008 11:50 PM Aquilegia753 has responded

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 Message 5 by Aquilegia753, posted 01-31-2008 9:33 PM Granny Magda has not yet responded

    
Aquilegia753
Member (Idle past 4035 days)
Posts: 113
Joined: 11-08-2007


Message 5 of 7 (452958)
01-31-2008 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Granny Magda
01-30-2008 12:48 PM


quote:
To suggest that anyone would consider a microscope the first tool to use in looking at a painting is ridiculous.

First, I'm just using that quote to tell you that I'm talking to you. I may or may not actually be talking about that part of your text (although in this case, I am).

No, I'm not portraying scientists as idiots. I highly respect scientists and everything (except evolution) they stand for. However, I do believe that both are saying the same thing. Well, slightly off, but still....

If you think, yes, there is too much info in the world to know it all. But, scientists do dive into specific topics. They look at the details of life. They look at what makes up the universe (like in the parable, they look at the smudges, the strokes, etc.) Religion looks at how those details come together to form the picture. The grand picture of God's creation.


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 Message 4 by Granny Magda, posted 01-30-2008 12:48 PM Granny Magda has not yet responded

  
Aquilegia753
Member (Idle past 4035 days)
Posts: 113
Joined: 11-08-2007


Message 6 of 7 (452963)
01-31-2008 9:44 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Chiroptera
01-30-2008 9:51 AM


quote:
Science is about discovering empirical knowledge about the world.
Religion is about how people should live together with one another.

Well, yes. However, at the very beginning of the Bible, the basis for the particular religion being discussed (Christianity), there are the words "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." In fact, the entire first two chapters of Genesis are about the earth and how it was created (although not a very widely accepted theory among scientists).

So the Bible tells about the world at the beginning. In fact, it really doesn't tell how people should interact with each other until the Prophets. Until then, and even then, it's simply a history of the world and of the Hebrews. In the New Testament is really where people start talking about how to interact.

So, you saying that religion only talks about how we should live together on this planet is wrong. This is why this site was started, because Creationists talk about Creation, not just personality and lifestyle.

So, now referring to my last post, science talks about how the world is put together, what makes it (and what made it, but let's not get into that now). And religion talks about how those little bits and pieces fit together. If you tried to put a puzzle together without seeing a picture of it, you only have little pieces. But then you start putting the pieces together and you get the picture.

But the world is a little bit more complex. The pieces can all fit together no matter what's on them. So, you have an instruction book, like the Bible, to tell you how to fit the puzzle together. Science is important because you can't get the full glory of the puzzle without the pieces, and religion is important because it tells you the big picture (the purpose to life and the reason all of the little pieces are put together).

Religion says that this piece and that piece go together, then fit in with that little chunk. Science explains why. Two very important (and different) parts of the same thing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Chiroptera, posted 01-30-2008 9:51 AM Chiroptera has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Blue Jay, posted 02-08-2008 6:10 PM Aquilegia753 has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 832 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 7 of 7 (454794)
02-08-2008 6:10 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Aquilegia753
01-31-2008 9:44 PM


So, now referring to my last post, science talks about how the world is put together, what makes it (and what made it, but let's not get into that now). And religion talks about how those little bits and pieces fit together. If you tried to put a puzzle together without seeing a picture of it, you only have little pieces. But then you start putting the pieces together and you get the picture.

This is completely false: science also looks at the big picture. Follow my example below:

Before Darwin, the idea of evolution was bouncing around in scientific circles for decades. This was the 'big picture': the grand, unifying theory of biology. In 1859, Darwin proposed natural selection as the mechanism for evolution. This was the next layer in the painting. In 1900, Mendel's genetics works were rediscovered, providing a mechanism for Darwin's hypothesis of natural selection. This allowed us to scrutinize in even more depth. The discoveries of mutation and recombination provided another layer of detail.

Therefore, science has discovered the mechanism (mutation and recombination) behind the mechanism (genetics) behind the mechanism (natural selection) behind evolution. Actually, I think we've gone further and have found the mechanisms that cause mutation and recombination, and, in some instances, the mechanisms for those mechanisms. So, we're at the fifth or sixth layer in our nested hierarchy of discoverying mechanisms. That's why we're studying little details today: because we already studied the big stuff in the past. Today, we study the tiny, localized flavors of the mechanisms that were tested and verified a long time ago. We're not ignoring the big picture: we're exploring its repurcussions on the details, and the repurcussions of the details back on the big picture.

This is the difference between science and religion. Science has a big picture, and is now examining its details to further understand and verify it. Religion has a big picture, and thus thinks it has no need for details. Any valid big picture must be supported by the details, though. That's where the devil is, as the saying goes (in the saying, the 'devil' refers to the flaw or the kink in the logic).

So, in short, I object to your assertion. Science is not short-sighted.


Signed,
Nobody Important (just Bluejay)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Aquilegia753, posted 01-31-2008 9:44 PM Aquilegia753 has not yet responded

  
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