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Author Topic:   Faith vs Science
dwise1
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Posts: 4638
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.3


(3)
Message 20 of 186 (781889)
04-09-2016 12:03 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
04-08-2016 9:00 AM


I am not happy with your topic title: "Faith vs Science". Why would you think it is necessary for faith and science to be at odds with each other? They are two different realms of human thought, despite a small number of possible areas of minor overlap.

Science works best when dealing with the physical universe, with the natural. That is where you are able to observe, hypothesize, and test, the essential scientific activities.

Faith works best where you're dealing with things outside the physical universe, with the supernatural. It is impossible to observe the supernatural or to test it. Sure, you could form hypotheses about the supernatural, but based on what? And how could you ever possibly test any of it?

And yet the most interesting questions for humanity lie outside the purview of of science, are too complex and nebulous for science. Faith is not as constrained as science, but what does it have to offer? The most interesting questions for humanity are outside the ability for science to address and outside the ability for faith to properly handle.

So, when you're just running of faith, what suffices? I keep remembering a line in a George C. Scott movie where he was a Calvinist trying to find his daughter lost in the Orange County sex trade (at least she was recruited at Knott's Berry Farm, though that's close to the LA border). When he described his religious beliefs to a sex-trade comrade, she described a questionable sex act some guy once wanted her to perform and commented somebody could get you to believe just about anything. Please do not refer Faith to this movie because she will absolutely hate it. It was even too sketchy for a non-Calvinist.

So, what evidence would faith require? None, actually. Whatever unsupported nonsense would suffice just so long as it seemed to agree with the believer's beliefs or else used the sources the believer trusts and with an interpretation that's not too different from what the believer cleaves to. Not really of much use if you are seeking the truth and not mere agreement with preconceived notions.

What would science require? Actual evidence, as we both know full well.

What about claims that those of faith make about the real world? Well, there's this philosopher of science, Larry Lauden, who criticized Judge Overton's ruling in the famous 1981 Arkansas "balanced treatment" law in McLean v. Arkansas for making faulty definitions of what is scientific which will come back to haunt us. I learned of it from a radio show in which the ICR's Dr. Duane Gish used it to support creationism. He even sent me a xerox copy of that article when I wrote to him about it. Which is amazing to me because that article actually hammers several nails in "creation science's" coffin:

quote:
At various key points in the Opinion, Creationism is charged with being untestable, dogmatic (and thus non-tentative), and unfalsifiable. All three charges are of dubious merit. For instance, to make the interlinked claims that Creationism is neither falsifiable nor testable is to assert that Creationism makes no empirical assertions whatever. This is surely false. Creationists make a wide range of testable assertions about empirical matters
of fact.

Thus, as Judge Overton himself grants (apparently without seeing its implications), the creationists say that the earth is of very recent origin (say 6,000 to 20,000 years old); they argue that most of the geological features of the earth's surface are diluvial in character (i.e., products of the postulated worldwide Noachian deluge); they are committed to a large number of factual historical claims with which the Old Testament is replete; they assert the limited variability of species. They are committed to the view that, since animals and man were created at the same time, the human fossil record must be paleontologically co-extensive with the record of lower animals. It is fair to say that no one has shown how to reconcile such claims with the available evidence -- evidence which speaks persuasively to a long earth history, among other things.

In brief, these claims are testable, they have been tested, and they have failed those tests.
(Science at the Bar -- Causes for Concern by Larry Laudan, Science, Technology and Human Values 7, no. 41 (1982):16-19)


So then, faith has to operate by a double standard, albeit a fair one. Where faith makes an assertion on matters of faith, which are inherently untestable, then faith gets a free pass. But when faith makes an assertion or claim that deals with the real world, then that real-world assertion/claim must be tested against real-world evidence.

Similarly, Faith (the EvC member) can make whatever b*t-s**t c***y claim or assertion that she wants to make about matters of faith, but the moment she makes any kind of real-world prediction of real-world events, then she must provide actual real-world scientific evidence of it.

So basically this is what it boils down to. If you are making assertions that can only be supported by faith, then whatever b*t-s**t c***y "evidence" you want to offer must suffice. But if you are talking about real-world predictions that can indeed be observed and tested, then you absolutely need to provide some actual evidence. B*t-s**t c***y ramblings simply will not suffice.


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Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4638
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 21 of 186 (781890)
04-09-2016 12:04 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
04-08-2016 9:00 AM


Network glitch resulted in a duplicate posting. Sorry.

Edited by dwise1, : duplicate posting


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4638
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 23 of 186 (781893)
04-09-2016 1:08 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Coyote
04-09-2016 12:24 AM


Re: Two definitions...
Here's an account that I save several years back. It's ostensibly from an essay by Carl Sagan, but I have not read the origina ("Candle in the Dark"?):
quote:

The Physicist and the Metaphysicist

In the 1920s, there was a dinner at which the physicist Robert W. Wood was asked to respond to a toast. This was a time when people stood up, made a toast, and then selected someone to respond. Nobody knew what toast they'd be asked to reply to, so it was a challenge for the quick-witted. In this case the toast was: "To physics and metaphysics." Now by metaphysics was meant something like philosophy -- truths that you could get to just by thinking about them. Wood took a second, glanced about him, and answered along these lines: The physicist has an idea, he said. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it makes to him. He goes to the scientific literature, and the more he reads, the more promising the idea seems. Thus prepared, he devises an experiment to test the idea. The experiment is painstaking. Many possibilities are eliminated or taken into account; the accuracy of the measurement is refined. At the end of all this work, the experiment is completed and ... the idea is shown to be worthless. The physicist then discards the idea, frees his mind (as I was saying a moment ago) from the clutter of error, and moves on to something else.

The difference between physics and metaphysics, Wood concluded, is that the metaphysicist has no laboratory.


Edited by dwise1, : added possible source for the quote


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4638
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.3


(1)
Message 25 of 186 (781898)
04-09-2016 2:56 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by PaulK
04-09-2016 1:34 AM


Sorry, Paul.

Many years ago on a Yahoo forum far, far away, a creationist presented the totally bogus "oceans' sea salt" claim. I pointed out his glaring errors and he retreated from that claim immediately. I asked him why the only creationist claims he could present were ones that were so unconvincing. He replied that the only reason I found his arguments so unconvincing was because I was not convinced to begin with.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4638
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 27 of 186 (781900)
04-09-2016 3:08 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by dwise1
04-09-2016 2:56 AM


Paul, I just threw the rest of my Trader Joe's Chicken Fried Rice into the microwave.

So just what is the rest supposed to be?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by dwise1, posted 04-09-2016 2:56 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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