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Thread: Scientific knowledge

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post


    ...but he doesn't suggest, as may ALSO be true, that the faithful have antipathy toward evolution, because THEY perceive it as attacking the foundations of their faith.

    That has always puzzled me. Surely Christianity is about Christ's Teaching. Is that not powerful enough to stand on its own, no matter how we came into existence.?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  2. #37
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    That has always puzzled me. Surely Christianity is about Christ's Teaching. Is that not powerful enough to stand on its own, no matter how we came into existence.?
    It's a human nature thing: once we adopt a powerful belief, we want to convince others of our truth, and we want to defend our belief. Christianity and proselytizing have been best friends since the time of Christ... sometimes peaceful, other times even war-like (remember the Crusades?). It's no different for the most fervent of Muslims: "Adopt our faith, or you're an infidel and we're going to kill you."

    One interesting aspect of Judaism, the 'faith' I was brought up in (it's not really a 'faith', per se) is that it has never had any impulse to promote conversion... and, in fact, the most religious of Jewish sects wouldn't even recognize a conversion. Although unsaid, it's about bloodlines, for Jews.... it's tribal. I have noted before, and heard this from more than one Rabbi, that as a Jew, it isn't necessary to 'believe'.... it is only necessary to act like a Jew... the prayer and religious observations are obligations.

    Unfortunately, nobody every told me how I acquired this obligation.... I never took it upon myself.
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  3. #38
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    If acceptance of modern biological science threatens faith in God, then why does the Roman Catholic Church allow modern biological science to be taught in their educational institutions?

    Anyone? Perhaps the basic premise of the religious science deniers is incorrect?

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  4. #39
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Montgomery View Post
    If acceptance of modern biological science threatens faith in God, then why does the Roman Catholic Church allow modern biological science to be taught in their educational institutions?

    Anyone?
    They do so because they recognize that they MUST find a way to converge the spiritual with the rational, or else BOTH are subject to denial. It's actually one of their more reasonable positions; they can't deny the evidence of science, so they find a way to rationalize the existence of both.
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  5. #40
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    ... the Catholic Church has no issue whatsoever with evolutionary science, only with the illogical and unfounded claim that evolution somehow affects the question of whether God exists....I'm also not convinced that evolution is anything more than a hypothesis with very slim evidence supporting it, and I think its popularity owes more to the desire for something that will make religion redundant than it does to rational, considered, analysis based upon hard evidence.
    I would place evolution somewhere ahead of climate change in that for both there is ample evidence they exist, but still much to be learned about the internal dynamics and time scales.

    You're right about the Catholic Church. Sadly, there continue to be many uninformed Catholics who do not know this.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    It's a human nature thing: once we adopt a powerful belief, we want to convince others of our truth, and we want to defend our belief. Christianity and proselytizing have been best friends since the time of Christ... sometimes peaceful, other times even war-like (remember the Crusades?). It's no different for the most fervent of Muslims: "Adopt our faith, or you're an infidel and we're going to kill you."

    One interesting aspect of Judaism, the 'faith' I was brought up in (it's not really a 'faith', per se) is that it has never had any impulse to promote conversion... and, in fact, the most religious of Jewish sects wouldn't even recognize a conversion. Although unsaid, it's about bloodlines, for Jews.... it's tribal. I have noted before, and heard this from more than one Rabbi, that as a Jew, it isn't necessary to 'believe'.... it is only necessary to act like a Jew... the prayer and religious observations are obligations.

    Unfortunately, nobody every told me how I acquired this obligation.... I never took it upon myself.
    Neither did H M Queen.

    Whilst your opening paragraph is true, a good point well made, it does not address the question about why many Christians seem to be more hung up about first testament myths than they pay attention to Christ's actual teaching.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #42
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I would place evolution somewhere ahead of climate change in that for both there is ample evidence they exist, but still much to be learned about the internal dynamics and time scales.

    You're right about the Catholic Church. Sadly, there continue to be many uninformed Catholics who do not know this.
    The Vatican learned their lesson from the Galileo debacle, and determined to get ahead of that particular curve.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  8. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    The Vatican learned their lesson from the Galileo debacle, and determined to get ahead of that particular curve.
    Yes and no. We should remember that Galileo got into trouble for defying the Vatican, not that his science was anti-Bible.

    But you are right. They do try to stay informed and not make rush judgements where science is concerned. Now, if we could only get them to look at birth control in that same manner...

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Whilst your opening paragraph is true, a good point well made, it does not address the question about why many Christians seem to be more hung up about first testament myths than they pay attention to Christ's actual teaching.
    The answer to your question is well-addressed by considering that the Ku Klux Klan features Christian crosses and imagery on their hooded regalia. Christianity is quite often the 'cover' for a lot of very 'un-Christian' ideals (and the same can be said for Islam, and perhaps a few other faiths.... lately, we could add Myanmar, and the Buddhist persecution of their Muslim minority, to that list).

    Have you ever met a Christian who didn't think that their particular Christian sect was the 'right and correct' one? They're NOT interchangeable, even though they all carry the imprimatur of the very same foundation of faith.
    "Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it."
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  10. #45
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    The answer to your question is well-addressed by considering that the Ku Klux Klan features Christian crosses and imagery on their hooded regalia. Christianity is quite often the 'cover' for a lot of very 'un-Christian' ideals (and the same can be said for Islam, and perhaps a few other faiths.... lately, we could add Myanmar, and the Buddhist persecution of their Muslim minority, to that list).

    Have you ever met a Christian who didn't think that their particular Christian sect was the 'right and correct' one? They're NOT interchangeable, even though they all carry the imprimatur of the very same foundation of faith.
    And then there is Israel... And Islam... Our ability to distort and pervert religious teaching knows no bounds.

    What we need to remember is that it is all a perversion and must be rejected by those who know better.

  11. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Montgomery View Post
    If acceptance of modern biological science threatens faith in God, then why does the Roman Catholic Church allow modern biological science to be taught in their educational institutions?

    Anyone? Perhaps the basic premise of the religious science deniers is incorrect?
    It is a dogma of the Catholic faith that there can never be a contradiction between faith and reason. There is a reason why so many if the early for runners of modern science were Catholic priests or scholars, why the modern university sprang up from cathedral schools. Philosophy has long been hailed as a noble field of study in the Church. We believe it's important to understand God's creation, it leads to a better understanding of God.

    Not many religions share this teaching. Some Protestant religions specifically reject it. I have been told that Muslims also reject it, but I don't know if that is true.


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  12. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Yup, the two grand existential questions: 1) "Is evolution real?", and 2) "Does God exist?"

    I think MY problem is that I can be intellectually lazy; I don't find much of ANY appeal in desperately searching for answers to questions which, owing to their nature, will never be answered. No amount of navel-gazing will produce a satisfactory result that I can label as 'the truth'.

    One observation I could make, however, has to do with the justifications of both the faithful, and the evolutionists. Here, in the quote above, Aquinan suggests that evolutionary theory is supported by those who have an antipathy towards religion.....

    ...but he doesn't suggest, as may ALSO be true, that the faithful have antipathy toward evolution, because THEY perceive it as attacking the foundations of their faith.

    Personally, I don't really care about someone's religion... faith is a very personal thing, so if it fulfills and satisfies someone's psyche/soul/whatever, good for them. As for evolution, it's theory backed by observation, and intrinsically un-provable, so no one NEEDS to 'believe' in the theory.

    I have faith in the observations... and I don't need to have faith in the theory. It's just science.
    I do not think "is evolution real?" ranks quite so high. It seems it does to some fundamentalist Protestants and to some atheists. I strongly suspect the reasons for it's importance by both groups are identical.

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  13. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    It is a dogma of the Catholic faith that there can never be a contradiction between faith and reason. There is a reason why so many if the early for runners of modern science were Catholic priests or scholars, why the modern university sprang up from cathedral schools. Philosophy has long been hailed as a noble field of study in the Church. We believe it's important to understand God's creation, it leads to a better understanding of God.

    Not many religions share this teaching. Some Protestant religions specifically reject it. I have been told that Muslims also reject it, but I don't know if that is true.


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    Some modern Muslims might reject it, but Islamic scholars kept science alive and furthered both math and science during the Christian dark ages.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  14. #49
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I do not think "is evolution real?" ranks quite so high. It seems it does to some fundamentalist Protestants and to some atheists. I strongly suspect the reasons for it's importance by both groups are identical.
    As you have observed, the 'rankings' of these questions depends on who you ask.

    My only point (and it's one that I suspect is a small minority of opinion about) is this: I find it pretty hard to get excited about questions that I will never have a fully definitive answer for. Life is difficult... sometimes rewarding, other times hard... sometimes satisfying, other times disappointing. I don't need an existential reason why my wife is suffering from Parkinson's... the practical realities of the disease are overwhelmingly more critical to me, than answering any question as to why she has been stricken. I don't know why I'm blessed with beautiful children and grandchildren... I wouldn't know who to thank, if anyone deserved any thanks for that blessing.

    Life is too short to worry about things that, for some, might result in a lifetime of worrying, if it bothered them.
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  15. #50
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I do not think "is evolution real?" ranks quite so high. It seems it does to some fundamentalist Protestants and to some atheists. I strongly suspect the reasons for it's importance by both groups are identical.

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    Don't follow your reasoning. It is true that some protestant whack jobs in the US and Northern Ireland deny evolution because they are first testament literalists. But I don't see how you make a significant equivalence with the study of evolution or any other scientific endeavour.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Don't follow your reasoning. It is true that some protestant whack jobs in the US and Northern Ireland deny evolution because they are first testament literalists. But I don't see how you make a significant equivalence with the study of evolution or any other scientific endeavour.
    I made no equivilency with regards to the study if evolution.
    I made an equivalency with ranking it's importance as one of the two existential questions. Big differenc

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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I made no equivilency with regards to the study if evolution.
    I made an equivalency with ranking it's importance as one of the two existential questions. Big differenc

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    I was confused by :
    is evolution real?" ranks quite so high. It seems it does to some fundamentalist Protestants and to some atheists.
    Which discuses only evolution, but not the God question.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    I'd argue that the evidence is overwhelming that evolution is real, and that it has nothing at all to do with the question of whether God exists. If God does exist, I expect that he can arrange things however he likes, and who are we to tell God how to work? All we can do is look at the world and figure out how things are. If there's a God, then that's how God did it. And evolution is quite an elegant way to develop an astounding variety of living organisms.

    Evolution gives trouble to certain narrow-minded kinds of religion, biblical literalists in particular, but I see absolutely no reason to take them seriously anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I was confused by :
    Which discuses only evolution, but not the God question.
    Oh, I agree with Norman that "Does Gid exist" is one of the exisential questions. Disagree with him that"Is evolution real" one if them. But I think there are two ipposng sides who seem to think it is. Both of them do so because of their religious beliefs.

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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by peb
    It is a dogma of the Catholic faith that there can never be a contradiction between faith and reason. There is a reason why so many if the early for runners of modern science were Catholic priests or scholars, why the modern university sprang up from cathedral schools. Philosophy has long been hailed as a noble field of study in the Church. We believe it's important to understand God's creation, it leads to a better understanding of God.
    Correct.

    Isn't it ironic that the author of the op questioning the fundamental scientific Theory underlying modern biology calls himself "Aquinian?"

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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Evolution is a description of one aspect of the physical world: what happened and how it happened. It's important, but it has no more to do with the possible existence of God than does the atomic weight of Tungsten, the migration patterns of Monarch butterflies, or the molecular mechanism by which epoxy hardens.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Consider the Galapagos Islands
    and consider the diversity that has evolved in that time.
    Consider Ascension Island
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11137903

    Short term < 200 years - same scale as my previous example.
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Oh, I agree with Norman that "Does Gid exist" is one of the exisential questions. Disagree with him that"Is evolution real" one if them. But I think there are two ipposng sides who seem to think it is. Both of them do so because of their religious beliefs.

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    Are you now saying that believing in the validity of the scientific process is a religious belief or that the reality of evolution is an existential question due to some sort of religious belief?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    Consider Ascension Island
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11137903

    Short term < 200 years - same scale as my previous example.
    Fascinating story, but not about evolution as demonstrated by your Shetland flower.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Evolution is a description of one aspect of the physical world: what happened and how it happened. It's important, but it has no more to do with the possible existence of God than does the atomic weight of Tungsten, the migration patterns of Monarch butterflies, or the molecular mechanism by which epoxy hardens.
    But...but...this thread is meant to promote introspection!

    Apparently the OP has introspection to spare...

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    If you're happy being superstitious and engaging in self-deception and distortion on a regular basis, then I won't argue with your choice.

    Nor will I waste time trying to change your mind.

    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    If you're happy being superstitious and engaging in self-deception and distortion on a regular basis, then I won't argue with your choice.

    Nor will I waste time trying to change your mind.
    "So much this", as I believe the kids are wont to say these days.

    What are you doing about it?




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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    If you're happy being superstitious and engaging in self-deception and distortion on a regular basis, then I won't argue with your choice.

    Nor will I waste time trying to change your mind.

    Good luck.
    The problem in that is, Aquinian is by all accounts well off, well educated, well connected, and gainfully employed; What he's engaging in is attempting to sway the more gullible towards his voting block.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Aquinian is by all accounts well off, well educated, well connected, and gainfully employed
    ...none of which mean one can't also be ignorant and bigoted.

    What are you doing about it?




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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    The problem in that is, Aquinian is by all accounts well off, well educated, well connected, and gainfully employed; What he's engaging in is attempting to sway the more gullible towards his voting block.
    If he is that well educated, it raises questions about his honesty.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    ...none of which mean one can't also be ignorant and bigoted.
    see post #67
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    see post #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    If he is that well educated, it raises questions about his honesty.
    Or his intellectual rigour.

    What are you doing about it?




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    Starting an argument such as this is a means to affirm one's beliefs and demonstrate loyalty to a religious or political stance. The most frequent outcome is for the OP to proclaim that no argument presented is valid or contradicts his assumptions, and then to declare "victory."

    One regular verbal tic suffered by such puffed-up wankers is to use the royal 'we.' "So far we've not seen any evidence. . ."

    How many times do we have to go through this little charade?
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodot View Post
    Here is a famous bar graph, originally published in the journal, Science, on the acceptance of evolution by country:



    It is stunning, on so many levels.
    We are probably that low because of the dingbats in Norn Iron who vote DUP.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Are you now saying that believing in the validity of the scientific process is a religious belief or that the reality of evolution is an existential question due to some sort of religious belief?
    I will try once again to make myself clear. Norman stated that the question "Is evolution real?" is am existential question on the level of "Does God exist". Norman is wrong, IMO. But it seems to me that there are two groups of people who agree with Norman: 1) some fundamentalists Christians and 2) some atheists.
    They agree with Norman for the same reason: their religious beliefs. The former, that should be apparent. The latter see the theory of evolution as a means of proving God does not exist, which is their religious belief.

    If you still don't understand what I am saying, I think its best just to drop the whole thing.

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