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Subject: Dealing with science as a religious person rss

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On the "nutty religious beliefs" thread, there is a trolling post (that denies that's what it is of course) the interesting content of which lists the following issues as things that poster thinks are implications of science with religious issues:
Quote:
- the universe came from nothing
- life arose spontaneously
- DNA was not designed
- all living things somehow "evolved"
- life has no purpose

Clearly at least the last is not a scientific conclusion at all.

In this forum, we've theoretically addressed that religious people should deal with science but we've not often discussed how beyond things like belief in G-d. So I want to address these four issues are a religious physicist. These are more in the purview of biology but I'll do what I can.

Points 1 and 2 are aspects of the same thing; namely without bringing G-d into the picture, where does life come from?

In spite of the thermodynamic law that total entropy cannot decrease for a closed system, entropy can decrease and does all the time locally within a closed system. Most computer microchips are assembled using this fact anymore. Basically you design a system which preferentially deposits certain elements in certain places. Some fairly basic quality checks eliminate the cases where the process didn't go right and voila one has microchips with circuits too small to be built any other way.

Well, okay, that's talking about an artificial situation. Yet it does happen in nature all the time. Salt deposits in caves forming stalactites and stalagmite are rudimentary examples. The contention has always been that DNA is supposedly too complex for that to happen. Frankly though if you put enough amino acids together under the right conditions and DNA will form. Getting amino acids is not as difficult as it sounds. I believe, NASA found samples of them in regolith moon-rocks from the Apollo missions. No one claims there's any sort of life on the moon.

Honestly this seems to address the other listed issues too. After all, evolution is from a biophysical POB self-assembly. Philosophically life only has no purpose if you choose to look at it that way.

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So describing nutty religious beliefs in the nutty religious beliefs topic is trolling? Please explain why your religious views are more valid than all the other religions out there.

Also, I'm curious as to why you try to separate science and religion. Either your science dictates your religion, or your religion dictates your science. The two are inseparable.
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MarioFanaticXV wrote:
So describing nutty religious beliefs in the nutty religious beliefs topic is trolling? Please explain why your religious views are more valid than all the other religions out there.

Also, I'm curious as to why you try to separate science and religion. Either your science dictates your religion, or your religion dictates your science. The two are inseparable.

Are you okay? I mean does your keeper know your're at a computer terminal by yourself?
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Okay troll; I get the message, you can't defend your beliefs, so you just mock those who use pesky things like "data" and "logic" to back up theirs. Don't worry, I won't try and force you to think if it causes you such pain to do so, I'll just leave it to those of us who enjoy such activities.
 
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To the question of the title: A perceived conflict generally means to me that there's something I don't understand.

If you aren't willing to consider observed reality when thinking of your religious beliefs that's the very definition of Sartrean bad faith.
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MarioFanaticXV wrote:
Okay troll; I get the message, you can't defend your beliefs, so you just mock those who use pesky things like "data" and "logic" to back up theirs. Don't worry, I won't try and force you to think if it causes you such pain to do so, I'll just leave it to those of us who enjoy such activities.

What religious beliefs am I supposed to defend? I haven't mentioned any.
 
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windsagio wrote:
To the question of the title: A perceived conflict generally means to me that there's something I don't understand.

If you aren't willing to consider observed reality when thinking of your religious beliefs that's the very definition of Sartrean bad faith.

I agree. I think religions are far more interesting and meaningful when you accept observable data and science but at the same time strive for a richly developed religious life. I try to do that within the context of Judaism If I understand correctly, you try to do it as a Christian. It's those kind of adult conversations that interest me.
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whac3 wrote:
windsagio wrote:
To the question of the title: A perceived conflict generally means to me that there's something I don't understand.

If you aren't willing to consider observed reality when thinking of your religious beliefs that's the very definition of Sartrean bad faith.

I agree. I think religions are far more interesting and meaningful when you accept observable data and science but at the same time strive for a richly developed religious life. I try to do that within the context of Judaism If I understand correctly, you try to do it as a Christian. It's those kind of adult conversations that interest me.


you do understand correctly, and yeah~

It's an important point too - even in a realm of faith, you have to accept that you don't have absolute truth or knowledge. To my vision, science is the same way... once you think you know the perfect answer, you're not looking anymore, and you'll reject things that don't fit your plan.

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MarioFanaticXV wrote:

Also, I'm curious as to why you try to separate science and religion. Either your science dictates your religion, or your religion dictates your science. The two are inseparable.


Bullshit!

One can have a world view that values both and in which NEITHER dictates to the other. They are different areas of study which actually RARELY impinge upon each other in the scope of their daily concerns.

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whac3 wrote:

What religious beliefs am I supposed to defend? I haven't mentioned any.


You don't ever STOP mentioning them.
 
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whac3 wrote:
windsagio wrote:
To the question of the title: A perceived conflict generally means to me that there's something I don't understand.

If you aren't willing to consider observed reality when thinking of your religious beliefs that's the very definition of Sartrean bad faith.

I agree. I think religions are far more interesting and meaningful when you accept observable data and science but at the same time strive for a richly developed religious life. I try to do that within the context of Judaism If I understand correctly, you try to do it as a Christian. It's those kind of adult conversations that interest me.

I do wish the overwhelming majority of Christians in America agreed with you.

However, they don't. An example is the guy there attacking you. You pushed his button and boy did he explode. Then he took his football and went home. Too bad he didn't notice we already have 100 footballs.

 
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Altair IV wrote:
whac3 wrote:

What religious beliefs am I supposed to defend? I haven't mentioned any.


You don't ever STOP mentioning them.

Where then in the OP do I mention anything specific about my religious beliefs others than admitting I have some?
 
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Meerkat wrote:
MarioFanaticXV wrote:
Also, I'm curious as to why you try to separate science and religion. Either your science dictates your religion, or your religion dictates your science. The two are inseparable.


Bullshit!

One can have a world view that values both and in which NEITHER dictates to the other. They are different areas of study which actually RARELY impinge upon each other in the scope of their daily concerns.



"There is no contradiction between faith and science -- *true science*, that is." -- Dr. Zaius




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In my experience, those who insist that there is a fundamental incompatibility between religions and science understand neither.
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whac3 wrote:
In my experience, those who insist that there is a fundamental incompatibility between religions and science understand neither.


That's like saying there is/is not some fundamental incompatibility between politics and science.

I mean, there clearly is some fundamental incompatibility between some religious/political beliefs and some science. Equally clearly there are some religious/political beliefs that aren't incompatible with science.
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
whac3 wrote:
In my experience, those who insist that there is a fundamental incompatibility between religions and science understand neither.


That's like saying there is/is not some fundamental incompatibility between politics and science.

I mean, there clearly is some fundamental incompatibility between some religious/political beliefs and some science. Equally clearly there are some religious/political beliefs that aren't incompatible with science.

Precisely.
 
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whac3 wrote:
On the "nutty religious beliefs" thread, there is a trolling post (that denies that's what it is of course) the interesting content of which lists the following issues as things that poster thinks are implications of science with religious issues:
Quote:
- the universe came from nothing
- life arose spontaneously
- DNA was not designed
- all living things somehow "evolved"
- life has no purpose

Clearly at least the last is not a scientific conclusion at all.


Tricky these posts; I thought it rather more satire as most of them seem more a matter of 'faith' rather than scientific observation.
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MarioFanaticXV wrote:
Also, I'm curious as to why you try to separate science and religion. Either your science dictates your religion, or your religion dictates your science. The two are inseparable.


Granted, I'm not religious but this seems both empirically and theoretically false. That is, I know many people for whom neither their scientific nor their religious views dictate to the other and I can think of no reason why it should be the case. What is the basis for this claim?
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hammurabi70 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
On the "nutty religious beliefs" thread, there is a trolling post (that denies that's what it is of course) the interesting content of which lists the following issues as things that poster thinks are implications of science with religious issues:
Quote:
- the universe came from nothing
- life arose spontaneously
- DNA was not designed
- all living things somehow "evolved"
- life has no purpose

Clearly at least the last is not a scientific conclusion at all.


Tricky these posts; I thought it rather more satire as most of them seem more a matter of 'faith' rather than scientific observation.

1. The first, second and fourth are definitely physically correct from observations. The third evokes pseudo-science and the fifth is a position often ascribed to scientists that no scientists makes as a scientist although some might choose that as an individual philosophy.
 
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:
Meerkat wrote:
MarioFanaticXV wrote:
Also, I'm curious as to why you try to separate science and religion. Either your science dictates your religion, or your religion dictates your science. The two are inseparable.

Bullshit!

One can have a world view that values both and in which NEITHER dictates to the other. They are different areas of study which actually RARELY impinge upon each other in the scope of their daily concerns.




"There is no contradiction between faith and science -- *true science*, that is." -- Dr. Zaius




"Amen, Brother Zaius! Amen!" -- Ken Ham, founder & director of the Creationist Museum.


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whac3 wrote:
Altair IV wrote:
whac3 wrote:

What religious beliefs am I supposed to defend? I haven't mentioned any.


You don't ever STOP mentioning them.

Where then in the OP do I mention anything specific about my religious beliefs others than admitting I have some?


You refer to a God, which narrows the field slightly (from the position of having religious beliefs - more from no position at all). The way you choose to spell God narrows it quite significantly. But nothing beyond that.
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If it ain't testable it ain't science.

None of these propositions are even defined with sufficient rigor to even qualify as a scientific question.

- the universe came from nothing

"nothing" could mean a whole bunch of different things

- life arose spontaneously

"life" ... harder to define than you might think (prebiotic chemistry is one of my research interests)
"spontaneously" is a scientifically meaningless word in this context

- DNA was not designed

OK, how could you possibly test that? By the way, we design DNA all the time, and can even make new completely synthetic coding pairs and backbones.

- all living things somehow "evolved"

This seems pretty well supported by evidence, but the word "evolved" carries a lot of philosophical baggage.

- life has no purpose
OK...

Osmium
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Meerkat wrote:
MarioFanaticXV wrote:

Also, I'm curious as to why you try to separate science and religion. Either your science dictates your religion, or your religion dictates your science. The two are inseparable.


Bullshit!

One can have a world view that values both and in which NEITHER dictates to the other. They are different areas of study which actually RARELY impinge upon each other in the scope of their daily concerns.


Thank you for pointing that out. And ... one could have a world view that values both and in which some of one dictates to the other.... or one could have a world view that irrevocably intertwines one with the other.

In other words, people belief and think different things. Just because everyone doesn't agree doesn't mean most of them are wrong. Doesn't mean they're right either.

You know, I'm not a religious person in any form or fashion. I am a Deist, but that's as far as I go. But I try to stick up for the traditional religious folks because, you know, First Amendment, Land of the Free, etc. etc. etc. I wish the rabid atheists here would go after people who promote Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny or even the Great Pumpkin. I know on a historical basis, religions have lead to awful things ... and to good things. But on an INDIVIDUAL basis, one should have respect for the beliefs of other, even if (and especially so) if they are not the same as you.

Ah, fuck it.
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whac3 wrote:
On the "nutty religious beliefs" thread, there is a trolling post (that denies that's what it is of course) the interesting content of which lists the following issues as things that poster thinks are implications of science with religious issues:
Quote:
- the universe came from nothing
- life arose spontaneously
- DNA was not designed
- all living things somehow "evolved"
- life has no purpose

Clearly at least the last is not a scientific conclusion at all.

In this forum, we've theoretically addressed that religious people should deal with science but we've not often discussed how beyond things like belief in G-d. So I want to address these four issues are a religious physicist. These are more in the purview of biology but I'll do what I can.

Points 1 and 2 are aspects of the same thing; namely without bringing G-d into the picture, where does life come from?

In spite of the thermodynamic law that total entropy cannot decrease for a closed system, entropy can decrease and does all the time locally within a closed system. Most computer microchips are assembled using this fact anymore. Basically you design a system which preferentially deposits certain elements in certain places. Some fairly basic quality checks eliminate the cases where the process didn't go right and voila one has microchips with circuits too small to be built any other way.

Well, okay, that's talking about an artificial situation. Yet it does happen in nature all the time. Salt deposits in caves forming stalactites and stalagmite are rudimentary examples. The contention has always been that DNA is supposedly too complex for that to happen. Frankly though if you put enough amino acids together under the right conditions and DNA will form. Getting amino acids is not as difficult as it sounds. I believe, NASA found samples of them in regolith moon-rocks from the Apollo missions. No one claims there's any sort of life on the moon.

Honestly this seems to address the other listed issues too. After all, evolution is from a biophysical POB self-assembly. Philosophically life only has no purpose if you choose to look at it that way.



Good luck Moshe.

Despite residing in the 21st century, you reside in an era rife with scriptural literalism and political absolutism. For too many people, if a scientific observation or theory clashes with their reading of scripture it is demonstrative evidence that the science is in error.

I am an atheist and yet I readily grasp the argument that evolution is not so much proof of the absence of divinity but rather an alternative explanation for the method of creation. To many scientists embrace the coexistence of the scientific process AND divinity to conclude they are mutually exclusive.

Unfortunately, the very fact that science is amenable to altered understandings based on new observation and analysis makes it inherently fallible to those literalists.
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