The big double edged sword

thorex
Posts: 1
Joined: 2008-02-29
User is offlineOffline
The big double edged sword

Hello, I'm new to your board and have been reading some of the fascinating posts on here.  I simply cannot wrap my head around a few things that have been bothering me though.

Although I am no stranger to christianity or athiesm, I find both terms rather redundant.

See for me, there is no proof for the existence of God and there is no proof that there is no existence of God.  This is where we have the double edged sword.

I'm not one for faith, I'm one that allows himself to evolve as he learns.  One thing that fascinates me the most about Science and Religion is that they are complete opposites.  One requires faith and the other requires facts.  This would lead us to ask, what facts do we know about our universe?

Really, we have a lot of theories that somewhat show us what it is that we are looking at.  We have the wonderful law of thermodynamics that is near to become extinct with new possibilities of PPM's on the horizon.  Quite frankly, everything we know about the universe is based on theory other than mathematics.

Well...  Theory in a way requires a certain faith or belief for someone to place actual merit towards it.  The keystone of the universe these days is quantum physics.  What a confusing pandora's box we've opened for ourselves though with this study.  It would seem that things are not at all what them seem through our own perceptions.  I mean the simple requirement for human observation of an atom for it to choose its state is huge.  In fact it almost makes you wonder if everything that we can "perceive" in this universe is simply an illusion.

Now of course like I mentioned there are two sides to every coin.  So we could look at complex structures such as DNA and write it off as an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters right?  Of course we can.  Or we can look at the complexity of the genetic code and realise that it is no different than a computer program.  A program that can be spliced with different genes to create all organic life throughout the world.  Could this have happened by coincidence?  Absolutely.  The fact is though if we want to stay human for a minute here we could argue that all programs require a programmer. 

This would be SO easy if humans were able to see reality wouldn't it?  If we could all view the same scenario and see the same thing.  If we didn't have our senses and previous experiences to bias and rape our interpretation of events.  It would be very easy and we would all likely believe the exact same things.  What would we believe though?  Would we believe that we are an aftershadow of a neverending vortex?  That we exist through a random series of events that created human beings?  Or that we were seeded and are being controlled by something else to fulfill a certain purpose?

I know it just... sounds so twilight zone doesn't it?  And lets be honest, life is very far from perfect.  I mean with the amount of "mistakes" that life has made.  Stillbirths, mutations, retardation, extinction.  It doesn't even seem possible does it?  Well as I mentioned there's that other side of the coin again...  Could it be that deaths and mutations happen to influence human behaviour?  I mean if we "think" that human observation is required for matter to exist in the universe, technically we are the puppetmasters controlling everything.  To have a child die at birth is such a hard lesson in life.  It's just amazing that humans were designed to think and percieve with emotion or life experience to determine their personalities.

Is that another code?  Could that be the pattern that we all follow to the end of our lives?  Could it be our lives are predetermined from the absolute get go so our conciousness can experience new things and adapt to become a certain way? 

Of course not.  That's ridiculous.  We're just a bunch of evolved monkey's that are swinging through life.  When we die our conciousness ceases to exist.  Right?  That damn coin is annoying me now.

Hmmm...  So why all of this?  Why are we here or is there really no purpose to anything?  We can debate back and forth all day long.

There is something very similar between Atheists and Theists.  You've all committed yourselves to believe in something based on faith that some of you consider to be fact when it is not.  To categorize one's beliefs is a cult.  To make it mainstream it is a religion.

Ignorance is bliss.  As is evolution.  The moment you accept your own ignorance of the universe and accept that you know nothing you have just gained the ability to know everything.  Don't hate theism and don't hate atheism.  You are both on the same path's to understanding your existence. 

That should not be a rivalry, it should be a partnership.

 


Cali_Athiest2
Cali_Athiest2's picture
Posts: 440
Joined: 2008-02-07
User is offlineOffline
Welcome aboard for starters.

Welcome aboard for starters. I don't believe we will ever be able to answer all the questions of the universe and I am not sure I would ever want to. If I sit up in the mountains and can understand all the processes going on around me it takes some of the wonder out of it. Besides, I think that the journey for the truth is more important than the end result anyways. In my own view I see no proof of a creator either, but always open to the possibility. How many things in life can be conclusivly proven absolutely besides mathematics? However, the lack of proof for a god is proof of the non-existence of a god. There is evidence that bigfoot exists, but that is not proof, therefore bigfoot cannot exist. The skeptic almost always has the upper hand in that they are not the ones making the claim.

As far as the ability to see reality, unfortunately reality is just a perception. If I suffered from schizophrenia my reality would be a delusion. In order to fully comprehend the "real" world would require an ability to see beyond our own biases and that is just the begining. I think there is some crdibility to the illusion point you have made, but what makes a perception an illusion? Maybe they are the same thing on some levels, but not necessarily in all areas. A mirage is an illusion but it is also based on perception. If you drive down a hot road in summer the mind perceives the illusion of a mirage in a particuliar spot, however if you are in a different location the mirage appears elsewhere. In this example the perception is based on an unthinking mind, but we understand that this is just an illusion. I think that this can lead to a paradox. If we are in the desert and see a mirage (perception) if we are trained to accept as only an illusion, we could miss a life saving oasis. At what point do we ignore the rational mind that says there is no water and set of in search of something that most likely will not be? If we take a leap of faith that there will be water, we expend energy attempting to reach it. If it turns out to be an illusion, we are doomed. However, not attempting to look is just as much of problem, either way can spell the end.

 

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
thorex wrote:See for me,

thorex wrote:
See for me, there is no proof for the existence of God and there is no proof that there is no existence of God.  This is where we have the double edged sword.

It's not really a double-edged sword. It's not even a butterknife. The first part is accurate, and the second part is a bunch of negatives of stuff you'd have difficulty defining. That statement is common on this site, but doesn't stand up to even informal criticism.

thorex wrote:
Well...  Theory in a way requires a certain faith or belief for someone to place actual merit towards it.  The keystone of the universe these days is quantum physics.  What a confusing pandora's box we've opened for ourselves though with this study.  It would seem that things are not at all what them seem through our own perceptions.  I mean the simple requirement for human observation of an atom for it to choose its state is huge.  In fact it almost makes you wonder if everything that we can "perceive" in this universe is simply an illusion.

No. Just ... no. In the context of the scientific method, "theory" has a different meaning than in informal discussion. You'll need to read about that and come back.

thorex wrote:
The fact is though if we want to stay human for a minute here we could argue that all programs require a programmer.

K. Except DNA isn't a program. You're going to have to read about DNA now, too.

thorex wrote:
That we exist through a random series of events that created human beings?

Not random. The reading list should now include some abiogenesis, big bang theory, and evolutionary theory.

thorex wrote:
I mean if we "think" that human observation is required for matter to exist in the universe, technically we are the puppetmasters controlling everything.

Who believes that human observation is required for matter to exist? That's a pretty silly assertion.

thorex wrote:
Hmmm...  So why all of this?  Why are we here or is there really no purpose to anything?  We can debate back and forth all day long.

You mean "speculate" in this case, not "debate".

thorex wrote:
There is something very similar between Atheists and Theists.  You've all committed yourselves to believe in something based on faith that some of you consider to be fact when it is not.

Wow. I, as rationalist, don't actually have to believe anything supernatural. I don't have faith. None. I can trust what someone is telling me, but to be honest, I'd usually check it out. They could be wrong. Theists, for the most part, have tradition that dictates what they believe. It is absolute truth, and there is no "checking it out" by comparing it to observable reality. Tell me if you see the difference.

thorex wrote:
Ignorance is bliss.  As is evolution.

Evolution is bliss? What?

thorex wrote:
The moment you accept your own ignorance of the universe and accept that you know nothing you have just gained the ability to know everything.

I doubt very much that admission of my own ignorance would give me the ability to know everything. Do you mean "anything"? Like, once I know I'm ignorant, I have the possibility of learning? That, I can see. But you're going to have to admit your own ignorance on this one, and learn something about the topics you're discussing.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Well, you've already been

Well, you've already been indoctrinated into the "Please Know What the Hell You're Talking About Before Speaking" club, but I'll give it my two cents, also.

Quote:
Although I am no stranger to christianity or athiesm, I find both terms rather redundant.

Atheism wouldn't exist without theism, at least in the lexicon.  You've never heard of aunicornists, have you?  The thing is, you are one.  It's not that they're redundant, it's that one is linguistically dependent on  the other.  Please, please don't make the mistake of assuming that linguistic connection is the same as philosophical validity, ok?

Quote:
See for me, there is no proof for the existence of God and there is no proof that there is no existence of God.  This is where we have the double edged sword.

Only if you really want to believe in god, and don't mind eschewing the rules of logic.  There is no proof that there are no unicorns, yet you don't give unicorns the time of day... I hope.  The sword cuts very simply on one side.  If you make a claim, you demonstrate it.  If you can't, the default position is negative.  If I must disprove everything that can be conceived, I will never get to a point of being able to prove anything.  In fact, I will never be able to make a coherent sentence, since I must postulate and then disprove a universe where none of the words I use mean what I think they do.  This descent into nihilism is the stuff of first year philosophy hacks, not learned thinkers.

As for the rest of your post, you seem very good at reading about things without comprehending them correctly.  You are very, very mistaken about a great many things.  I'm not saying that to be mean.  I'm saying it because it's true.  I suggest you move from articles in science magazines up to full fledged books by scientists.  If you can get through The Blind Watchmaker, The Selfish Gene, and Climbing Mount Improbable, take a crack at The Ancestors Tale.  That's just stuff from Dawkins you should read.  If you get through all of that, take a crack at Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, by Dennett.  Then, have a crack at God: The Failed Hypothesis, by Victor Stenger.  My thing is evolution, not cosmology, so maybe someone else can suggest some good reading for you on the origins of the universe.  Seriously, though, you sound like someone who watches a lot of science on tv and reads magazine articles.  If I have you pegged wrong, I'm truly sorry, but you sound like you have a high school level understanding of most of what you're talking about.

If you get through all of those books, and still feel the same way, then there's no hope for you to ever think critically.  If you don't educate yourself, and insist on trying to argue points with your lack of knowledge, you will most likely be ridiculed.

 

Quote:
That should not be a rivalry, it should be a partnership.

Actually, you should read some Hitchens, too.  He presents the evidence quite clearly.  Faith and science are necessarily and irrevocably opposed.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
(No subject)


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
thorex wrote:Well... 

thorex wrote:

Well...  Theory in a way requires a certain faith or belief for someone to place actual merit towards it.  The keystone of the universe these days is quantum physics.  What a confusing pandora's box we've opened for ourselves though with this study.  It would seem that things are not at all what them seem through our own perceptions.  I mean the simple requirement for human observation of an atom for it to choose its state is huge.  In fact it almost makes you wonder if everything that we can "perceive" in this universe is simply an illusion.

 

Actually, information is required to collapse a wavefunction, but yes matter, is in essence, an illusion.


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
Atheism is not a religion

thorex wrote:

complete opposites.  One requires faith and the other requires facts.  This would lead us to ask, what facts do we know about our universe?

Really, we have a lot of theories that somewhat show us what it is that we are looking at.  We have the wonderful law of thermodynamics that is near to become extinct with new possibilities of PPM's on the horizon.  Quite frankly, everything we know about the universe is based on theory other than mathematics.

Forgive my ignorance, but-- what is PPM?

If it's merely a "possibility," then I'd question the thought that the laws of thermodynamics are in any danger. They appear to be a fundamental aspect of the universe. However, since it's always possible that they might be superseded by a new theory, as Newtonian mechanics has been replaced with quantum mechanics and relativity in certain edge cases, I like to keep an open mind.

thorex wrote:

Well...  Theory in a way requires a certain faith or belief for someone to place actual merit towards it.  The keystone of the universe these days is quantum physics.  What a confusing pandora's box we've opened for ourselves though with this study.  It would seem that things are not at all what them seem through our own perceptions.  I mean the simple requirement for human observation of an atom for it to choose its state is huge.  In fact it almost makes you wonder if everything that we can "perceive" in this universe is simply an illusion.

I'm assuming by "theory," you mean, "science." Otherwise, that sentence doesn't make sense.

The only faith required in science is that we live in an objective, observable, consistent, cohesive universe. That's it. The fact that the practice of the scientific method has gotten us so far is empirical evidence that this is true.

Our perceptions are just fine. Quantum mechanics is pretty cool, and quantum gravity may account for the birth of our universe. However, our observation of the atom does not change the atom itself. It still remains an atom of carbon, or what-have-you, with all the objective chemical properties thereof. By observation, we've merely collapsed the probability state of the electron (if it is indeed the electron we are observing).

Observing the polarity of one quantum-coupled photon collapses the polarity of the other photon in the pair. This is part of reality. That's it. Those photons don't need observation to exist-- just to collapse their quantum states. Those states are arbitrary, within a probability distribution.

More cool things-- the universe might not need intelligent observation to collapse a quantum state. That state will collapse when the state is required. For instance, the polarity of a photon collapses if it passes through a polarized screen, whether we observe it or not.

So, no. The things we observe are not an illusion. The are objective. It's just that some bits are a little more exotic than we imaged a century ago.

thorex wrote:

Now of course like I mentioned there are two sides to every coin.  So we could look at complex structures such as DNA and write it off as an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters right?  Of course we can.  Or we can look at the complexity of the genetic code and realise that it is no different than a computer program.  A program that can be spliced with different genes to create all organic life throughout the world.  Could this have happened by coincidence?  Absolutely.  The fact is though if we want to stay human for a minute here we could argue that all programs require a programmer. 

Coins have three sides-- the two faces, and a circular rim. Arguing in favor of intelligent design over evolution is like the rim-- a circular argument that gets you nothing but dizzy, and an uneasy feeling that you've been there before.

Evolution is not random. Some of the inputs are random, but that does not make the process of evolution (as opposed to the theory) random. It is in fact defined by some of the most subtle information theory around.

And DNA is completely different from a computer program. There are self-evolving programs, and they tend to be much more efficient than their designed cousins at performing similar tasks. However, there's very little similarity between the evolved program, and DNA. They merely ended up in a specific state through evolution.

thorex wrote:

This would be SO easy if humans were able to see reality wouldn't it?  If we could all view the same scenario and see the same thing.  If we didn't have our senses and previous experiences to bias and rape our interpretation of events.  It would be very easy and we would all likely believe the exact same things.  What would we believe though?  Would we believe that we are an aftershadow of a neverending vortex?  That we exist through a random series of events that created human beings?  Or that we were seeded and are being controlled by something else to fulfill a certain purpose?

What makes you think we can't see reality? The fact that science is repeatable, and that different research leads to the same conclusions, is strong empirical evidence that a properly-functioning mind has no trouble observing the objective reality of the universe. If that weren't true, then science would've gained us nothing. We would never have made it to the moon, or built fission power plants, or cured polio.

And-- reality is strongly biased. That's why stepping off the roof of a very tall building is not a good idea without a parachute. That's why you have the internet to ask these questions.

Reality is biased to rationality.

It's too bad many humans are not.

thorex wrote:

I know it just... sounds so twilight zone doesn't it?  And lets be honest, life is very far from perfect.  I mean with the amount of "mistakes" that life has made.  Stillbirths, mutations, retardation, extinction.  It doesn't even seem possible does it?  Well as I mentioned there's that other side of the coin again...  Could it be that deaths and mutations happen to influence human behaviour?  I mean if we "think" that human observation is required for matter to exist in the universe, technically we are the puppetmasters controlling everything.  To have a child die at birth is such a hard lesson in life.  It's just amazing that humans were designed to think and percieve with emotion or life experience to determine their personalities.

Or it could be that death is natures way of saying, "Let somebody else have a turn."

Observation is not required for matter to exist. I know there are a couple of physicists who think it might be true, but there's no experimental way to prove it, so it isn't science. The current data supports an objective reality independent of human observation. The fact that observation collapses quantum waveforms is a far cry from thinking observation changes the existence of the atom. Rather, it appears to be the opposite, as the quantum state must fall within the probability distribution.

I think "not existing" falls well outside the probability distribution.

The other side of the coin? It seems like I've been here before...

thorex wrote:

Is that another code?  Could that be the pattern that we all follow to the end of our lives?  Could it be our lives are predetermined from the absolute get go so our conciousness can experience new things and adapt to become a certain way? 

Of course not.  That's ridiculous.  We're just a bunch of evolved monkey's that are swinging through life.  When we die our conciousness ceases to exist.  Right?  That damn coin is annoying me now.

It's been annoying me from the beginning. False analogy and all.

Determination fell by the wayside with quantum theory, arrows of time, and chaos theory. Rewind the universe and let it play again, and things will be totally different. As it is, we can't even predict the position of the planets in a few thousand years, because of quantum uncertainty. We know they'll be in their probability distribution, but that gets pretty big after a time.

We're not monkeys. We're apes. Big difference.

And, yes. When you die, your thoughts stop, and it's time for your friends to have one big fuck-off party to say good-bye. I have a musical playlist planned. I might even have some stuff for them to read. But probably, it'll just be a huge party.

thorex wrote:

Hmmm...  So why all of this?  Why are we here or is there really no purpose to anything?  We can debate back and forth all day long.

There is something very similar between Atheists and Theists.  You've all committed yourselves to believe in something based on faith that some of you consider to be fact when it is not.  To categorize one's beliefs is a cult.  To make it mainstream it is a religion.

Ignorance is bliss.  As is evolution.  The moment you accept your own ignorance of the universe and accept that you know nothing you have just gained the ability to know everything.  Don't hate theism and don't hate atheism.  You are both on the same path's to understanding your existence. 

That should not be a rivalry, it should be a partnership.

Science not only accepts ignorance, it recognizes it. Most scientists are well aware of what we don't know, at least within their field. That's the whole point of science and research-- to cure our ignorance, and learn more about our universe. Sometimes we learn that what we had before wasn't quite right (classic mechanics vs. relativity, for instance), but each step draws us closer to understanding new and wonderful things.

Sometimes our ignorance grows. Sometimes a new discovery will point to entire fields of study we didn't even know existed. It's not like we know exactly the questions we must ask before we know everything; but we often know the next step.

And that's the problem with theism. Theists are often blind to their own ignorance. They have the answer, and the answer is God. If there is a mystery, then God did it. In fact, theists prefer mysteries, as that makes their God more powerful. The more mysteries, the more God has done.

There are no coins here. There is only the objective universe for us to discover and explore and study. If we recognize that God has nothing to do with the universe, then we understand that reality is objective, observable, consistent, and cohesive. That means we can know its secrets, its wonders.

A belief in God cannot give us that. A belief in God can only hinder that search, as suddenly our ignorance is masked by the Works of God.

There are no coins here. There is only gold, and fools gold.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:The only faith

Quote:
The only faith required in science is that we live in an objective, observable, consistent, cohesive universe.

Even this is not faith.  This is a reasonable belief, based on the fact that everything we have ever seen backs up the idea.  It's easy to confuse deductive and inductive certainty, and positively sophomoric to give an idea credibility simply because science is inductive and can't prove things with deductive certainty.

Anyone who believes that reality and science are false because they are not deductively certain could have a great career as a fantasy/sci fi writer, but will have little luck as a scientist.  (Fortunately, all those electrons make the computer work, just like science predicts... otherwise, the book would be doomed.)

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Welcome to the "Please be

Welcome to the "Please be educated in the matters that you are attempting to discuss" club.

1. As indicated by your assertions, you are clearly not familiar with even the most basic logical fallacies.

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

The argumentum ad ignoratium or the argument from ignorance, is surely the most oft-abused and most poorly understood fallacy in the whole of debate, which is most odd, considering it is extremely simple.

The fallacy is double edged:

X is true because it has not been proved false

X is false because it has not been proved true

And usually, it is followed by the substitution of another hypothesis, in which case it becomes:

Hypothesis X is false because it has not been proven true, therefore hypothesis Y is true

Which is an obvious fallacy of false dichotomy.

To wit:

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

So, let us take a common example.

Can you disprove God?

This commits the positive version of the argumentum ad ignoratium. The fact that God cannot be disproved is irrelevant. Positive proof of X does not depend on X not having been falsified. Otherwise, any proposition could be defended on grounds that it has hitherto not been falsified!

There is a subtle difference between saying that an argument has not been falsified and that it cannot be falsified. The first is invalid as a method of proving X. The second, however, is absolutely critical to burden of proof and epistemic rights. If something cannot be falsified, then it cannot be tested, and then, there cannot ever be evidence of it. If something is unfalsifiable, it is untestable, and if something is untestable, then there is no epistemic rights for saying it exists (the only exception to this is axioms, since they can be defended by retortion). However, this, again, is not grounds for saying that X does not exist. Strong atheism cannot be defended via the unfalsifiability of God, only by the creation of a deductive argument against God (obviously)

The misuse of the argument from ignorance is indicated heavily when one argues regarding atheism. Most people do not understand that atheism is inherently dichotomous, meaning there are two schools of thought. The first is mutually compatible with agnosticism, hence called agnostic or weak atheism. The position:

-There is no evidence for God. This absence of evidence does not mean that God does not exists. However, it does mean that there is no reason to suppose God exists, and the default position should be non-belief.

This is different from the strong atheist position:

-God does not exist. I am quite certain of this. I can disprove God.

And many strong atheists have indeed formulated arguments against God.

 

2. You have no idea what a theory is, do you? I'll have it spelled out for you. Todangst put it in the most eloquent fashion:

A fact is something difficult to define completely, and is in many ways somewhat of an axiomatic concept. We presume that a fact is something discoverable by empirical observation, or logical inference - and that it corresponds to reality in that it is not contradicted by observation or logic.

In popular usage, a theory is something less than a fact. This is an ignorant view that confuses theorizing for hypothesing, or even merely guessing. A theory is actually a conceptual framework, designed to describe, explain predict and help control some phenomenon, based on a preponderance of facts. The theory supports itself with non-vague, operationizable predictions that are held to be accurate and in accordance with observed reality. Theories and facts are not antonyms - they are inter-related and interpedent. Facts are used to support theories, and theories explain existing facts and predict new ones. A great example would be Mendelev's theory of elements, better known as the "periodic table of elements." When Mendelev proposed his theory, it was considered ludicrous. However, without any knowledge of atomic structure, the theory predicted the existence of then undiscovered elements. When these predicted elements were discovered AFTER THE PREDICTION, AND NOT BEFORE, the truth of the theory was supported. In other words, the table predicted reality, and was then therefore supported by reality. Evolution is yet another theory that has overwhelming predictive power. That the term "theory", a concept which can only thrive in an ocean of facts, became seen as something less than a fact, is a testament to our society's scientific ignorance.

One of the most galling statements that can be made in reference to theories is the oft heard whine: "That's only a theory" as if to then claim that dogmatic "certainty" is superior theoretical tentativeness. The truth is that dogma often exists in stark contradiction to fact, while theory can only exist on the basis of facts. Another glaring difference between theory and dogma is that theory offers a coherent explanation of a phenomena. Dogma often offers nothing other than blanket authority statements concomitant with blatant threats of violence and harm to non believers.

3. Your assertion about thermodynamics was ridiculous. Your statement was meaningless. I'm quite sure that a PPM is a type of magnetometer. If you want to explain kindly how precisely a PPM would violate the laws of thermodynamics, enlighten. I strongly doubt, however, that you are familiar with thermodynamics. I would wager that you cannot tell me how many laws of thermodynamics there are.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
I stand corrected

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
The only faith required in science is that we live in an objective, observable, consistent, cohesive universe.

Even this is not faith.  This is a reasonable belief, based on the fact that everything we have ever seen backs up the idea.  It's easy to confuse deductive and inductive certainty, and positively sophomoric to give an idea credibility simply because science is inductive and can't prove things with deductive certainty.

Anyone who believes that reality and science are false because they are not deductively certain could have a great career as a fantasy/sci fi writer, but will have little luck as a scientist.  (Fortunately, all those electrons make the computer work, just like science predicts... otherwise, the book would be doomed.)

Very true. I stand corrected in my calling it "faith."

I did mention that the fact that science is effective was very strong evidence that we lived in an objective universe. But it was definitely a mistake to call it "faith."

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers