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frodolf


Dec 18, 2006, 10:44 AM
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Reflections on truth...
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I know this isn't even close to climbing related, and most of you is probably sick of it, but I feel like getting it of my chest. Sorry....

There is no proven answer to 'The Big Questions' in life (meaning of life, origin of universe, soul vs. no-soul etc). No religion can 'prove' anything - it's all about faith.

Science can't 'prove' anything either, if it could, I/we wouldn't have to wonder.

So, am I just to choose one of the options and just... go for it? It sounds nice with heaven, I think I'll go with that... No. I just can't do it. That just isn't my way.

I was thinking about this and then it hit me: Since no religion, or science, can prove anything, I am forced to go with the option that has the most truth-searching METHOD.

In any way you look at it, it is an undisputable fact that throu out history chistianity have tried to fit the world in to the religion. Great scientific discoveries, like Copernicus' and Darwin's, have changed the way we look at the world, and everytime that has happened christianity have tried to deny it, saying it's false, not true, blasfemy and so on. This Is Not A Good Method In Search For Truth. Make up your mind, and THEN try to explain the world is simply bad truth-searching.

A (good) scientist on the other hand, look at the world, collects data, and THEN he/she makes an assumption. And that assumption is ONLY about what he/she have looked at. All else is called theories and is by definition not proven. If a scientist try to find something and don't, he or she publish that, because it is the truth. There isn't one true scientist on this planet that wouldn't publish evidence on Gods existens, would he/she find it.

A 'scientist' that is out to prove that Darwin was wrong and that what is written in the Bible is true, would never publish evidence on the opposite. Would he find a million indicators that he is wrong, he still wouldn't publish the results because it doesn't fit in to his religion. But if he found one indicator that he could be a bit right, then he would state that he has proof of that Jesus walked on water and that every word in the Good Book is true.

I'm sorry if I've bored you to death, or if I have offended you. Please tell me what you think of all this. I may sound convinced and sure of myself, but really I'm not.

Peace Smile


bizarrodrinker


Dec 18, 2006, 10:57 AM
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"The universe is a very confusing place...and if it is ever figured out will be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable."

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yanqui


Dec 18, 2006, 11:28 AM
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"We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened." -- Mark Twain


reno


Dec 18, 2006, 12:26 PM
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"Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't."

-- Mark Twain


overlord


Dec 18, 2006, 12:42 PM
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frodolf


Dec 18, 2006, 1:07 PM
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My mother is a fish.

-William Faulkner


petsfed


Dec 18, 2006, 7:24 PM
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frodolf wrote:
In any way you look at it, it is an undisputable fact that throu out history chistianity have tried to fit the world in to the religion. Great scientific discoveries, like Copernicus' and Darwin's, have changed the way we look at the world, and everytime that has happened christianity have tried to deny it, saying it's false, not true, blasfemy and so on. This Is Not A Good Method In Search For Truth. Make up your mind, and THEN try to explain the world is simply bad truth-searching.

For several of these, the resistence was grounded in largely political problems. Galileo was placed under house arrest, not because his ideas were that dangerous, but rather because he had a knack for making his detractors look like idiots. He was in fact good friends with Pope during his trial.

frodolf wrote:
A (good) scientist on the other hand, look at the world, collects data, and THEN he/she makes an assumption. And that assumption is ONLY about what he/she have looked at. All else is called theories and is by definition not proven. If a scientist try to find something and don't, he or she publish that, because it is the truth. There isn't one true scientist on this planet that wouldn't publish evidence on Gods existens, would he/she find it.

Italics are mine. A theory to a scientist is a lot more complex that the definition you gave. To a scientist, you defined "hypothesis". A theory is a rigorously tested hypothesis. A law is a theory that has withstood ALL tests.

Second, a lot of science has been mired in its discoverer's rejection of it. The expansion of the universe, a calculated side effect of Einstein's special relativity, was believed by him to be an error. He introduced a "cosmological constant" to account for it. The shear volume of "bad points" that are removed from data from every paper is staggering. We typically pick the most strongly supported hypothesis and claim that the data supports that.

frodolf wrote:
A 'scientist' that is out to prove that Darwin was wrong and that what is written in the Bible is true, would never publish evidence on the opposite. Would he find a million indicators that he is wrong, he still wouldn't publish the results because it doesn't fit in to his religion. But if he found one indicator that he could be a bit right, then he would state that he has proof of that Jesus walked on water and that every word in the Good Book is true.

You haven't done much research science, have you? I once spent two months doing calculations because my boss was convinced that a competing theory was wrong. We never published. Make a guess why.

frodolf wrote:
I'm sorry if I've bored you to death, or if I have offended you. Please tell me what you think of all this. I may sound convinced and sure of myself, but really I'm not.

Peace Smile


foreverabumbly


Dec 18, 2006, 7:59 PM
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I dont think you know much about scientists, I studied archaeology and the general approach is to have an opinion, then try to find the evidence to back it up, eg. I beleive this dig to be of period x and of civilisation Y, so that is where my research will take me.
If you find evidence to that contradicts your opinion, then your first port of call is to find an excuse for it, eg this out dated iron must be from an old rubbish dump the building was used on. and if your excuse fits, you use it.

science is just opinion and theories just like religion is. Not all scientists are as 'good' as you have referenced, most wont publish their mistakes, or loopholes because they are afraid that if they do the funding will dry up. Im not saying science is evil, it if far from it, but shouldnt be put on the pedestal most people have, and should be viewed with just as much skepticiscm as you have religion.

oh, and what about these fathers of science, Newton, Pasteur, Kepler, Boyle, Faraday, Kelvin and Pascal?
All were great scientists with great scientific discoveries, all of which have changed our world, all of which are Christian, and used their faith to define their research.

In reply to:
In any way you look at it, it is an undisputable fact that throu out history chistianity have tried to fit the world in to the religion. Great scientific discoveries, like Copernicus' and Darwin's, have changed the way we look at the world, and everytime that has happened christianity have tried to deny it, saying it's false, not true, blasfemy and so on. This Is Not A Good Method In Search For Truth. Make up your mind, and THEN try to explain the world is simply bad truth-searching.


if you believe this of all christians then look up creationonthewebdotcom. (sorry, dont know how to post links) im not trying to minister or witness, but it is a place where you can see christians making an honest attempt to find scientific proof of their faith, but also are willing to show where it doesnt.


(This post was edited by foreverabumbly on Dec 18, 2006, 8:07 PM)


frodolf


Dec 19, 2006, 7:17 AM
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Thank you petsfed and foreverbumbly for your critical viewpoint. That's just great!

I feel like doing a copy/paste marathon... Sorry... again.

------------

Petsfed: "You haven't done much research science, have you?"

Nope. You're absolutely right. I study literature, not any of the natural sciences (which is what we discuss). All of my assumptions in the initiating post are based on pedestal-put prejudice. I'm a nOOb if you like.

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Petsfed: "The shear volume of "bad points" that are removed from data from every paper is staggering"

I didn't really follow your arguments here, maybe because english isn't my native tounge, but as I think you mean, even in natural science you make choises about what data to use and what data to collect. This is great critisism because this problem is almost impossible to get around.

In literature we have something called hermeneutics - it's all about interpretation. Basically there are three stages of interpretation: 1) what data to collect - a scientist DO make a CHOISE here. 2) How the scientist should evaluate/interpret the data - this is probably the most inportant. And 3) when 'a reader' reads he/she interpret what is written.

This do not apply on every field of science, and is absolutely not an argument that all science is 'faith' or just 'believed to be true'. This is actually to be seen as the opposite: a proof that science is by its nature sceptic to itself.

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petsfed: "A theory to a scientist is a lot more complex that the definition you gave. To a scientist, you defined "hypothesis". A theory is a rigorously tested hypothesis. A law is a theory that has withstood ALL tests"

Thanks for sorting it out. I must confess I wrote this in somewhat of a hurry, and actually ment hypothesis, as you say.

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petsfed: "For several of these (scientific discoveries), the resistence was grounded in largely political problems."

Politics have offcourse also been bothering a free search for knowledge in the past. And present. Look at research with stem cells and genetics for instance. Economics is also a major factor taday, as it may have been a very long time. Companies, and goverments, don't really like paying for research that will not generate money in the long run.

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Foreverbumbly: "If you find evidence to that contradicts your opinion, then your first port of call is to find an excuse for it, eg this out dated iron must be from an old rubbish dump the building was used on. and if your excuse fits, you use it."

But isn't your theory, on which you base your research, based on empiirical and hard facts? Maybe based on what the other twenty or so 'diggers' before you have found?

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Foreverbumbly: "science is just opinion and theories just like religion is."

Yes, perhaps, but I have never stated the opposite. What I wrote was that the method in which they (the scientists) search for facts/truth is different, and that is worth... fighting for? believe in? I don't 'feel' like Big Bang is totally right, I think it sound really strange (as EVERY OTHER theory), but the open mind linked to the scientific method, gives me a good vibe.

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Foreverbumbly: "Not all scientists are as 'good' as you have referenced, most wont publish their mistakes, or loopholes because they are afraid that if they do the funding will dry up"

I've studied for two years now, and every teacher I've had have promoted that truth is all, meaning that if you don't find what you were looking for, that have the same value of truth as if you did. Maybe this is a 'cultural' difference between our two nations?

--------------

foreverbumbly: "oh, and what about these fathers of science, Newton, Pasteur, Kepler, Boyle, Faraday, Kelvin and Pascal?
All were great scientists with great scientific discoveries, all of which have changed our world, all of which are Christian, and used their faith to define their research."

I didn't know that. That sounds really cool. But what do you mean with 'define'? Newton found what he did in the world, not in the bible.

-----------

Is a free search for truth wrong?

You all can wake up now...Smile


frodolf


Dec 19, 2006, 7:20 AM
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That is probably the most boring-looking post I've ever seen...

And I wrote it!!! Cool


(This post was edited by frodolf on Dec 19, 2006, 7:41 AM)


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Dec 19, 2006, 8:03 AM
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Is a free search for truth wrong?

No, of course not.

But I'm not sure it's possible either.

When we learn, we're at the mercy of what we already know. It's what forms the basis of our search, defines the terms we use to define our results and is the bigger picture into which we will fit our findings.

Unfortunately, what we already know is not stuff that we figured out for ourselves. In fact it's mostly stuff other people figured out which we accept for a variety of reasons - some because it fits with what we see around us, and some just because we're told to.

Galileo's case is a good example: it wasn't just the church who didn't think the earth revolved around the sun, hardly anybody did, especially the leading scientists of the day. Why? Because it didn't fit with what they already thought they knew, and in particular it contradicted what their greatest influence, Aristotle, said on the subject.

In the end, we are all prisoners of what we think we know. We base our hypotheses on it and we judge our results by it. It's one of our greatest weaknesses, but also gives us one of our greatest strengths: our ability to merge and synthesise existing ideas to create new ones, without which there would be no science or religion.


veganclimber


Dec 19, 2006, 8:21 AM
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science is just opinion and theories just like religion is.

It is my opinion that the gravitational constant is 6.67*10^-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2.


frodolf


Dec 19, 2006, 8:44 AM
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tradman wrote:
In reply to:
Is a free search for truth wrong?

No, of course not.

But I'm not sure it's possible either.

When we learn, we're at the mercy of what we already know. It's what forms the basis of our search, defines the terms we use to define our results and is the bigger picture into which we will fit our findings.
or religion.

A very hermeneutic standpoint I would say.

Just a thought, why should we search for truth if it can't be found? Shouldn't we just be burying our heads in the sand and think of... beer?

I for one do not accept that there are no truhts in the world. There are thing that are true, undisputably. 1+1 really is 2. That is not negotiable.


veganclimber


Dec 19, 2006, 9:06 AM
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In reply to:
Galileo's case is a good example: it wasn't just the church who didn't think the earth revolved around the sun, hardly anybody did, especially the leading scientists of the day. Why? Because it didn't fit with what they already thought they knew, and in particular it contradicted what their greatest influence, Aristotle, said on the subject.

In the end, we are all prisoners of what we think we know.

Apparently Galileo wasn't.


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Dec 19, 2006, 9:12 AM
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I for one do not accept that there are no truhts in the world.

Oh, I agree. I don't debate whether facts exist, or even truth.

I question whether we are capable of spontaneously finding it, or even recognising it if we did.


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Dec 19, 2006, 9:19 AM
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veganclimber wrote:
In reply to:
Galileo's case is a good example: it wasn't just the church who didn't think the earth revolved around the sun, hardly anybody did, especially the leading scientists of the day. Why? Because it didn't fit with what they already thought they knew, and in particular it contradicted what their greatest influence, Aristotle, said on the subject.

In the end, we are all prisoners of what we think we know.

Apparently Galileo wasn't.

Of course he was.

Galileo didn't instantly and spontaneously come up with the idea that the earth revolved around the sun; the idea had been around for a very long time by the time he got to it. He also used Kepler and Tycho Brahe's work and experiments on the same subject extensively, just as they worked from his.

Of course, the best proof that Galileo wasn't working in isolation is that fact that he was right about some things, and completely and spectacularly wrong about others. Check out his comical experiment for measuring the speed of light if you think he was inerrant.


veganclimber


Dec 19, 2006, 10:33 AM
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In reply to:
Galileo didn't instantly and spontaneously come up with the idea that the earth revolved around the sun; the idea had been around for a very long time by the time he got to it. He also used Kepler and Tycho Brahe's work and experiments on the same subject extensively, just as they worked from his.

I agree with you that it is difficult to give up an idea that we beleive. When Galileo pointed his telescope at Jupiter he saw that it had moons. Other people refused to accept this. They actually refused to believe what they were seeing with their own eyes.

I am sure that Galelio was taught that the Earth was the center of the universe and that an objects natural state was at rest. He was able to reject these ideas. So I would not say that he was a prisoner of what he was taught. Maybe most of us are but there are always people like Galileo who can see things differently.

In reply to:
Of course, the best proof that Galileo wasn't working in isolation is that fact that he was right about some things, and completely and spectacularly wrong about others. Check out his comical experiment for measuring the speed of light if you think he was inerrant.

I never said that Galileo was inerrant. I also wouldn't say he was exactly wrong about the speed of light thing. He tried to measure how long it took light to travel across a field and back. His conclusion was that it travelled too fast to determine, which is obviously true. Of course he probably had some idea that light travelled slow enough to measure before he tried the experiment.


foreverabumbly


Dec 20, 2006, 5:53 AM
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foreverbumbly: "oh, and what about these fathers of science, Newton, Pasteur, Kepler, Boyle, Faraday, Kelvin and Pascal?
All were great scientists with great scientific discoveries, all of which have changed our world, all of which are Christian, and used their faith to define their research."

I didn't know that. That sounds really cool. But what do you mean with 'define'? Newton found what he did in the world, not in the bible.

What I was trying to say are these scientists also found what they did in the real world, but also from the bible, their studies did not contridict the bibles teaching, but reinforced these people's belief in God. The bible teaches us to go searching for the truth, no matter where it leads us "The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps" proverbs 14:15. The book of proverbs warns repeatedly against naivete (proverbs 1:22;8:5;14:15,18 ;22:3) and urges its readers to acquire knowledge (proverbs 2:10;8:9;10:14;12:1) "the truth," Jesus said, "shall make you free" (john 8:32)
I was trying to show that the religious are not always as narrow minded as people suggest.

And why isnt the bible based on real life? The old and new testaments enjoy far greater manuscript attestation in terms of quantity, quality, and time span than any other ancient documents. rather than being an unreliable book, it is in fact the most valid and supported ancient history source on the planet. And is used time and time again to corroberate findings and to put names to cities etc.

Eugene Ulrich, from Oxford University said
"The scrolls have shown that our traditional bible has been amazingly accurately preserved for over 2000 years"

F. F Bruce, University of Manchester said
"the variant readings about which any doubt remains among textual critics of the new testament affect no material question of historic fact or of christian faith and practice"

Jeffery L. Sheler of U.S. news and world report said
"The patriarch narratives fit comfortably in the historical context that modern archaeology has helped to reconstruct. And that context places the patriarchs precisely where the book of Genesis suggests they should be - in the early second millennium BC - rather than in the postexilic fiction writer"

Also


foreverabumbly


Dec 20, 2006, 6:44 AM
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frodolf wrote:
...(as EVERY OTHER theory), but the open mind linked to the scientific method, gives me a good vibe.

During the 18 and 19 centuries, it was a scientific axiom that the universe was infinite in size and age, then along came Albert Einstein, who published his theory of relativity in 1917, shortly after Einstein published his theory, the dutch astronomer Willem De Sitter studied Einstein's equations and derived from them the conclusion that the Universe was expanding. Already in 1913, astronomers had noticed that several Galaxies were moving away from us at high speeds. Later, Edwin Hubble used his hundred-inch telescope to verify de Sitter's mathematical prediction that the further away a galaxy is, the faster it moves. Implying that the universe was expanding from a central point of origin like an inflating balloon or like an explosion. At the same time Hubble found that nearby galaxies were actually millions of light years away. The implications of these findings was that the universe in fact had a beginning, and that it begun with an incredible explosion of matter and energy from an initial point of origin, generating intense light and heat that eventually deffused and cooled enough to allow for the formation of stars and planets.

This discovery was not met with pleasure. Many scientists rebelled against the notion because it implied a begginner. In fact, Einstein was one of the first to complain. At first he refused to believe that the universe was expanding and sought to find some mathematical way out of the conclusion that the universe had a beggining. Aurther Eddington, a scientist who had helped prove that the universe was expanding admitted he found the idea awful and hoped that a loophole could be found to avoid the cosmic implication of a supernatural creator. Hubble spent the rest of his life arguing against the theory his finding helped to prove. Fred Holye was the one who labeled this thoery the Big Bang.

During the middle third of the twentieth century, scientists who were still uncomfortable with the implications of a creator floated other alternative explantions for the astronomical evidence. The 2 most popular were the steady state theory, in which the universe is mearly expanding in some places and not in others. and the oscillating universe theory, in which the universe expands for many billions of years, then contracts back to a central point, explodes and expands again, and so on. Both theories were developed specifically to avoid the specter of a finite universe that had a beggining. The steady state theory was disproven when Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered the background radiation that the big bang theory predicted would be left behind following the explosion, and the oscillation theory had a major setback in 1990 when the COBE satellite found that the background radiation was so even throughout space that the universe must have begun with an extemely hot explosion that was too hot to be one in an endless series of explosion, Stephen Hawkins, who dislikes extremely the notion of a creator god, called it the discovery of the century and credits the existence of the universe to "the mind of god."

Scientists throughout history have gone out of their way to try to manipulate their findings because of the prejudice they have over a creator God. Something which you seem to imply that only religious people do. And to use the above lecture as an example, all three major theistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have historically maintained that the universe has not always existed, whereas scientists has tried to reject the notion, yet it is science that proves the religious right all along.


veganclimber


Dec 20, 2006, 8:37 AM
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Scientists throughout history have gone out of their way to try to manipulate their findings because of the prejudice they have over a creator God. Something which you seem to imply that only religious people do. And to use the above lecture as an example, all three major theistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have historically maintained that the universe has not always existed, whereas scientists has tried to reject the notion, yet it is science that proves the religious right all along.

Yea, scientists are as biased too when it comes to forming theories. They may even resist the evidence for a while. So what? How many people take steady state seriously now? At the end of the day the evidence always wins.


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How many people take steady state seriously now? At the end of the day the evidence always wins.

But at the time, steady state was "right", and scientists told us so.

Now, something else is "right", and scientists tell us so.

Are you so sure that it won't just be proved wrong in the same way as steady state was?


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Dec 20, 2006, 9:03 AM
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tradman wrote:
How many people take steady state seriously now? At the end of the day the evidence always wins.

But at the time, steady state was "right", and scientists told us so.

Now, something else is "right", and scientists tell us so.

Are you so sure that it won't just be proved wrong in the same way as steady state was?

You state this like it's a bad thing.

At the time, the steady-state theory fitted all the (very little) available data. Then (enormous quantities of) new information was discovered that contradicted it, so the old theory was discarded in favour of a new one which fitted all the data. If new information is found that contradicts the new theory, then (after thorough checking) that, too, will be discarded in favour of a new, more refined theory.

Science, if you like, is a very good method of making us progressively less wrong.


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Dec 20, 2006, 9:25 AM
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Science, if you like, is a very good method of making us progressively less wrong.

Yeah! And a great quote to boot!


petsfed


Dec 20, 2006, 12:14 PM
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frodolf wrote:
Petsfed: "The shear volume of "bad points" that are removed from data from every paper is staggering"

I didn't really follow your arguments here, maybe because english isn't my native tounge, but as I think you mean, even in natural science you make choises about what data to use and what data to collect. This is great critisism because this problem is almost impossible to get around.

In literature we have something called hermeneutics - it's all about interpretation. Basically there are three stages of interpretation: 1) what data to collect - a scientist DO make a CHOISE here. 2) How the scientist should evaluate/interpret the data - this is probably the most inportant. And 3) when 'a reader' reads he/she interpret what is written.

This do not apply on every field of science, and is absolutely not an argument that all science is 'faith' or just 'believed to be true'. This is actually to be seen as the opposite: a proof that science is by its nature sceptic to itself.

What I'm saying is that it is very common to find segments of observed data that don't fit with either your proposed theory or the commonly accepted theory. Most scientists will call those "bad points", and throw them out, calling them observation error, or the like. But since we don't know if there was an observation error, we're not being very scrupulous scientists if we do that.

And often, a scientist will just kind of throw their hands up in despair at a confusing result and use some formulation of the GODDIDIT. That's where you blame your bad data, confusing data, or incomplete theories on God. Newton noticed a discrepancy between the planets expected orbits and their actual orbits; he promptly chalked up the fact that the planets remained in orbit to divine intervention. It took another 200 years before Poisson (Laplace?) finished doing the math to show that it wasn't god, it was incomplete mathematics to blame for his errors.


frodolf


Dec 20, 2006, 1:57 PM
Post #25 of 39 (1511 views)
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Registered: Oct 1, 2006
Posts: 81

Re: [foreverabumbly] Reflections on truth... [In reply to]
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Foreverbumbly: "The bible teaches us to go searching for the truth, no matter where it leads us "The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps" proverbs 14:15. The book of proverbs warns repeatedly against naivete (proverbs 1:22;8:5;14:15,18 ;22:3) and urges its readers to acquire knowledge (proverbs 2:10;8:9;10:14;12:1) "the truth," Jesus said, "shall make you free" (john 8:32) "

Good. Then we agree (me, you and Jesus). :-)

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Foreverbumbly: "I was trying to show that the religious are not always as narrow minded as people suggest."

The thing is just... that my experience tells me that atheists are even less narrow minded.

And when it comes to people believing every word of the Bible as the only truth, OR when it comes to people believing that "science has come to an end because there are no more to discover", I can't take it in any other way then humorous. Or depressing, I'm not really sure.

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Foreverbumbly: "Rather than being an unreliable book, it is in fact the most valid and supported ancient history source on the planet."

Yes, I agree. Though some of the books are hard to tell when they where written, and especially who wrote them. It's a great historic document - for real life and the real persons (Jesus, Moses aso.), but NOT for knowledge of the origin of life or the universe, or meaning of life for that matter. Two thousand years ago (or longer) they knew less about these things then we do now, or can/will figure out with a modern scientific approach.

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