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Thursday, January 06, 2005

 The absence of god in the universe

Keith Cantrell has written a concise explanation of how genuine scientists differ from the creationists/ID folk:
[T]he most noble aspect of scientific inquiry is that it is self-correcting. In fact, in science skepticism is a virtue. In religion it's a vice. In other words science welcomes opposition, but religion avoids it. Religious institutions condemn those who disagree but science thrives on open debate.

This illustrates the major difference between scientific evolution and fundamentalist creationism. Creationists don't care about facts. They only want to convince the world that God exists, that the Bible is infallible and that they are right.

I've believed for a long time that the main philosophical difference between naturalists and supernaturalists is the importance of evidence.

Imagine that it were possible to prove beyond all doubt that a god really did exist. Scientists, being concerned with empirical evidence, would eventually accept it. Now imagine the reverse: if we proved beyond all doubt that a god did NOT exist, do you think supernaturalists would accept it? Of course not. Evidence (i.e. facts) are simply not as important as belief. This is why "intelligent [sic] design" rings so hollow: it isn't concerned with evidence.


Blogger Electro said...

I could pose many questions, but I will only pose one. In Yellowstone National Park you will find many varieties of "pine" trees, one type and forgive me for not knowing off hand which type it is, has two types of cones. The cones at the top of the tree only fall off and and release their seeds in the event of fire. The evolutionist would say that this is a mutatios that occured for the survival of the tree, the creationist would say God designed it that way. My question therefore is: How do you prove one is correct?

I would like to further explain that I am not a fundalmentalist Christian either by definition or creed.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Scientific knowledge is not about "proving" anything. Perhaps this will help.

11:34 AM  
Blogger wjoelbrooks said...

Science should never be about proof; real, serious scientists don’t use those kinds of terms. Proof implies a finality of knowledge that is simply just not possible. The human quest for knowledge is unending; paradigms shift, values change, and what passes for knowledge in one epoch devolves into the next epoch’s myth. The best science can do is provide reasonable explanations that satisfy us enough to be able to operate in life; our understanding is continually evolving because knowledge is not based on anything universal. Ptolemy “proved” that the earth is at the center of the universe. Later Copernicus “proved” that the sun is at the center of the universe. We now understand that both are incorrect, but both theories still served as proven fact for centuries.

Science really just tries to keep up with the changing times—and the “times” are beginning to change very quickly. That’s why the death of religion—especially Christianity—is happening so quickly; it is simply unable to change. Most religions contain a chronic, endemic, inherent inability to evolve; they cling to principles, the efficacy of which is passing further and further into the past. People like Pat Robertson and Fred Phelps must struggle (i.e. become increasingly aggressive) in order to keep their religions afloat. But no one can swim against the current forever . . . .

7:22 PM  
Blogger Electro said...

It gladdens me to see here that after you talk about proving God exists or not, you return to the fact that proof in science is not possible. Nor is it possible in religion, I keep seeing posts that say religion does not change, the fact is that it does, in the Church you have peole called theologians and they are constantly at work trying to understand better what God wants from His people. What we don't change (unless you are a protestant) Are what we believe to be the basic Truths. That God is one, that He created all things for Himself, and that He wishes us to take part in His work. He has given us the choice to do that or not. It is understood today that it is possible to be doing for God what He wishes, without knowing of Him personally, therefore salvation is yours as much as the most religious of people. Religion did not understand God this way centeries ago and so it shows "change". That fact is when I ask for proof that evolution is correct I get, "you can't prove it". If that satisfies you and you look at your evidence your way then the same is true for me. I am not going to be able to prove God, I can only look at the evidence I have and use it for me. It doesn't come down to how smart a person is, it comes down to how you look at the world around you. I would only suggest that you not close off any evidence in your search for the reason we are here.

8:43 AM  
Blogger wjoelbrooks said...

If you can convince yourself that you really believe in all that, and still sleep at night, more power to you . . . .

11:45 AM  
Blogger Electro said...

I didn't convince myself of that. I don't have any problem sleeping, and I am sure that we both have the same concerns about people like Pat Robertson. My problems with him are different than yours in that he helps keep you from the truth, and yours is that you find no truth in what he says, I guess that our problem with him is the same.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Electro said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:02 PM  

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