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troy

science vs religion

1,145 posts in this topic

(apologies if anyone has done this already, but I couldn't resist.)

Science vs Religion.......who's best? only one way to find out, fight fight fight!

Go on Science get him, kick in the, yeah that's it, smash his face in! :smug:

:rofl:

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cheers mortal. thanks for the tip, all the best to you.

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Hi all,

For me, there is no fundamental conflict between science and religion.

However there are some things which can give the illusion of a fundamental conflict, or which can manufacture one of convenience.

For example, if a religion makes definite claims about the physical universe which are demonstrably untrue scientifically. Or if commentators portray an insignificant religious lunatic fringe (there's a lunatic fringe with everything!) as being representative of "religion" generally.

If we try to look at today's world with unbiased eyes, (which is difficult for us all, in our own way), then, in my opinion, we see quite a different picture from what is commonly understood to be the case. For example, many critics say religion is anti-science, yet Iran - an Islamic theocracy - has developed nuclear power and is on the cusp of producing it's own nuclear arnament. Yes, that may be a scary thought, but then an Islamic theocracy showing a mastery of nuclear physics flies in the face of many a common opinion.

Many people, if asked to name contemporary scientists, would name people like Brian Cox, Ben Goldacre, Richard Dawkins etc. Yet, these are more "celebrity scientists", in the vein of "celebrity chefs" and "celebrity hairdressers". Yes, they are brilliant, accomplished men, but really they lead a life of easy celebrity not science.

Dawkins, in particular, makes a living out of putting the boot into a crudely distorted, unrepresentative puppet of religion. For me, real scientists are the people at CERN, doing brilliant work to find the Higgs-Boson particle. These are the people who contribute to human scientic understanding and whose reputations are built on their work. How many people had ever heard of Dawkins, before he set himself up as Mr Anti-Religion?

Oddly enough, while religious people are at times maliciously portrayed as being credulous, simple individuals, it is remarkable how easily a generally uneducated population is both impressed and enchanted by science. I saw Brian Cox give a lecture on TV, (to a hall of celebrities - eg Jonathon Ross), over Christmas. When I flicked over, he was describing - in very basic terms, for the audiences benefit - concepts such as electron sharing / covalent bonds. I recalled that from the standard grade chemistry exam I sat, aged about 13 or 14. I was pretty shocked / appalled at how impressed the adult audience was (Ross's mouth hanging open in amazement etc) at what was fundamentally children's schoolwork. He could have told them anything, and they would have believed it. Eg - given how they loved his electrons, they would naturally swallow Cox's opinion of religion without thought (though to be fair, Brian Cox - an exceptionally impressive and likeable man - is not himself a vicious critic of religion).

Really, both "science" and "religion" are such broad topics we cannot really discuss the topic usefully using only such vague surface level terms. Religion is by no means uniform, and science is constantly evolving and naturally makes errors in its search for knowledge (naturally, there is no achievement without making effort and error).

I mean, what really is the fundamental question over which the debate "science v religion" is contested? That never seems to be very clearly defined, if at all.

Today religion often gets a bad name over contemporary "human" matters - not over the question of God - but (imo) this is often unfair and sensationalist. Of course, I do not deny instances where religion is used a force for bad, most notably if it inspires violence.

Christianity (the only religion I know enough about to discuss adequately) often gets a raw deal. Mainstream Christianity - that is, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy (which are essentially the same) - together account for about 75% of the Christians in the world, (nominally some 1.5 - 2 billion people), yet the religion as a whole is routinely denigrated or attacked over the outlandish views of the latest bunch of protestant Christians (of which there are now almost 60,000 different sects) to rear their heads.

We get instances like the views of the Westboro Baptist Church - essentially a crazed family, US protestants, numbering literally a handful of people - being held up as the general Christian view of homosexuality. That's just absurd.

Equally, we see Mainstream Christianity attacked over creationism - another protestant gem - when Mainstream Christians are not even creationists. (i.e. Adam & Eve etc are allegorical in Mainstream Christianity, but Protestantism was built on the notion that every last word in the Bible was undisputed fact. An obvious error and trap of their own making, which has caused it to lose a great deal of credibility).

So we can see that, even within one religion, there is the mainstream and then there are crazy views, which are often wrongly attributed or thought to be universal. We cannot in debate address "Christianity", but we have to address Mainstream Christianity, and then, if you wanted to be rigorous about it, each of the 60,000 protestant sects in turn.

Mainstream Christianity (notably Catholicism) is often fiercely attacked or ridiculed over its views - things like origins of the universe, abortion, homosexuality and the like. Of course, debate and differing opinions are good, but the thing is, the fact that Mainstream Christianity is always informed by science as far as possible. They are not out to make themselves look stupid.

On the topics mentioned:

- It was a Belgian Catholic Priest, Monsignor Georges Lemaître, who was the father of the big bang / expanding universe theory. (This is often wrongly credited to Edwin Hubble - but Hubble only completed his own work about two years after Lemaître). In addition to being a Priest, Georges was also a Professor of Physics and Astronomy. (The list of influential Catholic scientists is deeply impressive - both clergymen and ordinary Catholics).

- The Mainstream Christian view of abortion is informed by the science of Human Embryology, as well as the sanctity of human life. Since 1863 (or thereabouts) science has said that a new human being is created at the moment of conception, and still does today. Whereas, the common pro-abortion view crudely derides the unborn child as "just a bag of cells" or similar. Which view sounds more scientific to you? The pro-abortionists know exactly which is more scientific, which is why they deliberately pervert the Christian view into absurd charges of misogyny / anti-womens rights.

- On homosexuality, the Mainstream Christian view is informed by the science of human biology - or "natural law" as they used to call it - that is, the physical forms and functions of the human body reveal the fundamental nature of human sexuality. It is not based on obscure Old Testament references (a very poor argument), nor concepts of bigotry. Yet a line or two from the book of Leviticus is routinely portrayed as what determines the Christian view. It's crazy.

Due to the failures of the national British Protestant Churches (of England and Scotland), which replaced Catholicism at the reformation, Britain today is largely un-religious. But really, imo, we have got to this place overwhemingly via the collapse of these Churches - due to constant schisms, no uniform belief etc - not mainly due to people as individuals rejecting religion after a rigorous and informed personal analysis.

I do not think many people, including many critics, really know much about religion (Mainstream Christianity anyway) and distortions/misunderstandings such as above are very common. People are more likely to be informed by a stand up comedian than the religion's own arguments.

Nevertheless I do not see why people of all religions and none cannot live together peacefully and constructively - and I think we do a pretty good job of that in the UK :guitar:

I respect the views of others, no matter their religion or their lack or one. I think its fair to regard another's opinions as total rubbish, but I do not like the concept that this means it is OK to be rude or aggressive about it.

Wow, sorry for the massive post, that's what a joint and can of lager will do for your prose :rofl:

:yinyang:

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Hi budfan

You say Brian Cox is a celebrity scientist and you say the real work is done at cern ,that's where Brian Cox works

Yes the more extreme parts of religion get the most press ,but the basics of the Catholic church are more than enough to condemn them to the same pile

Condoms

Abortion

The handling of child abuse ,ie the attempted cover up (that's still happening)

Going by the Bible do you believe Jesus would be happy with that Catholic church ,the gold toilets ,the gold everything ,the Vatican state

:smokin:

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Due to the failures of the national British Protestant Churches (of England and Scotland), which replaced Catholicism at the reformation, Britain today is largely un-religious. But really, imo, we have got to this place overwhemingly via the collapse of these Churches - due to constant schisms, no uniform belief etc - not mainly due to people as individuals rejecting religion after a rigorous and informed personal analysis.

That`s quite an assumption mate

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"Really, both "science" and "religion" are such broad topics we cannot really discuss the topic usefully using only such vague surface level terms. Religion is by no means uniform, and science is constantly evolving and naturally makes errors in its search for knowledge (naturally, there is no achievement without making effort and error). I mean,"

That there is the distinct difference .one is based on observation and testable prediction that updates and checks itself constantly

One is a book written several thousand years ago (we don't know the exact date),we don't know who wrote it ,there's no evidence the main characters actually existed ,most evidence points to it being written at least 70 years after the events actually happened (if they did indeed happen).its open to interpretation to any thing you want .its logically inconsistant .

I have no problem with people beleiving whatever they want ...not in government law or schools

I know there's a lot of theological answers for why one should believe in a God ,I've yet to find one which has a logical argument for choosing which God .to do that you would still need some evidence to make sure you have the right God :smokin:

Edited by bazzad9

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"-On homosexuality, the Mainstream Christian view is informed by the science of human biology -or "natural law" as they used to call it -that is, the physical forms and functions of the human body reveal the fundamental nature of human sexuality. It is not based on obscure Old Testament references (a very poor argument), nor concepts of bigotry. Yet a line or two from the book of Leviticus is routinely portrayed as what determines the Christian view. It's crazy."

Sorry mate its based on dogma

Homosexuality has been observed in lots of species for some time :smokin:

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"I do not think many people, including many critics, really know much about religion (Mainstream Christianity anyway) and distortions/misunderstandings such as above are very common. People are more likely to be informed by a stand up comedian than the religion's own arguments."

If it makes you feel better believe that mate

Some of us actually do some research :smokin:

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How do you know which religion is right then ? Why Catholicism ?

And what would you say to somebody who told you they were gay ?

Edited by Squaggles
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"Equally, we see Mainstream Christianity attacked over creationism -another protestant gem -when Mainstream Christians are not even creationists. (i.e. Adam & Eve etc are allegorical in Mainstream Christianity, but Protestantism was built on the notion that every last word in the Bible was undisputed fact. An obvious error and trap of their own making, which has caused it to lose a great deal of credibility)."

I know not all Christians believe this (in this country most dont)

But if it gives you such a bad name surely the church's that don't believe should be fighting it more than anyone (yet to be seen ,apart from a few statements from the Vatican ) :smokin:

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Last one

"If we try to look at today's world with unbiased eyes, "

Its called science ,repeatable predictable observations :smokin:

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I find the whole argument of science vs religion to be a bit of a joke. The whole idea of education and scientific study was developed by religious institutions, the very first places of education were first set up by religious institutions, some of todays and greatest and oldest universities were originally founded by religious institutions. How many of histories greatest minds came from religious institutions - have a look at astronomy, how many of todays top astronomers are also men of the cloth?

Seriously if you have a problem with science don't beat up a scientist, bash a priest, after all it was their institutions who set up the whole idea of scientific study.

nomad

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Hi budfan

Hi bazzad9! Long time no debate lol!

You say Brian Cox is a celebrity scientist and you say the real work is done at cern ,that's where Brian Cox works

Are you sure?

Last time I checked, (december), he was doing a comedy stage show, with Robin Ince and Tim Minchin etc.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2011/dec/09/brian-cox-robin-ince-xxmas

As mentioned, he was also doing TV work (BBC, I think) recently.

Yes the more extreme parts of religion get the most press ,but the basics of the Catholic church are more than enough to condemn them to the same pile

Condoms

Abortion

The handling of child abuse ,ie the attempted cover up (that's still happening)

I am glad you agree that the press concentrate on extremes, good man!

I disagree that because you disagree with some Catholic concepts, that you can condemn them as you would extremists or terrorists.

You mention abortion - did you not read about what I wrote above, that the Mainstream Christian view of abortion is informed by the science of Human Embryology, which states that a new human being is created at the moment of conception? On what grounds do you criticise it? Catholics think human life, in all forms, is precious and should be protected. I simply cannot see that this is at all an objectionable or offensive opinion.

In any case, these topics are quite removed from the topic of the thread itself - we should stick to this here.

Going by the Bible do you believe Jesus would be happy with that Catholic church ,the gold toilets ,the gold everything ,the Vatican state

I don't think the Catholic Church has any gold toilets.

I don't think Jesus would object in principle to the Vatican state.

I don't think Jesus would have built St Peter's Basilica himself, no. But neither do I think that he would condemn his people for expressing their humanity and faith via inspirational architecture and art. (Incidentally, I heard St Francis of Assis went absolutely mental with rage, when he saw the grandeur of the Vatican).

I mean, would Jesus really say: "Fuck off, Michelangelo - ok, you are one of humanities most renowned and admired artists - but how fucking dare you paint a beautiful Church roof, (Cistine Chapel @ Vatican), and thus contribute an irreplaceable and beautiful part of all human culture, in a building dedicated to God, my Father. That's just sickening ya prick!".

I don't think so. I think he would be angry if building beautiful churches was all his followers did, but, of course, fortunately that is not remotely the case!

I do think its unfair, that people "ooh" and "ahh" over Buckingham Palace, The Kremlin, St Paul's Cathedral, The Taj Mahal, The Alhambra, The Pyramids, The Blue Mosque, York Minster, Edinburgh Castle, The Golden Temple, The White House, Wembley Stadium etc etc etc and then sneer at the Vatican.

Human beings - all of them - like to build big impressive buildings as testament to that which they love, be it God, a country, a woman, a football team or a Monarchy (all are represented in the list above).

I think its deeply unfair to single Catholics out for criticism on opulent buildings, especially given Catholics have likely done more for humanity over time, than any other single homogenous group of people.

Ironically, it is claimed Michelangelo himself resented doing the Cistine painting, seeing it as mere grandeur, but I think this is doubtful, as if he felt that way, why when would have he gone ahead painted it, thus making himself a hypocrite?

Anyway, we digress - lets stick to the main thread topic dude!

Nice to see you still around here, I haven't been about for ages, but really need to break out the NFT again, as I am back to low quality dealer weed :wallbash:

Take it easy.

:yinyang:

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Good to see you back BudFan.

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As regards the main thread topic:

In 1936, Pope Pius founded the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Basically, its like a fancy pants club for brilliant scientists, including several nobel prize winners - from all backgrounds, not just Catholic.

From wiki:

Its aim is to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences and the study of related epistemological problems.

I will admit I do not, off the bat, know what "epistemological problems" are, lol, but I am sure the scientists do!

Currently, there are 3 British members: Stephen Hawking, Martin Reese and Raymond Hide. I had never heard of Hide before, but I had the other two, and they are both openly atheist.

If science and religion were enemies, I do not think atheist scientists would accept invites to join the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, or likely even be invited.

But then the existence of the Academy alone shows that the Catholic Church (at least) values and promotes science. I think other religions do too - Islam is often called the cradle of science (esp chemistry, metallurgy I think).

The Academy is quite a recent thing. But Catholic contribution to science is age old. The Jesuits (a Catholic religious order) are widely held to have made the greatest contribution to physics in the 17th (I think its the 17th!) century. Lots of craters on the moon and planets are named after Jesuit priests, demonstrating their great contribution to astronomy.

The examples are legionfold.

For me, there is no natural conflict between religion + science, but someone can construe one, if they want.

I think religion is a personal thing - you have faith, or you dont. But science is something shared by all of humanity together, as shown by the fact that atheist scientists work with the Vatican State for the promotion of sciences.

I think that is a wonderful thing, and shows that disagreement on religion need not impede human co-operation and advancement.

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