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evolution debate

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Re: evolution debate

Postby skeptic » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:44 am

bitsian

Are you suggesting that belief in science is the same as belief in the supernatural?

If so, I will certainly strongly disagree.
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Postby bitsian003 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:01 am

not exactly... but yeah more or the less it's the same....
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Re: evolution debate

Postby skeptic » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:17 am

Science is most definitely NOT the same as the supernatural - not even more or less. In fact, they are almost diametric opposites.

The most important aspect of science is testing. A good scientist is obsessed with testing, testing and then testing again. Scientific ideas are tested. Scientific discoveries are tested. Scientific test methods are tested. And then re-tested, and re-re-tested.

This is, of course, to make sure that scientific models are robust. An untested idea cannot make a good model. For example : super-string theory in physics is untested. In spite of the time and effort many physicists put into it, this theory will remain speculation, rather than a good scientific model. Only when testing can be done, is the science acceptable.

By contrast, people who look into the supernatural rarely carry out anything approaching proper testing. We get excuses like : "Oh well, it won't work because those testers with their equipment are spoiling the ambience." In fact, when proper testing does happen, the supernatural tends to disappear.

In science, ideas are used to make novel and testable predictions, which are tested. The testing is done with the aim of disproving wrong ideas. The success of this process means that scientific garbage is eliminated. That process is essential before science can make progress.

In matters supernatural, the lack of testing prevents the garbage being eliminated, meaning that what is left is totally suspect.
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Postby mothermary » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:17 am

I do not agree with you on this bitsian. Supernatural is based on belief, science is based upon proof. I do think that even if you are religous and don't agree with evolution on your own personal beliefs, you should still be taught about the highly accepted scientific theory of evolution. The fact is there is truth in evolution, if you don't believe it than your faith belongs in your own home or church. IT DOES NOT BELONG IN A SCIENCE CLASS!
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Postby bitsian003 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:42 pm

@mothermary
firstly i'm not religious... secondly to be a scientist is my dream.. by saying thatbelief in science is in a way same as belief in god i meant....

can you tell me what exactly science is?? how it came into existence... how the rules are made??? Universe follows rules.. We don't know when these came into existence but we studied them... because we follow them too... God on the other hand is explanation on how these rules are made....

how do u distinguish between natural and supernatural???? if spirits are supernatural how then have we developed occult science???? do spirits have logical scientific explanation???? there are many things that cannot be explained scientifically...

science is contemporary... it changes with time... what is right at one time... is wrong at the other.. it is never complete though you test it now...

for example when Aristotle the great said that heavier objects fall on ground earlier than lighter objects people believed it to be true b'cuz they tested it...[didn't they?]...
but galelio showed 1000s of years later that aristotle was wrong... now people believe galelio [discard the concept of air-resistance]....

people of Aristotle believed him because he showed them science they can see. to them what they believed was true science.. But after galelio we came to know the fact. and now we believe him. what i want to say is that science is evolving just as anything else. The theory or anything else you know is true only for now. We cannot be sure that it doesn't change. What we know now explains what we have observed so far.. When we see something else we need something new to accommodate that too... you are believing something that is true ONLY for now.. though we don't know how long that "NOW" is...
i never said believing in science is same as believing in GOD... i said it's kind-of similar to that...
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Postby Jillo725 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:59 pm

To me, science proves the existence of God. I am awed the same way about the blessings God gives me as I am understanding the cellular pathways and molecular operations of the body. I even believe that God allowed me the opportunity to learn these things because it causes me so much joy.

I think that the gift of reason and scientific thought was a gift given to few by God, in the hopes that Man will see Him in the world. Understanding the complexities of God's "creation" (forgive me use of the word, I'm not a poet), should be used to bring Man knowledge of the world around him, and to help Man take care of one another.

I think saying that you have to believe in one or the other is limiting yourself.
"There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea."
— Percy Williams Bridgman, US physicist
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Re: evolution debate

Postby skeptic » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:22 pm

bitsian

Science is not some system of belief. Science is a method of gaining knowledge, plus the knowledge so gained. That is : the scientific method, and the knowledge from the scientific method when it is properly used.

The reason we use this approach is because it has proved from experience to be the very best method ever tried in human history.

To say : "I believe in science" in the same way you say "I believe in God" is to use the idea of belief incorrectly. You can say that you accept that the scientific method is the best method so far of gaining knowledge, and that you are happy with the reliability of the knowledge so gained.

What is science? Or more accurately : What is the scientific method? We cannot answer this simply, and it would take an encyclopedia to detail the scientific method, because it is a collection of all the methods that have been found, over the past 400 years or so, to work the best, in accurately gaining knowledge.

What I can tell you though, is the core of science. Science, I said before, is about testing. In fact, the key word is empirical. This means 'real world'. That is, based on experiment and observation of the real world. This is opposed to that 'knowledge' that is gained from subjective experience. Religious people will often say something like "I believe in God, because I can feel him in my heart." That kind of data is the opposite of empirical, because it does not come from the real world. Therefore, that form of 'evidence' is opposite to scientific.

Carl Sagan said : "The core of science is prediction."
By that, he meant that scientists use ideas to form predictions that can be tested. If you have a wonderful new idea to explain something, and you want to go about it scientifically, the next thing you do is to come up with a testable prediction, based on that wonderful new idea.

For example : imagine you see a rainbow, and you think it was caused by a giant painting rings in the air with multicoloured paint (I know you are not that silly. It is just an example), then the next step is a testable prediction. You may say :" if that idea is true, then I predict there will be paint splashes under the rainbow." You can test that by looking for the paint splashes.

Another great modern thinker, Dr. Carl Popper said that science is about falsification. That means that, when you test those ideas, you set out to prove them wrong, if they are wrong. That approach works very well to get rid of incorrect thinking in science.

The first thing to do in science is to eliminate what is wrong. Until you do that, you cannot build on what you know is true, and build up the massive collection of correct knowledge that forms the basis of modern science.

At the end, science is about testing. The testing is empirical, and objective, and requires a testable prediction from new ideas, with the intention of proving wrong any idea that is wrong.
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Postby mothermary » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:05 pm

I see you guys have taken my topic about the teaching of ID in schools to more of a philosophical view of what science is. Take your view of science, would ID fit in there somewhere? Why or why not?
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Re: evolution debate

Postby skeptic » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:19 pm

mothermary

ID is not science. It is religion. Therefore, if taught, it should be taught as part of Religious Studies.

Evolution is science. It is not religion. Therefore evolution should be taught as part of Science.
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Postby mothermary » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:29 pm

skeptic
Thank you for helping me get back on track I will be using this for a class. How do you feel about schools requiring teachers to read a two paragraph speech about how evolution is just a theory and that Id is an alternative theory? I personally feel thats wrong and think we should keep seperation of church and state. Some people will say just because its only a theory that we need to give alternatives. Well what about the theory of relativity, plate tectonics, and the atomic theory? I don't see people doubting them.
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Re: evolution debate

Postby skeptic » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:34 pm

Mothermary

Yes. I agree with you on that. Keep science and religion separate.
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Postby bitsian003 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:50 am

@skeptic
did you reply to MY post????
that doesn't look like you are arguing.. you are lecturing... arguments should go on by taking the points from your opponent and countering them... you don't look like you are doing that....

you are getting me wrong..... firstly, i never said belief in science is EXACTLY the same as belief in God. I said it is kind of.... then coming to your point of testing.. i gave you the example of Aristotle and Galileo. Can you justify that from your point of view?

you may test a theory in the real world as you know. But the inevitable truth is that you don't the world yet. like theory of gravitation by newton.. when it was first proposed did They ever talk about where it holds and where it doesn't? For many years he is blindly believed to be true. Till theory of relativity. now what happened to the BELIEF of people who were "Newtonian"? you believe a theory to be true, based on experimental results: AGREED. but those experiments are restricted to what we've explored till date... when we explore new things our old theory no longer holds we need something new so we make another one which fits into the facts... now what happened to your earlier theory? the theory which gave you correct results earlier and made you believe in it is no longer correct....

science is BELIEF. Belief IN what you see.
God is BELIEF. Belief FOR what you see.

The second cannot be tested because God is believed to be the source from where science has come. It's JUST a belief with no experiments to be conducted upon. and by the way can you actually test and show me the BIG BANG theory? cuz i want to see the universe exploding... there are limitations to everything. God is the limitation of the question "WHERE THE HELL DID THIS ALL START?".

please try to argue from the point i've explained. don't give me another long lecture on what science is... cuz i've literally typed the same post twice and i don't want to do this a third time....
may i know your profession..??? just wanted to know...
am an undergraduate in Biological sciences.

@mother mary
there is no point in discussing ID here. All people here are scientific. to discuss ID you need both sides[religious and scientific]. Find such Forum where you find both sides.
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