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Author Topic: Science tells us nothing!  (Read 2234 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 02, 2009, 05:22:42 PM »

I found this article on an Orthodox blog and I thought I would share it with you all. I thought it was rather thought provoking. To me, it showed that there is a double standard amongst the secularists who deride Christians for trusting in Christ, the Church, apostolic traditions, etc. yet expect people to accept scientific findings and "proofs" because a scientist said so. Just because he/she holds a PhD, we are obliged to listen to him/her.

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/11/science-doesnt-say-anything-scientists.html

Make no mistake. I love science and I think it's great (I want to be a dentist, God willing), but I find this fideism to science and reason as the only legitimate credo that the anti-religionists (new word :p) cling to is irrational (irony!). Is sola scientia the hip heresy amongst the anti-religious intellectually elite?

I went to a talk last night at my school put on by several professors in the chemistry department. They spoke about ethics in chemistry. There was a case of a German scientist, Schon I believe his name was, that had apparently discovered "super buckeyball." He was publishing article after article about it. Other scientists were trying to reproduce his experiment and couldn't get the results he claimed he got. He was eventually proven a fraud. It is for reasons like this that the article makes good points about the fact that scientists can be and often are prejudiced to a specific outcome.

Your thoughts?

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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 05:26:57 PM »

Many scientists have science as their religion which isn't necessarily about deities. Religion and science are not antitheses.
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 05:36:32 PM »

Many scientists have science as their religion which isn't necessarily about deities. Religion and science are not antitheses.

I never said they were.  Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 05:37:21 PM »

I didn't say you were.  I was just commenting in general.
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 05:37:40 PM »

I really, really recommend everyone to read this most interesting and brilliantly (although not easily) written book:

A.F. Chalmers, "What Is This Thing Called Science?" Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1999 (3rd edition), 266 pp., ISBN 0-87220-452-9.
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 05:38:01 PM »

1. I think the title of this thread should have mirrored the title of the blog post - the way you've truncated it makes it seem a bit more sensationalistic.

2. I've met scientists on the extremes (micro & macro, theoretical & empirical) who are very faithful because of what they see (not "they were faithful before and now it's a presupposition," but "they became faithful because of what they see").  They may indeed match the number who are not faithful "because of what they see" - but they are certainly less vocal.

3. As with any other human discipline/tool/exercise, science is a beautiful thing that can be manipulated for not-so-beautiful ends.
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009, 05:40:03 PM »

I found this article on an Orthodox blog and I thought I would share it with you all. I thought it was rather thought provoking. To me, it showed that there is a double standard amongst the secularists who deride Christians for trusting in Christ, the Church, apostolic traditions, etc. yet expect people to accept scientific findings and "proofs" because a scientist said so. Just because he/she holds a PhD, we are obliged to listen to him/her.

Your thoughts?

That's not science, the unsubstantiated opinion of a scientist with a Ph.D. is no more credible than the unsubstantiated opinion of a bum on the street corner. I don't accept Relativity because Einstein said it was true, I accept it because I've sat down, gone through the calculations and derivations, realized it was theoretically sound, then looked at the data from Eddington's eclipse photographs to the differences in atomic clocks at different elevations to relative changes in atomic clocks in flight. And I don't trust the atomic clock because I was told it was accurate, but because I've seen the experiments and statistical data that demonstrate the consistency of vibrations of a caesium 133 atom.

Sure, at first you have to have a little trust in the person presenting the data, you have to assume they didn't fabricate it or make a mistake in observation, but soon the results will be replicated if they are valid, you'll have more data that corroborates, and eventually even more...with each iteration increasing the confidence level in the theory.

You don't have to have faith that a scientist is telling the truth (and you never should): their data, calculations, and publications will tell you the validity of their statements.

That's my problem with AGW, I don't really care if it's happening or not, but I'm not going to adopt a scientific theory that has not openly presented its supporting data, methodologies, and calculations to the entire scientific community. If I can't sit down and independently verify the validity of the assumptions and accuracy of the calculations, you might as well just call it a religion and preach it from the pulpit...it has that much credibility.
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2009, 05:58:17 PM »

That's my problem with AGW, I don't really care if it's happening or not, but I'm not going to adopt a scientific theory that has not openly presented its supporting data, methodologies, and calculations to the entire scientific community. If I can't sit down and independently verify the validity of the assumptions and accuracy of the calculations, you might as well just call it a religion and preach it from the pulpit...it has that much credibility.

And I don't think that you (or I) are claiming that it's not possible, not true, etc. - only that it isn't scientific, which is a specific idea with its own presuppositions, methodology, requirements, etc.  Frankly, I'm surprised you haven't taken the same approach with religion generally (i.e. "I don't know if it's true or false because it's not empirically falsifiable, just don't claim that it's science").
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2009, 06:03:39 PM »

That's my problem with AGW, I don't really care if it's happening or not, but I'm not going to adopt a scientific theory that has not openly presented its supporting data, methodologies, and calculations to the entire scientific community. If I can't sit down and independently verify the validity of the assumptions and accuracy of the calculations, you might as well just call it a religion and preach it from the pulpit...it has that much credibility.

And I don't think that you (or I) are claiming that it's not possible, not true, etc. - only that it isn't scientific, which is a specific idea with its own presuppositions, methodology, requirements, etc.

Exactly.

Quote
Frankly, I'm surprised you haven't taken the same approach with religion generally (i.e. "I don't know if it's true or false because it's not empirically falsifiable, just don't claim that it's science").

You're never 100% sure of anything, not even the consistency of mathematics, but there's always a probabilistic analysis, either explicit or implicit, when accepting or rejecting a theory.
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2009, 06:10:57 PM »

Frankly, I'm surprised you haven't taken the same approach with religion generally (i.e. "I don't know if it's true or false because it's not empirically falsifiable, just don't claim that it's science").

You're never 100% sure of anything, not even the consistency of mathematics, but there's always a probabilistic analysis, either explicit or implicit, when accepting or rejecting a theory.

Certainly, but since there are few empirical observations on which the analysis can be based, and the number of empirical points is relatively low compared to the actual claims & substance of religion, the reliability of such analysis is likely quite low - leaving one with the big question mark still.
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2009, 06:27:08 PM »

Frankly, I'm surprised you haven't taken the same approach with religion generally (i.e. "I don't know if it's true or false because it's not empirically falsifiable, just don't claim that it's science").

You're never 100% sure of anything, not even the consistency of mathematics, but there's always a probabilistic analysis, either explicit or implicit, when accepting or rejecting a theory.

Certainly, but since there are few empirical observations on which the analysis can be based, and the number of empirical points is relatively low compared to the actual claims & substance of religion, the reliability of such analysis is likely quite low - leaving one with the big question mark still.

Looking at human history, social development, biology, evolution, and cosmology, I believe I can say with high probability that there evidence of an active involvement by God in the universe. As to questions of existence, I'll grant you that it's a bit more of a leap. But at that point, once you step back and honestly ask the question of is there or is there not a God, by the principle entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, it seems reasonable not to introduce variables that are unnecessary.
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2009, 06:51:19 PM »


Looking at human history, social development, biology, evolution, and cosmology, I believe I can say with high probability that there [is] evidence of an active involvement by God in the universe.
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2009, 06:53:52 PM »

Science and faith are not incompatible. But one example: St Luke of Simferopol (1877-1961). There is much online on his life as a monastic, a first-class surgeon, and a man of God.

For the record, my occupation is in a scientific discipline.
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2009, 07:23:08 PM »


Looking at human history, social development, biology, evolution, and cosmology, I believe I can say with high probability that there [is] evidence of an active involvement by God in the universe.
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2009, 07:51:47 PM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2009, 07:57:02 PM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.

That's a very interesting statement, you wouldn't happen to have a proof you could provide me? Wink
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2009, 07:57:39 PM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.

That's a very interesting statement, you wouldn't happen to have a proof you could provide me? Wink
I'm working on it. Wink
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2009, 08:02:14 PM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.

That's a very interesting statement, you wouldn't happen to have a proof you could provide me? Wink
I'm working on it. Wink

Good luck, I gave up after a handful of my approaches failed. I didn't honestly think I could prove something the brightest minds in the world have been working on for over a century without success, but, hey, with a million dollar prize, I had to at least give it a shot. Wink
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2009, 08:05:29 PM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.

That's a very interesting statement, you wouldn't happen to have a proof you could provide me? Wink
I'm working on it. Wink

Good luck, I gave up after a handful of my approaches failed. I didn't honestly think I could prove something the brightest minds in the world have been working on for over a century without success, but, hey, with a million dollar prize, I had to at least give it a shot. Wink
A million bucks? That's a hell of a lot of Ferrero Rocher! Looks like an all-nighter tonight. I'll put the coffee on.
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2009, 08:13:51 PM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.

That's a very interesting statement, you wouldn't happen to have a proof you could provide me? Wink
I'm working on it. Wink

Good luck, I gave up after a handful of my approaches failed. I didn't honestly think I could prove something the brightest minds in the world have been working on for over a century without success, but, hey, with a million dollar prize, I had to at least give it a shot. Wink
A million bucks? That's a hell of a lot of Ferrero Rocher! Looks like an all-nighter tonight. I'll put the coffee on.

Yep. http://www.claymath.org/millennium/

So if you have any novel approaches...
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2009, 08:32:06 PM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.

That's a very interesting statement, you wouldn't happen to have a proof you could provide me? Wink
I'm working on it. Wink

Good luck, I gave up after a handful of my approaches failed. I didn't honestly think I could prove something the brightest minds in the world have been working on for over a century without success, but, hey, with a million dollar prize, I had to at least give it a shot. Wink
A million bucks? That's a hell of a lot of Ferrero Rocher! Looks like an all-nighter tonight. I'll put the coffee on.

Yep. http://www.claymath.org/millennium/

So if you have any novel approaches...
Thanks! Just so I don't re-invent the wheel, have you exhausted all possible connections to Ulam's Spiral?
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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2009, 10:37:10 PM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.
That's a very interesting statement, you wouldn't happen to have a proof you could provide me? Wink
I'm working on it. Wink
Good luck, I gave up after a handful of my approaches failed. I didn't honestly think I could prove something the brightest minds in the world have been working on for over a century without success, but, hey, with a million dollar prize, I had to at least give it a shot. Wink
A million bucks? That's a hell of a lot of Ferrero Rocher! Looks like an all-nighter tonight. I'll put the coffee on.

Yep. http://www.claymath.org/millennium/

So if you have any novel approaches...
Thanks! Just so I don't re-invent the wheel, have you exhausted all possible connections to Ulam's Spiral?

Those videos surely have set you afire for math...
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2009, 03:49:36 AM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.
That's a very interesting statement, you wouldn't happen to have a proof you could provide me? Wink
I'm working on it. Wink
Good luck, I gave up after a handful of my approaches failed. I didn't honestly think I could prove something the brightest minds in the world have been working on for over a century without success, but, hey, with a million dollar prize, I had to at least give it a shot. Wink
A million bucks? That's a hell of a lot of Ferrero Rocher! Looks like an all-nighter tonight. I'll put the coffee on.

Yep. http://www.claymath.org/millennium/

So if you have any novel approaches...
Thanks! Just so I don't re-invent the wheel, have you exhausted all possible connections to Ulam's Spiral?

Those videos surely have set you afire for math...
It was the connection I needed!
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2009, 02:20:19 PM »

All non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have real part 1/2.

That's a very interesting statement, you wouldn't happen to have a proof you could provide me? Wink
I'm working on it. Wink

Good luck, I gave up after a handful of my approaches failed. I didn't honestly think I could prove something the brightest minds in the world have been working on for over a century without success, but, hey, with a million dollar prize, I had to at least give it a shot. Wink
A million bucks? That's a hell of a lot of Ferrero Rocher! Looks like an all-nighter tonight. I'll put the coffee on.

Yep. http://www.claymath.org/millennium/

So if you have any novel approaches...
Thanks! Just so I don't re-invent the wheel, have you exhausted all possible connections to Ulam's Spiral?

It is far from exhausted, but while there are clear patterns in Ulam's Spiral, the amount of noise has thus far prevented a sufficiently rigorous modeling of these patterns for the sake of a proof in number theory.
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2009, 06:23:41 PM »


Looking at human history, social development, biology, evolution, and cosmology, I believe I can say with high probability that there [is] evidence of an active involvement by God in the universe.
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Whew...for a moment, I thought you had gone theistic on all of us. Cool
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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2009, 06:26:39 PM »


Looking at human history, social development, biology, evolution, and cosmology, I believe I can say with high probability that there [is] evidence of an active involvement by God in the universe.
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Yes, yes...feel free to catch my typo. But before you ADD words to it, you might want to see what I think. Wink
Whew...for a moment, I thought you had gone theistic on all of us. Cool

Glad I could set you at ease. Wink
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