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Author Topic: Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think [Review]  (Read 2242 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 19, 2010, 04:07:53 PM »

From Christianity Today:

"New research suggests scientists are more like neighbors than enemies of the faith. Andy Crouch reviews 'Science vs. Religion,' by Elaine Ecklund.
....
True, a whopping 64 percent of these elite scientists are atheists or agnostics (compared with 6 percent of all Americans), while a vanishing 2 percent (roughly three dozen of her 1,700 subjects) are evangelical Christians. But in the middle are many, even among the atheists, who describe themselves as "spiritual," and many more are respectful of religious faith even if they do not share it themselves. Significantly, Ecklund found that the younger scientists are, the more likely they are "to believe in God and to attend religious services"—just the opposite of younger Americans as a whole.

More troubling is that whether friendly, neutral, or hostile, Ecklund's subjects seem woefully inarticulate about religion itself (recalling sociologist Christian Smith's teenage interviewees who could fluently discuss contraception but were tongue-tied about religious doctrine). Some resort to tired stereotypes even when they are trying to be kind. Their own spirituality, meanwhile, is improvisational at best, largely unmoored from tradition and actual congregations.

Equally troubling is a small but notable number who feel compelled to conceal their traditional faith from their colleagues—potential ambassadors who are effectively missing in action. Ecklund identifies a bare handful of "boundary pioneers," like National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins, who seek and win a hearing from both sides, but they seem to be as rare as young-earth creationists on a Galapagos cruise."


Ah, I gotta read this book.
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 07:18:07 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010, 05:31:47 PM »

The author decided to increase survey participation among her potential participants by sending $15 in cash to each one, which they could keep even if they decided not to participate in the study. Some of the scientists thought the cash was a "brilliant" idea; whereas others considered it "coercion" and "harassment" and "obnoxious".

Apparently, giving money to potential survey participants is not considered unethical by research universities. Besides, it seems to have worked. Grin
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2010, 05:56:05 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2010, 06:13:58 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2010, 06:29:53 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.
I don't know. Is that exactly what Abraham did, 3000 years ago?
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2010, 06:52:03 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.
I don't know. Is that exactly what Abraham did, 3000 years ago?

Abraham shunned all religion as being oppressive/controlling and decided to believe in a general idea of God that helps you win football games and can be cursed after your sins beget no happiness? Free to behave with your desires with little thought to God, but it's ok, because I'm spiritual, I don't accept all that organized religion stuff. That's for rednecks and the socially outcast.
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2010, 06:57:47 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.
I don't know. Is that exactly what Abraham did, 3000 years ago?

Abraham shunned all religion as being oppressive/controlling and decided to believe in a general idea of God that helps you win football games and can be cursed after your sins beget no happiness? Free to behave with your desires with little thought to God, but it's ok, because I'm spiritual, I don't accept all that organized religion stuff. That's for rednecks and the socially outcast.
I'm not sure if all scientists who are spiritual but are not organizedly religious would bet on football games and sulk in their unhappiness. Wink

But, you're right about Abraham shunning the organized religion of his time, and calling their "gods" symbols of oppression and control.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 06:58:42 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2010, 07:04:45 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.

why?
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2010, 08:15:21 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!

I agree.  I think the fact that people are looking for spirituality does say something.

"Organized religion" I believe comes out of a group of "spiritual people" that agree with each other pretty much.  When you're "spiritual" you're your own "organized religion."
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2010, 09:17:46 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.
I don't know. Is that exactly what Abraham did, 3000 years ago?

Abraham shunned all religion as being oppressive/controlling and decided to believe in a general idea of God that helps you win football games and can be cursed after your sins beget no happiness? Free to behave with your desires with little thought to God, but it's ok, because I'm spiritual, I don't accept all that organized religion stuff. That's for rednecks and the socially outcast.
I'm not sure if all scientists who are spiritual but are not organizedly religious would bet on football games and sulk in their unhappiness. Wink

But, you're right about Abraham shunning the organized religion of his time, and calling their "gods" symbols of oppression and control.

False analogy. Abraham wasn't some deadhead who wasn't down with the establishment. He received revelation from God.
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2010, 09:19:16 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!

I agree.  I think the fact that people are looking for spirituality does say something.

"Organized religion" I believe comes out of a group of "spiritual people" that agree with each other pretty much.  When you're "spiritual" you're your own "organized religion."

Is that what Christianity is? Just a bunch of people who agree with each other and filed for a tax benefit?
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2010, 09:26:54 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.
Surely you must have some reason to call this post stupid. Why not explain what you see wrong with the post?
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2010, 10:52:17 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!

I agree.  I think the fact that people are looking for spirituality does say something.

"Organized religion" I believe comes out of a group of "spiritual people" that agree with each other pretty much.  When you're "spiritual" you're your own "organized religion."

Is that what Christianity is? Just a bunch of people who agree with each other and filed for a tax benefit?

No, I don't believe that it's merely that, but what I am doing is using the language of "merely spiritual" people to play them at their own game, i.e. for those who are "religious" or "spiritual" but "anti-organized religion" paradoxically have organized a religion for themselves.

It's kinda like the same concept of Christians that call themselves "non-denominational."
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 11:12:24 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2010, 11:20:31 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.

"Looking for answers on their own" means nothing. Nobody looks for answers on his own, even if he thinks he is doing so.

 Individualism, "free expression" etc. are today's bottle-fed opinions. Maybe the most embarrassing thing for modern individualism is the depressing predictability of its results.
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2010, 01:47:14 AM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!

I agree.  I think the fact that people are looking for spirituality does say something.

"Organized religion" I believe comes out of a group of "spiritual people" that agree with each other pretty much.  When you're "spiritual" you're your own "organized religion."

Is that what Christianity is? Just a bunch of people who agree with each other and filed for a tax benefit?

I think you just hit the nail on the head. Wink
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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2010, 10:48:23 AM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!

I agree.  I think the fact that people are looking for spirituality does say something.

"Organized religion" I believe comes out of a group of "spiritual people" that agree with each other pretty much.  When you're "spiritual" you're your own "organized religion."

Is that what Christianity is? Just a bunch of people who agree with each other and filed for a tax benefit?

I think you just hit the nail on the head. Wink

Christians agreeing with each other? Dream on!  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 10:48:42 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2010, 10:59:12 AM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!

I agree.  I think the fact that people are looking for spirituality does say something.

"Organized religion" I believe comes out of a group of "spiritual people" that agree with each other pretty much.  When you're "spiritual" you're your own "organized religion."

Is that what Christianity is? Just a bunch of people who agree with each other and filed for a tax benefit?

I think you just hit the nail on the head. Wink
And who hit you on yours?Wink

The Church predates the US Tax Code by quite a bit, and her Founder ordered payment of taxes: "Render unto...."

Same can't be said of your science foundations, like the ones involved in climategate.
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2010, 04:09:15 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.

why?
1. The idea that some one is going to figure out the transcendant all on their own and that tens of thousands of years of human knowledge and wisdom is simply false on this point. Sounds like intellectual adolescence to me. "My parents are stupid, they don't know anything."
2. I am sooooooo special that I will figure out this spiritual thing on my own. I must be the center of the universe. (more intellectual adolescence).
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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2010, 04:09:57 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.
Surely you must have some reason to call this post stupid. Why not explain what you see wrong with the post?
See my response above.
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2010, 04:27:52 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.

why?
1. The idea that some one is going to figure out the transcendant all on their own and that tens of thousands of years of human knowledge and wisdom is simply false on this point. Sounds like intellectual adolescence to me. "My parents are stupid, they don't know anything."
2. I am sooooooo special that I will figure out this spiritual thing on my own. I must be the center of the universe. (more intellectual adolescence).
I think you're assuming that there are only two, starkly different options:

1. Become a member of an organized religious community, or
2. Reject all organizations and just contemplate one's navel in the woods.

Whereas there are many more options, other than those two.
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Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2010, 05:44:01 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.

why?
1. The idea that some one is going to figure out the transcendant all on their own and that tens of thousands of years of human knowledge and wisdom is simply false on this point. Sounds like intellectual adolescence to me. "My parents are stupid, they don't know anything."
2. I am sooooooo special that I will figure out this spiritual thing on my own. I must be the center of the universe. (more intellectual adolescence).
I think you're assuming that there are only two, starkly different options:

1. Become a member of an organized religious community, or
2. Reject all organizations and just contemplate one's navel in the woods.

Whereas there are many more options, other than those two.

Not an assumption, but a generalization that encapsulates the majority of those that follow this "movement" of self-revelation.
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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2010, 06:48:46 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.

why?
1. The idea that some one is going to figure out the transcendant all on their own and that tens of thousands of years of human knowledge and wisdom is simply false on this point. Sounds like intellectual adolescence to me. "My parents are stupid, they don't know anything."
2. I am sooooooo special that I will figure out this spiritual thing on my own. I must be the center of the universe. (more intellectual adolescence).

The older the idea, the more likely it's wrong. Ten thousand years ago people simply didn't have a good enough understanding of the world to present any useful ideas. And I'm sure in a couple hundred years people will look back on our time and realize how ignorant and short-sighted we were. How stupid we must have been to miss obvious connections in mathematics and sciences, how primitive our technology was, how limited our understanding of the universe. There's lots of things we haven't figured out in the past ten thousand years (it's actually amazing how little we've figured out).

This of course makes your argument a little on the silly side.
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« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2010, 07:27:02 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.

why?
1. The idea that some one is going to figure out the transcendant all on their own and that tens of thousands of years of human knowledge and wisdom is simply false on this point. Sounds like intellectual adolescence to me. "My parents are stupid, they don't know anything."
2. I am sooooooo special that I will figure out this spiritual thing on my own. I must be the center of the universe. (more intellectual adolescence).

The older the idea, the more likely it's wrong. Ten thousand years ago people simply didn't have a good enough understanding of the world to present any useful ideas. And I'm sure in a couple hundred years people will look back on our time and realize how ignorant and short-sighted we were. How stupid we must have been to miss obvious connections in mathematics and sciences, how primitive our technology was, how limited our understanding of the universe. There's lots of things we haven't figured out in the past ten thousand years (it's actually amazing how little we've figured out).

This of course makes your argument a little on the silly side.

Always the opponent of the tried and true, as a true progressive.  But progress is an illusion
Quote
Kuhn departed from traditional evolutionary views with his argument that a new paradigm with its new foundation is "incommensurable" with the old paradigm. Unlike evolutionary science, in which new knowledge fills a gap of ignorance, in Kuhn's model new knowledge replaces incompatible knowledge. Thus science is not a continuous or cumulative endeavor: when a paradigm shift occurs there is a revolution similar to a political revolution, with fundamental and pervasive changes in method and understanding. Each successive vision about the nature of the universe makes the past vision obsolete; predictions, though more precise, remain similar to the predictions of the past paradigm in their general orientation, but the new explanations do not accommodate the old.

Kuhn argued against scientific realism. Each new paradigm increases predictive accuracy, but scientists have no reason to believe that the accuracy of explanation is closer to corresponding to what is "really there." He saw that the reason that one paradigm survives and another dies is because one solves puzzles better, not because it is a more accurate representation of reality:

(27)

A scientific theory is usually felt to be better than its predecessors not only in the sense that it is a better instrument for discovering and solving puzzles but also because it is somehow a better representation of what nature is really like. One often hears that successive theories grow ever closer to, or approximate more and more closely to, the truth. Apparently generalizations like that refer not to the puzzle-solutions and the concrete predictions derived from a theory but rather to its ontology, to the match, that is, between the entities with which the theory populates nature and what is "really there. " [29]
When he looked at history, Kuhn believed that he could "design a list of criteria that would enable an uncommitted observer to distinguish the earlier from the more recent theory time after time," [30] but this list would include nothing about approaching truth.

Judging from the history of science, Kuhn believed that it was "implausible" to say that theory is approaching truth. There is no linear advancement of theory toward truth:


Newton's mechanics improves on Aristotle's and ... Einstein's improves on Newton's as instruments for puzzle-solving. But I can see in their succession no coherent direction of ontological development. On the contrary, in some important respects, though by no means in all, Einstein's general theory of relativity is closer to Aristotle's than... to Newton's. [31]
According to Kuhn, Einstein's theory is not merely a more complex version of Newton's. Einsteinian theory heads in its own direction; there is "no coherent direction of ontological development." This statement embodies, and indeed follows from, the idea of "Revolution" for which Kuhn argued.

In the closing chapter of his book, Kuhn proposed the need for a goal to guide science to replace the idea of progressing toward the truth:


The development process described in this essay has been a process of evolution from primitive beginnings-a process whose successive stages are characterized by an increasingly detailed and refined understanding of nature. But nothing that has been or will be said makes it a process of evolution toward anything.... We are all deeply accustomed to seeing science as the one enterprise that draws constantly nearer to some goal set by nature in advance. [32]
Kuhn thus argued against the notion of science as an activity approximating more and more closely the truth in nature. With his suggestion that human beings are forever separate from truth, Kuhn implied that truth does not guide science and thus removed from science the teleological goal of finding truth. (28)Truth cannot be observed and therefore cannot be leading scientists to better puzzle solving. Kuhn explained away truth using the analogy of Darwin's theory of evolution: "the entire process may have occurred, as we now suppose biological evolution did, without the benefit of a set goal, a permanent fixed scientific truth, of which each stage in the development of scientific knowledge is a better exemplar." [33] Science is not pulled forward by truth; science is propelled forward by the puzzles solved during normal science. As McMullin explained Kuhn's theory, as more puzzles are solved, scientists are not led to "a new level of understanding," but to "an illusion of understanding." [34] The "illusion of understanding" that Kuhn implied threatens traditional scientific rationality, for "illusion" is not at all what Newton and the logical empiricists believed to be the product of science. [35]
http://history.hanover.edu/hhr/94/hhr94_4.html

Btw, you assUme you all won't kill yourselves and us as well within those couple hundred years. Not a safe bet. A safer bet with the savages:
Quote
Old Bones: The Story of a Girl with a Birth Defect

...about an archaeological dig which describes the remains of a little girl 5-12 years old, who had severe cranial deformaties and retardation "the story of a child with the condition makes for painful reading."...

....Now here's the remarkable thing.  The hunter-gatherer Middle Pleitocene family of Cranium 14 [the designation of the remains] must have cared for the child, or she would have not survived for at least five years, and perhaps as many as twelve.  In the dry-as-dust words of the article, "It is obvious that the [Sima de Huesos] hominin species did not act against the abnormal/ill individuals during infancy, as has happened along our own history many times in many cultures."

Were the hunter-gatherer Middle Pleistocene hearts of the family of Cranium 14 wrung with grief when she died?  We don't know.  We know only that her bones speak of tenderness and compassion.  Nowadays, if her disability had been detected in utero, she would probably have been aborted.  Civilization is a mixed blessing sometimes.
http://www.salvomag.com/new/mag/salvo9.php
http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/tears_for_middle_pleistocene_human_cranium_14/
Ah, progress.
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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2010, 08:45:36 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.
^By far the most stupid post of the month.

why?
1. The idea that some one is going to figure out the transcendant all on their own and that tens of thousands of years of human knowledge and wisdom is simply false on this point. Sounds like intellectual adolescence to me. "My parents are stupid, they don't know anything."
2. I am sooooooo special that I will figure out this spiritual thing on my own. I must be the center of the universe. (more intellectual adolescence).

The older the idea, the more likely it's wrong. Ten thousand years ago people simply didn't have a good enough understanding of the world to present any useful ideas. And I'm sure in a couple hundred years people will look back on our time and realize how ignorant and short-sighted we were. How stupid we must have been to miss obvious connections in mathematics and sciences, how primitive our technology was, how limited our understanding of the universe. There's lots of things we haven't figured out in the past ten thousand years (it's actually amazing how little we've figured out).

This of course makes your argument a little on the silly side.

Always the opponent of the tried and true, as a true progressive.  But progress is an illusion

Progress and innovation: the reason we're not still living in caves.

Quote
Quote
Kuhn departed from traditional evolutionary views with his argument that a new paradigm with its new foundation is "incommensurable" with the old paradigm. Unlike evolutionary science, in which new knowledge fills a gap of ignorance, in Kuhn's model new knowledge replaces incompatible knowledge. Thus science is not a continuous or cumulative endeavor: when a paradigm shift occurs there is a revolution similar to a political revolution, with fundamental and pervasive changes in method and understanding. Each successive vision about the nature of the universe makes the past vision obsolete; predictions, though more precise, remain similar to the predictions of the past paradigm in their general orientation, but the new explanations do not accommodate the old.

Kuhn argued against scientific realism. Each new paradigm increases predictive accuracy, but scientists have no reason to believe that the accuracy of explanation is closer to corresponding to what is "really there." He saw that the reason that one paradigm survives and another dies is because one solves puzzles better, not because it is a more accurate representation of reality:

(27)

A scientific theory is usually felt to be better than its predecessors not only in the sense that it is a better instrument for discovering and solving puzzles but also because it is somehow a better representation of what nature is really like. One often hears that successive theories grow ever closer to, or approximate more and more closely to, the truth. Apparently generalizations like that refer not to the puzzle-solutions and the concrete predictions derived from a theory but rather to its ontology, to the match, that is, between the entities with which the theory populates nature and what is "really there. " [29]
When he looked at history, Kuhn believed that he could "design a list of criteria that would enable an uncommitted observer to distinguish the earlier from the more recent theory time after time," [30] but this list would include nothing about approaching truth.

Judging from the history of science, Kuhn believed that it was "implausible" to say that theory is approaching truth. There is no linear advancement of theory toward truth:


Newton's mechanics improves on Aristotle's and ... Einstein's improves on Newton's as instruments for puzzle-solving. But I can see in their succession no coherent direction of ontological development. On the contrary, in some important respects, though by no means in all, Einstein's general theory of relativity is closer to Aristotle's than... to Newton's. [31]
According to Kuhn, Einstein's theory is not merely a more complex version of Newton's. Einsteinian theory heads in its own direction; there is "no coherent direction of ontological development." This statement embodies, and indeed follows from, the idea of "Revolution" for which Kuhn argued.

In the closing chapter of his book, Kuhn proposed the need for a goal to guide science to replace the idea of progressing toward the truth:

The development process described in this essay has been a process of evolution from primitive beginnings-a process whose successive stages are characterized by an increasingly detailed and refined understanding of nature. But nothing that has been or will be said makes it a process of evolution toward anything.... We are all deeply accustomed to seeing science as the one enterprise that draws constantly nearer to some goal set by nature in advance. [32]
Kuhn thus argued against the notion of science as an activity approximating more and more closely the truth in nature. With his suggestion that human beings are forever separate from truth, Kuhn implied that truth does not guide science and thus removed from science the teleological goal of finding truth. (28)Truth cannot be observed and therefore cannot be leading scientists to better puzzle solving. Kuhn explained away truth using the analogy of Darwin's theory of evolution: "the entire process may have occurred, as we now suppose biological evolution did, without the benefit of a set goal, a permanent fixed scientific truth, of which each stage in the development of scientific knowledge is a better exemplar." [33] Science is not pulled forward by truth; science is propelled forward by the puzzles solved during normal science. As McMullin explained Kuhn's theory, as more puzzles are solved, scientists are not led to "a new level of understanding," but to "an illusion of understanding." [34] The "illusion of understanding" that Kuhn implied threatens traditional scientific rationality, for "illusion" is not at all what Newton and the logical empiricists believed to be the product of science. [35]
http://history.hanover.edu/hhr/94/hhr94_4.html

Yes, you can always find someone to advance strange and kooky ideas. It's interesting that he never held a professorship in Physics...only in history and philosophy. Sounds like a young physicist from the 40's who, while all his colleagues were excited about the new advances in physics and were busy fleshing out Relativity and QM, just wasn't quite able fully grasp the details and, thus, went on to teach history.

These 'puzzles' he speaks about are nothing less than our observations of the universe, they are an integral part of reality. If science is to seek truth, it must offer models and solutions for all observations, not just the easy ones. To dismiss repeated and verified observations from experimental physics as mere 'puzzles' is simply laughable.

Quote
Btw, you assUme you all won't kill yourselves and us as well within those couple hundred years. Not a safe bet. A safer bet with the savages:
Quote
Old Bones: The Story of a Girl with a Birth Defect

...about an archaeological dig which describes the remains of a little girl 5-12 years old, who had severe cranial deformaties and retardation "the story of a child with the condition makes for painful reading."...

....Now here's the remarkable thing.  The hunter-gatherer Middle Pleitocene family of Cranium 14 [the designation of the remains] must have cared for the child, or she would have not survived for at least five years, and perhaps as many as twelve.  In the dry-as-dust words of the article, "It is obvious that the [Sima de Huesos] hominin species did not act against the abnormal/ill individuals during infancy, as has happened along our own history many times in many cultures."

Were the hunter-gatherer Middle Pleistocene hearts of the family of Cranium 14 wrung with grief when she died?  We don't know.  We know only that her bones speak of tenderness and compassion.  Nowadays, if her disability had been detected in utero, she would probably have been aborted.  Civilization is a mixed blessing sometimes.
http://www.salvomag.com/new/mag/salvo9.php
http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/tears_for_middle_pleistocene_human_cranium_14/
Ah, progress.

Point being?
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« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2010, 09:22:12 PM »

Progress and innovation: the reason we're not still living in caves.
and why we may go back to living in caves.


Yes, you can always find someone to advance strange and kooky ideas.
one need look no further than your posts to prove that.

It's interesting that he never held a professorship in Physics...only in history and philosophy. Sounds like a young physicist from the 40's who, while all his colleagues were excited about the new advances in physics and were busy fleshing out Relativity and QM, just wasn't quite able fully grasp the details and, thus, went on to teach history.
No, he had a Climategate moment. As he himself explained:
Quote
At that time I was a graduate student in theoretical physics already within sight of the end of my dissertation. A fortunate involvement with an experimental college course treating physical science for the non-scientist provided my first exposure to the history of science. To my complete surprise, that exposure to out-of-date scientific theory and practice radically undermined some of my basic conceptions about the nature of science and the reasons for its success.
http://books.google.com/books?
id=xnjS401VuFMC&pg=PR7&dq=exposure+scientific+theory+undermined&hl=en&ei=UP8PTYf_GteJnAej9N2kDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=exposure%20scientific%20theory%20undermined&f=false

Poor Greeki! Your equations have no cogito, and so without humans they do not exist.

These 'puzzles' he speaks about are nothing less than our observations of the universe, they are an integral part of reality. If science is to seek truth, it must offer models and solutions for all observations, not just the easy ones. To dismiss repeated and verified observations from experimental physics as mere 'puzzles' is simply laughable.
Quote
Kuhn also maintained that, contrary to popular conception, typical scientists are not objective and independent thinkers. Rather, they are conservative individuals who accept what they have been taught and apply their knowledge to solving the problems that their theories dictate. Most are, in essence, puzzle-solvers who aim to discover what they already know in advance - "The man who is striving to solve a problem defined by existing knowledge and technique is not just looking around. He knows what he wants to achieve, and he designs his instruments and directs his thoughts accordingly."

During periods of normal science, the primary task of scientists is to bring the accepted theory and fact into closer agreement. As a consequence, scientists tend to ignore research findings that might threaten the existing paradigm and trigger the development of a new and competing paradigm. For example, Ptolemy popularized the notion that the sun revolves around the earth, and this view was defended for centuries even in the face of conflicting evidence. In the pursuit of science, Kuhn observed, "novelty emerges only with difficulty, manifested by resistance, against a background provided by expectation."
http://des.emory.edu/mfp/Kuhnsnap.html
Climategate has vindicated Kuhn, yet again.

Btw, you assUme you all won't kill yourselves and us as well within those couple hundred years. Not a safe bet. A safer bet with the savages:
Quote
Old Bones: The Story of a Girl with a Birth Defect

...about an archaeological dig which describes the remains of a little girl 5-12 years old, who had severe cranial deformaties and retardation "the story of a child with the condition makes for painful reading."...

....Now here's the remarkable thing.  The hunter-gatherer Middle Pleitocene family of Cranium 14 [the designation of the remains] must have cared for the child, or she would have not survived for at least five years, and perhaps as many as twelve.  In the dry-as-dust words of the article, "It is obvious that the [Sima de Huesos] hominin species did not act against the abnormal/ill individuals during infancy, as has happened along our own history many times in many cultures."

Were the hunter-gatherer Middle Pleistocene hearts of the family of Cranium 14 wrung with grief when she died?  We don't know.  We know only that her bones speak of tenderness and compassion.  Nowadays, if her disability had been detected in utero, she would probably have been aborted.  Civilization is a mixed blessing sometimes.
http://www.salvomag.com/new/mag/salvo9.php
http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/tears_for_middle_pleistocene_human_cranium_14/
Ah, progress.

Point being?
you depend on that conventional morality you so viciferiously deride.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 09:22:48 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2010, 10:09:52 PM »

Progress and innovation: the reason we're not still living in caves.

And yet you can't provide a coherent argument for why the way we live now is better than in caves.
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« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2010, 10:14:38 PM »

While being "spiritual" outside of organized religion, does not always mean nothing, I think it does with atheists.  I mean, atheists say there is no God.  Presumably, they would also then believe there are no spirits like demons or angels.  There is nothing to be spiritual about when you do not believe in the existence of your own spirit (in something other than the sense of "I have spirit how about you!  I have spirit yes I do!").  Without God there is no ultimate reality or truth to be seeking.  The world just happens to exist, you just happen to have been born through a long series of meaningless acts.  Atheism is nihilism - or, at the least, there is no intrinsic point to anything.  I mean, if you are an atheist you cannot even call yourself spiritual in the sense that you are searching for some principles by which all men and women were meant to live, because any ideas about morality must be artificial and societal constructs, and not enforceable on anyone (except through the idea of might makes right).  Atheism is nihilism and leads to moral relativism.
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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2012, 10:16:14 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!

and this is a good thing.
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2012, 10:36:56 PM »

Progress and innovation: the reason we're not still living in caves.

And yet you can't provide a coherent argument for why the way we live now is better than in caves.

My house is a lot more beautiful than a cave. Also I have television, internet and a telephone to talk to my family in Greece. All these are blessings to me that I am very grateful for to the Lord God. And I wouldn't exchange these blessings for anything in the world. Also, I have food that I like, without necessarily having to cook it myself.


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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2012, 10:59:24 PM »

And I wouldn't exchange these blessings [ie, television, telephone, internet, &c.] for anything in the world.

There's one screwed-up statement, there.
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« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2012, 11:40:53 PM »

And I wouldn't exchange these blessings [ie, television, telephone, internet, &c.] for anything in the world.

There's one screwed-up statement, there.

why?
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« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2012, 12:03:14 AM »

And I wouldn't exchange these blessings [ie, television, telephone, internet, &c.] for anything in the world.

There's one screwed-up statement, there.

why?

Do you care about how selfish you've appeared on this board?  Resurrecting old threads as if those people are around to challenge you.  A 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum has more substance than you.  What do you want?   Angry
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« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2012, 10:50:17 AM »

Now that this older thread has been re-opened, I recall we had a similar topic here 6-8 years ago and in it I cited a study by (I think) the WSJ which came to different conclusions about he beliefs of scientists. The current one under review here is by a sociologist (which is not surprising given her discipline) but the review only states she queried "elite scientists". The older study specifically defined and separated the type of scientists interviewed: social vs. physical (or so-called "hard") scientists. That study was interesting in that it found that the majority of social scientists (psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, etc.) leaned agnostic or atheist and that "hard" scientists (physicists, astrophysicians, geologists, chemists, biologists, etc.) outright leaned into the believers' camp.

I thought that was interesting at the time but have no desire to read this current study.

Now, you guys can go back to sniping at one another... Wink
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« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2012, 10:52:37 AM »

^Well, that would go against every poll I've seen on the subject. But then I don't look into such polls much.  police
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« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2012, 10:57:15 AM »

^Well, that would go against every poll I've seen on the subject. But then I don't look into such polls much.  police

I am sure you were here when we had that discussion earlier. I don't recall your taking any exception to this at that time.
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« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2012, 10:58:58 AM »

Fair enough.
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« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2012, 02:02:02 PM »

in my experience, being "spiritual" apart from any organized faith or congregation means absolutely nothing, but it sure makes people feel good!
How can it mean nothing?  They are looking for answers on their own, rather than the bottle-feeding they see from organised religion.

tell them chrysostom. Alleluia
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