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Dawkins is the darling of the secular humanists, debunking religion left and right in favor of the Scientific Method, Rational Thought, and So Forth.
I picked up one of his books and read a few pages and was struck, more than anything else, by the perception that he was preaching to a choir. Not the same choir that you'd find in a church, of course, but rather a choir of those who "believe" in science - just as if it were a religion itself.
Personally, I don't think that Science (with a capital "S") explains everything there is to explain, any more than Religion (with a capital "R") does. I think that you DO have to "believe" in science - its infallibility, its all-knowingness, etc - in order to make the Scientific Viewpoint work. This in the same way as you have to "believe" in religion - its infallibility, its all-knowingness, etc - in order to make the Religious Viewpoint work.
So when we talk about Ultimate Reality (and yes, I know, I'm using up my lifetime quota of capital letters here), how does science fit in? Is it truly the truth, or is it just another belief system, couched in abstract lingo?
First off, Dawkins is great on "evolution", but he does not speak for
Atheists. He makes lots of errors in his thinking.
But he is still a great speaker for the cause.
I mean he is human after all. (Hey Jesus was human once...oh nevermind.)
Be able to prove something using the scientific method is great when it works. But no one should be saying it is the end all say all. Replicating experiments is great for saying this certain does that, but it is not infallible.
However, gravity was proven with the scientific method time and time again. It is a fact. We were even able to take what we knew and reproduce it in space where there isn't the kind of gravity we have on Earth's surface. So, is that better than saying things seem to fall when I drop them? Yes, I think we can all agree on that.
Science is not faith, religion, or perfect, but it is a whole lot better than hearsay, visual/verbal accounts, or guessing only.
(I added some stuff in italics as they were not really correct the first time.)
science is an ever-growing method of understanding reality. just because it doesn't have "all the answers" yet doesn't mean that ancient religious explanations for our surroundings must therefore be correct. religious explanations for reality have been getting debunked for centuries. we know that the sun is not a god driving his chariot through the sky, we know the earth is round, we know that diseases are caused by microscopic organisms, not demons. we know what lies above the clouds of our planet and far below the surface (certainly not post-life dimensions), and so on. just because science hasn't determined the answer to a certain question YET, doesn't mean that religion-based answers are true.
First of all, Science is nothing more than a method for figuring things out.
If you stick to the method and follow it carefully and accurately, it produces excellent results. Truths can be discovered. This is good science.
Unfortunately, there is also alot of bad science. People trying or claiming to be doing science, but are guilty of gross errors in methodology. This produces wrong answers. When this happens though, someone will come after them and do it right.
This is how things get corrected. How real truths get discovered. And, for scientists, the quickest way to fame within the science community. If you can find an error in something that is largely accepted, you can become a science superstar overnight.
The reason why science is so succesful is because of the absolute demand for precision of method. A new discovery is scrutinized by everyone else that is working in your field. Everyone is trying to find a flaw in your methods. They will recreate your experiments and they better get exactly the same results over and over again or you're toast. Scientists that make discoveries that withstand this brutal assault of scrutiny are respected. Those that are repeatedly shown in error are dismissed and ignored.
What I find so exasperating, is this idea, so often espouse by the religious, that because science hasn't yet discovered everything that there is to know about everything there is, that somehow this gives their crazy fairytales some credence. Religiously infected minds demand proof of every word science produces, yet will not,
, produce even the tiniest shred of evidence for their own claims. And still they demand that their claims be respected on par with science.
You still have not answered my question about how you can aptly explain the color red to a person born blind. Still waiting.
Are you nuts? That was answered in the other thread. It's a meaningless question.
If I remember right you gave a Helen Keller story and talked about fixing the problem.....which is not what the question is asking. Is there something else I missed?
I do get a little nutty at times (usually when goofing off with my kids), but not in this case. The question is quite apropos to the discussion......and your refusal to tackle it speaks volumes.
You don't remember right. I didn't say anything about Helen Keller. this is what I said
If, after all the work I've done to try to convey actual answers to real questions, the thing you want to dwell on now is a question that doesn't really have a meaning. It's like asking what does blue taste like or how tall is fast? Red is what our brains make it to be. It is a series of electrical impulses from our optic nerves that correspond to a particular range of light waves. Those impulse could be recreated through technology and the blind person's brain could be stimulated in the right place and he would "see" red although if he has been blind his whole life, then he'd have no experiences in which he could relate that sensation too. It would be meaningless. What does that have to do with believing in the supernatural. How does that mean anything?
You can't explain a color to a person blind from birth because the concept of color is meaningless to them. They have no experiences in which to base the sensation on.
Can you tell me what a fast moving insect "looks" like to a bat with echolocation? What does that sound look like dave??
I have tackled it. I've answered it. Twice now. And I'd like an answer to how that means anything or could possibly apply to any discussions here.
For those that can appreciate the "PB&J" (Passion, Beauty and Joy) of science, I'd like to offer this link to some very cool music that celebrates the discoveries of science and reason.
The Symphony of Science
My favorite is "We are all connected"
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