Belief in Science/Atheism is a Kind of Faith

ben-carsonI’m not going to denigrate you because of your faith [in science],
and you shouldn’t denigrate me for mine [in religion](1)A great article on it can be found in the New Yorker.”
~Ben Carson, Republican Candidate for president.

Science is not faith. Period.

To even make such an argument is to admit a profound misunderstanding of both science, and the scientific method, and how and why it’s been the greatest human success story.

In order to save themselves from the spiraling depths of oblivion and obsolescence in which the faithful increasingly find themselves, they often argue that science is its own kind of faith. This argument is usually made based on a variation of one of two ways – first, that since nothing is possibly knowable (which is true) all “knowledge” is actually just a kind of faith (which is demonstrably false). The second is that, since you cannot possibly investigate every scientific claim (also true), to believe in scientific principles you must have dogmatic “faith” in the people who teach them to you (which is, of course, utterly false).

If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.
If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing passed on, it would never be created that way again. There might be other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again. –Penn Jillette

How do you know something is true? Well, epistemologists have been arguing for millennia over that one, and have largely come up empty. The best answer we’ve ever seemed to manage is that you can’t; there is no way to eliminate all doubt (indeed, our courts recognize this, requiring proof–not “beyond all doubt”, but rather “beyond a reasonable doubt”).

But what you can do is to establish things to a varying degree of certainty. It might be the case, for example, that the earth is flat, and we are all deceived by a giant conspiracy. However, the chance of that is staggeringly small. While science has never found a way to completely eliminate the possibility of error, what makes it so special is just how good it is at reducing the chance of error to the point where things can be said to be “known”, and that knowledge employed with astonishing success.

Nobody uses the scientific method because they like it or because they have faith in it, but because it works. Prayer has not been shown to help a sick man recover – but antibiotics have. We understand how they work, why they work, and can accurately predict that they will become less efficacious and why. We can accurately predict how fire and electricity works – well enough to harness them to our own ends. We know how the human body works, and have acquired enough theoretical knowledge to actually grow new organs to replace damaged ones. We’ve learned about sterilization and immunization, and gotten a clear enough understanding of the universe that we can take a man standing in Texas, launch him from a spinning planet orbiting a sun in a spiraling galaxy, get him through space to land on an orbiting moon, get him off that moon and back onto Texas soil, alive and in one piece.

Science has been so successful in the last 300 years (acquiring more knowledge than the human race did in it’s entire existence before that) that it boggles the imagination that anybody could question its efficacy.

But that is why we use science. We can objectively tell that it works. It is fallible, there are numerous false starts, corrections of old misinformation, and unexplained phenomena. But where faith has utterly failed to accurately explain the natural world, science has succeeded, and continues to succeed, brilliantly. We don’t have faith that science works, we have an insurmountable amount of evidence that it does. That is why we believe it.

As to the second issue, again, it is a misunderstanding of science. The scientific method is not a collection of facts; it is a way of acquiring knowledge. In order for something to be scientific, it must meet a number of rigorous requirements. I strongly suggest that nobody proceed without reading a 5 min. essay on what the scientific method actually is. But among its tenants is that claims made from observations must be repeatable. Indeed, no claim can be said to be scientific unless the community as a whole can replicate the results (and all claims are up for challenge at any time, unlike faith).

"the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which they are held in theology" --Bertrand Russell
“the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which they are held in theology” –Bertrand Russell

Let us return to the notion that the world is round. This is a scientific claim. When I learned that the world was round, I did not have to trust my instructor, because I also learned how this was deduced. Further, I learned how to replicate the deduction if I chose to. The easiest way to calculate the curvature of the earth is to buy a laser at RadioShack, grab a ruler, and head out to a frozen lake (which will adopt the curvature of the earth much better than land will). I know because the constellations change when I travel south (if the earth was flat, they’d stay the same). I could, if I wanted, calculate it the old-fashioned way (as it was done 2,000 years ago), with nothing more than a stick, a sunny day, and some math – but that method requires riding a camel about 800 miles, so I’m not interested. I can do a few experiments from home, split hydrogen from water and such, but I cede the point that past a certain point it gets harder for the layman to verify and reproduce experiments without a lab (or a particle accelerator). But there are always people who can. The peer review process ensures that a French lab can reproduce and verify (or dispute) the findings of a British one. High school students reproduce simple experiments, college students do bigger ones, and grad students even bigger–but there’s a never ending stream of testing, reproduction, and re-testing, and new scientists coming up through the ranks challenging the work of established ones, with transparency and peer review for everyone. To suggest that any knowledge acquired by science is dogmatic, faith based, or an appeal to authority, is either to be ignorant or psychotic.

So while it’s true that nobody re-verifies all scientific claims on their own, anyone can challenge ones they don’t find credible (though you need a working vocabulary of science. To claim that evolution is “just a theory” indicates a staggering ignorance of what a theory is. As a theist would understand a basic fluency in theology to refute theism, you must have a basic knowledge of science to understand just what it’s claiming, let alone refute it).

The reason we trust in the scientific method is because it works. That’s all. It’s been proven to work.

Now science does make two assumptions. The first is that the universe has laws which are consistent. The second is that these laws can be determined by experimentation and observation. These are assumptions, and sometimes seized upon by the theist as proof that science relies on faith. But this is merely the first objection from a different angle. Every human being must make these assumptions. When you put your key in your car, you are making an assumption that the laws of internal combustion will operate today as they did yesterday. Without that assumption, there would be no point in trying to turn the engine over. You assume that the roads didn’t get shuffled about in the middle of the night, that the sun has and will continue to rise… All of these the same basic assumption – that there is order to the universe and that it will continue that way. There is no proof of this, just as it can be said that there is no such thing as a fact which can be truly know. Nonetheless, you cannot operate in any human endeavor without these assumptions, and again – the proof is in the pudding. Science works. In fact, it is an equivocation to say that the “faith” I have that my car will start in the morning is in any way the same as the “faith” one might have that Jesus rose from the dead. There is evidence for the first claim – the fact that I have started my car thousands of times quite successfully. The second claim, however, has far less empirical data to back it up.

It is an equivocation, using the word “faith” in two different ways to suggest that the faith I have in my car is in any way identical to the faith one has in Jesus, used to discredit evidence as being identical to religious faith. Science is the acquisition of knowledge through evidence acquired by rational study, testing and observation. Faith is belief in the absence of evidence. They are in no way whatsoever the same thing.

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. A great article on it can be found in the New Yorker

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Warren Kincaid
Commenter

Just so you’ll understand…. There are two connotations for the word “Faith”. One (the one you use so much) is called a “leap of faith” where there is no basis in reality to really hang trust on. Just believe. The second is a faith in what has been proven trustworthy based on the way things are as far as you understand and experience them. You have enough faith in the numerical system to let a bank hold your money. The biblical record uses both connotations, but the second one is by far the predominant. The first just gets you started (like a first grader learning simple math. Just believe, you’ll see). The second is there in real time history and a description of who mankind truly is within himself, and the created world around him. It’s a lesson in the universal totality of everything. That makes it unique in the disciple of theology and philosophy. It’s not a religious book per-se, but religions have sprung up around it. Just like your first grade teacher who asked you to have faith in a system you didn’t understand yet. In that way you could grow into a position where real world problems in math have become the tools you need for social life. The same is true in communication, interaction, morals and the totality of life. Modern man lives in a world… Read more »

Arūnas Liuiza
Commenter

Not sure If I agree.

Robert Hughes
Commenter

Does reasonable doubt also apply to man made global warming

Lee Helms
Commenter

Science always maintains a reasonable skepticism about all of its findings, but as evidence backing one idea accumulates, competing ideas become less likely to be accepted.

Robert Hughes
Commenter

But there are scientists that are skeptical about ,tha accuracy,the cause , the effects. Should they be ignored because their numbers are smaller than the opposing view.

Robert Hughes
Commenter

dont be rediculous, i will not worship you. gravity has nothing to do with this topic, its called reasonable doubt. if a christian is burdened with proving the existence god, then scientist are also burdened with proving that global warming is man made, rather than a natural occurance. gravity is beyond obvious. and im not smart

Lee Helms
Commenter

Robert Hughes Theists are free to follow whatever beliefs they want, but when they claim that their gods command others to live by the same culture, they need to submit credible, objective evidence to back their claims.

Science operates on a system of peer review, where a paper submitted by one is examined by others. Those others may raise questions about methods used, and supporting or contrary evidence found. Working out any flaws in the original paper makes the final version as accurate as possible. That is why the findings of science are trustworthy. Fully 97% of publishing climate scientists say that the only way to explain the RATE of the current warming is the human contribution of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The dissenting 3% of scientists are mostly on the payrolls of the fossil fuel industry. Funny how that works…

Robert Hughes
Commenter

are scientists not doing the same, i mean do scientists not seem to claim that if it wasnt for science life, today, couldnt exist, even tho before man thought of gods or science , it did. life just is, science only follows its lead, anytime i hear man state claim to the supperiority of science , all i see is the worship of another religion

Robert Hughes
Commenter

nut by your reasoning if theres over 6 billion people and 84% of them beleive in some sort of a god,?? that has to be somewhat comparable to 97% of scientists (if that # is even true)(dunno) then why are that majority wrong. well its because scientists, know it alll

Robert Hughes
Commenter

in islam you can be convicted of a crime, just because the majority said it, whether its the truth or not, reasonable doubt

Robert Hughes
Commenter

reality is that if 97% of the world believed that god exists there would still be people that went with the three percent or 16 %

Warren Kincaid
Commenter

Didn’t we already have this conversation?

Scott Perry
Commenter

How is this idiot allowed to walk around unsupervised? Much less allowed to run anything.

Alan Busnelli
Commenter

Idiot Savant.

Lee Helms
Commenter

We who accept science’s findings do so on the basis of EVIDENCE, not faith.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

//Steve Lewis fuckin morons//

This seems to be the demeanor of a fundamental atheist who thrives off those who have cognitive issues for sociopathic kicks to build himself up.

its easy to point out weakness in others. NOt so easy to figure out a way to address and intervene with those issues. I suspect you haven’t figured out how to address your own issues. Perhaps.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

//Nobody uses the scientific method because they like it or because they have faith in it, but because it works. //

I like to appreciate the word *faith* and validate theists that we do have confidence in it. Even tho it works, we are still plagued by cognitive bias and need debate /peer review to find holes in our own argument

Being peer reviewed and published isn’t a big deal to me. I want to hear what the geniuses have to say *after* its published

Olivia Mark
Commenter

I’m going by knee jerk reaction here and hope i’m not a complete dumbass for not reading. I will look but first I want to tear thru your page.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

no worries… Honestly, I take it as a compliment. Seems to me you have a lot to say, and are really eager to get to it. I can think of few things that are more complementary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m eager for you to read the piece. And, frankly, it is refreshing to have someone willing to admit they haven’t read it…

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

The Codex is broken up into a number of sections – one of them is “attacks” – which are common attacks against atheism. For easy reference, each attack is referenced by the claim in the attack. This pieces for refuting the attack “atheism is just a kind of belief”. So that’s the title of the piece, despite the fact it’s a refutation of the claim. So I’ve been getting a lot of people – especially atheists – in fact I’ve been getting shit hammered by atheists– who sit here and tell me “atheism is not a belief!” – When, if they read the article, they’d realize that’s precisely what I’m saying. I think I solved this problem – figured out a way to post alternatively to Facebook that allows the title to accurately reflect the content and still maintain structure of the Codex. But a lot of free programming work.

Olivia Mark
Commenter
Olivia Mark
Commenter

Your welcome .

Rational wiki denies fundy atheism .

You can’t redirect what you wont recognize .

Atheist rhetoric is their dogma . They won’t budge when confronted .

Olivia Mark
Commenter

Atheists don’t play pigeon chess. It’s a card game. Slam dunk down the right logic and game over to prove savvy on recognize which logic fallacy theist uses .

Olivia Mark
Commenter

Robert Trivers is a good read. It’s his research that Dawkins used for his first book or so. Dawkins is journalist . Trivers is the genius

Olivia Mark
Commenter

uh oh. I I thought I was on PM

Olivia Mark
Commenter

In some arenas of theoretical physics, they are going out into the realm of blind faith and have what we critics call fairy tales. After all, physics is seductive.

What I have done in the atheists fight clubs is make an OP

String Theory Is A Fairy Tale

What I found are atheists who demonstrate the same fundamentally ignorant song and dance as a theist. They’re offended and foam at the mouth . Then they throw their critical thinking and oh my effing gravity…..

Well, my fav argument I consistent get is that math is evidence of math . By that logic I could poof a multiverse into existence with a chalk board. I could rant for hours about my ST debates but will add that I emailed Peter Woit about them and he did answer me.

Then… the string theorists want to remove that pesky need for evidence . I kid you not and can give you a link.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

oh… I know. It’s not my only objection to string theory either. Although honestly, I haven’t read on it sense “the elegant universe” by Brian Greene.I’m probably not really qualified to discuss it much anymore, save that it is crystal clear scientists in that field are willing to abandon a great number of rules which are supposed to be immutable regarding the scientific method.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

When this assertion is made by a theist, I will validate them.

I did take me some savvy to realize if there was a god, there would be some kind of evidence somewhere or at least a mystery. I was first confident that if there had been a flood, the evidence would be phenomenal. I find most online debating atheists not to have this edge as I did.

I am confident there’s no conspiracy to refrain from research into the supernatural at CERN. I am confident that the word *supernatural* makes no sense in theoretical physics.

When I was a deconverting Pentecostal, I was also a geekgroupie that adored rockstar physicists. Because of our love of science and my mindful behavior, I was kind of a pet theist in the atheist groups. I did trust them.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

God help me… Well – whatever help me… It is clear by this point that the Codex faces an existential crisis regarding nomenclature.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

Unless you verify everything which is presented, which you should if you wish to prescribe to science, it is a belief. I respect science, but refuse to blindly believe. Far more respectable than blind faith in the obviously false stories most of the religious believe. I must stress my respect for those religious who take the time to criticly analyze their belief, and interpret stories they actually believe. Im also a fan of the faithful who can separate the barbaric and illogical morals from the civilized, respectful, and socially considerate morals and practices presented.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

No… There are still degrees of certainty. I don’t have to verify everything presented, because I know that the process of verification continues. Every aspiring scientist has to re-verify the work of previous scientists.You learn science by verifying previous work, by running experiments that have been run many, many times before. I have evidence that the peer review process works – therefore I can trust it – without needing faith – to relieve the burden of my having to verify everything myself. And, I can add to that the fact that this process has successfully accomplished more for the human race in the last 300 years then faith did in the 10,000 years before that. No, I’m sorry, but because I have verified the peer review process, I can empirically trust it, and do not need to verify everything myself. There is no faith required.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

Without verification and an understanding of relationships between forces we are only left with assumption and superstition. Everyone knew if we jump or threw something into the air, everything returned to the ground. Without an understanding of gravity and a working testable theory we wouldnt understand the movements of the cosmos. We likely would not even attempt to leave the planet. Certainty without true understanding leads to a limitation of progress. There is no certainty in my opinion. We are constantly refining our understanding of the common world around us.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

You know… I am really starting to be quite convinced that you are the only person who actually read the article. While I disagree with what you said, it’s really quite salient to the point. So… Thank you!

Chibz Aran
Commenter

For all we know without personal verification all “science” could be some sick conspiracy to misinform all of the masses and to limit or control progress. Thats what science actually is. Testable theories of all we understand about the world around us is the only thing separating science from faith. It is the responsibility of all those who wish to practice science to maintain a skeptical mind. Science is doomed if even the most basic theories are taken at face value. Challenge, inspect, and verify all you are told, never take anything at face value. Our understanding of many parts of our universe most were “certain” we fully understood are constantly being adjusted and reevaluated as a deeper understanding of everything in our reality is constantly being investigated and tested.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Well… You cannot personally verify everything in science… You would have to reinvent the wheel each and every time. Peer review saves you this step.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

All right… Now I do need to ask… Did you read the article?

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Or at the very least the very first line right before the article?Because, honestly, I’m starting to think you and I may be on the same side.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

I have proven to my satisfaction that the scientific method works to gain an understanding of the working relationships of the world around me. Though i hope the peer review process is being properly and honestly applied there is always a chance that a peer reviewed discovery or new theorys tested outcome can be flawed, not entirely unbiased, corrupted, or even falsified. Without personal reasearch, a true understanding of the subject, and interrogation of all those peers who did review a given paper or what have you, the words in a scientific journal or school book or whatever medium you seek your information through, you are applying some level of faith to trust that all of the proper procedures were applied. Human error is quite common, and its also not uncommon for some entity or individual to try to control knowlege to further ones own ends. Some level of faith is truly essential to exist, but skepticism and critical evaluation should be applied when possible.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

I never disagreed with your point, just trying to stress that faith is practiced unless one personally investigates every aspect of what they see or are told.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Well then, you and I agree almost completely (except, I do not believe you require even a little faith to truly exist). But other than that, you and I agree 100%. I am now quite convinced you did not read the article.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

While as you said we must trust the processes we have established, as well as trust the words of those who came before us who applied these processes to pass down what they came to understand to be true, so we could continue the progression of a deeper understanding of reality, there is still much faith without a lifetime of personal verification of already established testable understanding. While the scientific approach is obviously the better route to a true understanding of everything we call reality than any religious explanation i have been exposed to, i still understand that some faith is applied to both. Science simply demands more evidence.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Chibz Aran You and I are most definitely on the same side.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Well… Like I said. I would disagree that we require even a little faith to survive. While it is true that epistemologically we cannot know anything for certain, the universe strikes me as being largely deterministic, and therefore probably entirely logical. Whether or not we understand the logic is not entirely relevant, what is is that I suspect – even when it comes to faith-based claims – we act internally consistent with our own logic. I’m not sure this is always true – if it were, it would prohibit the existence of faith at all – and I’m not sure that’s the case. I think a suicide bomber probably really does have some measure of genuine faith. Nonetheless, I would be hard-pressed to find any areas in my life where it can be said I have faith in something. I am reasonably sure I do not.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

Its a detail i will always stress, i do not think it is incorrect or debatable. Survival is faith based, faith becoming more essential as time progresses. Every drop of water you drink requires various amounts of faith that it will sustain you and not kill you based on your level of understanding the modern world. In flint mi people incorrectly had faith that their tap water was mostly safe to drink. Children in a city, with little understanding of human impact on the enviroment, will sometimes want to catch and drink rainwater in their mouth assuming it is clean, pure water since it is falling from what appears to be a sky occupied only by air and clouds. A deeper understanding of things will tell you that there will be many toxic pollutants you shouldnt ingest contained unseen within each raindrop.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

I live my life planning for the future with no guarentee that i will live another minute, but i have faith in my ability to survive to each minute, therefore i see the prudence in planning for a future.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

No… You do not have faith in your ability to survive. Nor did the people of Flint Michigan have faith in their water. They had evidence. That the evidence led to the incorrect conclusion does not make it faith.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

The reason you apply life planning skills is because you have evidence that this will increase your likelihood of survival. And you are correct. Now, it does not guarantee your survival. But faith plays no role. The sun could supernova, and we could all die in 8 min.… That does not mean that planning of my grocery list was faith-based. It was based on evidence – on the fact that 44 years of life on this planet suggests quite strongly to me that I will be around next week, and that I’ll be hungry. That it’s technically possible I could be wrong, does not make it a faith-based claim. Do not mistake uncertainty for faith. They are not equivalent.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

I have no evidence planning will increase anything since i can die at any time. Deny the reality of faith if you wish. From this discussion alone i do not believe you fool enough to believe it is not a reality of every moment of your life. That you actually exist is a faith based belief. You could be a brain in a jar, a minor detail in a simulation, an afterthought of detail in the fevered mind of a madman. You may exist, but all you experience and think could be an in depth attempt at imagining an alien dimension while you actually exist in a vastly different reality. Faith that anything is as we experience it to be must be applied. Even if you believe what modern understanding of the brain and mind tells us we are, which is a complex process of the interaction of chemicals and electricity based stimulation of various parts of the physical brain connecting many relating parts of stored “information” creating the conscious experience that has been proven to be easily manipulated and often flawed.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

That we have no evidence suggesting this experience we call reality is not real, is not proof that it is real. The introduction of trauma, various psychoactive chemicals, or a slight increase or decrease of naturally produced and regulated chemicals in the brain will greatly alter your perceived experience of “reality”.

Chibz Aran
Commenter

Even if the majority of the population can agree upon most details of reality because that is what they similarly experience and observe, that concensus of observation experienced by most will not alter the skewed reality experienced by a person with a chemical imbalance in the mind. What more may we base our observation, perception, and interaction with the “reality” of the world around us than what our fragile and easily fooled sensory dependant brain interprets?

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Of course… But all the coins of the realm cannot be counterfeit. Once again, you are arguing against the possibility of there being genuine knowledge – of anything being provable beyond all doubt. And, once again, I agree with you. But that you cannot prove anything does not make the reverse true – it does not mean that you require faith. There are still degrees of certainty. All of your assumptions may be completely correct, but that does not impair my ability to start my car in the morning. Just because one thing is not true does not allow you to say that it’s opposite is. Just because we cannot prove anything beyond all doubt does not mean we require faith. There are degrees of certainty, and we can navigate these degrees. Faith is still in no way required (and I do not require it to make that claim either, since I base that claim on prior evidence of successfully navigating claims based on degree of certainty)

Chibz Aran
Commenter

I understand that i have wandered from the scientific to the metaphysical, but in my possibly incorrect opinion, these concepts are still important to consider when attempting to gain an understanding of the reality we are limited to experience. The validation of ones existence is equally, if not more important to the continued attempt to understand and further manipulate and mold the world around us to satisfy our curiosity and needs as a species.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Well… It reminds me of why I never got a graduate degree in philosophy… I needed to eat. Is it more important to question these things? I’m not sure… Neil Degrasse Tyson made an excellent case for why this kind of philosophy may well be over… Plato was every bit, if not more, important than Newton. But today natural philosophy (which is what you’re talking about) has far less to contribute than it once did… Being a natural philosopher, I’m not pleased with that, but the overwhelming success of science is a force to be reckoned with… But I certainly do appreciate the point you are making, and it is not unimportant. Thank you.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

N Lamar Soutter While I was falling in love with Chibz, look at your first word: NO.

That’s a red flag for me I recently caught on to. I try to avoid it now. Chibz echoes me, so naturally I like him.

he’s just taking a stance of always being skeptical and not falling into the trap of glorifying Almighty Science as I see many atheists do.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

Oh yes.. i’m falling in love with Chibz. He’s rocking it.

N Lamar Soutter says //Peer review saves you this step.//

I wouldn’t glorify peer review, per se. That process can be corrupted and there’s plenty of literature on this. EM Drive just made peer review and I about swallowed my cigarette. We in the physics community just blow it off by recounting that cold fusion was peer reviewed as well… and… ok.. we’ll see.

Peer reviewed and published doesn’t impress me. I don’t get excited over news until I see it *everywhere* in numerous media sources and then I still wait to see what big dogs think.

BI

Olivia Mark
Commenter

BICEP2 taught me my lesson. I was so crushed that even when LIGO got the gravitational waves , I wasn’t excited.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

//N Lamar Soutter No…//

you did it again. Once you recognize the impulse to react this way and try to refrain.. dude.. its insightful to struggle to redecorate the approach.

I have a clue and certainly no victory and certainly i’m a complete spaz with little to no potential to ever be as eloquent as you.

and i’m hoping i’m in trouble by basically trolling your page. It just comes so naturally . You do rock, tho. Immensely.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

// But I certainly do appreciate the point you are making, and it is not unimportant. Thank you.//

Great redirection and validating.

Zack Lewis
Commenter

I have trust in science. Not blind faith

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Excellent… Then you and I agree.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

always be skeptical. Science is the best tool we have but I don’t even trust myself not to succumb to cognitive bias, self deception and heuristics.

There’s a lot of BS science out there. I follow Sabine Hossenfelder et al and they critique what’s new in physics sources.

She also ripped Bill Nye a new one no so long ago. That was hilarious. I love it when she does that. If you think ripping theists a new one is fun… dudes.. it doesn’t stop in physics.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

In science I trust? Not exactly. It can be corrupted.

Zack Lewis
Commenter

I trust in the scientific method.

John Geoghegan
Commenter

This is the dumbest argument I’ve ever read.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Seriously…? No love at all? Not even a “my toddler makes better arguments, and she only knows 17 words”… Nothing?I’m hurt that I could not inspire so much as an original insult…*sigh*. I will have to suck more, next time.

John Geoghegan
Commenter

Was that sarcasm, I hope.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

You hope? Why? Does it matter? Not sure why it would, but if it does, then I will say it was not sarcasm, but a little tongue-in-cheek. I don’t mind when people don’t like my work (at the height of his popularity, Hemingway was despised by 40% of the literary community who thought he wrote like a child – and I am nowhere near as good as him, so there will be very reasonable and intelligent people who don’t like mine).But I despise mediocrity – and considering how well researched and logical the piece is –I would expect it to draw both More creative praise than “this is the greatest piece I’ve ever read”, And more scathing criticism than “this is the dumbest argument I’ve ever read”. If that truly is the worst (or best) you (or anyone) have to say about the piece, clearly I did a poor job of expressing myself. It’s extraordinarily unfortunate.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Why on earth would you hope or care if it was sarcasm? Is there some way in which that would make a difference to you?

Olivia Mark
Commenter

John Geoghegan is using what I call a sweeping dismissal without a request for clarification. He’s rejecting that which may be going over his head and pathologically is unable to consider another position.

Atheists should know that ad hom is irrational for a reason. He can demonize his opponents argument and dismiss it in order to keep his ego in tact.

I always save my ad hom for the ending when you know the argument is over. I try to never start out with it as that’s going by a knee jerk reaction.

A rational person would ask for clarification first about specific things. How hard is this to do? VERY. Even tho I value striving towards a higher bar, my heuristics overrides y critical thinking and I do the same thing I complain about.

I can laugh it off when i’m at fault. this is what I find to be a huge barrier for most debating atheists: the ability to laugh at oneself when they’re the dumbass.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

N Lamar Soutter ^^

John Geoghegan
Commenter

This is facebook, not philosophy and religion class. Also, since you misjudged me, I happen to be a Catholic and my children and grandchildren all went to Catholic schools.

But here goes. The book of Genesis is one of several faith-based versions of the beginning of the universe. It’s derived from oral history told by Hebrew tribal thinkers who contemplated a reality larger than themselves. Through translations of the evolved story we have today:

“in the beginning the earth was void and without form, an darkness lay upon the face of the deep. And God said let there be light. And there was light.” Today. Thousands of years later and millions of pages and re-calculations of scientific theory we have The Big Bang. Genesis came mostly from faith. The Big Bang came mostly from science. They are not the same but sometimes they converge.

I can accept on faith that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary because it is part of a foundation of the moral yardstick by which we judge ourselves. I don’t need to take it literally to worry about whether it is a metaphorical or biological report submitted by St. Matthew for peer review.

Ok?

John Geoghegan
Commenter

Your initial work was no the target of my comment. It was the inane part of the string of commentary. How about “Nice work”. Is that better? Also I note with interest that Olivia Mark’s facebook picture is giving the finger to people she doesn’t know by way of dismissive introduction. Antway, you started something. Enjoy your holiday.

Rob Blackwood
Commenter

If it is a faith, it is one that challenges its assumptions.

Jim McLaughlin
Commenter

Which makes it the complete opposite of faith.

Alex Garcia
Commenter

Still struggling with definitions?

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Me? Struggling with definitions? I don’t think so. It’s possible, but I work quite hard to have all my terms well defined before I start. Especially when it comes to the difference between belief and knowledge.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Alex Garcia You do realize that you and I are on the same side of this issue, correct? Have you read the piece? If not, let me show you a piece I think you will enjoy… I posted it yesterday. One of the most brilliant 10 min. I’ve ever seen in my life: https://www.theatheistcodex.com/the-atheist-codex/codex-media/obscenity-faith/

Alex Garcia
Commenter

N Lamar Soutter i am refering to them ,my apologies for such a short humorous question without any specific. Yes you are correct we are on the same side by the way great piece it is indeed exquisite.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

OTFL, talk about poor assumptions. My bad, and thank you so much! 🙂

Alex Garcia
Commenter

Not a problem at all is always a pleasure to find individuals capable to approach this kind of unintended misunderstandings in such a pleasant way and you did quite well my friend and i thank you for that it shows great virtue.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

N Lamar Soutter I have found the dictionary to be the fundy atheist’s bible. On so many levels. Any atheist chanting about the dictionary.. well.. its become a trigger and they’ve made me hate that dictionary.

I especially love how they hide behind the definition of atheism to the point of denying descriptive statistics….

and one of my favs is how the definition of fairy tale wins a debate on string theory as a fairy tale. My opponents think a dictionary wins a physics debate.

oh my effing gravity. wtfever

Alexander Paulsen
Commenter

It can be. Some consider science to be a belief system as opposed to a method for finding the truth and making discoveries.
There are people out there that call themselves “scientists”, but in their world view it is the same as Baptist, methodist, adventist, etc.

Jim McLaughlin
Commenter

Some do? I don’t think so.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

That is an extremely interesting point. “Scientists” who are actually ruled by dogma. Neil Degrasse Tyson pointed out that 18% of scientists – well, those in the Academy for arts and sciences, are full-blown theists. I assume you are not including those? You are talking about “scientists” who reject the scientific method – perhaps not explicitly – but in their actual practice. Can you give me examples of such? That’s an interesting argument I’ve never heard before…

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

I agree that a number of people think science is a belief system. In order to say that, you must necessarily not understand the difference between belief and knowledge. And while I agree that epistemologically there is no such thing as knowledge, there clearly are degrees of Certainty, and it is irrefutable That we have progressed more in the last 300 years, as a direct result of the application of the scientific method, then we have in the 10,000 years of “faith-based science” before then.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

I am interested in these “faith-based scientists” however… I would love examples

Alexander Paulsen
Commenter

N Lamar Soutter I understand many of your average garden variety atheist do not.

Alexander Paulsen
Commenter

N Lamar Soutter Do you really need me to name Dawkins? There are many more. Immune to evidence.

Alexander Paulsen
Commenter

N Lamar Soutter and today “faith based” science[sic] gives us toxic GMO’s Tech that you are not allowed to question because it is “science”

Alexander Paulsen
Commenter

Of course just talking about Richard Dawkins is easy there are many more examples the literature is full of them you shouldn’t need me if you are truly interested in scientific topics you should already know who they are unless you are tainted by prejudice or ideologies

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Well, since you appear to be talking about a paradigm shift, then yes, regrettably, I was educated in this paradigm and never questioned it. But that’s why I’m asking. So are used just in that the scientific method itself is flawed, or that Dawkins does not follow the scientific method ( IE he relies on faith)

Olivia Mark
Commenter

I”d consider Michio Kaku to be an example of one deluded physicist if there ever was one. And he’s a popular celebrity. We in the physics community don’t get it.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

I see plenty of atheists attributing characteristic towards science that amounting to nothing but hetoric/cherished belief spewed out like scripture

For instance, they say, Science changes its mind with evidence. Oh really? like its that easy? I don’t think so. Science many times goes down kicking and screaming like everyone else.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7038/full/435020a.html

Olivia Mark
Commenter
Alexander Paulsen
Commenter

Ask Barry Marshall if he thinks science is about the evidence.

Steve Lewis
Commenter

fuckin morons

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Who, me? How did I get sucked into this… I mean, other than writing the thing, but since I’m reasonably sure you didn’t read it…

Olivia Mark
Commenter

Steve Lewis.. I’ve addressed youre comment below.

Steve Lewis
Commenter

N Lamar Soutter my post was in response to the headline – which i have heard religious fucktards use as an excuse to slag science all my life…. as for the article? it was as much a rambling on the cooncept of consciousness as anything and that all eventually boils down to subjectivity

Adrian Garcia
Commenter

Peer reviewed

Lynn Warren
Commenter

science requires logic, methodology , experiment and most of all questioning …the religious mind, mired in the past, cannot grasp those complications…easier to believe …so for them you have to believe science since understanding it requires certain protein connectors missing from the brains of the non evolved….

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

Really… Missing protein connectors? That is fascinating. I would love a source on that… Not sure if I find that reassuring or terrifying… But I would love a source nonetheless.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

Excuse me, Lynn ?

I find most atheists to be more ignorant than the ignorant they argue with.

I find most atheists online to be too stupid for science and they really do need to stick to religion debates where they’re an automatic winner

While theists can be generalized as stupid , atheists can be generalized as psychopaths

Would you like a link ?

I have found most debating atheists to be narcissists with a pathological inability to be honest .

I love cornering them and watching them run in circles around me while refusing outright to answer my questions lest I prove my point

Olivia Mark
Commenter

If science requires experimentation, then tell me how string theory counts as science. It is the leading contender for a ToE and is unfalsifiable to the tune of 10^500. Critics call it a fairy tale and a pipe dream.

The string theorists have debated the scientific methodology as being .. well… being a thing of the past and want Popper criteria to be removed so their physics will count as real physics .

Olivia Mark
Commenter

While your generalization is appreciated, forget not that Lemaitre was the founder of TBBT as I recall. Paul Dirac is quoted as saying something like, God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world. You know Dirac, right? The genius who predicted anti matter and his Dirac equation is one of the most elegant in QM.

js

Olivia Mark
Commenter

the non-evolved? And I assume you are evolved?

have you ever questioned the rhetoric atheists chant like mantra and spew out like scripture all the while being pathologically unable to see how they mirror the fundamentalism of the fundamentalism they despise?

If you’re curious, I have a link and can describe the horseshoe mirroring for hours.

You just tag me if youre not as willfully ignorant as the un-evolved willfully ignorant.

I”ll be waiting.

Olivia Mark
Commenter

I mean, really. Atheists aren’t even half Vulcan.

Kevin Sissons
Commenter

True science does not involve belief. A true scientist would never say, “I know this for a fact.”

Jim Probe
Commenter

But atheism doesn’t arise from science, nor rely on it.

Joseph N Stacey Eaton
Commenter

Penn is incorrect science says big bang Hebrew Bible says moment of creation Hubble just figured it out 3000 years later. The one thing I have failed to see is an atheist do is define is what “God” is. With atheists time travel in the reverse is impossible even though Al Einstein predicted that time is not a constant and that crack has been proven Scientifically.

Merritt A. Zinn
Commenter

It’s up to the believer to define their god or gods. Atheists don’t have to explain anything. It’s not their religion.

Merritt A. Zinn
Commenter

Time travel has nothing to do with god. Explaining how it works would be science.

N Lamar Soutter
Admin

I would concur. Atheism isn’t a belief–it’s the absence of a belief. I do not believe in a giant spaghetti monster in the sky–and I do not need to define who or what this spaghetti monster, who does not exist, is or isn’t. The codex clearly defines Theism–what it is to believe in a god or set of gods, and an atheist is someone who does not hold theistic beliefs. I’m not going to spend a lifetime defining Zeus, Apollo, Hera, or Vishnu… I don’t believe in any of them.

Joseph N Stacey Eaton
Commenter

My point is what is God if and when time travel is possible then God could exist and be one of our descendents, the universe wasn’t a huge billions of light year across structure but a point smaller than an atom at huge energy levels and if you look at the direction scientists are heading CERN the Hebrew Bible defines God as the creator.