Abdelhakim DAHMANI


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Can religion be a science?

You be with me if I say, the human mind does not understand beyond the borders of the known universe?. then, this universe is expanding, this expansion implies that there is another universe including the first, but this is not affordable by humans, exactly by his spirit, and this system is connected in all, the first up to N universe, this relationship is a general law, we can not understand that relations with the spirit human (It is not affordable). Then, we can not know the best way of life that if you have a religion. this religion (science), it must come from one side of all founder, then in this way, this is a science and religion at the same time. religion, because it requires belief. and a science, because it is in the general equation of the reality of all the "universes". thank you :).

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    Jun 29 2012: A big NO. Religion conflicts with the facts of easily proven science way to much. For example, evolution can be proven simply by looking at the fossil record, but pez head creationists remain stubborn and don't look at the evidence. Religion was something ancient people CAME UP WITH in order to explain natural phenomena because the science wasn't there at the time. Now that we have science, religion is an awfully cowardly way to explain things. I've probably just started an argument.
    • Jul 11 2012: heeey kevin ,,, the concept religion to simplify science is wrong !! as religion have its concepts and its Content which is differ than scince ,, religion from our god (ALLAH) who creat us !! we here in the earth to Reconstruct and learn and enjoy the things that Allaah has permitted us, and we also stay away from things that are forbidden by God in order to win paradise, which God prepared for us this is the base of life, which does take a good thing good thing and bad thing that does take the bad result
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        Jul 11 2012: This is why I'm an atheist, the idea of god giving permission just seemed to ruin any idea of free will that could ever exist.
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        Jul 11 2012: dina muhamed, As long as you are not a jerk to me about this I won't be a jerk. I will respect your beliefs, but I don't think it makes sense to say a god created the universe. Let me quote the great Carl Sagan. "What was before creation? If god created the universe, where did god come from? Why not save a step and say this is un- answerable. Or say god always existed, or save yet another step and say the universe always existed, that there is no need for a creation." ~Carl Sagan. Many creationists have never studied physics at all and thus can't fight a theism vs. atheist dual. In fact, the only way theists can fight an atheist is by actually studying physics. It also goes the other way around. I have studied physics(though I haven't learned everything but quite a bit). Why do I say this? Because the secrets of the universe origins and workings lye in the laws of physics. I don't think the theism vs. atheism war will go on for much longer anyways. Religion is dying in the mainstream world and that is a great thing.
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        Jul 15 2012: Dina it's quite funny to me the idea of, we have free will, why? Well god makes us have it. I'm not saying it's what you said is funny or that your first statement of belief but just pointing out a philosophical question which is "I think we have free will because we have no option not to have it" Which is paradoxical but anyway.
        Now firstly, our brains and thoughts are much much better explained in terms of evolution and natural selection instead of god given, it's just a fact, because from your side you then need evidence of a god and you're side is lacking.
        Now you touched on a great point, Allah will let you know when you're wrong and boy o boy does he, punishment for eternity for not believing in something which left no evidence or any good reason to believe in it in the first place. That's evil to me. Then there's this idea that your god can't be wrong, i.e divine command which is even more evil. Then I've debated with someone on another thread who said about the Quran having many translations. Well this is riddled with paradoxes. Which translation do you follow? Kill the infidels or not? Treat your wife as a second class citizen or not? Allow yourself to dance or not? Throw battery acid in your daughter's face for getting raped or not? There are countless evils in the book you love with morals which could be corrected by a 5 year old in some places.
        And finally as I stated earlier, there is no choice in religion. It's believe and live or don't and suffer eternally. This may seem like people have a choice but it's not. Suppose we knew for certain hell existed, no one would want to go so everyone would believe, it removes the choice. And also living by a set of rules set out in a 7th century book further reduces the idea of any free will, have you considered that maybe the book may be wrong and not the person disagreeing with the book.
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        Jul 15 2012: Sorry for jumping in here Kevin but I think I ought to. Firstly Dina we don't believe everything has to be created by somebody or someone else and I'm going to paste a rather long explanation of why this is so to this conversation.
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        Jul 15 2012: Firstly I have to say I don't know your full context of current beliefs, but if the site you provided is what you base it on then this will be useful, if you don't totally agree with the site then what I'm going to say is still worthwhile and should be said a lot more often.
        This will be rather summary as it's hard to fit 13.72 billion years into a conversation.
        The exact origin of the universe can not be known for certain, this has to be stated, but there are current scientific theories which would give exceptionally good insights into how it could have happened. This delves into quantum mechanics. We start off with absolutely empty space, this space still has weight/ energy though (I'll explain why later), and as long as something has energy or weight, it can create something. All that is required for absolutely nothing to become everything is what is known as a quantum flux, a quick periodic change in a quantum state can create positive energy which hence leads to the generation of particles. How is this possible? The entire energy of the universe equals 0, if you add up all the energy of the cosmos and subtract gravity, you get 0. Hence it doesn't take a huge step of belief to think that nothing can create something because there is still the same amount of energy as there was at the start of the universe. Information here from Stephen Hawking's Grand Design and Lawrence Krauss's Something from Nothing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo also another interesting fact to be noted, most of the mass of a proton/ neutron is actually contained within the empty space between the quarks and 99% of an atom is made from nothing. The physical laws of the universe are nothing special, we are most likely just one universe super imposed on top of an almost infinite number or universes all existing at the same time. This sounds absurd right, but a famous experiment known as the double slit experiment makes it easier to grasp, continued in next comment.
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        Jul 15 2012: In the double slit experiment scientists fired an electron at a wall with a sheet with two slits in the way of the electron and the wall. Watch this, it explains it extremely well, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc Now what does this mean? It means that the electron MUST take every single possible route from A to B that it possibly can, i.e it exists almost everywhere at the same time. This is the only way in which it is possible for the electron to interfere with itself and produce the interrupted, wave like pattern. This applies to the universe in that, we could just be one version of the universe going on it's many paths that it could possibly take, this makes the anthropic principle invalid, as it would explain that it is only mere coincidence that we are in this universe, and life is in this universe because this was one of the paths in which life did evolve.
        Now the big bang is incorporated into the scheme of things. The universe is not only expanding but it's accelerating, evidence of this comes from the red shift and the cosmic microwave background radiation left over from the beginning of the universe, which as a matter of fact was predicted to exist and at the correct temperature before it was even observed.
        The site mentioned how does a lung work without air, this totally disregards science's explanation.
        There would be slight imperfections in the early cosmos, so as that gravity could pull particles together. Eventually enough particles were pulled together, under extreme heat and pressure these particles started to fuse together, it is now known as nuclear fusion and this is how stars are born. Within the cores of stars atoms of hydrogen, helium and lithium all fuse together to form the heavier elements was see today such as carbon and oxygen all the way to uranium. These stars then explode when they run out of fuel as they can no longer maintain the heat required to overcome the gravity of their own star, continued next post.
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        Jul 15 2012: The star then has two options, 1) explode or explode and contract or 2) form a black hole. This is how past suns gave rise to our solar system. On a side note, by working out the density of stars and their gravitational pull, we've learnt that it takes 1 million years for light to get from the core of the sun to the outside then 8 minutes from the outside to Earth, this shoots the 6 day creation dead in the water, it should also be mentioned that 13.72 billion years is arrived at by rewinding the universe until all galaxies were touching one another in a singularity.
        Now gravity does some more work and planets are formed, but we'll skip the exact geography and get to life forming, abiogenesis is our best hypothesis, though not yet proven it does seem promising. The Miller Urey experiment although not confirming abiogenesis it did show how amino acids can form from primordial Earth conditions.
        So now we have the building blocks of life, some may theorise that life originated from 1 species of bacteria but I say there would be more, I recently added this onto TED as an idea. Note: plants came first, without plants all the oxygen would either be trapped in water or carbon dioxide. And also DNA was not the first thing to cause life, most likely it was RNA or a more primitive form.
        Evolution is rather simple in terms to explain, it is the change in genes over time. This has been proven to happen in the forms of natural selection and mutations and a few other methods but I currently forget them. The evidence for this is seen within our genome and our close relationship to chimps and our relation to every living thing even turnips. There is further evidence in the fossil record, especially in the human evolution side of things. I can't delve into too many examples but firstly, bacteria, we observe them evolving in the lab and they are now evolving to be immune to anti biotics. Continued
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        Jul 15 2012: I hate myself for forgetting the exact name of the lizard but there was one species introduced to a new island where it had never lived and within 50 years had started developing a larger head and flatter teeth and stronger jaw muscles to maximize on it's new diet of leaves. A fruit fly was made to speciate simply by feeding the same species different foods and not letting them interbreed and then eventually letting them breed to discover they no longer could and were then two different species. The evolution of the human ear is well documented from the jaws of early reptiles. If you want me to comment on the mechanisms of natural selection let me know but basically it is nature selecting the species best adapted to survive in it's surroundings. I can give more experiments if you want but for now I refer you to Richard Dawkins Greatest Show on Earth and this http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0199230846/ also just youtube anything I've said and there's probably a talk on it somewhere. I was a little scarce on the evolution because I'm still reading my way through books but can give more information if you want.
        But basically that's how science says we got here, everything stated above was arrived at from observations, evidence, tests, results.
        So in conclusion, believe in God if you want, I'm fine with that, but please stay up to date with science, and I'm not talking to you Omer as you may already know all of this but there are others who need to read this too.
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        Jul 18 2012: Dina your carpenter analogy made no sense, how on Earth does it get around the fact that the universe can and does exist by itself?
        And if we're made by a god it did a horrible job, I could redesign humans in a heartbeat. This to me makes it either impotent or evil.
        And if you use your brain Dina and evaluate all evidence, there is no evidence that there is a god, only evidence that the universe doesn't need one.
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        Jul 18 2012: Right I'm not exactly understanding you, what is it about what I'm saying your not getting.
        is it the beginning of the universe?
        Abigenesis i.e start of life
        Or evolution?
        And they tie together like so, universe starts, stars make heavy elements, star explodes, gravity makes new solar system, earth is primitive and very different from now. Amino acids form and eventually form self replicating pairs, evolution begins. We evolve for 3.5 billion years until today and we now have brains which can reason.
        • Jul 18 2012: stewart,,, i know that,, i know the reason of the universial existance ,,, i know all of thaT ,,, our god craet every thing by another thing ,,, as the world not be exist until the explotion ,, you not be in the world until your mother married and get you ,, and also iam here in the world as result my father and mather get me ,, there a reason for every thing ,, god creat us and creat the world and creat every thing ,,
          stewart i was muslima and elhamdoullah still muslima ,, but iam thinking in atheist for afew monthes ,, but then i found my live without any meaning !! stewart you are an intelligent young man ,,, try to read about every thing ,, just know why those people belive in this creencias and ethics ,,
          iam happy to talk to you :) iam Dina from egypt ::)
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          Jul 18 2012: OK, I just got an email saying that this Dina lady responded to me but I can't find the damn message. It's literally not here.
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          Jul 19 2012: Seems dina knows all the answers. Must have read them in a book.

          Got to love absolute certainty without any compelling evidence.
      • Jul 18 2012: Assalamunaleykum.
        Are you aware of what you are doing?I know Cihad is one of the best good deeds in islam but be careful!Why are you trying to prove Allah for them?Do you like them too much?You can spend your time to prove Allah for yourself.And a warning;This the wrong time to talk about Allah with them and to prove Allah for them. And know this, you cant prove Allah to them,you can prove for me but not them.Even if you bring a picture or video of Allah (of course impposible) , they will not believe, they will find a wrong wtih it in a detail.And this can be very damageful if you try to prove Allah in wrong time.May be there would be a possiblity but please be careful and dont kill it.And Allah says some of them look at this beautiful world and get close me but some of them get away from me.Just keep silience.And think if you may have proved Allah to them clearly,would they gain the heaven?they didnt do anything even didnt spend any energy to find Allah but found and will go to heaven,is it fair?just wait for Allah set a curiosity , a feeling of need into their hearts, then they will search for Allah or a god , then maybe you can be a reason of their seeing the light adventure.Except they and Allah, no one can prove Allah to them.If you want to cure someone's sipiritual diseases, firstly be calm,learn the disease,know the patient,chose the correct medicine, wait for the suitable time!! Did you see any doctor who suddenly enters a house (or try to enter) then say I am a doctor,you are sick, I will recover you, dont panic, listen believe and obey me! or says I am a guester from god. They will laugh at you or try to beat you.They will not trust you and listen you carefully to understand what you say.If you want cihad, tell Allah I want, And wait for a paitent to come you!
        • Jul 18 2012: walalikom elsalm warahmt allah w barkato :)
          happy ramdan :)
          كل سنة وانت طيب
          okai i get you :) but just try ,, ohhh how is that ?!! how they live with out allah !?!
          okaii omar :)
          happy to talk to you :) and thanks for your advice :) :)
          iam dina from egypt :)
        • Jul 18 2012: you mean GEHAD ,,,,,, CIHAD !! جهاد :D
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          Jul 19 2012: Omer you could prove Allah to me if there was proof beyond assuming your holy book was infallible.

          If your beliefs don't stand up to critical thinking, and reason unpacking fallacies and unsubstantiated beliefs then .........well that's up to you and none of my business.

          I live in a predominantly Christian country so it is very unlikely I will bump into anything that will direct me to Allah or Hinduism or Buddhism or Confucianism etc.

          I suggest your beliefs have a lot to do with where and when you were born. Before 600 CE/1300 CE you might have been pagans (Egypt) or East orthodox Christian (Turkey)..

          Before 2000 years some other gods I guess.

          10,000 years ago other gods

          30,000 years ago maybe the Earth Mother or shamanism

          3 million years ago there were not even modern humans.

          5 billion years ago no life on earth

          So I'm open to any compelling argument or evidence. I used to be a born again Christian and figured out that was wrong.

          But I agree you are probably wasting your time not because of a lack of an open mind but that the arguments for Islam are variations of the same themes of different theist views and I haven't heard or seen anything convincing yet.

          I support freedom of and from religion so respect your right to follow Islam even if I think it is not substantially different to many other cultural religious beliefs when it comes to truth but with potential for good and bad just like all humans.
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        Jul 18 2012: So Dina your biggest reason for believing in Allah is the idea that everything has a purpose or everything needs a creator. Well firstly not everything needs a creator.
        And this is incredible to me, this human glitch that is the idea that without god suddenly there is no purpose to anything. It just doesn't make sense. If there's no god nothing changes for humanity, we still have the purpose to survive and to flourish. Also evolution has drummed into us the social aspect of looking after one another. And why does everything to you have to have a purpose? I think it's much more beautiful that things can just exist and happen and not need a reason. To me the idea that galaxies and the rings of Saturn are the product of physics and not shaping by a god, it makes it so much more beautiful and inspiring.
        http://science.memebase.com/2012/07/16/funny-science-news-experiments-memes-nope-not-enough/ Like this sums up what you're still left with without a god.
        Also if this is part of a plan, god is either incompetent or evil.
        • Jul 18 2012: STEWAR srry but i finish my speech ,, have fun with your belives
          i tell you i know each word you told me and each word you will tell me ,, i read all of this sources which consider no god ,, but finally elhamdoullah iam muslim girl and love allah
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    Jul 22 2012: Religion cannot be science and science cannot be a religion. The reason is that religion is a belief system.

    Science is NOT a belief system. Science is a process. In this process people engage in experimentation and organize that data for scrutiny, teaching, and reference. That is why science changes with continuing experiments. Scientists do not all agree with each other and do not all study the same thing. Science has completely and radically over and over again.

    Religion is an institution that continues traditional beliefs. People are taught a belief system, complete with morals, communal activities, and creation stories. Religion helps people form community, cope with loss, and find meaning in their lives.

    Science does not even attempt to address many of the concerns of religion, since not all values are the subject of experimentation.
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    Jun 28 2012: Abdelhakim, Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explainations and predictions thus the scientific method:
    1. Ask and define the question.
    2. Gather information and resources through observations.
    3. Form a hypotesis.
    4. Perform one or more experments collect and sort data.
    5. Analyze data.
    6. Interpert the data and make conclusions that point to a hypothesis.
    7. Formulate a "final" or "finished" hypothesis.

    I beleive religion to be faith based. The bible is a collection of books that were writen by men under the inspiration of God. The Bible as we know it was collated by Constantine the Great a roman emperor. The Pope has declared the Volgate as the infallable Bible. I discount that as it is Arian because it renounces the Diety of Christ.

    Through these statements of both science and religion you can see the proof required in science and the faith required in the Bible for belief. Because of the history of the changes made to original text to arrive where we are today The Bible remains contraversal even to leaders of major faiths.

    So my answer to you is that by defination and documented history the answer is no religion is not a science and cannot be.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Jul 5 2012: Thank you all for your interest in my invitation, I initiated a debate by creating an axiom,

    (if I draw a square and I colored with a color, and after, I draw a circle in the square, and also I colored by a different color. in the circle, there are two color, we know one of the two "the second " because it is the same nature as ours, and we cannot for the first).

    In the real case, the second world,

    Where: we can build all the things on a time basis, because all things need time, and time is a consequence of movement of the quantity of matter and energy, which are two face of the same origin;
    Where: we have reached the two heights in physics, relativistic and quantum, and also, group all human knowledge: the physical sciences and natural sciences as proven knowledge and fixed (except the theoretical limits).
    Other knowledge that are called the humanities, and social and political .....; are always topics of "debate" because they are related in humans, and it is strongly related with the "other" by his "spirit", which we cannot define it, until now. And this "sciences" stay part of the "philosophy".

    And for "other" we can only see these consequences, and so we can feel it.

    The "other" for our universe is obligatory mentally, and if not proven not mean that there is not, we talk not about its existence because we do not yet have sufficient knowledge for our universe. "The most important theory, which affects this point is (big bang) theory:

    The dark matter is the only thing that we transmit the image, light and sound, if the great explosion at the beginning, is an explosion from a state of great pressure, and the explosion is still moving, implies that we must find a difference in the concentration of dark matter, and then, and in all transferred things, and this change shows the position of center of explosion "starting point" relative to our planet. if you do not find this difference, then we say that our universe draws from the "other"! "".
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    Jul 5 2012: ..... This is an example to say that the knowledge we have no proved, they are only theories.

    This discussion is philosophical, yes, but the philosophy is the beginning of all our knowledge, this is a "discussion" before placing the subject in its box, is not science and not after.

    Laics and the atheists has Decide to close this door and follow the science only, but they could not fail to define the meaning of the spirit "they say that the spirit is a mixture of the reaction between the chemical elements, and the body Physic !“. And if there is scientific basis for religion, and religion becomes a science, atheists become practitioners in a scientific way,

    Who argue it's opinion by "Bible, Buddhism ......" and other see social and philosophical,
    I invite you to a new scientific axiom, contains bases, involvement and conclusions, which criticizes these ancient examples. I invite you not to adopt them
    thank you :)
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      Jul 7 2012: Saying atheists close the door is a blanket statement.

      Some might believe in spirit, alien abductions, telepathy, astrology, just not in gods.

      I'm an atheist, but open to any reasonable evidence. The door is not closed but none of the conflicting god and goddess views offers anything that distinguishes them from each other and what seems to be man made from what I can tell.

      If there were gods or goddesses you'd think there would be some decent evidence of their existence.
      • Jul 9 2012: please think why your eyes are on your face, why?
        they could be on your shoulders, couldn't they? go in front of a mirror and look at yourself then imagine yourself like that ; your nose is on your head's back and your eyes on your stomach... horrible! isn't it? and think how can you eat a meal like that? firstly stand up , see the meal , take it, bring your head's back and smell then eat.. when you imagine this , open your eyes and look at the mirror, say 'how a handsome man' !! dont leave from mirror, watch yourself and analyse till find out there is a god..
        or think about the impeccable neatness of nature
        or think about you have lung but the air wasn't created
        or you can find examples to find out the facts
        if i couldn't help you , try these books. "risale-i nur" = " books of lights"
        i read some of it and i am still reading. it includes a reasonable answer for any question.
        and this book is the unique one on the earth. so many people from different countries are reading these books and finding reasonable answers even some people stop their all works and learn its language to read from orginal book.
        just an advice; be patient (it is about 5000 page and diffcult to understand) , and never give up till find the god. if you wish i will try to find someone from austuralia who is able to explain these book to you.
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          Jul 11 2012: Hello Ömer,

          I can already see here you have made up your mind towards god, that's ok, but your examples does not prove his existence at all.

          Well isn't it amazing that in a cat's fur the holes for her eyes are exactly there were her eyes are? No, it is not amazing at all, because if they weren't the cat could not see and therefore would not have survived in nature, because she could not find the mice.

          What is proove to your god for you is evolution to me.

          So if there were an advantage, or at least no disadvantage, in having our nose on the back of our heads, you would not even be able to find it strange, because you were born this way like all other humans and you would like your mirror image just as much as you do today. Imagine that!

          Nature is neither impeccable nor neatness. It flows within a constant change of changes and will vanish one day from this planet due to the death of our sun to merge into the constant increase of entropy.

          If there was no air to breath no lung would have ever existed in nature.

          To me these are no facts for the existence of any god. Sorry. And if these books are making you to believe that, you may consider to read other authors as well, especially those who published on evolution.
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          Jul 11 2012: I would agree with Jan-Bernd, you need to read some scientific literature, did you know that evolution explains most of what you described. And modern physics explains the universe incredibly well with even more incredible feats of maths. And nature really isn't that neat, just think of the amount of still born or mutated babies born every day, the natural disasters, 2/3 of our planet is inhospitable to life and space itself is no friend to life.
          Air came before the lung, in fact "free" oxygen didn't exist on earth until small cyanobacteria existed. If you want to find inspiration in the world I highly recommend you read Neil DeGrasse Tyson's work, it's all about how every atom in our body was cooked in the furnaces of stars and it truly is wonderful. As for evolution I'd maybe start with someone who isn't Richard Dawkins, as you may not like the quips dotted throughout his books.
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          Jul 12 2012: Hi Omar,

          It would be better if the passage for food was separate from the passage for air.

          It would be better if our eyesight wasn't so imperfect.

          We obviously don't need an appendix any more.

          Not sure why the giraffe has a nerve that goes down their neck and around their heart and back up to where it needs to be. The marine creatures we evolved from didn't have long necks.

          Ever seen a platypus?

          Where else would you expect our eyes to be if we evolved from animals with eyes on their heads?

          Ever consider the tree of life with all the evolutionary similarities between humans and Apes, then with mammals, then with vertebrates?

          Ever think about all the viruses and bacteria, the brutal survival of the fittest for all species. Wasps laying eggs on living paralysed catapillers for their young to eat. All animals eat other life-forms to survive.

          That 99% of species are extinct. We break so easily, get sick, age and die. Lovely isn't it.

          Ever think how many animals would kill us or eat us, how much of the Earth is inhospitable to humans, that 99.999999999% of the universe would kill us instantly. Wasteful from creationism perspective if humans are the centre of the universe.

          I suggest it is much more reasonable that life evolved to survive in our little corner of the universe, rather than the universe was created for humans. Suggest you have it all backwards.

          Our ancestors were the survivors, those best adapted to survive. We owe it them and ourselves to use our evolved brain to think critically and not ignore the evidence that conflicts with old or new religious teachings.

          I won't bother to point out issues with the Koran, even ignoring the pagan bits.
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    Jul 4 2012: Science is based on:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum_Organum, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discourse_on_the_Method

    I suggest you read them and then draw your own conclusions.
  • Jun 29 2012: It is not human nature. God, I wish people would wake up from that long held lie.
    In all the world, and for all time, what we have seen and what we see, is a perversion of our nature because so many are not getting their needs met, and thus act in ways not true to who we really are. But holding on to this belief, and continuing to perpetrate such an unjust, false, perverse lie upon our beautiful humanness, is an abnormal and deviant act, that borders on evil.

    Let go of all, old ideas absolutely. They have all been lies.
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    Jun 29 2012: You can make anything into a science: religion, economics and politics. Elevating some discipline to that sacred status of science makes appear more serious.
  • Jun 28 2012: Some religion might b science, some might decide to make of science their religion, but correctly understood, religion cannot be science because it starts with beliefs and dogmas. religions claim to have The Answers[TM], while science is mostly methods for figuring out answers, and we have no option but to accept the answers as they are, as the evidence presents them. So, religion is brain-washing, science is brain stimulant.
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      Jun 29 2012: I do not rise to defend religion, but to challenge the perceived sanctity of Science. LSD, Crack, Heroin and bath salts are other examples of brain stimulants, so that is not a glowing recommendation for Science. People have been brainwashed throughout history by Science to "accept the answers as they are" . Accept Pluto as a planet; Piltdown Man as our ancestor; dinosaurs as ectotherms; Hubble's Constant as 30 +/-; Homunculous; Phlogiston; and, according to Stephen Hawking, God is no longer needed. The examples are plentiful. Brainwashing, like Truth, is where you find it. Religion is not sacred, nor is Science. Allow for Faith Gabo. Live long and prosper Amigo!
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        Jun 29 2012: You raise some interesting points Edward. Hope you don't mind me exploring these.

        Suggest science progresses and adjusts for new evidence. This is not a weakness if the purpose is to better understand the universe. To think otherwise is a very different to my understanding of science.

        Suggest the application of science, of our knowledge via technology is up to us. Technology can be a two edged sword. But glad to have electricity, anaesthetic, clean drinking water, soap, most modern medicine etc. Could do with out the WMD, but ever since our ancestors picked up a stick or made a bow we've directed the pointy end for and against other humans.

        Is that the fault of science, a process, or the humans who develop and use the technology? I guess one alternative is to ban technological development. Might work small scale e.g. Amish, but unlikely everyone will want to stand still.

        I guess people can be dogmatic on any subject, including aspects of science, but the process of science aims to improve our understanding.
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          Jun 29 2012: Your exploration has yielded good points all, Obey, and I dispute none of them. I do not wish to denigrate Science, only to humanize it. Often Science is put forth as sacrosanct, particularly in the ubiquitous "Science vs. Religion" debate. Pure Science conducted according to the Scientific Method is one of Man's most important inventions and deserves credit for all but the serendipitous discoveries throughout its history. When the former Lucasian professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University Stephen Hawking proclaims there is no longer a need for God he takes Science from its proper natural realm into the supernatural. I think putting Science forth as The Truth is an obstacle to spiritual enlightenment and that is why I cited some of the past errors of Science, to illustrate its vulnerability to human error. Long live Science!
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        Jun 29 2012: I'm an atheist and I have to admit a little cringe when I first read Hawking's quote.

        I suggest the problem with science, is mostly people. "Everything is politics" comes to mind. And that "politics is the systematic organisation of hatred (or agendas)" .

        There are agendas and egos and personalities, but agree it is one of our best inventions.

        In a way a big problem with religion is also people. If there is truth in religion then "religious" people do a great job of disguising it. Bad things done in a gods name by humans does not necessarily automatically go to the nature or existence of a god. It often goes to the nature of us.

        I guess we can not expect a straight bat (cricket term) or being free from bias all the time or even avoiding the occasional result of mental indigestion knowing we are all human. This includes the geniuses in wheel chairs who have given so much to science and humanity. Have a good night or day.
      • Jun 29 2012: Hi Edward,

        Not a single one of those things you said are true. I was taught to be skeptical of the paradigms themselves when I was a scientist in training (I think we remain scientists in training for life, but that's another story). I have not been taught to have absolute certainty of any of the past or current paradigms, I was taught that sometimes we put them there as models that allow us to keep working and making progress, but if the models break, they break, and we have to follow the evidence. I was not taught to accept that pluto was a planet by brainwashing. I was taught that pluto was a planet, period. If we understood what planets were, and given the information available, this seemed all right. With more data, we figured that pluto was one of those thingies out there at the edges of the solar system. I understand, and have no problem with it not being a planet any more. So, your cartoon of science as brainwashing is misinformed.

        To me science is sacrosanct, but not as infallible, but as the most honest way towards knowledge, even if such knowledge is partial, or even ephemeral. Thus, I respect the evidence, and follow it even when it shows me to be wrong (which has happened many more times than I have been right).

        So, clearly distinct from religion.

        Best my friend!
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          Jun 29 2012: We are practically in agreement. I would sooner trust Science to explain the Universe than I would trust religion. A gap develops between us when you say Science is very sacred, holy, or inviolable, aka sacrosanct. It is not. I am convinced that Absolute Truth resides with God alone. You introduced the term "brainwashing" and applied it to religion only. My understanding of brainwashing is that it is an intentional effort to convice others to embrace one thing as truth and/or to reject another as false without actually knowing the whole truth. I say people of Science do that all the time. They represent theory as fact and they tell us laymen to embrace their theory as truth. That is why I cited those examples. Carry on Gabo!
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          Jun 30 2012: Hi Gabo,

          I guess there are a range people working in scientific fields with different views, training, backgrounds, objectives and possibly approaches to science. Probably a few bad eggs, or maybe part of the issue is the battle of ideas. The debate on climate change is a classic which shows how all sorts of issues.

          But the scientific method is one of our best inventions.

          Perhaps it is those outside of science who are most likely to distort or misinterpret science.
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      Jun 29 2012: I would disagree, towards your point of religion having dogmas and beliefs while science does not... That is not completely true. Scientific communities are only able to strive and create fact by having premeditated paradigms (anticipate beliefs based on fact) in which they have to ritually (due to communal norms) follow in order to continue or create reusable data. What psychologist have to do to create new facts is not the same as a particle physicist - thus - they both have different belief of practicing science in order to further pursue the understanding of their category of nature. Now this isn't religious, but it has many qualities of being just that in a more academic sense of culture rather than organized religion. And religions still do this today (evolve based on what is needed to adapt and survive), hence why there are so many subbranches in existence today.

      Also, these terms (religion and science) are just so vastly different; I mean belief systems are primary to cognitively responding to the world and the process of interpreting nature is secondary to those belief systems (i.e. math, history, humanities, sociology, etc are tools towards understanding nature). To make science a primary is in a sense being religious too, well, the neo-atheistic trend is quickly becoming a new age religion.
      • Jun 29 2012: Hey Nicholas,

        It is often hard to put ideas well into words, worse if we have limited space or time. Anyway, you seem to be making a gross equivocation. I was referring to "belief" in the religious sense, believing in a god without having any way for verifying such a god is the kind of beliefs I referred to. Working paradigms in science are not like that, and they can be discarded as more data show them to be inconsistent. I don't think that religions can suddenly change and say that their god is not there. However, as I clarified above, yes, people have "evolved" their religions. However, religions as per their usual connotations, are far from being comparable to science.

        Science is not a religion. Science is a method or series of methods for discovery. It is not a religion. While I accept scientific discoveries, I am well aware that the models, paradigms, and such might be wrong. But the wrongness is not of the same nature as being wrong about which gods or religions have it right (I strongly doubt any has it right, and the prevalent one around me is pure 100% certified nonsense).

        As for the gnu-atheists, you should not mistake science and atheism, they are different even if the proper understanding of the former might lead or inspire the latter. WIll strong atheism lead to something of a new-age religion? Maybe in some forms. But I doubt that this will apply to all atheists out there. AFter all, most have intellectual inclinations that should help them avoid the crap. The ones who fall for a semi-religious thing, well, they will be as summarily rejected by me as traditional religions.
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          Jun 29 2012: * I was referring to "belief" in the religious sense* That by standard definition is faith - knowledge beyond the 'known'.

          A belief is a thought with other thoughts that enhance or enforce the core thought or value. Beliefs are not just in religion; they are apart of the overall huma n psyche to conform or not conform to other beliefs, thoughts, values, ethics, etc. All apart of beliefs systems; philosophical, religious and in the general nature of thinking.

          Oh, so science is more adaptable to change? Interesting, because I recall reading about Lisi and his theory of everything in physics... how it gets disregarded by the community constantly because of how much it would destroy current paradigms that multiple normal sciences are developing off of... No one has proven him wrong, but since he isn't right, his theory is unaccepted. Sounds like 'science' does not change that easily.. Rather is changes by how the culture and communities allow it to change.

          How science can be practiced can be done so in a religious manner. Rituals, doctrines, history, traditions, protocols, etc. Just not as 'extreme; in the sense of overall metaphysical interpretations of nature. SIMILAR but not completely the same.

          I'm sorry but I am assured that on every 'atheist' based website, the word "science" will be abused and used out of context. In today's culture, the words go hand in hand due to the neo-atheist trend developing. It's an obvious irrational development due to group thought ... fascinating because those who are skeptic and logical - fall into the same patterns of human thinking as those classically in religious movements.
      • Jun 30 2012: Hello again Nicholas,

        Seems rather hard to get you to understand what I said. Though I think you try not to understand as a defence of religion by downgrading everything into beliefs to make them appear equal. Religions are about beliefs in the sense of unverifiable, to be taken by faith. Faith, I am sorry to say, is the antithesis of knowledge.

        Yes, science is adaptable to change. Otherwise we would not see the incredible progress that we actually see. I have witnessed older paradigms from shifted to demolished. That would not have happened if science was what you pretend it to be. However, it is silly to expect that a new proposition, one that might demolish many paradigms, will be just accepted with a shrug. Something with that much potential has to be tested and retested. Why would we accept a new paradigm before we have had the time and evidences to hold it against enormous triumphs of previous paradigms? That would be plainly stupid. Do you really think that it should be a matter of proposing a new paradigm and have the whole scientific community convinced next day? What if the new proposition worked for the examples used by the proposers, but failed once put against other problems? I have seen many proposed paradigms fail miserably despite looking quite convincing the first time they were presented. What exactly would be wrong with that?

        I have not seen a single atheist web site abusing and taking science out of context. Religious web sites, hard to find one that does not abuse and take science out of context. Even then, science and atheism are not the same. I said and repeat: that proper understanding of the former might lead to the latter does not make them one and the same. Can atheists be illogical and dogmatic? I already said yes. Can scientists? Yes again. So what? That does not make religion anything like science, not vice versa. Just look at the fundamentals. Religion claims knowledge it does not have. Science pursues knowledge.
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          Jun 30 2012: Ohhhh so when a Taoist suggest Qi (all is change) is a metaphysical reality, that is a belief with no foundation? When Hindu's suggest body energy from 7 major parts of the body, including stomach, which today all founded to be the most charged parts of our body, interestingly the feet... When a Buddhist suggest meditation will super charge the brain... Being proven by cognitive scientist.. just a belief? Sounds elitist. Christian theologians suggesting Jesus was reiterating 'the kingdom of heaven' as Buddha himself taught it..

          I never said science does not shift I am saying what it takes to be shifted often proves religious... It has to be done so without a shadow of a doubt - by cultural standards, not some textbook standards.

          "Why would we accept a new paradigm before we have had the time and evidences to hold it against enormous triumphs of previous paradigms?"

          This is the aggro-attitude that permits faulty science... While you believe this, this is situational for certain communities in science. What pushes science is economics, money. What should be done is to not reject new paradigms but rather keep them shelved when we hit walls with current ones. My science is psychology and that is exactly the case - just crappy science being done because the paradigm is out of whack, without looking into the new developing paradigms (and by new I mean 40 year old paradigms... Guilford, Gardner).

          - Would you like a list of atheist websites that suggest science is the new God w/ indirect context? That science is doubt and doubt is power... I am referring to the actual word 'science' and not scientific data. No data can prove atheism correct as theism..

          Science claims knowledge ALL THE TIME! And continues to pursue it. Another problem here is I let myself fall into the trap of over generalizing religion, which is foolish. Overstating the word religion is just another new age atheistic fashion..

          my point was scientific research is religious-like and it's true.
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          Jul 1 2012: Nicholas,

          Just because Buddhists make an observation or claim about meditation that aligns in a way with a scientific understanding, This does not validate all the supernatural claims or religion a science and vice versa.

          Not all beliefs or knowledge is based on science or religion.Some might be backed up by science at some stage.

          God, Religion etc are "big words" with many connotations.
          He studied religiously does not mean studying is actually a religious activity

          From my perspective you have a very broad view of what a religion is and what is religious in nature. A meeting of socialists is not a religious meeting. The transmission and sharing of ideas is not necessarily religious unless it is about religion.

          I actually stretch religion further than many to include Buddhism. It has a supernatural element, and moral doctrines, and describes the meaning and purpose of life but no deity is central generally.

          I think it is still a stretch to include science as a religion. Just like I would not call engineering or biology a religion. These are about understanding what is, and any meaning that might follow depends on the individual and is not determined by the science.

          Happy to disagree with you on this.
      • Jun 30 2012: Nicholas,

        So you think that new-agie horoscope-like reinterpretations forced into pseudo-sciencey sounding bits are valid? And you are a psychologist? How could you then be so ignorant of how easily people can interpret obscure religious mantras and such stuff into whatever they like so that it sounds appropriate?

        That religions might incorporate common observations, such as constant change, into their overall stuff, does not mean that the supernatural stuff incorporated is verifiable. Energy from seven major parts of the body? What are you talking about? All the energy we have comes from our food. Meditation helps, and there's plenty of other such things. But that does not need any of the accompanying mumbo-jumbo. Peoples have put some of their traditional knowledge into their religions. That still does not make religions scientific. I loved this one: "Christian theologians suggesting Jesus was reiterating 'the kingdom of heaven' as Buddha himself taught it." Sure, that was very scientific. how could I have missed it.

        Science has advanced and changed because that is how it is built as a method. I never said anything about textbooks versus culture. I do not see how being skeptical of proposed paradigms is wrong. I would suspect anybody who, like yourself, thinks that new paradigms should be readily accepted without any testing. If they fail the tests, they should be rejected. For as long as they provide insights, then they can become more and more acceptable until they supersede the previous ones. hat's the way it should be and that's the way it is. Sure, sometimes practitioners will resist beyond the reasonable. That still does not mean that science is religion-like. It means people can be religious-like about most everything. Yet, the fundamentals which you refuse to acknowledge, are still very different for religions and for science.

        That's it from me here. You don't seem to read for comprehension and, thus, we are just talking in circles.
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          Jun 30 2012: Again overstating words like religion proves you know nothing of the historic measures each individual religion has brought to the world in creating foundations for scientific observation and celestial knowledge all together. Then to disregard the anthropology, history, philosophies in various and unique cultures and their belief systems created while/from interpreting the universe. The problem here lays in many dimensions; one being that because there was no 'precision' data being produced then, you are unsatisfied with these ancient paradigms, which is just careless thinking. Another is the historic factor; thousands of years went into some of the interpretations of the universe including astrology, meditation, energy theories, and much more. To disregard due to our empirical data not lining up? Sounds elitist. After hundreds of generations of enhancing their studies of the universe, I am sure, that they have had a lot of success at being correct or bear accurate to their questions; meditation, yoga, acupuncture, tea therapy, and other holistic medicines/practices. The number of Asian people (2/7 of the world in China and India alone) compared the rest of the world, speak for itself on how successful these practices have been you are disregarding so easily and blindly due to their religious heritage.

          You're not recognizing that science is entirely based on culture and are assuming it is without faults and being wrong. "Yes, science does not hold a grudge" Well people do! People are mad as all hell they been wrong for 40 years about something they were studying.. It must suck! Don't think they are looking to be wrong ever, but looking to be more right! That sounds a lot like humanity! Science is not outside of that!

          Science is performed by man, man has religious-like natures. Science is a construction of man, thus that construction can must have characteristics of being religious. Especially if you want to start talking about groupthinking again, which I do!
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          Jul 1 2012: Nicholas, you obviously want to debase science or elevate religion by equating the two.

          Won't work,

          Surely you can see the error of you argument.
          Dogs have four legs
          Cats have four legs
          So all cats are dogs
          We learnt this at high school.
          Just because they are mammals (human constructs) does not make them the same.

          RE: Science is performed by man, man has religious-like natures. Science is a construction of man, thus that construction can must have characteristics of being religious.

          This is such an obvious fallacious statement.

          Politics is performed by man, man has religious-like natures. Politics is a construction of man, thus that construction can must have characteristics of being religious.

          Music is performed by man, man has religious-like natures. Music is a construction of man, thus that construction can must have characteristics of being religious.

          Do you even believe what you are writing? Or just playing with the atheists.

          You're basically saying people are religious so anything they do might be relgious.

          You're basically saying the similarities between science and religion make science a religion. These similarities include the involvement of people, the development and transfer of ideas/information.

          It's kind of like say a supporters of a sports team are a religion because they get together, ritualistic behaviour, transcendent experiences or whatever else overlaps to suit your argument.

          We often say followers of some sports teams are religious, but that doesn't make it a religion unless you have a very broad definition of religion.

          Having some similarities with the human construct of religion does not make other constructs automatically a religion.
      • Jul 1 2012: Nicholas,

        As I said, you are reading into my words what you want them to mean rather than what I intended. I never said that I was "unsatisfied." I very clearly said that old peoples poured everything they had into their religions, and thus accepted that they would have some wisdom mixed with the rest of the mumbo-jumbo. That cultures through the ages had some insights, even if imprecise, even if whatever, given the times and what they had at their disposal both culturally and historically, can be amazing. That still does not make religions into science. Got that now? There are fundamental differences. Religions today are not a place where peoples pour their whole cultural heritage, including their wisdom. Religions today are mostly the mumbo-jumbo. Your new-age inclinations are a new form of religion. One quite immune to criticism because it adapts and reinterprets al gusto, not because it has it right. You happily ignore the stupidity poured into religions along with the wisdom of whatever epochs. Fine if that makes you happy. That still won't make religions into science. And again, I readily admitted that people have inclinations and that people could have irrational-religious-like behaviours in science. But science at its foundation has correction mechanisms, and it's foundation are distinct from religion. Got it now? That science is one more of our constructions does not make it religious in nature. Does not make it religious at its foundation. Have you studied science at all other than claiming to be a psychologist?

        Now I truly leave you alone so that you can reinterpret what I said to your liking. You have demonstrated, again, that this conversation will not go anywhere.
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          Jul 1 2012: Oh how I love semantics!

          The denial of the reality of what religious communities have provided science is on your side of the table Gabo. I'm sure you being a certified secular theologian has taught you much about the rich history religious practitioners have left the world...

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion - I find that my interpretation of religion holds true to more definitions also!

          The scientific system, lol, has no correction mechanisms - what it has is a culture-like (not cultural) attitude that denotes whether to accept or deny research... Money can alter science and create corruption ... People in the communities who want to keep the academic limelight in their favor will manipulate for just that.. To think our methods of science is untouchable is an interestingly new topic (remember you only are arguing for Western science..), but that is just not the case.

          I said my science is psychology, by which I enjoy and research that subject extensively, I would appreciate you not assume further than what was said by me. And like I said a hand full of times now... All categories of science do not follow the same culturally established rules... Atoms and the human brain... work differently! The nature around them require different paradigms.

          Your intentions is too over generalize and to have a winner and a loser here. My intentions is to broaden the grounds for argument and shed light on how human nature tends to make the majority of our constructs have religious qualities.

          Science is performed by man, man has religious-like natures. Science is a construction of man, thus that construction can and must have characteristics of being religious.

          Granted... Scientific communities are not a religious organization - not my point. The point is they still act similar. My original point* neo-atheism proves science will be taken into religious terms, into a foundation for a formal religion. Which isn't original, but an extreme case.
      • Jul 1 2012: Well, for someone who loves semantics you seem ready and happy to misapply it. But I will let you figure it out all by yourself. As I said, this is going in circles, so no need for me to answer your [repeated] gross mischaracterizations of what I said and hold, and your use and abuse of semantics. All I should do is direct you to the answers I already provided and ask you to read them now for comprehension.

        (By the way, you broke my ironymeter when you said: "I would appreciate you not assume further than what was said by me.")
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          Jul 1 2012: Your answers are cited in the atheist handbook... I can read middle school literature anytime...

          Irony meter met! Considering you grossly misuse the word religion to satisfy fictitious arguments - then dictate my poor use of semantics - although evidently my usage of religion satisfies more definitions.... Then while I use etymological search engines in order to defend my positions in broader positions (ex: belief systems), you simply call it mumbo jumbo (very scholarly).. It gets messy when the other has their fundamental beliefs established..
      • Jul 2 2012: Nicholas, What are you even saying? Science has a human relationship to religion? I guess in some way that is true. But to claim that religion and science are even remotely analogous is ridiculous. One is purely subjective the other isn't, or at least less influenced by subjectivity. Your claims about holistic medications are nothing more than placebo, which happens to be very effective as you should know.
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          Jul 2 2012: Oh my...

          One is subjective? Try both are... All individual perspectives are subjective, what creates the objective are group-community-culture of scientist/researchers/philosophers working together. The majority rules! That is the truth! No matter the field of study or the systems of belief people are prone to following the majority - that is groupthinking, that is an ample part of my argument. One in which no one has directly refuted. I cannot completely say they are equal, nor has that ever been one of my positions. Rather, when looked at as groups of people, their actions prove far similar than people would care to admit. Religious quality of attitude are innate in us all. The desire to create systems of beliefs is apart of our psyche; easily able to supervene on every other thought we have and create.

          Example of groupthinking: You cannot generalize religion (any decent theologian would stop talking to you if you did), too many are too different. Yet, it has happened constantly on this conversation and many others I been apart of, why? I find it to have been a cultural norm (a meme - to be lame about it) that allowed such! A new fashion of speaking due to a few writers and thinkers - then had evolved into a subculture of atheist - neoatheist.

          ... Holistic medicines are a placebo effect... Right... Hence why there are more Asian than any other race of human... Their population grew massively due to the placebo effect, yes, that seems logical.
      • Jul 2 2012: The majority rules? Science teaches critical thinking, not blind submission. Your using a sociological term to describe the relationship to science and religion. There is no hierarchy, there are different fields of study where nobody is considered to be the leader. I still do not understand the point your making, are you trying to show people who follow science, that because were human, it is of course fallible? I would hope anybody with an ounce of historical and scientific understanding would know this to be true. This is why you see theories shift and change.

        Religion claims absolute truth with nothing more than introspection. Science demonstrates truth through study and empirical evidence. Science demands a testable hypothesis or its still considered theory. Where in religion do you find this?

        Of course there both subjective, as i already stated, but religion relies soley on the subjective experience to explain the world, there is no study of the object. Religion is metaphysical by nature. Religion creates a feel good perception of the world and that is true of every religion I have ever heard of.

        There are a multitude of complicated reasons behind the size of the Asian population, holistic medicine is nothing more than a mere corollary.

        Religious quality is in all of us? Again your using weakly defined sociological terms to describe something far more complex. By your definition, religious would then mean anybody who identifies with a specific train of thought.
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          Jul 3 2012: Please stop forgetting science is an enterprise of communities and not just a philosophical ideology....

          Plenty of hierarchy... just in the form of groups (communities) and not individuals. Groups can easily be the leading researchers, and the rest of those groups/individuals in that field has to take a paradigm from them in order to be recognized and accepted.

          It takes decades for paradigm shifts! DECADES! Theory shifting.. Not as common as one might think at all - takes a lot, a lot of effort by men who believe in the shift... To fight against hardheaded academics who do not want to be proven wrong from the shift.

          Anyone can overgeneralize all religion and believe they are making logical discourses by doing such, but it is (as I been arguing here a lot) fallacious. The question is "can religion be a science" and my overall theme has been they are a lot more similar than we care to think about. Not that they are equal, that was never claimed by me - rather due to flawed interpretation, when you think I disagree with one point, you think I disagree with it all.

          Well what religion studies the world solely on the subjective? I am assured that Buddhism and Hinduism does not make a field good perspective of the world... lol Read more about religion before making outstanding claims.

          "There are a multitude of complicated reasons behind the size of the Asian population" By all means prove it was not their philosophy and science of medicine and traditions of all three... You will come back to religion guiding the hand, have fun.

          No, by my definition anyone who fundamentally follows a train of thought and will not suggest they are wrong/incomplete is religious. Yes, that can be said about a lot of situations and people. However looking at how science is performed... How strong headed some are to not wanting paradigm and theory changes. Looks entirely religious, because they have been practicing those ideas for their lives... to want to be wrong? No way.
      • Jul 3 2012: So your argument is that because people don't want to be wrong they don't accept paradigm shifts? You don't think it has anything to do with proof?

        Can science be religion, well based on your broad definitions of religion, then any group can be religion so Im not grasping the levity of your claim, it seems obvious.

        The statement you make about following a train of thought is ridiculous. Based on what your saying, if anybody on here claims science isn't a religion and disagrees with the point you make about their supposed relationship, then by definition they would be religious because they are not willing to admit they are wrong. You don't see how flawed that is?

        On another note, as I have seen you claim your going to be a psychologist, or already are one, would you treat a schizophrenic patient with holistic medicines? Would you treat a bipolar patient with spirituality?
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          Jul 3 2012: The desire to not want to be wrong makes paradigm shifts almost impossible to see in the public eye. Researchers have to be proven without a shadow of a doubt this new paradigm can allow more in-depth interpretations of the nature they are studying, even then all researchers may not accept the new paradigm... Proof of what? The this phenomena is similar to that one? But we have no theory for THAT one... So let's disregard THAT one and keep building off of THIS one... Is more or less how it works than just finding evidence to change. Change is not always good to people! Means they have to be re-educated.

          I don't believe by my definition ANY group is religious... That is taking my argument too far for your own purposes of debate. I am simply talking about scientific communities (those groups) not all groups. Although, yes, all groups can appear religious-like if viewed at psychologically when they allow their beliefs to create irrational and bias conclusions - like self labelled atheist.

          - No based on my point of "train of thoughts" anyone that cannot see the parallels between religious organizations and scientific communities are in fact being fundamental - nothing to do with religion but belief systems in general. It is denying the major fact that group consensus is a strong part of our acceptance in thinking within the groups we allow ourselves to be apart of...

          And not by 'definition' but MY argument it would suggestive of that, but not entirely. If at any point you, Obey, or Gabo could see where I am coming from, then you would not be fundamental about science not equaling religion in ANYWAY. But it seems due to atheistic educations - these words have a lot of taboo that are not allowing you to see the parallels between the two.

          These question are misdirecting from you not being able to prove your own arguments. As you suggested holistic medicine has no reason behind the mass number of Asians compared to non-Asian.. Nice try though.
      • Jul 3 2012: Nicholas, this is really going nowhere...

        If you look at my responses among others they all say there is the potential for science to turn into a religion just as any group. If you want to say that science has a following and dictates sects of public opinion Id be fine with that. But to say that the people who wrote the very terms you have been citing are not aware of the effects of groupthink, or the difficulty of paradigm change is very presumptuous. Science is not a religion, science founded itself on the questioning of existing theories.

        Do you really think holistic medication is the cause of the asian population? I said it was mere corollary. You said nothing to refute this.

        If you are really in the process of becoming a psychologist and your treatment plan included holistic medicines for a deeply disturbed patient how do you think that would turn out?
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          Jul 3 2012: What terms am I citing exactly? Science, religion, holistic medicine, paradigm, scientific community? Or terms of argument? I'm sorry but your argument has turned to mush. How I use these terms, I have established my own basis for using them and never referenced any particular scholar or researcher, although Kuhn is in the back of my mind here.

          And no, in the majority of even scientist are still only today figuring out the nature of groupthinking theory, because technically it is a theory (as is gravity), because we do not know all the angles of such phenomena.

          Science... is an evolutionary term (look at the etymology and you may learn a lot!), and has pretty much always involved culture, society, community, and among those groups create empirical facts. Science didn't find 'itself' - people following traditions, academic requirements for discovering natural phenomena, and overall the ideal of consensual data WHICH THEN creates empirical facts is science... Again, not saying ALL of this is religious-like, but parts can be paralleled - especially in theology.

          Do you really think holistic medication is the cause of the asian population? I said it was mere corollary. You said nothing to refute this.**

          Well first there was no evidence presented by how it is contrary. Not even an argument,r rather you just stated a conclusion it is not the reasoning. A few clicks on the internet can teach you a lot about how their traditions in medicine and philosophy has allowed Asia to be so large.. I'll start you off with doctors today advocating the usage!


          If you are really in the process of becoming a psychologist and your treatment plan included holistic medicines for a deeply disturbed patient how do you think that would turn out? **

          Well this just proves you are ill-educated on both psychology and holistic medicines and woudl rather enjoy making strong conclusions based on ignorance...
      • Jul 4 2012: Again this is going absolutely nowhere ...

        What are you saying man? This really doesn't make any sense and you know it doesn't. You ask me questions and answer them a paragraph down. Yes, groupthink is still being studied what does that have to do with how your using it? Your playing with words, I never said science created itself, i said science was founded on dissent and critical thought.

        You don't think sociologists have thought of the argument your making and obviously came to the conclusion that science isn't a religion?

        You made the claim that the size of the asian population was related to holistic medicine and offered no evidence to support this. You then send me a website, that by most elementary schools, would be considered an illegitimate source. How does this have any relationship to what your saying?

        "well this just proves your ill educated on both psychology and holistic medicines" In what possible way does this show that I'm ill educated about these topics? Your making an assertion that has no meaning or evidence behind it and this is something you have previously chastised me for. You don't even attempt to write a meaningful response to my question. You don't see the obvious contradictions in your statements? I have to ask are you getting off on this? Do you even know what your writing?




        If my argument is mush then I don't know what that makes yours.
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          Jul 4 2012: **Yes, groupthink is still being studied what does that have to do with how your using it?
          ***But to say that the people who wrote the very terms you have been citing are not aware of the effects of groupthink

          Which is it? How did the people who I am supposedly taking from be able to be aware fully of a theory that is not only (in terms of science) new but exist in a soft science like psychology?

          I been using G.T. as the central claim towards my argument scientific communities and religious organizations can have parallels... Which has not been refuted, still.

          "Science founded itself" I said found, past tense, NOT create - new word.

          Again never said science = religion, not once... they have similarities in how they are cultured and communally function.

          **"well this just proves your ill educated on both psychology and holistic medicines" In what possible way does this show that I'm ill educated about these topics?**

          What is the mental disorder? Depending on which one, depends on how I would be able to or not to go about the procedure holistically. Remember that a lot of disorder's are Western and some founded/coined by misdiagnosing others... What is the nature of the mental disorder; example being slow development or sudden? Family, personal and medical history. Please fill this out and I will give you a full answer... Asking me the results prior to the conditions, that's how I know...

          Note: I never said holistic medicine is better, but rather it made a population of a continent massive.

          1st and 3rd article talks about myth/debunking and medicine, listing none of the practices on the link I sent you - which are more apart of Asian practices than what those two had listed. 2nd is uber biased!

          Why Asia's population is so large? Oh a lot of reasons, but I stick with it being their practice of medicine inspired by their religions.. But also less war, more agriculture, and personally better philosophy comes from Asia.. Off topic at this point from original.
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          Jul 6 2012: I read this again.

          I think a fundamental break down in communication is we think human behaviour is human behaviour first and foremost, a lot of it is seen in religious and non religious contexts but is not inherently religious.

          We disagree that groupthink is religious no matter the context.

          I think we all agree that there are some human behaviour similarities in religion, science, sport, politics, and human groups. Perhaps more similarities with science and religion than religion and a chess club.

          I would even agree there may be a growing atheist belief centred community. While it may have some similarities with other loose communities and maybe even religion it is not religious, because we don't use Religious as an adjective for human behaviours that are seen in religion and other human groups.

          I think half the disagreement is just using "religious" as an adjective where we don't think it belongs.

          We object to you claiming basic human behaviours are always religious.
          We think NL has this back to front.

          Religions are not uniform, but to take out the supernatural claims and what is left?

          Also while there are some overlaps there is a world of difference between science and religion when you look at the centre of both, not the outliers.
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          Jul 6 2012: Nicholas,

          When you say Groupthink is relgious it sounds the same to us as saying singing is religious.

          There is singing in a religious context,
          There is groupthink in a religious context

          But singing and groupthink are not always religious.

          You use the adjective "Religious" in a very odd way to my ears.

          We sometimes say people study religiously, but this does not mean study is religious. Or groupthink is religious etc
      • Jul 4 2012: At this point I'm pretty well convinced that you either love to argue about absolutely nothing, or are getting a rise from this.

        Using holistic medicine may work as a cure for some very mild symptoms. Some of those techniques can be used to relive anxiety, increase focus, and clarity of thought. Trying to treat psychosis or anything even remotely resembling that would be completely futile. Some of the techniques may be used in a high end drug rehab, but where do you ever find that acupuncture can do anything with any personality disorder, or any seriously debilitating mental illness. If you don't know that then I'm astonished. These treatments are for short term mild symptom relief nothing more. If you can demonstrate otherwise please let me know.

        In regards to your repeated drivel pertaining to the original topic, you seem to not understand that by saying groupthink is still being studied and not well understood cuts your argument down in itself, thank you for debunking your own argument!

        Yes religion and science have parallels just as the PTA and the local state house have parallels, I won't disagree with you there.
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          Jul 4 2012: Again... fill out the criteria I asked for and we can continue that debate, otherwise nothing further needs to be discussed.
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    Jun 28 2012: Can religion be a science? The answer is no if you define the cultural phenomena of religion and the process science in most reasonable ways.

    Can people try to combine supernatural spiritual beliefs with a semi scientific understanding. Yes some do.

    Suggest science is leaving increasing small gaps for gods and goddesses and the supernatural, but that doesn't stop people believing in religion, astrology etc.

    I note most religions conflict with each other. So it is obviously not a particularly useful approach for understanding reality because it is based on subjective experiences and beliefs, and also where and when you were born.

    Better perhaps to follow the evidence and accept that we don't have all the answers rather than inject gods and goddesses to fill the bits you don't understand. Cultural religions and personal intuitive spiritual beliefs are not particularly useful if you are looking To truly understand life and the universe better.

    Science is predictable and repeatable. Religions conflict with each other and science.
  • Jun 28 2012: Not really sure about this.

    I think I understand what you're trying to say, but the fact of the matter is, religion is faith and science is knowledge. You can't try and fix science with religion as Stewart was saying by "filling the gaps". The two are very much different things, based on different beliefs. You could argue the phrase that 'Science is God' which I think would be a better statement for what you're trying to say.

    But for now, I have to respectfully disagree.
  • Jul 26 2012: Religion is to faith as alchemy is to science.
    Religion is an out of date human construction that merely attempts to serve the purpose of fulfilling human expression of faith.
    Alchemy is the out of date human construction that merely attempted to apply the human faculty of logic (ie: scientific method).
    Faith and logic are best asserted with balance and where one does not balance the two appropriately then the third incontrivertible human aspect is expressed: error

    The reason humans have better logic and have advanced scientifically/technologically is because it naturally followed from a changeable course informed from logic.
    The reason humans overall only VERY slowly have advanced with expression and use of faith is because it naturally followed from the unchangeable course prescribed by un-informable faith.

    Allow me to extend the question for myself: is philosophy an advanced faith tool?
    It seems to be the application of faith to logic whereas the scientific method is the application of logic to faith...or may be vice versa?
  • Jul 26 2012: Can a cat be a dog? or can "Chemistry" be "Physics"? or can "I" as a kid be the same "I" as adult?
    The issue revolves more about what is common or different between two apparently different objects. To say they are (or can be) the same or totally different is extreme.
  • Jul 24 2012: Dear Abdelhakim DAHMANI,

    Interesting question! And what a debate!
    Can religion be a science? Conversely, can science be a religion? It is obvious that religion and science are different, but if they are to merge in some way, then perhaps we should ask - What do they have in common?

    As far as we know, both subjects are unique to our species. Both involve thinking and acting according to certain principals set forth by older generations. Both attempt to help future generations understand and survive in this world.

    Perhaps a way of looking at the two subjects is in terms of yin and yang - each complements and defines the other, while never being in harmony with the other, either.
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      Jul 16 2012: Are you not supposed to be a second class citizen within your religion, or as a slave to your husband according to some translations. This isn't freedom to me.
  • MR T

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    Jul 7 2012: Science is very different from religion, it is a widely accepted process by which stuff is falsified and validated. Its foundation is empirical evidence and repeatable tests, it proposes to eliminate human bias to understand reality without prejudice.

    Religion is none of these things. It is a moral and cultural code dictated by beliefs and texts shared and written by believers.
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      Jul 16 2012: Dear Don Wesley;
      Thank you for your invitation, to your kind conversassion, and I am sorry for the delay, "I was in camp;)".
      I found your conversassion closed, but I like the scientific discussion, and also, I like the respect.
      your conversassion is interesting because,
      Since the birth of relativistic physics, and then, the quantum physics, science came to a discussion méthaphysique serious,
      when Einstein said "god does not play the dice" - for example - and when we say "the physics believe to metaphysical ";
      these examples of comments were launched after observations and theoretical constructs profound, on the subatomic structure,
      these theories are Lots of internal logic, and these applications. ever show the success of these theories.
      scientists of theoretical physics adopt bizarre philosophical tract to explain the observation as bizarre, because (in my opinion):
      the sciences, deepened, until where, a basic structure that links all things is found, a structure managed by a system unknown to science (atheists), until now, known to scientists and believers, as a presentation of the management of god;
      all physicists then, believe in a basic structure (odd and awesome) but, what is this structure?,
      the declaration, launched, is the religion of atheists, this particle does not exist, all definitions, theories, observations ..... , Never leads to a "particle" basis, but they led to a base material (such as water and ice), vibration base, even the "value" of higgs, does not prove the contrary.
      Mr. DON, yes,There is an afterlife in my belief system.
      thank you :)
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        Jul 17 2012: You must have an unusual definition of what a religion is as opposed to a world view.

        Atheists don't even have the same world view necessarily. Some may believe in ghosts and an afterlife and other supernatural stuff like astrology.

        Some Buddhists are also atheists because they don't have a belief in any gods or goddesses.

        Atheists don't necessarily have the same view on science and the material universe.

        You understanding of Atheism seems to be an oversimplified caricature.

        Suggest you may be assuming an interpretation on what Einstein meant when he said God doesn't play dice. Was it a metaphor? I doubt he was talking about the Muslim God. Perhaps some deist creator?

        Its a bit like assuming the God particle label actually has something to do with beliefs in gods and goddesses.
  • Jul 4 2012: I would question you the other way around: "Can science be a religion?"

    Religion and science are completely opposite way of looking to the world. One says, what you see is what you get, cause and consequence, logic, empirical studies and proofing. While the other today, pretty much looks like a fairy tale.

    Yes, there is a huge amount of questions for with science has and will possibly never have a reasonable explanation. And religion appears here, an explanation for the unknown, comfort for men, eternal life and so on.
  • Jul 3 2012: Similar to many others in this topic, I don't think it can really be considered a science. Science is based of empirical evidence. Religion is based on supernatural phenomena. They are really two different animals. Really though, the two don't conflict very much. Science can measure the validity of holy texts, but it really doesn't have the ability to measure the existence of religious phenomena such as God. Science can make very logical conclusions that explain life without the use of religion, but I don't think science can ever really prove or disprove the existence of sprits because the methods used would not really be science. Mr Schwartz was right in comparing religion more to philosophy than fields of science. That being said, it should be noted that religion has had a huge way of shaping human history. Both positive and negative effects have sprung from religion, and its effects on society should be acknowledged.
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      Jul 6 2012: Agree religion is not a science.

      Agree some things like gods, spirit, invisible dragons are non verifiable. In fact they might as well not exist.

      The degree to which science and religion clash depends on the individual's beliefs, how literally they take relgious text etc. Creation is 6 days where light existed before light sources versus the scientific explanation are a little different. Walking on water and virgin births and any other suspension of natural laws is a problem etc. Epilepsy as demonic possession versus mini electrical brain storms. Evolution versus intelligent design.

      Whereas a deist type approach where a supreme being was behind the big bang but does not intervene has less dissonance and less unverifiable claims.
  • Jul 2 2012: Religion, if anything, is part of philosophy, but it can never be a science. Moreover, religion is a dead cold rock and science is a lively flower.
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      Jul 3 2012: All true except for one thing. Philosophy can be very beautiful and religion is a very very ugly thing.
      • Jul 3 2012: Well, religion can be a beautiful thing. It is great for moral and reduces stress. Keep in mind, I am not talking about radicals. A specific religion is a certain philosophy.
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          Jul 4 2012: I'm not necessarily talking about radicals, I'm just talking about the false truths your lead to believe in theism. Philosophy doesn't do such horrible things.
      • Jul 4 2012: Falsehood lies within the mind not the subject in hand.
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          Jul 5 2012: Not true when the falsehoods are taught to you.
      • Jul 6 2012: Philosophy can be taught. Religion is not part of science, it is part of philosophy.
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          Jul 6 2012: Suggest Religion may overlap a little with philosophy and there is a branch of philosophy looking at religion, but it is not philosophy.

          There are similarities and differences.

          Rituals in religious
          Belief in religion is very different to philosophy
      • Jul 6 2012: I said religion is part of philosophy. How is the belief in religion different then philosophy?
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          Jul 6 2012: Philosophy doesn't force any falsehoods upon you. Religion does.
      • Jul 7 2012: Does a specific philosophy hold a belief?
        • Jul 16 2012: Oh, but this seems to be an equivocation fallacy. You seem to be using the word "philosophy" in two different meanings as if these two meanings were one and the same.

          Religion is not part of philosophy as in "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence." But religion can be the basis for a "philosophy" as in "a theory or attitude held by a person or organization that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour," os something like that.
      • Jul 20 2012: Yes, I did made an error. Nevertheless, religion is closer to philosophy than science. We can agree on that, right?
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          Jul 20 2012: . As I've said before, philosophy and science don't force anything upon you and obviously religion does. On the other hand, philosophy behaves very similar to religion and shares only the one thing that I've stated with science.
      • Jul 24 2012: So do you agree with me or not?
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          Jul 24 2012: Partially. Lets just leave it at this.
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    Jul 2 2012: I'm not sure what you think science is, but what you describe in your brief summary is not it. Talking about a subject that is often treated by science doesn't make what you say science. Using mathematical language like N for samples doesn't make what you say science. Your inference that a universe must be contained by another universe is also not justified.
  • Jul 2 2012: Although some people don't accept it, science is based on axioms, and axioms are natural dogmas.

    However, the difference is that religious dogmas oriented to a spiritual perspetive of the world, while scientific axioms or dogmas are based on observation of simple and basic facts.

    I think these dogmas/axioms don't conflict with each other, since most religious dogmas don't attempt to be natural explanations, but blocks for a belief (instead an explanation). Personally, I don't see any conflict.
  • Jul 2 2012: The fact is that religion loose its mythological function. It is almost not used to explain the natural world anymore! And most monotheist holy texts don't attempt to be a science, and that's good because it leaves a huge space for believers to accept science and religion at the same time. However, religion has an important a spiritual function for believers that I think useful.

    Can it be a science? Well, not in the way we actually define science, but theology is basically a NON-empirical science based reason, but using religious axioms.

    (sorry for my english)
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    Jun 29 2012: Already is.. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins made sure there is a generation of 'atheist' whom abuse the word science out of its etymological context, constantly... As well as the word religion..

    Updated: I approached the question as if science and religion were interchangeable in terms of being interchangeable in nature.
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      Jun 29 2012: Nicolas, could you expand or offer some examples to explain?
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        Jun 29 2012: The God Delusion - He has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to study of sociology and psychology... Over simplifying Christianity and throwing all religions into the same pile The book is completely a philosophical stand point with scientific facts.

        Indeed, traditionally fundamentalist have proven to be irrational and bias in the historic analysis of their defenses/offense of belief in which their behavior and actions towards other groups proved destructive... But that is just human nature! If it is not over a belief system, it is over land or a woman. Wars for honor, not even for survival... For wealth or knowledge of being powerful... far more often than knowledge for knowledge sakes .. has been killed over.. That cannot be blamed on any one idea besides our natural thinking is just awful and poor in relation to what we are able to understand today through constant inquiry of nature. The premeditation that we are animals prone to think in the group. Designed for mimicry and re-representation in order to adapt and evolve.

        These neo-atheist use the word science as if it is not loaded with meaning. What is considered 'scientific data' isn't up to an open source debate, or at least it's not easy to get into the debate... Many cultures of scientist exist today; a lot never interact or know about each other works. We have pop-scientist now that try to represent the community, but it is just impossible... Have countries and thousands of groups of people making new facts every minute.

        IF there is so much being done under the idea of science in which is also very disconnected... And then a group of gentlemen start suggesting that this word is more than what it really is ... sounds like doctrine. Sounds like a belief movement. Indeed, one can argue a good one, a needed movement, but no less a philosophical movement; one that is illuminating more and more into religious trends.

        'Religion' means a coming together in beliefs by ritual and indoctrinations.
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          Jun 29 2012: I agree he is much stronger in his speciality than some of the other areas where he is not an authority. I didn't get much out of the book. It was a bit of a ramble. Agreed with some views. Not with others. And was exposed to just a few new ideas.

          He also seems to focus on the more simplistic religious views, almost a characterisation, which are a subset of the total. Religion and spirituality is a slippery beast. You need to start by having each individual explain their particular beliefs.

          At his best he makes some good points. One of the best was a conversation debate with the Arch bishop of Canterbury. It was a respectful and interesting discussion. They actually listened to each other and answered the questions.

          I agree it is often hard to unravel where religion ends and where human nature and other aspects of culture begin.

          Scientists are not monolithic. Neither are atheists. Even the so called neo atheists. Science is a human process. And the whole lot is not black and white.

          I try to be critical of atheist and religious talks. I read some stuff on CARM for example talking about homosexuality not being normal because only 5 % are homosexual. In which case being left handed or having green eyes is not normal. Its just a false or weak argument that only works with the close minded converted.

          I find the more debate and discussion, even if some of it is tedious, repetitive, or fallacious, the more you can work through various arguments and understand them and honestly get to a point where you can say for example the uncaused cause is a dead argument etc. Conversely the existence of evil is not a particularly useful argument for atheists.

          Honestly, if an impartial judge was overseeing the global debate I guess 70% of the religious arguments are weak and about 30% of the atheist.

          Even with all the ego and human distortions, would you agree that by most reasonable definitions religions are not science?
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        Jun 29 2012: Honestly, if an impartial judge was overseeing the global debate I guess 70% of the religious arguments are weak and about 30% of the atheist. (I do not get this point of argument)

        Even with all the ego and human distortions, would you agree that by most reasonable definitions *of* religions are not science?

        Science is a subject, a discipline, a practiced skill - done so by communities and groups of researchers... Religion is tradition due to group movements of belief system or belief systems creating an overall ideology. In a lot of ways, due to the group-factor, scientific communities can look and act just like religious communities. However, overall, the words religion and science are classically no conflicting ideas.

        Your question is difficult... It's a fuzzy thing... If anything the definitions some religions create are not scientific or in a good scope of reality in nature. But that depends on what religion we are talking about. The differences between Hinduism and Christianity are like apples and potatoes... Both FOOD but not exactly the same thing in dimensions outside of cataloging.

        So... Yes, no, maybe, sometimes, perhaps...
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          Jun 29 2012: Its not a question about whether religion and science conflict or have similarities given both are human endeavours.

          The question is can religion be science.

          Both are human activities or constructs. This does not make sport or religion or philosophy or science the same thing. The similarities because they are all human endeavours with some organisation does not make them the same thing.

          Its a bit like saying cats and dogs both have four legs so cats are dogs.

          Religion may makes claims about the universe, how it began, the development of humans, a spiritual realm from revelation. Not quite the same as the process of-scientific enquiry based on evidence and testing.

          Does the fact that there are differences in various religions mean religion can be science? No again.

          Whether they conflict or can be integrated or overlap in some parts of the human experience they are essentially very different human activities.

          Even if a scientist is part of a religion or a non scientist integrates scientific knowledge into their belief system this does not make religion science. Metaphysics is not physics.

          What is the product or outcome from the practical application of religion? I suggest Its very different from the technology we get from science.

          Even if you invert the question and ask is science a religion, the answer is no.

          Your first comment asserted some issues with science and how it is used or misused. Your second comment highlighted some areas or overlap or similarities given they are human endeavours. Does any of this make religion science? You have danced around the question that I think is pretty straight forward then answered yes, maybe sometimes. I'd suggest the human element does not make science a religion or academia a religious institution. The question is not are there similarities between science and religion, especially given both are human constructs.

          Please provide an example of a religion that is science. Not examples where they have similarities.
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        Jun 30 2012: First off, read the opening paragraph I just posted to Gabo.

        You cannot place all religion into one word 'religion' it is an idiotic fallacy performed toooo casually by atheist. Stop it or this argument will never sound foundational to you and we are wasting time.

        I am not simply suggesting the two are similar due to 'endeavors' but in down right attitude, pursuits, history, behavior and much more due to the fact scientific investigation tends to follow their culturally created norms and not just philosophical investigations of nature. Science nor religion is a unified idea, this is just false.

        In due process and not necessarily results, scientific communities and religious practitioners tend to act similar - they will defend their beliefs in research until proven wrong in order to get ahead. Academics in general have cultural/societal behaviors in order to become a scholar or just another academic..

        Historically all religions were practicing science in their own disciplines and rights. Not in the neo-classical sense of science today. Astrology is by far the oldest science.

        My original point is that quickly with the neo-atheist trend. People whom claim science and skepticism is the necessary tool to knowledge... are quickly creating religious doctrines and mindsets. So yes, religion (groups sharing beliefs) can be a science (researching nature). Also yes, because if there is a systematic way of going about the religion then again, there is a science to that religion.

        Vice versa? Yes, because they already are alike one another...Not just because humans are acting similar, but because the culture and societies of both act similar and respond similar. Not 100% but similar

        There has to be a belief system we tie ourselves to -or- multiple belief systems. All individuals have systems of beliefs. No one is a pure Christian or Buddhist, they mix and match throughout life. God is different to every individual... The universal answers, different to everyone.
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          Jul 1 2012: I guess we have very different definitions of science, atheism, religion.

          I'm talking about modern science that has largely escaped the shackles of religious authority and superstition not its precursors.

          I would not call astrology or alchemy science.

          We appear to define religion differently as well. I see religion as having a supernatural element?

          I see you have moved to atheism as a religion. We are unlikely to agree if we have completely different ideas of what the essential ingredients are for religion.

          Atheism is simply a lack of belief in gods. Nothing more. If some have conventions, some write books, some discuss their position or agree with each other in other areas this does not make it a religion. The so called neo atheism is not a religion. Neither is being a republican, socialist, a feminist etc.

          Atheism is not a belief system. It is a position in regards to one specific question, believing in gods or goddesses. Theism is also not religion in it self.

          Some atheists may have similar world views. They could develop rituals etc and a humanistic bible (e.g. A CGrayling). This is all superfluous to atheism. It is not a requirement. Believing in evolution is not a requirement for atheism. You can even believe in an afterlife, astrology and be an atheist.

          It is just the one thing that all atheists have in common is no believe if gods or goddesses and a belief in a deity is central to most religions. So some theists try to position atheism as a religion.

          Its a pretty loose definition you have for religion it might include many social or ideological movements a religion. Sports clubs. Global warming. Global warming skeptics. Political parties etc.

          Shared doctrines or ideas for any group are not religious doctrines unless associated with religion.

          Atheism is not a religion. Neither is Science.

          You might like to equate atheism and science with the ideas of religion but you do so unfairly. Next you'll say it takes faith to be an atheis
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        Jul 1 2012: Sorry Obey, your definitions are then just pop-cultural interpretations.

        Atheism is not a religion, but definitely due to such gentleman like Harris and Dawkins, the phenomena that is required for belief movements are taking it's wave now. Fundamentalist of the new age atheism absolutely exist; many with seemingly identical arguments that they will fight to the death to hold onto. Example: whether atheism is a belief system or not. Of course it is... Buddhism is atheistic, some sets of Hinduism, Satanism, ancient Indian irreligion. Differences: the terminology and overall foundation for their beliefs were recognized formally. Atheism is a quality of belief, like you said, but through culture, it seems to have just mutated into it's own rightful group of religious-people.

        Politics can be just as religious... Reaganomics! Trickle down economics! Republican, Democrat!

        Humans are just prone to religious behavior, whether it is to ritualistically be not dogmatic or to be dogmatic is not just due to a formal religion or not. We are prone to think in the group, to survive, to adapt, to expand who we are... Religious attitudes come out for our favorite sport teams!

        "Yankees sucks!" "What did you just say" = FIGHT!

        I don't ever believe I discussed even one religious doctrine (besides The God Delusion), but people will follow anything similar to a doctrine (lessons, teachings, short phrases in the pursuit of creating a mindset) due to a lot of factors. One major factor being their friends!!! "Hey man I read the atheist cook book! It was awesome, such good arguments against religion!" While these kids have no idea of actual religious education... They begin over generalize ideas such as religion.. basically, being biased in the most acceptable way possible, in a group!!

        My phantom theme: Science is performed by man, man has religious-like natures. Science is a construction of man, thus that construction can and must have characteristics of being religious.
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          Jul 2 2012: No, atheism is simply a lack of belief in a deity.

          Everything else is up to the individual.

          You can be a humanist, a Buddhist believe in ghosts and astrology even vote republican, just no belief in gods.

          Theism is a belief in a god or gods. A-Theism is the opposite. Non Theism or not Theism. Theist don't have to belong to any religion even though many do. This is not pop anything. This is the actual meaning of the word.

          I think one key issue with your thinking is calling a lot of human behaviour religious.

          Being dogmatic is part of human nature. Not all dogmatic behaviour is religious. Humans like rituals. Not all rituals are religious.

          Being dogmatic about politics is not religious dogmatism if it isn't about religion.

          Being tribal for a sports team is not religious tribalism if there are no links to religion.

          Humans have group and individual dynamics. These apply to many types of human endeavours including sports, religion, politics, work, social movements etc. That does not make religion a sport or sport a religion.

          Even the search for meaning may or may not be religious if not connected to a religion.

          If you understand this point you may understand where we are coming from and why we disagree with the labelling. No issue with claims of there being various social phenomena around atheism. But all social phenomena is not religious. We sing at church but singing is not always religious

          You seem to be saying all group dynamics and social phenomena are inherently religious. The latter is just a subset of the former. Not the other way around.

          You are in this circle defining atheism as a religion because there are group dynamics and defining all group dynamics shared by religion as religious.

          That's it for me on this particular point. I think the argument and points of difference are clear. If you want to define social/group dynamics as inherently religious, and believe a lack of belief in one claim is a religion then we disagree fundamentally.
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        Jul 1 2012: Allow me to respond to your other comment here...

        Nicholas, you obviously want to debase science or elevate religion by equating the two.**

        No, that is your interpretation of my argument. Simply suggesting the two are not as far away from each other as you atheist are making them out to be.. with a lot of different arguments.

        ***Science is performed by man, man has religious-like natures. Science is a construction of man, thus that construction can must have characteristics of being religious.

        This is such an obvious fallacious statement** Politics would work also! So much religious behavior in politics are you serious?! Remember I defined science differently then you and Gabo had - culture, society, networking, academics.... are parts of the science I am talking about. Your definition of science is some nonsense off of an atheist bumper sticker.. Music COULD work, but that statement was established for specifically science not all of the academic subjects.

        Do you even believe what you are writing? Or just playing with the atheists.**

        Both! The atheist fade proves short sighted in multiple fashions! Ah, word play..

        You're basically saying people are religious so anything they do might be religious.**

        No, I am saying people have religious-like behaviors, consider groupthinking theories... Wikipedia! I am basically saying, whenever something involves groups of people, it will involve group mentality.

        You're basically saying the similarities between science and religion make science a religion. These similarities include the involvement of people, the development and transfer of ideas/information.***

        I actually at no point in this conversation suggest religion=science. Reread, have a blast! Not my argument. I been arguing that they are not opposites, they are not in existence separate from one another, and that they in fact inhibit similar qualities and natures; historically and culturally. I guess I have a meta-argument going on here that is shattered.
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          Jul 2 2012: Nicholas.

          You are right that debasing and elevating was my assumption of motive and not necessary correct.

          I think I've identified a key difference in understanding or definition leading to the disagreement.

          You seem to be assuming that group/social dynamics seen in religion, the tribalism etc are inherently religious.

          Religious tribalism is just a subset of tribalism.

          To me tribalism is not inherently religious. Religion may be tribal. Politics may be tribal. Nations may be tribal. Sport team supporters may be tribal. But they ate not all religious tribalism.

          An analogy is not all books are religious. Not all language is religious. Not all music is religious. Not all hero worship or subservience to authority or hierarchy is religious. Even though all these are leveraged in religions, the religious expression is just one way these human behaviours.

          I agree Science and religion are not complete opposites in all regards if you are going to include basic group dynamics and other aspects of human behaviour, talking, writing etc.

          I disagree if you say Modern Science is Religious because religious behaviour is just one expression that utilises basic human behaviours and characteristics.

          Human behaviour on top.
          Religious expressions of human behaviour is subservient to this general phenomena or a subset of it.
          Sports fandom is another expression of this.
          Some atheist social dynamics is another expression.

          Not sure why you think tribalism or being dogmatic is inherently always a religious phenomena rather than one type of way of being tribal or dogmatic.
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        Jul 2 2012: 1. the way atheism is presented today as a label of belief more and more socially creates a belief movement, just how history works. No matter the definition people take it out of context constantly in popculture. Where are the rest of the labels they use then? Why have atheism as the first publicly known label? Seems organizational.

        2. Tribalism is relative to my idea of groupthinking, but G.T. is far more unconscious than anything else! Tribes actively know they are being 'patriotic' or 'proud citizens' rather groupthinking, they can deny that they are in a group mindset honestly and fully, but still follow that same mindset without consciousness of such! So fascinating...

        3. Again you are exaggerating my claims. I have simply suggested scientific communities and religious practitioners (even politicians) - in patternicity - share similar attitudes when it comes to how the behave in their social circles and creating objective knowledge.. Except science works on academic/scholarly terms and religions varies intensely from academics to just repeating doctrine.

        4. Are you not listening when I dictate how much science is a communal thing? How much variety of culture goes into even one field of study? It's not unified, there is no one unified idea of science...

        5. Religious behavior to me, is behavior that is ritual, dogmatic and group orientated. Since you cannot let go of the idea of 'supernatural' - you will not grasp new ideas. Scientist RITUALLY hold onto paradigms until they are proven unable to further research, which they avoid doing so because they would have been proven wrong (as much as atheist literature claims they enjoy that, no body enjoys being wrong). It is DOGMATIC to consider a paradigm that is not socially acceptable...

        6. AGAIN! your problems are not with religion, they are with fundamentalist practitioners of religion.

        7. My problem is with any type of fundamentalist in general.
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          Jul 2 2012: Hi Nicholas,

          If you believe being religious is simply "ritual, dogmatic and group orientated" and no supernatural element, we have a different ideas of what is religious and what a religion is.Maybe there is a continuum, but I don't consider Free Masonry a religion. Even if a bunch of atheists had rituals similar to a church and read from the god delusion it would be a faux religion to me, not religion. A placebo is not a drug.

          We'll just have to disagree at this stage.

          I understand you. Just disagree in your terminology.

          Being dogmatic about management approaches, global warming, economic theory is not religious in my view.

          While I don't believe in gods, I support freedom of religion. Okay if they don't force their views on others without a valid non religious argument, and don't hurt people or impact the rights of others. I probably would not have much problem with a fundamentalist Jain, or Buddhist or many others that keep their fundamentalism to themselves.

          I guess the word fundamentalist goes beyond theological doctrines e.g. Free market fundamentalism. So I would not necessarily consider fundamentalism an inherently religious behaviour. I probably share some of your concerns with extreme ideologies or fundamentalist views, especially if they harm people or impact human rights.

          However if Atheists are just arguing to protect the separation of church and state, for human rights and respecting human rights including freedom of religion, I have no serious issue with them expressing their opinion and perhaps putting a few noses out of joint in the contest of ideas.

          Having an opinion and being dogmatic and sharing this with others is not inherently religious in my view. There may be similarities, but if it is not about a religion, its not relgious.

          Being a sports fanatic is not the same thing as being a religious fanatic.

          We actually agree on somethings e.g. human behaviours, dogmatism in human endeavours, but disagree on some labels and definitions
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          Jul 2 2012: This is where the definitions come in.

          A belief movement built upon a single shared atheist belief is not religious to me. It might have some similarities with religious movements but is not about what I define as a religion.

          Same as a belief movement about anything not to do with religions. be it politics, science, history, economics is not a religious belief movement.

          When you say rituals and dogmatism and group dynamics are inherently religious it is like saying singing is inherently religious because that is part of religious practices. Or meditation is always religious, when they are not. Its like saying having a moral code is always religious.
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          Jul 2 2012: Key issue is picking out some human behaviours shared by many fields and labelling them as inherently religious.

          Some behaviours are nearly exclusive to religion or belief in a spirit world. Prayer is pretty relgious. Animal Sacrifices. But wearing uniforms is not - from priests to policemen. Same with dogmatism and group dynamics. This is human nature and behaviour. Not exclusively religious.

          Agree we will see some similarities in humans in many if not all groups.

          However, I also suggest fields such as science do not have a bible or a pope. There are orders of magnitude in the differences of dogmatism and ritual between modern science and religion... For those atheists who share is some views or learn from each other, there is little breadth and depth of dogma and ritual compared to most religions. Supporting human rights is not a religion. Looking to science as the best, albeit developing source of understanding is not a religion, recognising it is a human endeavour with all the good and no so good it brings.

          I would suggest humans have been living in groups and seeing agency in the natural world longer than we have had religions. Group behaviour in religion is simply leveraging this human dynamic an is not inherently religious. There is an argument that many aspects of religion leverage evolutionary human traits.

          Scientific dogma, historical dogma, legal dogma is not religious dogma.

          Take the supernatural out of religion and you have what I see. A 100% human construct. A cultural phenomena based on mistruths from authority, delusional revelations, or plain social engineering. So I agree we see human dynamics in religion. I just disagree with calling general human nature and behaviour outside of religions as religious.
  • Jun 28 2012: I don't think we can say that expansion of this Universe implies there is another Universe. At this moment we have no idea what is outside of this Universe. We even don't know if "outside" is meaningful. There might be no "outside" at all.
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      Jun 28 2012: Do the current theories not say that the universe expands into what it creates, so you can never actually get beyond the universe?
      • Jun 29 2012: As far as I know there is no mainstream scientific theory that explain anything outside of this Universe. We do not have means or understanding of "outside".
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    Jun 27 2012: It doesn't really work that way and you were a little hard to understand generally but, correct me if I'm wrong, I think you're implying that we fill the gaps with religion and then call it s science. I don't like this idea not because of a dislike of religion but because it's dishonest. It ends free inquiry and that urge to know more.
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      Jun 28 2012: thank you very much "dear Don Wesley :)", you are welcome.
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          Jul 5 2012: Dear Don Wesley,
          thank you for your interest in my invitation, I found your comment is the most prudent and most receptive to my opinion, I ask you sir, read my comment again, and tell me your opinion.
          Yes my conversation is an idea more than a debate (thank you :))