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About science....

Science today have a word to say in everything , many put their belief only in science , is it wrong , or it is something good?
How can we distinguish between the scientific facts and what seems to be a scientific facts ?
What are the limits of science?
Is made up science only from facts?
Why do we respect more the people who are scientists ?
Should we pay attention to the personal opinions of scientists?

Feel free to say anything about this subject.............

This is a post from a conversation which we have had here:
"so the pure science is made up only from facts ,what is theory, interpetation in science rest on this facts, from here I think is corect to say that the evolution theory isn't science but is an interpetation of science , it is a model in other words.............good, very good....... being here we can talk about religion without claiming that when someone contradict the theory of evolution contradict necessarly what's say science .................And everyone is welcomed to say everything if he agree with it about the relation between science and religion."

Here's what another man have posted at this dabate :
"There are 3 major issues we are facing at this point in our history.
1-Climate change'
2-Overpopulation(how will we feed everyone?)
3-Renewable energy."
How could science help us to solve this problems?

Closing Statement from E G

Thank you all for your opinions expressed here on this conversation I hope that it helped you to see that everything is subject of debate and that you have to improve your thinking in order to make a point about what you believe because everything is reduced to believing .................. you, who have talked here have just proved it .

Thank you for your participation.

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    Apr 9 2011: Science is constantly being proven wrong... it's precisely what gives it its strength. For something to be proven false, there's always a better paradigm to take its place as "truth until proven otherwise" or at least "unknown until further tested".

    Many people (myself included) put their belief in science because that belief is never "blind". It's based on evidence, and it never claims to be infallible. It may turn out to be wrong, but it's the only thing that's always based on truth. Only the "cutting edge" of science is speculation, but even that speculation is shaped in a way that could later potentially be proven true or false (which is what distinguishes a "hypothesis" from "mere speculation").

    "Should we pay attention to the personal opinions of scientists?"
    Yes, but we shouldn't take them as evidence. At best, we should take their support for a theory as the next theory to look evidence for.

    "How can we distinguish between the scientific facts and what seems to be a scientific facts ?"
    You don't. That's the beauty of it. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - for what I know, for all I've been able to see with my bare eyes, I might as well one day take a space flight and see a flat planet. But all evidence, observable and non observable alike says I won't, so the chances of that are nil.

    "What are the limits of science?"
    The limit is to what is potentially testable, even if it's not testable today. If it's not testable, it's not science. Further limitations are imposed by the current state of science and technology itself, but that has always been a temporary setback.
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      Apr 10 2011: Testability alone is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for qualifying something as science. There is also a contextual coherentist requirement, which is to say, it must also fit into the context of the other known falsifiable theories.

      We should also add some variant of Occam's razor, which would say, in a nutshell, the theory is the simplest available that accounts for the facts in question.
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      Apr 10 2011: Vasili , what do you mean by science?
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        Apr 10 2011: From Wikipedia:
        'Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world.'

        Pretty much overlaps with what I'm talking about. You could replace "enterprise" with "approach", and it would map 100% to what I was talking about.

        You don't need to be part of the enterprise (i.e. be a scientist in a scientific field) to keep your personal knowledge organized in a scientific fashion. You just need to use the scientific approach. I'm not a scientist (unless you count computer nerds as being a kind of "Computer Science" scientists), but that doesn't stop me from not buying anything without evidence, and disregarding anything I don't have evidence for. A scientist claiming something is nothing. A scientist claiming to have done a test or gathering data which confirms his claim is something, but it's not infallible.
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          Apr 10 2011: ok, and what do you mean by "blind belief" (in this context of course)? .....science is how you said constatly being proven wrong ,(the science don't give us the all informations) , this isn't blind (at least partially)?
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        Apr 10 2011: By "blind" I mean "not based on evidence". There is a difference between "blind", "visually impaired" and "see all". Religions says we should be "blind" while God is the only being that can "see all" (is not "visually impaired" or "blind") and we should let it guide us (unfortunately, God is left to guide us via "blind" beings who present themselves as "visually impaired"). Science says we are better off being "visually impaired" (as we are currently and have always been historically), gradually seeing more and more as our state of vision improves.
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          Apr 10 2011: So it's clear that science is not based on ALL evidences because we don't know all evidences.
          You have an interesting view upon what means religion and religious people,( in fact this is normal when you look (and I) at what means religion for the most ) but let's take God so how He/It is, without looking in religion , if He (let's use He) see all and science means as you said 'gradually seeing more and more' , is God in cotradiction with what say science ?
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        Apr 10 2011: In this sense, no, but he is not required for your "state of vision" to improve. In fact, if you rely on the guidance of this "see all" being (assuming he exists), your vision is not going to improve at all... it can be weakened in fact. This is actually also based on evidence BTW - glasses, while being useful in improving a visually impaired person's vision to the level of "see (nearly) all", make his natural vision worse, so without glasses, you are left being worse than before you got glasses.

        Religion can be said to be the "glasses" in this analogy, since it tries to turn your vision into what the "see all" being God sees (oh, and let's not forget that each brand of glasses is tailored to a specific "see all" kind of way; "see all" is a subjective concept not tailored for your eyes). Scientists say "no glasses, thank you." because they want to have their natural vision be at the best state it possibly can. Historically, our vision has been improving, though we're still not "see all" beings and we can't say if we'll ever be.

        BTW, now that I've said it in this way... have you wondered why the apple in the garden of Eden is also called "the fruit of knowledge"? Why did God not wanted us to have knowledge? Why did he wanted to keep us blind as opposed to making us "see all" like he is? If he had a rationale, he could've at least not placed the apple there on the first place, and then we wouldn't be having this conversation.
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          Apr 10 2011: "In this sense, no," this is what I wanted to hear , but from this statement on, you wrong the person (from what you say I noticed that you have a misunderstanding of God), don't get angry on me but as I know God want myself to be like Him (and He know everything), this is christianity all about: to know God more and more and more (I have to say that so I understand the christianity) and so I'm in the same trend with this :"Scientists say "no glasses, thank you." because they want to have their natural vision be at the best state it possibly can".
          And about your last paragraph , again I have to say that there was about " the tree of good and evil" not about the fruit of knowledge but about the fruit of knowing the good and evil, and God didn't want us to know good and evil because it, in fact, is all what brought pain in our world. The first people in the Eden garden have had reason ...............
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          Apr 11 2011: Hi Vasil............Just a comment on the "apple". The Eden myth is probably a sort of explanation of the point at which human self awareness came about. If we were to revert to our previous animal state, we would not need "evidence" to believe what we think we know. We would not be curious as to HOW and Why. Progress in those areas is done by humans. The Absolute, I believe in, would never forbid living creatures to be self aware. To me that is part of evolution and I am not sure if we are at the end or pinnacle of it.
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          Apr 13 2011: why do you think that "holy doctrine is symbolic"? do you think that if we use the same symbol ywe will find the same understanding of it?
  • Apr 18 2011: -science merely describes objective reality so of course it's good.
    -we distinguish between true facts and what seem like facts by experiment.
    -science will have only the limits of human imagination and creativity in coming up with experiments, and asking questions.We will ask questions we haven't even thought of yet in the future.
    -"formed science" Not clear on what you are talking about.
    -We respect scientists because they devote their lives to the betterment of humanity.
    -We should only worry about fact, personal opinions are things to think about, but that is all.

    -the thing about contradicting evolution:
    That is a contradiction of observable reality, not a contradiction of an ideology or organization.

    I will just say this...

    There are 3 major issues we are facing at this point in our history.
    1-Climate change'
    2-Overpopulation(how will we feed everyone?)
    3-Renewable energy.

    These are are scientific questions.It will be the very people who devote their lives to study that will literally save us in all three of these scenarios.
    Science vs. God shouldn't even be a debate. I think some people don't understand what science is, this is like saying "observable, objective reality vs. God."
    At any rate I wonder if those who argue against the scientific method truly understand the implications.

    If we were to learn that an asteroid were hurling toward the earth and threatened the survival of our species. Scientists may try to devise a way to deflect the asteroid, they might push for space travel if given enough time. Religious people would pray.

    If the scientists pulled through, we would commend and thank them for using there better judgement and persevering to look for answers, and religious people would thank god.

    Science=Observing reality. That's all.
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      Apr 18 2011: Deaven,

      A lot of great points, I been reading all of your statements throughout the threads as it seems you are catching up with all the conversations. You're ability to simplify is impeccable, I give kudos sir.
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      Apr 18 2011: Deaven,

      thank you for your direct answers, and I have to assure you that I understand the implications of arguing against the scientific method.
      I don't yet give you kudos on everything because I must to ask you something : Do you think that science means ONLY observing reality and nothing else more ? you also said that : "
      science merely describes objective reality" how can science do it? do you think that there is nothing subjective in describing reality?
      (I changed the word 'formed with the word 'made up')
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        Apr 18 2011: So i guess you agree with science as a primary value then Ed?
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          Apr 18 2011: No Nicholas, I do not agree with science as a primary value because in my opinion a value must be perfect true , and all-known , what isn't so, in my opinion can't be a value (will be a contradiction to say that something like is a value). Although I think that the math could be called somehow a value .......... only what's a priori is a value in my opinion.
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        Apr 18 2011: Ha, well considered

        Math and philosophy as primary I would suggest.

        However values do not have to be perfect true, I don't even think that is possible, morals create values and morals can be altered with education.
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          Apr 19 2011: Morals create values , that's right , but this values are idealistic values , and this kind of values can't be altered . (the role of education in morality is very secundary )
          "However values do not have to be perfect true, I don't even think that is possible" the values must to be perfect true , I said you why , but I agree it is very unlikely to be possible.
          Why do you think that the values aren't perfect true?
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        Apr 19 2011: morals create values and morals can be altered with education.

        Education INVOLVES EVERYTHING AND IS CONSTANT it is never secondary to anything unless there is fundamentalism involved. Example: All carrots are orange, fact, now I show you a picture of how carrot use to be, and they use to be all the colors of the rainbow (this is true), you say hoax, you say false, you say photo shop. Your primary education of all carrot are orange now eliminates new open possibilities to being wrong about carrots.

        As a baby if you were taught the golden rule with no religion you would still be just as christ-like as the Christians. however if you taught them, and taught them how to practice the golden rule that baby will know a high level of positive morals.

        Morals aren't in nature until intelligence is involved Ed, instincts are in nature. Instinctively if I was hungry and you had food I would steal it from you and if you fought back I would fight for the food. Morally I would ask you for some food claiming I am hungry and beg for it.
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          Apr 19 2011: how morals create values ? give me an example, if you want , and how education alter our morals (our morality laws )? again if you want give me an example.
          I would like to have this conversation about moral values or about the perception of moral values if you want, but not about our perception of something like carrots which can be wrong or not.
          I won't contradict you momentaly because I wanna now more exatcly what you meant when you said that morals aren't in nature until intelligence is involved , why do you say it?
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        Apr 19 2011: Ah, maybe the carrots wasn't a good way to go about it, but I didn't want to use God lol. God = carrots.

        Morality - is a sense of behavioral conduct that differentiates intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and bad (or wrong). (Wikipedia)

        You develop morals through examples in your cognitive education that you have through out life. In school by how your teachers treat you. Your parents: watching them - how they speak, how they talk, how they behave. Your friends: what it takes you to have them, what it takes you to keep them. All morally based.

        In order to achieve/develop/claim a "true-value or morality" you must first understand basic values and morals. You must thus understand the potentiality before the actuality. The reality is, simple lessons are what broaden bigger lessons. You must know good morals to practice good values.

        Science - eliminating the unlikely to make the likely more likely

        I agree, when I said science should be a primary value, I was wrong. Perhaps maybe as primary value science would cause some problems. However good values built on by science could seem like a really beneficial lessons for kids to develop with great values for everything they do.
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    Apr 10 2011: Here's a copy&paste from another conversation that I think applies to this one too. A basic description on the scientific approach and critical thinking:

    For a scientist (as well as for a critical thinker), for every one phenomenon, there could be multiple explanations. Each of those explanations has three possible values - True, False, Unknown. The default status for every explanation is Unknown. If there's evidence for an explanation, it becomes True. A new explanation, again with initial status of Unknown can arrive at any point, and if the evidence goes True for all explanations (including the new one), then all True explanations are reset to Unknown. When there's further evidence that only makes certain explanations True, the Unknown explanations turn into False, and if there is more than one explanation left that is True, all are reset to Unknown. Even after there's only one True explanation left, new Unknown explanations can still arrive, challenging the True explanation further. No explanation is infinitively infallible (unlike religious explanations), and to claim otherwise is considered arrogance.

    I'd like to get some thoughts on this description... particularly from Eduard and other theists reading this... do you see this as not being a good way of thinking? Why? How is non-critical thinking better?

    edit: Depending on context, "phenomenon" can also be "event" or "sequence of time and space", and "explanation" can be "claim". Excuse the term "value"... in this context, it's essentially equivalent to "state" or "possibility".
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      Apr 10 2011: Vasili , for to can give these three values : True , False , Unkown to any phenomenon , we must have something to rest upon it , we must have a pattern (shape) on which we rely our judgement, we must have a foundation on which we rely on and from which we can express judgements (which are relative) in other words we must have mind............. and this foundation is infallible , all what is asked to be infallible in religion take this form..........and from this perspective critical thinking is a good way of thinking .
      I don't know why seems for you that critical thinking is a thing against religion ............in fact Vasili what do you mean by religion ? (I don't wanna you post something from wikipedia and then to comment it , I want to know your view as it is , from your experience , if you have the kindness to do it, you have had it so far , thank you).
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        Apr 10 2011: Science demands you have no infallible foundation. You can have your "True" filled foundation based on whatever your current knowledge is (even if it's knowledge acquired from religion as opposed to science), but even that knowledge must not be infallible for the scientific method to work. No knowledge, foundational or otherwise, scientific or otherwise, must be infallible.

        That's the difference with religion. Religion (any organized religion; Christianity, Islam, etc.) demands you take its word for an infallibly True foundation, and only build up from there. Science says "If the foundation contradicts with the evidence, the foundation is False. Ditch it and get a new Unknown foundation".

        So what happens when the foundation of a derived theory turns into False (e.g. macro evolution being the foundation for micro evolution)? The derived theory is reseted to Unknown, and the evidence is re-evaluated to see if the derived theory holds on its own without the foundational theory being evidence for it. In the case of micro evolution for example, the evidence still makes it True even if macro evolution was False, because we've observed viruses turning into several variations of the same virus. If there is no other evidence for the derived theory, it becomes Unknown. If there is further evidence which without the foundation doesn't make it True, it becomes Unknown. If there is further evidence that goes against the derived theory, the derived theory becomes False.
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          Apr 10 2011: So you say that all explications can take three posibilities values :True , False , Unknown. And you say also that no explication is infinitivetly infalliable. You say that science isn't infalliable , in other words you say that science isn't faultless , you say that everything in science is relative, that is to say everything is depending on what will be discovered . Have I understood corect what you said? If yes, I have to say that I disagree completly with you, because what you said doesn't make any sense:
          First of all , I don't think from my experience that science is made up only from explications.
          And now following your reason:
          you said that every explication takes this three values : Unknown , True or False but you should know that unknown isn't a value.(and what's false also don't constitute a value)
          I think everybody knows that the truth IS infallible becasue it is absolute,how can you say that in science nothing is infallible? to understand that in science nothing is true?
          The truth being absolute thus if science pretend that it have the answers, it must give us absolute truths about us and our univers.. What is true is true man, it never can be proved wrong , never man.The truth isn't relative and it isn't depending of what we know , the true is absolute , in fact that's the reason for which we are starving to know more , and the reason for which we will never know everything.
          The truth is also objective , it exist depending of nothing , maybe just depending of itself.
          You have to understand that there are absolute truths on which the science is relying on . It couldn't be science otherwise.
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        Apr 10 2011: I think your definition of "value" is different from the one I used in that context... by "value" I mean "possibility" or "state" of an explanation... OK, sorry about it... It's a programming term I incidentally transfered to this. For our purposes, it's equivalent to "possibility" or "state".

        When I say nothing in science is infallible, that doesn't mean it's not true.

        The earth is round, all evidence points towards that. You haven't gone to outer space, have you? Yet you believe that. Why? You've seen all evidence, and it matches with what you can observe for yourself. Well, it's the same with me. By the scientific method, even this very fact is not infallible. There is the possibility that it could become Unknown or False. But there's no better explanation. If there was, it would have to stack up against the evidence for the earth being round. Since we've sent astronauts into outer space, their video footages have become the ultimate evidence that no other hypothesis could ever stack up against and STILL this fact is not infallible.

        The "law" of gravity is a law not because it's infallibly true, but because there is a formula in which if you set all variables but one, you can always find that last variable's value correctly thanks to the formula... with all tests confirming this. This can become false if we find a test in which the formula fails. But for now, it's True.

        If anyone ever claims that they're saying the absolute truth, how do you deal when further evidence says they're wrong? How do you deal if one person tells you with absolute certainty the earth is flat while the other says with the same certainty the earth is round? The former claims to be infallible, yet the other one proves him wrong with evidence. If science ever claims to be infallible about anything, the next day that thing will be proven wrong by someone who doesn't claim to be infallible.
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          Apr 11 2011: Don't you understand that the truth is infallible ? and becasue is nfallible science if it claim to have the truth must be infallible, isn't it logic ?, and now I'll tell you why I say that the truth is infalllible (I've tried it in the last post to you) :- the truth is perfect corect, it is obvious, and what is infallible(anything) is also perfect corect (it's important to be perfect ).
          -the truth is absolute, you can't say about a whole that it is true if it isn't 100 percent true, so the truth is absolute, and also what is infallible is absolute.......you could put the equal sign between the word innfallible and the truth.
          ........this are only two caractersitics , and maybe if I will look better at the sematincs I'll find and others... ....so science if it is science must be infallible.
          And now the truth is always and will remain ever true , you can't say that something is true now and after some time to say that it isn't true but was true in the past, the truth never change its nature, ok? NOTHING CAN BE TRUE NOW AND IN THE FUTURE TO BE FALSE.
          , and now, in your opinion, any scientifc fact, explanation, can be at any point in the future proved wrong, in other words you say that anything what say science can be at any point in future proved false, do you realize what it means? (you through it, just prove that what you call science is the most fragile thing that ever existed).
          But it comes to be science, because science is science only because it is true....when you say that science is false, you contradict yourself, and also when you say that science is good you use a redundancy (pleonasm).....
          So your scientific method is the weakest that I ever heard.
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        Apr 11 2011: "Don't you understand that the truth is infallible ?"
        No, it's not. That's precisely the paradigm shift you need to make to be a critical thinker.

        When you point your eyes at the monitor, there's evidence for your looking at the letters I've previously written, but that's not the truth... you're reading, and there's further evidence for that... that's also not the truth... you're performing a complex brain activity by which you give meaning to external stimuli, that being my writings (and if you were to be in an MRI, there'll be evidence for that)... but that's also not the truth... etc. etc.

        Also, the claim you're reading the letters I've written... that's also not the truth... you're reading the letters your computer reconstructed based on letters I had written.... but that's also not the truth... my computer generated letters based on my keystrokes, I didn't do the writing, but only the keystrokes... but that's also not the truth... etc. etc.

        All of those are True, but they aren't "The truth".

        There's always the possibility of further explanation, whether it is an abstraction or a more detailed explanation. Even if science one day found out the universe is only made of two particles (one matter and one antimatter) smaller than all we know currently, similarly to bits in a computer*, there is still going to be room for further abstractions, so something is only going to be the truth in a certain context... but a context for which there's always evidence.

        "The truth" doesn't exist as an absolute concept. There's only "True" and "The truth" in a certain context.

        * For the record, that's a claim that qualifies as a scientific hypothesis right there... it could potentially be tested if we could make devices that could analyze in such a deep fashion, and could prove it True or False. If we get one level deeper than current particles and find that's not the case, the hypothesis could still be applicable to deeper levels, but will retain its Unknown status.
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          Apr 11 2011: why the truth isn't in your opinion an absolute concept? (if it isn't then nothing is absolute)
          I've tried to prove you that the truth is a absolute concept , why do you say this:""The truth" doesn't exist as an absolute concept. There's only "True" and "The truth" in a certain context."
          because your explanation with the monitor and this kind of stuff doesn't prove it, and also the existence of the possibily for future explanation doesn't prove it.
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        Apr 12 2011: For a truth to be absolute, it means that it is infallible - that it is the only truth, and it could never possibly be proven otherwise under any scenario.

        I can't prove to you anything in science is infallible (if anything, history is evidence for the opposite), therefore science is not infallible (yet?), therefore no truth is (yet?) infallible/absolute. We have no evidence to claim it would ever become infallible (in other words, the claim "Science will one day know everything infallibly" is with status Unknown). At least that's what we can conclude from the current evidence.... and even this statement could be proven wrong with further evidence and is therefore not infallible.
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          Apr 12 2011: so having this conversation in mind(and especially your last post) : in who do you think is more logic to put our trust in God(supposing for atheist that He exist) or in science when this two are in contradiction ? (thank you for being open-minded for this conversation whatever you beliefs I think)
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        Apr 13 2011: In science, because science has evidence, and therefore, any "faith" is never "blind".

        If claims by science and religion are compatible with each other (i.e. the same evidence supports both claims), they can both be treated with status Unknown - i.e. we should have lack of faith in both. Based on previous experience, I'd personally put my bet on science even on that case, but that's only because science is not infallible - it can later be proven wrong in favor of another (better) claim that would at some point become incompatible with religion. Still, in such a scenario, I wouldn't disregard a religious claim.

        Even if God existed, he doesn't present himself, he doesn't provide us with evidence when wanting us to have faith in him. Instead we have people that claim to be in contact with him and/or claiming he had evidence that no man, including them, could possibly understand. And to think he's all powerful and all... he should be able to make us understand his evidence, right? Or at least make it testable so that "those deluded atheists" will be persuaded.

        If science one day claimed to know everything infallibly, the statement that science is infallible is itself going to become infallibly True, and science would turn into a religion... the only religion that can actually make its case for being better than other religions... but still religion, meaning that it won't make the case if anything is ever reseted to Unknown.
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          Apr 13 2011: thank you for your comment , I see your point.
          " And to think he's all powerful and all... he should be able to make us understand his evidence, right? "..........very interesting
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        Apr 13 2011: @Kathy K
        That's a good point actually... if only we didn't had someone like God giving us the answers in the form of textbooks, commonly referred to as holy scriptures, but instead had him give us tools to explore stuff ourselves. But no, he didn't, so it took us centuries to make such tools ourselves, like telescopes, thermometers and other *scopes and *meters, among others.
  • Apr 21 2011: Science just can detect and know material.
    but materiel is not all things.
    there is some things like soul, God, after death life, hypnotism, telepathy that science has no clear explain.
    when some thing is not material, how science can detect it?
    science say what we can not detect does not exist. and just when detect it then it exist. for example soul just exist when an empirical experiment can detect and prove existence of soul.
    but we have wisdom.
    we need science and wisdom together to can know the fact and true.
    when our Wisdom say God and soul exist and science say they not exist because we can not detect them, the what we soul do?
    we do not know what is beyond our universe. so why we say God not exist when we do not know all things.
    if you ask a fish at the end of a deep and dark ocean: "why our universe has water?" it is like you ask a human "why our universe has laws of physics?"
    maybe the fish reply you: what is water? I do not know water. I not need water. let me do my play. I do not want to believe in sun and its energy and it is not important who created water and me and everywhere is like here. but fish do not know there is air and sun out of water.
    laws of Nature for fish is not laws of Nature for human.

    are the laws of physics at out of our universe same as laws of physics in our universe?

    that fish never seen air. never seen light, never seen sun. and fish do not know sun.
    the story of that fish speaking about sun is the story of human speaking about God.

    Even after all this time The sun never says to the earth, "You owe Me." Look what happens with A love like that, It lights the Whole Sky. ~ Hafiz

    http://lh5.ggpht.com/_kqBaOUq7bS4/ShoZj0XnDOI/AAAAAAAAAEs/gv0tSDhW5GE/P5230099.JPG

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/2142/why_our_universe_has_laws_of_p.html
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      Apr 23 2011: "are the laws of physics at out of our universe same as laws of physics in our universe?"................do you think that there is another univers ?
      What do you mean by this word soul?

      Hafiz , what's Hafiz , is it your call-name?
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    Apr 18 2011: On a side note
    @Matthieu
    "I think we ought to just let this one go, he's not getting it. This whole thread is a sham."

    I don't think it's fair to ignore challenges if we claim that others should accept our challenges.
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      Apr 18 2011: lol, exactly Vasil,

      did you get my e-mail?
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      Apr 18 2011: Vasil , you said "I don't think it's fair...." and I agree with you , I think is obvious from what you said that we never should do unfair things , and here's the question : why do we all know that we shouldn't do unfair (wrong) things? I put this question because as Deaven said the science=observing reality.
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        Apr 19 2011: I think we know that we shouldn't do wrong/unfair things simply because it doesn't feel good (creates sort of a sense of guilt if you will), and we want to feel good, if not for anything, at least for selfish reasons.

        And the reason it doesn't feel good is because observing something that you can identify yourself with (whether it's visually or by imagination) triggers your mirror neurons, which (if you prefer the social terminology) are basically responsible for compassion - the act of feeling what the other feels and having the desire to pretty much carry out the positive version of the golden rule whenever you don't feel good about what you're seeing.

        In more (not exactly rigorous) scientific terms... our brain is structured to trigger "bad" chemicals on "bad" inputs, and those chemicals are in turn inputs for "good" outputs.

        I've said before that I find even wackos have rationale behind their behavior.... otherwise, they wouldn't be able to live with themselves. The only difference is that their rationale is based under false assumptions or were carried out in a way that doesn't lead to a good state of mind.
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          Apr 19 2011: So Vasil, do you think that what's good and wrong only depends of our feelings? , you gave an explanation but this doesn't explain too many things, because every man perhaps in his life don't feel bad when he do for example what's wrong unconscious, and what's wrong/ unfair usually isn't seen or imaginated, we know that something is so..... your explanation just cover a very very tiny part which can be neglected in my opinion.
          "it creates sort of a sense of guilt " ,( that don't means that the wrong thing depends of our feelings, by the way, the sense of guilt is just a reaction) why do we have this reaction ?
          How behave the wakos , the loony is a bit more complicated , I'm reffering just at the normal persons.
          Do you think that we should explain something what's abstract from a physical perspective?
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        Apr 19 2011: "do you think that what's good and wrong only depends of our feelings?"
        No. I think what we THINK is good and wrong depends on our feelings AND knowledge.

        What IS good and wrong, no one really "knows" for sure, because there's no objective way of determining it, partly because the definitions of "good and wrong" are defined in the terms of the claims, and it should instead be the claims being defined in terms of the definitions.

        Morally speaking, each holy scripture is just one set of claims for what allegedly is true, and each moral principle is just a claim for a potential way to asses what could be true... there isn't really any evidence for any of it, other than the emotional one.

        "why do we have this reaction ?"
        Like I said... mirror neurons get triggered... you don't control that consciously. It just happens. It's just the way most people's brains are wired to work, whether we like it or not.

        "How behave the wakos , the loony is a bit more complicated , I'm reffering just at the normal persons."
        My guess is wackos have a misfiring in their brains (for various reasons, such as small mis-wirings or wrong chemical arriving at a wrong state), while loonies have certain parts shut down or rather, have larger areas mis-wired.

        "Do you think that we should explain something what's abstract from a physical perspective?"
        Why not? We do it all the time anyway... even in science. All of computer science is abstractions over the physicality of electricity. All of biology is abstraction over chemistry, and chemistry is abstraction over the physicality of quantum particles.

        Something being an abstraction doesn't make it useless. It's just that we need to establish the base of what we're abstracting away from. Computer science abstracts certain ranges of voltages as "bits", biology abstracts patterns of group of atoms as "cells", and atoms are based on a pattern of group of particles.
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          Apr 19 2011: "What IS good and wrong, no one really "knows" for sure............." give me an example if you want which will support your idea that what's good and wrong can't be determinated in an objective way.

          About your explanation : look what you said: and now I emphasize what's important: you said:" whether it's visually or by imagination" so only this kind of incentives which come visually or by imagination, trigger the whole process described by you(so you said) , but you also said, I quote you:"I think what we THINK is good and wrong depends on our feelings ... " what we think doesn't depend necessarily of our imagination or of what we see , ok? , and now, how your description of that process fits with your idea that only what we think it's good and wrong depends on our feelings ?(please be more carefull because I said you , I quote myself:"your explanation just cover a very very tiny part which can be neglected in my opinion.")

          "Why not? We do it all the time anyway......."do you think that if we do something all the time what we do is necessarily corect? , please talk in a more reasonable way, and I wait you to answer to my question:
          you answered at the question :"Do you think that we should explain something what's physical from a abstract perspective?" NOT at my question :"Do you think that we should explain something what's abstract from a physical perspective?".

          "each holy scripture is just one set of claims for what allegedly is true" we talk before Vasil about semantics , the truth can't be something allegedly , if you think that yet it is something allegedly, why do you think so?

          You said also something very important (not necessarily true) that what we think it's good and wrong depends on our knowledge ? I try to understand more exatcly what you wanted to say through it so explore it a bit more (and by an example) if you want.
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        Apr 20 2011: I'm not sure I follow, but I'll try...

        "give me an example if you want which will support your idea that what's good and wrong can't be determinated in an objective way."
        Give me any example of a moral dilemma. Different people will take different options about it. Different moral principles and different holy scriptures may lead to one option or the other.

        If the way to determine what was moral was objective, either all principles would lead to a single option, or there would be a single principle that can always be applied to resolve conflicts.

        The very idea of a "moral dilemma" is something for which there is no objective way to determine what's moral, and it boils down to feelings and knowledge.

        "You said also something very important (not necessarily true) that what we think it's good and wrong depends on our knowledge ? I try to understand more exatcly what you wanted to say through it so explore it a bit more (and by an example) if you want."
        Abortion.

        We currently lack clear knowledge as to whether a ~3 month old fetus is "alive" (because depending on the definition of "life" you can say "yes" or "no"; "life" in the universal definition is still forming). If we clearly knew that a fetus was not alive, we can objectively say "Abortions allowed", and if we knew that a fetus was alive, we can objectively say "Abortions not allowed". Christianity's view on this ("it is life") is just that - view. It's not proven, therefore it's not objective. Hence many non-religious folk are currently "pro choice". If the mother thinks ~3 month old fetus is or is not alive (and inherently does or does not want to get rid of it), so be it.
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          Apr 20 2011: Really man , I don't know what you are talking about , I don't know what you understand when you say this expression "moral dilemma " because really from moral perspective doesn't exist dilemmas. .......... be more concrete, share an concrete example when morality isn't objective .
          "Different moral principles and different holy scriptures may lead to one option or the other." from moral perspective is impossible .
          "Give me any example of a moral dilemma. Different people will take different options about it." I really don't know any example , give you one if you know,but be carefull to be a moral 'dilemma'.
          the morality shares us what is good all the time , don't you agree? there is a single option , share me when morality say us to do something else than what's good.
          "either all principles would lead to a single option, or there would be a single principle that can always be applied to resolve conflicts." be more specific man .
          "life" in the universal definition is still forming" the life isn't something that can be formed , the life is an abstract thing something which have the nature as the ideas have, don't you agree? .......... the problem of abortion as you presented it isn't a moral 'dilemma' because the morality just say us to not kill , it say us to not kill whether that fetus have life or 'not'.
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        Apr 20 2011: "the problem of abortion as you presented it isn't a moral 'dilemma' because the morality just say us to not kill , it say us to not kill whether that fetus have life or 'not'."
        How do you "kill" something that is not living? By definition, killing is taking someone's life away. Turning something living into something dead (i.e. not living).

        If a fetus at this age can still be considered nothing more than an arm or an organ (a non living thing that is part of something living), how is it immoral for the owner to have medical control over it, same way you may want doctors to... let's say operate аppendicitis you may have.


        OK, an example of a moral dilemma... taken from Michael Sandel's lectures. Say you're stranded on a lonely island with a few other guys. You're all starving, there's no food on the island, the fish is unreachable, but one of the other guys is sick, and there's little chance of him getting better without medical help. It's likely for him to survive a few more days if he eats though.

        What do you do? You can't all do nothing, or you'll all die from starvation.

        There are multiple solutions to this, but none is flawless, and the "best" is determined differently depending on which moral principle you use to evaluate the situation (or simply how you feel about it).

        Proposed solutions in Sandel's lecture included
        - A straw gamble - the one who takes the longest/shortest straw is dinner. (Fair chance principle)
        - Eat the sick guy - it's not certain that he'll live as long as the others anyway. (Maximize overall goodness principle)
        - Ask the sick guy for consent, eat him if he agrees, check other options if not. (Golden rule + Consent)
        - Do nothing, let someone die from starvation and eat that one. (Survival of the fittest principle)
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          Apr 20 2011: ok, let's turn a bit back at what was the main point : you said that morality depends on knowledge and gave the example with abortion for supporting it; what I wanted to say is that morality doesn't depend on knowledge because as I said taking your example as starting point ,the morality say us to not kill whether the fetus have life or not (so it doesn't depend on if we know if fetus have life or not) and so about the everything, the morality say us only what to do whatever the conditions are , do you agree with it?
          Ok , it's a virtual situation that perhaps could happen , but it isn't in my opinion a moral dilemma because (as I said about the truth) what's good can't have at all some negative parts=what is good is good because it is completely/perfect good, you proposed some solutions (proposed by others perhaps , it doesn't matter) but none of these solutions are good solutions because they aren't completely good , and now morality say us all the time to do what is good (I think you agree with it) that is to say the morality say us all the time to do what is completely/perfect good but in your example there is nothing perfect/completely good as solutions, so your example isn't a moral dilemma .
          And the conclusion is obvious : Don't exist moral dilemmas . What do you think? Do you agree with what I said or not? if not, why?
          Having all these in mind I think is easier to understand why morality is objective, why it doesn't depend on external factors (or perhaps at least why I maintain this view).
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        Apr 21 2011: "the morality say us to not kill whether the fetus have life or not"
        Make that "Judeo-Christian morality". For Christians, the bible tells us not to kill any human life, with any fetus, regardless of age, being included as human life. But this is based on "the word of God", and not something objective we can all observe or measure.

        The objective part everyone can agree to is that we shouldn't kill any human life (objective because everyone discussing or observing the issue is "human life" by any definition and clearly wouldn't want to be killed), but what qualifies as "life" isn't objectively defined.

        Is it something which has a nervous system (and can therefore feel pain)? What about plants then (last time I checked, they don't have such a system)? And if that's applicable only to humans, then we go back to the fact we don't clearly know when the nervous system starts in a fetus, especially one under ~3 months of age.
        Something which breathes by some means (photosynthesis or lungs)? No fetus at any age qualifies then since lungs are activated at birth.

        The bible says it is life, but doesn't give any evidence or a solid definition of "life" we can agree to and apply on everything the definition claims to cover.

        You are free to "have faith" in the bible being true in this regard, but without evidence, that's still just faith - unproven, subjective, with status Unknown, therefore there's no objective reason to actually enforce anything such as a law to forbid abortions. That's unlike the case for murdering (borne) people, where we can clearly say they're life by all definitions.

        "but it isn't in my opinion a moral dilemma because (as I said about the truth) what's good can't have at all some negative parts=what is good is good because it is completely/perfect good"
        You can see even with your definition that there is a difference between "good" and "completely good". What's moral is what is most good, "completely good" if that's an option. But it's not always one.
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          Apr 21 2011: First of all , you talk uttrely nonsense to me about the christian faith because when I talk about morality I DO NOT CARE what say christian faith (more than that I'm not christian yet)...........I really don't know what's so difficult to understand what I said but I will formulate a bit different all what I said: I said that morality doesn't depend on our knowledge taking as example the abortion problem , what matter if fetus have life or not from moral perspective? this doesn't matter from moral perspective, because morality say us to not kill and that's all , the morality doesn't say us to make or not abortion , do you understand now?
          "You can see even with your definition that there is a difference between "good" and "completely good" I see now that you didn't understand really anything , because what I meant to say is exatcly what's opposite : THERE IS NO difference between good and perfect/completely good, that is to say, the good is absolute , that's what I said , on it rest all my argument for eliminating the idea of moral dilemma and for sharing that the morality is something objective, if you have to say something against the fact that morality isn't objective say it against this argument. ok?
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        Apr 21 2011: "THERE IS NO difference between good and perfect/completely good, that is to say, the good is absolute , that's what I said , on it rest all my argument for eliminating the idea of moral dilemma and for sharing that the morality is something objective"
        So what is the situation above then? A situation of which there is not a "moral" way per that definition, and therefore anything is allowed.

        Can you then allow for the scenario of you killing everyone else one by one and eating them, making it a state of complete anarchy/jungle/hunt-pray/selfish kind of behavior? I'm guessing "No", right? But why not if what's moral can't be applied here? Because of what's "good"? How do you define "good"? Do you define "moral" as "absolutely good" then, and if so, doesn't that mean we're all immoral since none of us ever does the "absolute good" all the time? What is "absolute good"?

        "the morality doesn't say us to make or not abortion , do you understand now?"
        You're saying "the morality" as if it's a single universal thing everyone agrees and follows in full... which morality set are we talking about? Are there clearly defined rules you can outline that don't contradict each other and that apply to any set of possible actions to determine the moral action(s)? I can think of the golden rule, but that doesn't answer every moral question.

        Anyway, performing abortion by definition is destroying the fetus. If the fetus was to be objectively considered alive, destruction of something that is alive and human becomes another way of saying "killing". making it immoral from "the morality"'s standpoint (leaving the legal part of it aside). We don't know, but if we did, we'd have full confidence to say if abortion was a moral act or not.

        Historically, once upon a time we learned animals actually have emotions... which stopped people from thinking hoisting a cat on stick and watching it suffer was moral and entertaining, and I'm guessing also created the first vegetarians.
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          Apr 22 2011: "So what is the situation above then? A situation of which there is not a "moral" way per that definition, and therefore anything is allowed."...... I intended to say that there is a moral way in everything because the morality exist but in that example the solutions offered aren't moral because aren't perfectly good.
          "Can you then allow for the scenario of you killing everyone else one by one and eating them, making it a state of complete anarchy/jungle/hunt-pray/selfish kind of behavior? I'm guessing "No", right? But why not if what's moral can't be applied here?" the moral law can be applied everywhere because moral law say us to do what's absolute good in EVERY situation, as I said the morality doesn't depend on any situation, knowledge or everything.
          Vasil , when I said that morality is objective I think it's normal to understand that the morality is ONLY one , it can't be more sets of moralities and all of them be objective at the same time , it's impossible.
          " Are there clearly defined rules you can outline that don't contradict each other and that apply to any set of possible actions to determine the moral action(s)?" I don't necessarily call them rules but the answer at your question is YES.
          Do you define "moral" as "absolutely good" then, and if so, doesn't that mean we're all immoral since none of us ever does the "absolute good" all the time? Yes you understand corect, ALL of us are immoral.
          Good=absolute good, in other words what's good is all the time absolute good . It's difficult to give you now a complete definition of this word "good" , what I mean by it but I'm relying on your(on every man in fact) intuition .
          The morality doesn't depends also on emotions , the animals don't have morality.
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        Apr 22 2011: "The morality doesn't depends also on emotions , the animals don't have morality."
        Researches suggest otherwise. Here's one article
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/5373379/Animals-can-tell-right-from-wrong.html

        Yes, I agree the true morality is only one, but to say "the morality says" implies you understand "the morality" in full.

        "the moral law can be applied everywhere because moral law say us to do what's absolute good in EVERY situation, as I said the morality doesn't depend on any situation, knowledge or everything. "
        If the situation above has no outcome that we can consider "moral" and, by your definition, absolutely good, then this means that this is one situation in which "the moral law" can't be applied, therefore your statement above about morality not depending on situation is false.

        Besides, that still doesn't answer what do you call the "law" that stops you from killing and eating everyone in that scenario where what's absolutely good is not possible. Surely you find it a worse option than, say, killing just one person and sharing it with the others, right? But why so if "Good=absolute good" (and I assume "absolute good = morality")?

        "I intended to say that there is a moral way in everything because the morality exist but in that example the solutions offered aren't moral because aren't perfectly good."
        Can you say what would be perfectly good then? If you can't, this means we don't fully understand morality, hence it's not objectively defined yet.
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          Apr 23 2011: ( the last time I was a bit hurry and I didn't explain well my point I will fill myself now.)

          "Yes, I agree the true morality is only one" this is good ( "but to say "the morality says" implies you understand "the morality" in full ......... it is not necessarily") , it's good that you agreed on this because this just prove that the morality is objective , you know there are just two options either the morality is objective or it is subjective , being one you can't say that the morality is subjective (when you say that something is subjective you automaticaly introduce something else after which you judge the subjectiveness of that thing) being only one the morality is objective .
          The moral law can be applied everywhere, I'll say you now why taking your examples and some of my answers as starting point: I said about morality that this say us to do what's perfect good but I said also as an answer to your question that we can't do what's perfect good (that we are immoral) and we can't understand what's perfect ,we understand just parts from what is perfect (this also is proved in your examples :all this solutions there have something good in them , according to what I said they are just parts ) we personalize everything (we make everything subjective) because we can't understand the objectiveness , the perfectness. This situation is also applied to morality , the morality say us to do what's perfect good but we personalize it because we can't otherwise...........so having all these in mind now it's easy to see that don't matter what we consider:"If the situation above has no outcome that we can consider "moral"" ......so the morality can be apply whatever the situations are, whatever we consider.
          Can you repeat your point from this paragraph "Besides, that still..." I do not see what you wanted to say.
          "Can you say what would be perfectly good then?" I could say: God , but this isn't an answer ........... I really wondering what ......... (see the next post
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          Apr 23 2011: what do you mean when you say that something is objective ? (you contradict yourself when you say that something is unique and subjectively).
          "If you can't, this means we don't fully understand morality, hence it's not objectively defined yet." I can't without being superficial but this doesn't prove anything , the objectiveness of a thing doesn't depend on anything because that thing is really objective .
          If you read carefully what I said I'm sure you will find out why I say that the animals do not have morality , that article just share us that the animals have a kind of emotions which somehow can be associated with the morality but I disagree emotions can't be associated with the morality because the emotions are good and bad.
          You know Vasil , all what I said is resting upon the idea that the good is perfect is absolute if you wanna contradict me (I'm waiting it) the best way to do it I think is to contradict this idea, i disagree with you about your 'method' to contradict me because what you've done was to look at what implies what I said (the results ) and to say something against it , I don't think is normal and corect to do so especially because I brought in discussion all the time absolute things .
      • Apr 22 2011: We are all subjected to positive and negative emotions, (Wrong and right.) They can be a blessing or a curse, it all depends on how we perceive them. There is one scientific fact and that is; without this variety of emotions, intelligent life could not exist. It is where we get our stimulation from, without them what would we have to talk about, what would we have to read about. laugh about, fight about. The latter may sound obligatory by nature, but anger is a positive emotion. The only real negative emotion is Hate. It is believed that this emotion is never dreamed about, I wonder why?
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          Apr 23 2011: Derek I try to connect the dots : do you think that the emotions are part of morality, that the morality is partialy made up from emotions? if yes , why ?
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        Apr 22 2011: BTW, since we went on about the "objectivity" of morality, here's a video that basically shows my case (coincidently from a Romanian):
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCC3zGYKYPM
        Starts off with the theists vs. atheist part, but goes onto specifying how to objectively define what's moral, and even ends up with yet another example where it's impossible to make something "moral" by your definition, but where a bad action is still preferable to a worse action.

        Here's more universally acceptable definitions of "moral":
        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moral
        nowhere in those definitions is the idea of "right" being "absolute". Someone who always does an absolutely good/right action over his life is typically considered "saintly", while "moral" is everyone who always does the right action, whether that action is absolutely good or not, as it can't be in some cases.

        (BTW, I don't think it's a coincidence that yet another religious term is used to label yet another absolute concept; This again shows religion's unwillingness to change for the better, claiming it's the absolute best already)
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          Apr 23 2011: why shouldn't religion claim that it have the absolute reality ?
          Vasil what I said is that, can't be , it's imposible for what's right to not be absolute (I proved it with one main argument which say that if what's good isn't absolute good , it will be a contradiction), knowing this it's easy to see that there is no diffrence between a moral man and a sainlty one.
          We can't objectively define anything, not just morality........
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        Apr 23 2011: When I say "objective" I mean "universal for all subjects". Emotion and knowledge are not consistent from one subject to another, but they influence the actions the subject chooses to do. Morality is about doing the right actions (per the linked definition of the word). Therefore, morality (as in "doing the right action") can't be objective unless emotions and knowledge didn't influence the actions we choose to do OR influenced our decision in the same way.

        That said, for SOME situations, we can objectively say what's moral, because the emotions and knowledge of each subject would affect their decision to the action in the same way, therefore it is still universal across subjects, therefore objective. For example, we can objectively say it's not moral to kill, because no individual would want to be killed, and we wouldn't want to see arbitrary people be killed either.

        But in situations like the one I presented above, there is no single "right" action. There is certainly a wrong action, that being the "kill everyone" option, but there are multiple right actions, so what's moral there is subjective - each person is going to consider a different one of those actions being right.

        The fact that morality has changed over history is evidence that morality wasn't absolute (and no religion shouldn't have therefore claimed so about itself). The fact there are still situations for which we can't determine the right action is also evidence that morality is still not absolute. Until humanity has enough knowledge to objectively suggest what's moral for every possible situation, we can't define morality in full as "objective". Considering that the list of possible actions will grow as we enable ourselves to do previously impossible or unimaginable things (an example that has only recently become conceivable: creating arbitrary life), we can also say morality is never going to be absolute unless we can do anything and at the same time are able to say what's right from all.
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          Apr 24 2011: "When I say "objective" I mean "universal for all subjects"" can you be more precise? do you say through it that the objectiveness depends on the most or on the all subjects ?........ and an absurd thing is universal for all subjects , be more precise a bit.
          So you said that because of the fact that emotions and knowledge influence the actions for subjects chooses to do (and I agree with it) the morality can't be objective, because the morality is about doing the right thing....................Vasil (without angry) I realize that I've talk with you to no end because neither in that definition which you gave to me nor in what I said the morality isn't about doing the right action in the sense in which you used it ........ it ONLY say us to do the right, the good action whatever we know , whatever we feel (I've proved it ).
          "But in situations like the one I presented above, there.........." I've answered you at this and I proved you that what you say is absurd and false introducing the idea of the good (the right) being absolute , you didn't prove anything , you just keep your point and this to no end.
          "The fact that morality has changed over history is evidence that morality wasn't absolute (and no............." from this paragraph let me say you that you don't know what means this concept of something being objective , and I answered you to almost everything what you said in this paragraph .................. if you wanna continue this conversation please prove, not just answer(I want to see clear the arguments ) , PROVE : -that the good , the right isn't absolute (that's the most important)
          -that the morality has changed over history
          -that emotions and knowledge condition the morality (not just influence it )............and define what you mean by this word: objective...............otherwise is imposible to continue this conversation.
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        May 1 2011: The main point was that something being objective and something being absolute are two different things. That's the main thing we need to start off with. The arguments are similar to those for knowledge.

        Morality is dependent on knowledge, and I gave you an example of that earlier. Knowledge is not absolute (because we could find something we held as true to be false, vice-versa and we find new things) and won't be unless we knew everything, but the true (scientific) knowledge is one and is objective. Objective because regardless of who performs the experiments, they'd reach the same one result with the same conditions. So... for morality to be objective, regardless of who is placed in a certain situation, they need to be able to reach the same one action in this same situation. It also follows from this that until knowledge is absolute, morality can't become absolute (as in "unchangeable with regards to any and all existing objective views").

        I believe the one true morality is objective in this sense - that the objectively right action is always one, even though this one right action might change as knowledge grows. However, I also think we don't currently have a morality set that we can call "the one true morality", because every morality set leaves you with situations in which different people would do different actions, all of which would be considered moral in a way. All morality sets are objective to a certain extent (such as the common and objective assessment that murder is a bad idea, to put it mildly), but none is "objective by definition".

        In those situations that can't be objectively determined, we're left with letting feelings determine the right thing, and those feelings are based on a variety of subjective things, making morality in such cases subjective.

        If a morality set is to be "the one true morality", it needs to offer a way that can potentially unambiguously resolve ANY situation to a single action that would objectively be deemed moral.
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          May 1 2011: Everything Vasil said is 99 percent.
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          May 2 2011: I don't think that you will be surprised to find out that I disagree with you about how you defined the objectiveness ( in the field of science , only in the empirical science , this sense is used but here is only an adaptation , I was sure you will say it from our conversation about the scientific method) usually this word is used about the things not persons as in science " regardless of who performs the experiments, they'd reach the same one result with the same conditions".........Look what is the true mean of this words in my opinion: and an objective thing = it doesn't depend on anything , and subjective thing= it does depend on subjects (don't forget we talk here about morality not about the persons which the morality is studied on , ok?) and the morality doesn't depend on its subjects (I said you why :because morality only say us what is right and corect to do ) so it is objective. Perhaps I said you about your example that this do not share that the morality depend on knowledge.
          "The main point was that something being objective and something being absolute are two different things." you are wrong , think a bit more and you will find out that a feature of what's absolute is the objectiveness of that thing..
          Man , I said you that a true thing is also objective (because the truthfulness of a thing doesn't depend on anything) , a true thing is always true and will ever be so , morality say us to do only what's right , true , how couldn't it be objective?
          You don't understand man (this is from what you said)........sorry
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        May 8 2011: Strange... what I attempted to write the last time was deleted for some reason...

        Anyway,
        '"The main point was that something being objective and something being absolute are two different things." you are wrong , think a bit more and you will find out that a feature of what's absolute is the objectiveness of that thing.'
        History is evidence of this not always being the case.

        Slavery and stoning rape victims are two cases which were once upon a time considered objectively moral. What changed was who we consider "people" and who we consider to have a right in the case. In the case of slavery, we included humans of all races as people, and therefore reevaluated their rights as equal to ours. In the case of rape victims, we swapped the man's right for the woman's right. Each side has a self-defensive position which was objectively a right one, but we changed in which one we picked as the right one.

        The concept of any fact or value being absolute is absolutely wrong. While there are facts which can be formed in a way that can't be changed, that doesn't mean they are always and everywhere what they are. If I tell you "the sky is blue", that's only based on its current status and current evidence. Another kind of atmosphere (assuming its still habitable) will make it of a different color, so the statement only remains true at the time I make the claim. Suggesting "that's the only truth. It can't be any other way" is silly at best... besides, the sky is gray in some city or industrial zones, so in their point of view, saying "the sky is blue" is simply false.

        What we deem objective depends our understanding and perception (if you prefer that in place of "knowledge"), which are limited. And what's absolute would require full understanding. That's also the reason why absolute morality is delegated as the word of God in holy scriptures, and not to men. Even religious people understand they're not entitled to absolute stuff, hence they outsource it to God.
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          May 9 2011: Vasil the conversation will be finished in some hours ....................thank you for your amability to keep a conversation going , and my advise is to study more about the objective reality on which is based all our judgements , look in every philosophy , any rational philosopher won't deny the existence of the objective reality (and especially the atheists philosophers )..................I'm wondering if you have ever read some philosophy.............you don't know what are you talking about , you contradict yourself alone:"What we deem objective depends our understanding and perception"........sorry
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      Apr 20 2011: I commend you for your patience and perseverance.
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        May 2 2011: I second this,

        Eduard and S.R are outputting SIGNIFICANTLY more than they are inputting.
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          May 2 2011: what are we outputting?
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          May 8 2011: @Eduard
          I'll somewhat disagree with Nicholas on this, as indeed, you in particular are not outputting half what S.R. does. You're much more balanced in your I/O ratio in comparison, which I appreciate.

          And when we say "outputting" or "inputting" we're talking about the generic definitions of "giving something" and "getting something". In this case, you're giving out your ideas more than you're accepting criticism in the form of alternative ideas and corrections, but like I said, you and S.R. are definitely not in the same group, as your input ratio is higher.

          Perhaps I too output more than I input, but that's probably because my kind of input filter is different, based on evidence, logic, reason and common sense, and not on dogmatic concepts (like "absolute" and "infallible"), trust, authority and sheep mentality.
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          May 8 2011: hmm......good , I see what you mean .
  • Apr 14 2011: Like Erik Richardson, I have always been a big believer in Occam's razor. Keep it simple and look at the evidence. For example, what is the tree of knowledge of good and evil and what is it's fruit? All the evidence is there for the mystery to be solved, so guessing is unnecessary. Do a search: The First Scandal. Then click twice.
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    Apr 14 2011: I would like to add to this conversation science should be considered in the form of the post-modern usage.

    Science as a primary value and not a tool to build on constructed values!!
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      Apr 14 2011: can you be more precise? What do you mean when you say that "should be considered in the form of the post-modern usage"?
      And what do you man when you say that science is a primary value?
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        Apr 14 2011: In post modern terms science is just the process of eliminating the impossible to give a better foundation to actuality... science was not limited subjects like biology or anatomy.

        As a primary value science would be where people start there idea creating instead of using science to build on pre-constructed values.

        Best example is Einstein, after he helped make the Atom Bomb he saw the possible slippery slope that could come from using science to build on war. War being a constructed value and not a primary.

        Primary values are where we start to figure out what is right and wrong morally, ethically and compatible with reality.

        Science being a primary value would make it, what it was originally, math and philosophies father.
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          Apr 15 2011: you said that the "Primary values are where we start to figure out what is right and wrong morally, ethically and compatible with reality." and also that the science is a primary value:"As a primary value, science...." how can science help us to figure out what is right and wrong? What's right isn't a value before to be science a value? how can a process be a value ?
          A value is something good and true , why science shouldn't be build on another primary values?
          "science is just the process of eliminating the impossible" do you think that the science could do it?
          but about primary values....... the science is the man's creation , do you think that a man without having some primary values , could create something that will worth to be called science?
          it is very interesting what you said , but be more precise........and you are welcomed to continue your point (espacially answering to this questions).
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        Apr 15 2011: You are asking a lot of me, there are TED talks about science creating morals.

        Science shouldn't be built on another value without the value being recognized as a benefit. I.E my Einstein example. When the value (war) in which science is being built on is covered up by the science its original intent is now covered up. Let's take more examples from America now, ITT is a weapons building company, they design weapons. Weapon designing involves engineering which is a science. The primary value is war, not science. Science as being the primary value would disregard war altogether. Now I said benefit earlier, well now consider rationally what is better and more beneficial, working together or working against one another? Exactly, war is not a benefit it is a a created value from other created values not based off of science. It is impossible to not have war with more war it is just common sense.

        Science is the result of man eliminating the unlikely to make the likely more likely. The name science just gives trial and error another word when referring to science as a primary value. Like I said you cannot have math and philosophy without science being the primary value as our forefathers of thought accepted.

        Philosophy today is not "the science of thought" but "the history of thought in comparison"

        Math should be "the science of logic" what it is today is some elitist ideal of yes or no answers.

        Examples of more primary values are health, nutrition, entertainment, stimulation and companionship. We need primary values to do more than just survive. Awareness of primary values is what makes us the intelligent animals we are and not just living to survive.

        Science being a primary value would prevent a lot of immoral deeds from taking place as often as they do, in my opinion.

        How'd I do?
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    Apr 12 2011: Kathy.......No, the Bible does not refer specifically to an "Apple" . That was a reader addition, but I hope you understand that. Yes there is that dichotomy between animal mind and the higher power mind. I myself do not believe in duality. I don't think evil exists as evil but it is a condition brought about by a lack of Goodness. I don't know much about Kaballah except that it is written by a Rabbinical group as an explanation. If I am wrong, please correct me.
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    Apr 12 2011: If you're looking for a serious, passionate but rational discussion of science, you have come to the wrong place. This guy is only trying to convince himself that the theory of evolution isn't science and attempting to poke what he thinks is holes in the scientific method.
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      Apr 13 2011: thanks Matthieu for what you said about me because it's perfect true (and I'm very serious) with the exceptions that I'm not trying to convince myself , I've done it before, ......( in my opinion any rational being will talk as arational one)
      but : why do you say that the evolution theory is only science?
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        Apr 13 2011: It follows the scientific methodology. It was first formulated as a hypothesis based on observations made by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace and then further strengthened by the accumulation of evidence and correlation wiht other fields (geology, genetics...). Darwin provided a number of falsifiable claims that enable us to test the theory. We know exactly what kind of evidence would be needed to disprove the theory (which is not to say it is likely to be disproven, it means the claims are testable and falsifiable if data can, in theory, disprove it). The theory of evolution has benefited from more than a century of research, never coming accross a piece of evidence that disproves its core principles.

        Now tell me which part of evolution isn't science and why? Everything the theory of evolution claims, it does so in a naturalistic way based on repeated consolidation through observation.Any biologist will tell you that you can't make much sense of how things works except in the light of evolution.

        Consider also the fact that Charles Darwin couldn't have possibly known the things we now know about genetics but they fit his theory so perfectly. The fact that all species have a DNA code and that closely related species share so much of their DNA with us (chimps and humans share 90%+ of their DNA) confirms what Darwin predicted with his theory, that all species on Earth have a common ancestor.

        Before you dispute the word 'falsifiable' let me explain it to you. To say that a claim is falsifiable is to say that it can be, in theory, disproven because it is a naturalistic claim. Here is an example of a claim that isn't 'falsifiable': there is an invisible and untouchable unicorn in the room. That is not something you can test. It's not science. You can make that claim, but its not science.

        The Earth is a spheroid. You can test that. It's falsifiable and yet we all know the Earth is a spheroid, it's not likely to be disproven. Same goes with the evidence for evolution.
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          Apr 14 2011: "It follows the scientific methodology" I think that's the main argument that you present here about what I asked you and exatcly that's the problem because in my view the scientific methodology(as was described by you and others here) don't reveal only scientific facts , don't reveal only what worth to be called science...............(but this is about me and the conversation isn't about me)
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          Apr 14 2011: ok, what's means this expresion "scientific methodology"?(I referred at the scientific method) .......sorry for my grammar , English isn't my native language.
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    Apr 11 2011: Faith is believing God exists even though you can’t prove that he does.
    Science is believing neither but attempting to prove either.

    Faith is accepting that God created everything that is and ever was.
    Science is trying to figure out how He did it.

    Faith is holding firm to the Word of God as a work of truth breathe through man by the Almighty.
    Science is grasping firmly the laws of science, the principles of questioning every possibility and the resistance to holding on too firmly to theories that are still evolving and as yet unproven.

    Faith is living your life by the Word in good times as well as times of challenge and despair.
    Science is a tireless and unwavering search for truth no mater where it leads.

    Faith is an act of obedience to the laws of God.
    Science is complete and blind obedience to the laws of physics.

    Faith is not an absence of the truth it’s an embracing of it.
    Science is not an absence of faith it’s an evaluating of it.

    Faith is not for believers it is for practitioners.
    Science is not exclusive to practitioners it requires of each the believers creed.

    Faith does not belittle a man to elevate his God, in fact it strengthens one to serve another.
    Science does not diminish god when it understands his physics, in fact it positions itself to the right proportion with Him.

    Faith is not a denial of science, it is affection for Gods creation.
    Science is not the absence of God it results in an affirmation of Him.

    Faith is not an exclusion of science, it’s just not a requirement of faith.
    Science is not an exclusion of faith, on the contrary faith is a requirement.

    Something I wrote a while back that I thought I may offer here.

    While gaps remain in both camps, we must all show some humility.
    The scientific postulations about our origin has not answered every question and the creationist position that God created everything cannot simple be used as a means to limit scientific inquiry.

    BMM - http://brians-say.blogspot.com/
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      Apr 11 2011: Faith is irrelevant. Your technological and biological distinctiveness will be added to our own. We are the Borg. Resistance is futile.
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        Apr 11 2011: I hear you, it is the way it is.
        We definitely take ourselves way too seriously.
        Live long and prosper my friend, for the Borg cometh.

        BMG
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        Apr 11 2011: Ted, why faith is irrelevant ?
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    Apr 10 2011: "Belief" in science is different from belief in God. When you believe in God, you're not saying that he exists so much as saying you trust in him, put your faith in him. When you believe in science it's like believing in a table: Yeah it's there, it's a thing, I believe it's there because I interact with it and others interact with it and come to the same conclusion as I do: It's a table. There is no intrinsic qualitative value to any scientific theory or fact, it's simply knowledge. I can use the table to serve a dinner, or I can put it into a wrestling match. It's what I do with the products of science that has any moral or otherwise qualitative aspect.

    The power of science is in it's method: You formulate an hypothesis based on previous experience and research. You form that hypothesis into a yes/no question. You then design an experiment or position yourself for observations, and record the results. You then answer the question. Do this enough, and you can formulate a theory. And then you try your best to prove your theory wrong. Then you publish. And then everyone else tries to prove it wrong (or right, depending on one's opinion). If no one can and you can provide evidence that the theory is true, then it is agreed to be true. Until further evidence or observation comes in. Basically at least.

    The limits of science aren't limiting what we can understand. Those limits provide the guidelines that allow us to claim with all reasonable certainty the validity of a statement, as well as help guide us when all we can say is that something seems to be true, but we don't know for sure. Science is certain and ambiguous.
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      Apr 11 2011: Daniel, I can assure you that many who believe in God absolutely know that he exists, they see him and experience him in their daily lives. He is a physical being and as real as your table. Where Faith comes in to the believers world is in explaining him, who is he?, why is he? and what purpose is he?. The Faith believer is faced with the very same questions as the evolutionist as to our origins. One accepts an ordered creation and the other an unordered, random beginning. One accepts, by Faith that God created everything and he will provide the answers after reunification and salvation. The other believes that an immense energy source, a black hole erupted and out of this violent explosion the solar systems expanded (continues to expand) and formed and man's journey began. Obviously that hypothesis may never be proven, but is is however postulated and many have accepted it, but on what grounds, Faith?
      Where was this energy source in time? When was it? What held it in it's space and time? What were it's origins? No one may adequately answer these questions and so we, those in both camps accept the things we can prove and quantify and take by Faith the things we cannot.
      BMG - http://brians-say.blogspot.com/
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        Apr 11 2011: agreed, in my opinion you are right Brian.
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          Apr 11 2011: @Eduard: Ok, I see what you mean now. I have to disagree though. The findings of science are often in contradiction with one or more religions. That's not to say that there can't be some similarities. The idea of the numinous for one, or that quote from Einstein, "... I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research." for another.

          The strength of the scientific method goes back to epistemology, how does one know what one knows? How can I claim to know something? The philosophy that science bases itself on comes from the idea that knowledge requires not just your own experience, but that the experiences of others correspond to yours. Thus if I say I found a rock and point to a lump of granite, and the other person agrees that it's a rock, then it's probably a rock. The only other explanations are outright lies and shared delusions, both of which can be tested. I put that very simply, but that's the basic idea.

          This is why scientists are so keen on full disclosure, especially of testing methods and results. For one scientist to do the experiment is one thing, but it's not until every scientist has or can perform the same experiment and they reach the same conclusions does that theory become accepted. Science claims as knowledge that which can be externally verified, and each branch has it's own ways of ensuring this. But each way of ascertaining the truth comes down to the same underlying principles: The theory must fit the facts (read observations and experiments), they must not contradict other theories that have not been disproven, and it must make testable predictions.

          We know where we both stand on the science/religion contradiction issue, but I don't want it to be just my perspective. I would quite like to hear why you think religion and science are not in contradiction, if you want.
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        Apr 11 2011: @Brian: You reiterated my point: Faith in God goes beyond claiming His existence. "Belief" in science is only claiming existence.

        You asked on what grounds might one accept the current model of the universe. All independently verifiable evidence leads to that conclusion, and our current explanations for why things are the way they are is the best ones to explain the observed facts.

        You also seem to misunderstand the nature of the big bang. Time and space were created at the big bang, and it is for all intents and purposes, still banging. All the universe was made in that event, and the echoes of that event are all around us. This theory explains the cosmic microwave background, the Hubble constant, the generation of stars and planets from coalescing clouds of material as evidenced by our own and other solar systems, as well as pretty much every other cosmological observation ever made. I believe that the big bang happened because of observations of the stars and experiments on the ground. The big bang, as well as all scientific theories, are subject to independent verification and validation.

        Faith is internal, and not subject to external verification (thumb screws don't count). So if you see Him and experience Him every day, then who am I to say you haven't? But if you tell me that science is just a guess, as probable as an accurate description of the world as religion, then I say you're flat out wrong. All independently verifiable evidence points to the big bang, and it's the explanation that best fits what we know about the universe. As a theory it is possible it will be wrong (more likely inaccurate), but by weight of the evidence and breadth of it's explanation it far outweighs any religious cosmological theory.
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          Apr 11 2011: Thank you for a reasoned response to my comments. I have no reason what ever to doubt the big bang occurred, in fact science has presented irrefutable evidence to support such an event almost certainly did occur. I was merely contrasting two positions that have been a source of division amongst many and may continue to be so for a long time. There are still many unanswered questions about our origins and purpose (if there is one) and I suspect that science may well be the appointed arbiter in the end.
          As far as time and space and it's formation, I get the point of origin when theorists have postulated their beginning. My suggestion that something existed before that Big Bang. the source of the events energy had to have existed in some other time and space before the actual Big Bang itself occurred.
          It is within these ambiguities that Faith of all variety manifests.
          BMG
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          Apr 11 2011: Daniel , sorry if my posts let you the impression that "that science is just a guess" , I didn't intend it......what I'm trying to share is that religion doesn't contradict science .
          You said something about the power of the science being in the scientific method? Explore it a bit more if you want.
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        Apr 11 2011: @ Brian: Thank you as well. There are big questions about what came before the big bang, and about our origins. We should be asking these questions, but at this point, we have no way to verify any theory for what came before the big bang. It may turn out that the question has no meaning, or the answer negates the idea of God, or that God is the only possible explanation. And so I agree, faith is required to believe in any hypothesis about that, be it scientific or divine. I think that we're basically in agreement about this, just approaching it from different perspectives. Thank you for showing me your perspective, and I'd be like to hear your ideas about what came before the big bang.
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          Apr 11 2011: Daniel, if I knew that I would be in high demand, perhaps even a god myself :)
          It is however something I have spent much time thinking about, especially after perusing the annals of the Hubble photo library. But I usually stop when my head begins to ache :)
          I suspect that there is something out there that is even grander than the Cosmos but as yet beyond our understanding or imagination to conceptualize. I believe that one day we will however get a glimpse into this unknown and that singular event will change everything forever.
          In the meanwhile I will remain fascinated by the awesomeness of our solar system and a proponent of all scientific endeavours that'll bring those answers sooner rather than later.
          BMG
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        Apr 11 2011: :)
        I will also gaze in rapture at the awesome spectacle of our universe! Speaking of, have you ever seen Brian Cox's 'Wonders of the Solar System'? It's oozing with cosmic awesome sauce. If you haven't seen it yet, then I hope you enjoy it. If you have seen it, than I hope you enjoyed it!
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          Apr 11 2011: I have not, but I have tracked it down and will view when time allows.
          Thanks for the conversation and the heads up on Brian Cox's piece.
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      Apr 12 2011: Daniel , I think also like you that are contradictions between science and religion but in my opinion there are not main contradictions , or more exatcly I think it's a problem at us when appear main contradictions between this two. I can say you why I think that religion and science shouldn't be in contradiction : it, because both have the same goal : to discover our origins and the meaning of life, and because as a creationist I think that God created everything , and science being about us , about our univers, in a word being about His creation I think that this two shouldn't be in contradictions ...........(but yet I'm also aware that we live in a real world not in an ideal one so I think it's normal to be contradictions and between this two).
      Do you think that we should strive to eliminate this contradictions?
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        Apr 12 2011: If God created the heavens and the Earth in such a way as to produce a universe indistinguishable from one created without a deity, and He created Humans with all the faculties and abilities necessary to understand and improve their world, then He cannot interfere in the world. To do so would be to destroy the carefully sculpted illusion of non-divine creation.

        God (if He exists) has created the world such that all examination of the world produces natural, non-divine explanations of the world. It's almost as if he doesn't want us to prove his existence. Why? Maybe so that we can have the choice, so that we have free will. Which also explains why He would endow us with intelligence, compassion, dexterity, and all our other gifts. So why give us all these tools to explore a world which does not require divine explanation? Why give us the compassion to find out our own moral values? Why give us free will?

        Maybe because He doesn't want to babysit us forever. Maybe he's waiting for us to step up to the plate and take care of ourselves.

        I don't think God (if he exists) will create heaven or hell on Earth. I think he left it up to us.

        *Made up word, couldn't think of one that meant "Makes *** to be unnecessary"
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          Apr 13 2011: You put some very interesting questions .................
          so do you think that we can create heaven and hell on the earth ? if you want to be more clear, how can we do that ? is it a metaphor?
          All what you have enumerated :free will, intelligence, compassion, dexterity, and all our other gifts, all these are good , and I think that's the reason for which He gave us all these.(in fact if we look carefully we find out that He gave us only good things) should I (or someone else) answer why He gave us only what's good?
          What do you mean when you say that our univers is indistinguishable from one created without a deity? do we know another univers?
          And about this :"God (if He exists) has created the world such that all examination of the world produces natural, non-divine explanations of the world." do you think that we could see and understand something that is divine? .....in my opinion, everything produces natural , non-divine esplanations because we are natural , this explanations are for us couldn't be divine for us , maybe there are divine explanations for divine creatures , what do you think ?
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        Apr 14 2011: Hi Eduard,

        If God created a world in which divine creatures get divine answers, but mortals only get the mortal word, then we as mortals may as well excise divine explanations from our worldview, for we will never know those explanations on Earth. Which goes back to my point about the universe - all our explorations of the world around us can be described and understood without requiring any divine intervention to make it work. Therefore, if God does exist, he evidentially does not want us to be able to prove his existence.

        Which makes sense in a Judeo-Catholic context (Roman Cat. do be specific, formerly at least). Religious faith is a leap - You don't believe in God because you have a video tape of Him, but because He lives in your heart. And so He must create a world that, at least as seen from the inside, does not require a deity of any sort to make it happen. In order to provide for us the illusion of free will (free will is undermined by an all powerful God and so must be illusion), he must make that illusion match true free will exactly. In order to do that he must make a world which can be explained without God's intervention. In order to give us free will, God must cut Himself off from His creation.

        And so yes, "heaven and hell" was a metaphor. If God exists, and He gave us our minds and our bodies, and he gave us a world that could be understood by us, then He must want us to take care of things ourselves. We have the power to create peace on Earth; We have the power to destroy the Earth: We are the ones who will decide our fate.
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          Apr 14 2011: Daniel , that's the problem we can't exisce the divine explanations from our worldview because we don't know everything , and we will never know.
          "all our explorations of the world around us can be described and understood without requiring any divine intervention to make it work." I'm doubting about that, again we don't know everything and we will never know and about our origins no scientific explanation don't offer us an answer............I think that's the greatest challenge of the science :to get divine answers by normal methods..........you know, normal methods, normal answers , we can't do more than what's normal and that don't means that the divine don't have any role but means exatcly the contrary .
          I have to fill myself by saying that in my opinion free will is a relative conception.
          so you say that if we have the power to do what we want we can decide our fate,but for doing what we want we must have free will and if we do have just the illusion of free will , .....how come?
          I have a frank question for you : do you think that if God will reveal Himself by normal things (a video tape for example) will we believe that He is God?
          You know when we say that God live in our hearts we use spiritual sense here , we aren't just physical body, we have souls , do you agree with me on that? if not why? and if yes , don't you think that a world as seen from inside could mean as seen through our soul's capacities (and this I think it's obvious requires a diety for make it happen) ?
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        Apr 15 2011: You bring up a lot of points, and they deserve better answers. However, I don't have the space to do a proper job of it, so I'll touch on one point and then answer your ending questions. I also would like to get some more of your perspective, and so I would like to finish up with a few questions.

        You're absolutely right, we don't know everything. That's the whole point of science, or as Dara O'Briain put it, "Science knows it doesn't know everything ... otherwise it would stop". My comment about explorations excluded that which we do not know (yet), the point being that everything that we do know is naturally explicable.

        Look around you: The clouds in the sky, the birds, the trees. The cars and buildings, the roller coasters and table coasters. The clothes on your back and the screen in front of you. Science studies nature, and it is by that study that we live in the world today. Everything around you is touched by science, or is the product of science. And it was Humanity that made this world possible, that made our lifestyle possible, that made this conversation possible. The closer we study the world, the more we find natural explanations for the world. The more we understand the world, the greater our ability to improve it (or destroy it).

        I have a frank answer: I don't believe god exists. I am pretty comfortable discussing things from a theological perspective, but ultimately my 'belief' resides in people. I am proud of what we have done, and if I am to have any religion, my religion is Humanity.

        I was wondering, what do you think God is? How does He manifest himself in this world? I know that I've said plenty, and I am interested in hearing what your thoughts on religion are.
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          Apr 15 2011: I see what you meant better now , but I still think that we have natural explanation for what's around us just because we can't understand (by natural means) what is unnatural (divine).
          You know, when I read what you said in my mind comes questions , for example : you said:''And it was Humanity that made this world possible" the world isn't the humanity ? how can humanity make his own existence possible?what do you meant with it?
          You said "my religion is Humanity" , very interesting (not many people see the world so),
          but it is very dangerous.
          God in my opinion is a person, and I associate His nature with something like the nature of thinking. I'm not a religious man (I mean , I'm not any religious view follower ) , but I can't understand the world without God , its origins , the sense of life ........ God is a necessity and because is a necessity He exist . The people don't offer me nothing absolute , no certainties , I can't 'believe' in them.
          "How does He manifest himself in this world?" I think he does it like the thinking does.
          If you have questions about anything(this topic about science is very wide, it cover almost everything) feel free to put questions, to talk about everything.
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        Apr 17 2011: Hi, sorry for the delay, had to stay late at work. What I meant by us making the world possible, I meant our culture and history and capabilities, not so much our existence or the Earth's existence.
        As for my religion, I don't believe in it the same way a person might believe in religion. I study us, and I applaud our accomplishments and lament our failures. I see much that is beautiful and good in us as well as much that is ugly and hateful. I think we have done much and I think we can do better, and I know that we can make this world into whatever we wish.

        So would you say that God works through us, guiding our thoughts and actions? I ask because of your comment about God manifesting himself the way thought can manifest itself in the world.
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        Apr 17 2011: Sorry for the delay, I had to stay late at work. What I said about us making the world possible, I meant the culture and history more than the Earth itself.
        I don't believe in Humanity quite the same way one might believe in God. I see much beauty and grace in our society, and I see much ugliness and hate. I have seen examples of virtue and strength, and examples of weakness and corruption. I believe that we have done well, and that we can do more. I believe that we can make this world into anything that we wish it to be.

        Would you say that God manifest his will through us then? I ask because you said you think that God manifests himself like thought manifests itself.
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          Apr 18 2011: Daniel , here I'm (every man is busy sometimes...........)
          I have to repeat me a bit for being more comprehensible , I said that God manifest Himself like the thinking does (the thoughts are the results of thinking....... my English.....) and I have also to fill myself by saying that so I try to understand how God manifest Himself .......... what I said doesn't involve necessarily that God manifest His will through us , but if He does it (this is a thorny problem) I think that he do it affecting more our abstract side of being(our will , our thoughts , our feelings) .
          " I see much beauty and grace in our society, and I see much ugliness and hate." and I see also the same things, why do you think that in our world what's good and bad are together(this state of being is a huge contradiction) ?
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        Apr 21 2011: Hi Eduard,

        Thank you for your patience and for your perspective. I think I can see better now where you're coming from. Incidentally, what is your native language? Sorry, that's a bit of an aside, but I was kinda curious.

        But to answer your question, free will. A person can do some really despicable things sometimes. Horrible, horrendous, consciously-chosen-to-do acts which most people would never even contemplate. And sometimes a person can act with such grace and humility that you stand in awe of their beauty. Sometimes it's the same person. We have the knowledge, understanding and capability to choose our own actions: We can observe the world around us, find the connections between things, we can learn why things work. We can understand the world around us, and so we can claim confidence in our understanding of the consequences of our own actions. And so we can choose what we do, but more importantly, we can choose _wisely_.

        Or we can choose unwisely, as the case may be. But the important part is choice.
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          Apr 21 2011: Hi Daniel:
          you have also a lot of patience , my native language is Romanian , I'm from Romania (and I have also a question about 'me' to you , I never talk with someone in English but how I'm writing in English ?)
          I understand better now: you believe in free will and this free will give us the chance to choose , and that's the most important thing and perhaps you believe in humanity in this sense as something which have the chance to choose what is good, to choose wisely . Personally I don't know if we have free will but I know that someone have perfect free will, I'm tempted to believe that what we have is just the 'shadow' of the perfect free will.
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        Apr 22 2011: Hi Eduard,

        Your English is pretty good, it's mostly odd grammatical constructions, like I'm (I am) versus am I, or some funky 'the's. But I haven't had too much difficulty in understanding you, and I know you've done a lot better writing in English than I could in Romanian.

        And yes, that's exactly what I meant! I don't know about you, but this has been a great conversation for me. You have interesting questions and perspectives, and I've had fun with this.
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          Apr 22 2011: and also for me to change ideas with you was great.
  • Apr 10 2011: The main limit to science is economics. True science should maintain skepticism about everything, including science itself. Each scientist should spend years building up his or her base of knowledge by attempting to disprove all previous experiments. that came before.

    But alas that approach would take too long and I can't think of anyone that can afford the equipment.
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      Apr 10 2011: who is reduced to giving into his banal passions (we are all human beings) while he is called scientist, in my opinion, that person will ease to be scientist(the science must be objective) , what do you think about it?
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      Apr 10 2011: The Selfish Gene, his first book which he wrote in 1976, was what made him rise to prominence as it promoted a gene-centered view of evolution. It even started a heated academic debate between Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould which went on through all their separate publications.

      Be honest, YOU didn't pay much attention to him until he started talking about that thing you cling to dearly.
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        Apr 10 2011: Matthieu I agree that Richard Dawkins is a scientist (in biology of course not in theology or philosophy ) this is obvious.
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          Apr 11 2011: Right on, Kathy I don't like to use "nothing but" statements to define something or someone.
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    Apr 10 2011: You really ought to stop believing in Creationism is what I have to say to you sir.
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      Apr 10 2011: Hi Matthieu , how are you?

      if I will find out something better than Creationism.................maybe (from my perspective it is impossible)
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        Apr 10 2011: it's pretty easy once you realise the vast body of scientific body of knowledge goes against it.
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          Apr 10 2011: here we go against each other with our perceptions and interpetations because in my opinion the vast scientific body never goes against it.
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        Apr 10 2011: Yea it does and you know it. Biology, geology and astronomy go against it all. You once offered an unscientific reason why the stars that are millions of light years away could still be seen even though they're million of years away. It involved God not setting the speed of light just yet when the stars were made. Of course that wouldn't do crap because the stars would just all dissapear from the sky as soon as the laws of physics were "implemented". Also you wouldn't be able to account for the Primal stars creation all the elements from Helium and Hydrogen.

        Continental drift is another phenomenon that nips Creationism in the bud as we can measure the speed at which the continents drift apart so we can know when they were together (which we can also correlate with fossils, but I'm not going to go there because I know how much you don't understanding radioactive dating), and it's a matter of many millions of years.

        My interpretation is based on facts that correlate with each other. Your interpretation is based on some Biblical scholar who decided to count the generations in Jesus' genealogy and some other guy who before Darwin said commented on wonderfly complex watches were. What did Creationism ever contribute in improving our way of life?
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          Apr 11 2011: Matthieu please don't tell me what do you have the impression that I know:("Your interpretation is based on some Biblical scholar who decided to count the generations in Jesus' genealogy and some other guy who before Darwin said commented on wonderfly complex watches were" or "Yea it does and you know it") please, ok? , what the heck is that?....... we just have diffrent ideas which are in contradiction.
          And know , Matthieu , I never pretended that I offer scientific reason , explanations , I can just to offer a possible explication (which can't be proved wrong because I don't know everything) for what I believe, ok? I've tried it then , I repeat what I tried to say then (in other words perhaps Idk) about "why the stars that are millions of light years away could still be seen even though they're million of years away" :God (who is God, I imagine you know what it means) when have created the stars and the light , have put the light from these stars right on their way down to the earth, and from there the light is 'flowing" continunous (I exclude through it the first way that the light should cover, should go through) and after it the laws of physics might be apllied and we ' can see the stars'.
          Really I don't see how the continental drift is something against creationism because as I know it can be just a matter of thousands of years , are many who say it.
          "you don't understanding radioactive dating" are you sure that it comes out from what I said? because what I said (or more exatcly waht I've tried to say ) wasn't about the scientific process of dating , but about our perception of this process.
          Matthieu if science is what have described Vasili , I don't see any point for which I should trust science , because all it's too relative there, it's absurd to rely my life on something relative when I can rely my life on something absolute. (but I do not think that science is so).
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        Apr 11 2011: Your answer about the stars is totally made up stuff that has neither biblical nor scientific backing. It can't account for all the stars that didn't exist in the beggining and started shining after the laws of physics were set down. It can't account for the big bang which, like evolution, you reject. Light is made out of particles, you can't just expect it to continously flow instantenously without the laws of physics. Stars can't even form without the laws of physics.

        The people who think continental drift is a matter of thousands of years must be terrible at maths. It's not guesswork, it's science, we can tell how fast the continents are moving away or torwards each other by calculating it. Furthermore, we correlate with other evidence (like corresponding fossils that testify for when these two continents were together through carbon dating).

        Here's a simple calculation. I'm going to take the fastest estimate of movement for both African and South American plates and the shortest distance between the two in order to give your "thousand year idea" a chance, this will be a gross underestimate on the accepted ~135 million years or so but I think it proves my point: African plate moves by 2.15cm per year, South American plate moves by 1.45cm per year, shortest distance between Africa and South America 2 849 km. So if we run the clocks backward to see when the continents are together (which we know happened) we get:

        284 900 000/(1.45+2.15) = 79 138 889 = ~79 million. So there we go, if the shortest distances were perfectly aligned it would still take a good 79 million years. Obviously it takes longer.

        In an ideal situation, how fast would the plates have to move to be where they are in just 6 000 years? 28 900 000/6 000 = 4 816 cm = about 48 meters. Way off the mark!

        I guess if you don't trust science you're going to have to stop taking all forms of medecine. Hope faith-healing and prayer in all its absoluteness will work for you.
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          Apr 11 2011: Science has certainly explained much about the mysteries of our beginning and the physics that quantify and establish norms within our physical world. But explaining everything based on what we currently know of our beginnings have in many instances led to error, no question. As new information is ascertained it either strengthens or weakens a previous long held position. The average individual no matter how well read can hardly be expected to keep up with all of the science and physics of a changing planet. We have seen recently the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and it's effect on our planet. Shifting plates and even a shift in the earths axis, while alone may have insignificant global consequences, does significantly alter your explanation of continental shifts and time constraints. After all our planets History and Geology has evolved out of a violent and until recently unrecorded past.
          BMG
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          Apr 11 2011: Yes you are right , my answer is made up stuff , but it's a possible explanation.
          " It can't account for all the stars that didn't exist in the beggining and started shining after the laws of physics were set down. It can't account for the big bang which, like evolution, you reject". hey I've talked about creation , form me don't matter if the evolution theory contradict what means creationism.(more than that the fact that evolution theory contradict creationism is a proof for me that creationism is true because as I've said I think that evolution is false when I take it as a whole).
          I can't explain you now why your so simple approach to the radioactive dating is false but are others who can(if you will read their books) , look some names : Russell Humphreys, Robert V. Gentry, Ronald Numbers, Tasman Walker and others......(but only the fact that there is someone who raise up from science and support the creationism makes me to think)
          " I guess if you don't trust science you're going to have to stop taking all forms of medecine. Hope faith-healing and prayer in all its absoluteness will work for you." what's this? , you make me to think that you do not think too much at what I say , read again what I said and maybe you will notice that what I said implies that I don't trust "science" when this contradict what say God (and I do it because in my opinion what contradict what say God isn't science, it would be absurd to believe otherwise).
          The bing bang theory is something that worth I think more time of reflection from my position as creationist.
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          Apr 11 2011: "Science has certainly explained much about the mysteries of our beginning and the physics that quantify and establish norms within our physical world. But explaining everything based on what we currently know of our beginnings have in many instances led to error, no question" yes Brian, I agree, if you want please explain it in more details .
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        Apr 11 2011: Your views are in contradiction with mine because they're in contradiction in science.

        Why are you getting mad at the genealogy bit? If that's not it, tell me how did the Creationist come up with the age of the Earth? Surely you know best being a Creationist yourself, so tell me. Tell me how they've arrived at that age in the first place.

        You have this strange idea that somehow perception can warp maths. If you have many radioactive dating sources and you know their half-life, you can calculate the age of a closed-system. Agreed, using only one method of dating is risky. So we use a few at once. And they all give the same age. Coincidence? No. Science is all about correlation, evidence converging in the same direction. Everything fitting together. Radioactive dating is not a matter of interpretation. Interpretations are good for forming intitial hypotheseses, not reading correlated data.
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          Apr 11 2011: "Your views are in contradiction with mine because they're in contradiction in science." no man my views are in contradiction with yours because they are in contradiction with the evolution theory which is a theory in which you put your trust perhaps. The evolution theory isn't in my opinion something what could be called totally science.
          About your questions : the creationism is a bliblical theory , and being so it can't contradict what say Bible and the Bible says that the Earth is only 6 thousands years old........ do you wanna an scientific explanation? my advise is read some books wrote by creationist scientists, I'm not scienetist and I don't pretend that what I say is completly true, I' still have a lot of things to learn.
          Perception can warp anything because we are who have the perceptions and through them our mind takes knowledge about everything , philosophy help us to understand it . Everything is a matter of interpetation , especially maths or physics.
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        Apr 11 2011: The Bible never mentions 6 000 years. I don't need to look up why you Creationists think it's 6 000 years, I already know and spelled it out for you and you got offended. It's shocking you hold Creationism so dearly and yet have no idea how it was determined the Earth, according to the Bible, is 6 000 years old. Shocking. Goes to show how much of a thin line you're treading. I'm out.
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          Apr 12 2011: I mention it for the persons who look at this post and for you Matthieu , the Bible mentions that the Earth is 6000 years old but I don't want to make here a debate with you about how to interpret the Bible, it won't make any sense with you (you are atheist). And without anger, in my opinion it's good that you are out because all what you've done here was only to share "how much of a thin line you're treading(that's about me)" , instead of to share your ideas (even though they are different from my ideas).................I not have any pleasure to read everytime comments full of sarcasm...............from me it's not a problem if you are out or not.
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        Apr 12 2011: I used to be a Christian you know. I'll take the bait just this one last time. Where in the Bible does it specifically mention the Earth is 6 000 years old without using the flawed genealogies I previously mentionned and you got angry about. Can't wait to be enlightened. This is a belief you hold dearly so surely you should know.
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          Apr 13 2011: you used to be christian , you are very fun if you think that this have some value in the interpretation of the Bible (the proof that you don't know what means to be truly christian is obvious). what man ? you'll take the bait again (lol), so all what you've done (as I had the impression) was just to bait me.........what childish.
          " Can't wait to be enlightened. " if you want some answers be more polite and let the sarcasm out when you talk with others here on TED---- I bet now that you'll say that I'm angry (reading my last sentence) , really you are just fun .
          however........the history of Israel (at what time anyone agree that it happened ) , all the events from the Bible have certain dates in history (calculating after them ...........) , the manuscripts from the Dead Sea help us in forming an idea about it , ..............are a lot of historical and archaeological proofs for what I say.
          I agree that there are a lot of christians who think that the earth isn't 6000 years old , but I disagree with them and with you.
          And if you want to have a normal talk with others here please leave the idea ( perhaps you have it from what I noticed) that here is a battlefield, here we have just a dabate, there is a difference.
          Thank you
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    Apr 9 2011: I think it is good to keep a healthy balance, between your interest in what scientists have to say about a certain subject on one hand and just listening to your own inner voice (trusting your gut feeling or whatever word you want to use for making your own decisions) without asking somebody else on the other hand.

    This is a TED talk on this:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/noreena_hertz_how_to_use_experts_and_when_not_to.html
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      Apr 10 2011: Yes , I agree but any person have this inner voice? and everytime this inner voice say me what's good and right to follow?
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    Apr 9 2011: i believe the only limit to science is the limit we give it, which typicaly budgets as to aford equpiment to compute the science, the human minds available to bring to light the science that needs to be computed.

    Science is typically formed in theories and sometimes concluded to fact.
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      Apr 10 2011: and the theories on what are they resting on?
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        Apr 10 2011: evidence!
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          Apr 10 2011: and evidence, where do the scientists take them from?
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          Apr 11 2011: Evidence is perceived by your senses, eyes, ears, etc. so evidence is something that is believed. I think all our "knowledge" is actually what we believe through our senses and we can see what works and what doesn't. We do not have direct knowledge of anything except that we know that we do not know. Call it absolute knowledge if you wish.
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          Apr 11 2011: the evidences aren't something abstract (like the numbers for example) ?
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        Apr 10 2011: Observations that are reproducible and repeatable and objective.
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          Apr 10 2011: (I don't wanna be insolent but I follow something through all it) , at what are looking scientists when they make the observations ?
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        Apr 11 2011: Depends on the kind of theory we're talking about... sometimes it's physical evidence like fossils, sometimes its a measurement done in the fashion claimed by what was previously a hypothesis (as with radiation or temperature), sometimes it's visual evidence (such as ones gathered with telescopes in regards to most of astronomy), sometimes it's a mathematical formula which has worked on all tested cases, included all "edge cases" as hinted by the formula itself, sometimes it's something else (can't think of other examples right now).
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          Apr 11 2011: so everything what means science is based on the observation of our univers , how it is made up.........in one single word can I say that all these are FACTS , that science means the observation of the facts?
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        Apr 11 2011: Evidences are facts.

        Theories aren't necessarily facts, because they rest on the interpretation of the facts/evidence, which may later be proven wrong by the gathering of further evidence. Still, even if ultimately wrong, they are useful in the gathering of further evidence.
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          Apr 11 2011: so the pure science is made up only from facts ,what is theory, interpetation in science rest on this facts, from here I think is corect to say that the evolution theory isn't science but is an interpetation of science , it is a model in other words.............good, very good....... being here we can talk about religion without claiming that when someone contradict the theory of evolution contradict necessarly what's say science .................And everyone is welcomed to say everything if he agree with it about the relation between science and religion.
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        Apr 13 2011: There's no such thing as "pure science" and "interpretation of science". Science is composed from facts AND theories and laws around those facts plus hypothesis for unexplained (yet non contradictory) facts. A theory or law itself is considered a fact (and therefore evidence) for the duration it has a True status, which is what creates any derived hypothesis/theories.
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          Apr 13 2011: I think we ought to just let this one go, he's not getting it. This whole thread is a sham.
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          Apr 14 2011: if you think Matthieu that all what's here is a sham, go out of here ,please leave this conversation ....
          "he's not getting it".................(lol) man this conversation isn't about me , isn't for me , it is for you , is about you , but you said that this is a sham (lol)...........
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          Apr 14 2011: Vasil , look what I said "the pure science is made up only from facts" and what you said "Science is composed from facts" what's the difference? ............and you said " AND theories and laws around those facts plus hypothesis for unexplained (yet non contradictory) facts"
          about the theories I think we should be careful at semantics.
          and something new :" plus hypothesis" how come? is formed science from something unproved yet?
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        Apr 14 2011: OK... semantics

        Fact - something which did happened and can be verified to have happened; something which is and can be verified to be; something which will (allegedly) always happen as described; a theory or law that is the only one fitting the current evidence.
        (anything with a True status basically)

        Theory - an explanation for something about a fact (e.g. how it happened, why it happened, when it happened, etc.) that has evidence for it.
        (anything which started with an Unknown status, and had a True status at some point, even if it now shares an Unknown status with something else of the sort)

        Law - a mathematical relation between quantifiable things that has continuously worked out as described in all tested cases.
        (same as theory basically, but in a mathematical form)

        Hypothesis - an explanation for something about a fact (e.g. how it happened, why it happened, when it happened, etc.) that doesn't have evidence for it, but could be proven right or wrong by some means.
        (anything that is Unknown and hasn't turned to True or False before)

        Evidence - facts, theories and laws per the above definitions, but not hypothesis.

        So... part of science is the (yet) unproven stuff, but that stuff is not used or taught as a scientific claim or fact. I can't tell you "Dark energy is real" because there's no evidence supporting it yet. And because of this lack of evidence, I also can't use it as evidence for something else.

        Mind you, that's in contrast to the organized religion approach, which say "God is real. I have no evidence, so you'll have to just have (blind) faith." and then use God as evidence for everything.
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          Apr 14 2011: ok I see your point better now
          out of these, is there nothing else?
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        Apr 14 2011: You mean if there's anything more to the scientific method? Can't think of anything else... anything in particular you're referring to that seems missing?

        The only thing we haven't really given examples of is the search for evidence itself, or testing methodologies, but those aren't exactly part of scientific knowledge. They are just guidelines for ensuring validity of the evidence. Not following them when doing your own research is not required, but if you don't, you'll easily enable alternative interpretations to the test results, in turn making your theory much more easily falsifiable than what it otherwise would be. Like for example, we don't need to do radiometric dating on a dinosaur fossil to tell it's millions of years old, but we're doing it anyway, just to make sure we haven't encountered an anomaly of some sort.
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          Apr 15 2011: Vasil ,seems to me that is missing almost everything about the scientific method (as you described it) because all you said is so mechanically,so rigid (as you said :if it isn't so (unknown , true or false, one of these ), it is so.......and so on), where is the creativity ? isn't the science a spontaneous thing? because seems to me that a man(the scientist) who apply that method is like a robot, like a computer , don't you think that when you apply the scientific method you will be emotional involved in what you do?...........the humanistic side of the scientific method(as you described it) is completely absent , isn't it so?...............what do you think about all this questions?
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        Apr 15 2011: You don't use science when coming up with original ideas that have value (i.e. when you're creative; per Ken Robinson's definition of creativity). You use it whenever you get new information to verify its correctness, assuming correctness matters for that information.

        I can look at fictional/art works as fictional/art works, and turn off my critical thinking for them, because I already know its False (or at best Unknown) by definition. It's only when such works claim to be more than fiction/art when I'd invoke the scientific method to say "either make it testable or say it's fiction/speculation".

        I could also come up with fictional/art works by twisting my knowledge into other directions, saying "What if...". It would still be fiction/art, because it's not related to knowledge. It doesn't cloud the mind. It just gives food for thought.

        "At one time Hitler went to an art class, at which he painted a Jewish girl model. He dated her, but she dumped him for another guy. Hitler started hating Jews that day" - there... fictional art work based on real people, actually fits what we know about Hitler (him being a painter and hating Jews), but I still created it and you can still take it as fiction, because I don't claim this happened. If I did, you're free to tell me "there's no evidence of that".

        Knowing how a song/movie/game goes doesn't mean the song/movie/game has some sort of knowledge behind it. Knowing a sound's pitch is dependent on its frequency doesn't stop me from creating a song. Knowing unicorns don't exist (or rather, that there is no evidence for their existence) doesn't stop me from creating them or other even more fancy creatures for a movie. Knowing God doesn't exist (or rather, that there is no evidence for his existence) doesn't make me enjoy "Black & White" any less than I do, and wouldn't stop me from coming up with even crazier ideas of the sort.
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          Apr 15 2011: so the science is s pattern after which might be judged everything ?("You use it whenever you get new information to verify its correctness, assuming correctness matters for that information.") do you think that we can judge the creativity results? I don't know if I saw what you meant but do you think that the results of creativity are fictional?
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        Apr 16 2011: Define "creativity results".

        From what I gather, the results of creativity is art works of some form. Whether it's books, music, paintings, sculptures, dances, plays, movies, games or something else.

        Those art works, unless being designed specifically for the purpose of teaching (manuals, narration, visualization, model, demonstration, reenactment, documentary, simulator) don't have knowledge for you to take from them. They aren't real things you need to know "as is", even if they contain pieces of knowledge like moral advisories for example in the case of fairy tales.

        They are therefore fiction, or science fiction, if they combine knowledge with arbitrary unverifiable claims, as I did with my Hitler example. Further genre specifications like "comedy", "rock", "baroque", etc. just clarify the type of style you'd expect to see from said art work.

        And again, something being fiction doesn't mean you wouldn't amerce yourself in it and take advices from it... it just means you'll let it go from the claims once you're out of it. You don't think Jedies existed "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...", do you? But you probably liked Star Wars and if you've watched episode 1, you've probably heard "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.". There, a moral advice (heck, a theory even; there's evidence of Yoda being right... look at how Americans protest against mosques) to take from an enjoyable, but still fictional, art work. How enjoyable it was doesn't have to do anything with how realistic it is.
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          Apr 16 2011: you are right ............ it's good