Mr Dark, at least since the publication of Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) (and arguably long before that) it has been recognised by many philosophers of science, scientists and historians that scientific truth is provisional.
That doesn't mean that something that's definitely true today will be definitely false tomorrow (otherwise we'd have planes dropping out of the sky, and planets flying out of orbit). But it does mean that the way we EXPLAIN things can change dramatically.
A hundred years ago, continents didn't move. Absolutely not. Impossible. No theory on Earth could possibly support such an idea. No observation known to man supported the notion.
Then Wegener comes along with a completely new way of looking at the existing data, and all of a sudden new, testable hypotheses arise that lead us to whole new set of knowledge. And confirmation that, most certainly, the continents are moving. Constantly. Fundamental to everything we know about the Earth. Absurd to think the continents were ever immobile.
Scientific truth has to stand the test of experiment and observation, but there can be more than one valid explanation for any given observation. Hence we shift paradigms ('twas Kuhn that gave us this notion) from time to time.
And this is where rationalists, atheists, differ so profoundly with many religious folks. We are prepared to accept that what we believe today might actually turn out to be wrong tomorrow. Stephen Fry describes this as "humility in the face of facts", and uses that as his definition of "science".
once again, beating a dead horse: The science issue is one thing, concerning truth. Christianity is absolutely on another sphere.
You cannot know God as long as you are not born again. Jesus said it. Christians have known this for centuries and centuries. If you do not experience the born again affect from Christ, you are left to discern scripture with human reasoning, which will always be short and wanting. It's a great gulf between human reasoning and reasoning thru the born again experience whereas you begin to see things thru the mind of Christ.
Period. Dead horse takes a beating again.
hello everybody, i'm back in town......
She stood silently looking out into the great sallow distances of sea bottom, as if recalling something, her yellow eyes soft and moist...
"...there can be more than one valid explanation for any given observation."
Of course there can be more than one explanation for the same thing. It happens all the time. Look at global warming. Some scientists believe (erroneously, in my mind) that man's exhalations and the use of carbons for fuel is heating the earth. Other scientists think it is tied to solar activity (this would explain massive global temperature changes before industrial man--North America was a glacier long before man had any technological impact--and would also explain the phenomena that the surface tempertatures of Mars and Earth fluctuate in the same directions). Multiple explanations of the same phenomena. It happens all the time.
"...scientific truth is provisional."
I agree that scientific truth is provisional, but "Truth" is NOT provisional. I readily concede that our perception of truth is provisional. That's why it can't really be counted on for anything beyond a functional, pragmatic value. It's valuable, but an insufficient foundation for Truth.
Where religion comes in is that it provides us Truth that constains permanance and provides a foundation for fundamental meaning and for morality. Science cannot, by it's nature, as you point out, provide that.
It's slightly more than just differing interpretations of data. It's to do with entire worldviews being built on solidly held assumptions, which later have be traumatically abandoned and rebuilt when the assumptions turn out to be false. The debate over global warming does not, it seems to me, have the characteristics of a change of worldview - not in the sense that we saw with (for example) Newtonian physics, Einsteinian relativity, the "modern synthesis" of genetics and natural selection, plate tectonics. (All of these new ideas changed almost everything about how people saw the world.)
The problem with religion (he said, vowing again to stay out of this thread!) is that there is no consensus. You say god is this and that and manifests himself is such-and-such a way. He says god is more like that, with a bit more of this, and manifests herself thataways. And no one can prove any of it. It's a good job science and engineering don't work on those principles.
I'll shut up now.
Never shut up. Your entries are always thought provoking, reasonable, and polite. I don't claim to be right on everything. At 53 I am still learning. I just think scientific processes work on some kinds of knowledge and not on others. I don't see that as a reactive, anti-progressive, or radical view.
...and you are most welcome here on the Ray Bradbury Religion Board!
"[Owen] Barfield never made me an Anthroposophist, but his counterattacks destroyed forever two elements in my own thought. In the first place he made short work of what I have called my "chronological snobbery," the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited. You must find why it went out of date. Was it ever refuted (and if so by whom, where, and how conclusively) or did it merely die away as fashions do? If the latter, this tells us nothing about its truth or falsehood. From seeing this, one passes to the realization that our own age is also "a period," and certainly has, like all periods, its own characteristic illusions. They are likeliest to lurk in those widespread assumptions which are so ingrained in the age that no one dares to attack or feels it necessary to defend them."
-Lewis, "Surprised By Joy"
Hello, all... new to this forum, thanks for letting me throw things against the wall and see if they stick...
This discussion on Science and Religion has been very enlightening, and I look forward to following it, with some participation.
If I may... the MOST SIGNIFICANT THING to remember in discussing realities is... different disciplines study and observe different things, based on the breath and limitations of their field of study.
Science can only study, postulate, hypothesize and articulate observation on things that can be studied by the 5 senses... physical sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. PERIOD.
If it is desired to study a reality that exists outside of those 5 senses, then science CANNOT make any claims to offer valid insight to that reality or phenomenon.
Likewise, Religion is the study of GOD and GOD-things. This reality exists outside of the 5 senses. Science cannot offer anything substantial on the reality of GOD.
As well, Religion has little to offer Science on physical phenomenon.
Philosophy is a human attempt to explain and understand realities, as well a different area of study and exploration. It frequently strings together science and religion, and that becomes quite the Irish stew of texture and opposing bits of truth in isolation, attempting to make sense of the Whole.
Lastly, the admission that we exist as finite beings within this Universe is important. We cannot, individually or collectively, know ALL 'Truth' simultaneously... It is way too big, and we are all very, very small...
Go out to the desert on a clear night and look up at the starry sky, and think of these things. Let our Friends the Stars remind us of who we really are, both in capacity and limitations.
Citizen of the Planet, just trying to figure it out,
Enjoyed your post. Some good thoughts there on the limitations (and potential) within each of the fields of thought and inquiry.
Besides being Independence Day, it's the feast day of St. John Maximovitch- a great saint in our time.
We had a well-attended orthros & liturgy this morning in his honour.
http://saintjohnwonderworker.org/lifeidx.htmThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Braling II,
Oh, but cable TV is allowed:::
I don't think you have it correct. Science can and does study and postualte observations on things that Man cannot experience with the senses. It is in the immagination that answers to the most puzzling questions arise and then postulations are made that will find a confirmation in data that can be observed in some manner, either directly or indirectly. What is being hypothesized about may be something that we cannot see, yet. The world of quantum physics is rife with examples of postulates that are confirmed but the individual entities are never seen. The answer to this dilemma is that the language of Mathematics is the tool with which things that cannot be seen are described and modeled. Electrons and the absence of electrons, holes as they are known, are the flux of the integrated circuit, yet the individual entities, particles if you want, cannot be seen. They work as described by the mathematics and the faith that we have is that they will continue to work the same way over time. New information may allow us SEE the entities in some new way, like the atomic force microscope that can SEE individual atoms that were not SEEABLE until our time. On the other end of the scale is Dark Matter which makes up most, some say 90% of the universe, and cannot be detected by any known direct means at this time. In fact, we cannot know exactly what it is, at this time. It can be observed indirectly by astronomers through measurable effects on the behavior of galaxies in relation to each other. Our data says there is something else we as yet do not understand fully, and we chose to call it Dark Matter, since it gives off no light in any detectable wavelength. Both instances are fully outside of the human senses and yet scientists can and do make predictions about their behavior and can and do confirm those predictions.
"Something far greater than the evil perpetrated by an Adolph Hitler, or a Pol Pot, or a Nero, would be required for the vast evil wrought upon creation as a whole."
Want to clarify something I posted somewheres amidst these rivers of forums and postings...
It had to do with Ray's faith, his acceptance or rejection of Christ and, taking from his own words, that he is not, something to the effect of ..."quite a Christian".
According to scripture, ultimately, God is the judge, specifically Jesus Christ, and not the Father, if you are a Christian. Christ having been human, judges humans. If you have not accepted Christ, then you have the Father to tend with. The human face is torn away here. And you do not want to go there.
But if Ray thinks a muse does his writing, or that twelve year old boy that believes in all sorts of things that Ray, the older, doesn't, but, nonetheless, also writers his stories, I can only say that confusing or not, God ultimately judges. And where scripture talks about 'by your fruits you will know them', I wonder, specifically in the talent, this gift Ray was given, wrought so well thruout his life, is not an indication of where Ray's heart really is in terms of knowing his Creator.
I think behind the masks of grandfather, Doug Spualding, behind the masks of an Autumn sunlight, or the smell of carnival times, is not the true reality of Jesus Christ drawing Ray forth?
And so... I leave it at that. As scripture writes, "It has not entered into the mind or heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him."
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