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How can evolution/abiogenesis possibly happen on it's own?


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#101 TVCasualty

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 08:32 AM

"scientific journals and such" Such as the journals found within the bible or that of Popular Science?


Neither, I was talking about academic journals, the kind where at least an attempt is made to vet the information by successfully repeating the experiments or other wise duplicating the claims of a given article (the 'peer review' process).

As VoodooGarden has pointed out that science has been wrong more often than not. I was going to mention the whole flat earth era of science, but VG beat me to it.


That was not an era of science, and not an accurate representation of belief in a flat Earth. There was no linear evolution of thought about the shape of the Earth; ancient astronomers (Greek, Egyptian, Druid, others) knew damn well that the Earth was a sphere but it was during the Dark Ages after the fall of Rome that much Classical knowledge was lost and there began a period of anti-intellectualism and hysterical superstition that was fueled and encouraged by the Church.

So, the "Flat Earth era" was an artifact of religion, not science.

Precisely put, "within the confines of science", whoever said we were within the confines of science? Thank you for recognizing the limitation of science. In these kinds of debates its hard for reason to prevail as I've found out.


I did. We have to pick whether we're operating within it or not in order to have a discussion about it at all, and I'm keenly aware of the limitations of science but I'm also not neglecting to acknowledge its strengths.

Science to me is more a focus upon the microcosm's of the measured world rather than the macrocosm.
And likewise religion is a focus upon the macrocosm.


Science is one thing only: A well-defined process of observation, hypothesis, experiment, and theory (based on successful and repeatable experiments). Not all phenomena fit in such a context but that is always evolving as better tools emerge.

We can now build quantum computers but can't explain everything about how/why they work, but they work. We can also study the Hubble Ultra Deep Field as a slice of the macrocosm, but can't explain everything about how/why it all exists. Religion seems to be for filling the gaps in our understanding with comforting (or terrifying) projections from our psyche (or projections as interpreted by the guy in the biggest hat). And I mean religion specifically, not necessarily spirituality although both are subject to the influence of Jungian archetypes emerging from the Id and all that.

To me, religion is about certainty with regards to Truth and is external/social whereas spirituality is about seeking/inquiry, does not claim certainty with regards to anything, and is internal/personal. Or to put it another way, religion talks and spirituality listens.

This is a downfall to science, IMO.


That sounds a bit dramatic. There are not too many technological innovations that we can thank religion for. And since science and technology are different, not all technological innovations were products of science, either. Still, science ups the odds of success tremendously in the quest for better technology or understanding whereas religion tends to reduce them (just ask Galileo).

Plainly put, if you were blindfolded and placed next to a random house with your nose an inch away.
Describe to me what it is that your looking at?


In light of that question, this ought to blow your mind:

qLziFMF4DHA

What I'm getting at is your perspective is too narrow to view anything beyond your field of vision.
So to, would be the general perspective of scientists.


What that video showed and what I'm getting at is that our field of vision is not a fixed value. In the quest to broaden this field, science has proven vastly more effective than religion regardless of its limitations. Some (and I'm among them) would argue that religion itself is a limitation of science (stem-cell researchers would probably agree).

Seeing how God is omnipresent, it would behove you to broaden your perspective(even though you've proved your POV to be vast).


Our technology has become omnipresent as well, except maybe at the bottom of a really deep cave that radio waves can't penetrate (if any exist). The "God" aspect to any or all of it is irrelevant, at least until believers in one arbitrarily-chosen interpretation of god get together to stop listening and start preaching. Beyond that, it sure looks to me like the omnipresent creative force in the Universe is taking a hand's-off approach to our social evolution which is why I think that whether such a force 'really' exists or not is irrelevant in a practical sense.
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#102 Digital Phoenix

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 11:31 PM

Neither, I was talking about academic journals, the kind where at least an attempt is made to vet the information by successfully repeating the experiments or other wise duplicating the claims of a given article (the 'peer review' process).

No sense in attempting to recreate divine will.
Talk about chasing our tails is right on.


That was not an era of science, and not an accurate representation of belief in a flat Earth. There was no linear evolution of thought about the shape of the Earth; ancient astronomers (Greek, Egyptian, Druid, others) knew damn well that the Earth was a sphere but it was during the Dark Ages after the fall of Rome that much Classical knowledge was lost and there began a period of anti-intellectualism and hysterical superstition that was fueled and encouraged by the Church.


So, the "Flat Earth era" was an artifact of religion, not science.

I stand corrected.
What else can I say, 95% of the time I'm 100% correct!.
My friends know me 5% more than they should, or at least 5% more than I'd prefer.
Congratulations for being one of them.

I did. We have to pick whether we're operating within it or not in order to have a discussion about it at all, and I'm keenly aware of the limitations of science but I'm also not neglecting to acknowledge its strengths.

Nor am I denying the strengths of science.
It's damn near impossible to live in this day in age without being effected(good and bad) by science.
Science has provided governments with a plethora of options to "keep the peace".
As well as the many niceties we sometimes take for granted.

We can now build quantum computers but can't explain everything about how/why they work, but they work. We can also study the Hubble Ultra Deep Field as a slice of the macrocosm, but can't explain everything about how/why it all exists. Religion seems to be for filling the gaps in our understanding with comforting (or terrifying) projections from our psyche (or projections as interpreted by the guy in the biggest hat). And I mean religion specifically, not necessarily spirituality although both are subject to the influence of Jungian archetypes emerging from the Id and all that.

:offtopic:You want to talk about the jazz of unconscious control of the masses: Look at Edward Bernays.:offtopic:

That sounds a bit dramatic. There are not too many technological innovations that we can thank religion for. And since science and technology are different, not all technological innovations were products of science, either. Still, science ups the odds of success tremendously in the quest for better technology or understanding whereas religion tends to reduce them (just ask Galileo).

Technology is the application of science.
Since science and religion are natural opposing forces, it would only be logical for them to reject each other.
Asking for examples of religion's technological innovations would be the equivalent of asking for the examples of faith from science?

In light of that question, this ought to blow your mind:

qLziFMF4DHA

What that video showed and what I'm getting at is that our field of vision is not a fixed value.

I didn't watch the entire video because my audio on my computer is currently on vacation.
I did get the premise from the title and through skimming through it.
I'd like to hear what was said but I've heard that some blind people can develop an echo-location type ability through various clicks identical to Book of Eli.

In the quest to broaden this field, science has proven vastly more effective than religion regardless of its limitations. Some (and I'm among them) would argue that religion itself is a limitation of science (stem-cell researchers would probably agree).

If religion is a measure of morality and science a measure of intelligence then I would have to agree with you.
And I would hope it stay that way!

Our technology has become omnipresent as well, except maybe at the bottom of a really deep cave that radio waves can't penetrate (if any exist). The "God" aspect to any or all of it is irrelevant, at least until believers in one arbitrarily-chosen interpretation of god get together to stop listening and start preaching. Beyond that, it sure looks to me like the omnipresent creative force in the Universe is taking a hand's-off approach to our social evolution which is why I think that whether such a force 'really' exists or not is irrelevant in a practical sense.

Perhaps then, if I start preaching will you start listening?
(no offense, but I'd rather not change the symmetry of the question)
I will not preach here in this thread though, as Mycotopia offers a forum for that in the anything but sane, Twilight Zone.

#103 VoodooGarden

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 06:16 AM

I just lost a lot of words. Now I nutshell it out of impatience.

1) I stand corrected on the Flat Earth point although I'd like to know why you believe what you do. I understand that the accepted historical origins of the idea of a flat earth come from seafaring, from the inadequacies of celestial navigation (sailors used to the northern constellations would get lost in southern seas and LITERALLY sailors would refuse to go too far, fearing getting lost at sea, and ships that never came back had "fallen off the edge of the world"... And never come back. I remember some reading I did at university about Spaniards and ghost ship myths, how they were the first "evolution" of the flat earth myths and the Bermuda Triangle myths, likely the newest.
None of that matters. For the sake of argument, I'll stand corrected. I haven't read the same books. Mine are probably out of date.

2) I listed some failings of natural philosophy (science) and you interrogated the least specific, the most metaphorical, and moved past the bulwarks of my argument as if by jumping into the moat you get to declare victory.

3) "Science is one thing only: A well-defined process of observation, hypothesis, experiment, and theory (based on successful and repeatable experiments). Not all phenomena fit in such a context but that is always evolving as better tools emerge."

I think that's exactly right. In the big scheme of things, humans only learned how to can soup about a hundred years. Faith is REQUIRED to believe exclusively in the results of a Science that excludes theories because Science may or may not ever have the ability to disprove that theory.
Do we call psychology a pseudo-science because the results often depend on the artistry of the practitioner? Do we stop calling a politician a politician when he gaffes?

"Religion seems to be for filling the gaps in our understanding with comforting (or terrifying) projections from our psyche (or projections as interpreted by the guy in the biggest hat). And I mean religion specifically, not necessarily spirituality although both are subject to the influence of Jungian archetypes emerging from the Id and all that."

So you're more willing to build your world-view around what Freud and Jung and a few others who have had some small insights into the behavior of the mind have said and written, and disregard thousands of years of insights into the nature of nature just because a scientist hasn't written a paper, yet?

They estimate that there are 30,000,000 species of insects on this planet. They discover hundredfolds of beetles every year. It took three hundred years (?) to go from the computation engine to the computer. How many lifetimes of scientists were necessary for that evolution in "capacity to measure"?

It's your lack of perspective that stumps me... Scientists are supposed to be more catholic with their imaginations.

Edison tried over 1000 experiments to find the right filament for his bulb. How many experiments have you conducted to find God?

Think big or go home. ;)

#104 TVCasualty

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 02:29 PM

It's damn near impossible to live in this day in age without being effected(good and bad) by science.


The tangible things that affect us are 'technology.' Science is just a process, not a tangible object. And one thing that annoys me to no end is how it's also damn near impossible to live in the modern world without being affected by religion. And since a religion is just a set of beliefs about spirituality that are shared by a group of people, it's actually people's personal opinions that are affecting us under the guise of being "sacred," not God's opinions or the spirit or whatever.

Science has provided governments with a plethora of options to "keep the peace".


Well, to keep government's version of "peace" anyway. It's just like the Pax Romana; for a time of so-called "peace" it was still brutally violent.

Technology is the application of science.
Since science and religion are natural opposing forces, it would only be logical for them to reject each other.
Asking for examples of religion's technological innovations would be the equivalent of asking for the examples of faith from science?


Here we get back into issues of semantics. Stone Age flintknappers clearly used scientific principles in the creation and evolution of tool and arrowhead design but were doing it many thousands of years before the invention of "science" as a formal and well-defined method of understanding the world. So were they actual scientists or just technological innovators using trial-and-error? They probably also believed in thunder gods and that diseases were caused by evil spirits and all that, so all at once they could have been superstitiously spiritual, relatively technologically advanced, and quasi-scientific.

As far as I can tell, many deeply religious people made significant contributions to science and technology along the way, but trying to decide if such people were "really" scientists or "really" theologians is purely an exercise in arbitrary categorization that has more to do with how our brains work than anything else.

I didn't watch the entire video because my audio on my computer is currently on vacation.


In light of the subject matter, that is kind of ironic, lol.

I did get the premise from the title and through skimming through it.
I'd like to hear what was said but I've heard that some blind people can develop an echo-location type ability through various clicks identical to Book of Eli.


What that kid could do was FAR beyond what I used to believe was possible. I highly recommend watching it when you can hear it, too.

If religion is a measure of morality and science a measure of intelligence then I would have to agree with you.


Science got us flying to the Moon, religion got us flying into buildings (or into pieces at a crowded market, or killing doctors at abortion clinics, etc.). On my morality-meter, the flying into buildings etc. stuff ranks pretty low (the bottom, actually). Ahh, but then we often hear that those people weren't "true" followers or some such excuse.

Morality is really an existential problem; are we morally righteous for our beliefs or for our actions? To me, a belief never acted upon is not relevant to anything outside of the believer's own mind, so to have a meaningful discussion about morality requires assessing the actions/behaviors that people manifest, not merely what they profess to believe. And since we've all seen plenty of morally outrageous scandals among the pious and many scientists have done great things to help those in need it seems to me that morality is something outside both religion and science (a subject all its own).

#105 TVCasualty

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 03:35 PM

I just lost a lot of words. Now I nutshell it out of impatience.


Get the Lazarus add-on for Firefox. And get Firefox if you don't already have it. You'll never lose another post again (I got Lazarus after getting annoyed by losing stuff way too often).

1) I stand corrected on the Flat Earth point although I'd like to know why you believe what you do.


Years of studying modern and ancient astronomy. It's all in the history books.

I understand that the accepted historical origins of the idea of a flat earth come from seafaring, from the inadequacies of celestial navigation (sailors used to the northern constellations would get lost in southern seas and LITERALLY sailors would refuse to go too far, fearing getting lost at sea, and ships that never came back had "fallen off the edge of the world"... And never come back. I remember some reading I did at university about Spaniards and ghost ship myths, how they were the first "evolution" of the flat earth myths and the Bermuda Triangle myths, likely the newest.


So are you talking about all sailors throughout history, or just those from certain parts of Europe during a specific period of time?

Long before the Spaniards were freaking out about falling off the horizon, which incidentally happened long after the cultural devolution known as the Dark Ages began but a bit before the Renaissance managed to get some things back on track, Norse explorers had already visited North America. There is also evidence that members of the Ainu tribe (at least one, anyway) from Japan had been in the Pacific Northwest 9,300 years ago [source].

2) I listed some failings of natural philosophy (science) and you interrogated the least specific, the most metaphorical, and moved past the bulwarks of my argument as if by jumping into the moat you get to declare victory.


Huh?

Faith is REQUIRED to believe exclusively in the results of a Science that excludes theories because Science may or may not ever have the ability to disprove that theory.


No it isn't. Faith in anything is a personal choice. Science is merely a tool with limitations (just like any tool), but within those limitations faith is not required at all and being outside of them is by definition not science and therefore moot for the purposes of this discussion.

Science can't prove or disprove the idea that some people can intentionally shapeshift (or whatever), so some people believe it's possible and others not, but neither belief (aka faith) holds greater weight in terms of apprehending "the truth" so discussions about shapeshifting (or God) might be fun but are irrelevant in a practical sense.

Do we call psychology a pseudo-science because the results often depend on the artistry of the practitioner?


Yes. At least a whole lot of scientists call it that, though psychologists would tend to disagree. Like economics, psychology is concerned with studying extremely complex systems that cannot be parsed into testable components; there is only the whole person or the whole economy. Conclusions reached by economists or psychologists who crafted studies of arbitrarily chosen aspects of the mind or the economy usually get very frustrated when attempting to apply those conclusions to all people or the entire economy; it's Chaos Theory 101.

There are also no definable initial conditions to control against in experiments within these fields, and without being able to recreate the initial conditions, there is no way to accurately reproduce results.


So you're more willing to build your world-view around what Freud and Jung and a few others who have had some small insights into the behavior of the mind have said and written, and disregard thousands of years of insights into the nature of nature just because a scientist hasn't written a paper, yet?


Jung came up with the concept of subconscious archetypes precisely after studying those thousands of years of insights and experiences, and particularly the iconic imagery spawned by those insights/experiences which have been shown to be cross-cultural or universal to the human experience. Some would argue that such insights are rather significant.

And just as with science, my worldview is an evolving theory rather than a rigid set of beliefs. As new evidence/information comes to light, the theory is changed to account for it (if necessary).

Besides, in what ways do those thousands-of-years-old insights contradict those of Freud or Jung? Wasn't it Freud who coined the term "Oedipus Complex," which also happens to be an archetype? That sounds to me like Freud and Jung were trying to integrate those ancient insights, but your question implies they are completely different or in opposition or something.

They estimate that there are 30,000,000 species of insects on this planet. They discover hundredfolds of beetles every year. It took three hundred years (?) to go from the computation engine to the computer. How many lifetimes of scientists were necessary for that evolution in "capacity to measure"?


Not sure what you're getting at here. Sure, it took a long time to go from the slide-ruler to the first computer, but only a few years to go from the first computer (which took up an entire building) to an iPad that possesses many times the computing power of that original computer (and it fits in our hand). The evolution of computers and discovery of new beetle species are just functions of the exponential increase we're seeing in both knowledge/data/information in general and in the numbers of people involved in developing new computers or looking for beetles.

It's your lack of perspective that stumps me... Scientists are supposed to be more catholic with their imaginations.


It's figuring out exactly what your perspective is that stumps me. And I'm never gonna be a catholic in real life OR my imagination. :D

Edison tried over 1000 experiments to find the right filament for his bulb. How many experiments have you conducted to find God?


One. It worked, too. But that having nothing to do with what we're talking about is sorta my point.
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#106 bbd2

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 11:15 PM

wish i could +rep u TV

brilliant, like a full moon on a dark night

#107 August West

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 11:39 PM

Get the Lazarus add-on for Firefox.


Oh the irony...

#108 SilvrHairDevil

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 04:07 PM

I can't stay out of this...


[quote name='Digital Phoenix']...Since science and religion are natural opposing forces, it would only be logical for them to reject each other.[/QUOTE]

Disagree. Fundie religionists (those who think the earth is 6000 yrs old and fossils are devil’s flowers) are the only ones threatened by and opposed to science.
Science is only opposed to religion where religion insists on its way in the face of insurmountable evidence to the contrary.

Science would be very happy if somebody could “prove”, or at least, demonstrate in a repeatable way , any aspect of any supernatural event whatsoever so that researchers all over the world could set about investigating it.

Dr Hawking suggested at one time, that science may be close to discovering “God”, but has now explained the creation of the universe by natural effects.


[quote name='VoodooGarden']...I listed some failings of natural philosophy (science) and you interrogated the least specific, the most metaphorical, and moved past the bulwarks of my argument as if by jumping into the moat you get to declare victory.[/QUOTE]

Natural philosophy is not now, nor ever has been, science.

"Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature (from Latin philosophia naturalis), is a term applied to the study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science. It is considered to be the precursor of natural sciences such as physics."

http://en.wikipedia....ural_philosophy

Its failings have been worked on and caught up in the past few hundred years. You might say it has evolved into a branch of modern science.

I tried to find your list of failures. Did you mean post #99? If so, I don’t understand your points.


[quote name='VoodooGarden'] Faith is REQUIRED to believe exclusively in the results of a Science that excludes theories because Science may or may not ever have the ability to disprove that theory.[QUOTE]

Please don’t say you are going to try the Evolution Is Only A Theory argument.


Science tries to understand and explain the physical world.
Religion tries to understand and explain the mystical world.

Neither of them has any business telling the other how to do their thing.

#109 StheNC

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:40 PM

SCIENCE RULES, RELIGION DROOLS!

#110 Digital Phoenix

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 08:05 PM

The tangible things that affect us are 'technology.' Science is just a process, not a tangible object.


http://www.thefreedi....com/technology

tech·nol·o·gy play_w2("T0079100")n. pl. tech·nol·o·gies 1. a. The application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives.b. The scientific method and material used to achieve a commercial or industrial objective.2. Electronic or digital products and systems considered as a group: a store specializing in office technology.3. Anthropology The body of knowledge available to a society that is of use in fashioning implements, practicing manual arts and skills, and extracting or collecting materials.

The fruits of science is technology, plain and simple.

And one thing that annoys me to no end is how it's also damn near impossible to live in the modern world without being affected by religion.

It is likewise to science, damn near impossible to not be effected by religion simply because somewhere around 86 percent of the population are affiliated with religion. To think that in 10 people, 8.6(I know I know that poor poor .6 person) of them are religiously motivated, that certainly makes it difficult to avoid regilion.

And since a religion is just a set of beliefs about spirituality that are shared by a group of people, it's actually people's personal opinions that are affecting us under the guise of being "sacred," not God's opinions or the spirit or whatever.

Religion or not, one could say that all opinions are personal opinions, so without them we wouldn't get anywhere.
If nobody expressed personal opinions, speech would become inert.
I'm not trying to harp, I'm just providing the antithesis to your argument.
Which to me doesn't make sense.

Well, to keep government's version of "peace" anyway. It's just like the Pax Romana; for a time of so-called "peace" it was still brutally violent.

Governments version of peace to me is more like this; Vilify a group of humans based on current events(when the EMOTIONAL memories are fresh) so "We the People's" government can nobly claim War while stealing pretended freedoms from the people in the name of(and you could say the guise of) safety and security. I bet you would tend to agree with me on that one.


Here we get back into issues of semantics. Stone Age flintknappers clearly used scientific principles in the creation and evolution of tool and arrowhead design but were doing it many thousands of years before the invention of "science" as a formal and well-defined method of understanding the world. So were they actual scientists or just technological innovators using trial-and-error?

They would be both! I prefer the term scientists actual(Its a battlestar gallactica reference). Are either claims false? Not to me.

They probably also believed in thunder gods and that diseases were caused by evil spirits and all that, so all at once they could have been superstitiously spiritual, relatively technologically advanced, and quasi-scientific.

Here we get back into issues of inferring, extrapolating, and assuming.

As far as I can tell, many deeply religious people made significant contributions to science and technology along the way, but trying to decide if such people were "really" scientists or "really" theologians is purely an exercise in arbitrary categorization that has more to do with how our brains work than anything else.

I agree. I believe both mental states can be achieved and function in a balanced mind although.
I consider myself to posses both. In my line of work as a machine designer I must use science and its method to complete a machine.
When I have faith in a product to do what I hope, more often than not I am disappointed.
Ironically it would seem that absolute control is required for a smooth operating machine, of which I am opposed to in my personal opinions and others' for that matter.

In light of the subject matter, that is kind of ironic, lol.

Very much so! lol


What that kid could do was FAR beyond what I used to believe was possible. I highly recommend watching it when you can hear it, too.

Need to listen...


Science got us flying to the Moon, religion got us flying into buildings (or into pieces at a crowded market, or killing doctors at abortion clinics, etc.). On my morality-meter, the flying into buildings etc. stuff ranks pretty low (the bottom, actually). Ahh, but then we often hear that those people weren't "true" followers or some such excuse.

Science also got us the airplane, jet-fuel, and the twin towers among many other things. Religion also saved/s souls.
Looks like you pick the worst examples for religion and the best for science. Not exactly apples to apples. If you are balanced and honest in contrasting things perhaps we may have a constructable debate.

Morality is really an existential problem; are we morally righteous for our beliefs or for our actions? To me, a belief never acted upon is not relevant to anything outside of the believer's own mind, so to have a meaningful discussion about morality requires assessing the actions/behaviors that people manifest, not merely what they profess to believe. And since we've all seen plenty of morally outrageous scandals among the pious and many scientists have done great things to help those in need it seems to me that morality is something outside both religion and science (a subject all its own).

It seems like your arguing for the sake of devils advocate.
Is that true?
Wait a minute, morality is a problem?

#111 SilvrHairDevil

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 03:59 AM

Of course morality is a problem.

Morality is one of the slipperiest concepts we've ever dreamed up.

#112 TVCasualty

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 10:04 AM

http://www.thefreedi....com/technology
The fruits of science is technology, plain and simple.


Not all science produces technology, and not all technology is the fruit of science. The definition of 'technology' does cover that with #3: "Anthropology The body of knowledge available to a society that is of use in fashioning implements, practicing manual arts and skills, and extracting or collecting materials."


Religion or not, one could say that all opinions are personal opinions, so without them we wouldn't get anywhere.
If nobody expressed personal opinions, speech would become inert.
I'm not trying to harp, I'm just providing the antithesis to your argument.
Which to me doesn't make sense.


What I was getting at was that personal opinions are just that, personal. We say "in my opinion" when we are being honest about this, but when we're not being honest we say "God said/thinks/wants/etc..." When people claim an opinion is God's they are trying to elevate it beyond debate and not-so-subtly imply that it cannot be questioned. Opinions that are subject to debate (meaning they're not God's opinions) can be tested and shown to be inaccurate unless they're opinions about things that are untestable, in which case they're scientifically meaningless.

I should add that being "scientifically meaningless" does not imply that something is meaningless, but "meaning" in a personal sense is an intangible, abstract construct.

Governments version of peace to me is more like this; Vilify a group of humans based on current events(when the EMOTIONAL memories are fresh) so "We the People's" government can nobly claim War while stealing pretended freedoms from the people in the name of(and you could say the guise of) safety and security. I bet you would tend to agree with me on that one.


Yeah, and it pretty much sums up the Pax Romana, too. To this day we still have to watch out for those perennial "barbarians at the gate." And of course to the Romans, "peace" meant their enemies were too beat-down to do anything about Roman dominance. The more things change...

So were they actual scientists or just technological innovators using trial-and-error?


They would be both! I prefer the term scientists actual(Its a battlestar gallactica reference). Are either claims false? Not to me.


What I was getting at here was that in contexts like this we need to be explicit to a pedantic degree with our terminology and be using agreed-upon formal definitions. That's why scientific journals are so densely packed with minutae; the Devil's in the details (so to speak, lol). By one standard, Stone Age flintknappers were not scientists since "science" as a formal methodology wasn't defined until much, much later. By another standard, they were scientists since they used aspects of the scientific method to develop some of their technology. We can talk about both aspects (formal vs. informal), but only one at a time or the discussion tends to go in rhetorical circles. Case in point: Were Medieval alchemists scientists? Well, yes and no...

Here we get back into issues of inferring, extrapolating, and assuming.


My intent was to generalize to make a specific point. It's a well-established archeological and anthropological fact that some cultures did believe in thunder gods and some believed disease was caused by evil spirits while at the same time they built technology that worked as intended, so those weren't inferences, extrapolations, or assumptions (they were generalizations). IMO, based on those generalizations (which are not going to be true for all cultures) I tried to make the point that "trying to decide if such people were "really" scientists or "really" theologians is purely an exercise in arbitrary categorization that has more to do with how our brains work than anything else."

That leaves us back at the point where if we want to go further, we have to decide if we're talking about science as a formally-defined methodology or... not.

Ironically it would seem that absolute control is required for a smooth operating machine, of which I am opposed to in my personal opinions and others' for that matter.


I don't think that's ironic. Machines are our creation, and we are not machines. In fact, the long-held quasi-scientific view that we are machines has caused us no end of trouble. It's an artifact of the now-obsolete Cartesian paradigm of science that believed the whole can be understood by studying its parts, which we now know to be false in many cases (taking my brain apart would not reveal how consciousness works, for example).


Science also got us the airplane, jet-fuel, and the twin towers among many other things. Religion also saved/s souls.
Looks like you pick the worst examples for religion and the best for science. Not exactly apples to apples. If you are balanced and honest in contrasting things perhaps we may have a constructable debate.


I was going more for a "guns don't kill people, people kill people" kind of angle. Airplanes, guns, and even nuclear weapons just sit there until someone does something with them, and if someone who is transcendentally motivated controls such technology then they present a direct threat to anyone considered Other, such as "infidels" or "blasphemers" or whatever label is popular at the time.

Religion has a unique way of being able to make someone feel good ("saved?") even while they commit atrocities against others. It's a fascinating cognitive disconnect that religious leaders recognized a long time ago and have been exploiting ever since.

It seems like your arguing for the sake of devils advocate.
Is that true?


No, I'm engaging for the sake of furthering my understanding. If I don't subject my opinions to criticism, they're not going to be very rigorous. I may sound dogmatic sometimes, but it's just that I like to present my arguments forcefully so that the criticism I get will hopefully be forceful in return. If I'm wrong or way off-base, I want to know why, but in the meantime I try to mount a formidable defense.

Wait a minute, morality is a problem?


It's one of the biggest ones I can think of. And I meant "problem" in a philosophical sense, like "the problem of evil," "The problem of love," etc.

#113 bbd2

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 11:08 AM

like the story about the boy who cried "wolf!"

is the moral of that story:

1. dont tell lies; or
2. dont tell the same lie twice

or are they both valid morals

for different cultures of individuals?

both "morals" will help keep you out of future trouble ...

#114 SilvrHairDevil

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 03:49 PM

There's a difference between "morality" and the "moral" of a story.

#115 Oblivion

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 06:14 PM

So much for the evolution talk. Later folks, this is where I came in.

#116 SilvrHairDevil

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:37 PM

Even threads evolve.

#117 TVCasualty

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 06:45 AM

Even threads evolve.


:lol:




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