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Old Jul 1, 2014, 05:29 PM   #201
localoid
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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
... I have no complaint with physics. Physics is cool. Physics pretending to be theology, that's my beef.
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... My point is that evolution doesn't really prove anything about Gods. Evolutions shows how the life is managed, we agree on that. It doesn't speak to whether that management arises from random forces or some form of intelligence.
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The theory of evolution does not disprove the claim that some intelligent force gave rise to everything, and thus to life as well.
So, let me get this straight...

You don't think science should "pretend to be theology", but yet you rely on the concept of "Intelligent Design", which is theology pretending to be science, to explain how god created the universe.

Is this correct?
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Old Jul 1, 2014, 06:09 PM   #202
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When you're done being snarky, let me know, as I enjoy dialoging with you when you're calm about it. I will make a good faith effort to reciprocate.
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Old Jul 1, 2014, 06:17 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
When you're done being snarky, let me know, as I enjoy dialoging with you when you're calm about it. I will make a good faith effort to reciprocate.
It's not snarky -- it's a valid question. Care to answer it?
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Old Jul 1, 2014, 07:02 PM   #204
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Care to answer it?
Nope, you win. Congratulations.
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Old Jul 1, 2014, 07:20 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
Nope, you win. Congratulations.
IMO, nobody "wins", because these types of questions can't be answered with (either) complete certainty _or_ complete uncertainly.

IMO, these types of questions/answers are only valid only on the personal level. But that's not to say that a group of two or more people shouldn't discuss and examine these sorts of questions/answers. For as you mentioned, there's a potential for making money at stake, so there's always the possibility of turning these discussions into a best selling ebook on Amazon, at some future date...
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Old Jul 2, 2014, 01:22 AM   #206
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Theres no evidence either way so just respect peoples opinions on these kinds of subjects. No one minds you stating your opinion but don't force it on others as the only acceptable one.
I am reminded here of Bertrand Russel's celestial teapot.

(Paraphrasing)
If I were to suggest that there is a china teapot revolving around the sun in an elliptical orbit nobody would be able to prove definitively that there was or wasn't. It would be too small to see and space is too vast to track it down.

Therefore, it is intolerable that anyone would doubt my assertion, because they cannot prove that it is incorrect.
.

The afterlife hypothesis is no different, aside from the dogma attached to it. There is absolutely zero evidence that it exists and it is impossible to acquire evidence that it does not. Despite that impossibility, believers in such things place the burden of disproof on those who doubt their beliefs.

Which is more rational, a belief in something for which no evidence exists--or a disbelief, or even very strong doubt in that same thing?

To someone who doesn't believe these stories, the plain statement that they don't exist isn't aggressive in nature. It's not meant as an insult or meant to evangelize that persons point of view. It's just a statement in a discussion by someone who has no responsibility to advocate for other beliefs that he or she simply doesn't share.
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Old Jul 2, 2014, 08:30 AM   #207
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Hey Felasco,

I was afraid I was going to wake up this morning to find a hot-headed reply, but I confess I genuinely enjoyed reading your post.

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
No, sorry for any poor writing here. I have no complaint with physics. Physics is cool. Physics pretending to be theology, that's my beef.

I have no argument with the statement, "science has not discovered a god". It's only if the next step is made that I complain, "science hasn't discovered a god, therefore there isn't one."
Cool by me.

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
Evolutions shows how the life is managed, we agree on that. It doesn't speak to whether that management arises from random forces or some form of intelligence.

The theory of evolution does not disprove the claim that some intelligent force gave rise to everything, and thus to life as well.
I've merged 2 separate comments of yours here. I'll mentoin your 2nd point first, because I think it's a common thing to fit god in to the gaps. We know a lot about how life has evolved, but we still can't figure out how it got started. How DNA came to be in the first place, and that's often used to say that god could have started it all. It's a gap in science, so it's filled with god. Regarding your first point: are you suggesting that selection pressures could be the result of a form of intelligence? As in, god's guiding hand? I'm wondering if you've heard of the Lenski experiment with e. coli where evolution occured in the lab, and has continued to for the last 30+ years. The selection pressures have definitely been identified there, and it's entirely natural.

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Truthfully, and no offense intended, I'm less concerned with you invoking science to do theology, than I am recognized science authority figures like Stephen Hawking. But, you'll be one of those authority figures someday, so I'm fixing you now while there's still time.
No offense at all. Thanks for thinking I'll be an authority figure, but that will only be towards any future children I have! I liked your 'fixing' comment though I agree with your comment on Hawking; it's his opinion which he can back up, but it's not conclusive.

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
I do think the Bible expresses some human truths in the form of art, just as a movie can speak to human truths through the vehicle of a fictional story.
That's how I was taught in my religious classes, but I just saw that as moving the goal posts, honestly. It used to be taken literally, then when it was shown not to be true it was called a metaphore.

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
Please tell us which of the billions of galaxies you have visited and inspected for the possible presence of gods.

Please tell us how many more realms there are within this universe, such as the microscopic realm which we didn't discover until not so long ago. Please tell us how you could know there are no other such hidden realms to be discovered, if that is your claim.

Please explain why you think that the fact that science hasn't discovered any gods in this universe is meaningful and conclusive, when only 100 years ago science didn't know about 99%+ of what we now know is there, a well documented historical fact which seems to prove science is capable of missing HUGE things, in fact, almost everything.
Science didn't miss or overlook anything, it just hadn't developed at that point. And I think that's the crux of your argument - that we don't know what we don't know. My point is that god used to be responsible for creating the earth, humans and the rest, and that with every advancement of science god has been pushed further in to the gaps of our knowledge. Hell, the old testament is pretty much all babylonian and mesopotamian myth anyway. So to me, that shows god was made up by man in a time of ignorance.

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
If you wish, I can demonstrate that the Invisible Pink Unicorn exists today, in your house, and no, I'm not kidding.
Go for it! I haven't heard this one before

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
You sincerely believe you chose evidence over faith. :-) You do chose evidence in purely scientific matters, but revert to faith on theological ones.
But I can back up my 'faith' with more evidence than the other team has, which is none. The evidence might not be 100% conclusive, but it's still evidence.

You're a fundamentalist agnostic, and I'm a fundamentalist atheist. Heads are sure going to knock!

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Old Jul 2, 2014, 09:10 AM   #208
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Hello King Alex!

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I was afraid I was going to wake up this morning to find a hot-headed reply, but I confess I genuinely enjoyed reading your post.
&^%$#%&%, why doesn't someone post a hot headed reply???

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Regarding your first point: are you suggesting that selection pressures could be the result of a form of intelligence? As in, god's guiding hand?
Well, if there is some form of intelligence at the heart of this, it makes sense they would create a system for managing things, rather than create each armadillo one by one by one.

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I'm wondering if you've heard of the Lenski experiment with e. coli where evolution occured in the lab, and has continued to for the last 30+ years. The selection pressures have definitely been identified there, and it's entirely natural.
Um, selection pressures in the wild are entirely natural too. I don't get your point here yet. And so I'll add this....

As a scientist, you should be interested in the medium which all science is made of, thought. Thought is just another part of nature, and as such it has properties. Those properties, whatever they may be, will be inherited by anything made of thought. Those properties are a form of built-in bias which must be taken in to account.

I say this because it's relevant to the essence of the debate, a conversation about natural vs supernatural, intelligent vs mechanical. These divisions which concern us so may not be a property of the real world, but of the tool we use to observe the real world. As example, tinted sunglasses which make everything everywhere appear to be tinted, even though it's not actually so.


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Thanks for thinking I'll be an authority figure,
Well, you are King Alex after all. And I have to keep sucking up if I want that Earldom Your Highness.

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Science didn't miss or overlook anything, it just hadn't developed at that point.
Oh c'mon, that's just science worship. They looked up and saw one galaxy, and missed the hundreds of billions of others. They missed almost everything. This is well documented hard evidence that an equation such as "science hasn't discovered XYZ, therefore XYZ doesn't exist" is just science worshipping bunkum, and nothing more, he said, while desperately trying to be hotheaded.

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And I think that's the crux of your argument - that we don't know what we don't know.
The crux of my argument is that trying to turn science in to yet another religion, without realizing we are doing so, illustrates why religion has dominated human culture for thousands of years, and thus should be examined with some respect.

Even the leading supposedly hard headed logic master realist science authority figures find themselves unable to resist the religious urge.

The difference between theism and science/atheism is that theism is an ancient enterprise which has matured to the point where it knows it is based on faith, whereas science/atheism is a relatively new enterprise which, while being technically clever, has not yet matured to the same level of honest self reflection.

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So to me, that shows god was made up by man in a time of ignorance.
That time of ignorance has not passed, it's just that many of us have moved on to a different flavor of fantasy knowing, and embraced it with the same blind obedience earlier peoples embraced their fantasy knowings. You think you've transcended all that, but really you've just dove ever deeper in to it.

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You're a fundamentalist agnostic, and I'm a fundamentalist atheist. Heads are sure going to knock!
I will now demonstrate why being a fundamentalist atheist or theist is irrational. Fundamentalist atheists or theists can only pretend to be superior to half the population. Fundamentalist agnostics can, with the same amount of typing, pretend to be superior to almost everybody. It's just simple math.
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Old Jul 2, 2014, 09:32 AM   #209
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Agnostics have the wisdom and humility to admit they don't know. Atheist frequently appear to argue there is no God, versus they have seen no God, a substantial difference in position. Maybe some of them mean the latter and are just bad at expressing it.
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Old Jul 2, 2014, 11:02 AM   #210
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Hey Felasco,

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
Well, if there is some form of intelligence at the heart of this, it makes sense they would create a system for managing things, rather than create each armadillo one by one by one.

Um, selection pressures in the wild are entirely natural too. I don't get your point here yet. And so I'll add this....
Ah, got it. I thought you might be saying that selection pressures aren't mechanistic and are instead just god playing, well, god.


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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
Thought is just another part of nature, and as such it has properties.
I'm tentatively going to explore this. My view is that thought is electro-chemical signals interpreted by the machine we call our brain. But that's just my view, so....

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
Those properties, whatever they may be, will be inherited by anything made of thought. Those properties are a form of built-in bias which must be taken in to account.
Ok, you've lost me It's sounding rather Buddhist to me. I fully agree that the 'reality' we experience is carved and molded by our senses, if that's what you're getting at. Our eyes, ears, taste, and the rest, only experience a fraction of the available spectrum. But I'd say that's the reason why we have objective measurement - to remove the subjective nature of things. Which of course leads on to science, which leads to the rest.

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
Well, you are King Alex after all. And I have to keep sucking up if I want that Earldom Your Highness.
Haha! Well, you've earned it! I'll make you an Earl once I find a piece of land to be king of. Looks like the only available piece left in the near future will be the moon, if you're ok with having a bit of that? I'll make some calls.....

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
Oh c'mon, that's just science worship. They looked up and saw one galaxy, and missed the hundreds of billions of others. They missed almost everything.
Nope. They looked up and saw others but didn't know if they were a part of our own galaxy or outside it because they didn't have any reliable distance indicators. Cepheid variable stars were in the process of being analysed for their potential to be one of these indicators only about 10 years before hubble managed to use them to show that the galaxies were indeed outside our own. Sorry, this is an example of science building, not science missing.

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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
That time of ignorance has not passed, it's just that many of us have moved on to a different flavor of fantasy knowing, and embraced it with the same blind obedience earlier peoples embraced their fantasy knowings. You think you've transcended all that, but really you've just dove ever deeper in to it.
But that is lumping science in with all the other religions. You have to admit that there is a difference. People of old 'knew' that the sun rose because of the god Ra (or something synonymous). We know, and I mean truly know that it is because the earth rotates. I get your point of saying that followers can treat it religiously, making statements about what is still unknown as though it's the truth, and that's a fair comparison. But you gotta say there are a lot of things that we now know, for sure, that won't change. It's not in the same league as religion, though there may be a bit of overlap regarding some 'followers'.


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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
I will now demonstrate why being a fundamentalist atheist or theist is irrational. Fundamentalist atheists or theists can only pretend to be superior to half the population. Fundamentalist agnostics can, with the same amount of typing, pretend to be superior to almost everybody. It's just simple math.
Haha! So now you can annoy everyone rather than just half the room Could you demonstrate the pink unicorn thing? I was looking forward to that...

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Originally Posted by Huntn View Post
Agnostics have the wisdom and humility to admit they don't know. Atheist frequently appear to argue there is no God, versus they have seen no God, a substantial difference in position. Maybe some of them mean the latter and are just bad at expressing it.
I'd actually say very few agnostics have done the research to come to a conclusion. Most are simply thinking 'what if' without looking in to the evidence for whatever reason they may have. A true agnostic, like yourself(?), fits what you wrote. But then it's easy to call oneself wise and humble

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Old Jul 2, 2014, 11:45 AM   #211
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Ah, got it. I thought you might be saying that selection pressures aren't mechanistic and are instead just god playing, well, god.
A mechanism set in motion by something intelligent, perhaps. Of course I don't know.

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My view is that thought is electro-chemical signals interpreted by the machine we call our brain.
Yes, no argument there, I'm not claiming otherwise. I'm saying these electro-chemical signals are an element of nature, and thus have properties. You know, like say, water.

Thought functions by particular methods, properties of the medium, which influence the content of thought. Here's an assertion, and an example.

Thought is inherently divisive. By "divisive" I mean, to divide, not argumentative. That's the assertion.

Now the example. Consider how every ideology divides both externally in relation to other ideologies (we are right, they are wrong) and also internally. It only takes about two weeks after any ideology is invented for this internal division process to take place, and factions start to form within the ideology.

As far as I know, every ideology in the history of mankind has undergone this division process. If it was just some ideologies, we could say the division was a result of the content of that particular ideology.

But when every ideology does this it points to something larger, that which all ideologies are made of.

Consider Christianity, an ideology explicitly about love and peace and bringing people together. And what happened? A thousand sects, half of them having a bitch fest with some other sect. Even the sects subdivide and go to war with another subdivision.

Point being, a perceived division between natural and supernatural, religion and science, faith and reason, may be a function more of the medium of thought itself than an accurate representation of the real world.

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Ok, you've lost me It's sounding rather Buddhist to me.
I am a highly imperfect writer with a weakness for drama and other distractions, I lose readers all the time. Yes, rather Buddhist is fair enough I guess, though I'm not knowledgeable enough to really know. If it sounds esoteric and bizarre, it's only because I'm not saying it clearly enough.

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I fully agree that the 'reality' we experience is carved and molded by our senses, if that's what you're getting at.
Ok, yes, and thought is one of our senses, part of the apparatus through which we observe reality. Just as our eyes only capture a small fragment of the electro-magnetic spectrum, and thus give us a highly distorted view of reality, thought is like that too. It's a very useful medium, but not an accurate one.

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Our eyes, ears, taste, and the rest, only experience a fraction of the available spectrum. But I'd say that's the reason why we have objective measurement - to remove the subjective nature of things. Which of course leads on to science, which leads to the rest.
Right, you get it. But keep in mind. Science is made of thought. The scientist is made of thought. So science and the scientist see what thought can see.

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Looks like the only available piece left in the near future will be the moon, if you're ok with having a bit of that? I'll make some calls.....
Yes, the moon sounds like a good place for me, thanks!

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Nope. They looked up and saw others but didn't know if they were a part of our own galaxy or outside it because they didn't have any reliable distance indicators.
This is just exactly like challenging the authority of the Bible with a Christian. There's an answer for everything. You're scrambling around desperately trying to avoid saying something so very simple and obvious. Science can miss huge stuff. Proven fact.

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Cepheid variable stars were in the process of being analysed for their potential to be one of these indicators only about 10 years before hubble managed to use them to show that the galaxies were indeed outside our own. Sorry, this is an example of science building, not science missing.
Sorry, this is the classic scientist unable to see the forest for the trees. I don't give a crap about Cepheid variable stars, whatever that is, that's a small potatoes detail. I care about the big picture, hard documented uncontestable evidence of sweeping ignorance on an unimaginable scale. I care about it for a reason, but my this is getting wordy.

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But that is lumping science in with all the other religions. You have to admit that there is a difference.
Yes, science is different when it sticks to science.

It's little different when it begins making huge sweeping unprovable assertions based on a sample of unknown size, and all of that. That's religion my friend, faith. Not bad necessarily, but not reason, not science.

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I get your point of saying that followers can treat it religiously, making statements about what is still unknown as though it's the truth, and that's a fair comparison.
Thank you for understanding.

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But you gotta say there are a lot of things that we now know, for sure, that won't change.
What I can say is that as a scientist you might have more appreciation of the revolutionary power of science. There have been tons of things that we thought we knew for sure, and they changed.

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Haha! So now you can annoy everyone rather than just half the room
I'm very efficient!! :-)

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Could you demonstrate the pink unicorn thing? I was looking forward to that...
Yes, will do, coming next.

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But then it's easy to call oneself wise and humble
I am not just wise, I am His Flatulence Sri Baba Bozo, the founder of Bozoism, the next great world religion. I am not even vaguely humble though, oops....
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Old Jul 2, 2014, 01:02 PM   #212
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... I'd actually say very few agnostics have done the research to come to a conclusion. ...
I might agree with your observation, but lacking a mutually agree upon definition of the term, it's difficult to say much of anything with any degree of certainty.

For example, when asked about his religious beliefs Carl Sagan answered "I'm agnostic." yet I seriously doubt he would share the views of some of the participants in this thread who have labeled themselves as such.
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Old Jul 2, 2014, 01:04 PM   #213
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I care about the big picture, hard documented uncontestable evidence of sweeping ignorance on an unimaginable scale.
Have you read this short piece by Asimov? "The Relativity of Wrong". Quite short, just a few minutes to read:

http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscien...ityofwrong.htm

Choice section:
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Again, it is because the geological formations of the earth change so slowly and the living things upon it evolve so slowly that it seemed reasonable at first to suppose that there was no change and that the earth and life always existed as they do today. If that were so, it would make no difference whether the earth and life were billions of years old or thousands. Thousands were easier to grasp.

But when careful observation showed that the earth and life were changing at a rate that was very tiny but not zero, then it became clear that the earth and life had to be very old. Modern geology came into being, and so did the notion of biological evolution.

If the rate of change were more rapid, geology and evolution would have reached their modern state in ancient times. It is only because the difference between the rate of change in a static universe and the rate of change in an evolutionary one is that between zero and very nearly zero that the creationists can continue propagating their folly.

Since the refinements in theory grow smaller and smaller, even quite ancient theories must have been sufficiently right to allow advances to be made; advances that were not wiped out by subsequent refinements.
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Old Jul 2, 2014, 03:07 PM   #214
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Hey Felasco,

I think this will be shorter post as I understand what you're getting at. There are a few things I will write though

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Point being, a perceived division between natural and supernatural, religion and science, faith and reason, may be a function more of the medium of thought itself than an accurate representation of the real world.
I liked that whole paragraph you wrote, but highlighted this part for a reason. Have you read much of Mahayana buddhism? Zen, specifically. It says that it is thought that causes duality - our tendency to split things in to 'this' or 'that', and 'enlightenment' is tearing down that duality by removing thought. If you haven't read anything on it, it could be right up your street.

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Sorry, this is the classic scientist unable to see the forest for the trees. I don't give a crap about Cepheid variable stars, whatever that is, that's a small potatoes detail. I care about the big picture, hard documented uncontestable evidence of sweeping ignorance on an unimaginable scale.
Yes, I was drawn in there and put my science hat on with a bit of a vengeance. The point I was trying to make was that we didn't know if stuff was small and close, or big and far away. And no-one was saying it was definitely one or the other, as we had no way to know before technology caught up and allowed us to. I was trying to say that science didn't miss it, it knew it was there but just lacked the means to pin it down.

And by "hard documented uncontestable evidence of sweeping ignorance on an unimaginable scale", you're referring to some of the big-wig physicists asserting god does not exist? Or something else?

Alex
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Old Jul 2, 2014, 04:55 PM   #215
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I think this will be shorter post as I understand what you're getting at. There are a few things I will write though
FYI, after this post I have to vanish for a few days. Not for lack of interest, but to give my body a break from hysterical manic typoholicism. Will be back, with the long awaited revolutionary Pink Unicorn thesis which will overturn science once and for all, or something... .

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Have you read much of Mahayana buddhism? Zen, specifically. It says that it is thought that causes duality - our tendency to split things in to 'this' or 'that', and 'enlightenment' is tearing down that duality by removing thought. If you haven't read anything on it, it could be right up your street.
Thanks. I'm only vaguely familiar with those writings, but have invested considerable time in to the experience, and blowharding my own sermons on the subject in my role as Sri Baba Bozo. You may find the Zen writers far more clear and articulate than I, and hopefully less bozolicious.

Should you investigate I believe you'll find examining the nature of the medium we are made of to be key to understanding the human condition, the religions of East and West, and science too.

Everybody wants to talk about the content of thought, this idea vs. that idea, but thought itself, that which all ideas are made of, which all of us are made of, seems rather more interesting.

As example if we study say, Marxism, we learn something about a particular ideology. If we study thought, we learn something about all ideologies. It's like studying the sun instead of each individual planet, the sun drives the entire system, is the heart of the matter.

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Yes, I was drawn in there and put my science hat on with a bit of a vengeance.
You were making a good faith effort to be a hot headed bombastic pontificator, which was appreciated.

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The point I was trying to make was that we didn't know if stuff was small and close, or big and far away.
Yes, I understand. I was trying to say that just as science has overturned many "for sure" knowings of a former more religion based era, science will continue, and over turn today's "for sure" knowings too.

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And by "hard documented uncontestable evidence of sweeping ignorance on an unimaginable scale", you're referring to some of the big-wig physicists asserting god does not exist? Or something else?
Sorry to be unclear. Let's return to the question, "When will science end?" If you conclude that science will continue for a very long time, probably at an ever accelerating rate, it logically follows that we currently know so little that it might be fairly called almost nothing.

You're making a very understandable and common comparison. You're comparing what we know today to what we knew yesterday, to the abilities of primitive desert tribesman, and the animal kingdom. Seen that way, we feel quite smart, which is self flattering so we cling to this appealing vision of ourselves as a culture.

But when we are discussing theology, ideas about the ultimate nature of everything, the proper comparison is not to ancient farmers and donkeys, but to all that can be known. Seen that way we arrive at "sweeping ignorance on an unimaginable scale".

See ya soon, and thanks for the exchanges!
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Old Jul 3, 2014, 12:08 PM   #216
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Today's quip...

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) on death:

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 09:01 AM   #217
Huntn
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Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
Let's return to the question, "When will science end?" If you conclude that science will continue for a very long time, probably at an ever accelerating rate, it logically follows that we currently know so little that it might be fairly called almost nothing.

You're making a very understandable and common comparison. You're comparing what we know today to what we knew yesterday, to the abilities of primitive desert tribesman, and the animal kingdom. Seen that way, we feel quite smart, which is self flattering so we cling to this appealing vision of ourselves as a culture.

But when we are discussing theology, ideas about the ultimate nature of everything, the proper comparison is not to ancient farmers and donkeys, but to all that can be known. Seen that way we arrive at "sweeping ignorance on an unimaginable scale".

See ya soon, and thanks for the exchanges!
This is what I've been trying to say.
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 09:04 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Huntn View Post
This is what I've been trying to say.
It would have been good for you to say it, because I say it too much. But then, I say everything too much.
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