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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> The Co-existence of Science and Theology
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11/08/2007 11:07:32 AM · #1
That ought to raise an eyebrow or two.......8>)

I have been here for about a year and a half and the knowledge and development of my photography has been exponential and thrilling.

What I didn't expect was to get all the knowledge and insight into people, their issues and feelings, and to expand my own thoughts in various directions as they pertain to theology and science.

Two things that I have noticed.......

One: Nobody has really much changed the way I feel and think about either of these topics.

Two: There are a lot of extraordinarily fine minds here.

I have learned so much about both of these topics and I love it when the discussions are friendly and linear, as opposed to adversarial, because it's great to have so much feedback from such a wide pool of people. There is such a wide range of ages and geography, beliefs and mindsets, education and conditioning, that I am continually blown away by the facets of science and theology that I learn here on an almost daily basis.

I do feel that there are many good people here that do go out of their way to be considerate and thoughtful in how they present their ideas.....and for that, I thank you all for the enrichment and education that I get here.
11/08/2007 11:22:10 AM · #2
While the two may "co-exist", they aren't really compatible. It seems to me that Science is an attempt to understand and explain the natural world. Theology posits a "supernatural" realm that, by definition, cannot be measured by the scientific method.
11/08/2007 11:28:00 AM · #3
I'm not sure if this thread was intended as a debating point or an Oscar speech. :)
11/08/2007 11:58:33 AM · #4
Originally posted by jhonan:

I'm not sure if this thread was intended as a debating point or an Oscar speech. :)

It's just a statement about what an interesting place this is.

And to think I just came here for photography!
11/08/2007 12:33:25 PM · #5
Originally posted by david_c:

While the two may "co-exist", they aren't really compatible.


It may be worth noting that the idea of a Big Bang was first proposed by a Jesuit priest, and the genetic foundations for Darwinism were first described by a Roman Catholic priest (Mendel). The Vatican has a fine astronomical observatory, too. The quest for knowledge and the need for belief are not mutually exclusive.
11/08/2007 01:30:59 PM · #6
Oh boy, two threads on religion vs. science at once??

11/08/2007 01:45:40 PM · #7
Originally posted by scalvert:

It may be worth noting that the idea of a Big Bang was first proposed by a Jesuit priest, and the genetic foundations for Darwinism were first described by a Roman Catholic priest (Mendel). The Vatican has a fine astronomical observatory, too. The quest for knowledge and the need for belief are not mutually exclusive.

And, the Catholic church recognizes evolution as the likeliest theory of the origin of species on the planet. Needless to say, Catholics are not fundamentalists.
11/09/2007 08:37:27 AM · #8
So are there any others who feel the same as I do; that there is a balance in the big picture that leaves room for both faith and science?

I like to think that I am reasonable and accepting on both fronts, and I also don't believe in shoving my views down others' throats.

IMNSHO that is the quickest way to make someone dig their heels in to defend their POV and/or beliefs.

What say you?
11/09/2007 08:49:21 AM · #9
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

So are there any others who feel the same as I do; that there is a balance in the big picture that leaves room for both faith and science?

That sounds like you want to have it both ways. Going through life as an agnostic, taking a logical scientific viewpoint; the big bang, evolution, no proven God. But secretly hoping that when you die you'll go to 'heaven' to be looked after by a God that you didn't really believe in in the first place. But why not hedge your bets, just in case?
11/09/2007 09:03:01 AM · #10
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

So are there any others who feel the same as I do; that there is a balance in the big picture that leaves room for both faith and science?

Originally posted by jhonan:

That sounds like you want to have it both ways. Going through life as an agnostic, taking a logical scientific viewpoint; the big bang, evolution, no proven God. But secretly hoping that when you die you'll go to 'heaven' to be looked after by a God that you didn't really believe in in the first place. But why not hedge your bets, just in case?

Yeah, but I genuinely believe that some of the things that I know to be true just don't jibe with science and I just don't buy the chaos/random theory that stuff just is.

I look at my daughter, and I see and know that there are genetics at play because of certain traits, but I sure can't explain the "thing" that she has with animals or why I love her so much that it almost hurts. That just seems to be divine providence to me.

I've also been around the block a time or two and have seen an awful lot that appears to defy explanation, and I can accept that there are some signs of a God in my life. Although I am pragmatic about many things, and am not swayed easily from a point of view without some solid factual support, I don't have to run everything to ground in an endless quest to have everything explained. It's like a processor......I know it works, I may not understand it, but I know it can be explained, but the flip side is, how did someone ever make the original decision to distill alchohol to drink it? Or figure out that a pufferfish is edible done carefully? Or how a bumblebee can fly even though it defies physics?

I'm sure someone has an explanation for all of these things, but I can take them on faith, that perhaps there is a grand design. I'm okay with that......you don't have to be, that's okay too.

Edited for grammar and fat fingers.

Message edited by author 2007-11-09 09:04:20.
11/09/2007 09:19:31 AM · #11
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

I don't have to run everything to ground in an endless quest to have everything explained.

I'm cursed with an analytical mind. I need to know how everything works. Sometimes I wish I could see things at face value like my 2yo son can. I know it's just a person inside that Mickey Mouse costume, but my son sees it through innocent eyes, and can see the magic. I can't.

In the same way I don't accept there was divine intervention the first time alcohol was distilled, or cooking a pufferfish, or in helping a bumblebee fly. These things can all be analysed and explained logically.

The more I've thought about it, it seems to boil down to one thing; purpose. Are we here with a purpose or are we a result of a freak event in space-time to which we will return?

If we were created by a God who is somehow looking after us then there is some kind of purpose to our existence. If there is no God then there is no purpose. The Universe will eventually expand to the point of cold death, or it will collapse in on itself. There will be no evidence remaining that the human race, or even this version of the Universe ever even existed. It will end in 'nothing', our existence had no purpose.

I think some people find these kinds of ideas scary. The idea that when we die there is 'nothing', there is no God or Heaven to return to. The idea that all our loved ones who went before us didn't actually go anywhere, their brain simply stopped working and they ceased to exist. That they exist only in our memory.

In fact, I think some people find these ideas so scary that they embrace religion. It's a much more comfortable idea to live with.
11/09/2007 09:24:30 AM · #12
this was the subject of a talk I went to the other day, and I used it for my free study!
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As Douglas Adams said "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"

11/09/2007 12:02:07 PM · #13
Originally posted by cheekymunky:

As Douglas Adams said "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"

Douglas Adams rocks rocked. RIP.

Message edited by author 2007-11-09 12:04:03.
11/09/2007 12:13:25 PM · #14
Originally posted by scalvert:

The quest for knowledge and the need for belief are not mutually exclusive.

Fair enough. They may not be mutually exclusive, in that a believer may truly be seeking knowledge of nature through the scientific method, but it's safe to assume Mendel wasn't searching for God in any theological sense when he isolated and described genetic drift among the flora.
11/09/2007 02:20:50 PM · #15
It's worth noting that the history of science and the history of religion are inextricably intertwined down through the centuries. Up until very recently in human history it was basically the theological groups that had the monopoly on knowledge and "wisdom". So, for example, in Western civilization, the growth of human understanding and scientific knowledge was in fact sponsored by the Church.

R.


11/09/2007 02:29:15 PM · #16
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

It's worth noting that the history of science and the history of religion are inextricably intertwined down through the centuries. Up until very recently in human history it was basically the theological groups that had the monopoly on knowledge and "wisdom". So, for example, in Western civilization, the growth of human understanding and scientific knowledge was in fact sponsored by the Church.

R.

That's a given, with some notable exceptions. I'll even concede many of the early scientists were acting out of a desire to further their understanding of God and scripture. Where, in your opinion, did the paradigm shift...or do you think science and theology are still intertwined?
11/09/2007 02:42:41 PM · #17
Originally posted by david_c:


That's a given, with some notable exceptions. I'll even concede many of the early scientists were acting out of a desire to further their understanding of God and scripture. Where, in your opinion, did the paradigm shift...or do you think science and theology are still intertwined?


Yes, of course they are still intertwined; they represent the yin and yang of the human experience. It is fashionable among "intellectuals" to belittle the mystical or spiritual component of the human psyche, but so far this is just a flash in the pan when balanced against the whole of human history.

If there's one thing our history teaches us, it is that mankind has a built-in need for "God", in whatever form he may manifest. Not all individuals have this need, or are willing to recognize/acknowledge it at any rate, but mankind as a whole is driven by it as much as by our need to explore and learn.

R.
11/09/2007 03:13:31 PM · #18
At the moment I think "intellectuals" and particular scientists find their respective fields are being adversely affected by misguided religious groups. Indeed this is why Richard Dawkins is so hostile, as his field is evolutionary biology. Studies published in nature indicate 85% of scientist do NOT believe in a personal god (here).

I find it really strange the opportunities and respect given to religious figures to speak on scientific matters/discoveries - of which they have no knowledge and blatant ulterior motives, defying all logic. This was epitomized by the talk given by the archbishop.
As Alexander Pope said "A little learning is a dangerous thing"...
11/09/2007 04:39:46 PM · #19
Until science can answer in a provable way how everything sprang from nothing at all, you can't really hold it against those who choose to hedge their bets.
11/09/2007 05:47:05 PM · #20
Originally posted by routerguy666:

Until science can answer in a provable way how everything sprang from nothing at all, you can't really hold it against those who choose to hedge their bets.


Yes. I can. Itís still an appeal to the argument from ignorance.

It does not follow that since we canít test what was before the Big Bang that there was nothing before the Big Bang. We just canít make any meaningful or testable statements about space/time prior to then. Donít you agree?
11/09/2007 05:54:54 PM · #21
Originally posted by milo655321:

Originally posted by routerguy666:

Until science can answer in a provable way how everything sprang from nothing at all, you can't really hold it against those who choose to hedge their bets.


Yes. I can. Itís still an appeal to the argument from ignorance.

It does not follow that since we canít test what was before the Big Bang that there was nothing before the Big Bang. We just canít make any meaningful or testable statements about space/time prior to then. Donít you agree?


No, but I'm not a big fan of tail chasing either. Whatever it is you want to call it that existed before what we see now, even that had to come from somewhere. Arguing that it just sprang into existence from nothing at all is as much an appeal to ignorance as saying it was created from fairy dust, if ignorance is defined as such.
11/09/2007 06:59:23 PM · #22
Originally posted by routerguy666:

Originally posted by milo655321:

Originally posted by routerguy666:

Until science can answer in a provable way how everything sprang from nothing at all, you can't really hold it against those who choose to hedge their bets.


Yes. I can. Itís still an appeal to the argument from ignorance.

It does not follow that since we canít test what was before the Big Bang that there was nothing before the Big Bang. We just canít make any meaningful or testable statements about space/time prior to then. Donít you agree?


No, but I'm not a big fan of tail chasing either. Whatever it is you want to call it that existed before what we see now, even that had to come from somewhere. Arguing that it just sprang into existence from nothing at all is as much an appeal to ignorance as saying it was created from fairy dust, if ignorance is defined as such.

Cool. You just demonstrated one of the logical fallacies linked in the wiki article.
11/09/2007 08:02:13 PM · #23
Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by routerguy666:

Originally posted by milo655321:

Originally posted by routerguy666:

Until science can answer in a provable way how everything sprang from nothing at all, you can't really hold it against those who choose to hedge their bets.


Yes. I can. Itís still an appeal to the argument from ignorance.

It does not follow that since we canít test what was before the Big Bang that there was nothing before the Big Bang. We just canít make any meaningful or testable statements about space/time prior to then. Donít you agree?


No, but I'm not a big fan of tail chasing either. Whatever it is you want to call it that existed before what we see now, even that had to come from somewhere. Arguing that it just sprang into existence from nothing at all is as much an appeal to ignorance as saying it was created from fairy dust, if ignorance is defined as such.

Cool. You just demonstrated one of the logical fallacies linked in the wiki article.


Did I? I haven't suggested a theory, argued against one, nor claimed that my personal beliefs trump any other consideration. I've merely said that science has not offered an explanation/theory/guess for how everything began, and that in large part that is the pillar upon which religion stands.
11/09/2007 08:21:42 PM · #24
How many Big Bangs ya'll figure there were?
11/09/2007 08:22:42 PM · #25
Originally posted by David Ey:

How many Big Bangs ya'll figure there were?


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