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Belief in Science

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Viperman
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#1

Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:00 AM

Before reading, this thread is not for an argument about science vs religion.

I'll start with my own personal experience. I have always been a believer in science, from a young age. Now older, I learned that people that look to religion, have something. Faith. its what keeps them happy, gives them meaning and purpose to lead a happy life, regardless of how ludicrous thier story of creation is on my opinion. For me, this meant I purposely went and learnt as much as I could through books, documentarys, internet, etc etc. Now by no means am I claiming I know a lot, but definitely enough to basically put my faith in it. It makes me completely happy at my own existence. Why I'm here, where I came from, and where I'm heading. Even tho the answers are somewhat, not as exciting as afterlife beliefs, I'm perfectly happy and content with that.

Does anybody else share this interest? I really can't help but feel that, if the education systems taught this belief more. That this civilization can step forward massively. Bring the whole world together.

I would like to share a quote from Brian Cox, from wonders of the universe, episode stardust (children of the stars in the US)

QUOTE
When we look out to space we are looking into our own origins, because we truly are children  of the stars. And written into every atom, of every molecule of our body is the entire history of the universe. From the big bang to the present day.

Our story is the story of the universe, every peice of everyone. The very thing you love, of everything you hate, to the thing you hold most precious, was assembled by the forces of nature in first few minutes of the universe's life. Transformed in the heart of stars, or created in their fiery deaths. And when you die, those pieces will be returned to the universe, in the endless cycle of death and rebirth.

What a wonderful thing it is to be part of that universe. What a story, what a majestic story.


And you know what, he right. What a marvelous story to tell. How rare, and common, and percious our lives are. How were all connected, and all made of the same stuff, stardust.

So what's your opinion? Can a wider belief in this benfit man kind? I was hoping that we could keep this to an inspiring topic, rather than debates of belief. Because, were all aloud to believe what we want.

SagaciousKJB
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#2

Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:40 AM

I think when you say "believe" in Science, you really hit the nail on the head for why I think it would actually be counter-productive. Already you have so many people that "believe" one thing or the other based on "science". A lot of times people don't research this at all themselves, and simply take the word of "scientists" for it. In a lot of ways, people that claim that they "believe" in science and listen to "scientists" are no more logical than people thousands of years ago that listened to "prophets" and then believed what they told them.

Belief is irrelevant to science. Science is self-evident, it's just simply an explanation... You could say it's "true" but then that would put the connotation of belief back into it. Bottom line though is that most of the world are not willing to embrace scientific fact, and if you presented it to them and told them to believe, it would be as much a religious following as any of the ones you have today. People believing things they don't understand because they were told to believe them from an old book...

I think it's kind of a strange ground we're in these days, with a lot of people talking about how they concern themselves with science, but only go so far as to take the word of text-books for their knowledge. You can just easily assert that the ancients of thousands of years ago were "scientists" formulating their own hypothesis. Of course our modern scientific process factors in things like evidence to support theories, and experimentation to repeat results, etc. At the end of the day though most people don't concern themselves with that, and just take their "science" out of a text book like people thousands of years ago probably took "facts" from the bible. We simply rely on those we see smarter than ourselves to tell us how the world works.

So in a lot of ways, science I think is pretty susceptible to abuse, and we shouldn't necessarily "believe" in it as much as we follow it. Otherwise you could find a huge portion of the population believing something that is completely impossible to actually prove, but treat it as if it were already scientific fact because the "scientific community at large says so". Not going to introduce another debate into this, but I'm sure you could think of a couple of examples of what I'm talking about all on your own.


Viperman
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#3

Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:31 AM

I've read your post several times, and to sum up, your saying basically even though science is evidently a good solution of cause and effect. If the majority stand back and nod our heads and say "if they say so" progress is actually reduced?

But there's my point. If you got the general understanding into science at the level we can call fact, but left room for imagination. And I mean at a worldwide level It could surely cause an increase in progress?

Nice post to be honest, it had not thought of it that way. Although I feel I have to point out the difference to then and now is that our current understanding has been 400 years of development, and more importantly, completely logical to understand, and well, universal. So to compare a belief in this modern world to a prophet 2000 years ago with the intentions based on a control method is just completely out of context. But then I suppose, you just touched on the power if faith.

Jeeebuuus
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#4

Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:23 AM

I like your post SagaciousKJB. It reminds me of Robert Anton Wilson's argument in "The New Inquisition". I find that science is merely one avenue to understanding the universe and our own perception of it. Its like our minds learn it through the intellect, and we then measure our obejective world and record it, then to contemplate it and call it philosopy or theology in order to understand why. Maybe it is for the evolution of our "soul" through mysticism. This is getting deep and I will stop now.

K^2
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#5

Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

No, no, no. Belief in science is counterproductive because science doesn't deal with truths. Science isn't about understanding or explaining. It is about predicting. It doesn't answer questions. It replaces them with other questions. Science is a set of tools that lets you take observations, convert them to a description, and predict what happens next. Whether that description has anything to do with reality is absolutely irrelevant. Believing that things actually work a certain way is absolutely counterproductive to the process.

It's not the question of whether we should look for answers beyond science. If you want to know where you came from and why you are here, science isn't for you. Science does what it's meant to and no more. Don't try and turn it into an answer to it all by believing in it. You are just creating another religion and interfering with people who want to do science.

Viperman
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#6

Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:07 PM

QUOTE (K^2 @ Thursday, Feb 23 2012, 11:01)
It's not the question of whether we should look for answers beyond science. If you want to know where you came from and why you are here, science isn't for you. Science does what it's meant to and no more. Don't try and turn it into an answer to all by believing in it. You are just creating another religion and interfering with people who want to do science.

Sorry mate, but that's an absolute crock of sh*t. That's the most ludicrous paragraph I have read in a long time. To such an extent I'm not even going to try to debate that. I'm actually wondering if it was sarcasm now.

coin-god
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#7

Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:16 PM

Well, he is not really wrong.

QUOTE ( "Science" Definition by dictionary.com)

1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
3. any of the branches of natural or physical science.
4. systematized knowledge in general.
5. knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.



1 seems to apply to mathematical sciences. Wich is not what you mean by science in this debate.
2 defines Science as K^2 explained.

4 and 5 are more of the same. So yeah, he is right. Science dosn't look for answers. We look for answers with the help of science?

SagaciousKJB
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#8

Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:48 PM

One thing about the scientific process that strikes me as odd is that generally speaking, most actual hard, scientific facts and findings come from nothing but curiosity. Think of geological science for example... Some guy finds that the soil 3 feet beneath the surface is rich in sea shells, and finds that some geological area must have once been a lake. That is fine, but then some environmental scientists comes along and then tries to use this existence of a dry lake bed as some kind of proof of weather patterns. One scientific finding does not necessarily lead to another, but people are very ready to take it as such. There seems to be this idea that, "Well, so what if it's just a theory, it was thought of by scientists, so it's probably true."

I think part of the problem is that so many people just assume they are too uneducated to know better or as well as these "scientists". So what you start having is a huge segment of the populace that's just ready and willing to take the scientific consensus at face value. They talk about "peer review" amongst the scientific community, but when you think about it in a grander scheme of civilization in general, a lot of "scientific" theory these days is accepted as truth by many with hardly any review at all. I mean, how often do you hear people quote "experts"?

Like, here's an interesting one to think of. Imagine in your mind a large dinosaur. How in the hell do you know what a dinosaur looks like? Have you ever seen a real one? No, but you have the image that has been built up over the years, which is basically just an estimation based on skeletal structure, whether we think they would be hairy or nude, skin color, etc. For all we know, a tyrannosaurus rex may have been bright pink with yellow poke-a-dots. It's highly unlikely and makes more sense that it would be green to camouflage itself, but realistically we do not and can not ever know what a t rex actually looked like. However, given that realization, how many of you just a few minutes before were willing to say for dead certain that you knew what one looked like? It's nothing really to do with science, but the way society grasps at it for something else to beleive.

I guess what I'm really saying is that science is at risk of being the next big thing people use not to think. Why use your own mind when you have "scientists" and/or "experts" to tell you what is what? Now I'm not saying there's no merit in listening to scientific consensus, and people that might actually be experts... However, it's just a slippery slope, and through loss-of-translation, you often wind up having some highly intelligence scientific mind saying one thing, and by the time it makes its way through scientific journals, to magazines, to cable-news headlines, and then to the common man, the actual science of it has been diluted and it just becomes some belief that was very far off from what the scientists was actually trying to convey. I cannot think of any actual examples, but this kind of thing happens all the time when a friend says, "Oh, hey, did you know that a duck's quack doesn't echo?" and in reality there's actually a huge amount of scientific detail behind it that says, "No, it does, but the reverberation sounds almost exactly like the quack so it is not audible to people." There's always something like this that gets ommitted, span, twisted, etc.

P.S.
For lack of a better example, I borrowed the duck thing from the MythBusters. Sue me

Tyler
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#9

Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:18 PM

I must agree with K^2 when he says science doesn't have to answer any of your questions. We use science because we're curious about certain trends in nature, or because we wish to test a hypothesis that we've formed through critical thought. It's not something to believe in, and no theories are 100% full-proof. You go in with a clean slate and come out after many repeated experiments and peer reviews with a prediction that is vulnerable to change at any moment.

Science is beautiful in what we can collect from it, but it's not some magical answer-machine that will give us the secrets of the universe.

Melchior
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#10

Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:01 PM

I tend to be sceptical of anything that is touted as "scientific fact", as scientists and other academics often seem more concerned with reputation than with truth. ie, they'd realise their findings are bullsh*t but would never admit it in order to salvage their reputation.

"All I know is we are here and it's now."

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#11

Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:19 PM

QUOTE (K^2 @ Thursday, Feb 23 2012, 12:01)
No, no, no. Belief in science is counterproductive because science doesn't deal with truths. Science isn't about understanding or explaining. It is about predicting. It doesn't answer questions. It replaces them with other questions. Science is a set of tools that lets you take observations, convert them to a description, and predict what happens next. Whether that description has anything to do with reality is absolutely irrelevant. Believing that things actually work a certain way is absolutely counterproductive to the process.

It's not the question of whether we should look for answers beyond science. If you want to know where you came from and why you are here, science isn't for you. Science does what it's meant to and no more. Don't try and turn it into an answer to it all by believing in it. You are just creating another religion and interfering with people who want to do science.

You make science sound like a hobby with no practical purpose so after reading your post I asked a physicist what he made of your comments and working very specifically in aviation he does not share your view on the purpose of science.

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#12

Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:15 AM Edited by spaceeinstein, 01 March 2012 - 01:27 AM.

Many of you are confusing science with authority and belief. Science is basically a tool. An example of a tool can be an axe that is used to chop down stuff. I don't have a deep thought thinking, "Should I have belief in this piece of junk? Will it not work?", each time before I cut a piece of log. You use science as a tool to perform experiments and derive logical conclusions. You don't have to believe scientific authority/consensus if you wish, but can you prove them wrong? Are you really that much more knowledgeable than those scientists who built their life around their work? It will be your fault that your bridge collapsed and killed several people. Of course there can be errors in scientific authority/consensus, we are all humans, not robots! Who knew tectonic plates can exist at all? I thought the universe is basically static! What makes science so much different than religion/belief/authority/conspiracies is that people can use the scientific process to confirm accepted truths, correct mistakes, and make new discoveries while they're at it. If you want to talk about belief in something, you should go into philosophy, not science.

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#13

Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:20 AM

There was a time, long ago, when science and philosophy were one. When religion and science were one. Were they perfect? No. Were they what got us here? Yes. Don't quickly discard them. For example, geometry used to be, and in some circles still is, sacred. How? Search for yourself. Don't believe because it is "common knowledge". That is how geocentricity flourished.

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#14

Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

Are we not talking about modern science? Whatever humans did before the Renaissance of course laid a foundation to modern science but that's it. People didn't know any better back then and eventually misconceptions and outright wrong information were corrected through modern science. How does that apply to having a belief in science?

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#15

Posted 04 March 2012 - 02:03 AM Edited by Jeeebuuus, 04 March 2012 - 02:07 AM.

When I hear "belief" I generally think of something that you either can't prove to yourself or anyone else. So belief and (modern) science to me are two words that don't go together in the same sentence. Modern science, to me at least, is measuring our objective physical universe. Whatever is beyond that, at the moment, is in the area of philosophy and theology. That doesn't mean that just because modern science has become secular that it won't someday become more. It was at one time up until about four hundred years ago. What form this could possibly take is anyones guess but if modern science keeps in pursuit of the ultimate questions without prejudice then what it finds might scare your average domestic primate. Enough so that one might be hesitant on sharing.

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#16

Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:36 AM

QUOTE (Jeeebuuus @ Sunday, Mar 4 2012, 12:03)
When I hear "belief" I generally think of something that you either can't prove to yourself or anyone else. So belief and (modern) science to me are two words that don't go together in the same sentence. Modern science, to me at least, is measuring our objective physical universe. Whatever is beyond that, at the moment, is in the area of philosophy and theology. That doesn't mean that just because modern science has become secular that it won't someday become more. It was at one time up until about four hundred years ago. What form this could possibly take is anyones guess but if modern science keeps in pursuit of the ultimate questions without prejudice then what it finds might scare your average domestic primate. Enough so that one might be hesitant on sharing.

The problem is that scientists don't seek truth so much as they seek acclaim. I'm sure many great minds have completely dedicated themselves to defending false hypothesises out of ego. Then there's the matter of corporate and governemnt research producing producing skewed results, for obvious reasons. As such I take anything touted as "scientific fact" with a grain of salt, where as a lot of people today will blindly believe anything they read.

Then there's the matter of social science and psychology which I don't buy into at all.

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#17

Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:47 AM

QUOTE (Melchior @ Sunday, Mar 4 2012, 11:36)
QUOTE (Jeeebuuus @ Sunday, Mar 4 2012, 12:03)
When I hear "belief" I generally think of something that you either can't prove to yourself or anyone else. So belief and (modern) science to me are two words that don't go together in the same sentence. Modern science, to me at least, is measuring our objective physical universe. Whatever is beyond that, at the moment, is in the area of philosophy and theology. That doesn't mean that just because modern science has become secular that it won't someday become more. It was at one time up until about four hundred years ago. What form this could possibly take is anyones guess but if modern science keeps in pursuit of the ultimate questions without prejudice then what it finds might scare your average domestic primate. Enough so that one might be hesitant on sharing.

The problem is that scientists don't seek truth so much as they seek acclaim. I'm sure many great minds have completely dedicated themselves to defending false hypothesises out of ego. Then there's the matter of corporate and governemnt research producing producing skewed results, for obvious reasons. As such I take anything touted as "scientific fact" with a grain of salt, where as a lot of people today will blindly believe anything they read.

Then there's the matter of social science and psychology which I don't buy into at all.

You said quite a bit. Personal ego comes into play with any edeavor and jobs whithin the scientific community might not be excluded. As for "obvious reasons". Not much is obvious otherwise we would all be scientists, philosophers, and elders. You would do good to not believe everything you read. As Denzel said in Traingin Day, 80 percent of what is in here is bullsh*t, but its entertaining. As for psychology, it is theory.

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#18

Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:43 PM

Of course I believe in sceintific breakthroughs, but I fear them too, like WMDs (Weapons of Mass Distruction.) and Killer Bees and such.

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#19

Posted 08 July 2012 - 04:28 AM

I consider science to be curiosity and skeptical thinking combined and taken to the extreme.

That's why I have a problem with your title "Believe in Science". Science asks to be questioned, not to be taken as truth or put your faith into. The only reason anything that science has discovered is remotely predictable or understood is because after the initial discovery people tested those ideas, to see if this theory really can predict the process it is looking at.

That's a problem I have with today's teaching of science, at least where I was taught because they teach some discoveries as pure facts. This is the truth. They don't explain the processes behind what makes science as successful as it is at digging at the unknown. They don't explain the skeptical thinking part. This might lead to "belief" in science.

Again this based off of my experiences.

Question it. You hear about an amazing discovery made by some group, try and see if you can follow subsequent tests by other scientists. It's not quite as good as testing it yourself but sometimes you can't.





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