If you look at the universe and study the universe, what you find is that there is no evidence that we need anything other than the laws of physics and the other laws of science to explain everything we see. There's absolutely no evidence that we need any supernatural hand of god. -- Lawrence Krauss, World-Renowned Physicist
There is probably no other notion in any field of science that has been as extensively tested and as thoroughly corroborated as the evolutionary origin of living organisms. -- Encyclopedia Britannica
FAITH. No one word personifies the absolute worst and most wicked properties of religion better than that. Faith is mind-rot. It’s the poison that destroys critical thinking, undermines evidence, and leads people into lives dedicated to absurdity. It’s a parasite regarded as a virtue. -- PZ Myers
Religion is the antithesis of science, an anesthetic for the mind that disables critical thought and encourages the acceptance of inanity as fact, and wishful thinking as evidence. -- PZ Myers

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A conversation with a theist I am saving here.

"What do you think of Newton?  From what I've heard, he did believe in a God, and he was quite good at science.  I guess simplified is this, do you think that it is impossible in this day and age to accept a God and accept science?"

You ask good questions. I'll answer right now with this message but usually I prefer the thread for this stuff (in case you want to continue it). I check that thread frequently for new comments.

Newton was extremely brilliant. However he had one unfortunate problem. It was about problems he was having with orbits. I'm betting he could have solved those problems but he gave up and invoked his magical being to explain why those orbits work. Today even religious scientists know it's totally wrong to give up. They know it's totally wrong to invoke supernatural magic to explain the natural world.

Those religious scientists are rare, especially in biology, and especially at the level of best scientists in the world. I once saw a video, a conversation between two biologists. They agreed they had met only one biologist in their lives who was a theist, it was Francis Collins.

Do I think it's impossible to be a theist and accept science? Obviously it's possible because these people exist. Do I think it's impossible to be a theist and be a scientist? Yes they exist but they have a serious problem. Scientists are suppose to demand strong evidence for every idea. And they are constantly trying to disprove scientific ideas, including their own ideas.

But if that scientist is religious, he or she has to stop demanding evidence because for anything that requires faith there is no evidence. From my point of view this is totally wrong, especially for a scientist. They shouldn't be making exceptions for anything including religious ideas. Just like they try to disprove their own scientific ideas, they should be trying to disprove their religious ideas, but they're not doing that.

One more thing. I have this idea. 21st century science has pretty much solved every problem. There will always be research opportunities in every branch of science but virtually all the basic stuff has been figured out. What remains is to test those ideas, and if they're wrong to try something else. But none of these scientists think a supernatural being had anything to do with it. Religious scientists believe in a god who never had anything to do. Sure there's always some hiding place for a god of the gaps, but what's the point? Eventually god will be chased out of that hiding place, if not now then maybe a thousand years from now. Scientific progress never ends, but the god idea just stays where it is.

See you at "Today's Hot Topics". Many thanks for making me think.

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