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What's wrong with science as religion - Comments

Janus's Avatar Comment 1 by Janus

PZ destroyed this article here:

Not that he really needed to. This Giberson guy admits that he's deluding himself in the next-to-last paragraph, thereby forgoing any claim to rationality.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 10:56:00 UTC | #210830

Ishruul's Avatar Comment 2 by Ishruul

Losing the battle before going to war?

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 10:59:00 UTC | #210833

movingshadow's Avatar Comment 3 by movingshadow

Nobody says science knows everything, but it is the only reliable way to know anything.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:03:00 UTC | #210836

saugbrewer's Avatar Comment 4 by saugbrewer

But I don't think science is omniscient and I am not convinced that science will ever know everything. I am not convinced that science is even capable of knowing everything.

It's a far cry from suggesting that the pursuit of science may never give us all the answers to positing a "rational, creative and even caring mind" behind our existence.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:03:00 UTC | #210837

J Mac's Avatar Comment 5 by J Mac

Very odd....

"But I also worry about narrow exclusiveness that champions the scientific way of knowing to the exclusion of all else."

I doubt you'd find a scientist who refused to consider your "other ways" of knowing.... but they better be good, because so far all the "other ways" have failed miserably while science has succeeded.

The author also doesn't seem to know the difference between myth and fact, as he uses them interchangeably.

"I don't think science is omniscient and I am not convinced that science will ever know everything."

This has a shred of truth... but being convinced or not is irrelevant. Science is NOT omniscient and it will never know ANYTHING. It is a process, not an entity capable of knowing or not knowing. I understand he's making a metaphor comparing science to a god... but there is his flaw: he assumes science is like a god, then demonstrates that we are using science as a god.

Utterly pointless.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:04:00 UTC | #210839

8teist's Avatar Comment 6 by 8teist

"But I don't think science is omniscient and I am not convinced that science will ever know everything."

This is the very reason I do not believe the claims of the creationist cabal.
It does not mean you stop looking for knowledge just because your idiot bible says ;god did done it.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:25:00 UTC | #210864

MuNky82's Avatar Comment 7 by MuNky82

- Off Topic -

Ishruul - your avatar freaks me out, where is it from?

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:25:00 UTC | #210865

Ascaphus's Avatar Comment 8 by Ascaphus

#4 Saugbrewer:

It's a far cry from suggesting that the pursuit of science may never give us all the answers to positing a "rational, creative and even caring mind" behind our existence.

Far cry indeed. But that's all the faithful have, so they'll keep going back to it. In that 'way of knowing' you don't need any evidence for your claim, just a lack of anything else occupying that slot. An empty space for god to sit.


Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:30:00 UTC | #210874

J Mac's Avatar Comment 9 by J Mac

An empty space for god to sit.

Between their ears?

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:33:00 UTC | #210882

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 10 by Oystein Elgaroy

I have heard about these "other ways of knowing" for years, and I think it is time for the likes of Giberson and his kind to explain exactly what these "other ways" consists in.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:36:00 UTC | #210886

decius's Avatar Comment 11 by decius

Comment #222444 by Oystein Elgaroy

As a dogmatic scientist, you are part of the conspiracy to conceal other ways of knowing from the people.
And as a cosmologist, you are absconding evidence of the existence of alien civilisations.

I wouldn't trust your word in this thread.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:43:00 UTC | #210896

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 12 by Cartomancer

Utter twaddle the lot of it.

The main mistake Karl Gibberish makes is the assumption that religion and science are actually two completely different things catering to completely different facets of human life - a version of the NOMA argument. In fact it's not the case that science is trying to become more like religion, it's that religion is nothing more than failed science. Very bad science at that. Utterly and irredeemably awful science in fact.

Yes, we seem to have a narrative view of our world. We tell stories and make sense of our surroundings by stringing together our experiences into satisfying chains of cause and effect. But we do this because we want to come up with the true story, to understand how it actually happened, not because any story will do as well as any other.

We used to rely on religious stories and religious explanations for the world, not because they were good stories but because we actually thought they were true. Of course, this could either be metaphorically true or literally true, but the criterion was still truth value. Nobody has ever argued that we should prefer their religious account over its rivals because it's a better story than all the others - they always argue that their story is true. Even the silly christian apologist who spouts something facile along the lines of "I believe in the genesis account because it is such a magnificent and awe-inspiring story" is really saying "I think that magnificence and awesomeness of narrative are what determines the truth value of a hypothesis - the more magnificent and awesome, the truer it must be".

We still follow the age-old quest. We still seek after the truth. But over the centuries we've developed and discovered ever more effective methods to determine what is true. Those methods are now called science. We have sharpened, refined and regularised how we approach the quest, and it has paid massive dividends. Not only are we closer to knowing what the world is really all about, we know a lot more about what it means to know, and how certain we can be in any of our knowledge.

Yes, scientific narratives should replace religious narratives in the minds of mankind - though they should replace them not because they are better stories but because they are actually true. We can still retain the religious narratives as evidence of the workings of the human mind and the history of cultural diversity, but in a very real sense they have failed utterly to do the job they were created for - explaining how the universe came to be the way it is.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:43:00 UTC | #210897

saugbrewer's Avatar Comment 13 by saugbrewer

#8 Ascaphus:

Agreed. The fact that this guy "works in the trenches at an evangelical college" is also interesting. I'm not sure how he manages to serve two masters: purporting to teach science and sculpting young minds to constantly question how the world works while actively buying into the least logical fairy tales ever dreamt up.

I'd suggest that he isn't serving at least one of these masters very well.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:45:00 UTC | #210900

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 14 by Oystein Elgaroy

Comment #222454 by decius

How did you find out about the conspiracy to conceal the evidence for extraterrestrials?

Comment #222455 by Cartomancer


Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:54:00 UTC | #210906

decius's Avatar Comment 16 by decius

Comment #222464 by Oystein Elgaroy

It was privately revealed to me by the foremost authority on alien civilisations, Richard Hoagland.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:02:00 UTC | #210912

black wolf's Avatar Comment 15 by black wolf

this might help:

What then, is spiritual knowledge?.

The correct definition of the term is: "The experiences we have acquired on our journey of many incarnations to know what Unconditional Love is". A looser definition is knowledge of the workings of spirit.

We do not profess to have the complete answer by any means, but what we teach we might summarise as follows. Spiritual Knowledge is:

* Realisation that there are other dimensions outside of our five body senses.
* Realisation that we are a spirit or soul which continues beyond physical death and that spirit is part of the Source (God, Great Spirit or other preferred term).
* Acceptance that we have more than one life-time, indeed, many of them. Reincarnation is a key feature of the spiritual journey.
* Recognition that there is a purpose to our life here, which is set out in a life-plan.
* Acceptance that we have a spirit guide (or guardian angel); that he or she is with us at all times and influences our life.
* Recognition that all living things contain Universal Life Force (variously known as Chi, Reiki, Prana or Light).
* Realisation that our bodies are contained within an energy system, which when imbalanced, causes illness.
* The realisation that the planet too, is a living body and has an energy system that can suffer damage.
* Realisation that world religions are man-made, are often used for "control" and are not true spiritual knowledge.
* Discovering the workings of the spirit dimension, spiritual Threes, stages and levels, Spirit Council, spirit travel, life elsewhere in the Universe, the evolution of planets, energy grids and pathways.
* Refining the ability to be a healer of oneself, of others and of the planet by using one or several alternative therapies.
* Refining the ability to communicate with the spirit dimension and using that ability for the good of others.
* An awareness that all scientific knowledge is "imported" or "brought" to Earth from either spirit or other places.
* An awareness that humans are in the main, "young" spirit; that planet earth is a "nursery world" and that life on earth has much further to go in our evolution.
* Being able to recognise "unconditional love" as the spirit state and the striving to experience it on Earth as our task here.

If this information helps you, you've got issues.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:02:00 UTC | #210911

r3z3nd3's Avatar Comment 17 by r3z3nd3

Boring as Heaven

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:02:00 UTC | #210914

kkelly's Avatar Comment 18 by kkelly

* Realisation that there are other dimensions outside of our five body senses.

It's like these people don't undersand basic syntax.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:05:00 UTC | #210916

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 19 by irate_atheist

1. Comment #222388 by Janus -

Indeed he falls flat on his face. Fucktardism of the highest order. "I want to believe a bunch of half-witted bullshit because I want to believe it." If you gave Giberson an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:07:00 UTC | #210919

fizhburn's Avatar Comment 20 by fizhburn

They call us to worship at the altar of science

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:12:00 UTC | #210925

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 21 by Steve Zara

Is it so dangerous to believe that there is a bit more to the world than meets the scientific eye, that behind the blackboard filled with equations there is a rational, creative and even caring mind breathing fire into those equations?

Yes, I say it is dangerous. It is hugely arrogant to think that the human mind should be able to understand the fundamental reality of the universe based on our current limited knowledge. It is also a very bad idea for anyone to claim they know the "mind of the creator" (as indicated by the words "rational, creative and even caring"). This is more that just wishful thinking, it can lead to delusions of ever-deeper understanding of this supposed mind, and the dangerous idea that one can know what the creator wants.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:13:00 UTC | #210926

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 22 by Oystein Elgaroy

Comment #222469 by black wolf

I am relieved to say that this information was of no help whatsoever.

Comment #222470 by decius

Martin "The Crusher" Rees and Stilleto-Steve Weinberg will soon be knocking on Hoagland's door. He has come too close to the truth.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:19:00 UTC | #210934

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 23 by irate_atheist

Steve - Good evening squire. I couldn't agree more but I could add a lot.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:22:00 UTC | #210939

kaeru's Avatar Comment 24 by kaeru


MuNky82: Smile.


Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:24:00 UTC | #210940

fizhburn's Avatar Comment 25 by fizhburn

I'd like one of these "other ways of knowing" people to give a clear explanation of what, besides the evidence of the senses (plus whatever a priori stuff we get from brain structure), we have to work with. How does that evidence (supposing it is evidence) provide justification for belief? What in heck is the epistemology of the "supernatural"?

Once again, someone is so sure that something exists or is true they fail to notice the bizarre ad hoc hypotheses employed to support that belief.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:38:00 UTC | #210949

Eshto's Avatar Comment 26 by Eshto

12. I agree, I don't see "science vs. religion", I see a lot of "human ideas".

Some of them are based on evidence and pan out in the long run, and some fail because they weren't well-reasoned to begin with.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:41:00 UTC | #210953

Corylus's Avatar Comment 27 by Corylus

For science to become a true object of worship, it must elbow aside the reassuring and seductively simple belief that "God loves you." This deeply personal faith statement would have to be replaced with one that says something like: "The cosmos worked really long and hard to create you and you should be really appreciative."
No, no, no!

'Worked really long and hard' implies agency. It implies intent. I see no evidence for either.

It does take some time to get your head around the notion that the universe does not have a mind. If this were all I could shrug and say 'Hmm, he just doesn't get it'. However...
I suggested that science doesn't know everything, that there might be a reality beyond science, and that religion might be about God and not merely about the human quest for a nonexistent God.
All sounds so reasonable doesn't it? In fact the first part of the sentence is reasonable, if you presume that he is talking about science as a body of knowledge. No-one would disagree that they are things left to be discovered.

However, then there is then a breathless bait and switch between talking about science as information and science as method.*

This man is smart enough to understand the dishonesty behind this tactic. If there is a "reality beyond science" then he needs to explain how he has privileged access to it, by what process he came to this conclusion and how others can test any claims he makes on the strength of it.


*We do have other methods than science of attempting to gain information, of course, (blind guessing is one of them) but scientific testing is our most rigorous method.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:48:00 UTC | #210961

black wolf's Avatar Comment 28 by black wolf

Apologist Greg Koukl wrote on his blog about this 'way of knowing'. His 'reasoning' in a nutshell is that intuition needs no justification because it can't be analyzed. Since this intuition frequently points to a sense of telos, we have a purpose. Since this purpose can only be explained through God, spiritual knowledge of God is valid.

This is just so fractally wrong.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:57:00 UTC | #210971

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 29 by PristinePanda

I read about this guy on PZ Myer's blog Pharyngula. Apparently PZ Myers gave a legitimate but critical review of something this douche bag wrote and he got his feelings hurt. Now he's just trying to make some inane retaliation.

Myers's responded to him here:

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:58:00 UTC | #210973

Jiten's Avatar Comment 30 by Jiten

Religion as science? Yet again? Fuck off you fucking fucker.

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:59:00 UTC | #210974