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Blinded by a divine light - Comments

koldito's Avatar Comment 1 by koldito

Somewhat inappropriately: Amen!

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 23:22:00 UTC | #242879

beanson's Avatar Comment 2 by beanson

Let me clarify the fundamental philosophical issue: the scientific mindset.

Yes- This is what must pervade in any rational inquiry

'[Reiss, and all religious people] fall at the first hurdle of the main requirement for honest scientific discussion because they accept unfound[ed] dogma as having fundamental significance.'


This is the reason that religious scientists are not full scientists and can only be compartmetalising their minds, sometimes to excruciating degrees. Their refusal to apply the strict criteria of acceptance that holds sway in one area of their life to the other area is an act of supreme denial only explicable by the fact of an early brainwashing.

For example: Alister McGrath maintaining he was an atheist when younger- BOLLOCKS. Unless one is brainwashed in early youth one would never compartmentalise ones mind in such a tortuous way in later life.

In AMs case I imagine that he was raised Catholic, was brainwashed and a staunch believer until perhaps his rebellious teen years- a slight aberration of perhaps 4 or 5 years then- back into the fold like a zombie, true to his early programming.

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 23:37:00 UTC | #242885

petermun's Avatar Comment 3 by petermun

Was Alister McGrath ever young? I believe he has always been a boring, inconsequential old fart.

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 23:59:00 UTC | #242889

beanson's Avatar Comment 4 by beanson

I can certainly imagine him as a priggish young, upperclass twit, what I find more difficult is to imagine him sans relligion during his 'rebellious' stage

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:07:00 UTC | #242891

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 5 by Diacanu

Blinded by the light!

Blow up like a douche!

Another boner in the night!

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:11:00 UTC | #242892

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 6 by Oromasdes1978

Science is based solely on doubt-based, disinterested examination of the natural and physical world.


I think he got it in one with this sentence, religion is not doubt based in the slightest as it assumes the god exists first before then trying to explain away the science of it.

How is a person supposed to examine anything in the natural and physical world using a deity that in itself somehow taken as fact before the further investigations begin?

Why is it these people refuse to investigate the deity first?

I liked this article a lot, very informative and I think written fairly and objectively. I think the Reiss incident was a tough one to consider but in the end I think, as Mr Kroto says here, it is pointless to approach science as shown above if there is any reliance on unfound dogma because it adds no significance to the discussion. Having somebody in that position, Director of Science Education surely cannot fit the requirements of the job in hand.

I do like the idea of cake though, I think I might go find some! :)

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:12:00 UTC | #242894

Paul Dunlop's Avatar Comment 7 by Paul Dunlop

I'm glad that Harry Kroto made the distinction between areas where religion can and cannot co-exist with good science. Religious belief can be completely compartmentalised and religious people are therefore capable of doing good scientific work (although how they manage this balancing act is beyond me!). I would trust Rev Reiss to teach my kids most scientific disciplines without his beliefs clouding the information given. But I couldn't trust him to be scientifically dispassionate in areas where religion and science bump together, especially so when religious dogmas are trying to bump their way into science classrooms. However, the Guardians comments page is littered with the view that this is nothing more than a religious witch hunt and a purge of all religious content from the Royal Society. Unfortunately, Harry Kroto's distinction is lost on them.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:15:00 UTC | #242895

carbonman's Avatar Comment 8 by carbonman

Very fair and sensible article.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:18:00 UTC | #242898

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 9 by mordacious1

Thank you Dr. Kroto for your part in having Reiss resign from his position.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:18:00 UTC | #242899

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 10 by Quetzalcoatl

I would like to take a moment to predict that David Robertson will comment on this thread. And he'll probably mention Mordy's comment.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:22:00 UTC | #242901

nalfeshnee's Avatar Comment 11 by nalfeshnee

Thunderous applause.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:36:00 UTC | #242903

justaminute's Avatar Comment 12 by justaminute

Let me clarify the fundamental philosophical issue: the scientific mindset. Science is based solely on doubt-based, disinterested examination of the natural and physical world. It is entirely independent of personal belief.


If only it were so! The reality alas is better represented this way.

"At this point, it is necessary to reveal a little inside information about how scientists work, something the textbooks don't usually tell you. The fact is that scientists are not really as objective and dispassionate in their work as they would like you to think. Most scientists first get their ideas about how the world works not through rigorously logical processes but through hunches and wild guesses. As individuals, they often come to believe something to be true long before they assemble the hard evidence that will convince somebody else that it is. Motivated by faith in his own ideas and a desire for acceptance by his peers, a scientist will labor for years knowing in his heart that his theory is correct but devising experiment after experiment whose results he hopes will support his position."
[Boyce Rensberger, How the World Works (NY: William Morrow 1986)]

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:38:00 UTC | #242904

Corylus's Avatar Comment 13 by Corylus

Justaminute

There is a difference between science as a method and scientists as individuals.

The method is about fostering self-correcting mechanisms.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:48:00 UTC | #242906

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 14 by mordacious1

Justaminute

"...through hunches and wild guesses."

He forgot to add: While in a drunken stupor or under the influence of some mind-altering drug, while reading pornographic material. Also bolts of lightening and large gears and switches are known to induce suggestive thinking. And it doesn't hurt to have a lab assistant with a large hump on his back.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:50:00 UTC | #242908

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 15 by mordacious1

If Hawking and I were both to make "wild guesses" about physics, you should put your money on Hawking.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:56:00 UTC | #242911

justaminute's Avatar Comment 16 by justaminute

Here's a good example of philosophical bias getting in the way of science from Dr Scott Todd, an immunologist at Kansas State University: ,

"Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic'."

[Todd, S.C., correspondence to Nature 401(6752):423, 30 Sept. 1999.]

In other words 'if it doesn't fit my paradigm exclude it.'

There is a difference between science as a method and scientists as individuals.


Agreed. But I defy you to find a single scientist who has a "disinterested" stand on our origins.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:58:00 UTC | #242912

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 17 by Quetzalcoatl

justaminute-

Here's a good example of philosophical bias getting in the way of science from Dr Scott Todd, an immunologist at Kansas State University


Interesting quote from ONE scientist. Do you have the rest of the correspondence to hand, so that we can read it in context?

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:03:00 UTC | #242915

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 18 by mordacious1

justa

How can you have data that points to the supernatural? If you can collect data, then that data is in the natural world. A supernatural creator would be unprovable.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:06:00 UTC | #242917

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 19 by Diacanu

Mordacious-


A supernatural creator would be unprovable.


Oh yeah? ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3eTsNEgmL8

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:17:00 UTC | #242921

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 20 by Laurie Fraser

As my son might say: pwned! (whatever that means.)

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:19:00 UTC | #242925

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 21 by mordacious1

Diacanu

God sure caused a lot of trouble for such a tiny fella, must of had a Napoleon complex.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:22:00 UTC | #242928

notsobad's Avatar Comment 22 by notsobad

justaminute:

"Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic'."
[Todd, S.C., correspondence to Nature 401(6752):423, 30 Sept. 1999.]

In other words 'if it doesn't fit my paradigm exclude it.'

Did you really not get the joke?

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:32:00 UTC | #242932

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 23 by Quetzalcoatl

Interestingly, I googled the reference Justaminute quoted, and the first few pages were those bastions of intellectual thought, Creation on the web and Answers In Genesis. Couldn't read the Nature article without making a payment.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:41:00 UTC | #242938

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 24 by Jay Cee

I wrote to the Royal Society asking for Reiss to be sacked. For him to walk into Director of Science Education is a deliberate insult. This is actually a step backwards! The RS (or whoever is responsible for his reappointment) should be ashamed.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:44:00 UTC | #242939

the way's Avatar Comment 25 by the way

Comment #256260 by JAMCAM87

Haven't you heard of the "Old Boy Network"?
He's probably up for a peerage!

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:56:00 UTC | #242942

passutoba's Avatar Comment 26 by passutoba

Laurie.....maybe i'm not up with the youth of today, but would your son really say, 'pwnd!' It's pretty hard to pronounce...is it Welsh?! He'd be much better off saying 'You got owned!' (i hear this in my classroom a lot!)

oh, and excellent words Harry!

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 02:07:00 UTC | #242947

mmurray's Avatar Comment 27 by mmurray


As individuals, they often come to believe something to be true long before they assemble the hard evidence that will convince somebody else that it is.


I don't see the problem with this. Sure you have moments of inspiration and faith in your hunches but at the end of the day you have to assemble the hard evidence and convince the other scientists. Exactly as the quote says. Religion stops with the hunch.

Michael

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 02:09:00 UTC | #242948

brainsys's Avatar Comment 28 by brainsys

I'm confused here. Did I miss something in Riess's original article about him being a creationist or supporting creationism?

What I thought I read was that he opposed creationism but wanted to expose the unscientific basis of creationism in a science classroom rather than to leave it to the RE teachers.

To argue that is wrong is an important area of debate. But to call Reiss a creationist would also suggest that his original article was not only wrong but malevolent.

Can someone point me to reasonable proof that Reiss is a creationist? That is beyond the mainstream CoE view that Genesis is a 'metaphor' and that the diversity of current life is down to evolution. That is with the debate restricted to whether evolution just happened or whether it was their god's clever idea so they don't have to dispute evolution in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 02:12:00 UTC | #242950

mmurray's Avatar Comment 29 by mmurray

Passutoba -- You are write in what it means but it is also written pwned. Don't know how you pronounce it.


1. pwned
A corruption of the word "Owned." This originated in an online game called Warcraft, where a map designer misspelled "owned." When the computer beat a player, it was supposed to say, so-and-so "has been owned."

Instead, it said, so-and-so "has been pwned."

It basically means "to own" or to be dominated by an opponent or situation, especially by some god-like or computer-like force.
"Man, I rock at my job, but I still got a bad evaluation. I was pwned."

(Google urban dictionary)

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 02:12:00 UTC | #242951

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 30 by Quetzalcoatl

passutoba-

It's not Welsh! It's pronounced like "boned" except with a p instead of the b.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 02:12:00 UTC | #242952