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← The damage of "moderate" scientists?

The damage of "moderate" scientists? - Comments

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 1 by Alan4discussion

Then he vaguely commentated that science and religion could co-exist, and that he knew many scientists who were religious. And this is when it started to go downhill.

The devil is in the detail! - Which is why definitions of religious views and which specific religion or god is being discussed, is usually dodged, with only vague references made.

Prof. Schmidt said something to the effect that science and religion both required "faith" in things that "we do not know". It wasn't exactly clear to me what he meant by this, and he didn't explain it further.

Vagueness is essential in apologetics. Specific claims are either unevidenced or refuted.

Then he went on to say "There's no way right now to test what came before the big bang. So at that point, I mean, I can't test God either, so they're really on equal grounds to me."

This is just "middle position posturing" apologist fudgism! - pandering to the religious. " Nobody knows", does not equal "god-did-it"!
There is nothing "moderate" about fudging facts, viewpoints, wild speculations, or contradictory statements.

It could equal, leprechauns/tooth-fairies/the FSM/aliens or magic wizards-did-it! But you would not expect these as credible answers in a serious non-anthropomorphic discussion.

Thu, 05 Jul 2012 20:30:22 UTC | #948650

ccw95005's Avatar Comment 2 by ccw95005

We can't rule out the possibility that an intelligent entity created the universe. Since we don't really have a clue how we all came to be here, that's a possibility, although in my opinion an extremely small one. What we can be very sure of is that if an intelligence created the universe (or multiverse), it has nothing whatsoever in common with any organized religion's version, and is therefore of no importance to us.

I suspect that the professor was saying essentially what I just said, except that he left out the part that even if an intelligent entity did create us, it's nothing like the Jewish or Christian or Muslim god and almost certainly is totally indifferent to us. He did seem to be saying that there's a 50% chance that He exists, while I think it's extremely unlikely - but not zero.

Thu, 05 Jul 2012 23:27:24 UTC | #948664

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 3 by Neodarwinian

" Then he went on to say "There's no way right now to test what came before the big bang. So at that point, I mean, I can't test God either, so they're really on equal grounds to me."

Here is someone who slept through statistics and probability theory. Equal ground!!

Thu, 05 Jul 2012 23:54:39 UTC | #948666

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 4 by irate_atheist

An overeducated twit.

There have been plenty before, there will be plenty again.

Fri, 06 Jul 2012 14:44:19 UTC | #948686

romnakon's Avatar Comment 5 by romnakon

"There's no way right now to test what came before the big bang. So at that point, I mean, I can't test God either, so they're really on equal grounds to me."

Ok, science hasn't all the answers, but it's the best we have, because of its constant questionning and testing that eventually debunks erroneous ideas.

Let us hope that the astrophysicist had panic at the time of the interview, perhaps for seeing a few crucifixes, stakes, torches and baseball bats within the public :).

Like the case of the name of the book 'The God particle' of Leon Lederman, when the publisher did not accept the original and 'blasfeme' title (gdmn particle), so Lederman had to agree with the final.

The problem is that some scientists, in the attempt to communicate their ideas, believe it is correct to use 'emotional' terms like gdmn to bring the attention or look polite before a religious audience.

If Schmidt was really meaning what he told, these are very mind-confusing and unfortunate comments, specially coming from an educated person. The argument of design simply doesn't pass at the 'baloney detection' polygraph.

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 19:52:31 UTC | #948866

N_Ellis's Avatar Comment 6 by N_Ellis

Religion is about creating 'rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty' and defending them from any examination (to -slightly- mis-attribute a quote from Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy) and science is about destroying those areas, and I am shocked to hear of a Nobel Prize-winning scientist saying differently.

He may not have wished to offend members of the audience, but telling the truth isn't offensive, although it may be painful if you have uncritically endorsed the unfounded opinions of others.

Like the professor, I have no means of knowing what happened before the Big Bang (although as the Big Bang created time as well as space, 'before' is an awkward choice of words). However, if it was caused by an intelligence, that entity would be real rather than speculative and would not require 'faith' to enable its existence, and in any case, is not described in any way by any religion preached on Earth.

Sun, 19 Aug 2012 14:32:30 UTC | #951044