SCIENCE VS RELIGION

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Moderator » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:09 am

Thank you Chuck, that's an amazing compliment.

So last night my buddy NeoCon Jim and I got into quite a scrap regarding evolution. He's strongly a proponent of Intelligent Design, and I, of course, favor the natural state and evolution.

It got heated enough -- and not angry heated, just loud -- that our wives threatened at first to forcibly separate us, and when that didn't work they said they would leave and go see a movie if we didn't shut up.

Naturally we shut up.

However, it astounds me the things people are being told are scientific fact by their religious affiliations, when all they can point to, for example, are evolutionary "gaps" that prove there is a divine hand. Not having a fossil that shows an intermediate ground is NOT proof of a divine hand -- the only thing it proves is that you're willing to make a jump to conclusions ABOUT that gap.

Then he started sputtering that DNA could not have formed naturally "no matter how old the universe is". (He does not, by the way, believe it's 16B years old. The only commitment he will make is that it's "slightly older than 10,000 years".) At that point the ladies intervened.
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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Moderator » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:12 am

The shot of the shuttle is astounding, Ezra. Thank you for sharing it.
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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby robochrist » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:17 am

No afterlife but we "live on in the mind of god". Yes extraordinarily dissatisfying.


But clearly not to God! It's rather sweet and touching, that he holds onto fond memories - even though it's at our expense...like everything else has been!

No matter how you adjust the picture, God seems a lot like the Trelane character in the original Star Trek!

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BTW, it's nice to see a lady back on the board, Diane! This place has been too much like a Guy's Club lately! We need more females to join in! Let's Pagan out!

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:27 pm

I was reading Genesis, when Jacob is wrestling an unknown man. The man may be God and angel or the Devil. We surmised that it may be his conscious. Man fighting his inner demons.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:25 pm

Barber wrote:The shot of the shuttle is astounding, Ezra. Thank you for sharing it.


You're quite welcome. That was taken by one of astronauts on the International Space Station back in 2006 I believe when the shuttle was still a going concern. Many of the astronauts have been very accomplished photographers. I would guess some training with cameras and such must be part of their preflight preparation. It would be interesting to find out if any of them are photographers outside of their space duties. It is worth noting though that many of the most notable photographs taken during the history of the space program were taken because of their scientific use and not for their aesthetics. None of the Hubble pictures I am aware of were taken strictly for their beauty. It would again be interesting to send up a boatload's worth of accomplished photographers and let'em at it. I wonder if they would do substantially better than our astronauts have?


So last night my buddy NeoCon Jim and I got into quite a scrap regarding evolution. He's strongly a proponent of Intelligent Design, and I, of course, favor the natural state and evolution.

It got heated enough -- and not angry heated, just loud -- that our wives threatened at first to forcibly separate us, and when that didn't work they said they would leave and go see a movie if we didn't shut up.

Naturally we shut up.


The womenfolk are the civilizing force in society are they not? :lol:

Not having a fossil that shows an intermediate ground is NOT proof of a divine hand -- the only thing it proves is that you're willing to make a jump to conclusions ABOUT that gap.

Certainly true but those "gaps" are slowly but surely being filled. The evolution of the horse is almost completely accounted for in the fossil record and the evolution of that old creationist bugaboo, the eye, is almost completely understood.

Then he started sputtering that DNA could not have formed naturally "no matter how old the universe is".

But given that we don't (as of yet) know how DNA originated how could Neocon Jim even know that? As you say, I don't know means I don't know, not god did it.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby diane bartels » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:43 pm

Thanks Robo, I didn't really go anywhere, just didn't have much to say for awhile. Ezra, would you have the name of that philosopher? Sounds like a point to check out. I think a lot about God and life and death and the survival of the consciousness.ty

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Steve Evil » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:57 am

The "God of the Gaps" argument is annoying in general, but I find the "lack of transitional fossils" argument particularly asinine. It reveals an intentional ignorance, a refusal to even try to understand how the theory actually works.

You can no more find a "transitional fossil" than you can take a photograph pinpointing the exact moment you ceased being young and became old. The "transitions" are not instant: they're incredibly, mind bogglingly gradual, stretching out over millions of years. They're too small to notice in any one fossil.

The fact is, species are always in flux, always changing, always evolving. There is no essential rabbit, alligator, duck or human being. Every living thing exists in a constant state of transition. . .

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:13 am

Steve Evil wrote:The "God of the Gaps" argument is annoying in general, but I find the "lack of transitional fossils" argument particularly asinine. It reveals an intentional ignorance, a refusal to even try to understand how the theory actually works.

You can no more find a "transitional fossil" than you can take a photograph pinpointing the exact moment you ceased being young and became old. The "transitions" are not instant: they're incredibly, mind bogglingly gradual, stretching out over millions of years. They're too small to notice in any one fossil.

The fact is, species are always in flux, always changing, always evolving. There is no essential rabbit, alligator, duck or human being. Every living thing exists in a constant state of transition. . .


It depends on what one means by "transitional." Evolutionary biologists and paleontologists have agreed-upon standards about this. Pachycetus (I believe I've spell that right) is one of the most marvelous examples of nearly and entire sequence showing several transitions.

Of course, you are quite correct that certain folks will simply never accept such examples, so...

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:06 pm

The creationists probably have an answer to that as well. I was looking at one of their magazines called Answers and it proved that buttes are proof of the flood. Amazing. lol.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:28 pm

The truth is in space photography often natural color visible wavelength cameras provide us with the least amount of information. This image from the Cassini probe orbiting Saturn, a close-up of the enormous and turbulent storm at the planet's north pole, was taken in the near-infrared. What's nifty about this is that the colors in near-infrared allow us a finely detailed look at the cloud structure of the otherwise obscured atmosphere. The redder the tint the lower the clouds are. The greener the tint the higher. Just for the wow factor, the rose-like vortex of the storm is approximately 1200 miles across and is spinning at about 300 miles an hour.

Image
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:54 am

Another big bug.

Image

That's the before shot. Here's the after -

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The Royal Walnut Moth. Hey this is science!

I've seen these magnificent creatures. They range throughout the south.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:59 am


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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:38 am

A guitar string store based in North Carolina offers a 5% discount on online orders if you use their Jesus Christ coupon code.

Image

Two things strike me about this. How seriously this seems to offend some of my atheist/skeptical friends. And how seriously many christians take this as an expression of their faith.

I think it's funny. And revealing. Think about it. This is an authentic expression of the depth of someone's spirituality? To have the name of their lord and savior turned into a coupon code? A commodity? What is more redolent of defeat? This does not offend me. I see it as a sign of what it is. The tree stands there, reaching to the sky. But it's been struck by lightning and is dead, just waiting for the right wind to come along and blow it over.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:07 am

Don't worry Ezra, most of us are quite rational. Any Christian who is not skeptical is a false leader.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:22 am

Frank

The whole premise of of faith is to believe in something without proof. Kinda defeats the whole idea of skepticism if ya ask me..


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