1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

POLL: Science Vs Religion

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Defspeal, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. InquisitorX Gems: 4/31
    Latest gem: Sunstone


    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hacken Slash-

    That was a tounge-in-cheek comment playing off our entire conversation. I expected more from you. :p

    Manus-

    My view is that while evolutionary theory is not perfect, it adequately explains a large amount of phenomena that it is expected to explain. It's not a perfect theory and it can't be a perfect theory. Many natural phenomena can be explained to come about in multiple ways (bipedalism in humans in a great example).

    The best we can do is continue to use the scientific method and strengthen the theory as much as possible. All the while realizing that the theory has limitations.

    My life philosophy is very simple. When looking at pretty much any issue I do so in a pragmatic, objective manner looking at all the evidence available to me. I base my judgments and conclusions on the most rational and logical reasoning I am capable of.

    As such, I find the notion of explaining natural phenomena via religious texts absurd to the highest degree. I do not see how the Bible is any more suited to explaining natural phenomena than Grimm's Fairy Tales.

    [ December 10, 2003, 05:36: Message edited by: InquisitorX ]
     
  2. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
    Latest gem: Black Opal


    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    8
    Science is a tool. It is a very useful tool, but can be abused (and often is) by certain scientists more interested in publishing papers than establishing any kind of sound foundation for their theories.

    Sometimes (well, often) experiments cannot be done to prove/disprove certain theories because of reasons of practicality and this is where the assumptions and deductions come in. Without doing the experiment you can't show anything. Science is based entirely on evidence, and we are taught that way from when we're little snotlings, but a lot of scientists tend to think too far ahead and start formulating wild ideas without first proving old ones. I know I've occassionally been guilty of that.

    With regard to evolution, the only way to prove it is to observe, over a few million years, what happens to every known species. While there is a substantial body of evidence for evolution, and the theories are very good, the reason it can't be proven is because no one can do the experiment. People sometimes tend to forget that we've only been around for 125,000 or so years (is that right, InquisitorX?) and evolution is not exactly the quickest thing. So to perform such an experiment would require a time compressor of some kind and some very patient scientists.

    @manus-
    i've heard about the physicists, let me assure you the biologists can be like that sometimes! :)
     
  3. Manus Gems: 13/31
    Latest gem: Ziose


    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
    0
    I might agree with you, but I think I put a great deal, far far more, faith in Grimm's fairy tales than do you! ;)

    The truth, the answers to anything can be found anywhere if you look hard enough, and if you are aware of the question. With Grimm's fairy tales you don't have to look quite so hard and they can be very revealing at times. They were of course written (and not by the Brothers Grimm) usually for this express purpose.

    Meaning can be gleaned from any source. One world of thoughts is no different to our own.

    Credo quia absurdum. But perhaps these things will not always seem so absurd to you, and you will not have to rely on trust. Nevertheless in any case, natural phenomena is not what they have been set out to explain.
     
  4. Hacken Slash

    Hacken Slash OK... can you see me now?

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,337
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sorry to take your tongue in cheek remark so serious, mate.

    I've been so cranky lately, must be the Holidays.
     
  5. Valkyrie Gems: 7/31
    Latest gem: Tchazar


    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Who says science and religion can't both be true?

    In the Bible it says that God created the world in 7 days. But those 7 days may not be the same length as 7 days our time. It also says that God created animals before man. So who's to say that God didn't mold humans from the closest creatures to? And how about that evolution was a process that was set into motion by God, to create Man?
     
  6. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand why some believe that the Creation story is pretty cracked (the thread seemed to concentrate on the Christian story) because I mean, just look at it. If you take it literally then this big guy made the universe in a day, made the earth, made the plants, made the animals, made Adam, then took a breather after he said: "it is good." Adam got lonely and God stole on of his ribs (probably while he was sleeping... sneaky God) and volia! a new hot babe for Adam (not to mention a new species).

    Of course, when taken literally any story sounds cracked - well a lot of stories sound cracked. You've got to dig a little, or a lot, deeper to get closer to the true meaning. God is outside of our definition of Time. A day is ten thousand years and vice versa. Evolving from apes could be the way we appeared, but that could've been directed by God too. I kinda chuckled to myself when InquisitorX said he was agnostic, but also believes evolution, because it's far from proven. I wouldn't consider myself gullible, but I can tell you practically countless stories of supernatural occurances that are completely obvious (I'm not talking about a spooky wisp in a photo here) of evil intervention.

    I've also looked into the eyes of someone who's so dead inside that there was no hope of coming up. Then a few months later I see them again and they are so trancendent... because they've become Christians. I've never seen that in the eyes of someone who's read "The Origin of Species".
     
  7. InquisitorX Gems: 4/31
    Latest gem: Sunstone


    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Everyone is entitled to their opinions. However, making statements like evolution is "far from proven" seems incredibly irresponsible considering your knowledge of the subject. You could spend an entire lifetime reading all the literature you could about evolution and you would not finish it all. I suggest you read at least some of it before making personal judgments about its validity.

    There is no ambiguity relating to my positions of evolution and agnosticism. The evidence suggests that evolution occurs. And I have no evidence to either confirm or deny the existence of a supereme being. I fail to see what is chuckle-worthy beyond your uninformed statement that evolution is "far from proven."

    I'm not exactly what point your trying to prove here. Surely you couldn't be arguing for the validity of the Bible based on the fact that it reinvigorates people. Could you?

    As for your comment on "Origin," Darwin's work is a historic relic and the only people who benefit from reading it are scholars. You would learn a hundred times more about evolution reading a contemporary textbook in place of Darwin's tome. The importance of "Origin" was its idea that challenged the status quo and has changed the way the world is viewed.
     
  8. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    0
    Making statements like that is incredibly irresponsible considering it is far from proven. Are you saying that evolution is a fact that can't be disputed? If so, then you, my friend, are religious (Church of Latter Day Evolutionist).

    BTW, when I say evolution I mean human from ape, not a fish in the see that developes another fin.
     
  9. Hacken Slash

    Hacken Slash OK... can you see me now?

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,337
    Likes Received:
    1
    Evolutionists violate one of the basic precepts held by all scientists, and that is the confusion of "Theory" and "Law". We still call the venerable principle of Relativity a "Theory" because as scientists we are unable to use standard scientific method to verify it's validity. Even some of the modern Lepto-quarkists have posed some interesting challenges to the universality of the theory.

    Microevolution (the genetic changes within a species due to mutation, natural selection, or other causes) can be observed and proven. Microevolution is a fact. Macroevolution (the generation of entirely new species due to the above mentioned effects) can only be supported by dubious fossil record and hypothesis. In fact Macroevolutionists have a nasty habit of sifting through all of the fossil record data until they find what supports a pre-supposed theory...what does not support is ignored. The fact of the matter, for every one piece of fossil evidence that is used to support this religion, there are at least 10 items that do not fit the desired mold and are thus ignored.

    I view the blind adherents to Macroevolution, who do not even aknowlege the highly theoretical nature of their faith, in the same group as those who burn piles of books.
     
  10. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    10,366
    Media:
    40
    Likes Received:
    226
    Gender:
    Male
    That is simply not true. There are many observed instances of speciation, both in the laboratory and in the wild.

    It is also not true that all macroevolutionary evidence is gleaned solely from the fossil record. Obviously to see gross changes in morphology one needs wider spans of time and thus the fossil record is useful, but evolution is supported by observations from many different scientific fields, not just paleontology.

    On the topic, in my mind science differs from religion in that it provides a framework for prediction in the universe around us. Scientific theories, even if they're not perfect, tell you what you can expect to find when you go out and look at nature. The interesting thing in science is when you actually go out and look, and see something that was not expected; that's when all the excitement occurs. :)
     
  11. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
    Latest gem: Black Opal


    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    8
    Like I said before, we have only been here a few thousand years. There has been no extreme environmental selection pressure thus far requiring us to grow wings or fins. Evolution takes time, and more so with complex multi-cellular organisms.
     
  12. InquisitorX Gems: 4/31
    Latest gem: Sunstone


    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mystra's Chosen -

    You're clearly in over your head in this debate. I will not denigrate myself further by arguing with you. I only hope you follow my suggestion and read some of the literature on the subject.


    Hacken Slash -

    You seem to be making a habit of making sweeping generalizations based on misconceptions.

    You say that macroevolution, the generation of a new species, "can only be supported by dubious fossil record and hypothesis." Hacken Slash, when was the last time you saw a poodle in the wild? In 20,000 years (an incredibly short amount of time) man has somehow got a poodle from a wolf.

    You claimed the distinction that made macroevolution different from microevolution was speciation. Clearly, poodles and wolves are different species. Your criteria for macroevolution have been met. Obviously, there are better examples, but domestication seems to be a particularly useful for a number of obvious reasons.

    No.

    Many scientists noticed the disjunct nature of the fossil record and decided that phyletic gradualism did not adequately explain it so the idea of punctuated equilbrium was introduced. Others feel phyletic gradualism adequately explains the fossil record. The theories are not mutally exclusive and both deserve a place in evolutionary theory.

    You make it sound like the fossil record is vast and the scientists are "sifting" through it picking and choosing the fossils they like to support their theories.

    The picture you paint is the exact opposite of reality. The fossilization of skeletal material is incredibly rare and the fossil record is biased to the extreme. Some animals are a hundred times more likely to fossilize than others and some other species may have never fossilized once.

    Furthermore, the nature of geologic deposition must be considered. Thanks to erosion or depositional processes it is known that certain areas will not leave strata of certain time periods due to geology.

    Ask yourself what part of a species should speciate? Is it the large core population that has a healthy amount of gene flow between the various communities or the small isolated peripheral population that has been exposed to a new environment? Yes, the peripheral population. Now which one is much more likely to fossilize? Yes, the core population.

    "The fact of the matter" is that that's not true. Again, you making these outrageous assertions based on no evidence beyond the misconceptions that reside in your mind. And, personally, I have no idea what the hell you are even talking about.

    I'll tell you what you, list off every fossil find used to support macroevolution, then list of ten times the "items" that do not fit the mold and you'll have an argument. Until then you just have baseless rhetoric.
     
  13. Hacken Slash

    Hacken Slash OK... can you see me now?

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,337
    Likes Received:
    1
    @Myastra's Chosen
    Don't feel snubbed chum, InquisitorX is talking to us all like a true scientist.

    @BTA
    Perhaps I should have been more careful to differentiate sub-speciation or varietization from the huge leaps to Order or Family required for macroevolution. I have no argument with you that these changes can be observed and documented, but they are still not the macroevolution required to answer the question as to the origin and differentiation of life. Microevolution comprises onle a portion of the mechanism required for macroevolution. Furthermore, you have notably used the word "theory". I only have a beef with those who purport the current presentation of evolutionary theory as "fact". I can somehow see them in another time insisting the world was flat.

    @IquisitorX
    I never generalize, but sometimes for the sake of brevity I will capsulize what I know . Are you insinuating that all varieties of dog are descended from wolves? Baseless rhetoric? I will admit that I have a penchant for rhetoric, but it is rarely baseless, just misunderstood. For a period of time, I worked for a rather small museum with an non-descript paleontology department. (I had to leave the research field and go back to work at something that would pay the bills) I was not part of the paleontology department, but I have seen firsthand, in that small facility, the large number of uncattegorized fossil materials. They are classified as such usually for one of two reasons:
    1. They were found in a geological strata that does not support the previously determined age of such a specimen.
    2. The actual dating of the specimen (or discovered area) itself is not concurrent with the previously determined "age" of such a specimen.

    It is a fact. They do exist, and when you complete your schooling and enter into the workforce (if you pursue a career in that field), you will have to make the decision yourself if you will join with those who ignore the existence of these items, or insist that all finds be answerable to accepted theory.

    Oddly, I have never once said that I don't agree with the theory of evolution...I have only said that I disagree with the preaching of it as an incontrovertible fact. I think that any neutral reader will be able to tell who is the one committed to a blind faith in a religous sect. Agent Mulder said it best..."Trust no one" (Gad, I miss that show)

    You, as a scientist, have the responsibility first to accept that there is far more that you don't know than you ever will know, then responsibly present your knowlege to the world with the humility that comes by necessity. We have far too many educated minds that speak of theory as fact, they hardly need you to join them. Keep an open mind, question what you are taught, and don't let go of the truth that the sum total of all of your learning amounts to a big, fat diddly squat. Then you will be qualified to relay your lessons to a waiting populace.

    [ December 16, 2003, 02:18: Message edited by: Hacken Slash ]
     
  14. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    0
    @Hacken Slash...

    Well, to be fair to InquisitorX, I am an idiot. :p

    How about I end on this: Niether religion or evolution dispute the existance of the other. It is very possible that both can co-exist. It could be that God used evolution for his divine will (I'm not saying he did, I'm not saying he didn't).

    I appreciate Hacken Slash's agurments. They are all well thought out. I also appreciate that InquisitorX truly believes what he believes, which is more than can be said for most of us. He also knows what he's talking about, which (apparantly) is much more than can be said for me. :)

    So, I guess kudos are in order. Way t' believe InquisitorX!
     
  15. Hacken Slash

    Hacken Slash OK... can you see me now?

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,337
    Likes Received:
    1
    @Mystra...you show incredible wisdom in proclaiming yourself an idiot. I only wish that our scientific community had a portion of that humility.

    Hell, I wish I had. ;)

    Don't let anyone ever make you think that you are an idiot for knowing what you believe. It is far more stable ground than believing what you know.

    This whole discussion has gotten rather ugly. Why don't we just go and talk about the merits of thongs again :D .
     
  16. Manus Gems: 13/31
    Latest gem: Ziose


    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
    0
    InquisitorX, this has gone on for long enough I feel. You seem like an intelligent man, but you also seem to blatantly ignore everything that is being said. It would be understandable to be angry when your convictions are slighted, but I think this has gone too far.

    I know now that I am at least speaking for both Hacken Slash and myself when I say we have read the literature, be it scientific journals or contemporary works, and we have had experience with this field, that is to say, we are not basing it solely upon our choice to believe it just because we want to.

    This is not agnosticism, it is not even aethism, as your belief is not solely restricted to a supreme being as it is here;

    But to all things which you deem supernatural. Thus, while accusing others of things which are incorrect, you are doing those very same things yourself.

    Have you read anyting, seriously, on occultism, mysticism, theology, or philosophy? Have you read any scientific studies on uses of psi phenomena or unexplained events which are not accounted for by modern science? Have you ever attempted to unveil the symbolism within religious texts and mythologies? have you ever had any first, second or third hand experience with anyone who ever has done any of those things?

    Now, to observe a poodle, and say 'it must have come from a wolf' is baseless, as there is nothing to prove such a claim, and even if there were, you have not even attempted to provide any, or even explain what such evidence may be. It is a theory, however likely or un-likely, and just like your other theories, there are many other possible explanations. I previously listed many accounts for the existenec of ape-men and our previous ancestors, which you totally ignored saying you didn't understand what I meant, and the same has happened with other posts by other authors as well. That's fine, it only proves the point that you only know one side of the argument here, having little experience with what the rest of us are discussing. This is not a fault in itself, how could it be? But to accuse us of ignorance when you are unwilling to turn that statement around can be faulted.

    This aside, according to the scientific method, nothing can actually be proven. Nothing. All that you can say is that you have not deemed any of the evidence to the contrary as toatlly disproving your theory. That's fine, you may hold whatever opinion you wish. But keep in mind that if you are going to quote scientific theories then they are just that. Theories. It is impossible for you yourself to observe the evolution of a species, only infer. Until you have experienced everything on the matter, I would be very hesitant to say what is a fact, especially when others provide personal accounts which disagree. You are being more dogmatic here than anyone.

    I have agreed with what you have said in other posts more than once, so it surprises me that you can continue to keep ignoring what we are saying, and indeed, what you yourself are saying, simply becasue you want to believe what you want to believe.

    Well, I ask you to believe me when I say that I once thought as you did, but have since furthered my areas of knowledge, and learnt things, and experienced things, which changed my mind.

    Please, before you reply to this I ask you to re-read the pervious discussion and notice we are not critisising evolution, science, or yourself, only trying to approach all areas with reason.

    Again, this is not a personal attack, I am simply trying to state clearly what has been said, as it seems there is an on-going mis-understanding here.

    [ December 16, 2003, 03:45: Message edited by: Manus ]
     
  17. InquisitorX Gems: 4/31
    Latest gem: Sunstone


    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    I fail to see how that "evidence" argues for or against anything.

    There is no reason a species can persist longer than previously thought. I don't see how extending the temporal range pertaining to a species' persistence argues against anything beyond the initial beliefs about temporal range.

    And, clearly, you couldn't be more vague with your data. You're bascially saying "yeah I have proof, but I won't give you any real specifics. Some job I worked at had fossils they didn't identify."

    Seriously, how do expect someone to respond to that?

    Hacken Slash, you're entitled to believe whatever you want. I have enjoyed talking with you; however, it is clear that you have already settled on your position, so it is quite pointless for us to continue.
     
  18. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you're frustrated because you can't change his mind, then you must get frustrated a lot. I mean, how often do you actually change someones mind completely through argument? It's exceedingly hard for someone to change their stance, because that means that for however long they've believed whatever, it was wrong. In case you haven't noticed, people don't like to be wrong.

    Hacken Slash and Manus are obviously both intelligent and well-read individuals, while you obviously are too, and there's obviously something to religion and evolution both considering many intelligent people believe each (or both) side. (BTW, I'm not saying Hacken Slash and Manus are for the Creationist side.)

    I have one beef with you InquisitorX. You tell me I'm way in over my head, and that evolution is not far from proven (or that's what I percieved from your post at least), but you don't give any reason why you say that? My reply was partially in jest, partially in frustration because what you did was basically a schoolyard name-calling. (Meaning no reason for the insult was given.) I'm not an "ignorant Bible-Thumper" (a la Hacken Slash) and I consider myself able to take constructive - or even destructive to a point - critisism.

    What did I say wrong?
     
  19. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,351
    Media:
    857
    Likes Received:
    166
    Gender:
    Male
    [​IMG] Never was a big fan of high school debating competitions, a tad boring and all ...

    What I can say for them is that arguments were to be confined to the subject matter of the debate itself, and not to address the debators themselves personally.

    Hint, hint ...
     
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.