Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Philosophy and God » Science and religion

Science and religion

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1 Science and religion on Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:52 am

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Neil Shenvi on science and religion

http://www.shenvi.org/index.htm

http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/tag/quantum-mechanics/

Neil Shenvi; I am currently a research scientist with Prof. Weitao Yang at Duke University in the Department of Chemistry. I was born in Santa Cruz, California, but grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. I attended Princeton University as an undergraduate where I worked on high-dimensional function approximation with Professor Herschel Rabitz. I became a Christian in Berkeley, CA where I did my PhD in Theoretical Chemistry at UC – Berkeley with Professor Birgitta Whaley. The subject of my PhD dissertation was quantum computation, including topics in quantum random walks, cavity quantum electrodynamics, spin physics, and the N-representability problem. From 2005-2010, I worked as a postdoctoral associate with Prof. John Tully at Yale where I did research into nonadiabatic dynamics, electron transfer, and surface science.


   Science is often considered to be in opposition to religion, because it answers all the questions that religion asks
   Thesis: 1) Science and religion are compatible, 2) Science provides us with good reasons to believe that God exists
   Definition: what is science?
   Definition: what is the scientific method?
   Definition: what is religion?
   Where is the conflict between science and religion, according to atheists?
   Conflict 1: Definitional – faith is belief without evidence
   But the Bible doesn’t define faith as “belief without evidence”
   Conflict 2: Metaphysical – science presuppose naturalism (nature is all that exists)
   First, naturalism is a philosophical assumption, not something that is scientifically tested or proved
   Second, methodological naturalism in science doesn’t require us to believe in metaphysical naturalism
   Conflict 3: Epistemological – science is the only way to know truth (scientism)
   But scientism cannot itself be discovered by science – the statement is self-refuting
   Conflict 4: Evolutionary – evolution explains the origin of life, so no need for God
   Theists accept that organisms change over time, and that there is limited common descent
   But the conflict is really over the mechanism that supposedly drives evolutionary change
   There are philosophical and evidential reasons to doubt the effectiveness of mutation and selection
   Evidence for God 1: the applicability of mathematics to the natural world, and our ability to study the natural world
   Evidence for God 2: the origin of the universe
   Evidence for God 3: the fine-tuning of the initial constants and quantities
   Evidence for God 4: the implications of quantum mechanics
   Evidence for God 5: the grounding of the philosophical foundations of the scientific enterprise
   Hiddenness of God: why isn’t the evidence of God from science more abundant and more clear?
   Science is not the only means for getting at truth
   Science is not the best way to reach all the different kinds of people
   There is an even deeper problem that causes people to not accept Christianity than lack of evidence
   The deeper problem is the emotional problem: we want to reject God’s claim on our lives

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2 Re: Science and religion on Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:04 pm

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Dawkins Demonstrated to be Wrong….Again 1



left][/center]


This is the center panel from a stain-glassed window entitled, ‘Education.’ Found in Yale University’s Linsly-Chittenden Hall, it shows religion and science working together to educate people.
(click for credit)
In 1989, Dr. Richard Dawkins wrote the following in a book review for the New York Times:

It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).

He has since added to that remark, writing:

By far the largest of the four categories is ‘ignorant’

Like much of what Dr. Dawkins writes, however, the actual evidence says something completely different.
Consider, for example, a new study that has been published in the journalAmerican Sociological Review. The authors, Dr. Timothy O’Brien and Dr. Shiri Noy, examined people’s views on religion and science, correlating them with their actual knowledge of science. They found lots of interesting things, but I want to focus on just two of them.
First, they found that they could categorize the 2,901 people they examined into three broad groups: traditionalmodern, and post-secular. The traditional group, which was composed of 43% of the people studied, preferred religion over science. The modern group (36% of those studied) preferred science over religion. The post-secular group (composed of the remaining 21%) viewed both science and religion favorably.
This, in and of itself, is interesting. Many people (like Dr. Dawkins) imagine (quite incorrectly) that there is a “war” between science and religion. It seems that the majority of people in the U.S. agree with this view. As a result, they think they are forced to choose one over the other. However, a minority (21%) have the more reasonable view – that science and religion are both excellent endeavors, and together, they give us a broad understanding of the world around us.
The second thing this research uncovered is much more interesting. It found that basic views on the Big Bang and evolution did not trend as someone like Dr. Dawkins would predict. For example, given the three groups of people listed above, which do you think would be least likely to believe in evolution and the Big Bang? The traditionalists, right? After all, the traditionalists prefer religion over science. Thus, they should be the most likely to reject “scientific” explanations for origins.
Actually, the post-secular people were the least likely to believe in both! While 21% of the people in the traditional group agreed that “the universe began with a huge explosion,” only 6% of the post-secular people did! The majority of the modern group (68%) agreed with the statement. Similarly, 88% of the modern group agreed that “human beings developed from earlier species of animals,” while only 33% of the traditional group did. However, a mere 3% of the post-secular group agreed with the statement!
Now here’s the really interesting part. The study used some scientific questions in an attempt to measure the scientific literacy of the people in each group. These true/false questions were very basic, such as, “All radioactivity is man-made” (false) and “Electrons are smaller than atoms” (true). Nevertheless, they found that there was no discernible difference between the scientific literacy of the modern group and the post-secular group. For some questions, a slightly larger percentage of the modern group got the correct answer, but for other questions, a slightly higher percentage of the post-secular group got the correct answer. Not surprisingly, the traditional group had the lowest percentage of correct answers.
This, of course, flies in the face of what Dr. Dawkins claims. In fact, the people who have the strongest opposition to evolution are not those who are ignorant of science. Instead, they know science just as well as those who strongly support evolution. They have just come to a different conclusion.
An article at Live Science reports on the conclusions of the study’s lead author:

The findings suggest that simply educating the public is unlikely to drive greater acceptance of these theories [the Big Bang and evolution], O’Brien said.
“The difference between the post-secular and the modern group is not a matter of a knowledge deficit,” O’Brien said. The post-secular people “understand genetics and experimental methods and statistics,” he said.

This is not surprising to me at all. The people I know who are most educated about science tend to reject evolution. Now, of course, the people I know are not representative of the nation as a whole. Nevertheless, this study shows that there are a lot of others like them.

1) http://blog.drwile.com/?p=13243#more-13243

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