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Do you think science and religion can co exist?

Discussion in 'Science' started by Vinaya, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. Vinaya Molecule

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    Do you think one can be a believer even if he is a man of science, or vice versa. Do you think one can believe in evolution theory and creation theory at the same time? Do you think religion and science can coexist?
     
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  2. jimbob Cat Moderator

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    Yes to all three of your questions. Evolution vs creationism is a little tough but with an open mind one can still hold to both.

    There have been many highly qualified clergy involved in good scientific research. Their religion never prevented them from acknowledging the truth as we best understand it at any given point in time.
     
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  3. Quality Checked Bird Moderator

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    One can be a believer and a scientist at the same time. One can not simultaneously believe in evolution and creationism at the same time, because they are mutually exclusive. I would doubt the sanity and/or credentials of an evolutionary biologist or geologist who believed in creationism, but I don't have a problem with mathematicians and chemists who might believe in creationism. (They would be wrong, but 3 is a prime number regardless, and helium is lighter than lead, despite one's beliefs.

    As far as I am concerned, anyone can believe that God created the world, as long as they give God 13+ billion years to do it in.
     
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  4. jimbob Cat Moderator

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    Yep. You found a way to do it.
     
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  5. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    It depends on which religion. :-? Some can, some cannot, and some can somewhat. Note when I say religion, I mostly also mean liberal and conservative branches of say Christianity.
     
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  6. jimbob Cat Moderator

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    Every religion has its creation myth. As long as it is understood that they are myths science can still lead to new knowledge.
     
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  7. KenBrace Bird Administrator

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    Sure, with an open mind you can believe anything. The key is to be simultaneously open-minded and skeptical.

    If one is to look at the situation objectively then I believe it is quite obvious that the writers of the Bible believed that man was created from clay 6,000 years ago. That is what happened according to the "inspired" writers of the Bible. They are wrong which makes the Bible wrong which means that the Bible is not divinely inspired which means that the religion of Christianity has no basis.

    Yes, I think it is fair to say that modern science debunks Christianity.
     
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  8. jimbob Cat Moderator

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    Yeah, I hear you Ken. I don't go quite as far. I just state that the Bible should not be considered a scientific document. The folks back then did not have the tools that today's scientists have. Even scientific knowledge is dynamic.

    But there are still some good life lessons in the Bible. It shouldn't be totally debunked. But it should be read with discrimination.
     
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  9. KenBrace Bird Administrator

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    Everything has at least something good in it. I'm sure even the Mein Kampf contained words of wisdom here and there. What is important is that modern science has debunked the core, scientific claims that Christianity is based on.

    Yahweh's story is false which means that he is a false God. If he isn't a god that created Adam and Eve 6k years ago, then he isn't Yahweh. This means that the Bible describes the wrong God which completely uproots the religion and leaves it exposed in the hot sun to wither and die.
     
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  10. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    Mein Kampf sure did. It is true that in a lot of ways nations composed of one ethnic group have a greater chance of being harmonious and peaceful. However, that doesn't rule out that places composed of more than one race cannot be the same, especially if the two or more races share a common culture. That's the part extreme racists would ignore. For instance, only a 20 to 40 percentage of blacks are hoodlums.
     
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  11. jimbob Cat Moderator

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    Wow! Ken. Next thing you know you will be telling me that miracles don't happen.

    The Bible should never be read as a history book. I'll accept that. But you can't expect people to just throw away their belief system. I mean, it took a lot of faith and imagination to believe in it in the first place.
     
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  12. Quality Checked Bird Moderator

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    I love it when religious skeptics adopt Fundamentalist Literalism as their preferred platform for debunking Christianity.

    However... The existence of God, the actions of God, all the statements that are made about God are all faith statements. Science can not interrogate faith statements, just as faith can not interrogate science. They are separate domains. IF someone decides that God does not exist, God does not act, and that no true statements can be made about God, that is because they have decided they can not make faith statements. In other words, they don't believe it. Science can not undermine anyone's faith because it just doesn't address the same world.

    Religion is about the relationship between a god (or gods) and the god's believers. Some more expansive religious views make it between God and all humankind, whether they believe in God or not. Religions are also about the relationships among believers, or among mankind. The Abrahamic Religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) all emphasize behavior in the present (and to varying degrees, the consequences in the hereafter). Religion is an everyday morality, a traditional ethic.

    One can be a believer like Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, a Jesuit priest, a paleontologist, and a geologist. Or hundreds of thousands of philosophers, scientists and professors who were/are also actively involved in religion--Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Shinto, Hindu, and so on. All that is required is to understand that faith is one thing, science is something else. Only rigid fundamentalists (Christian or Islamist) expect science to kneel to faith.
     
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  13. Quality Checked Bird Moderator

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    You might want to read Mein Kampf before you make faith claims on it's behalf.
     
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  14. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    Mein Kampf is indeed a terrible book, and I'm not just saying that cause it's PC to say so. However, even some of the most evil stuff might have a little truth. Isn't that Satan's strategy? Mix a little poison in the water? That would be the source of the Biblical saying about a little leaven:

    - Translated into modern English - Galatians 5:9
     
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  15. tomstrong Atom

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    In all my years in science I have heard very few scientists NOT express belief in a God. Many have been people of profound faith. In Physics most Physicists believe that quantum mechanics DEMANDS some sort of god. The late Professor Archibald Wheeler, probably the foremost Cosmologist of the 20th Century, used a Capital U with the eye of providence on the top of one of the legs looking back on the U to symbolize the Universe. I have personally discussed the nature of God with him (he did most of the talking). Carl Sagan was adamant that he was NOT an Atheist, but rather an agnostic. He said that Atheism "could be called stupid".
    I have heard many "religious" people say that there is a conflict between Science and religion. They usually do not know very mu ch about science, and they often do not know what their religion is supposed to be about. If a person understands both, the religious creation stories are just simple explanations of the process of creation. Also, much of the mythology is based on very old figurative relations of ancient fact. Flood mythologies are based on the events at the end of the last ice-age (not actually the end, just a periiod of rapid melting. This is still ongoing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
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  16. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    Scientists have a chip on the shoulder against religion because religious people have been at the forefront of those seeking to attack evolution, the idea of an sun centered galaxy, among other things.
     
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  17. tomstrong Atom

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    SOME "religious people" deny the principle of evolution, but many do not. It is easy, in fact, to interpret the Bible (for instance) as teaching evolution. The questionable interpretation of the Bible which seems to contradict the principle of evolution did not even arise until about the 18th century.
    As a Christian I argue that St. Paul was adamant that Christians were NOT to put their faith in Jewish "myths and fables", but rather in Jesus Crucified and resurrected. I have never known a Hindu who had any problem with evolution. If you could find an actual Wiccan (not a pretend one) they would probably say that evolution is obvious,
    As a Physicist at The College of William and Mary, the University of Miami, and the University of Florida (as well as visiting numerous other campuses) I only met one "scientist" who was anti-religion, and he was laughed at by his peers.
     
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  18. jimbob Cat Moderator

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    I know a few Wicca from another forum site and they accept evolution. I am a Taoist and although nothing is mentioned in the founding philosophy concerning evolution it basically would agree with the concept of evolution.

    And I agree, I have known no Hindu who does not accept evolution. Buddhism would be a tricky one but most would accept evolution.
     
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  19. KenBrace Bird Administrator

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    Well we sort of have to define exactly what is meant by "God" here. Because there is a big difference between Einstein's pantheistic view of God and the monotheistic portrayal.

    The problem isn't a conflict between science and religion. It's between science and specific religions. You can still be a Buddhist and accept Evolution. Christianity and Evolution? Not so much.

    I've always found this worldview to be entirely inconsistent with the core teachings of the Bible. You simply can't mix Christianity with modern science. The Bible teaches that the world is only around 6,000 years old. It teaches that man was created perfect by God and and then fell into sin after eating from the Tree of Knowledge. It portrays humans and animals as being separate. Humans are made in God's image while the animals are only here for our purposes. The Bible is clearly a book of myths created by scientifically ignorant people just like the thousands of other myths created throughout human history. To say that it's somehow symbolic of Evolution is just a move of desperation to save an old idea that is no longer compatible with modern science.

    People only started believing in Creationism in the 18th century?

    I am highly skeptical of this.
     
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  20. Quality Checked Bird Moderator

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    This is true

    "Creationism" didn't exist until Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace (separately) published their principles of evolution. In the 18th century amateur scientists that would later be called 'geologists' started putting the 2 and 2 of their observations together and were concluding the rocks didn't match the stories in the OT. For one, they realized that some of the geological processes they observed would take far, far longer than 6000 years to occur. Things like folded rock layers, or up-lift which revealed clam and muscle shells way above sea level. And the fossils... Why would god have put fossils in the ground?

    Before the late 18th century, a lot of people assumed the world was around 6,000 years old, but this was not a universal belief. And there was no science to say otherwise before then. The Biblical version was as good as any other explanation available. (and NO, people didn't believe the earth was flat, either.)

    Creationism is a reactionary idea; that is, it is in reaction to something -- specifically, Darwin, but more than Darwin. About the middle of the 19th century scholars began publishing books about how the Bible came to be. These scholars weren't atheists, but they didn't assume that the Bible was just dictated verbatim by the Holy Spirit. The supposed it had come into existence through human processes, like other religious books had. Inspired, sure; but written by God, no. Conservative Christians, especially in the United States, reacted very strenuously to these ideas -- geological, biological, and historical. In their reaction, they crystalized a 'fundamentalist' doctrine that held that the world was created in 6 days, and that the Bible was at least inspired by God, and that it was literally true. This happened in the late 1800s, early 1900s.

    Oddly enough, this extremely conservative system of thinking has made progress relatively recently. In the 1980s the leadership of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod was "captured" by fundamentalists, and they purged their MS Lutheran seminaries of any non-conservatives. Many of the Missouri Synod congregations left the synod and joined the rest of the Lutherans who were much more liberal in their theology.

    The majority of American and European Christians are not conservative: they are fairly liberal. That includes Roman Catholics, most Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, and so on. About a third of American Christians are very conservative.

    Mainline Christianity is pro-science. It does not believe that the world was created in 6 days; it does not interpret the Bible literally; it assumes the world (earth) is about 4 billion years old and that the Cosmos are about 13.5 billion years old. It has no problem with evolution, and follows the latest developments in genetic science. Mainline Christians aren't against science; they just don't believe that there is any spiritual salvation in science, and science pretty much agrees with that. Religion and science are quite separate enterprises.

    If you live amongst people who are religious conservatives, or very, very conservative, none of this is going to sound familiar. Be that as it may, there are large swaths of the United States where people do not think the Bible is literally true.

    Just a point about geology: Geology is a relatively recent science. It was only in the 1950s that the geologist finally realized that earthquakes really do move land longitudinally. That idea had been totally rejected for almost a century. It was believed that earthquakes move land only up and down. The idea of plate tectonics wasn't solidified until about 1980. That's really, really recent for the history of basic science.

    One other point: Literal interpretation of the Bible had been proposed early on. Early Christian religious leaders did not encourage literalism. Neither did Jewish scholars.
     
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