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  1. Is intelligent life special?
  2. Scientific Faith Is Different From Religious Faith
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  5. Why Science Does Not Disprove God

It also acts like a blanket wrapped around the earth, to protect it from the freezing cold of space. The temperature just above the sky is approximately oC. If this temperature was to reach earth then the planet would freeze over instantly. The sky also protects life on earth by warming the surface through heat retention. And yet they are turning away from Our signs! Iron Iron is not natural to the earth. It did not form on the earth but came down to earth from outer space. Scientists have found that billions of years ago the earth was stuck by meteorites. These meteorites were carrying Iron from distant stars which had exploded M.

IMHO All religions are made by man. Some people who cleave to science as adamantly as do "religious" zealots, quack like a duck. Not all scientists are athiests, not all athiests are scientists. Do not confuse atheism with science. Some athiests can cleave to science as the answer to everything All that is inexplicable will be explained eventually by using science. There is your faith element. Eventually we will understand. Many scientists really don't give a hoot whether some people believe in a religion or not.

Many athiests are the same way. It IS annoying. Science is a tool. Zealous atheism which reveres science Scientific fact is true, until it is not. While the "fact" is believed to be true, faith in the validity of the "fact" must be established and held in order for one to believe the fact is a fact. Everyday we find new evidence that disrupts the old belief in what we considered a fact. What were established as laws of physics changes as we better understand our world. Therefor science is a faith based institution, which can be described as a religion. Is it time to stop thinking of creators and instead only of creations?

Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. Educating for the Future. Inflammation and the 3 Paths of Depression in Older Adults. Eric Dietrich Ph. Is Science a Religion? Do those who reject science merely belong to a different faith community? Religion has been know to Submitted by Uh on October 30, - pm. Science is indeed not a religion Different logic Submitted by James on October 30, - pm.

They are opposites Submitted by Anonymous A on October 30, - pm. No contest. Your argument is not valid Submitted by john moldon on October 30, - pm.

Is intelligent life special?

Your argument is not valid because science is the study of things. Just like the other religions. And now, together, they will rule over the universe like machine gods, blah blah blah So I guess we will have to agree to disagree. Science and religion both Submitted by john moldon on October 30, - pm. Either way, the war is real. As time goes by, MAN just digs a bigger hole for themselves. I AM patient. Howard: whom are you addressing? Submitted by Anonymous A on October 30, - pm.

It would help if you indicated the poster you are addressing. Scientism and Materialism? Submitted by Tavis on October 31, - pm. Part of my job is to prove Submitted by john moldon on October 31, - pm. But it is a hell of a show, "Do not Become Like them" for obvious reasons. If they could prove aliens, they would already have blamed them for the problems today. Real science is quite useful, or you can practice the garbage that MAN uses.

Assumptions Submitted by Ichabod Crane on December 20, - pm. Eric Dietrich, I agree that science is at war with religion, but it does not necessarily mean that religion is at war with science. Science and religion Submitted by Clark Kent on January 14, - am. Science is a systematic and logical approach to discovering how things in the universe work.

The practice of science involves the use of the scientific method. From an Encyclopedia 2. From an Encyclopedia Wisdom is a human attribute that is often associated with religion. Maybe science today is as Submitted by namer on October 26, - pm. Scientists are annoyed by these statements because they suggest that science and religion share a certain epistemological status. And, indeed, many humanists and theologians insist that there are multiple ways of knowing, and that religious narratives exist alongside scientific ones, and can even supersede them.

It is true that scientists take certain things on faith. And yet, scientific practices—observation and experiment; the development of falsifiable hypotheses; the relentless questioning of established views—have proven uniquely powerful in revealing the surprising, underlying structure of the world we live in, including subatomic particles, the role of germs in the spread of disease, and the neural basis of mental life. So why do so many people believe otherwise?

It turns out that while science and religion are as different as can be, folk science and folk religion share deep properties. Most of us carry in our heads a hodgepodge of scientific views and religious views, and they often feel the same—because they are learned, understood, and mentally encoded in similar ways. In the first article that I ever published for The Atlantic , I argued that many religious beliefs arise from universal modes of thought that have evolved for reasoning about the social world. We are sensitive to signs of agency, which explains the animism that grounds the original religions of the world.

We are naturally prone to infer intelligent design when we see complex structure, which makes creationism more appealing that natural selection. We are intuitive dualists, and so the idea of an immaterial soul just makes sense —or at least more sense than the notion that our minds are the products of our physical brains. There are many religious views that are not the product of common-sense ways of seeing the world.

Consider the story of Adam and Eve, or the virgin birth of Christ, or Muhammad ascending to heaven on a winged horse. These are not the product of innate biases. They are learned, and, more surprisingly, they are learned in a special way. To come to accept such religious narratives is not like learning that grass is green or that stoves can be hot; it is not like picking up stereotypes or customs or social rules.

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Plato is the father of essentialist philosophy. The essence of things lies in the ideal world rather than the flux of our world. Essences eidoi are fixed and immutable, hence true. Aristotle rebelled against this notion. He is the father of metaphysics Berger Parmenides posed the essentialist, ontological question: What is it that is? Why is there something and not nothing? Plato broadened this essentialist question what is to include judgement, for example, 'it is beautiful', 'it is good'.

Aristotle went even further, maintaining that, according to Plato, there are two kinds of judgement: judgements that pronounce on the qualities and relations of things and ontological judgements. The latter always have a further dimension. The colour does not concern the essence of wood per se. Aristotle found this unacceptable and, good scientist that he was, he brought ideas down to earth and to the object under investigation. The essence of things is necessarily immanent, not something that exists in a separate world of ideas. That makes Aristotle the father of physics as well, but Plato's problem of mutability still had to be solved.

Aristotle distinguished between things that change i. The latter are things like mathematics that do not change from one day to the next. But how durable are things that move, like the sun? In the Aristotelian paradigm, the sun still moved from east to west every day. Movement may cease when its cause disappears, which could stop even the movement of the sun. Hence he posited an unmoved mover who is not subject to change Berger Whereas moved movers are natural causes and are material, the unmoved mover is not material.

The unmoved mover belongs to a different order that exists alongside the physical order. Via the unmoved mover, Aristotle arrived at being as the object of metaphysical thought.

Scientific Faith Is Different From Religious Faith

He called this order the first philosophy, which deals with immaterial forms: the soul and, of course, the divine. It is not the order of metaphysics but a condition for it. That enabled Aristotle to distinguish between material and immaterial substances. Physics is not universal because it focuses on concrete objects. Metaphysics is a universal science because it deals with both immaterial and material substances. If you know the immaterial substance that which causes things , you can know both the physical characteristics and being itself inasmuch as it exists - see the distinction between substantial and accidental characteristics.

Immaterial substance, then, is the answer to Parmenides's ontological question why is there something? It could mean looking at an organism without inquiring what makes possible life, the planet, solar systems or the cosmos. Why is this pertinent today? Simply because Aristotle's immanent, physically centred approach did not get rid of metaphysics. Unlike Plato, Aristotle was not a dualist, yet he still distinguished between physical being and Being as such.

The sciences, too, cannot get away from the metaphysical aspect of reality or being. Examples of the metaphysical dimensions of natural science. Evolution depends on chance and necessity. How it will proceed in time is unpredictable. Chance random possibility and infinitely large numbers are interdependent. Multiplicity number, relation, infinity is the secret of the universe and of all life on our planet. Without multiplicity and the possibilities it permits in certain relationships, there would have been no creation or even life.

Note, this does not endorse the so-called anthropic principle, which maintains that the universe ' awaited', as it were, the advent of humans. We know that the evolution of the universe relies on huge numbers, as well as on the Goldilocks principle of balance: neither too many nor too few. Without fear of contradiction one could aver that nowadays science has superseded philosophy as the main arbiter of that which exists, the nature of reality, ontology, being.

Although its answers are based on physical insight, they contain a healthy admixture of metaphysics. Examples of metaphysical questions in science include the following: why natural laws are what they are; the metaphysics of chance; 20 the metaphysics of multiplicity, space and time; the quantum world and parallel universes; the origin of matter energy ; the situation before the Big-Bang; the nature of autopoietic systems; the nature of human consciousness and the role of quantum physics in it; the miracle of emergence and the nature of creativity.

Below we explore one such question. Successful new emergent developments dependon successful chance, which in its turn depends on large numbers. The following is proof of the potential for biological diversity. There are twenty amino acids which, linked in certain combinations in long polypeptide strings, constitute the basic components of proteins, which in their turn determine the incidence and functioning of organisms.

A scientific defense of spiritual & religious faith - Tony Jack - TEDxCLE

Regis cites this example:. If a hypothetical protein was amino acids long which is not exceptionally long for a protein , then given the fact that there were 20 different amino acids that could occupy each of those spaces, there were 20 possible amino acid combinations, which was a number approximately equal to 10 By any standard, that was a big number; the number of elementary particles in the universe, by contrast, was thought to be 'only' 10 That indicates the vast potential of chance to produce diverse forms of life.

If life on our planet had to start from scratch i. Chance introduces a completely different ball game from a process based on causality. A typical cell comprises some 20 different proteins. A small cell might contain million protein molecules. The human body has some ten trillion 10 13 cells and types of tissue. In addition, some trillion prokaryotic cells Ecoli bacteria live in our intestinal tract see Grassie When we look at the universe of the human brain, we are again overwhelmed by vast numbers. We have about billion neurons, each with on average synaptic connections.

A three-year-old child has about 10 16 synapses. It means that the number of neurons in the human brain roughly equals the number of stars in the milky way - plus-minus billion Grassie But that is only half the story. Add to this the brain's interactions with the outside world, and an infinite number of creative possibilities opens up.

Consider, moreover, that human consciousness and thought rely on each synaptic contact as well as a combination of numerous simultaneous contacts. It follows that a human person is necessarily creative, imaginative and highly complex. That is apparent in the artworks, literary creations and religious activities that are hallmarks of human life. Restricting the human brain religiously, philosophically or in any way whatever is to restrict a whole universe of emergence.

This example of large numbers underlying emergence raises the question whether emergence will not inevitably revert to metaphysics. In the case of linear causality that posits just one entity as the origin of everything, that entity was almost unavoidably credited with all manner of speculative attributes.

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Examples are Parmenides's Being, which is self- identical, indivisible, unmoving and not tied to any locality; Plotinus's One; and the Christian God. Emergence, which entails large numbers and a vast multiplicity of factors, makes it far more difficult to develop metaphysical constructs. That does not rule out the prospect of new metaphysical designs. Kauffman already links creativity emergence with the sacred - the raw material of a new God concept.

In time to come, more powerful computers, new methods and insight will probably make it possible to map, even predict, multiplicity and even chance and probability. Nonetheless it is equally likely that new metaphysical questions will keep surfacing. The human brain is incontestably the best example of emergence in the universe.

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Human consciousness, whilst immaterial, is a product of atter, of electrochemical processes. Not that our imagination is not spellbound by the manifestations of emergence in the knowable universe: the physicality that preceded the big bang, the birth of stars, the generation of planets by exploding suns and the origin, diversification and volution of life. Just as every person is unique, so the emergence of each new species is unrepeatably unique.

That is why it is foolish to try to reduce the multifaceted origin of any bit of reality to some underlying component. Whereas science can identify the laws that account for the evolution of life, it cannot predict the type of life that will be based on those natural laws. That is why emergence opposes any form of reductionism.

Self-organisation cf. Emergence should be seen as a metaphor for all the complex processes that give rise to new developments, like large numbers, adequate time, ideal circumstances and chance. That makes the concept of emergence a totally different causal model from the traditional metaphysical version of causality. Emergence supersedes the dominance ofcausality essentialism.

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The metaphysical question is basically the question of causality. The traditional view was reductive: One cause God, the unmoved mover, natural law was posited as the source of all evolution. That is not how we see it today. Causality is not linear; not ascribable to a single cause; not necessarily deterministic; not necessarily predictable; often dependent on multiplicity rather than a single cause and so on.

A linear type of causality is essentialist in that the outcome of vastly complex processes is attributed to a single agency. Such a model might apply to closed systems, but if reality is envisioned on a grander scale, it is simply too open and receptive to unforeseen input to be predicted with any accuracy. After Aristotle, causality became the abracadabra determining all new phenomena. Now it has been joined by chance, which introduced contributory factors like environmental influences that differ from one place and time to the next.

As a result, it is impossible to predict causal outcomes with any certainty, which applies par excellence to a complex species like Homo sapiens. The concept of emergence stands causality on its head. Heidegger pointed out that the Latin word res means something that affects you that which concerns somebody, an affair, a contested matter, a case at law.

It differs from the Latin causa:. In its authentic and original sense, this word in no way signifies 'cause'; causa means the case and hence also that which is the case, in the sense that something comes to pass and becomes due. That is how we should understand causality, not in the sense of a cause or an effect. That makes 'emergence' a more apposite term because it accentuates the present circumstances that give rise to a phenomenon. In contrast to the Greek notion of One Immaterial Unmoved Mover, we now posit a multitude of material, moving entities as the ground of all that exists!

To return to Aristotle, he distinguished between physically observable beings and Being which entails the ground of being and other metaphysical questions. In the case of observable objects, Kant distinguishes a Ding an sich because we can never know the 'true' essence of things. Hence he concurred with Plato's notion of a different order, the difference being that to Kant that order is not knowable.

He distinguishes between a sensory world sensibile and a mental world intelligibile Du Toit Humans also have a super-sensory nature, which manifests itself in moral laws. It differs from the natural world because it presupposes an ideal world Berger But the super-sensory world is not supernatural, even if it transcends the natural world. Our position that science cannot do without its quota of metaphysical baggage will probably be repudiated by many scientists because science works 'on the ground' on methodologically established inferences. These are not, however, without problems. All knowledge is uncertain, in varying degrees see Bartholomew ff.

However, the bigger questions raised by this 'work on the ground' are unmistakably metaphysical questions about the nature and origin of existing realities. Can science answer the question about being and Being - the ground of the being of objective physical reality? That is the question why the universe and its laws are the way they are 21 and not different the Ding an sich in present-day science.

The only answer is that it simply is what it is.

Why Science Does Not Disprove God

It is the character of Being that reveals itself to us in its enigmatic uniqueness. The way science answers does not answer! Scientists may respond that these questions are simply unanswerable. For example: Natural laws are what they are, we do not know why. We can never know the nature and circumstances of singularity the moment that triggers the Big Bang. There is no adequate reason for the evolution of the human brain thought and consciousness , for it is in fact an 'over achievement' in that it equips us with far greater capacity than is needed for survival.

Science will no doubt gain greater clarity about the nature of the physical world, but the answers it offers are not directed to human existence. For existential answers, we have to turn to other sources. Hence science does not yield 'original' truth; it simply explains an existing domain of truth.

It does not get beyond an empirical explanation of empirical data. If it were to move closer to the question of truth - to the essential revelation of that which exists - it would be philosophy Du Toit Religion, like science, is a natural part of the human condition, but they are two different facets and do not function at the same level. That does not mean that they do not influence each other, and they should certainly relate to each other. Both science and religion are constantly changing, albeit for different reasons.

Christian theology and faith are in a transitional phase. How it will evolve depends partly on its interaction with the sciences. Metaphysical features in science do not make it unscientific. They are simply unavoidable.

Religion does not have to be supernatural to be meaningful. It could be reinterpreted in ways that do not conflict with basic scientific ideas. The challenge is to do so plausibly. God is a metaphor for life that is emerging in all its variation and possibilities. These possibilities with their inherent openness are evident in diverse ways in recent thinking. It is analogous with Heidegger's enlightenment of being, Levinas's Other 23 and Sartre's notion of pour soi.

It is the newness of the improvisation that emerges uniquely in a familiar work of art Gadamer ff. It is Caputo's concept of an event. None of these possibilities is dependent on the supernatural. It is part of the natural order that, in its openness and novelty, can be termed transcendent. From our perspective, it is immanent transcendence in all its startling newness. Kauffman epitomises this position:.