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Tags science , scientific method

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Is science faith-based?
The Bad Astronomer
21st February 2008

Is science faith-based?




No.


Oh, you want details? OK then.

If you read any antiscience screeds, at some point or...
  #120  
By kowalskil on 1st April 2012, 11:59 PM
Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
Science is not a doctrine, but a means of obtaining confirmatory or falsifying evidence to confirm or contra-indicate a hypothesis. The body of scientific knowledge morphs and alters over time as this evidence is amassed and analysed.

Religion is a one-size-fits-all ready-made set of beliefs that remains unaltered over centuries in the face of growing contra-evidence and must be accepted by its adherents wholesale. It cannot ever be confirmed or falsified because of this total disregard for evidence.

No, I don't read every scientific paper that comes out, and I wouldn't understand a lot of them if I did. Nonetheless, I am satisfied that the peer-review process means that somebody with a suitable educational background has read and understood how the evidence presented bears upon the hypothesis under consideration. I am therefore happy that a scientific theory (a hypothesis that has had confirmatory evidence accepted by peer-review) has been vetted and reviewed by a sensible process that I do understand.

This can in no wise be considered faith. If it is, it is the faith you have that the pilot of the aircraft in which you are flying has been through some kind of approved training. (I wouldn't board any plane if I thought that wasn't the case). But the pilot training programme is not pilotage.

Flying is to a pilot training programme what the body of scientifically-derived knowledge is to the scientific method. Science is not a set of beliefs at all, but a method for gathering knowledge. I am confident that that knowledge will change as new evidence is gathered, and the desire for discovering something new and previously unimagined is what gets many scientists up in the morning.

Religion says all the knowledge you need is already right here and no proof is necessary or indeed desirable. That's faith, and it's definitely not for me.
Yes, the term "faith" has more than only one meaning, at least in some languages.

.
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  #121  
By Mijin on 5th April 2012, 02:19 AM
For my mind, people concede too much in this kind of discussion.
They'll say that the only axioms that science relies on are that the universe is the product of simple mathematical laws, that complex phenomena can be described in terms of these simple laws, uniformitarianism etc.

But none of these things are strictly necessary for science to be useful. Arguably they are "nice to have" -- we can form useful models and conclusions more easily in our universe than otherwise would be the case, because so far our universe has conformed to all these statements. But you can take any one of them away and still do science.

So what does science actually rely on? I think the same thing as all other reasoning; deductive and inductive logic.
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  #122  
By kowalskil on 9th April 2012, 04:20 AM
Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
For my mind, people concede too much in this kind of discussion.
They'll say that the only axioms that science relies on are that the universe is the product of simple mathematical laws, that complex phenomena can be described in terms of these simple laws, uniformitarianism etc.

But none of these things are strictly necessary for science to be useful. Arguably they are "nice to have" -- we can form useful models and conclusions more easily in our universe than otherwise would be the case, because so far our universe has conformed to all these statements. But you can take any one of them away and still do science.

So what does science actually rely on? I think the same thing as all other reasoning; deductive and inductive logic.
Science, in the final analysis, relies on verifiable facts. Mathematics, on the other hand relies, in the final analysis, on axioms.
.
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  #123  
By SkeptimusPrime on 2nd May 2012, 08:43 PM
The argument used by the religious (at least the ones who make a cogent argument) is to say that one has to accept that empirical thinking is valid without any proof, since proof would necessarily rely on empirical thinking and would therefore be circular.

The argument is therefore that we accept methodological naturalism in a sort of faith based way.

I think the primary failure here is a sort of confusion about degrees of certainty, as if because we cannot be 100% sure of empiricism means that believing in it puts you on equal footing with people who believe the earth is 6,000 years old because a book said so.

Just because neither claim can be demonstrated as true with 100% certainty doesn't mean it is equally reasonable to believe either one.
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  #124  
By Bill Thompson 75 on 9th May 2012, 11:39 AM
Originally Posted by kowalskil View Post
Science, in the final analysis, relies on verifiable facts. Mathematics, on the other hand relies, in the final analysis, on axioms.
.
Facts don't need to be verified, if they are facts.
Science relies on a method of observation.
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  #125  
By Bill Thompson 75 on 9th May 2012, 11:43 AM
Originally Posted by SkeptimusPrime View Post
The argument used by the religious (at least the ones who make a cogent argument) is to say that one has to accept that empirical thinking is valid without any proof, since proof would necessarily rely on empirical thinking and would therefore be circular.

The argument is therefore that we accept methodological naturalism in a sort of faith based way.

I think the primary failure here is a sort of confusion about degrees of certainty, as if because we cannot be 100% sure of empiricism means that believing in it puts you on equal footing with people who believe the earth is 6,000 years old because a book said so.

Just because neither claim can be demonstrated as true with 100% certainty doesn't mean it is equally reasonable to believe either one.
This is the crux of the issue, that one requires more faith than the other.
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  #126  
By farnarkle on 14th August 2012, 08:11 PM
Some arguments also state that "science is just a theory". But, if you look into it, a serious amount of work and effort goes into something before it becomes a theory. You can't just make something up and say it is your theory. Theories have to be proven. You can have a hypothesis, but if your research and experimentation prove your hypothesis wrong, then the theory disappears with it.

I get really steamed up when I hear the "science is just a theory" line. I usually go into a rant and people stop talking to me.
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  #127  
By Kumar on 15th August 2012, 11:41 PM
Faith/Placebo effect should also be sciene based bringing reward expectation effect. Moreover because science is still not yet absolute and final, who know what is truth on ultimate.
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  #128  
By eerok on 19th August 2012, 05:10 PM
Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Faith/Placebo effect should also be sciene based bringing reward expectation effect. Moreover because science is still not yet absolute and final, who know what is truth on ultimate.
Absolute, final, truth, and ultimate describe things that are antithetical to science. If you want all that stuff, you have to follow tradition and invent it yourself.
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  #129  
By QuestioningAnswers on 20th August 2012, 01:59 AM
Originally Posted by blobru View Post
Science is based on the hypothesis that the universe is orderly. That hypothesis is confirmed by the success of well-ordered scientific models. So it is an experimentally confirmed confidence, or "faith", distinct from and much stronger than the unquestioning faith in the authority of the Bible which Einstein abandoned as a child.

No kidding. It's still faith. Any scientist worth his salt should recognize this. The quality of the faith compared to others, however, isn't something that can be determined at this time considering the universe is possibly subjective.


Originally Posted by blobru View Post
Einstein's sayings, strewn haphazard about the net, are playfully terse and poetic, and without context easily misconstrued. I'm not sure the source of this quote (I have seen it attributed to the 18th century British chemist Humphry Davy, though as far as I can tell, this is erroneous), but assuming it is his, in the full context of his writings, he's clearly not saying that Science is based in the same sort of faith in authority that Religion is, and which Einstein explicitly rejected. It is based in careful observation, speculation refined by experiment, which inspired in Einstein a lifelong awe at the grand order it reveals. If one goal of religion is to reveal the universe and our place in it, then, in this poetic sense, science is true "religion", and scientists are truly "religious", because their understanding of and respect for the universe surpasses traditional, authority-based religion, would seem to have been Einstein's intent. However, I would be interested to see the quote in full context.

All Einstein was saying is that scientists are truly religious because they must have faith in the orderliness of the universe. If the universe isn't orderly, if the universe is actually subjective, his scientific faith would be misplaced.

Planck said something similar:

"Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with."

- Max Planck
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  #130  
By blobru on 25th August 2012, 02:43 AM
Holy expiry date, Batman! (meh, less than two years...)
Quote:
No kidding. It's still faith.
Well... but just saying it pointblank like that confuses the issue. This thread has been about trying to clear up the confusion by separating the different meanings “faith” has.

As we've seen, “faith” can mean belief supported by evidence. Pertaining to science, there is massive evidential support for the claim that the universe is orderly enough that it can be usefully analyzed and many of its phenomena predicted. So it makes sense to have faith (so defined) in the claim on which the scientific method is based.

However, “faith” can also mean belief without evidence, or even contrary to evidence. That's how it's often used in religion. A religion may teach followers to have faith in the existence of karma, or an eternal soul, or a Day of Judgment, etc., for which there is no rigorous evidence at all, based simply on a pronouncement by a religious authority. Obviously, this is a very different sort of “faith” from the one in the previous paragraph: in fact, in terms of how they're supported, they're completely opposite.

So it's important we keep the two sorts of faith separate. Does science necessitate “faith” in the first sense: belief supported by evidence? Of course; that's the whole point of evidence and doing science. Does science necessitate “faith” in the second sense: belief without or contrary to evidence? No – that's religious faith.

Quote:
Any scientist worth his salt should recognize this. The quality of the faith compared to others, however, isn't something that can be determined at this time considering the universe is possibly subjective.
(Not quite sure what's meant by “subjective”: in what follows, it's a synonym for “isn't orderly”, instead of the usual “existing in the mind”; subject to some mind's whim and therefore not orderly seems the likeliest connection, so I'll go with that.) In any event, the universe's being possibly “subjective” doesn't negate our experience that the universe until now has been sufficiently well-ordered to be profitably analyzed, and is no reason not to continue with the analysis (which is science). It's enough that it might continue (hypothetically); one need not have complete confidence (unattainably absolute faith) that it will.

Quote:
All Einstein was saying is that scientists are truly religious because they must have faith in the orderliness of the universe. If the universe isn't orderly, if the universe is actually subjective, his scientific faith would be misplaced.

Planck said something similar:

"Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with."
- Max Planck
Thanks for the quotes; in the matter of faith and science, Einstein and Planck are really interesting cases. Because throughout their careers, both would profess an a priori (prior to observation) faith in a rationally-ordered universe: revealing the “mind of God”, as it used to be called. Thus both remained deeply opposed to what seemed to them the unthinkably irrational – statistical, entangled, uncertain, non-local, non-determinist, acausal, &c – order suggested by quantum mechanics: “that God plays dice with the universe” as Einstein famously objected (or “spooky action at a distance”, in reference to entanglement and non-locality). This becomes one of the great ironies in science history: on account of their faith in a more 'rational' physics, the two scientists whose discoveries most inspired quantum mechanics were unable to bring themselves to accept its implications. Well, as history has shown, so much the worse for their faith; and for faith in general, when it clashes with scientific observation. (Of course any scientist is free to believe whatever she wants to based on intuition or what have you; the point is that faith of this sort isn't essential to science; what's more, as in the case of Planck's and Einstein's difficulties with quantum mechanics, it's often an obstacle.)*

*To be fair, especially in Einstein's case, faith in a more rational order did generate some marvelous discussion - the Schrodinger's cat paradox an offshoot - and it's still possible that a version of quantum mechanics more in keeping with Einstein's and Planck's conservative view of physics may turn out to be true; however, there's no reason to assume it must be true, as their faith seemed to imply. Quantum mechanics is so weird that many scientists nowadays eschew any interpretation of it, preferring to just “shut up and calculate”.
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  #131  
By kowalskil on 26th August 2012, 11:00 PM
Yes, both Einstein nor Plank had in mind "faith in general." The phrase "faith in God," does not appear in these two quotations.
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  #132  
By Eski on 13th September 2012, 08:16 PM
There is, in a sense, another twist to this. If one accepts the idea that "Existence" is probably something which will never be understood, and somehow, match that to some sort of "Primary Intelligence," one can, sort of, link a faith to science.

The following may be somewhat pertinent to the above idea. In the last eight years, there has arisen on the Internet, a "Framework for the Physical Sciences," which has, in its development gone through a couple of stages, first coming to light on Helium.com as "Motion in a matrix..." and then, later as a Google Group, "Oscillator/Substance Theory."
in that last incarnation, the approach summarzes something like this:" If we accept the primise of all of existence being within a substrate of unknown extent and undefined basic unit, which has the characteristics of a substance at its triple point, acting as a liquid which can act as a gas or solid with slight changes of pressure, and which is organized into/and-or organized by oscillators, it appears that virtually all of chemistry and physics can be explained in terms of motions and pressure differentials within this 'substance.'"

The developers of this approach are asking us to essentially take on faith, the fact of existence and, apparently also, a couple of other factors. The idea that "the only thing constant is change;" and, also, the idea that that change will be toward a balance. The "substance of existence," will always be clinging near to its "triple point." The implications, also, are that even our Universe, as vast as it seems to us, must be a rather trivial "bubble," in comparison to "all of the rest."


Of course, the theory runs to many pages, but does an interesting coverage in such a way as much of the "incomprehensibility" disappears. Einstein's Space-Time work can be seen to correspond quite closely with the ideas of a Substance, but without the oscillators. Quantum Mechanics, at the other extreme, seems to somewhat describe the "outer workings" of an oscillator, based on the Hydrogen atom; but. without the "inner half" and without the "substance."

That is, the O/S approach suggests that the reason that the two well-known models are somewhat incompatible is that both are partials.


However, this has strayed away from the "Faith" based approach question. Science has to be based, at least to some degree in faith in something. The above apprach is based in faith in some sort of basic underlying unity.

However, there is always a caveat about "Faith. Complete faith in the correctness of ones ideas or results is contrary to a true scietific attitude. Any scientist should always have at least a tiny bit of doubt about her/his own work and the pronouncements of others in order to be open to change.

In my own opinion, a person who holds to
"Fundamentalist" beliefs, in any Religion, and, at the same time claims to be a "True Scietist" is kidding themselves.
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  #133  
By inflector on 18th October 2012, 08:51 AM
A corrollary question is:

Does Science as practiced by those who deny the possibility of a scientific basis for religious beliefs meet the standards of Science?
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  #134  
By inflector on 18th October 2012, 08:55 AM
And a second corrollary:

Does Science as a discipline tolerate Dogma? If so, why? Does it further the objective filtration of hypothesis and the development of novel alternate hypotheses?
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  #135  
By Musibrique on 25th October 2012, 09:22 AM
Originally Posted by farnarkle View Post
Some arguments also state that "science is just a theory". But, if you look into it, a serious amount of work and effort goes into something before it becomes a theory. You can't just make something up and say it is your theory. Theories have to be proven. You can have a hypothesis, but if your research and experimentation prove your hypothesis wrong, then the theory disappears with it.

I get really steamed up when I hear the "science is just a theory" line. I usually go into a rant and people stop talking to me.
I beg to differ, farnarke. Basically, a scientific theory is a hypothesis that has been well-established and widely supported by many independent, scientific experiments. A scientific theory never gets to be proven for a number of reasons: 1) there is always the possibility (regardless how well it is supported) of the theory being either rejected or modified based on new empirical observations/evidence. 2) science is completely tentative, meaning that what science knows today might be either rejected or modified tomorrow. This is clearly self-evident if you look at the history of science.

There are two elements that make up science: testability and falsifiability. If a hypothesis is not testable nor falsifiable, it's not science.
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  #136  
By smartcooky on 27th October 2012, 10:48 PM
Science is not based on faith, at the highest level, but it does require a certain amount of faith when it comes to the "end user".

Let me explain

Being a person who is fundamentally interested in space science, astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology, I am an avid watcher of science documentaries, for example, "Stephen Hawking's Universe".

This program tries to describe such things as string theory, membranes, multiverses, supergravity, dark matter and dark energy. The number of people, who truly, fully understand these theories would be very few. The mathematics required to prove the existence of an eleventh dimension would probably fill several chalkboards. I can barely comprehend the existence of a fourth dimension much less visualise where or what it might be, and as for the eleventh dimension and its chalkboards of mathematics, I would struggle to follow much beyond the top left corner of the first board.

I have no way to "prove" whether what they say is true or not. I trust their reputations sufficiently to believe that they are not trying to deceive me...

I take what these scientists say, on faith.
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  #137  
By kowalskil on 29th October 2012, 10:03 AM
Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Science is not based on faith, at the highest level, but it does require a certain amount of faith when it comes to the "end user".
Not only the end user. Having a PhD in nuclear physics does not help me to understand topics like string theory. I have no choice but to believe (or not) the recognized authorities.
Last edited by LashL; 29th October 2012 at 05:06 PM.. Reason: Moderated thread.
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  #138  
By smartcooky on 29th October 2012, 08:43 PM
Originally Posted by kowalskil View Post
Not only the end user. Having a PhD in nuclear physics does not help me to understand topics like string theory. I have no choice but to believe (or not) the recognized authorities.

Yep. I think the eminent Austrian biochemist Erwin Chargaff said it best....

"Outside his own ever-narrowing field of specialization, a scientist is a layman!"
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  #139  
By eerok on 30th October 2012, 05:46 AM
In the case where the layman defers to the expert, why can't we just call that deference instead of faith?

In the case where we don't bother to add up the receipt at the grocery check-out for ourselves, should we conclude that math is faith-based?

I keep saying that science is antithetical to faith, and all I see in contradiction to this fact is sloppy terminology.
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  #140  
By John Jones on 14th November 2012, 02:03 PM
^This
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  #141  
By inflector on 20th November 2012, 04:13 AM
Originally Posted by eerok View Post
In the case where the layman defers to the expert, why can't we just call that deference instead of faith?

In the case where we don't bother to add up the receipt at the grocery check-out for ourselves, should we conclude that math is faith-based?

I keep saying that science is antithetical to faith, and all I see in contradiction to this fact is sloppy terminology.
In order to make any progress discussing and debating the relationship between faith and science one must first define the terms. There are far too many conflicting usages in this thread which one can see quite easily through the implied context of the conflicts.
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  #142  
By debunker of debunker on 8th February 2013, 10:39 AM
All Science is theoretical... But ACCEPTED until proven false as it is the best working theory based upon observation.
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  #143  
By Dragoonster on 1st March 2013, 05:13 AM
Uh, science is basically what you see out of your eyes and hear out of your ears and thus succesfully transition from your bed to your door. Even if you cant even calculate 1+1, you are being science, by living. Physicsally, anthropologically, mathematicsally, statistically.

I guess if there's any "faith" involved; it's to not jump off your local balcony or ten-story building.
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  #144  
By Gawdzilla on 10th March 2013, 10:39 AM
Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
For my mind, people concede too much in this kind of discussion.
They'll say that the only axioms that science relies on are that the universe is the product of simple mathematical laws, that complex phenomena can be described in terms of these simple laws, uniformitarianism etc.

But none of these things are strictly necessary for science to be useful. Arguably they are "nice to have" -- we can form useful models and conclusions more easily in our universe than otherwise would be the case, because so far our universe has conformed to all these statements. But you can take any one of them away and still do science.

So what does science actually rely on? I think the same thing as all other reasoning; deductive and inductive logic.
Take science.
Take away "god".
Nothing changes.
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  #145  
By Peter May on 11th March 2013, 01:33 AM
Yes, science is faith based, faith in the numbers.


It is very important to understand the nature of what we see, and not what we want to see.

Peter May.
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  #146  
By Vinegar Tom on 5th May 2013, 06:35 PM
Science is in no way faith-based because it does not deal in absolutes. Both relativity and quantum physics are enormously accurate descriptions of large parts of reality, but they cannot be totally correct because they each prove that the other has to be wrong in certain respects when this plainly isn't true. But that doesn't make Einstein "wrong" any more than he proved Newton "wrong" - they both came up with superbly accurate approximations based on all the data they could possibly know.

Claiming that you can prove Einstein was wrong tends to mean you're a loony, but it isn't heresy, and nobody's going to burn you for it. A recent experiment suggested that neutrinos were capable of moving slightly faster than light. It was assumed from the start that, because neutrinos are incredibly hard to work with, this was probably an experimental error, but there was never any suggestion that it was anything other than a totally honest mistake made by thoroughly competent scientists trying to do something ridiculously difficult. Furthermore, on the off-chance that this result was right, attempts were made to replicate it, because if it was true, the implications were staggering! Of course it turned out to be an excusable error in a massively complex experiment. But the important thing is that they checked it out.

The religious equivalent of this would be a bishop having a revelation that Satan wasn't that bad after all, and the Vatican launching a totally open-minded inquiry into whether they needed to rewrite pretty much everything. I think you all see what I mean.
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  #147  
By Whatduh on 30th May 2013, 02:40 PM
I reject your reality and substitute my own

I don't have many tools in my tool box but each one works and that's all that matters.

Faith is the first force of five. Four will get ya by. But I take it by faith their is five - while those that worship the mighty four forces the fifth escapes them only in symantics for the do have a word for the thing they seek and that is the "unknown" and plug away at it in faith the do. Yes we believe it's just a matter of work and time, they have faith in their project.

Science is so much method like knowning the principals of resonance or designing all the instruments. But without the hearts behind the instruments or the hearts of the listener there is no purpose.

All existance has principals, has science not ever concidered the argument, what would existance be with the yin without yang, the mind without the sould, the body with the dust? Knowledge without faith is like the law without the spirit of the law. Even our planet is at the mercy of the sun where would anyone be without mercy.

Forever learning and never coming to a knowledge. Everything omnipotent sings if your open to it.
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  #148  
By eerok on 31st May 2013, 10:15 PM
Originally Posted by Whatduh View Post
I don't have many tools in my tool box but each one works and that's all that matters.

Faith is the first force of five. Four will get ya by. But I take it by faith their is five - while those that worship the mighty four forces the fifth escapes them only in symantics for the do have a word for the thing they seek and that is the "unknown" and plug away at it in faith the do. Yes we believe it's just a matter of work and time, they have faith in their project.

Science is so much method like knowning the principals of resonance or designing all the instruments. But without the hearts behind the instruments or the hearts of the listener there is no purpose.

All existance has principals, has science not ever concidered the argument, what would existance be with the yin without yang, the mind without the sould, the body with the dust? Knowledge without faith is like the law without the spirit of the law. Even our planet is at the mercy of the sun where would anyone be without mercy.

Forever learning and never coming to a knowledge. Everything omnipotent sings if your open to it.
Um, not really.

Science is not faith-based. It's evidence-based. It's the only reliable way to separate codswallop from useful attempts to understand objective reality.
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  #149  
By Whatduh on 7th June 2013, 02:39 AM
Originally Posted by eerok View Post
Um, not really.

Science is not faith-based. It's evidence-based. It's the only reliable way to separate codswallop from useful attempts to understand objective reality.
Anti-True Anti-false. What is science without a conscience to explore it and what is a exploration without deleaving into the unknown and would you take fear as a companion or faith. The expression of faith in my allegory is the state of nuture and nature within the person as opposed to the craft of science. What is a love, without an embrace.
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  #150  
By eerok on 12th June 2013, 02:33 PM
Originally Posted by Whatduh View Post
Anti-True Anti-false. What is science without a conscience to explore it and what is a exploration without deleaving into the unknown and would you take fear as a companion or faith. The expression of faith in my allegory is the state of nuture and nature within the person as opposed to the craft of science. What is a love, without an embrace.
Science was invented to provide methods for testing objective reality. Its enormous success follows from the simple fact that it works. Those other things you seem to want from it are irrelevant. Ordinarily you'd turn to philosophy or religion to immanentize the eschaton or whatever it is you're trying to accomplish with your word salad.

No particular belief is required to use the tools of science--one need only provisionally assume a consistent, objective reality that can be examined--so clearly science is not faith-based.
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  #151  
By barefootgoddess on 30th August 2013, 01:32 AM
Is science faith based?

Before reading your article and picking up any impression or ideas of your thought I want to answer the question.

Originally when the concept of science first evolved-yes because the organized religion had it's finger in everything. Subjects that were initially left to women became the sole subject of males who in their religious dogma and prejudiced decided that such things were to complex for the female mind to understand better they concern themselves with breeding and housewife skills. As example the people went to midwifes for cures and sickness before it became a study/science of doctors profession.

For the longest time in our history it was religious faith that had a big influence on science. So much so that new concepts that didn't fit the religious perception were discounted or considered heretical.

Now-a-days there are some who consider science a form or religion in and of itself. Scientists attempt to not taint their findings with their personal religious belief which is part of why theory, testing, documentation validation or refuting an idea is in my opinion a way to separate the two.

But overall yes I think it is faith based, maybe not so much in religion as most assume such a question implies but the faith of the scientists in the subject either in proving it true or false.
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  #152  
By barefootgoddess on 30th August 2013, 01:52 AM
In reading the article

Science is based on evidence not faith. I disagree with as much as can agree with it if that makes sense.

For example take the foundation itself it sets out looking for evidence to validate the feasibility of psychic or paranatural abilities using common sense and science. Something that has been discredited through generations but prevalent in society is that belief be it the singular deity/god and the prophets who spoke with angels ect or magic in general and it's numerous variations of practice.

Science says these things are impossible and has yet to validate or quantify it. You could say the foundation has faith that they can discredit claims and not pay the million dollars more than they would have to pay it out. But the evidence of generations, centuries implies that there is something or like the disproved 'scientific' belief that the world was not only flat but that the sun/planets revolved around the earth would have been discredited long ago in my opinion. Those two concepts were changed as our understanding evolved about the planet and placement in it with science.

Yet the concept of paranatural abilities hasn't changed it remains a constant even without concrete proof; even with organizations such as this which make a point of discrediting frauds who claim to have these abilities.
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  #153  
By Red Baron Farms on 17th September 2013, 11:28 AM
I am guessing the people are referring to this quote?

Quote:
"Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Einstein
But I tend to like this one slightly better.

Quote:
"Science and religion are two essential components in the search for truth. Denying either is a barren approach." Martin Nowak
You must admit though. Einstein really was a brilliant thoughtful mind, even when wrong he was wrong in a thoughtful way. His music of the spheres comments are absolutely so brilliant they are art!

Quote:
"The fanatical atheists are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who - in their grudge against traditional religion as the 'opium of the masses' - cannot hear the music of the spheres."
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  #154  
By eerok on 18th September 2013, 01:35 PM
The personal opinions of scientists may be interesting, but they're not important. Science is based on evidence, not opinions, and religion is not relevant to the practice of science.

For that matter, science does not strive to deliver truth or any other problematic absolute. It's just a methodology for investigating the world around us, and at any given moment, its conclusions are provisional.
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  #155  
By StevenLeonCooper on 11th February 2014, 01:47 PM
Well, I would like to state that Faith is merely complete trust in something without question. It's extremely annoying that theistic people have essentially "hijacked" the word and pretend it only applies to theistic views. I have complete trust that my mom doesn't secretly hate me, namely because I have empirical evidence over the past 26 years to the contrary. It may be remiss of me as a scientist to make assumptions but, alas, I'm confident enough to assume it to be true.

Complete trust is tied to the human thought process; it is not, however, exclusive to religiosity. Many people exercise faith by way of taking things for granted. You have faith that the jar of peanut butter you bought today will taste more-or-less the exact same as the jar you consumed 9 months ago because the brand and ingredients are the same. Perhaps this is a less strict definition; most people wouldn't specifically say they have "Complete, unquestioning trust" in their brand of peanut butter but they certainly would be surprised if they opened up a jar and it suddenly tasted like mayonnaise or smelled like bacon.

But I digress, despite the fact that "Faith" is not exclusive to ideology or religion, it still isn't a part of science. A good scientist has absolute faith in nothing. There are parameters which we assume to be true in order to make predictions but those parameters are not universally infallible. A scientific or mathematical law is only true for as long as it can't be proven false. So even when using constants, laws, theories and models in order to interpret data, we don't have "complete trust" in those concepts and assume they are true and will always be true no matter what. Our understanding of the universe has changed immensely in the past few thousand years and it continues to progress because we don't allow faith to prevent us from challenging what we think we know about the universe.
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  #156  
By debunker of debunker on 17th February 2014, 01:13 PM
Science is not faith based. The argument that certain precepts are accepted on faith is a silly argument proffered by religious folk hoping to bamboozle.

When doing advanced math do we revisit one plus one each and every time. In law when providing evidence there is a concept of judicial notice. If one was accused of parking on a street on a specific day there is no need to prove the roads existence nor the city nor the day of the week. Those are accepted standards.

More importantly the false premise here has been over looked. Science seeks to explain real and tangible results/effects. Or to work toward a tangible result that can be measured.

Religious faith seeks to prove the unprovable. No tangible or observable results. It would be funny if it were not for the numbers of deluded individuals who buy these silly arguments.

Religion has some minded principals that are commendable but unfortunately it's followers focus on the afterlife and otherworldly gods rather than the principals. The ridiculousness of the religious thought when it comes to super beings in heaven etc is self evident as the "religious" fell the need to have others believe as they do.

And they even make nutty arguments that faith and science are the same thing.
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  #157  
By Galois on 30th March 2014, 12:20 PM
It is overwhelmingly probable that nature behaves uniformly: isn't that probability enough to underwrite confidence in the claim?
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