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 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 446
It takes faith to believe in science - I'd say no.Page 25 of 25    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25)

Not meaning to quibble too much, but what exactly do you mean by, "by definition"?
Is 'by definition" the several sentences after the above quote?

By definition, a theory isn't accepted unless practically everyone in the field agrees that it isn't controversial. For example, Newtonian physics isn't controversial. It's a limiting case of relativity. As long as you don't go beyond the regime in which Newtonian mechanics can be applied, it works just fine.


I do not know that as a fact, but I can believe it, but I also believe that governments have political agenda’s, backed by special interests groups.

There are no special interest groups for basic physics research because physicists doing fundamental research in physics aren't doing anything that will obviously lead to any practical use. For example, the actual physics that is used for MRI or PET scanners is more than 75 years old. By the time computers were invented and the obstacles to practical application were removed, that physics was old news. Special interests never have any interest in anything that doesn't promise immediate payoff. The potential for fraud is only as prevalent as there is money to pay for it and in basic physics research, that sort of money isn't there.


Now mind you abelian, when it’s all said and done I still hang my hat on science far and beyond religion, but I must ask; what are minimal assumptions with regard to science?

As far as physics goes, the only fundamental principle that physicists generally believe ought to be true is that no point of view in the universe is priviliged. From that one can derive all of the physics known. Physicists would abandon even that assumption if anyone could devise a theory that didn't require it.

Not meaning to quibble too much, but what exactly do you mean by, "by definition"?
Is 'by definition" the several sentences after the above quote?


Well I suppose that in order for me to believe the Big Bang theory I must assume some things that are not backed by fact.

No, you only have to accept the fact that if the universe is expanding now, then at some earlier time it must have been smaller. How much smaller? Particle physics agrees with the extrapolation back to a time when the universe was smaller than an atom. (If you aren't aware, of the six quarks (u,d,c,s,t,b), the ONLY place in the universe that the last four exist at this time, is in particles produced in accelerator labs. Those particles aren't even produced in super novas.)

So if I assume these theories are true, I must be willing to accept certain beliefs are true, even though they are not based in actual facts.

No, you only need to believe what the evidence supports and although that may not be a big bang when all is said and done, right now there is nothing known that would avoid a big bang. On the other hand, a refusal to grasp the idea that time and space don't exist prior to the big bang or an insistence on using completely incorrect arguments to denonstrate why you think it's wrong, is not a valid reason to object to it. If you think the big bang is wrong, come up with a reason that thousands of physicists haven't already thought of and had shot down by experiments and cosmological data. No one has a vested interest in salvaging an incorrect theory in fundamental physics because there's a Nobel prize waiting for anyone who can come up with a better theory.

On the other hand, anyone who wants to create a theory which doesn't include a big bang, needs to create a theory which explains the same things the big bang explains and which makes (correct) predictions that the big bang doesn't. That has proven very difficult to do. Like most physicists, I take the big bang to be valid up until the point we have no theory to explain the universe prior to the time we can explain it. Beyond that point, there are only opinions, but the only valid opinions are those which aren't based on the naive objections posed in public forums.
 xlr8ingmargo
Joined: 7/28/2009
Msg: 447
It takes faith to believe in science - I'd say no.
Posted: 4/23/2010 9:33:28 AM
In other words many of these educated and well planned theories are nothing more that scientific opinion.
 whitegold765
Joined: 12/26/2007
Msg: 448
It takes faith to believe in science - I'd say no.
Posted: 4/23/2010 4:36:12 PM
Like many others the OP comes down to one of definition, defining Faith. If you define it as "accepting something as fact" then yes, science requires Faith. Scientists don't have to study and re-do the experiments done before them, nor do all experiments in related fields to prove microwave background radiation, nuclear decay, relativity, etc. They can accept them on faith.

But if you apply a more reasonable definition of "accepting a statement without evidence" then it is NOT faith. The evidence is required, and abundant.

"Message: In other words many of these educated and well planned theories are nothing more that scientific opinion."

Well, no. A scientist looks at what is known, and makes a "hypothesis" based on it. If all the facts fit it's a good hypothesis, with good science. If relevant it can be used further to make other predictions.

A similar experience would be your knowledge that the sun will rise in the morning. It has previously, and you have every reason to believe it will. You base your plans for tomorrow on that expectation. In the end you are correct. Was that an opinion?

Dismissing these as "opinions" is foolish. Opinions are purely subjective, and science is not. Look around you at the technology and medicine available - science did that. Not opinion.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 449
It takes faith to believe in science - I'd say no.
Posted: 4/27/2010 7:02:03 AM

In other words many of these educated and well planned theories are nothing more that scientific opinion.

Do you really think that modern technology like gps or your computer only work because someone had the opinion that it should? That would seem very silly, since most people would probably like modern technology to not be constrained by an opinion if another opinion makes life simpler. Are you really asking that question seriously?
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 450
It takes faith to believe in science - I'd say no.
Posted: 4/27/2010 7:08:13 AM

I'm tired of banging my head against that wall of .... "faith is religious [christian, muslim, jewish, etc. and has something to do with god]"
and give up on those who think that way.


However, in the context of the OP, he correctly points out that creationists use the word "faith" an a pejorative sense, to signify that people who accept evolution 'believe' because they are told to the same way creationists are told and accept that 'God did it.'
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 451
It takes faith to believe in science - I'd say no.
Posted: 4/27/2010 7:35:31 AM

So we can see the assumptions made with the Big Bang theory and accept them with the caveat;

Uh, there's always a caveat. That's why theories can never be proven true. Theories can only be falsified.

As it is seen now we believe A happened because of what we think we know of B, but still we must have faith that what we believe is actually fact.

There is no real belief involved, beyond what each individual scientist believes to be the most fruitful line of research into what isn't yet known. History is full of scientists who were mostly right but who were also spectacularly wrong, including very famous ones like Einstein. The difference between Einstein being wrong and some random opinion is that Einstein didn't just sit back and pontificate about something he didn't understand. He proposed theories until he reached a dead end or predicted something that could be tested. A non-scientist doesn't have to believe anything so long as he/she doesn't want to argue from ignorance about what is well-known. I have yet to see an argument against the big bang based on anything but a refusal to think beyond everyday experience.



everything becomes an opinion of a perception.


Existentially speaking of course.

That is also irrelevant. We define things like an electron to be an event that gives measurements consistent with what a theory tells us about electrons. That is no different than the way we define a rock, although most people think that what we call a rock is somehow self-evident enough to not require interpretation of what we see. You can imagine some reality that is supposed to be ``deeper'' than what can be measured, but by definition, a measurement is any interaction that can affect anything. If something can't be measured, in principle, then by definition, it also can't have any influence on anything.
 xlr8ingmargo
Joined: 7/28/2009
Msg: 452
It takes faith to believe in science - I'd say no.
Posted: 4/27/2010 7:55:09 AM
Abelian I said Theory. I did not say anything that has already been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. I am begining to believe to just like to argue with people. I have my own opinions, and they are mine to have just like yours are. I might not be the brightest person but I am still a light.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 453
It takes faith to believe in science - I'd say no.
Posted: 4/28/2010 11:49:18 AM
If any of the following scientists had believed as you do then where would science be now?

The exact same place it is now. What part of ``in principle'' do you find confusing?

So what does the caveat warn you of?

It tells me the extent to which a scientific theory has experimental support.
I’ve shown you that the Big Bang Theory has far too many assumptions to be accepted as fact.

That is actually a non-sequitur.
Science is subject to change.

That does not mean what you would like it to mean. New theories in science do not replace old theories. That would be impossible since the old theories actually worked or those theories wouldn't have ever been theories. The prerequisite for a new theory is that it include the old theory as a limiting case. That is why special relativity includes all of Newtonian physics as a low velocity limit and general relativity includes special relativity as a limiting case when gravity is not important.

A friend of mine on this site is fond of this quote: The problem with mankind isn't that we are ignorant, rather that we are arrogant to what we think we know, and apathetic to our own greatness.

That fits you quite well. You know nothing about science, yet you keep making misstatements about science due to willful ignorance.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 454
It takes faith to believe in science - I'd say no.
Posted: 4/28/2010 12:08:24 PM

If any of the following scientists had believed as you do then where would science be now?

Marie Curie (Radiation),
James Chadwick (Discovery of Neutron),
Nikola Tesla (Alternating Current),
Jocelyn Bell Burnell (Discovered radio pulsars),
Neils Bohr (Theory of nuclear reactions and nuclear fission)


Nonsensical. All of these things were detectable either immediately through their effects (Marie Curie died of aplastic anemia, likely the result of radiation exposure) or eventually through the development of technology (i.e. radio pulsars through the development of radio telescopes). If you propose something that has no effect and cannot be measured, it is much the same as saying it doesn't exist.


What is this thread about abelian? “It takes faith to believe in science” , and yet you keep using your straw man (Big Bang Theory) to prove a point, but what exactly is that point? I’ve shown you that the Big Bang Theory has far too many assumptions to be accepted as fact.


Non-sequitur. Big bang theory developed from observational evidence and that evidence has only grown stronger with the development of technology culminating in the Hubble Space Telescope, COBE and WMAP and Kecks I and II, to name a few. But please enlighten us to the "assumptions" that were made for it.


Faith is part of human experience, you cannot take that out of the equation. Faith resides in both the Philosophies of Science and Creationists


Any scientist worth his or her salt recognizes that a theory can be superseded by an even more inclusive and successful theory based on new evidence or experimentation. So science is ultimately skeptical, even of itself. Where's the "faith" in that?

Watch any scientist in any discipline confronted by a question for which the answer isn't known. Chances are, he/she will say "We don't know." Watch a creationist confronted by a question of evolution that he/she doesn't know the answer. Chances are, you'll get "Well, you have to have faith in God's word."
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