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Just say "no" to science...
Press Release: While trust in science remained stable among people who self-identified as moderates and liberals in the United States between 1974 and 2010, trust in science fell among self-identified...
Pascal Wallisch's profile photoCristian Pascu's profile photoWoozle Hypertwin's profile photoJennifer Isaacs's profile photo
Not all that surprising, unfortunately...
It's a sad day when people don't trust science.
On a recent cross-country flight a loud-voiced conservative woman behind me spent hours educating her seatmates on the evils of science and technology. The height of her rant was when this woman, traveling over 500 miles per hour in a metal tube 6 miles above the surface of the Earth, asked her companion, "What has technology ever done for me?"
Scientific theories are provisional in nature, without some doubt they will not improve. Fundamentalist Christians are as bad as those with complete belief in science. Those who oppose Darwin's Theory in today's community are often looked at as quacks, yet so brilliant a man was Darwin, he knew his own Theories must be untrue. Science can bash Religion all day, Religion can bash Science all day. Great men in either field respect each other. There are more ignorant Religious types, because Religious types opening their mouths, That is all.
I've a suspicion that for some people the famous "In God We Trust" of the dollar bill, means that only money and God need be thanked for whatever science brings.
"yet so brilliant a man was Darwin, he knew his own Theories must be untrue." -- uh, no.
Did you read the first part of "Theory of Evolution?"I'm not pulling it off the shelf, read it yourself.
Darwin doubted many of his ideas (not the same as "knowing them to be untrue"), and some of the details proved to be false, but the basic theory has been proven sound by mountains of evidence.
What's wrong with this picture?... ask the same question to heart transplant recipients, Prius owners, day-traders, airline passengers, TV owners, cell phone users... et cetera.
What we need to say "no thanks" to is politics and money in science (and in religion/art). The more that power/money/hoarding/addiction is a motivating factor for any human activity the more corrupt it becomes.

Instead, let's aim for a society where we focus government, in a decentralized-network, on using shared resources to take care of the basic needs for all humans, so that everyone can relax and invest their time and energy on following their passions. The global enlightenment is what I see for our future.
I think it may really have to do with the same attitudes that produce a fondness for medievalism and conservatism. Tolkien's perspective was that the greatness of man was in the past, that we had fallen from grace- and that any "progress" (his scare-quotes, not mine) was an illusion and a sign of derangement in the inevitable decay of mankind.

To quote an article by David Brin, "Elsewhere I contrast two perspectives on the Time Flow of Wisdom. By far dominant in nearly all human societies has been a Look Back attitude… that the past contained at least one shining moment when society and people in general were better than today, a pinnacle of grace from which we fell, doomed to lament. You find this theme in everything from the Bible to Tolkien to Crichton: a dour reflex toward viewing change as synonymous with deterioration, the grouchiness of grampas who proclaim that everything—even folks—had been finer in the past."

The article is about defining science fiction, but I think it brings up a rather valid point. (

Progressivism, science, evolution, these are all things which point toward things being better in the future- something which traditionalists, medievalists, and conservatives vehemently do not believe in.
There is this fear of objective truth for some I think.
This is simply because nobody fears the evil communists' nuclear missiles anymore. This is what made America a nation of science and technology in the firs place, called the "Sputnik crisis".

A lot of people don't seem to find another reason for scientific progress, which is terribly sad.
There is always that desire to build the better weapon through science but to have knowledge that helps one another that is a different thing all together. +Stefan K
+Sasa Vignjevic : of course it's possible that we're misguided. That's why an important part of science is the idea that one should always question one's assumptions.

When we get misled by science, it's most commonly because we think that anything with the word "science" in it is actually scientific. More often, though, we're misled by our own biases because we're not being rigorous enough in applying scientific methodology to overcome those biases.

If you see another methodology which seems to be pointing closer to the truth, though, there's always room for new ideas. If they work, then they become part of science.
Science isn't giving them the answers they want on issues like evolution, global warming and homosexuality being a choice..therefore science must be wrong.
The thing is the root word for science is 'knowledge', and then there is pseudoscience (in what many religious theories are a failed science). Conservatives often try to keep the ancient warrior tribes with that subjective truth in their minds over any thought of objective truths. Then for the mentally ill there is the subjective truth they keep so they can feel secure, and some do try to fight through treatments. The subjective truth vs,. the objective truth once again.
There are people that think like this about objective truth :
"However, the believer in God’s objective truth found in Jesus Christ will never fall. He may stumble, yes, but he will not fall. Why? Because if Christ is for us, who can be against us? The fact of Jesus Christ, the objective truth of Jesus Christ, is what will hold us when nothing else will. There is a difference between me gripping what I think is the truth, and the true truth gripping me." --

"We should distinguish two kinds of objectivity:
1.metaphysical objectivity,
2.and epistemological objectivity.
We also should distinguish two kinds of subjectivity:
1.metaphysical subjectivity,
2.and epistemological subjectivity.
Remember the distinction between metaphysics and epistemology?" --
Does this mean the GOP finally has a war they're winning?
There really is no winning in wars but in the end things are lost or gained in tragic ways. That is if it is really a war.
+Jens Rasmussen
As soon as you claim to be right, you're no longer using science, and instead being a politician. But I could be missing something. :-)
Some times no one needs to claim to be right to know the truth of something right under their nose. Example is gravity is not prooving itself right it is just doing what it does and so yet it can be prooven to exist without even going into philosophy of what right and wrong is. +Turil Cronburg
Money is but an illusion of power in some ways. It is in the mind what amount money is before that paper or stone becomes that power. Politics are often controlled by money and so are those resources for survival and desire. Even services to gain knowledge cost money that even some around the world in poverty have difficulty gaining.
It will be difficult to separate politics from art, religion, beliefs, or scientific research because of the constant power battle. As long as there is hunger I believe there will be fear of fight and flight upon all things and addictions as well. Then the opposite of fear and indifference is love I do believe. Love may help us but if it is more than just a subjective view of it.
It's sad to say the wilful ignorance even spreads to film titles.

The recent Aardman animation, is titled "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!" in the UK and "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" in the US. The "With Scientists" being the title of the source material.

Interestingly, one of the follow ups is "The Pirates! in an Adventure with Communists". I doubt very much that will get green-lit :)
Has anyone here ever seen 'The Secret Life of the Brain: Loosing Reality'? It said something about conservatives in it I believe.
There is also something similar I can show from you tube but is a different show. Part 1 - Phantoms In The Brain (Episode 1) This series shows things about beliefs and neurology.
Jennifer, yes, psychology and neuroscience have shown that generally, conservative thinking is fight-or-flight response thinking (the sympathetic nervous system is running the show). The evidence of this level of primitive thinking is black-or-white, right-or-wrong, us, vs. them sort of binary views, suggests that all social animals have this brain function, so it's not limited to any one group of humans. We all do it when we get negatively emotional about anything. This is what I call "politics" - the level of thinking that prevents complexity and nuance and multiple perspectives as being equally useful, in exactly the same way that an engineer needs at least three views, x, y, and z, of an object in order to get it made into something real.
Chris Mooney has some interesting things to say on the topic as well.

"Finally, Klinghoffer ends with a fascinatingly ambiguous sentence:It's not "science" that we deny but this effort to redefine man in the name of science that we resist." --

Also this looks like a culture war in the eyes of conservatives it seems.

"Good Science Always Has Political Ramifications Why? Because a scientifically testable claim can be shown to be either most probably true or false, whether the claim is made by a king or a president, a Pope, a Congressperson, or a common citizen. [Book Excerpt]"
There's no such a thing as 'science', but sciences. And not all sciences are equal. And there's definitely no such a thing as a science about the past.

You can't put a rocket on the orbit with two radically different opinions of two scientists, but you can have eagles coming out of rats in any way you like to tell a story about it.
+Cristian Pascu : There is indeed an over-reaching concept of "science", not just individual sciences. "Science" is basically techniques we use to figure out how the universe works.

I'm not sure what you mean by "there is no such thing as a science about the past", but on the face of it I must differ: there's archaeology, geology, cosmology... not to mention forensics.
The real problem is all of the idiotic correlation "studies" to support political positions.
There are theists that are scientists and atheists. There are all kinds of people with different beliefs that are scientists. I think the problem is there is to much beliefs involved in something that should only be an objective mind in result.
Beliefs should be only for philosophy and in culture at home. Not shared in a scientific method. Too bad some just can't keep fingers out of the cookie jar of the subjective mind.
+Woozle Hypertwin I mean that you can only make deductions about the past, but not experiments. There's always open alternative explanations about the same observational data, and there's always a lot of subjective set of premises going on.

When Kant applied Newton's theory to show how a could of dust turned into our solar system, do you think that he had evidences for his theory? Other than the fact that 'theoretically' it's possible? On the contrary, they were excited about the theory and applied to anything that moved in the Universe.

As for criminal investigation, I'm sure there's lots of innocent people in prison right now for crimes they didn't commit, but it looked like they commit it.
You can do experiments to see if your theories to explain the past are likely to be true. The past may always be "open to interpretation" to some degree, but when you have multiple converging lines of evidence which suggest one thing -- and more evidence continues to appear in support of it -- I don't think it's fair to say that there's any real question about it.

Studying the past is just a bit more difficult and indirect than, say, studying chemistry -- but you could say the same thing about astrophysics, and as far as I know nobody is arguing that astrophysics isn't a real science.

...which brings us to Kant and interstellar dust, but I'm not sure what your point is. He made a speculation based on a lot less evidence than we have now, and turned out to be right. That's how science works: you make a guess, you look for evidence that might tell you whether or not it's correct, and you validate or invalidate your guess based on the evidence you find.

And forensics is very much a science; if there are innocent people in prison, it's because (a) no science knows everything, and (b) police departments are notoriously unscientific, to say the least. (Don't get me started on this.)
Going back into beliefs, philosophy, and theory kind of things one can use the scientific method to see if things work. If they don't work then move on.
Even if we do not yet know all about gravity, all of the true science, and it's laws in physics but yet they provide evidence of such existence. Just give it time if we are to know. Science (knowledge) is a thing of constant change in knowing, but the things under our nose yet do not change in evidence with true science. There is ways in finding as we build better tools.
Kant wasn't proved to be correct. There's still plenty of unknowns and lots of points where speculations don't line up. There's theories that provide explanatory hypothesis for various facts in the solar system, but they don't really add up in a single unified theory.

And as long as one observational fact can be explained by, say, body X hitting body Y at time T, or body A hitting body B at time T1, then we can not have a science. Hydrogen is not made one or two protons, depending who you ask. It's not "slightly more difficult", as you say, it's a whole different approach.

The only reason people put all these disciplines under the Science cupola is to bring evolution and cosmology in, two theories fundamentally built on ideological premises and principles. Although they use scientific results from different disciplines such as biology, physics, geology (seen as study of the Earth as we see it today), astronomy, and so on, they use all those results and tools in their own specific way. The scientificity is only apparent to the untrained eye.
Uh, yeah, Kant was more or less correct -- solar systems condense out of clouds of dust and gas (more gas than dust, but the basic idea is sound).

"And as long as one observational fact can be explained by, say, body X hitting body Y at time T, or body A hitting body B at time T1, then we can not have a science." -- why not?
Some use vocabulary and try to reconstruct history to fit where it really doesn't. The ones that try to do that can be proven if it is truth or lie by scientific method and peer review.
There seems to be a great deal of misperception about the meanings of the words "science", "proof", and "theory". These misperceptions are at the root of a lot of the disagreements about the value of science.
+Woozle Hypertwin Because that's not knowledge, it's just speculations, something that will never be clarified.

And if you say that in time, somebody will find evidence for one or another version here's two problems:

1. There are theories about things that have deep importance for our individual lives. If someone says that there is no God because science will show in the next 100 years how life originated from inanimate matter, than I'm sorry, I don't have 100 years to wait. I may die tomorrow and face the hypothetical God.

2. Although on one hand science is supposed to be an ever improving set of theories and speculation based on evidence, there's a lot of people that act like it's all done, science has figured it all out. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins are just two of them.
When the philosophy of religion turned into scientific research in any form, or theories are inconclusive to anything that can be recreated with the scientific method one should think that any argument is pointless. Let people believe as they wish but don't judge people on what they believe. It is just rude to tell them how they believe and what it means to believe or think of things. Let children, teens, and adults think on their own with out thinking for them.
Too many times people will claim that others are angry and hateful for beliefs. All the negatives are the linguistics most often sadly.

One may or may not believe in a god or gods but there should be the objective mind first. The mind that knows truth from lie in that collective consciousness. Justice and truth is difficult to keep in in a society with an idea 'freedom' for all. Yet are we ever really free or is that part of the illusion that the leaders of the 'pecking orders' tell us we have?

Science is a constant thing and yet I have state this before. Yet those ignore that knowledge is a constant and yet belief is not always. Letting other tell you what they believe and then traditionally believing it with out question is not knowledge, but yet it has a parasitic likeness of that information imo. Some parasites like leeches have been know to help in the medical field. Belief in hope of something can help in treatment of mental illnesses. Yet one can be hindered by destructive cult like beliefs mentally and physically. Think and believe for your self but please do not try to force others to agree.
+Cristian Pascu :
"Because that's not knowledge, it's just speculations, something that will never be clarified." -- what is speculation now may be clarified by further evidence. If you can narrow down your range of explanations for an outcome to two possible explanations -- "body X hitting body Y at time T, or body A hitting body B at time T1" -- then you can look for further evidence which might rule out or confirm either one. That is very much a scientific process.

Re your two problems:

1. What if the God you decide to believe in isn't the one that actually exists? Maybe you're doing all the wrong things, and the real God will punish you. You have no evidence either way, because there is no evidence that God even exists, much less what God is actually like or cares about or operates.

2. "there's a lot of people that act like it's all done, science has figured it all out. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins are just two of them." -- show me a single quote where either of them said anything to that effect. I don't know of any credible scientist -- atheist or theist -- who believes this.

(edit) Science is the process of discovering -- inherent in which is the idea that we don't know everything, nor can we know everything. Science is designed to be corrected.

When you talk about a system that believes it has everything figured out, the culprit there is religion. Which one says it has a book containing eternal truths that never change? Which one says you should believe it without evidence?
Some say understand the poetry of the religious texts and you will understand god. Then I tell them I look at books written by men not as a rule guide to how to live or believe, but I do learn from others in such media. ("Many today ... argue that religious beliefs are necessary to provide moral guidance and standards of virtuous conduct in an otherwise corrupt, materialistic, and degenerate world."
According to Thomas Dixon, "Religions certainly do provide a framework within which people can learn the difference between right and wrong."
Theists often argue that absence of belief in God(s) does not necessarily lead to immoral behavior. Atheists and agnostics, theistic philosophers say, can act just as morally as themselves with respect to social conduct. The theist, however, claims that the atheist does not have an objective moral foundation for morality.)

"What is morality? Most people pay only cursory attention to the somewhat intimidating philosophical concept called Morality. They erroneously presume that a precise examination of morality is the domain of philosophers.Most people acquire a somewhat vague sense of morality, a sense of how we should or should not behave, from their parents, their social group, their political environment or their religious affiliation. They believe that they have a sufficiently clear understanding of morality to meet their needs and they do not try to analyze a subject that is seemingly fraught with contradictions. "
"Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong)."

Though what is really the final definition of right and wrong and is there any absolute universal morals? "This article is about moral absolutism as a theory of normative ethics. For moral absolutism as a theory of meta-ethics, see Moral universalism.Moral absolutism is an ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them. Thus stealing, for instance, might be considered to be always immoral, even if done to promote some other good (e.g., stealing food to feed a starving family), and even if it does in the end promote such a good. Moral absolutism stands in contrast to other categories of normative ethical theories such as consequentialism, which holds that the morality (in the wide sense) of an act depends on the consequences or the context of the act.Moral absolutism is not the same as moral universalism (also called moral objectivism). Universalism holds merely that what is right or wrong is independent of custom or opinion (as opposed to relativism), but not necessarily that what is right or wrong is independent of context or consequences (as in absolutism). Moral universalism is compatible with moral absolutism, but also positions such as consequentialism. Louis Pojman gives the following definitions to distinguish the two positions of moral absolutism and universalism:[1]“Moral absolutism: There is at least one principle that ought never to be violated.Moral objectivism: There is a fact of the matter as to whether any given action is morally permissible or impermissible: a fact of the matter that does not depend solely on social custom or individual acceptance.”
Ethical theories which place strong emphasis on rights and duty, such as the deontological ethics of Immanuel Kant, are often forms of moral absolutism, as are many religious moral codes."

"With society emphasizing individual roles in career choice (and choosing a career one will enjoy instead of one that will benefit society) there also appears more focus on one’s own life instead of the survival of the group they are a member of or even the society as a whole (Inglehart, 63). Not only that, but individualism is looked at as a wonderful trait, especially to the youth of today, and conformity is almost looked on as a dirty word."
The problem with the "poetry" argument is that it's all so open to interpretation; one person reads the Bible and sees a metaphor, while another one sees that they need to kill gay people.

By what objective process (that everyone can agree on) do we determine which one is right? There is no such beast, when the only evidence you're allowed to use is a work of mythology that is internally inconsistent. (edit: never mind trying to reconcile differences between the different works)
The biggest problem that I think conservatives, of all types to face, is often to decide to conform or seek to individualize on beliefs. Though there are different groups that see things in a similar way there are differences at times. The unity and the separation of ideas in culture is kind of like a constant flux.

"With the emergence of liberal democracy in the modern west, however, the types of questions that philosophers asked about the interrelation between religion and political authority began to shift, in large measure because the following three-fold dynamic was at work. In the first place, divine-authorization accounts of political authority had lost the day to consent-based approaches. Political authority in a liberal democracy, most prominent defenders of liberal democracy claimed, is grounded in the consent of the people to be ruled rather than in God's act of authorization. Second, the effects of the Protestant Reformation had made themselves felt acutely, as the broadly homogenous religious character of Western Europe had disintegrated. The population of Western Europe and the United States were now not only considerably more religiously diverse, but also deeply wary of the sort of bloodshed occasioned by the so-called religious wars. And, finally,secularization had begun to take hold. Both the effects of religious diversity and prominent attacks on the legitimacy of religious belief ensured that one could no longer assume in political discussion that one's fellow citizens were religious, let alone members of one's own religious tradition."

"What should the goal of our lives be other than being ourselves? Although we were all born equal, we were all born different. Although we all share the same fears, feelings, and fancies, we express them differently. Although there may be little difference between one person and another, that little difference is VERY important. For as Hermann Hesse (1877 ~ 1895) wrote, "Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again." So, to relinquish our identity by following the crowd is to deny the world of our potentially unique contribution." "It's not just evolution and climate change -- conservatives' trust in science is plummeting across the board."

Often religion and non-religion play a part in beliefs of politics. I think there are many conservatives that assume that if one is into science without placing theist beliefs within the scientific study they must be atheist. Atheist are not very trusted by a whole lot of people in general. This is one part of it that gets complicated.
+Woozle Hypertwin You have it right there, in your words, just like Harris and Dawkins say: "There is no evidence". What are you even talking about? What do you mean by evidence? If God created the Universe, than anything in the Universe is evidence that God exists.

I once heard Krauss demanding evidence from God, something like his name written on the sky, or something like "I'm here, believe in me!". Well, thing is, once that happens every day, people will simply say it's an accident and can be explained in different way and, drum roll, "there is no evidence God exists". This is simply a blunt statement, a belief, a dogma. As a blind man shouting out 'there's no evidence there is light'. People could try to explain how the heat here feels on his body is electromagnetic waves, just like the light, but he could still be entitled to say there's no light.

The second thing people get so wrong is that it's not about evidences, is not about faith, it's about love. Evidence yields justified beliefs, but not love. A Christian without love is not a true Christian, and there's plenty of those.

Atheists just hang around waiting for evidence, for arguments, for bullet proof demonstrations. They are missing the point. No one will ever come with blank sheet of paper, writing down that demonstration.

As for that book that asks you to believe without evidence, if you're not a believer, honestly, you should not speak about why and how do believers believe. At most, you're an amateur on the subject.
+Cristian Pascu : who says "there's no evidence"? And about what? That's probably a discussion we need to have.

"If God created the Universe, than anything in the Universe is evidence that God exists." And if Superman built Manhattan, then anything in Manhattan is proof that Superman exists? The logic is the same.

"Atheists just hang around waiting for evidence, for arguments, for bullet proof demonstrations." -- seriously? I'm beginning to think you're trolling me... but maybe you're just repeating what you've been told.

First, scientists don't "hang around waiting for evidence"; they go out and look for it. Our knowledge of the universe -- how it began, how we got here, how life evolved, why the sky is blue, why there are earthquakes, where lightning comes from -- are a testament to the successes of that search. Religion can't explain any of those things; it waves them away by saying a magical being created them, which explains exactly nothing.

Second, science is about accepting that there will always be uncertainty. Which "magesterium" states that it knows eternal, unchanging truths? Which one includes error bars with its statements about reality?

"Evidence yields justified beliefs, but not love." What do you mean? Are you trying to claim that there is no evidence that "love" exists?

"if you're not a believer, honestly, you should not speak about why and how do believers believe." -- why not?
+Woozle Hypertwin Atheism != Science. Please! First is a metaphysical attitude, second one is a method for learning more about the physical world, as you said earlier.

If you say your grandma cooked the pie, or you say that your mother cooked the pie in such and such way, simply because you gave more details the second time doesn't get you closer to the truth unless you are closer to the truth.

A theory is true when it's true, not when it's more detailed. Yes, religion can not say anything about the color of the sky. But, pay attention, that now you're mixing things again. How things are and how things got to be the way they are, and how things got to be at all in the first place. There's there levels of questioning. Science really only deals with the first level. Religion really deals with the last one. I don't believe in a scientific creationism, for the same reason I think evolutionism is not a science.
+Woozle Hypertwin Regarding the Superman - God analogy, it doesn't hold because if God, uncreated by definition, created everything that was created, than only He could've created everything that He created. And everything created would be evidence that God exists.

I'm not asserting that this is a mathematical proof. There's still concepts that one could define/interpret differently.

Basically, I think since we have an Universe made up of a multitude of objects, governed by laws, that make these objects come together the way they are, it's a sign of a intelligent being behind it all. I, personally and subjectively, can accept (as a metaphysical opinion or attitude) that the Universe could simply exists like this just like that, uncreated. With intelligible laws but without an intelligent cause. Again, it's personal, and I can't convince anyone of it and no one convinced me of it.
+Woozle Hypertwin "Evidence yields justified beliefs, but not love." What do you mean? Are you trying to claim that there is no evidence that "love" exists?

I mean that if you get know rationally that something exists, that may not change your attitude irrationally, as for instance in your love you show to others.
+Cristian Pascu
I really don't see how 'good and evil' morality can really ever be fully objective in value. In that way that we learn what good and evil is through our human nature I believe that the objective mind should always go first before any subjective mental idea begins to create a physical action.

The thing of love and fear to ponder on philosophically and scientifically. I see information of a way to understand the world and ourselves. So I see that searching for knowledge and questioning should always be a good thing.
"Social Psychology: (Prejudice, Stereotyping,and Discrimination)" :
I find this an important part of why people have a hard time getting along when it comes to politics, non-religion, and religion.

I see that beliefs about "pseudo-skeptics & pseudo-atheists" is like that double standard of a christian that does not think another christian is a christian when they sin.
"Atheism != Science" -- if we're not talking about science in opposition to religion, then what are we talking about? Atheism is not a belief system; it is the absence of a particular belief, and it is a community of people formed around the idea that people have the right to do this, and (secondarily) that science is a much better way of making decisions and understanding the universe than religion is.

Your "grandma" metaphor, cogent as I'm sure it is, has escaped me. What conclusion are you trying to establish?

"Science really only deals with the first level." Clarify for me, please, what it is that religion deals with while science does not.

"if God, uncreated by definition, created everything that was created, than only He could've created everything that He created. And everything created would be evidence that God exists."

Wow, what a tangled mass of pseudologic. Let's take this apart piece by piece...

1. If God wasn't created, then how did God get there in the first place?

Possibly this is based on one of those old theological verbal tricks in which we arrange words in a certain way to prove something about reality, e.g. "everything has a cause, therefore there must be something that has always existed, otherwise nothing would ever have happened and the universe would not have come to be; we shall call this thing God, and put a beard on it and tell you what it wants you to do, even though we really have no idea if there really is such a thing"

Assuming that's where you're coming from, the existence of God hangs entirely on the idea that there must be a "first cause" -- which is nonsense; first, there's no reason to think that time is finite, and second (more importantly) there's absolutely no reason to think that any "first cause" (if there was such a thing) would be at all complex, much less sentient, omniscient, or omnipotent; much more likely it would be something fundamentally simple.

For the sake of argument, though, I'll grant the hypothetical existence of an "uncreated" entity -- something which, like Kosh the Vorlon, has "always been here" -- and proceed from there.

2. So there's some event from which all other events in the universe -- presumably including the creation of matter --were effected.

If that were the case, it would be technically true that God created everything in the universe. It would also be technically true to say that the snowflake which started the avalanche is what destroyed the town in the valley below.

The destruction of the town, along with the presence of piles of snow, is evidence that the avalanche happened.

It tells us absolutely nothing about the nature of that first snowflake. If you somehow had foreknowledge of which flake would be The One to start the avalanche, you couldn't (for example) use that snowflake to go around flattening towns or starting avalanches in the plains; the presence of a large quantity of accumulated snow on a steep slope was the primary ingredient, and the "first snowflake" is just a happenstance. You could more easily start an avalanche, under those conditions, with a pebble, or your toe, or a loud noise.

So not only is the avalanche not evidence of the nature of the "first snowflake", it's not even evidence that there was a "first snowflake".

You say that the universe is evidence of its creator. No, it's evidence that there's a universe. Without going into detail about what we see in the universe -- which, I believe, is not part of your argument -- you can't say anything more than that.

Your argument remains completely circular: If A created is the only thing capable of creating B, then B is evidence that A existed. Uh, sure. What we're questioning, though, is that "if"... in case you hadn't noticed.

"I mean that if you get know rationally that something exists, that may not change your attitude irrationally, as for instance in your love you show to others." -- I'm still not sure what your point is. Are you suggesting that people adopt religious beliefs, despite contrary evidence, because people sometimes are not affected by rational arguments?
"What do you think? Is there a war against science? Is the Republican Party or evangelicals in office responsible?"

Republican War on Science: Hope for the Future? "It's not just evolution and climate, conservatives' trust in science is plummeting"

The War on Neuroscience : Part 1

Aha found something that I saw in a debate in a similar form.
"Regardless, while one should trust science as a method — honestly done, science remains the best way at getting to the truth on a wide range of factual matters — there’s no particular reason why one should trust scientists and especially no particular reason why one should trust the people running scientific institutions, who often aren’t scientists themselves."
How about that? Some don't think the scientific method is trust worthy itself.
Maybe part of the why is that others don't see science as inclusive.
+Woozle Hypertwin There's really only two options: Either God is uncreated and the question about where God came from is silly, or the Universe is uncreated. Either way the concept of a "uncreated" being is not absurd but implicit assumption in both Christianity and Atheism. Hence atheism is not the lack of a belief, but rather the belief that the Universe is not created, and that there is no personal creator. Agnosticism would be the lack of a belief in either one of the above.

All our belief systems rely on something that can not be proved. As a science lover, you should know that by now.

Your snowflake analogy doesn't hold because if you accept God as the creator, being a creator doesn't mean that he gave a push to the Universe, and Universe holds into existence by itself. At each moment in time God upholds the Universe into existence, with it's matter and laws.

And it's not only that the Universe is there, but also the way it is. And the fact that we, as blobs of matter, are self-conscious and we ask ourselves about the purpose of everything. Of course, atheists are, again, blunt, and simply state that there's no purpose.

So the Big Bang is a 'first cause', that might had other causes before it, or it simply happened?! Somehow this is more acceptable just because it's 'scientific'?

What I think you really have a problem with is the 'someone tells you what to do' part. It's up to you to accept or not an authority, after you've questioned it. If you reject an authority just like that, than you're on yourself. You'll use science to take the best decisions in your life until you'l get an yet incurable disease and you'll die. Afterwards, science will not help you. You may now shout out that there's nothing after this life, but that'd be a simple conjecture. You'll just have to wait and see.
" Hence atheism is not the lack of a belief, but rather the belief that the Universe is not created." Atheism per se doesn't take a position on whether the universe was created at some point or has always existed. We prefer to look at the evidence -- and the evidence so far is inconclusive.

I suppose you could then say we're "waiting around" for evidence -- but why is it better to just make an arbitrary choice, assume it's right, and stop looking for evidence, which is what religion does? I can see the value in making a snap decision when there's time pressure, but where's the time pressure in deciding where the universe came from?

"Your snowflake analogy doesn't hold because if you accept God as the creator..." -- right, IF you accept God as the creator, then you inevitably arrive at the conclusion that God is the creator. Egad, that proves it! Also, we know that the Bible is true because the Bible says so, and we believe what we believe because, deep down, it's what we believe. (And I know I can trust that car salesman over there, because he told me everyone knows he's completely honest.)

Here's my theory:

I don't think you really believe in God, because you can't explain to me why you do. You're just maintaining the idea that you believe in God because other people tell you to, or reward you for acting as if you do; you have no real belief, in the sense that one believes today is Wednesday, or believes they have a spare can of oil in the basement; you just say you believe in God in order to get along with the others who say they believe in God. You defend the idea of believing in God so that you can feel more like you belong with other people who defend the idea of believing in God.

You don't actually have any reason to think there really is a God, much less that it would make any difference to you or to anyone else if there were; you just feel a need to defend it, to help maintain the illusion, so you can be part of the group.
You keep using the word 'evidence' in a wrong or misleading way. You should make a difference between observational data and the interpretation of that data offered within the bounds of a theory, be it scientific or not. Two persons, with different expertise, can look at the same thing, see the same thing, but assert different things about what they see.

Seeing is not enough. Vision is something more, and not all people have it for all things. When you say there's not evidence for whatever X, what you're really saying, what we all should be saying, is that you don't see evidence for X. It's subjective. Or, at most, culturally biased. A society, at one point, may accept an interpretation of a fact X, and some other will not. Atheists will interpret facts in a different way because at the bottom they build their interpretations. Physics is the only science with the most objective interpretations, but even there are plenty of places where different interpretations are offered.

Yes, my God argument is circular. But circular arguments are still valid. And is it self-contradictory? Is it wrong? It may not prove anything to you, you will not change your mind hearing it.

But we are part of the Universe, making statements about the Universe as a whole, we can't escape circularity. That's way there's no argument for or against the existence of God.

Please stop making statements about why believers believe what they believe. We're all different and have tens of years of life in which we actually lived a lot. Don't talk about us like we're brainless puppets.

You see, in all this chat, you're been the one who made the strong statements: "*There is no evidence*", "*You have no reason*", "*You believe because you've been told to*". You don't know me. You basically have an argument with an imaginary believer which you purposely portait as being manipulated and indoctrinated. I find it offensive, and you'd better stop here.

Remember what I said: I'm not here to convince you, no one is. I can't have reasons on your behalf. It's not a contest, it's not an investigation. No one is playing detective for you. If you decide 'there's no reason', 'there's no evidence', it's up to you. But don't bash people because they think differently, as long you your beliefs are just as much justificated, or you have none. We have the courage to have a belief about what's beyond this life and it's upon us. Live it like that!
"You should make a difference between observational data and the interpretation of that data offered within the bounds of a theory, be it scientific or not." -- I am using it solely in the first sense.

"Two persons, with different expertise, can look at the same thing, see the same thing, but assert different things about what they see." and if they disagree, then they must each offer arguments for why the evidence supports their position, yes. What's your point?

"When you say there's not evidence for whatever X, what you're really saying, what we all should be saying, is that you don't see evidence for X."

Correct. You may offer a counterargument -- but in the absence of such, my assertion stands as unchallenged and may be presumed true.

"But circular arguments are still valid." No, they are absolutely not valid. If you insist on basing your conclusions on circular reasoning, then you have lost the argument. (It's kind of like invoking Hitler, only more definitively damning.)

"But we are part of the Universe, making statements about the Universe as a whole, we can't escape circularity." So, you're claiming that {inferring facts about X through observations of X} is circular -- is that correct?

"And is it self-contradictory?" -- it's not self-contradictory, but neither is Harry Potter or Middle Earth. That doesn't make them any more real.

"Please stop making statements about why believers believe what they believe." -- why?

"Don't talk about us like we're brainless puppets." Then answer the fracking question: what is the real reason that anyone should believe in God? All you've offered so far is circular, contradictory, or otherwise mangled logic.

You need to convince me that you really do believe in God if you expect me to take your assertions about God seriously. Otherwise there's no point to this conversation.

"you've been the one who made the strong statements..." Yes, I have been. Do you have a problem with that?

"You basically have an argument with an imaginary believer which you purposely portait as being manipulated and indoctrinated." -- oh, so you've been misrepresenting yourself this whole time? You actually do have reasons for believing in God, but aren't willing to tell us what they are?

"I find it offensive, and you'd better stop here."

"Offensive"? Meaning, I've hit on some arguments you can't answer, and you don't know how to deal with it because you're afraid to honestly ask yourself the questions I've been asking you?

"I'm not here to convince you, no one is." Then, to put it gently, why are you here? If you're not willing to defend your POV, then why are we even having this discussion? Why are you wasting my time -- and the time of anyone else still reading this -- making assertions for which you aren't willing to present evidence when challenged?
There is believing in all kinds of beliefs. This includes 'not believing in god'. It should be ok to say no, and not believe something as much as it ok to say yes and believe. It should be ok to debate what ever idea one may have even scientific but arguing over something that can not be resolved with out (observational data and the interpretation of that data) evidence. Trying to make a belief objective in a way that cannot be shared 'physically' and only communicated in collective consciousness is just another way to play mind games. It doesn't matter if you believe in aliens, ghosts, the boogey man, or god if you cannot provide other than philosophical discussion it is not a true science.
In human rights every one has a right to be treated equal in beliefs and ideas.
Human rights are not given we are born with them. If people try to take them, abuse, or force pain and suffering on others it is then oppression that is placed +Cristian Pascu .
How do home schoolers teach math and science?,11465415
I think it varies from home to home what kids are taught in science and math.
Some times kids are brought up in cults and acults and only know what they have learned there, but forbidden learning else of the world.
Some times home schooling is fine what ever beliefs are in the home. I think it just depends on if there really is an open mindedness teaching of what is in the world for the students.

Does it make really any difference what kids are taught in public, charter, private, and home schools?

Something I would like to share about some previous posts I made about this topic of politics and science.
"Increasingly, scientific consensus is failing to influence public policy. Facts, statistics and data appear insufficient to change highly politicized minds... and science has started scrutinizing why."
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