Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Science and Materialism.

I was interested in this quote from Martin Redfern's article.

"Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but what annoys Eugenie Scott is the way in which the received wisdom of Genesis is given equal or higher status to scientific evidence; and the way in which the latter is used selectively.

'In the card game of creationism, the Bible trumps science every time,' she says.

But in her game, science is dealt a hand that is purely materialistic. Ideas of a supernatural being belong in a different game, be it philosophy or theology."

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10 Comments:

Blogger Hawks said...

Yep, any scientific explanation could be wrong. In fact, in some instances science as such might might never reach the correct conclusion - whereas other forms of inquiry might.

Saying that, in real science, you wouldn't be taken seriously when you - like in the article linked to - claim that T. rex was a vegetarian. In real science, arguing that T. rex was vegetarian because bears (with their sharp teeth) eat vegies means that T. rex did so as well would be a crap argument. In real science, one would actually look at ALL the of the teeth of bears and T. rex before making such ridiculous claims.

10:57 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Hawks,
You said,
"In fact, in some instances science as such might might never reach the correct conclusion - whereas other forms of inquiry might."

Can you give an example of what you mean?

9:12 am  
Blogger Hawks said...

andrew wrote:
"Can you give an example of what you mean? "

Sure. Science would never come to the conclusion that a supernatural being made the Earth look 4.5 billion years old (and let's for the sake of argument say that the Earth, from all lines of evidence, REALLY looks 4.5 billion years old), even though, in fact, it is 500 billion years old.

Other forms of inquiry might reach the correct conclusion, however. Perhaps a woman dreamt that it was 500 billion years old. There would be absolutely no evidence to support her conclusion, but she would be right.

11:53 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Hawks,

Would she be right to think that she was right?

9:56 am  
Blogger Hawks said...

Andrew wrote:
"Would she be right to think that she was right?"

In her game, yes.

11:35 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Hawks,

What do you mean..."In her game"?

12:28 pm  
Blogger Hawks said...

It goes back to your original post. However, her game is neither biblical creationism nor "pure materialism".

2:19 am  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Andrew,

I have started a blog in which I am going through the Truth In Science material sent to all UK Schools and Colleges, from the perspective of a parent who has a son who is studying for the Biology BCSE examination.

I am against the teaching of ID in science class.

I would welcome feedback and comments from both sides of the argument.

Truth In Science : Revealed

Regards,

Mark

8:43 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having skimmed the article, the game appears to be 'what shall we teach in class' and on the one hand people want materialist science taught in science classes, and on the other hand, people want vague, badly formed and frankly, religious ideas taught in science classes.

If, as Andrew suggests "Ideas of a supernatural being belong in a different game..." then fair enough. But that game has no place in a science class, or a science lab.

Assuming that we live in a material universe, then that is going to be (eventually) explained mostly by science. If you want to hypothesise on a supernatural dimension, you're either going to have to provide a mechanism for it to interact with a material universe. If it has no possible way of interacting with a material universe that we live in, then it's a waste of time thinking about it.

As to 'dreaming the world's 500 million years old' yes, she may be right, but it's valueless, it sounds like a variation of 'last thursdayism' to me.

9:13 pm  
Anonymous John said...

Hi, its John from Melbourne.
Please check out this essay which points out that scientism and exoteric religion are both reductive in their (mis)understanding of Reality and Man with a capital R & M.

1. www.dabase.org/noface.htm

This essay gives a very sobering description of the unspeakably dreadful politics & "culture" created in the image of such benighted reductionism.

2. www.dabase.org/coop+tol.htm

Also 3. www.coteda.com

9:19 am  

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