Is giving authority to science almost as bad as giving authority to a religion? Watch

Mactotaur
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#41
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#41
(Original post by the bear)
they cling fanatically to their belief systems
...you mean apart from when they completely change their theories based on new evidence?
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ChaoticButterfly
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#42
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(Original post by Peroxidation)
As a scientist I have never met another scientist who has dedicated their life to the pursuit of knowledge for any reason other than these: 1) with knowledge we can make the world a much better place for everybody 2) there is nothing more exhilarating than the discovery of something new, nor will there ever be.
I can think of some other factors.

Money
Fame
Status
Weapons for war

Scientists are humans with human concerns.
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Plagioclase
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#43
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
I can think of some other factors.

Money
Fame
Status
Is this a joke? :confused:

Money? As a scientist in the UK??
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ChaoticButterfly
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#44
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
...aaand we've come full circle back to God
Err... nope. I meant we are slaves to physical conditions. The weather causing a famine does not have to be the work of a god. I don;t wanna get in as debate about God :argh:
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ChaoticButterfly
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#45
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Is this a joke? :confused:

Money? As a scientist in the UK??
As an example. I'm unemployed. If I was offered a funded PHd I'd consider it and and the money would be a factor. I can either be paid min waged tax in a warehouse or get paid more than that tax free from a uni to do some research. Being a scientist is a job and for most people they need/want a job for money reasons. If I have to work I would rather do something I got something out of. Academics would be pissed if we didn't pay them.

Whilst it is normally the scientists who get ****ed over by entrepreneurs it is possible to be both. If you invent something you can become rich. Applied science can lead to lots of money. I admit not normally for little people though, normally some massive corporation just eats all the science up, which will pay scientists with certain expertise well. Money is attractive. A scientist in charge of an important process in drug discovery will get paid more than an academic in some obscure area with no identifiable market in the private sector.
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Peroxidation
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#46
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
As an example. I'm unemployed. If I was offered a funded PHd I'd consider it and and the money would be a factor. I can either be paid min waged tax in a warehouse or get paid more than that tax free from a uni to do some research. Being a scientist is a job and for most people they need/want a job for money reasons. If I have to work I would rather do something I got something out of. Academics would be pissed if we didn't pay them.

Whilst it is normally the scientists who get ****ed over by entrepreneurs it is possible to be both. If you invent something you can become rich. Applied science can lead to lots of money. I admit not normally for little people though, normally some massive corporation just eats all the science up, which will pay scientists with certain expertise well. Money is attractive. A scientist in charge of an important process in drug discovery will get paid more than an academic in some obscure area with no identifiable market in the private sector.
Industry scientists aren't true scientists IMO. Yes they have a degree, but they don't share the goal of all real scientists - the advancement of knowledge. It's hard to explain this, but being a scientist and having a degree in a science are two different things. For scientists like myself money isn't a factor at all. Superficial things like that are nothing in comparison to the ecstasy we feel when we're at work. For me and all the other scientists I know, your research is like a child of yours. You love it that much and want nothing more than to see the whole idea through and get the results.

We get paid peanuts to change the world. If money was important to us we wouldn't be scientists, we'd be bankers and entrepreneurs. If we got paid nothing at all we'd be pretty pissed off, but mostly because without money to live on we'd have to get other jobs and then how would we get the time to do research?

I know this all sounds nuts to you, but after you've caught a glimpse at the atomic world nothing else matters anymore.
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chazwomaq
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#47
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
Yes but a key difference is they're studying physical things which obey physical laws, no?
Well, all things obey physical laws when you get down to it. Not that studying history at the level of quantum mechanics is productive!

But biology and social sciences study non-living things which don't behave as predictably as non-living things. But they are still sciences. So I don't think it's the key difference. That is more probably small sample size and high variability.
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Rather_Cynical
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#48
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Science by formal definition is about gaining knowledge. Physics, chemistry, etc are empirical sciences that use the scientific method based on principles of falsifiability and repeatability and evidence. There is also a branch of applied sciences which deal with what we could do with the knowledge, whether it be for military or peaceful purposes.

It seems you're talking about whether the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge is better than blind-faith. It does depend how you intend to use the knowledge, but I'd argue it's human nature to ask "why?" and it's healthier for humanity to avoid being too satisfied with non evidence-based answers of religious scripture.

A strong understanding of science is no replacement for having a more structured ethical framework, that dips into philosophy. If you have a healthy balance between the ethical philosophy and scientific curiosity, there is little doubt that it triumphs the religious alternatives. If you don't, then it's possible to go on a dangerous slippery slope and some sciences can be deemed as "wrong"
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the bear
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#49
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(Original post by Mactotaur)
...you mean apart from when they completely change their theories based on new evidence?
there is always a lag; a lot of money & prestige is lost during the paradigm shift... scientists like money & prestige.
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skunkboy
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Here are the results of giving authority to science... Do people like pollution?

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espicton98
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Yes.

I feel science in itself is a religion, it's a lot more rooted in reality and therefore appeals to people who find far fetched concepts such as pergotory, heaven, hell and various of the the bible miracles. Although we take science for granted, I feel it needs to be questioned more. We kind of develop a 'white coat' syndrome in that we just automatically accept it because it's come from a 'professional'. I do believe in a lot of our basic science, particiculary biology in terms of the human body, however feel it's limited when it comes to the brain. Physics and Chemistry however, I feel replicate a religion much more. The Big Bang theory etc... still aim to explain and unearth questions about the world that a religion also seeks to explain and therefore are difficult to separate.
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Rather_Cynical
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espicton98 - if you don't make a distinction between peer-reviewed studies, and media interpretation of those studies, then you're doing yourself a disservice. A statistical analysis maps a correlation, the chemical/biological/physiological mechanisms maps the causal relationships. Empirical sciences always depend on the axiom that it doesn't matter where/when it's tested, under the same conditions the same will happen.

The "replicate a religion" comment lacks coherence/legibility so I'll just ignore that. PS - science is about what we can know, religion is what we can believe (including gods that aren't good) which quite often contradicts reality
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Plantagenet Crown
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#53
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(Original post by espicton98)
Yes.

I feel science in itself is a religion, it's a lot more rooted in reality and therefore appeals to people who find far fetched concepts such as pergotory, heaven, hell and various of the the bible miracles. Although we take science for granted, I feel it needs to be questioned more. We kind of develop a 'white coat' syndrome in that we just automatically accept it because it's come from a 'professional'. I do believe in a lot of our basic science, particiculary biology in terms of the human body, however feel it's limited when it comes to the brain. Physics and Chemistry however, I feel replicate a religion much more. The Big Bang theory etc... still aim to explain and unearth questions about the world that a religion also seeks to explain and therefore are difficult to separate.
Much of what you say here is inaccurate. Science is most certainly not a religion as it's backed up by observable, testable and verifiable evidence whereas religion lacks that completely. And any new theories and hypotheses will be peer-reviewed and ripped apart by fellow scientists to see if they stand up to scrutiny.

How exactly do physics and chemistry seem like religions to you? I'm in the 4th year of a chemistry degree and never have I come across anything remotely similar to religious dogma.

The Big Bang theory is also supported by tonnes of evidence in contrast, once again, to religion.
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espicton98
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(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
Much of what you say here is inaccurate. Science is most certainly not a religion as it's backed up by observable, testable and verifiable evidence whereas religion lacks that completely. And any new theories and hypotheses will be peer-reviewed and ripped apart by fellow scientists to see if they stand up to scrutiny.

How exactly do physics and chemistry seem like religions to you? I'm in the 4th year of a chemistry degree and never have I come across anything remotely similar to religious dogma.

The Big Bang theory is also supported by tonnes of evidence in contrast, once again, to religion.
It still provides a very similar function to religion in society. The idea that there is something 'bigger than ourselves' however it doesn't execute it as accurately as religion in terms of fulfilment. Derkheim's study the impacts of this in terms of increased suicide rates as we enter capitalism and move towards science and technology. De Tocqueville also points to the idea of religion and science fulfilling similar functions in society. Therefore it is as 'bad' as putting faith in religion as its purpose is the same, it's just theorised and accepted more widely amongst the western world. You're a chemistry student so naturally you're going to disagree, I wouldn't call my observations 'inaccurate' though. In terms of chemistry a lot of the atomic stuff and sub-atomic stuff can never truly be proven. The periodic table provides the same function as the bible, there are a lot of parallels. Physics, again forces, and especially a lot of quantum physics, and also the Big Bang isn't proven, there's evidence for it but there's also religious evidence it's just usually regarded as conjecture by our current capitalist society, doesn't mean in the future it won't be refered to a lot more seriously and science laughed at. So essentially science is as bad as religion, if not worse as it doesn't even provide as good a job as religion in terms of personal fulfilment and the exclusiveness of it all (needing a degree to appreciate it at high level and be involved in it) whereas religion is open to anyone.

by the way I do believe in science etc... but for the purpose of this discussion and the idea of of giving it 'authority' in comparison to religion I think it is as bad. It's a school of thought which aims to explain the world we live in much like religion.
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Plantagenet Crown
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(Original post by espicton98)
It still provides a very similar function to religion in society. The idea that there is something 'bigger than ourselves' however it doesn't execute it as accurately as religion in terms of fulfilment. Derkheim's study the impacts of this in terms of increased suicide rates as we enter capitalism and move towards science and technology. De Tocqueville also points to the idea of religion and science fulfilling similar functions in society.
Not really. Religion generally serves to give people hope that their life isn't meaningless and that they will survive death.

Science does not say anything about that, all it does is merely describe the natural world, it doesn't nor does it need to attribute meaning to anything.

Therefore it is as 'bad' as putting faith in religion as its purpose is the same, it's just theorised and accepted more widely amongst the western world.
But we don't really put our faith in science because it is backed up by real evidence, whereas faith by definition is the belief in something without evidence.

You're a chemistry student so naturally you're going to disagree, I wouldn't call my observations 'inaccurate' though.
Well I'm the one that's been doing the degree and have not been taught any doctrine or told to have faith in something for which there is no evidence so if you'd like to enlighten me on that then please go ahead.

In terms of chemistry a lot of the atomic stuff and sub-atomic stuff can never truly be proven.
Of course they can be proven as much as is physically possible. Perhaps you'd like to mention a fundamental area of physics or chemistry that has no proof behind it?

The periodic table provides the same function as the bible, there are a lot of parallels.
What nonsense! They do not provide the same function at all, nor are they similar in any way! The Bible is a collection of stories, myths and historical events as well as dogma about God, the afterlife etc. The periodic table is simply a chart that records the different elements and their properties, not comparable in the slightest!

Physics, again forces, and especially a lot of quantum physics, and also the Big Bang isn't proven, there's evidence for it
Again, it is proven as much as is physically and scientifically possible. Don't be confused by the word "theory" which in science does not mean the same as the every day usage of the word.

but there's also religious evidence it's just usually regarded as conjecture by our current capitalist society, doesn't mean in the future it won't be refered to a lot more seriously and science laughed at.
If it's conjecture then by definition it isn't evidence.

So essentially science is as bad as religion, if not worse as it doesn't even provide as good a job as religion in terms of personal fulfilment and the exclusiveness of it all (needing a degree to appreciate it at high level and be involved in it) whereas religion is open to anyone.
Nonsense, this shows you have no idea what science is actually about. It is merely a description of the natural world, it does not aim to bring personal fulfilment so that comparison is null and void.

Are you serious?! Religions themselves are the epitome of exclusivity! That only the adherents to one of them will be saved and the others damned. Virtually all religious people believe that only their religion is the right one and that all others are false, talk about exclusivity!

by the way I do believe in science etc... but for the purpose of this discussion and the idea of of giving it 'authority' in comparison to religion I think it is as bad. It's a school of thought which aims to explain the world we live in much like religion.
It is not just as bad, it is infinitely better than religion because it does not rest on the concept of authority, that's the point. No matter how good or respected a scientist is, no one will automatically believe him if he comes up with a new theory or hypothesis if there's no evidence to back it up. That's not how science operates and it thrives off the peer-review process. It's religion that is entirely based on the authority of either a fictitious god or some prophet/messiah with no evidence to back it up.
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myblueheaven339
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(Original post by MildredMalone)
^ This, basically.

Religion says "Because god says so."

Science says "Because of these reasons..." and explains. If the jargon or explanations are above your head, you can learn about them, or ask them to be explained in a more simple manner.
I would also add that science is more open to adaptation of their ideas changing based on new evidence, whereas religion will not.


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