Study: not all scientists are atheists

religion_einstein

From RICE UNIVERSITY and the “thank goodness we don’t have to ignore Newton’s laws of physics now” department:

First worldwide survey of religion and science: No, not all scientists are atheists

Are all scientists atheists? Do they believe religion and science can co-exist? These questions and others were addressed in the first worldwide survey of how scientists view religion, released today by researchers at Rice University.

“No one today can deny that there is a popular ‘warfare’ framing between science and religion,” said the study’s principal investigator, Elaine Howard Ecklund, founding director of Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program and the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences. “This is a war of words fueled by scientists, religious people and those in between.”

The study’s results challenge longstanding assumptions about the science-faith interface. While it is commonly assumed that most scientists are atheists, the global perspective resulting from the study shows that this is simply not the case.

“More than half of scientists in India, Italy, Taiwan and Turkey self-identify as religious,” Ecklund said. “And it’s striking that approximately twice as many ‘convinced atheists’ exist in the general population of Hong Kong, for example, (55 percent) compared with the scientific community in this region (26 percent).”

The researchers did find that scientists are generally less religious than a given general population. However, there were exceptions to this: 39 percent of scientists in Hong Kong identify as religious compared with 20 percent of the general population of Hong Kong, and 54 percent of scientists in Taiwan identify as religious compared with 44 percent of the general population of Taiwan. Ecklund noted that such patterns challenge longstanding assumptions about the irreligious character of scientists around the world.

When asked about terms of conflict between religion and science, Ecklund noted that only a minority of scientists in each regional context believe that science and religion are in conflict. In the U.K. – one of the most secular countries studied – only 32 percent of scientists characterized the science-faith interface as one of conflict. In the U.S., this number was only 29 percent. And 25 percent of Hong Kong scientists, 27 percent of Indian scientists and 23 percent of Taiwanese scientists believed science and religion can coexist and be used to help each other.

In addition to the survey’s quantitative findings, the researchers found nuanced views in scientists’ responses during interviews. For example, numerous scientists expressed how religion can provide a “check” in ethically gray areas.

“(Religion provides a) check on those occasions where you might be tempted to shortcut because you want to get something published and you think, ‘Oh, that experiment wasn’t really good enough, but if I portray it in this way, that will do,'” said a biology professor from the U.K.

Another scientist said that there are “multiple atheisms,” some of which include religious traditions.

“I have no problem going to church services because quite often, again that’s a cultural thing,” said a physics reader in the U.K. who said he sometimes attended services because his daughter sang in the church choir. “It’s like looking at another part of your culture, but I have no faith religiously. It doesn’t worry me that religion is still out there.”

Finally, many scientists mentioned ways that they would accommodate the religious views or practices of the public, whether those of students or colleagues.

“Religious issues (are) quite common here because everyone talks about which temple they go to, which church they go to. So it’s not really an issue we hide; we just talk about it. Because, in Taiwan, we have people [of] different religions,” said a Taiwanese professor of biology.

Ecklund and fellow Rice researchers Kirstin Matthews and Steven Lewis collected information from 9,422 respondents in eight regions around the world: France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Taiwan, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S. They also traveled to these regions to conduct in-depth interviews with 609 scientists, the largest worldwide survey and interview study ever conducted of the intersection between faith and science.

By surveying and interviewing scientists at various career stages, in elite and nonelite institutions and in biology and physics, the researchers hoped to gain a representative look at scientists’ views on religion, ethics and how both intersect with their scientific work.

Ecklund said that the study has many important implications that can be applied to university hiring processes, how classrooms and labs are structured and general public policy.

“Science is a global endeavor,” Ecklund said. “And as long as science is global, then we need to recognize that the borders between science and religion are more permeable than most people think.”

###

The Templeton World Charity Foundation funded the study. The study also received support from Rice University and the Faraday Institute, housed at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge.

For more information, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, atdavid@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.

This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/. An extensive report about the study can be found at http://rplp.rice.edu/.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
473 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark
December 4, 2015 5:01 am

Well the fact that humans created religion from the study of the sun, moon, and stars means religion was originally science.

Pasi
Reply to  Mark
December 4, 2015 5:18 am

Wow, Mark, you nailed it, I never thought it that way: There really is no conflict between science and religion – originally. It has always been a question of knowing the answers to the unknown!!!

RWturner
Reply to  Pasi
December 4, 2015 12:03 pm

Religion was originally metaphysics, before it was exploited for gain, and I believe that metaphysics and science will someday marry and progress human society by leaps and bounds.
The non-physical reality was discovered long ago, it’s time for mainstream science to relearn metaphysics. As Niels Bohr once said, “if quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.” The rabbit hole is very deep, large, small,

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Pasi
December 4, 2015 12:12 pm

Bohr was not so shocked by quantum mechanics as to convert to a religion, however. He remained an atheist.

RWturner
Reply to  Pasi
December 4, 2015 12:41 pm

And where is your proof that Bohr was an atheist? His quotes make it sound like he was agnostic to me.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Pasi
December 5, 2015 7:22 am

RW,
The sources cited here show Bohr’s atheism:
http://www.celebatheists.com/wiki/Niels_Bohr
In Bohr’s 1927 reply to Einstein’s criticism of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle at the fifth Solvay Conference, both physicists were using “God” figuratively. Einstein did not believe in a personal God, such that, he said a believer would consider him an atheist, while Bohr was an avowed atheist.

MarkW
Reply to  Mark
December 4, 2015 6:40 am

It really is sad when people go out of their way to display their ignorance.

Michael 2
Reply to  MarkW
December 4, 2015 7:19 am

Well then take a happy pill and wear a smiley face 🙂

Mark
Reply to  MarkW
December 4, 2015 1:45 pm

Where is your solid evidence I’m incorrect? . “It’s the sun stupid” even works in this context.

george e. smith
Reply to  MarkW
December 6, 2015 1:17 pm

I plead total ignorance of what it is that you are commenting about.

PBVQ4
Reply to  Mark
December 4, 2015 6:55 am

Perhaps in its impulse but not in its method. Religion has never admitted to ignorance, and TRUE science does that all the time.

Reply to  PBVQ4
December 4, 2015 7:13 am

Depends on the type/subtype of the religion. Fundamentalist types generally don’t admit to ignorance. Others hold to certain core truths and allow for uncertainty in anything beyond those. “Religion” is not a monolithic entity, and it is very difficult to say anything meaningful if you treat it as such.

richardscourtney
Reply to  PBVQ4
December 4, 2015 7:19 am

PBVQ4
You say

Perhaps in its impulse but not in its method. Religion has never admitted to ignorance, and TRUE science does that all the time.

Please don’t make comments which demonstrate you haven’t a clue.
Every religion seeks to know the infinite but asserts that true and complete knowledge is unobtainable. In other words, every religion proclaims that the only certainty is that everybody will always be ignorant of some important things. Heisenberg provided science with the same insight in the twentieth century.
Richard

Michael 2
Reply to  PBVQ4
December 4, 2015 7:21 am

Bring on the trolls. “Religion has never admitted to ignorance, and TRUE science does that all the time.”
Science is knowledge of certain things, it is not ignorance. Religion is knowledge of other things, it is not ignorance.

Reply to  PBVQ4
December 4, 2015 7:26 am

richard –
Perhaps because implicit in true and complete knowledge would be the answer to “is there a God?”.
Also implying that the correct answer to that question can not be known without having “true and complete knowledge”.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  PBVQ4
December 4, 2015 7:51 am

Michael 2
December 4, 2015 at 7:21 am
What is it that you imagine religions know and how do they or their adherents know it?
Thanks.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 8:44 am

Gloateus Maximus asks: “What is it that you imagine religions know and how do they or their adherents know it?”
The possible answers are many; but surprisingly difficult to get a specific answer. I can only speak for myself with authority on this question. I started out with no religion in my home although some form of it is inescapable (Christmas, Easter for instance). I was probably a teenager when I put “Christ Mass” together. Curiously, I never considered mortality to be the beginning or end of existence, not that I thought about it a lot, but more than others it would seem.
I believe reason can be applied to religion; that is to say, those parts of a true religion that withstand rational inspection are probably true parts. Science can only work on atoms and energy; for the simple reason that the instruments of science use atoms and energy and thus can only detect atoms and energy, and that’s a fine thing for building bridges and airplanes and so on.
It is the incredibly sensitive nature of a human brain that can detect something else. Not sure what exactly. I’m a radio engineer among other things (1st Class FCC ticket back in the day) and learned about spark gap transmitters and receivers. It is rather likely that one human brain can couple to another, but that would happen only in the extremely rare instance of identical or nearly so configuration, same with the spark gap transmitter and receiver must be tuned to the same wavelength.
While detections of this sort are rather common, what is difficult is distinguishing between real intelligence and last night’s pizza (or psychotropic drugs, etc). In my life I have had a number of remarkable events, twice with very specific language whose immediacy and relevance was unquestionable. In one, I was told to change lanes on the highway (3 lanes each direction, near the Aloha stadium). I changed lanes, and in the lane I had just vacated, coming over the hill at a very high rate of speed a drunken driver.
Was that our “invisible sky protector”? Indeed it was. Just not very high in the sky and not much of a protector, more of an over-the-horizon radar.
All this arguing about whether there’s a “god” is just one facet of the jewel; of course there’s a god, and a whole plethora of similar things not-god and sometimes not-good.
So that’s part of my story. Now as to choosing a religion, I am not the only person with a story; so as I find other people with similar stories we congregate, and the next thing we know, we are a congregation!
At some point people that do NOT have a story, join the congregation simply for the pleasure of being in a crowd, and eventually the socialites outnumber those with a story, and pretty soon they create a story and call it a liturgy, and use it as a gatekeeper to decide who gets to join this congregation, and the people with actual stories might even feel a bit unwelcome. But that’s a different story.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  PBVQ4
December 4, 2015 12:26 pm

Michael 2,
I said thanks in advance, so thanks again for the experiential basis of your epistemological certainty.
You’re lucky that God protects you rather than seeks to inflict a lifetime of hunger, misery, loss, pain and suffering upon you, as is the lot of so many humans.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 1:09 pm

Gloateus Maximus wrote “thanks again for the experiential basis of your epistemological certainty.”
I do not understand the phrase but sure, you’re welcome!
“You’re lucky that God protects you rather than seeks to inflict a lifetime of hunger, misery, loss, pain and suffering upon you, as is the lot of so many humans.”
I doubt that “luck” is much involved but whatever the reason I am indeed glad for it.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  PBVQ4
December 4, 2015 1:21 pm

You may be among the Elect. Clearly the Deity has a wonderful plan for your life.
When religious people say that atheism is a religion, I feel the same as I do when creationists claim that “scientism” is a religion. It’s hard for the faithful to realize that others can be happy, fulfilled and successful without any faith-based belief system at all, let alone a formal religion.
Atheism isn’t a religion, but the lack of any religion. Many feel no need for sacred texts, rites or worship ceremonies. If they want fellowship beyond family, friends or work, they join a team or a club.
Many atheists think that humans are no different from any other organism, so that when we die, there are no souls to live on, let alone a deity judging us and rating our performance so as to determine eternal bliss or torment.
There are more or less rabid anti-theistical atheists, like Dawkins and the deceased Dirac, but IMO most aren’t antithetical to any or all religions. It’s just not for them. I for one am glad there are at least some religions, which is one reason why my agnosticism hasn’t gotten into the atheistical zone. Not all the time, anyway.

Frank Sharkany
Reply to  Mark
December 4, 2015 8:12 am

From “The Origins of Man” which is one of the books in a 1958 Catholic Encyclopedia series:
“Just as philosophy replaced poetry and mythology in explaining the origins of the world and of man, so has science for the last few centuries taken over the quest from philosophy.
Science differs from philosophy in that it is concerned not with the “final causes of things”, but with their proximate and immediate causes. It refuses to go beyond the facts. A scientific fact is a fact of physical observation, a fact registered by the senses and by the innumerable instruments which man has called in to supplement his senses. The facts once observed and registered are subjected when possible to precise verification in the form of experiments. But science ventures beyond the facts in attempting to explain them. This she achieves by first framing hypotheses and then, after verification, giving them the force of laws if their validity as explanation is confirmed. From this it follows that a hypothesis leads on to fresh observations, and is thus a kind of working tool. But a hypothesis aspires to become a scientific law, and becomes one as soon as it has successfully passed the test of experiment which it has itself set in train.”
Originally written in French but I think the translation holds up well. Maybe the AGW crowd could learn something from this definition. BTW, I have a B.S. in Physics/Math and actively work in aerospace as an engineer. I also am a Catechist teaching Confirmation to SoCal teens. I am never bored!

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Dushanbe
Reply to  Frank Sharkany
December 4, 2015 8:50 am

A scientific fact can be something that is inferred, not just “observed”. From observations, we can deduce the reality of many unseen and unseeable things. Those are taken to be facts by the use of the rational mind using logical proofs.
It is irksome to hear it repeated that something unseen and religious in nature or origin cannot be real because it cannot be seen, all the while holding many things to be true that are also unseen.
Similarly there are things which are unknowable because the information necessary exists outside our frame of reference. A painter creates a painting. The painting, the created, is incapable of comprehending the painter, the creator.
What constitutes a proof for a religious person, proof of the existence of the Creator and Revelation, is different for different people. Some are convinced by prayer, some by inspiration, some by logic, some by miracles, some by prophecy fulfilled, others through other means. Some require multiple forms of proof.
Humankind is utterly incapable of ‘creating religions’ and an advancing society from whole cloth (out of thin air). Humans are in need of a Divine Educator. This can be demonstrated by logical proofs. However not many people are able to follow a set of logical propositions and argument to its logical conclusion. Bertrand Russel, author of a logical proof of the existence of God (a Creator) famously said, “I can prove logically that God exists, but I still don’t believe in Him.” He is of course free to make such a choice, but it does not invalidate his proof nor does it make sense to reject it.

richard verney
Reply to  Mark
December 4, 2015 9:36 am

I not sure that religions were founded from the study of the celestial bodies. However, there was one that was. It was based upon the sun as the creator and giver of life.
The first specifically and definitively known example of monotheism is accredited to the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten of the 18th dynasty (father of Tutankhaten who subsequently changed his name to Tutankhamen), who abandoned all the old gods of Egypt, and instead worshiped the sun. The sun god was known as Aten, and the religion Atenism.
Wikipedia notes:

He [Akhenaten] is especially noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten, which is sometimes described as monotheistic or henotheistic.

It does not appear that Atenism has much to do with the religion set out in the bible, and Judo-Christian religion appears to have developed independently, but there is some similarity between Psalm 104 (which is addressed to the Hebrew god) and the Hymn to Aten (which as its name suggests is addressed to Aten, the Sun God).
See further: A. Knight and Amy Jill Levine’s excellent book, The Meaning of the Bible.

On the wall of a 14th century BCE tomb in Egypt archaeologists found a beautiful hymn to the god Aten. The Aten’s claim to fame is that he is sole God of a monotheistic belief espoused by Pharaoh Akhenaten (1352-1336) in an era when most Egyptians believed in many gods.

What’s curious about the Great Hymn to the Aten is that it closely mirrors Psalm 104 in our Bible as a song of praise to the creator, though written hundreds of years before any of the Bible. Psalm 104, of course, is addressed not to the Aten but to YHWH, the god of the Hebrews. Here are some parallels highlighted by Knight and Levine’s book:

O Sole God beside whom there is none! – to Aten

O YHWH my God you are very great. – to YHWH

How many are your deeds … You made the earth as you wished, you alone, All peoples, herds, and flocks. – to Aten

O YHWH, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. to YHWH

When you set in western lightland, Earth is in darkness as if in death – to Aten

You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out. – to YHWH

Every lion comes from its den – to Aten

The young lions roar for their prey .. when the sun rises, they withdraw, and lie down in their dens. – to YHWH

When you have dawned they live, When you set they die; – to Aten

When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die – to YHWH

You set every man in his place, You supply their needs; Everyone has his food. – to Aten

These all look to you to give them their food in due season. – to YHWH

The entire land sets out to work – to Aten

People go out to their work and to their labor until the evening – to YHWH

The fish in the river dart before you, Your rays are in the midst of the sea. – to Aten

Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there – to YHWH

Birds fly from their nests, Their wings greeting your ka – to Aten

By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches – to YHWH

He makes waves on the mountain like the sea, To drench their fields and their towns. – to Aten

You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills … The trees of YHWH are watered abundantly – to YHWH

Obviously it is not a word for word copy, but the theme is very similar not simply as a whole, but almost on a line by line basis.

JohnKnight
Reply to  richard verney
December 4, 2015 2:23 pm

richard verney,
It looks to me like classic “cherry picking”, just placing in pairs lines that have some words that are similar. There’s no context or order given, and Psalm 104 has a whole lot more verses than mentioned in what you posted . . and even then, the pairs don’t even say similar things in several instances. I suggest a bit a skepticism is in order.

Yirgach
Reply to  richard verney
December 4, 2015 4:18 pm

Reads like a comparison of some of the code I wrote (stole) from someone else…

urederra
Reply to  Mark
December 4, 2015 10:32 am

Mark
December 4, 2015 at 5:01 am
Well the fact that humans created religion from the study of the sun, moon, and stars means religion was originally science.

Under my point of view, the creation of religion has more to do with death, as an evolution of ceremonial burial.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  urederra
December 4, 2015 10:39 am

IMO religion grew out of belief in a spirit world, filled with good and evil spirits whose aid could be invoked or maliciousness warded off by shamanistic rituals and offerings. Among these spirits were those of ancestors, but they also inhabited plants, animals, rocks, rivers, mountains, what have you.

george e. smith
Reply to  Mark
December 4, 2015 10:55 am

Well if wayback, science actually was thinking rationally about what was observed, then almost surely the origin of religion was more about the exploitation of fear of the unknown, by slick snake oil salesmen. Aka Witch doctors and shamans and the like, priests too.
So no, I do not believe religion was originally science; quite anti science in fact.
Even today we have the slicksters (Obama for example) who refuse to accept that the only book that their religious doctrine says is even necessary, directly dictates that NO other religious belief or practice can be tolerated at all, and must be exterminated or converted.
Funny that this study, doesn’t seem to say much about the one world ” religion ” that is completely incompatible, and anathemic to democratic ideas, or even freedom of thought.
g

JohnKnight
Reply to  Mark
December 4, 2015 1:24 pm

Mark,
Mark,
“Well the fact that humans created religion from the study of the sun, moon, and stars means religion was originally science.”
How could you possibly know as a “fact” that “humans created religion from the study of the sun, moon, and stars”?

Somebody
December 4, 2015 5:04 am

Did they count climastrologists as scientists? Would be great to know how it’s distributed among sciences, because not all of them are equal.

Reply to  Somebody
December 4, 2015 6:34 am

Somebody – I’d find that interesting as well. Many years ago I read an article which claimed that the proportion of atheists and believers varied according to the degree to which the field dealt with man, the man-centered sciences (anthropology, sociology, etc.) having more atheists while the non-man-centered (astronomy, physics, etc.) had more believers. But I don’t recall if it had any hard numbers; the article might have reflected the author’s biases more than reality.
I do find it interesting to contrast the significant presence of atheists and agnostics on skeptical forums like this, with the charge I’ve heard from a few AGW “true believers” that the ranks of skeptics are primarily filled with religious believers and motivated by irrational faith. Heh. Smacks of projection to me.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Somebody
December 4, 2015 8:33 am

Somebody, this doesn’t answer your excellent question, but, in case you are interested, here is one example of a world famous nanotech chemist (James Tour of Rice, University) who is also a believer in Jeshua being the Messiah (i.e., he is Jewish and also a believer in Jesus):
“Nanotech and Jesus Christ — James Tour at Georgia Tech”

(Veritas Forum on youtube)
And PBVQ4, Dr. Tour, as you will see in the above video, is quite willing to say: “I — don’t — know.”

Steve
Reply to  Janice Moore
December 5, 2015 8:02 pm

Janice, Thanks for this. I had not hear of Dr. Tour, but will now seek information. A person who is Jewish and embraces Joshua as Messiah has an interestingly flexible mind.

Dave Lowery
December 4, 2015 5:09 am

As a long term fan and reader of WUWT, I have never enjoyed the (few) religious posts and comments. This is an example that doesn’t help or add to the (predominantly) AGW discussion. And the notion that “(Religion provides) a check on those times you might be tempted to shortcut…” is trying to claim that religion helps people behave in a moral way. As if those of us with no belief are less likely to do so.
Looking around the world at current behaviour of many of the faithful does not support that idea.

Reply to  Dave Lowery
December 4, 2015 5:31 am

I think it is an important aspect of the AGW discussion as many religious leaders are now weighing in on the discussion. Could Catholic scientists be influenced by what the pope has been saying lately?

Reply to  Dave Lowery
December 4, 2015 6:00 am

“is trying to claim that religion helps people behave in a moral way.”
To seriously contend that it doesn’t, on both the personal and societal levels, in the face of reason and experience, is nothing less than an intellectual dishonesty. That is made even clearer by the inconsistency of new atheists who blame religion for moral evils: if, as they contend, religion causes people to behave in an “immoral” way, it can likewise help them to behave in a “moral” way. I place “moral” between quotation marks because, as always, it’s terribly unclear atheists even mean by the word.
“As if those of us with no belief are less likely to do so.”
Not only is that suggestion not logically implied by the previous proposition, but your lack of “belief” does not alter the fact that you were raised within a culture whose values have beem inspired, shaped and entrenched by the Christian religion for the better part of 2000 years. And that culture has most certainly influenced your own moral beliefs.
“Looking around the world at current behaviour of many of the faithful does not support that idea.”
Given that they may hold to different values to you, I don’t see your point. Or will the atheist be telling us how he accounts for a moral truth that all men ought to obey? Maybe with some tired old appeal to evolution that new atheists are too dull to realise is – far from being a basis for an absolute and objective morality that provides us with statements which can be assigned truth values – just a concession to another kind of relative, subjective and situational ethics which, as the cherry on top of its stupidity, thinks itself to have stepped around the little problem of the is-ought fallacy by presuming, as English utilitarians did with “pleasure”, survival as an “ought”. It’s nothing essentially new: just the old-as-the-hills attempt to ground morality in the supposed nature of the very agents who are supposed to obey it but most inconveniently don’t want to.

MarkW
Reply to  Luke Peto (@LUKEPET0)
December 4, 2015 6:44 am

Many atheists divide the world into two camps. The religious and the atheists. To them all religions are the same so talking about the theological differences between say, Christianity and Islam makes no sense.

Reply to  Luke Peto (@LUKEPET0)
December 4, 2015 10:09 am

@Luke Peto, who writes (somewhat sarcastically): “will the atheist be telling us how he accounts for a moral truth that all men ought to obey?”
Luke, the words amoral and atheist are different for a reason; not all morality requires belief in an old man in a sky chair. There are several examples of non-theist philosophies that engage in discussing right and wrong (the essential part of morality). It’s more than a bit arrogant to present a claim that “Christian religion” is responsible for all moral behavior, or that without it a person us unable to interpret moral questions.
The Christian bible is the source of one moral framework, it’s not the only one. In general the Abrahamic traditions all share the same one so I’m not trying to stand up for Judaism or Islam when I say that; their really are well established atheist philosophies that present moral principals. Buddhism for example is an atheist worldview, yet one of the more common goals of its practitioners is “right action”, implying there is also “wrong action”. People have argued Buddhists are discussing aesthetics rather than morality, personally I don’t find the difference in viewpoints compelling.

george e. smith
Reply to  Luke Peto (@LUKEPET0)
December 4, 2015 11:07 am

So would the golden rule not comprise a completely non religious basis for a code of moral and ethical behavior ??
A case can be made, that Judeo Christianity includes a code of ethical behavior, that is completely unrelated to any of the religious tenets, of either Judaism or Christianity, except that they may have originated within that community.
I would suggest that the essential axiom of religion; any religion, is belief in an omnipotent divine supreme power or “god ” if you will.
What is moral and ethical is not actually bound by any such belief .
g

Michael 2
Reply to  george e. smith
December 4, 2015 2:17 pm

george e. smith “the essential axiom of religion; any religion, is belief in an omnipotent divine supreme power or god if you will.”
Buddhism lacks such a being, yet is conspicuously a religion. But, your mileage can vary; you have used quite a few adjectives.
Would it be still a religion of god was not actually omnipotent? Can he say “Let the earth do something” but not actually wish it into existence completely constructed already, every atom exactly where he wants it, but merely anticipate its development?
Does Supreme merely mean “most” or “best”, or does it mean something more that most?
What is divine? How many mountains must he move, how many planets create, before you acknowledge a god?
I do not require mountains to move; what I require is to move ME, reveal to me something that no human knows or can know, and to reveal that he knows me. And so it has been, and so it is.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Luke Peto (@LUKEPET0)
December 4, 2015 3:13 pm

Bartleby,
“Luke, the words amoral and atheist are different for a reason; not all morality requires belief in an old man in a sky chair.”
I see many people speak in this flippant way, and it makes no sense to me (nor did it when I was not a believer in God, which was most of life). . What exactly is illogical or preposterous about a God creating at least some entities that resembled It in some sense? Or such a Being presenting itself in a physical form that It’s creatures could relate to?
It’s contra-logical to think a God would avoid such things, to my mind.

Reply to  Luke Peto (@LUKEPET0)
December 6, 2015 1:59 am

John Knight writes: “What exactly is illogical or preposterous about a God creating at least some entities that resembled It in some sense?”
I don’t at all suggest that’s preposterous, at least I don’t think I do? “Old man in a sky chair” is an evocative image you recognized immediately. It wasn’t meant to reflect my humility before the described entity and it was intended to be humorous. If it offended you please accept my apologies.
For my own part I’ve always imagined an infinite universe, which of necessity implies the existence of the “Old man in the sky chair”. Positing infinity, the rest is easy … (to liberally steal from one of my favorite theoretical physicists and poets, Roger Zelazny). Being a Buddhist myself (though not a very good one), I’m prone to take theology lightly in many social circumstances. When you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Luke Peto (@LUKEPET0)
December 6, 2015 5:06 pm

Bartleby,
“The Christian bible is the source of one moral framework, it’s not the only one.”
When you write something like that, something so utterly obvious, it appears to me you are intentionally belittling/slandering Christians (in this case, could be anyone). Coyly speaking as though you are the knowledgeable parent, lecturing ignorant little kids.
“Old man in a sky chair” is an evocative image you recognized immediately”.
.Agent provocateur.
Did you recognize that immediately. slick? ; )

MarkW
Reply to  Dave Lowery
December 4, 2015 6:42 am

Translation: I am insecure in my beliefs so I would appreciate it if the rest of you stopped talking about this subject.

Michael 2
Reply to  Dave Lowery
December 4, 2015 7:27 am

“is trying to claim that religion helps people behave in a moral way.”
Yes, absolutely. Religion does two things: Defines what is moral, and then helps people (usually by peer pressure) to conform to that morality.
AGW advocacy, by defining a new morality and peer pressure, has created a new religion. It is entirely proper to consider religion and AGW advocacy on the same page.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Dushanbe
Reply to  Michael 2
December 4, 2015 8:57 am

Michael 2, you are on the right track with that line of thought. It is the lost who fancy that morality is the result of arbitrary volition, that it can be edited at will and have the same force and effect. It is the great defect of materialism, of which communism and capitalism are both aspects. Both aver that creating a comprehensive set of arbitrary moral behaviours will generate happy, productive and contented people. In fact individual enlightenment precedes the transformation of the individual who then, inspired, seeks to create an economy that is universally beneficial. Vision and morality precede material development.

RACookPE1978
Editor
Reply to  Michael 2
December 4, 2015 8:59 am

Brent Bozell, writing in http://www.Townhall.com offered this summary today – But targeted the liberal’s “national press corpse” for their anti-religious bias (hatred actually) that is typical of, and a very large of the the CAGW community activists’ supporters and propagandists against the world’s economies and its innocent victims of their CAGW policies.

Then they named the suspects, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. Remote controls were surely tossed across America when CNN legal analyst Casey Jordan guessed that the Muslim shooter was “going into this conference room where there was a holiday party, which may have been offensive to him.”
Ah, religion.
The media have harbored anti-religious bigotry for years. But now it’s turned vicious. This tragedy drew out liberal animus against those offensive “prayer people” who won’t back gun control. Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten angrily announced on Twitter: “Dear ‘thoughts and prayers’ people: Please shut up and slink away. You are the problem, and everyone knows it.”
Agile critics on Twitter soon sent back a flock of official White House tweets from President Obama himself expressing “thoughts and prayers” after the terrorist attacks and during the Ebola epidemic. On the morning after the San Bernardino attack, he again offered his “thoughts and prayers” to the victims, proving one can be prayerful and agitate for gun control simultaneously.
The New York Daily News really turned the volume up, with this ranting tabloid headline: “GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS.” The subheadline below said “As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes.”
For a major city newspaper to use their front page to mock people who are praying after what happened in San Bernardino is unconscionable and unbefitting a publication that purports to be a serious media outlet. This newspaper should have apologized for comparing prayer to “meaningless platitudes” — both to Republican leaders and to people of faith — and then fired the person responsible for approving such a vile front page and cover story.
The Lichter-Rothman “Media Elite” surveys back in 1981 revealed that 50 percent of the news media did not believe in God and 86 percent seldom or never went to church or synagogue. You can only surmise that it’s worsened since then. If you don’t want to believe in God, it’s sad but acceptable. But what the Daily News lunged far further, ridiculing people of faith for offering simple prayers after a massacre.
No one in the liberal media seemed to think this might offend the audience at home, who were sending their prayers for the victims. CNN, the same people who air legal analysts who wonder about murder being caused by offensive “holiday parties,” couldn’t see why that nasty front page might be revolting, and promoted it every hour on the hour. Anchorman Don Lemon read most of the front page on the air, and asked a spokesman for the liberal Brady Campaign for a response. On cue, Dan Gross said, “Religion doesn’t need to be part of this conversation.”
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell suggested it was a natural rebuke: “All the talk of prayer prompted an angry tabloid headline in today’s New York Daily News.” On CBS, morning anchor Gayle King offered praise for this junk: “I thought that headline was very powerful.” Later, co-anchor Charlie Rose added to the offense: “As the New York Daily News said, God is not going to fix it. We have to fix it.”
Our largely secular press forget that radical Muslims see America as the Great Satan, as godless. Their promotion of this bigoted rant against God only deepens the terrorists’ hatred for our country.
We offer our prayers. It’s what civilized people do.

TheLastDemocrat
Reply to  Dave Lowery
December 4, 2015 8:55 am

Dave Lowery: you can choose to not read these posts. But the God issue is very relevant. Here, discussing the nature of knowledge, the universe, social process, and so on, our various views will often back up into our World View: our concept of the nature of the universe, our place in it, and what can be known about it.
I was not a believer or follower of any religion until my 30s. I was taught science and epistemology, and have a good grasp on these. A series of events led me to review and consider Christianity, and I became a Christian.
Since that point, my contemplation of God, knowledge, science, evidence and truth has become much sharper and much more complex and refine.
Regarding your cheap attack on the behavior of the faithful: Christian charity is the greatest charitable/beneficient force in the history of mankind. I admit that I am not perfect – please don’t hold me to a standard of perfection – but you would be impressed if you compared the reborn me to the pre-Christian me. You might want to consider that for any real-world Christian you meet – you might be seeing them being twice as decent as they were before adopting a Christian life.
As for other religions, I cannot say much. It is ridiculous if you are lumping in Christians – known across the planet to venture into humanitarian efforts under the worst of conditions – with some of the other religions out there.
Does discussion of religion “add” to the discussion of AGW? That is the wrong question for some of us – for some of us, it is essential, like having to select a language – any language – to discuss something – it cannot be done without language. Is it superfluous? This is like asking whether scientific conferences are better now that we have powerpoint, versus overheads – I would see some advantage to adding powerpoint, but we could still carry on without it.
Despite not adhering to a religious system, you may behave morally. I believe you are benefiting from a legacy of religiously based moral inculcation. Your children will be a bit less moral, and your grandchildren will be worse off- until everyone redefines what is “moral” – in the media right now, they are trying to describe this recent jihad attack in any terms other than describing the people as immoral – it is gun control, it is bigotry, it is hate speech, it is the Christmas party – anything but immorality.
Since I have a clear view of the universe and everything in it, I can see this. The media cannot because they have redefined morality rather than admit to becoming less moral as they become more culturally removed from the God who got us all to this point.

Allen
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
December 4, 2015 3:10 pm

I find the most zealous religion bigots are those who have spent little time getting to know a particular religion but somehow can pronounce on (i.e. judge) it. Like you, TheLastDemocrat, I have training in science and philosophy (in particular philosophies of science and political thought). Also, I am a practicing Catholic. Not only do I experience little conflict between my religious practice and my scientific practice, the former provides moral guidance when doing the latter. There is a coherent world view available to the critical thinking Christian that includes the immensely beneficial knowledge mankind has gained through science.

Dave Lowery
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
December 4, 2015 11:38 pm

“… your children will be a bit less moral, and your grandchildren will be worse off…” I don’t know you and you certainly don’t know me, but you are demonstrating pretty perfectly what Christopher Hitchens meant when he said (as the sub-title to his excellent book “God Is Not Great”) How religion poisons everything.

JohnKnight
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
December 6, 2015 5:24 pm

Poisons everything if you’re a narcissist, I suppose.

Kev-in-Uk
December 4, 2015 5:14 am

It depends on what one defines as ‘religion’. If, as most religions started out,it is essentially an ethical/decency code to be followed (as preached by whoever) then it can surely coexist with science. OTOH, if it is based on some blind faith, perhaps in a superbeing or some other proposed ‘protector’ or worse, some alleged nirvana ‘for the righteous’ – these are things that cannot really be squared with a scientific mind. In essence the scientist cannot (should not?) accept a blind faith based concept (i.e. without hard evidence) as it nulls all their real world science principles. Just my view…but I’m an atheist all the way up to level 11!

MarkW
Reply to  Kev-in-Uk
December 4, 2015 6:44 am

Do you have any evidence that religions started out as ethical codes? Or is this just blind faith on your part?

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Kev-in-Uk
December 4, 2015 7:09 am

Kev, I’m not sure of the current definitions, but years ago, in a comparative religion class, I was taught that the difference between the atheist and the agnostic was that the atheist ‘believes’ in the non existence of a supreme being while the agnostic says “I don’t know.” Etymologically, the word ‘atheist’ means “not, or no God” where the word ‘agnostic’ means, “not, or no knowledge.”

Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 4, 2015 8:29 am

Joe Crawford said: “Etymologically, the word ‘atheist’ means “not, or no God””
I think “a-” as a prefix means “without” as in “agnostic” means “without knowledge (of God)” and atheist means “without God”
In my opinion atheist does not mean belief in the non-existence of God but living without ever thinking about God.
More people are atheists than admit it because in many cultures and countries including the US, atheists face various kinds of penalties.

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 4, 2015 9:32 am

(from Google)

Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός gnostikos, “having knowledge”, from γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern term categorizing a collection of ancient religions whose adherents shunned the material world – which they viewed as created by the demiurge – and embraced the spiritual world.

the·ism
ˈTHēˌizəm
noun
belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 4, 2015 9:49 am

Frederick Colbourne:
You say

In my opinion atheist does not mean belief in the non-existence of God but living without ever thinking about God.

You are entitled to your opinion but it does not alter reality.
As I said in this thread at here.
“Deists have a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the existence of God(s).
Atheists have a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the non-existence of God(s).
Agnostics have no religious belief.
If atheism is not a religion then – using the same logic – Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are not a religions.”
I here add that atheists often pretend to be agnostics when proselytising their religion.
Richard

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 4, 2015 11:06 am

Richard, it seem to me that antitheism would have been a better word to describe the religion of atheism.
In the same sense that amorality is not quite immorality.

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 4, 2015 11:13 am

Here’s an interesting song on the subject by the Icelandic band ‘The Sugarcubes’:

whiten
Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 4, 2015 11:56 am

Frederick Colbourne
December 4, 2015 at 8:29 am
I think “a-” as a prefix means “without” as in “agnostic” means “without knowledge (of God)” and atheist means “without God”
——————-
And in case it helps what follows the prefix, the “a”, is the main part of the word, the base “-thei” which from Greek means god in plural, or gods.
So from this prospect the word “atheist” should be ” one without gods” (many gods).
Funny enough, one of the most related synonyms linguistically for the word “polytheism” is “theism”
In Greek, God is Theo not “thei”.
I don’t know, but if considering the Ten Commandments wouldn’t be possible that any one believing in God will be considered an atheist by default !
Wondering who were the first ever atheists considered for the word to be borne!
Even my spell-checker has no problem with “Theo”, but “seems a bit upset” as I keep ignoring the warning that the word “thei” is not proper…..:a bit of an atheist spell-checker I have. )
Also atheism by default means a religion orientated around the concept of divinity, even when in mainstream it may be claimed as considering the rejection, the non acceptance or the contempt about divinity or worshipers of other religions.
cheers

george e. smith
Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 4, 2015 12:28 pm

So Richard, in your view would the evidence free belief in the existence of strings and multiverses, constitute a religion, and also a religion in which the existence; or non existence of (a) ‘god’ is quite irrelevant ??
I personally see NO intimate belief in some deity as having anything to do with ethics or morality, other than the fact that many persons do get their code of ethics and morality from such a source.
And the often described or asserted Judeo-Christian origins of America (USA) don’t necessarily mean the religious aspects of that Judeo-Christian culture.
I know not a jot about Hinduism, but I doubt that the code of ethics and morality of the millions of Hindus is identical to Judeo-Christian code, or for that matter is any less or any more “righteous” as a way to behave toward others.
g

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 4, 2015 12:34 pm

George,
Hinduism has a caste system which Christianity lacks. But I grant that ethical behavior within one’s class probably isn’t too different between polytheistic Hinduism and at least some monotheistic belief systems.
Some scholars think that Yeshua, the itinerant, 1st Century, rural Aramaic preacher of Essene bent, might have gotten the Golden Rule from Buddhists.

Michael 2
Reply to  Kev-in-Uk
December 4, 2015 7:34 am

Kev-in-UK writes “if it is based on some blind faith … these are things that cannot really be squared with a scientific mind.”
That is correct. You put your scientific mind on a shelf and you bring out your happy joyful mind and contemplate happiness now and forever.
There’s no room in science for happiness, joy, faith, hope or charity.
Then tomorrow you bring out your scientific mind and do whatever you do with it.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael 2
December 4, 2015 10:58 am

Michael 2,
I practice science with a happy, joyful, hopeful and charitable mind.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 2:20 pm

Gloateus Maximus writes “I practice science with a happy, joyful, hopeful and charitable mind.”
Then that is your religion, and I am glad you have found happiness.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael 2
December 4, 2015 2:32 pm

Michael 2,
No, it’s not my religion. I also play ball, hunt, fish, cook, swim, sail and fly the same way. I play with my kids, enjoy my wife’s company and friends in the same spirit. Co-workers, not always so much.
I just mentioned science because you seemed to think it isn’t a source of joy and fulfillment.
BTW, some theologians don’t consider Buddhism a religion. The mystic monk Thomas Merton thought that Christians could practice Buddhism.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 2:50 pm

Gloateus Maximus writes “I just mentioned science because you seemed to think it isn’t a source of joy and fulfillment.”
That is correct. Science is just a word representing an aggregation of knowledge. It is static. I suspect your enjoyment stems from “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” (Richard P. Feynman) as it is certainly so for me. I suspect humans, in particular those whose heritage includes the renaissance and industrial revolution, have a wired desire to “find things out”. Science is not joy; doing science can be joyful particularly if that science involves experiments, travel, adventure and OPM.
“some theologians don’t consider Buddhism a religion. The mystic monk Thomas Merton thought that Christians could practice Buddhism.”
Religion is one of those things easy to see but impossible to define. Christianity is somewhat poorly defined but I agree that most Christians could also be Buddhists and better for it, too.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael 2
December 7, 2015 10:53 am

Michael,
Science is hardly static, despite the false assertion that “climate science” is settled.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 7, 2015 3:42 pm

Gloateus Maximus writes “Science is hardly static, despite the false assertion that “climate science” is settled.”
Indeed. I very much enjoy reading about new science. The venues for reading are shrinking as one by one the popular journals swing left.
You’ll love this one:
“Ogunseitan adds that while breaking open a single LED and breathing in its fumes wouldn’t likely cause cancer, our bodies hardly need more toxic substances floating around, as the combined effects could be a disease trigger. If any LEDs break at home, Ogunseitan recommends sweeping them up while wearing gloves and a mask, and disposing of the debris and even the broom as hazardous waste.”
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/led-lightbulb-concerns/
It isn’t revealed what it would take to “break” an LED or what kind of fumes emanate from a tiny chip of gallium nitride. Obviously they are discussing CFL’s. What kind of science magazine doesn’t know the difference between light emitting diode and compact flourescent lamp?

Retired Engineer John
Reply to  Kev-in-Uk
December 4, 2015 5:13 pm

If you look at the earliest religions, you will find that they existed before civil law and were the guidance used to keep the social order. The Jewish religion did not mention in it’s writings a hereafter until the writings of Daniel which was several hundred years after the religion was formed. The promise was for good crops and victory in battle.

whiten
Reply to  Retired Engineer John
December 5, 2015 4:54 am

Retired Engineer John
December 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm
I may be wrong but, when it comes to the promise you are considering, the scriptures are clear, was a promise to a people, a promise to take the Izraelite people out of slavery and in to freedom, a promise to make these people become a nation and a nation fully consolidated in the promised land.
cheers

JohnKnight
Reply to  Kev-in-Uk
December 4, 2015 5:24 pm

Kev,
“In essence the scientist cannot (should not?) accept a blind faith based concept (i.e. without hard evidence) as it nulls all their real world science principles.”
Please consider this hypothetical situation;
A man wonders about the existence of God, gods, etc . . He asks any such Entity that might exist to demonstrate that It does. A large rock suddenly appears in the middle of floor.
That would be hard evidence, right? Not to some scientists who were not there, of course, but to the man, it would be nothing like having “blind faith” to believe what he observed with his own eyes, right?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  JohnKnight
December 4, 2015 6:11 pm

It could also mean a random earthquake struck at that moment. Strange proof of existence. I could think of better ways. What you’re describing is confirmation bias.

JohnKnight
Reply to  JohnKnight
December 5, 2015 1:31 am

Jeff,
“It could also mean a random earthquake struck at that moment.”
Sir, it’s a hypothetical . . not a creative writing exercise.
Any relation to Jack Handdy, per chance ; )

icecreamchuck
December 4, 2015 5:19 am

they should consider climastrologists as part of a subset of religion that we typically call “cults.”

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  icecreamchuck
December 4, 2015 10:50 am

True, but the original set is being assimilated by the papal endorsed subset, which has already done damage to the faith of people like myself, who have wrestled with the discrepancies of science christianity, but taken comfort and personal guidance in St. Paul’s letters and Christ’s words of forgiveness and promises of God’s presence to support his children until he decides it is time to end this world.

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  Dawtgtomis
December 4, 2015 10:53 am

Sorry, must have imagined the ‘and’ between “science and christianity”.

george e. smith
Reply to  icecreamchuck
December 4, 2015 12:31 pm

Isn’t a cult simply that other person’s religion ??

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  george e. smith
December 4, 2015 2:00 pm

An astute observation, for sure George.

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  george e. smith
December 4, 2015 3:48 pm

(At the risk of flirting with vulgarity, the word bears a resemblance to the term often used for “the other woman” in an insultive insinuation.)

DesertYote
Reply to  george e. smith
December 5, 2015 1:26 pm

No. The word cult has a very specific meaning that distinguishes it from religion.

Leo Smith
December 4, 2015 5:24 am

Religion is based on a different suite of metaphysical assumptions than science. We have no way of determining which set of assumptions are ‘true’.
Ergo people who are able to live with uncertainty can accommodate both points of view as simply limited views on a larger reality.
Those who cannot accommodate different assumption sets but have a pathological need for certainty will become either passionate defenders of religion, or atheism (or climate science).
All world-views that are extant today, project a suite of noumenous ’causes’ in some abstract realm to explain the phenomena of experience. Science has ‘natural laws’, Religion has personalities (at least the Semitic religions, and pagan European religions do).
*shrug* take your pick. Science considers the world an impersonal mechanism, and gets some good predictive answers , but gives no (spiritual) comfort. Religion consoles and flatters us with self importance, and considers us individually important, but gives no real answers at all.

Glenn999
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 4, 2015 6:23 am

Deism

Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 5:25 am

Surveys which rate scientists by their achievements generally find the highest performing scientists today to be the least religious. There are of course exceptions, and before the mid-20th century faith was more common among even leading scientists, if often heretical.

Marcus
December 4, 2015 5:27 am

Most scientists are Agnostic, not atheist…..IMHO

AndyE
Reply to  Marcus
December 4, 2015 5:59 am

Marcus : Sure, as a scientist, and acting scientifically, you would be agnostic. But as a human (I presume all scientists are human) you may choose to employ a religious framework as a means to rule your mind and thoughts – you choose your ethics, so to speak. That is an intellectual, an existential, choice. We humans are wonderfully equipped with the ability to imagine. That sets us apart from all other creation. We can run sort of “parallel universes” in our minds – and we don’t ever confuse those “universes” with the real universe, the one with all the real elements in it. (Some folks do confuse the two, though – they are considered ill with schizophrenia).

Reply to  AndyE
December 4, 2015 6:16 am

I think he really means that most scientists are agnostic. I would add that most people are also.
The universe did not just pop into existence via some “random chance”. How it got here, and then life appeared, is an open question that we may never be able to answer. Agnostic means, “beats hell outta me”. And that my friend may be the best answer we have. (unless Mother Mary appeared to you personally and explained it all —> she has not done that in my case)
To be atheist means you think you know that the universe just appeared from no cause and that that there is nothing beyond what we can see and measure. That is truly a ridiculous position.
~ Mark the agnostic 🙂

Reply to  AndyE
December 4, 2015 8:34 am

AndyE, you are very generous. I often read a news item and think that the characters have acted in a way that illustrates quite convincingly that they might confuse those “universes” with the real universe. When one of those universes includes immortal beings that reign over creation, I’d say there might be some potential for confusion between universes; it is not politically correct, and likely not correct at all, to say that such confusion, even when not the result of misguided teaching, or of personal misinterpretation, could actually be the result of a mental disorder.
On the other hand, I haven’t met any believers who appear to believe, in any practical sense, that the physical and spiritual worlds are actually two parallel, non-interacting universes. For most, these worlds are aspects of a single reality, with characteristics that can be more active in one world than the other. Cognitive dissonance does not arise because conflicts are all resolved by definition.

Reply to  AndyE
December 4, 2015 8:35 am

Darned formatting tags. Should have been a close-italics after “with the real universe”.

george e. smith
Reply to  AndyE
December 4, 2015 12:38 pm

So Mark, does a failure to devise a credible and rational explanation for some phenomenon justify the blind acceptance of some completely irrational, or in your view ridiculous explanation ??
g

Reply to  AndyE
December 4, 2015 3:44 pm

So Mark, does a failure to devise a credible and rational explanation for some phenomenon justify the blind acceptance of some completely irrational, or in your view ridiculous explanation ??
g

The failure to come up with a credible explanation for some phenomenon often means we should say, “beats hell out of me right now”. No need to go all irrational like those who claim some magical “singularity” (whatever that is) brought forth all that exists. That explanation is as stupid as “a white haired santa big daddy in the sky” did it all. Sometimes we just don’t know.
Science does itself a large injury when it says that there is nothing outside of methodological materialism. Science can only deal with this universe and with what can be measured and observed. If there is more then it is outside science — but that does not mean it does not exist.

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things

The Tao (Dao) exists but we can not even name it. The the ordering principle that makes cosmic harmony possible exists (or I think it does), but that does not mean I know exactly what it is. I don’t think it is some “god” as western thought would have it. No “big daddy”. (but I could be wrong — I am agnostic after all)
I hope that answered your question.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  AndyE
December 4, 2015 6:16 pm

To be atheist means you think you know that the universe just appeared from no cause and that that there is nothing beyond what we can see and measure. That is truly a ridiculous position.

No, it means there’s no evidence of anything beyond what we can see, measure, or infer. I can safely assume there are no gods, since no evidence exists, observationally or inferentially.

JohnKnight
Reply to  AndyE
December 5, 2015 12:56 am

Jeff Alberts,
This is a rational statement to my mind;
*There’s no evidence I am aware of, of anything beyond what I can see, measure, or infer.*
This is not;
“… there’s no evidence of anything beyond what we can see, measure, or infer.”
You are not a God yourself, sir. It is utterly unscientific to state as a matter of fact that no evidence exists. And it also is clearing ignoring the existence of many evidences, like the Book, a great many testimonies, etc. . That’s evidence, beyond any rational doubt, whether you consider it significant/persuasive or not, for you are not any sort of God, sir. (right?)

seaice1
December 4, 2015 5:41 am

““And as long as science is global, then we need to recognize that the borders between science and religion are more permeable than most people think.””
This is can of worms. Firstly, a survey cannot tell us what is and what is not. Surveys of climate scientists cannot tell us what science is right, only what most scientists think is right. Surveys of religious scientists cannot tell us where the borders are, only where these scientists think it is.
The survey might tell us that many people think the border is pretty permeable, but that does not tell us if the border actually is permeable.
Only if we define the permeability of the border as what people think it is does the conclusion follow from the survey.
I say that the border between religion and science is not a matter to be decided by polls, but by philosophical enquiry for the truth.
Also, “While it is commonly assumed that most scientists are atheists” I am not sure this is correct. We need a survey to find out.

Reply to  seaice1
December 4, 2015 5:56 am

I don’t think the authors of this study meant it to be a substitute for philosophical thought or a quest for the ultimate truth. As it says in the third paragraph from the bottom:

…the researchers hoped to gain a representative look at scientists’ views on religion, ethics and how both intersect with their scientific work.

seaice1
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 6:26 am

Yes, I think the authors recognise that, but in the statement I quoted I think Ecklund has gone too far.
It was interesting to me given the discussion about what surveys can tell us in the context of climate change. It would be similar to saying that because the majority of scientists think AGW is real, that AGW is real.

george e. smith
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 12:42 pm

Well in the realm of Philosophy, you have deviated from the realm of Science. Science doesn’t care how you think and feel; which is why science also excludes religion.
g
No I didn’t say science and religion are incompatible. It’s just that neither includes the tools for the other.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  seaice1
December 4, 2015 12:26 pm

It’s clearly non sequitur.

TonyL
December 4, 2015 6:01 am

Is it not true that science and religion concern themselves with totally different questions?
They are not really different ways of looking at reality so much as they are looking at different parts of our reality, both seen and unseen.
Science and religion only overlap when both are stretched right to their limits, and maybe a bit beyond.
To me they do not seem to be in conflict, nor should they be.

Reply to  TonyL
December 4, 2015 6:23 am

From modern interpretations of Christianity, you might get this impression. However, the bible is quite specific about how the world and man were created etc. — it is just “convenient” for “modern” followers of religion to not harp on it, since it is so obviously out of touch with the scientific interpretation of the geological record. Those people who still take the bible literally are indeed at odds with modern science.

Beverly Pruden
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 7:12 am

Check out this book: “In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation”

richardscourtney
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 8:03 am

Michael Palmer:
You mistakenly assert

From modern interpretations of Christianity, you might get this impression. However, the bible is quite specific about how the world and man were created etc. — it is just “convenient” for “modern” followers of religion to not harp on it, since it is so obviously out of touch with the scientific interpretation of the geological record. Those people who still take the bible literally are indeed at odds with modern science.

Yes, people who take the Bible literally are at odds with science. They are also at odds with the Bible.
Similarly, people who assert “the bible is quite specific about how the world and man were created etc. — it is just “convenient” for “modern” followers of religion to not harp on it” are also at odds with the Bible.
Both groups make their untrue assertions in support of their cults.
In reality, the first two chapters of the Book titled Genesis in the Bible provide two creation stories which disagree with each other.
Genesis 1 is most of the Creation Myth of the nomadic tribes: its NIV translation can be read here.
Genesis 2 is the completion of the Creation Myth of the nomadic tribes and then the Creation Myth of the agrarian tribes: its NIV translation can be read here.
Genesis 2 verses 5 and 6 say (NIV)

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.

So which is it?
“no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up”
or
“the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden”?
Actually, neither. One suggestion is from the nomadic myth and the other is from the agrarian myth.
Both myths were collected and selected for recording as written text in what we call the Old Testament (OT). The collection, selection and writing of material included in the OT was conducted by a sect known as the Scribes who feared that the culture of the Israelites was being lost during their second exile in Babylon.
Clearly, the Scribes did not intend their writings to be a physics text book: if they had intended that then they would have recorded one Creation Myth and not two.
Richard

Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 11:18 am

Richard,
so, everything in the bible that is contradicted by something else in the bible is ruled invalid? Interesting concept. If we look for contradictions hard enough, there might no be much left in the end. For example:
Is God vengeful, or is he clement? Apparently both, that is, neither, so He probably just doesn’t care about us. Considering the course of human history so far, that sounds about right to me.
But if He doesn’t care about us, would He have bothered with us as the crowning achievement of His creation? Not likely (although the botched job that is us might suggest the existence of a Creator who did not care – so there is that argument in support of our creation by Him).
If you do not agree with the conclusion of my 5 minute self-help bible study, I say unto you: Blessed are the cheesemakers.
Regards, Michael

Michael 2
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 1:48 pm

Michael Palmer writes “so, everything in the bible that is contradicted by something else in the bible is ruled invalid?”
More properly ruled *uncertain*.
“If we look for contradictions hard enough, there might no be much left in the end.”
That is correct. It is a type of redundancy check code. Whatever is left either wasn’t important enough to create a contrary item, or is so agreed-upon that no one dares suggest otherwise. One can find instances of violating 9 or so of the 10 commandments in ways that seem approved or commanded, the exception appears to be (in the OT anway) no one was ever commanded to worship another god.
That suggests when the non-religious history and politics is removed, and the conflicted parts removed, it boils down to:
God exists.
Fair enough!
“Is God vengeful, or is he clement? Apparently both, that is, neither, so He probably just doesn’t care about us. Considering the course of human history so far, that sounds about right to me.”
Precisely. You are flipping from the one to the many back to the one, confusing yourself mostly. It is clear he cares about “us” but whether he cares about “you” is less certain. With some people he has been clement, with others, vengeful — but how can that be? A clue emanates from Genesis — there’s more than one! One cares (Jehovah), one is vengeful (Elohim, itself a plural word). Mercy cannot rob Justice; but Mercy can *pay* Justice and extend clemency to you. There’s god (justice) and the son of god (mercy). Two principles cannot co-exist at the same time and same place. There’s a third principle, knowledge.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 11:35 am

Dear Michael Palmer,
I hope you will take the time to consider this thought:
Would someone who did not care for you sacrifice their child to save your life?
“For God so loved the world
that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish
but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
(and no serious scholar rejects the historicity of Jesus — that is just a fly-in-the-face-of-the-evidence way to avoid dealing with what He said and did)
As to apparent contradictions in the character of God — do you think it might be possible that God is too deep for our minds to fully grasp? To create a being as WONDERFULLY MADE as you (have you studied DNA protein synthesis at all?) would take a great Mind. Perhaps, that Mind is too deep to explain itself to you, even to someone with your fine intellectual abilities.
Sincerely,
Janice

Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 12:05 pm

Hello Janice,
thanks for your reply.
Yes, I have studied some molecular biology (in fact, it so happens that my trade is biochemistry), and I wholeheartedly agree with your admiration for Nature’s wonders. I also admire the genuine charity and compassion displayed by many devout Christians like (I take it) yourself, as well as my parents and grandparents.
I also fully admit that no near-complete explanation exists for how the world, or life on earth, came to be. That said, however, I can’t find it in me to be persuaded by the metaphysical or physical tenets of the bible or any other holy books, as far as they run counter to common sense and experience. While I guess that makes me an agnostic, I have no issue with other people coming to different conclusions.
Best wishes, Michael

Michael 2
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 1:22 pm

Michael Palmer wrote “I can’t find it in me to be persuaded by the metaphysical or physical tenets of the bible or any other holy books, as far as they run counter to common sense and experience.”
How hard have you tried?
“Let there be light” — yes, that does seem to be how it started (big bang).
“Let the earth bring forth life” Genesis 1:11 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”
The magical, ex-nihilo creation frequently preached from Christian pulpits does not seem to originate in the bible.
I can as easily say, “Let Michael Palmer do something” and maybe you’ll do it and maybe not, but if you do it won’t be because I said “let you do it”, but then again, maybe it is so.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 12:08 pm

Janice,
Have you studied protein synthesis at all? If so, you must know that there is nothing magical or supernatural about it, so that it hardly constitutes a proof of God. Protein synthesis in humans is no more wonderfully made than in other living things.
RNA self-assembles and also serves as both information storage and catalyst.
The evolution of the DNA to RNA to polypeptide process is well understood in general. Some steps might have occurred in more than one way, so are the subject of continuing research, but the process is just biochemistry and microbiology. No creator need apply.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 2:25 pm

Michael 2 — I have nothing against those who will equate “light” with a “big bang” in order to reconcile ancient and modern beliefs, but that is simply not how my mind works. On my very first school report card, my teacher noted: “Michael is very critical.” That trait seems to have stuck with me 😉
But thanks for your thoughtful replies, I enjoyed them.

Michael 2
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 2:54 pm

Michael Palmer writes “in order to reconcile ancient and modern beliefs, but that is simply not how my mind works.”
Well, it is hardly a reconciliation, more of an accident I suspect. My point in bringing it up is that a great many Christian religions are not even in conformity to the written word, quite apart from deciding how strictly one ought to apply that written word to physics and astronomy and so on.
So in this battle I sometimes wade in on either side of the debate with a gentle suggestion to at least argue what the good book actually says. There’s plenty to debate right there without also going into the esoteric beliefs of this sect or that sect.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 2:36 pm

MP & M2,
Light doesn’t appear until pretty late in the Big Bang, then disappears again for a while.
The two creation myths in Genesis comport badly with both the Big Bang and earth history, although it is easier to ferret evolution out of them than it is astronomy, physics, chemistry, meteorology, geology or the rest of biology, although they get evolution wrong, too.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 2:41 pm

Richard,
The Scribes, or whoever compiled the writings to include in Hebrew scripture, repeatedly did what they did in Genesis. Wherever there were two or more texts covering the same or similar material, they included both or all. Sometimes they simply slapped them together, as with the two creation myths, but other times they tried to interweave them, as in the Flood myth. This applies to whole books. Chronicles and Kings are in many places practically identical, but the editors included both.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 6:21 pm

Would someone who did not care for you sacrifice their child to save your life?
“For God so loved the world
that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish
but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

Gratuitous assertion without proof.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 4, 2015 6:44 pm

Richardscourtney,
“So which is it?
“no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up”
or
“the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden”?”
To me, the “problem” is partly the translation you’re using there. The KJV renders Genesis 5;
~And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.~
To me, plants “of the field” implies the stuff Adam and his descendants would soon be cultivating. To me, He’s saying He had designed them, written the code so to speak, but had not initiated the actual organisms on the earth up to that point.
To me it is a reassurance that the Book is Genuine, BECAUSE I know the scientific considerations (to some humble extent), not in spite of those insights into what life is, and what miraculous stuff would actually be needed to initiate living creatures. It’s the code, as we now know.

whiten
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 5, 2015 6:55 am

Michael 2
December 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm
Michael Palmer wrote “I can’t find it in me to be persuaded by the metaphysical or physical tenets of the bible or any other holy books, as far as they run counter to common sense and experience.”
How hard have you tried?
“Let there be light” — yes, that does seem to be how it started (big bang).
———————
Just for the sake of accuracy.
The very first paragraph in the Bible:
(1) In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth. 2)Now the
earth was formless and empty, dark-
ness was over the surface of the
deep, and the Spirit of God was
hovering over the waters.
And then it continues:
3)And God said, “Let there be light,”………………….
According to this the Bible and Big Bang do not seem to have anything in common when referring to the creation. Actually it seems like a contradiction…….
According to this biblical account of the creation, Genesis, our own creation starts and can be referred only with the moment of the earth’s creation, the beginning, that is where our time starts to exist……
And the Big Bang theory completely in contradiction with this, as it is also in contradiction with the concept of the time being relative, as put forward by Einstein.
As for “Let there be light,” there could be another interpretation more in accordance with the biblical account of creation.
The sun to be lights up and becomes a proper Sun as we know it today, after what we call “The Solar system”(the heavens) and the earth was created.
I am not trying to claim that the biblical account of creation is the truth or not, I am simply trying to point out what is that it states……..
cheers

Michael 2
Reply to  whiten
December 5, 2015 3:25 pm

whiten writes “The sun to be lights up and becomes a proper Sun as we know it today, after what we call “The Solar system”(the heavens) and the earth was created.”
I have at times considered this possibility; ignition of the sun. Guessing at science in Genesis is a wresting match; interesting but uncertain. There’s more science, astronomy anyway, in ancient Sumeria from which some of this is probably derived.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 5, 2015 6:59 am

John,
Richard is right. The two creation myths in Genesis are irreconcilably incompatible.
Here is the order of creation in the first story (Genesis 1 and first verses of 2), which dates back to Sumeria, via Babylon: 1) plants, 2) swimming and flying animals, 3) land animals and 4) humans of both sexes.
Day Three: grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself;
Day Five: great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind;
Day Six: the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, (and)…man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Here is the order of creation in the second, Adam and Eve, myth (rest of Genesis 2), also ultimately of Sumerian origin: 1) a man, 2) plants, 3) animals and 4) a woman.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil…
18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
These divergent orders also differ from the actual sequence of appearance of other animals, plants and people in observed earth history.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 5, 2015 7:09 am

whiten
December 5, 2015 at 6:55 am
Genesis 1 is as far removed from real astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology as is possible.
It starts with earth covered by waters in darkness, instead of a hot, dense singularity. Then there is light. Then there are day and night (Day One). Then, after more creation, to include the firmament, ie the solid vault of heaven, like a stadium dome, finally there are the sun, moon and stars (Day Four).
Good luck finding science in this myth.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 5, 2015 3:22 pm

Gloateus Maximus writes: “Good luck finding science in this myth.”
Curiously I also failed to find a recipe for baking bread in Genesis. Perhaps it is not a science textbook OR a cookbook. How many of your words will be around in a few thousand years?

whiten
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 5, 2015 11:10 am

Gloateus Maximus
December 5, 2015 at 7:09 am
Genesis 1 is as far removed from real astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology as is possible.
It starts with earth covered by waters in darkness, instead of a hot, dense singularity. Then there is light. Then there are day and night (Day One). Then, after more creation, to include the firmament, ie the solid vault of heaven, like a stadium dome, finally there are the sun, moon and stars (Day Four).
Good luck finding science in this myth.
———————————-
Thank you for your reply.
First, you as any one else are entitled to your opinions or conclusions or even certainties in any given subject. Is called free will….. We all fall and rise by it.
Second as I clearly said in the last statement of my comment that you replied to; “I am not trying to claim that the biblical account of creation is the truth or not, I am simply trying to point out what is that it states…….. ”
So in this context of the accuracy of what is stated in what you call the Genesis 1, I don’t see where you get the idea or the conclusion or the “information, evidence” to interpret that Genesis 1 takes account of the Moon, ESPECIALLY AT THE PARAGRAPH DESCRIBING THE 4th DAY!
There is no information or any thing there that will imply or concern the Moon in any way…….but then you are free to consider it any way you like.
If you read carefully, it does not start as you claim the creation starts;
“It starts with earth covered by waters in darkness, instead of a hot, dense singularity.”
It starts with the creation of heavens and earth……. it does not take in account the “time” prior to it or during that “moment”.
The darkness you refer to is the darkness over the surface of the deep (AFTER THE CREATION OF HEAVENS AND EARTH), the surface between the heavens (the solar system) and the rest of the milky way the stars the other galaxies and the rest of the universe, no lights from there coming through to the heavens and the earth……..until the 4th day that is……… That is what it seems to be claimed there…..and I am not trying to convince you or any one else that this must be or is the truth about the creation of the earth and the solar system……..only trying to point out what is that it states…… and am arguing only where you or someone else may be misinterpreting or misquoting it……….
But any way the main point in my comment you replied to was that it is clear that the Genesis,the creation, according to the Bible does not start as or with Big Bang. does not even consider something like B.B.
And in relation to your reply…..for the best of me I can’t see where the Moon is some how referred or mentioned there, even indirectly…….
It may be strange to you coming from me, that as a skeptic (or agnostic) in this subject, I keep looking and searching for the Moon there, but have not found it yet…:)
cheers

Michael 2
Reply to  whiten
December 5, 2015 3:18 pm

whiten writes “Genesis 1 is as far removed from real astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology as is possible.”
Your imagination is somewhat limited. Genesis mentions such things; a PADI dive instructor manual is much farther removed.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 5, 2015 2:35 pm

Gloateus Maximus
“Richard is right.”
I’m sure he’s been right about many things, but I don’t think he’s been right about the matter I commented on above.
“The two creation myths in Genesis are irreconcilably incompatible.”
(So declares a man, as though he were God . . What am I to do? Respond as though that flat statement of fact is rational? As though his really is the last word on such a complex matter? . . Or do I tell him how silly and arrogant he appears to me for speaking like that ; )
“Here is the order of creation in the first story (Genesis 1 and first verses of 2), which dates back to Sumeria, via Babylon:”
According to? Your imagination? Rumors? New Age “channelers”? What? Where are the quotes of Sumerian texts that would substantiate such a claim? I was a philosophy major, I had to study this stuff in school and I have no recollection of anything like what you’re claiming, nor do I see it in the Wiki . .
“The earliest record of the Sumerian creation myth, called The Eridu Genesis by historian Thorkild Jacobsen,[1] is found on a single fragmentary tablet excavated in Nippur. It is written in the Sumerian language and dated to around 1600 BC. Other Sumerian creation myths from around this date are called the Barton Cylinder, the Debate between sheep and grain and the Debate between Winter and Summer, also found at Nippur.[2]…”.
“Where the tablet picks up, the gods An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursanga create the black-headed people and create comfortable conditions for the animals to live and procreate. Then kingship descends from heaven and the first cities are founded: Eridu, Bad-tibira, Larak, Sippar, and Shuruppak.
After a missing section in the tablet, we learn that the gods have decided not to save mankind from an impending flood….”
It seems to me you have been duped, sir.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 5, 2015 3:34 pm

Gloateus Maximus on December 5, 2015 at 7:09 am

whiten
December 5, 2015 at 6:55 am
Genesis 1 is as far removed from real astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology as is possible.
It starts with earth covered by waters in darkness, instead of a hot, dense singularity. Then there is light. Then there are day and night (Day One). Then, after more creation, to include the firmament, ie the solid vault of heaven, like a stadium dome, finally there are the sun, moon and stars (Day Four).

Good luck finding science in this myth.

Gloateus Maximus,
I concur.
Myth, aka fictional stories, can serve some sometimes useful non-scientific purpose. But the Judeo-Christian Genesis myth (fictional story) has lived past it’s sell by date by greater than 500 years.
John

Michael 2
Reply to  John Whitman
December 5, 2015 3:43 pm

John Whitman writes “has lived past it’s sell by date by greater than 500 years.”
So ignore it already, duh.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 5, 2015 4:51 pm

Michael 2 on December 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm
– – – – – – –
The attempts to sell it will get critical responses. I will persist in that context.
John

Michael 2
Reply to  John Whitman
December 6, 2015 8:41 am

John Whitman “The attempts to sell it will get critical responses. I will persist in that context.”
That’s what makes this so much fun!
I don’t even know what you are selling; or what you think I am selling. I had to scroll back to see.
What is interesting to me is WHY you are reactive instead of pro-active. It is not clear that anyone here has tried to “sell” anything, and yet here you are issuing critical responses. Interesting! Has anyone here, just one responder, insisted that the Earth was created in 144 hours?
How many people do you suppose are going to be moved by your opinion that whatever is being sold is 500 years past its “sell date”? None?

JohnKnight
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 5, 2015 4:54 pm

It is somewhat amazing to me that people who claim to be scientific in their reasoning speak of something like the “Big Bang” as a fact, when of course it is just a guess. Nobody saw it, they just worked backward from the apparent spreading out of the cosmos they thought they could detect, and assumed everything must have once been closer together . . eventually deciding very close, and the rest is more guesswork, including fixes like increased or decreased rate of expansion (for no particular reason), dark matter that no one has ever observed, but is needed to make the math work something like what we can actually see of galaxies and such, and dark energy, likewise just needed to keep the math in the ballpark, etc, etc.
People seem to think that because they have “seen” such a thing in their imaginations, it must have really happened . . but I cation against such use of the imagination, ’cause it’s not really a magic crystal ball that only shows us truth.
I watched an interesting video the other day, wherein a scientist explains 2why he is convinced that the Sun is not a giant gaseous ball, but a form of liquid (metallic hydrogen, which has only recently been discovered). If he is right, the entire guesswork we now often speak of as fact, is revealed as fiction, according to what he described.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Lg5eR7T61A&index=3&list=PLHSoxioQtwZeQaRnO5_9AJB2RmevUpuPT
My point is not that he is right about the nature of the sun, but that a single new scientific revelation can shatter the entire intellectual cosmological construct many seem to believe is rock solid reality. No different to my mind than those who see impending catastrophic global warming as a rock solid fact . .

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 7:11 am

whiten
December 5, 2015 at 11:10 am
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
What do you suppose is “the lesser light to rule the night” if not the moon?

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 7:23 am

John,
The literature on the Sumerian and Babylonian origin of the biblical creation and flood myths is gigantic. It got a big boost in the last century with the discovery of the Ugaritic texts. I didn’t post a link since I apparently wrongly assumed that most people with college degrees would have studied Mesopotamian mythology at some point.
The creation myth in Genesis 1 is most obviously and directly derived from the Babylonian version of the originally Sumerian story. That the Eridu story is from a single fragment doesn’t matter, since its later Babylonian version is copiously documented, as is the Ugaritic derivation, closest to the biblical variant, with the chief Hebrew tribal god substituted for Marduk and Baal.
Some scholars have suggested an Egyptian rather than Mesopotamian source the Adam and Eve story, but its Sumerian original remains persuasive:
http://www.auss.info/auss_publication_file.php?pub_id=556&journal=1&type=pdf

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 7:30 am

Michael 2
December 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm
I’m not the one trying to pass ancient Near East creation myths as scientifically valid. I agree that there is no science in either the Old or New Testaments. In the Bible, animals talk, rabbits chew their cud, the earth doesn’t move and stars fall to earth.
And, actually, the Bible does include at least one recipe for making bread, under siege conditions:
http://biblehub.com/ezekiel/4-9.htm

richardscourtney
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 8:17 am

Michael Palmer:
I concluded my explanation by saying

Clearly, the Scribes did not intend their writings to be a physics text book: if they had intended that then they would have recorded one Creation Myth and not two.

You have responded to that with

so, everything in the bible that is contradicted by something else in the bible is ruled invalid? Interesting concept.

I fail to understand how anybody can interpret what I wrote as being remotely like my having said that anything in the bible “is ruled invalid”.
Then you follow that non sequitur with this load of baloney

If we look for contradictions hard enough, there might no be much left in the end. For example:
Is God vengeful, or is he clement? Apparently both, that is, neither, so He probably just doesn’t care about us. Considering the course of human history so far, that sounds about right to me.
But if He doesn’t care about us, would He have bothered with us as the crowning achievement of His creation? Not likely (although the botched job that is us might suggest the existence of a Creator who did not care – so there is that argument in support of our creation by Him).
If you do not agree with the conclusion of my 5 minute self-help bible study, I say unto you: Blessed are the cheesemakers.

Clearly, your comments demonstrate that you know – or are pretending to know – nothing of the Bible and understand less than nothing of its contents.
It seems to me that you have no interest in rational statement, argument or debate: your posts are intended to be nonsense and are provided with deliberate intent to be offensive. Such behaviour is known as trolling.
In hope that I am wrong about your intentions, I will provide you with 30 seconds of Bible study.
The Scribes selected what to include in their collation which we call the Old Testament (OT) because they considered it to say something important about relationships between people, God and the natural world. They prayed and deliberated about what to record on the basis of those truths: factual reality was not important and, therefore, they often included “contradictions”. For example, they recorded the story of ‘David and Goliath’ knowing it was fabricated political spin because it says something important about how individuals need to maintain hope, self-belief and trust in God when facing seemingly impossible odds. But they demonstrated that they knew Elhanan son of Jair from Bethlehem really killed Goliath because they recorded that “contradiction” in 2 Samuel 21: 19. Similarly, Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’ speaks of the human condition and people attend it because they want to hear those truths but everybody knows the play is historically untrue. The Old Testament is a very, very important part of the Bible which proclaims useful, helpful and important truths that make the OT much, much more important than any text book on cosmology.
Richard

Michael 2
Reply to  richardscourtney
December 6, 2015 9:22 am

The clearest example of storytelling in the Old Testament, a thing seemingly impossible on the face of it, comes from the book of Job. Can you imagine this conversation actually taking place? Job 1:6 (KJV) “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.”
Despite the impossibility of it, this story remains one of my favorites, a reminder that no matter how great I think I am, someone is considerably greater, and there is of necessity someone greatest of all.
It also stood as a rebuke against people that believed illness or misfortune was proof of disfavor with God, a rebuke that is still sometimes needed.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 8:24 am

Michael 2
December 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm
Unless libraries still preserve paper or e-books 1000 years from now, it’s unlikely that my words will survive. But duration doesn’t make the Bible special. Many much older texts have survived.
I like Bible stories and some of the thought behind them as much as the next guy, and it beast hell out of the Koran, with its Cliff Notes-like summary and misrepresentation of the Bible, but IMO the pagan Greeks and Romans were more profound than the ancient Near Easterners.
Not that I embrace pagan morality. Christian morality IMO is superior and not just because I was raised in Christendom, at the end of Western Civilization.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 8:43 am

Richard,
The discovery that RIII did in fact have a curved spine has shown WS’ play less untrue than discomfited Ricardians had long argued.
It’s not just Tudor propaganda that RIII killed one brother (and might have poisoned his other brother the king), murdered his nephews (one the rightful king, making him at least once a regicide) and accused his mom of being an adulterous slut, among other crimes.

whiten
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 11:07 am

Gloateus Maximus
December 6, 2015 at 7:11 am
What do you suppose is “the lesser light to rule the night” if not the moon?
———————————————–
I think I clearly explained to you in my previous reply to you what seems to be “the lesser light to rule the night”.
Let me repeated again,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,is the light from the deep (what today may be called the “deep space”, not quite correctly though), the light of many sources like the milky way, the nebulae and other galaxies, coming through when the darkness from the surface of the deep lifted or cleared out , and also the light from the stars too.
And these lights cover the expanse of the sky and rule it at night.
The way is described in that paragraph it also tells clearly that not all this lights covering the expanse of the Sky that are the source of the “lesser light” are stars (suns)…..and the light from the stars (suns) is secondary .in impact or affect for the “lesser light”,
First the “lesser light” shows up from the more potent sources, and then later from the stars, when the darkness lifted from the surface of the deep.
The “lesser light” appears first it appears before that of stars. (that what it seems Genesis 1(16) states)
The first great light, the sun;
Genesis 1.
3) And God said, “Let there be light,” (“light”, source of the first great light singular)
The second great light, the multitude sources from the deep;
Genesis 1
16) And God said, “Let there be lights in
the expanse of the sky to separate
the day from the night,………………. (“lights”, source of the second great light is plural, many)
When the “lesser light” appears in the sky or when it disappears that’s the separation of the day from the night or vice versa.
I do not know why anyone will assume that what described as the “lesser light” in Genesis1.16 should be the Moon…….!
Hope you understand my point….
cheers

richardscourtney
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 12:35 pm

Gloateus Maximus:
Substitute ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for ‘Richard III’ if it makes you happy. The point of my illustration is clear using either of these Shakespeare plays.
Richard

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 1:03 pm

whiten
December 6, 2015 at 11:07 am
I understand the point you are making. It is simply wrong. The verse mentions three separate supposed light sources, ie the sun by day, the moon by night and the stars, the greater, lesser and least lights. It’s as clear in the Hebrew as in English translation.
You’re welcome to your opinion, but you will be a long time looking to find a biblical scholar who would agree with it.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 6, 2015 11:35 pm

Gloteieus Maximus,
Ytou said;
“Here is the order of creation in the first story (Genesis 1 and first verses of 2), which dates back to Sumeria, via Babylon:..”
And you said;
“Here is the order of creation in the second, Adam and Eve, myth (rest of Genesis 2), also ultimately of Sumerian origin”
I asked for quotes to back that up, and you have none, obviously. I really don’t care whose imagination you’ve taken up blindly trusting in, it’s not rational behavior to me.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 7, 2015 11:08 am

John Knight,
I gave you a link to a whole paper on the origin of Adam and Eve story in Mesopotamian myth. I guess you missed it.
But look for yourself. See if you can find any reputable scholar who fails to find the origin of the two Genesis stories and the flood myth in much older Near Eastern texts.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 7, 2015 7:53 pm

A link, to a whole paper . . Sir, I do not treat things some guy imagines was in a text, as real text. Some guy is you, essentially. Have you got any quotes of Sumerian texts which can substantiate you claims, or are you just insisting that I worship this man’s freaking mind? I’m not into the occult, I don’t accept truthishness vibes as an actual viewing technology.
You got the wrong religion it you think I’m going to trust in your blind faith, sir.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 8, 2015 1:05 pm

Michael 2 on December 6, 2015 at 8:41 am
John Whitman “The attempts to sell it will get critical responses. I will persist in that context.”
That’s what makes this so much fun!
I don’t even know what you are selling; or what you think I am selling. I had to scroll back to see.
What is interesting to me is WHY you are reactive instead of pro-active. It is not clear that anyone here has tried to “sell” anything, and yet here you are issuing critical responses. Interesting! Has anyone here, just one responder, insisted that the Earth was created in 144 hours?
How many people do you suppose are going to be moved by your opinion that whatever is being sold is 500 years past its “sell date”? None?

Michael 2,
The idea that any religion of theism isn’t mythology is often supported on the thread; Genesis is a prime example of the type of mythology which was brought up here.
I don’t know how many people will be moved. Does it matter? Why post the topic of religious faith versus science at all in this thread. Will anyone be moved? I don’t know. But, ideas are ideas, and if one is interested in engaging then that is sufficient to me.
John

JohnKnight
Reply to  TonyL
December 7, 2015 9:03 pm

GM
I’ve been down dozens of these rabbit holes, and I knew there were no texts to back your claims as I read them. But no one is preventing you from posting anything you wish, and please don’t let my objections to your “back to Sumeria” claim, distract you from posting more stuff I can help you with ; )

December 4, 2015 6:07 am

“Study: not all scientists are atheists”
God knows that’s true.

trafamadore
December 4, 2015 6:08 am

The only time religion is a problem is when its beliefs contradict science. Thus, creationism and evolution. There is a correlation between creationism and not understanding GW, which is interesting.

les
Reply to  trafamadore
December 4, 2015 8:22 am

The correlation between creationism and climate skepticism is that creationists, in their minds, have long faced a ‘scientific’ establishment that disallows their premise and uses a zombie-like chant of ‘evolution’ as a causitive explanation 1) to be acceptable in their profession and 2) to get/keep a job. (replace ‘evolution” with AGW or human-caused climate change, and creationism with climate skepticism) Creationists always recognized natural cycles of change/evolution, they were skeptical of evolution (AGW) as a paradigm to explain everything. They recognize that the ‘evolutionary paradigm’ (AGW)began as a politically profitable/correct expedient, not as a cause-effect scientific demand. They recognize it met a need in society at the time and became very popular – and eventually discriminatory towards those that remain ‘outside the fold’. There are many different kinds of creationists (Skeptics), some are whackos, the 97% are not; but all are vilified in media with the statements of the whackos. Now that the Main Stream Media has decided what is fact, it is nigh impossible to be heard in the modern commons. So creationists/skeptics form their own blogs and talk to each other.
Perhaps the phrase ‘once burned – twice wary’ applies

seaice1
Reply to  les
December 4, 2015 9:11 am

Les, are you agreeing that the parallel between creationists and AGW skeptics is a good one? That the creationists are just as correct in their arguments as the AGW skeptics?

les
Reply to  les
December 4, 2015 4:33 pm

What I am saying is that the correlation between creationists and climate skeptics comes from shared experience; that creationists having been through the wringer once are much more skeptical of scientific claims that most climate-skeptics. So they and some others started skeptical and many scientists have since joined the crowd (usually after retirement). I was not equating the validity of their relative claims. The actual validity of the position of either the creationist (of which there are many types) and the climate-skeptic (of which there are also many types) comes down to what parts of their assertions stand on real verifiable evidence (for empirical issues) or logical reasoning (for non-empirical issues).

December 4, 2015 6:12 am

Hmmm, they include countries like India and Turkey, that are heavily religious and hardly the centers of scientific research, and survey “scientists at various career stages, in elite and nonelite institutions and in biology and physics, the researchers hoped to gain a representative look at scientists’ views on religion, ethics and how both intersect with their scientific work .”
Also, no link to the actual study (which usually gets poo pooed around these parts).
Seems like they were trying desperately to scrounge up believers.
What about if you limit the survery to leading researchers in the hard sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, in the USA?
Here are the results of a 1998 study in Nature. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v394/n6691/full/394313a0.html
Leading Scientists Still Reject God
A 1998 survey, replicating a survey that was done in 1913 and in 1933, of 517 members of the [U.S.] National Academy of Sciences from the biological and physical sciences (the latter including mathematicians, physicists and astronomers). The return rate was slightly over 50%.
The results were as follows (figures in %):
BELIEF IN PERSONAL GOD 1914 1933 1998
Personal belief 27.7 15 7.0
Personal disbelief 52.7 68 72.2
Doubt or agnosticism 20.9 17 20.8
BELIEF IN IMMORTALITY 1914 1933 1998
Personal belief 35.2 18 7.9
Personal disbelief 25.4 53 76.7* (misprint from original, likely lower)
Doubt or agnosticism 43.7 29 23.3
Sorry religionists.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  lancifer666
December 4, 2015 7:21 am

lancifer,
I probably have no way of locating a 50 year old reference, but some time back in the ’60s four (or was it five?) nuclear physicist from Oak Ridge quit physics and became Episcopal ministers. Sort of makes you think don’t it?

Reply to  lancifer666
December 4, 2015 7:33 am

Interesting. A 2009 Pew Research / AAAS survey found 29% of physicists and astronomers and 32% of biologists and medical scientists believed in God, with another 14% and 19%, respectively, believing in some kind of “higher power”. Wonder what’s behind the disparity between these numbers and the Nature survey?

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  mstickles
December 4, 2015 7:41 am

Survey of NAS members included more top notch scientists, rather than including, for instance, non-researching teachers at Bible colleges.

JohnKnight
Reply to  mstickles
December 6, 2015 1:50 am

Not a real good time (or place) to be bragging on your guys running the big science show, me thinks, fellas.

Dan
December 4, 2015 6:16 am

Before you pass bye the claims about various people being religious, a thought. What ever do they mean by that? Probably quite a few scientists, particularly in the west, think of relgion as meaning they have some kind of affiliation. Jewish atheists for example. Probably quite a few have vague and hazy deist notions. Einstein for example. Probably quite a few have vague ideas about being moral and ethical, sort of “I think murder is wrong so I’m religious.”
Also, before you pass bye, you should go to YouTube and watch a few videos by Bart Ehrman. He is one of the leading biblical scholars. His study of the bible moved him from xtian fundamentalist to agnostic. Reallly quite instructive. What is it that an xtian believes? And where did those ideas come from? Hmm…

Reply to  Dan
December 4, 2015 12:04 pm

Hallelujah! I may not be a believer but I sure am vague! The pope is a warmist though, and hey!, when has the catholic church ever been wrong about science? There must be some things god isn’t telling them!

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Dan
December 4, 2015 1:25 pm

“people being religious…What ever do they mean by that? ”
I thought no one was going to ask. Your post is halfway down the thread, and (as near as I can find) nobody else asked that specific, vital question, or answered it. Almost everyone here is assuming “religious” means what THEY think it means. (The article referenced also is lacking in that area!)
Many also seem to think their personal assumptions are the only ones possible and relevant to religion/religiosity–one such assumption being that “God” would leave tracks or other clear evidence of His existence, another being that God wants us all to believe in Him whether WE want to or not.
I’ve read Ehrman’s book, Misquoting Jesus, . He’s definitely a Bible scholar, and I recommend his book for those who are interested in biblical accuracy (but not for anyone whose faith is dependent on it).
Our individual and collective ability to grasp “God” will always be vague.

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 4, 2015 5:43 pm

I’m afraid I’m most ‘religious’ about hygiene, animal husbandry and medication in my daily.routines.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 4, 2015 6:26 pm

“Our individual and collective ability to grasp “God” will always be vague.”
That’s because, like “climate change”, “god” is vaguely defined.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 4, 2015 7:29 pm

“Being religious” to me would mean adhering to the religious teachings which I was taught all through the first 12 years of my education, as best I could. The teachers explain that it is hard to follow all of the precepts exactly given the diverse influences that one would encounter in their walk through life. That some of us will fall away from the faith as we got older, and that many of us would question our faith as we went through life. Thus being religious means maintaining the belief in God despite all that comes your way, especially during weak moments which will arise. We strive to gain in understanding God in our lives with no guarantees that we will ever succeed in that endeavor. Some of us find what we were looking for in different ways.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Dan
December 7, 2015 2:52 am

Wow, a leading biblical scholar . . generally considered a meaningless qualification among the anti-theists, but if they spout the right stuff . . Presto, an expert worthy of respect and honor ; )

Nick
December 4, 2015 6:17 am

Theologian Karen Armstrong, in her excellent book “The Battle for God”, describes the difference between two modes of thought: mythos and logos. Religion is essentially in the realm of mythos and science that of logos.
I forget the exact examples she gives, I think one is that you wouldn’t fight a battle using mythos; you need logos. Other examples might be that you wouldn’t consider why you were in love, or why you liked a particular painting, using logos; you need mythos.
She says that problems occur when the two are misapplied and that religious fundamentalism arises when people apply logos to religion when they ought to be using mythos. By extension, we might conclude that climate-alarmist scientists seem to base their work on mythos rather than logos.

Reply to  Nick
December 4, 2015 6:52 am

Kind of an interesting (ironic?) distinction, given that in Christianity Jesus is called the “Word” (logos) of God.

trafamadore
Reply to  mstickles
December 4, 2015 7:02 am

And “truth” is capitalized.

Pat Paulsen
December 4, 2015 6:28 am

IMO, not all scientists are atheist but some of the consensus science of global warming seem to be members of a cult, IMO. They want us to believe in the magical number 97%. They want us to believe that arguing any point should be chargeable with criminal offense. They want us to believe that they can change the weather. (So far, their proposals – if we did the maximum – would result in like .02 degrees celcius difference. 2/100th of a degree is smaller than the error probability ratios. All bow to Al Gore now!

Steve McDonald
December 4, 2015 6:40 am

In Australia there is a celebrity Waleed Ali.
He has never convincingly condemned any hideous murders by Isis.
I don’t believe he is a member of Isis for a
nanosecond.
I believe he is a propagandist for and a devout believer in Islamic supremacy.

PaulH
December 4, 2015 6:55 am

Just wondering, can one consider ‘convinced atheists’ as a religion? ;->

Mike
Reply to  PaulH
December 4, 2015 7:31 am

That depends. Would you call someone who does not believe in Zeus religious? If so then you would probably call atheism a religion.
When you stretch definitions of words too far, they become meaningless.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Mike
December 4, 2015 8:13 am

Mike:
Deists have a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the existence of God(s).
Atheists have a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the non-existence of God(s).
Agnostics have no religious belief.
If atheism is not a religion then – using the same logic – Judaism,Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are not a religions.
Richard

Michael 2
Reply to  richardscourtney
December 4, 2015 9:14 am

richardscourtney writes “Deists have a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the existence of God(s). Atheists have a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the non-existence of God(s).”
What word do you suggest for evidence-based belief in the existence of God? You seem not to have allowed for that possibility in your logic.

Mike
Reply to  Mike
December 4, 2015 8:52 am

Richard
I have not come across evidence to convince me that god/s exist. I therefore do not believe gods exist, making me call myself an atheist. If in your eyes that makes me religious, than your meaning of religion varies from mine. (Not that I’ve been able to satisfactorily define religion). If you just define atheists as having religious beliefs, than by your definition I’m religious. Now what? I guess the point is that you can now disregard anything I say because you have determined that I’m religious.
I once talked to a guy who said that God is everywhere and everything. He pointed at an object and concluded that there since something exists, God must exist. His definition of God may not be the same as others’.

Michael 2
Reply to  Mike
December 4, 2015 8:59 am

Mike writes: “I have not come across evidence to convince me that god/s exist. I therefore do not believe gods exist, making me call myself an atheist.”
Yes, of the “non-theist” variant. Most atheists commenting here are “anti-theists” and assert a thing that cannot be known.
To assert that god does not exist is meaningless without defining “god”. The instant you DO make that definition you have constrained the realm and I might well agree with you that the particular god you have in mind probably does not exist; leaving undiscovered a vast realm of other possibility.
But to assert that no god of any kind exists anywhere, that takes magical thinking and huge arrogance!

richardscourtney
Reply to  Mike
December 4, 2015 9:08 am

Mike:
You are playing silly word games: atheists often do.
I replied to you having said

Would you call someone who does not believe in Zeus religious? If so then you would probably call atheism a religion.
When you stretch definitions of words too far, they become meaningless.

I stated the definitions – and, therefore, the distinctions between – deists, atheists and agnostics.
You have not disputed the definitions I provided but have tried to pretend you are an agnostic because – you say – you are an atheist. The essential difference between agnostics and atheists is that agnostics hold to a logical idea while atheists have a religious belief.
Richard

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Mike
December 4, 2015 9:10 am

Michael 2,
To state that there is no evidence for any supernatural being of any kind is not arrogant, but properly scientific doubt. Unless you know of some evidence which has escaped the notice of science.
But absence of evidence isn’t necessarily evidence of absence. Some cosmologists argue that the rules which govern our particular universe are so improbable, that the God (Creator) hypothesis is scientifically defensible, without being truly scientific, since it doesn’t make testable predictions. Others explain the improbability by suggesting the multiverse hypothesis, which still remains largely in the metaphysical rather than physical realm. A scientist has however made a career out of presenting what she conceives of as evidence in support of the multiverse hypothesis.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Mike
December 4, 2015 9:37 am

Michael 2
You make the reasonable request that I provide a clarification when you write

richardscourtney writes “Deists have a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the existence of God(s). Atheists have a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the non-existence of God(s).”
What word do you suggest for evidence-based belief in the existence of God? You seem not to have allowed for that possibility in your logic.

I am not aware of need for a word that defines “evidence-based belief in the existence of God” and I see no need for one. I explain this as follows.
I am not aware of a conclusive set of empirical evidence for a God or Gods. Also, I don’t know what that empirical evidence would be. Hence, I see no need for a word to describe empirical-evidence-based belief in the existence of God.
Personal evidence can take many forms but it cannot be shared with others. Hence, in my opinion theism (or deism) being a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the existence of God(s) is sufficient to cover personal-evidence-based belief.
Richard
Declaration of possible bias:
I am an Accredited Methodist Preacher on the List of Preachers of the Falmouth and Gwenap Circuit. I became a Christian when I experienced a ‘Damascus Road’ type conversion: that unpleasant experience was powerful personal evidence which convinces me of much about the Living God and changed my life.

Michael 2
Reply to  richardscourtney
December 4, 2015 9:54 am

richardscourtney writes “I am not aware of need for a word that defines ‘evidence-based belief in the existence of God’ and I see no need for one.”
Your personal lack of awareness is no excuse for assuming others have the same lack. While you can certainly choose not to learn any such word, asserting that no need exists results in bad science if you allow what you believe to shut the door on what you might learn. How many people refused to study continental drift, being certain no such thing existed? How many people still study “ether” (invisible medium of transmission of light and radio waves) because they are certain it does not exist? (the answer appears to be “one” person still believes in ether).
People study what they think they already know and ignore what they don’t know. How exciting is that?
Consider Bob Altemeyer’s study that includes questionaires on religion reported in:
http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf
On his discussion of why people believe in God, he does not offer in his list of reasons anything remotely resembling revelation. they are all variations of “someone else said so” and so I believe it. File page 85, document page 79, list of reasons.
Had I been given this survey, I would be stuck, since my belief emanates from knowledge and evidence. His survey is defective hence so are his conclusions — but then he probably started with his conclusions.
So it is in science — the answer to a mystery may be a thing you not only do not consider, but may consider impossible. It’s not likely, but possible.
Closed minds are bad for science AND religion.
So let words exist for even those things you are certain cannot exist, and yet must still be described. Many such words exist — dragon, for instance. Almost everyone on earth has some concept of “dragon” while surely no such thing now exists, nor ever existed as currently defined.
But while dragons do not exist, the concept most certainly does!
So what word exists for a person that knows god exists, without putting too much emphasis on what exactly is meant by “god”?
I am that person, I exist. So create a word for me. It’s not for you.

Michael 2
Reply to  richardscourtney
December 4, 2015 10:06 am

richardscourtney “I am not aware of a conclusive set of empirical evidence for a God or Gods.”
We seem to be dancing around a nuance. Suppose you awaken early in the morning and see frost on the grass near your home. The sun quickly melts it before anyone else in your house notices it.
You have evidence of cold. You know with absolute certainty that the grass was below freezing for there to be frost. You have no evidence that you can share with others, and they are free to choose for themselves to believe you or disbelieve you or simply not care.
But you have knowledge and your decision to wear a jacket or sweater is governed by your sure knowledge.
This Damascus moment was for Paul a certain knowledge, and yet, how can it be objectified? It can be in the case that during his Damascus moment he is told to go somewhere and meet someone, and upon going there discovers that he was expected.
In my case, I have several such events of sufficient objectivity that I cannot violate reason itself by pretending god, or some such thing in that realm, does not exist. There’s plenty of room to argue about the nature of god, or how many, or how interested in what I do or wear or think, but to blandly assert that no such thing exists, or can exist, is to me illogical and unreasonable — but only for me. I know what I know, it is to me evidence, but my words to you are not evidence. But just because the evidence has evaporated does not deprive me of my evidence based knowledge and belief.
I have written in my journal most of these events, at the time they happened. Some parts of these events are also public record, but of course lacking any religious influence. When I was told to change lanes, I was the sole occupant of my automobile, and I changed lanes and avoided a head-on collision. Back in those days cellphones did not exist, but I’m a ham radio operator and autopatched to the police and they apprehended the drunken driver a few miles westward. That call and apprehension will be a matter of public record. Why I was alive to make the call is not a matter of public record and there’s no way to prove it, nor for that matter, any need. It would unbalance “free will” for god to become too predictable, too conspicuous. He’s got his pets, his beasts. We aren’t pets. We are eternal; to become whatever each chooses to be. Influence cannot be removed but it can be balanced so that each person faces a meaningful choice. Not always, but I believe that’s the purpose and goal of life.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Mike
December 4, 2015 9:49 am

Richard,
Deist and theist aren’t the same thing. All Deists are theists but far from all theists are Deists.
Deism is a largely 18th century phenomenon, whose adherents included many of the American Founding Fathers. It was (or is) a form of Unitarianism, a sort of Christian heresy, in which Jesus is not seen as the literal Son of God, but perhaps in some sense divine, although usually not.
A theist by contrast is anyone who believes in a “theos”, the Greek word for God.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Mike
December 4, 2015 10:18 am

Michael 2 and Gloateus Maximus:
I think you are both nit-picking. And anybody who thinks such nit-picking is important needs to get a life. But it was addressed at me so I will answer it.
Firstly, until there is empirical evidence for the existence of God I see no need for a word that defines empirical-evidence-based belief in existence of a God or Gods. If anybody thinks there is such a need then s/he can create a word to cover it.
Secondly I agree with the definitions in the free dictionary

deism (ˈdiːɪzəm; ˈdeɪ-)
n
1. (Theology) belief in the existence of God based solely on natural reason, without reference to revelation.
theism (ˈθiːɪzəm)
n
1. (Theology) the form of the belief in one God as the transcendent creator and ruler of the universe that does not necessarily entail further belief in divine revelation. Compare deism
2. (Theology) the belief in the existence of a God or gods. compare atheism

Those definitions make a distinction between deism and theism in their primary definitions but their secondary definition of theism includes deism. So, I wrote
“Personal evidence can take many forms but it cannot be shared with others. Hence, in my opinion theism (or deism) being a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the existence of God(s) is sufficient to cover personal-evidence-based belief.”
Richard

Michael 2
Reply to  richardscourtney
December 4, 2015 11:00 am

richardscourtney writes “Firstly, until there is empirical evidence for the existence of God I see no need for a word that defines empirical-evidence-based…”
Do you hear that screeching noise of goal posts being moved? Now it is not merely “evidence based” but “empirical evidence based”.
While I’m not exactly sure what that means, I suspect it is carefully crafted so as to absolutely positively not be possible; and I finally am compelled to agree. God will never allow himself to be placed on a silver platter and passed around a room, with someone saying, “This is God!” and everyone else saying, “Oh, now I see, there is a God, and here it is!”
The problem ought to be obvious. Absolutely NOTHING I can hand to you for test and measurement can be proven to be “God” because we would simply argue the definition.
What test might you have for Godness? Move a mountain? If it were that easy you’d have counterfeit mountain-movers everywhere. You would have been born and raised with mountain-moving as a normal part of your daily experience and you would STILL deny any evidence for God because you are *immersed* in it.
So to continue this entertaining conversation, suggest what empirical proof of God could exist, hypothetically of course, and how you would know that it proves the existence of God and absolutely nothing else.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Mike
December 4, 2015 11:12 am

Michael 2
You begin your ridiculous attempt at justifying your nit-picking saying

richardscourtney writes “Firstly, until there is empirical evidence for the existence of God I see no need for a word that defines empirical-evidence-based…”
Do you hear that screeching noise of goal posts being moved? Now it is not merely “evidence based” but “empirical evidence based”.

I do NOT move goal posts!
My first answer that you nit-picked said

I am not aware of need for a word that defines “evidence-based belief in the existence of God” and I see no need for one. I explain this as follows.
I am not aware of a conclusive set of empirical evidence for a God or Gods. Also, I don’t know what that empirical evidence would be. Hence, I see no need for a word to describe empirical-evidence-based belief in the existence of God.
Personal evidence can take many forms but it cannot be shared with others. Hence, in my opinion theism (or deism) being a religious (i.e. evidence-free) belief in the existence of God(s) is sufficient to cover personal-evidence-based belief.

If you know of any form of evidence that is not empirical and not personal then please say what it is because I don’t know of it. And you did not state it when you made your nit-pick that I answered.
Richard

Michael 2
Reply to  richardscourtney
December 4, 2015 2:05 pm

richardscourtney writes “I do NOT move goal posts!”
Well, okay sort of. I see that you used both constructions, one with just “evidence based” and one with “empirical evidence based”
I have often (well, when circumstances permit) acknowledged that it is probably impossible to have universally agreed empirical evidence for God, because if such a thing existed everyone on earth would believe in God, and it would also be almost meaningless like believing in the moon.
The problem is in the supernatural expectations that many people, usually atheists, have for “god”, that he can and will, on command, but for me only, move a mountain, raise the dead or whatever. That’s not a god, that’s a “genie” (djinn or whatever), at your command but not perhaps reliably so.
Hypothetically, what would a god do if:
1. He was himself a supreme but not supernatural being and
2. Like all living things his actual purpose was to make more like himself, but better if possible and
3. Might seek to continue in a direction of perfection where the actual nature is emergent and
4. That which is “life” (purpose, will) is not a product but is self-existing, neither created nor destroyed, but only guided and shaped where it is willing to be guided and shaped.
Or something like that.
Many or most Christians imagine they are pets, created ex-nihilo; some say servants of god. But none of these imaginations makes much sense and from that come excuses of mysticism or mystery, things that you aren’t supposed to know. The problems are many and likely you have considered some of these problems — how can a perfect god create obvious imperfection? The answer is trivially simple; he didn’t create imperfection. Imperfection is eternal. The best anyone can do is separate that which is wanted from everything else. But how shall one choose? Persons must be given opportunity to grow, and to choose, and to grow some more, and choose some more, at each step more refined or perfected than the previous experience-and-choice cycle.
The WORST possible thing to do is prove the existence of a god thus depriving every living soul the free-will choices that otherwise would be theirs to make and be responsible for.
This is hinted at in scripture, you must first believe God before you’ll get your evidence, and while that is also a formula for hypnosis, it is also a means to avoid contaminating the test. Revealing himself to those already committed does not alter their choices. There’s not much to gain revealing himself to those that have chosen against him, although it appears to happen rarely.
What God wants, the christian god anyway, is service to each other. The Boy Scout oath distills to that, so does all of Christianity. The two great commandments — love God and love your neighbor, but how exactly do you love god? By loving your neighbor. That is the essence of Christianity.
God is not HERE. But you are, I am, and millions of other people. I make choices and discover and establish who I am thereby.

Beverly Pruden
December 4, 2015 7:13 am

Check out this book: “In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation”

Editor
December 4, 2015 7:18 am

My religious faith includes the specific doctrine that we believe all true things. There simply is no conflict, either in outlook or specifics, between that doctrine and science — there can’t be. It behooves all scientists to hold to the same doctrine — believe, accept all true things — then you can accept your religion and science with equanimity.

gnomish
Reply to  Kip Hansen
December 4, 2015 8:01 am

What you have described as religious faith, Kip, is neither faith nor religion.
Precious parsing is not philosophy; it’s post normal ™ mysticism. It is spin.doctory. It is false narrative meant to fake a resolution of mutually contradictory concepts.
These are word games of the sophomore and I think you are sufficiently self aware to know it.
Do better.
Start here: define ‘truth’.
If you find you are able to do that, you are halfway to science, via epistemology (more science, yay!)
If you find you can not, then you may find it useful to know the proper word for a ‘religious scientist’ is ‘savant’.

Michael 2
Reply to  gnomish
December 4, 2015 9:36 am

gnomish writes “What you have described as religious faith, Kip, is neither faith nor religion.”
Correct, it is a fusion of all things and probably needs a new word, and that word is “Mormon”.
“Start here: define ‘truth’.”
Truth is a knowledge of things as they were, and as they are, and as they will be.
It is comprehensive. No wiggle, no evasion, it includes everything that exists regardless of your ability to measure it with a voltmeter, calipers or scale. It includes and must include everything that ever existed since what came before influences what exists right now.
Truth is existence, and existence is truth.
“If you find you are able to do that, you are halfway to science”
You are also halfway to religion.

Editor
Reply to  gnomish
December 4, 2015 10:17 am

Reply to the gnome and Michael 2 ==> Michael is exactly right.
It is just “how it is is how it is….” in all fields of endeavor.
To gnomish — read some of my essay’s here at WUWT or the one Andy Revkin posted for me at Dot Earth. Know who you are talking to.

TheLastDemocrat
Reply to  gnomish
December 4, 2015 1:02 pm

This is what is sad about a lot of these discussions – the presumptiveness about what is and is not “science.”
Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge. Science, a process for ascertaining truth/knowledge, would be examined as one of the various strategies for ascertaining truth/knowledge.
If you are studying epistemology, or carrying out epistemology, you are doing something that is a philosophical activity; you are not being “scientific.”

gnomish
Reply to  gnomish
December 4, 2015 3:23 pm

Dear Kip,
I don’t care who you may think you are. I don’t want or need your approval. (But i have read your essays)
You have to define your terms if you want to convey rational meaning. Of course, if it’s demagoguery you’re at, precise terms lend themselves to critical analysis and you wouldn’t want that.
As an epiphytic member of the activist industry ecosystem, you make that call.
That’s who you are = what you do.
Cutesy neologisms and phony dialectic are marketing tools especially wrought to evade critical thinking.
Let me help out so that anybody can detect and register a hustler and his game:
Here is a recipe for semantic analysis:
1 – of all the possible topics a person could choose, he selects the one.
there is a reason for that selection.
2 – of all possible angles or views to take on the selected topic, one was chosen.
there is a reason for that selection.
3 – of all possible vocabulary words to use in addressing the selected view of the selected topic, only certain words are chosen.
there is a reason for that choice.
Whenever anybody says anything, you can make sense of what they say by stepping through this procedure. You may find that what is said be, prima facie, nonsense. But even when it may be pure bafflegab, there is a reason for that.
You don’t want to get bogged down defending it because it will muck up your hustle.
Michael2 – your ‘definition’ is deficient because it is self contradictory. That makes it not even a definition.
The self contradiction is here:
“Truth is a knowledge of things”
which means that if nobody knows something it must not be true.
So to falsify a proposition, one merely ensures that nobody knows it?
Not to tease-
Truth is a proposition which IN THE DEFINED CONTEXT is never contradicted.
There is nothing without context – but you need to start with the basics:
1 – a thing is itself (if you want to make a religion, you only need to start out with any statement in the form ‘a thing is not itself’, e.g. ‘death is life (everlasting or whatever)’
2 – a thing is a kind of thing. (context – it’s everything…lol)
That’ll be it for me. If anybody gets anything out of all this typing, guess who it won’t be.

Michael 2
Reply to  gnomish
December 4, 2015 5:01 pm

gnomish “Michael2 – The self contradiction is here: Truth is a knowledge of things which means that if nobody knows something it must not be true.”
Yes! “Truth” is a human construction that exists and can only exist in a human mind. It is a recognition of “what is” and since “what is” must be objectively real, it must also be judged the same way by all observers whose observations are “true”.
“So to falsify a proposition, one merely ensures that nobody knows it?”
In a binary world, that would be correct. However, the world is not binary; the correct consequence of everyone not knowing a thing, is that the truthfulness of the thing is not known (neither the thing itself). It is neither true nor false; it is unknown.
This leads to religion in that the proper consequence of not knowing God, is to declare a lack of knowledge, rather than pretend to certainty about a thing that cannot be known, namely the nonexistence of God, which for lack of definition presumably means any and all supreme beings, not even Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Editor
Reply to  gnomish
December 5, 2015 8:13 am

Somebody studied way too much gobbledygook and really messed up their critical thinking skills — substituting magical rhetoric for real thinking and discovery.

schitzree
Reply to  Kip Hansen
December 4, 2015 4:43 pm

GP: Is Eris true?
M2: Everything is true.
GP: Even false things?
M2: Even false things are true.
GP: How can that be?
M2: I don’t know man, I didn’t do it.

gnomish
Reply to  schitzree
December 4, 2015 6:25 pm

fnord!
“who do you think put all the chaos in the world- vast impersonal forces or something?”

Robert Bumbalough
December 4, 2015 7:20 am

Religious mysticism is completely incompatible with science because the former denies reality by positing primacy of consciousness metaphysics; the latter, however, is based on the primacy of existence. There can be no compromise between the two positions; they’re mutually exclusive because the former is invalid while primacy of existence is self-evident and directly experienced by all.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Robert Bumbalough
December 4, 2015 8:25 am

Robert Bumbalough:
You assert

Religious mysticism is completely incompatible with science because the former denies reality by positing primacy of consciousness metaphysics; the latter, however, is based on the primacy of existence. There can be no compromise between the two positions; they’re mutually exclusive because the former is invalid while primacy of existence is self-evident and directly experienced by all.

Religious mysticism and science are both methods for seeking truth.
Their vary natures make them “compatible”. But there can be no compromise between them because they are each valid and neither should be devalued by the methods of either being contaminated with the methods of the other.
If you know what is and what is not “existence” then please inform philosophers because they have been attempting to resolve that issue for thousands of years.
Dreams are “directly experienced by all” but each person’s dreams are unique. That does not mean physical reality does not exist.
Richard

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  richardscourtney
December 4, 2015 6:47 pm

“Religious mysticism and science are both methods for seeking truth.”
The problem with the former is that you’ll never really have answers, just mysticism.

richardscourtney
Reply to  richardscourtney
December 5, 2015 12:12 am

Jeff Alberts:
You say

“Religious mysticism and science are both methods for seeking truth.”
The problem with the former is that you’ll never really have answers, just mysticism.

I have obtained “answers” from both.
Most useful “answers” are not factual: they are more important than that.
Love, hope and comfort in distress are important truths that people need. Indeed, most people are religious because mere facts are not the most important “answers” they seek, and religion provides the “answers” they want.
Richard

Latitude
December 4, 2015 7:28 am

divide and conquer….
how many ways can they come up with to divide us

FJ Shepherd
December 4, 2015 7:42 am

Hard core atheists are some of the most spiritual people I have ever met, even though they dislike hearing me say that.

Baz
Reply to  FJ Shepherd
December 4, 2015 7:58 am

They dislike you saying it because you are wrong, that’s all. ‘Spiritual’ is related to the ‘soul’. ‘Soul’ is the immortal essence of a living thing. Atheists tend to believe that we are not immortal, and have no soul. So for you to say they are spiritual simply shows your ignorance of the English language, nothing more. And that’s what annoys them.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Baz
December 4, 2015 8:34 am

Baz:
No, it points out their religion and that is what annoys them.
Here in the UK the Church of England produced an advert for use during Advent and was intended for showing among other adverts in cinemas. But it included a choir singing the Lord’s Prayer so atheists objected to it being shown because hearing a prayer was claimed to be “offensive”. Their objections were accepted and the advert has been banned.
There is nothing more offensive and annoying than proselytising atheists promoting their religion by opposing others.
Richard

Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 7:47 am

From a scientific viewpoint, it is only fitting that a scientist would not adopt the dogma of atheism. The atheist BELIEVES with certainty that there is no spiritual being. There is no EVIDENCE for one. Logically and scientifically agnosticism would be as far as a scientist can rightly go since all he can say is “I don’t know”. It is unscientific to say that I DO know there is no deity without evidence to support it, the answer to “How do you know?” Athiests are stuck with at best a belief with no evidence to support their ‘certainty’. Atheism in logical terms is a posture of ignorance – essentially an agnostic position.
The atheist comforts himself that his position makes him intellectually superior and very brave, when really it is underpinned with a mere belief, like the theist. The atheist is drawing a line in the sand that is more a challenge than a tenable secure idea.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 7:58 am

Gary Pearse writes “when really it is underpinned with a mere belief, like the theist.”
My belief is not “mere”. While it is impossible to know that there’s no god (*), it is possible to know there IS. The situation is not symmetrical.
* Depending on how one defines god, it may be possible to prove that a particular god does not exist. My daughter, for instance, has decided there’s no god because she prayed for a boy to fall in love with her. He didn’t; ergo there’s no god. Since that’s all she wants from a god it works out the same whether there’s no god or just not the kind that forces boys to fall in love with her exclusively. I tried suggesting that god is listening to the same prayer from every girl in town and has probably decided not to intervene at all. Work it out for yourselves.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 7:59 am

Gary,
All atheists are agnostics but not all agnostics are atheists. Atheists don’t necessarily state with certainty that they are sure there is no God. Not even Dawkins claims that, as it would be unscientific to do so. What distinguishes an atheist from other agnostics is that he or she feels that, since there is no evidence either for or against the existence of God, the more valid position is to conclude, until evidence should emerge either way, that there is no sufficient reason to believe.
Maybe you know some atheists who are 100% certain there is no God, but I don’t, and I know lots of them. A believer chooses to accept on faith the existence of God. If God were a sure thing, there would be no value in faith. An atheist sees no compelling reason to take this leap of faith.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 8:06 am

See my note below. I think you have a semantic muddle. Atheist cannot be other than a believer, like the theist, in his position. It isn’t scientific to jump to a certain conclusion of their being no god or spiritual realm because you have no evidence yet. That is the agnostics scientific position.

Baz
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 8:08 am

I’m an atheist who states that there is no God. You would do well to Google Russel’s Teapot:
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Russell's_Teapot
I state that there is no teapot there in the same fashion that I state there is no God there. Given the absurdity of faith without evidence, we rightly infer that absence of evidence is evidence of absence. We (atheists like me) therefore state that there is no God there. It is not incumbent upon us to prove it.

Michael 2
Reply to  Baz
December 4, 2015 9:26 am

Baz writes “We (atheists like me) therefore state that there is no God there. It is not incumbent upon us to prove it.”
Quite right. It is your belief, your religion, protected by a ruling of the United States Supreme Court. You do not need to prove it; yet here you are asserting it.
But your words are utterly meaningless until and unless you define “God” for you assert the non-existence of a thing not-defined. Well, what is that? It’s undefined; it is dividing by zero, it is !x (not x) when x is not known.
So define it, and then assert its non-existence, and I’ll probably agree with you that your particular imagination of what the word means points to nothing that exists while reserving to myself my certain knowledge of what does exist.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 8:11 am

Your understanding of atheism is muddled. It’s not a merely semantic distinction. There may well be atheists who for whatever personal reason are certain that there is no God. But the majority of atheists are like Dawkins, ie seeing no reason to believe that there is a God, but open to evidence, of which to date there isn’t any.
Hawkings is an atheist because he feels that science offers a more convincing explanation for the existence of the universe than does creation by some supreme being. However, not all cosmologists are convinced by his and his colleagues’ explanation.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 9:20 am

Gloateus Maximus writes “But the majority of atheists are like Dawkins”
I consider him to be an evangelist for his non-belief, one of the first of the new breed of actively proselyting atheists. It seems balance is needed so humans can make free-will choices.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 8:17 am

Baz,
Russell’s Teapot has to do with the burden of proof, and I agree that the extraordinary claim of the existence of a creator requires extraordinary evidence, which is totally lacking.
However, that is logically different from being able to demonstrate with certainty that there is no God. Atheists can no more disprove the existence of God, so far, than theists can prove it. If proof be an applicable term, since it comes from math rather than science. Better to say that the God hypothesis can be neither confirmed nor falsified, hence is not a scientific proposition, but a metaphysical one.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 9:09 am

Gloateus Maximus: “the extraordinary claim of the existence of a creator requires extraordinary evidence, which is totally lacking.”
Without a doubt. The universe created itself. With an even bigger LHC we will have proof of it by creating our own Universe.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 9:14 am

Michael 2,
Why must the universe be created? What if it’s simply a property of space-time?
Positing a supernatural creator for whom there is no physical evidence does nothing at all to explain nature. It’s just another way of saying, we don’t know. Better IMO to try to find out than punting in this unsatisfactory way.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 10:15 am

Gloateus Maximus says “Why must the universe be created? What if it’s simply a property of space-time?”
I have no idea. Maybe the LHC will answer it. But if so, it just moves the goal posts; did space-time create itself?
Just say yes 🙂
Or no.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 9:31 am

Michael 2,
Yes, Dawkins is a militant atheist and as close to being certain that there is nothing like a God as a scientist can be. But IMO most atheists are live and let live. Those who challenge crosses and Nativity scenes on public property are a minority, but color the perception of the majority.
Even in the 19th century, Darwin’s militant atheist colleagues wanted him to support their views publicly, but he just wanted to practice science rather than proselytize. Plus, his wife was a Christian, if an heretical one, ie a unitarian, as secretly was Newton.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 10:22 am

Michael 2
December 4, 2015 at 10:15 am
There is evidence that space-time exists. There is as yet no evidence of a creator. The same goes for space-time as the universe. Supposing a creator not in evidence is anti-scientific. It brings the scientific endeavor to a screeching halt. If you’re sure that space-time were created, why try to figure out what it is? The God hypothesis explains nothing and makes no testable predictions, so is unscientifc, at best.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 10:51 am

Gloateus Maximus “There is evidence that space-time exists.”
Certainly, it follows from Descartes. It takes time to realize that time exists, and it takes space for the realizer to occupy so he can realize time exists.
“There is as yet no evidence of a creator.”
Either that or everything is evidence of a creator. Flip a coin, choose!
“Supposing a creator not in evidence is anti-scientific. It brings the scientific endeavor to a screeching halt.”
Certainly with regard to using a gas chromatograph to find God, that would indeed be futile, or maybe not. It is a bit like trying to find matter not in evidence; “dark matter”, which by definition almost doesn’t interact with normal matter and thus is, again by definition, not considered to be detectable except by the most delicate of instruments but even then failure to detect is not proof of nonexistence.
“If you’re sure that space-time were created, why try to figure out what it is?”
Maybe a few billion dollars for making the effort, kinda like finding a Higgs Boson. An episode of Star Trek explores this concept, a “bubble” of space-time created by Wesley Crusher. He brought it into existence, was trapped inside and was nearly crushed (pun intended) by it.
“The God hypothesis explains nothing and makes no testable predictions, so is unscientifc, at best.”
Yes, I think that has been abundantly established by me and others. It is a way of moving along to the next thing, “why is there air?” which invokes the anthropic principle.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 7:59 am

It is very telling that the zealot fringe of CAGW harps on the certainty of their position, the athiest type of certainty. A study of “the science is settled” “the debate is over” CAGW scientists would be most revealing. I predict they are all atheists (not even agnostics). It is a common ad hominem of the “certainty” crowd to ‘accuse’ a dissenter of being a Creationist or some such. Roy Spencer and Monckton often run into this kind of abuse. I think a more detailed study would be most revealing. For example, I suspect that Ehrlich and his fellows and a host of other misanthropist proponents are atheist (not more scientifically agnostic). They would never say “I don’t know”.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 8:06 am

Roy is indeed a Creationist, not that fact should disqualify him from commenting on his area of expertise, which most certainly is not biology.

Kozlowski
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 8:22 am

Gary,
“The atheist BELIEVES with certainty that there is no spiritual being. ”
I consider myself to be an atheist, as in, I have no belief in a higher being.
However, I have no certainty about it at all. I sure hope I’m wrong, that when I die I will magically awake again somewhere else. No sarcasm, that is a serious hope. It is an epic tragedy that all I am disappears at my death. All I have learned is lost forever. My experiences forgotten by the universe. I really wish it were different. But wanting something to be true doesn’t make it true.
Just wanted to make the point that I think your statement is incorrect. Perhaps some atheists believe with certainty, but not this one.

Lancifer
Reply to  Kozlowski
December 4, 2015 11:25 am

People that insist that atheism is a religion are attempting some serious, and delusional, sophistry. They are trying to define atheism as a belief system in which the believer professes a knowledge that there is no god.
You can not prove a negative. And thus cannot have knowledge that there is no god. What you can do is use the power of deduction to eliminate it to a very high probability.
That is hardly a religion.

Michael 2
Reply to  Lancifer
December 4, 2015 1:39 pm

Lancifer wrote “You can not prove a negative. And thus cannot have knowledge that there is no god. What you can do is use the power of deduction to eliminate it to a very high probability. That is hardly a religion.”
Of course it is a religion. Your beliefs in this “space” are your religion. So says the Supreme Court on treating atheism as a religion. The United Kingdom also treats it as a religion and even as a religion code for it on official documents.
Anyway, show me this power of deduction that you have used to eliminate god to a very high probability. Naturally you will have to start with what is “god”, then show it doesn’t exist. This could prove entertaining.

Reply to  Kozlowski
December 5, 2015 1:37 am

I think there is a broad mix ranging from certainty to doubt within those who identify as theists and those who identify as non-theistic. No good reason to characterize just atheist as certain. Some people identify as apolitical – that does not mean they are certain that politics does not exist, but rather that they choose not to be involved with it. One can be an atheist is the same way one can be asexual – by not becoming involved is something that on the whole does not seem worthwhile from an individual perspective. From our own perspectives we all have similarities and divergences that often make such sweeping statements about believers and non-believers misleading. Individuals can approach religious or non-religious endeavors both in alternative ways that may make their advocacy a religion or not.

Jurgen
December 4, 2015 7:49 am

From my own experience I wouldn’t confront religion and science as relating to the same kind of existential experience or phenomena – they are geared towards different objectives and different questions, and although there may be overlap, historical or personal, and because of that “a conflict of paradigm” may arise – in the end they spring from fundamentally different sources and are focused around different needs.
There is a thought experiment: an agnostic or atheist intellectual suddenly is in deep trouble and his very existence looks like being shattered – completely helpless it may very well happen to him he starts praying to a god or some higher power to help him, in his anxious moments this may just happen to him spontaneously without thinking.
Does this make him a religious person?
In the end I don’t think religion has to do with a free choice, religion is related to deep mechanism and intuitions that are just there, given and grown as a result of our personal history, the groups we are part of, the persons that are important to us.
A simplistic distinction that comes to mind here is to say religion is maybe mainly linked to our “older” brain parts like the reptilian, mammal, primate – and science mainly to the neocortex – but I have to say I am not into this brain business so this is just a speculative theory to illustrate my line of thought.

Baz
December 4, 2015 7:54 am

I don’t know why this authored-contribution exists. Religion is simply irrelevant…to anything. If we all died out tomorrow, religion would die with us…as would golf! It is man-made, purely, has no relevance on the world, it’s animals, its nature – absolutely none (don’t confuse effect with relevance). It’s abject nonsense. You could start a religion tomorrow – and that says everything about it.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Baz
December 4, 2015 8:04 am

Golf might be played on a rocky planet around a yellow star in the gigantic IC 1101 galaxy. But I can’t be sure, being agnostic.

Baz
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 8:09 am
Michael 2
Reply to  Baz
December 4, 2015 8:50 am

Baz “You could start a religion tomorrow – and that says everything about it.”
Your vision seems a bit limited. Your not-religion IS a religion. No one escapes religion even if you simply make your own. Whatever you consider right and wrong, whoever is your authority, the person you trust (if anyone, even if only yourself), that’s your religion. No one escapes!

Manfred Schropp
December 4, 2015 8:08 am

“The Templeton World Charity Foundation funded the study.”
The study was funded by Templeton, a charity with a very clear religious bent. They are quite open about it. I am not claiming that the source of funding influenced the outcome, but as in all human endeavors one should always keep the “cui bono” aspect in mind. We all do it on this site when we look at studies in climate science, as well as in other fields. Would the “wrong” result affect future funding?
Without seeing the structure of the study, the questions, the analysis, the raw data, what do we really know?

Kozlowski
December 4, 2015 8:08 am

Just as politics and religion need to be separated, so too does religion and science. Each is poison to the other. They only co-exist with strenuous mental gymnastics.
I have little trust in ‘religious scientists.’ They are unable to falsify their own belief system. They are inherently blind and self-delusional.
Also, I think that articles like this damage the credibility of a science blog.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Kozlowski
December 4, 2015 8:54 am

Kozlowski:
Yes, you are obviously right.
Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Friar Mendel and their ilk obviously damaged the credibility of a science. sarc off/
Richard

Michael 2
Reply to  Kozlowski
December 4, 2015 9:29 am

Kozlowski writes “I think that articles like this damage the credibility of a science blog.”
It isn’t a science blog; it is a knowledge blog. More exists than just science. Science is confined to atoms and energy because the instruments of science are made of atoms and energy and can measure nothing else.
I love science. But it is but one facet of the jewel of life.

CR Carlson
December 4, 2015 8:11 am

Failed divinity student, Rev Al Gore travels the world giving thunderous sermons, demanding we repent for our carbon sins. His hundreds of acolyte MiniGore’s spread the faith. Paris must be infested with them this week.

Tom Judd
December 4, 2015 8:21 am

To quote an indelibly famous individual, “What difference does it make?”
51% of all scientists believe there’s a god. Ah, so there must be a god.
51% of all scientists believe there’s not a god. Ah, so there isn’t a god.
And, in the end, we know with absolutely certainty that there is indeed a god. It’s unmistakable. It’s right before us. It’s Barack Obama. And, despite our beliefs to the contrary, what he has shown us is that gods do, indeed, make mistakes. Big mistakes. Whopper mistakes. Big, fat whopper mistakes. Stupid, big, fat, whopper mistakes. Massively stupid, big, fat, whopper mistakes.
So, if anybody ever asks how God could allow terrible things to happen; now you know.

Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 8:22 am

It seems to me the athiest must also reject the idea of art, that (say an abstract) painting means this or that or is an expression of this or that thought, idea or mood. What evidence on the canvas can be used to support this. How can a melody be sad or happy, or grand, or profound. How can a design be pleasing or otherwise, or color combination, what could ‘in the eyes of the beholder’ possibly mean. There is much in our makeup that exists that cannot be given a reason for. There is much we value that can’t be quantitatively weighed and does not have universal singularity. Atheism may be a form of despair, bleakness, colorlessness. Hey, I’m in the “don’t know” category. I don’t want to rule out something that would be transcendent.

Kozlowski
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 8:36 am

” Atheism may be a form of despair, bleakness, colorlessness.”
I think you fundamentally misunderstand atheism. I love art, with it’s possibilities for interpretation. I enjoy taking photographs of nature to freeze that moment and marvel at its incredible beauty.
There is no ‘despair, bleakness or colorlessness in atheism.’ Not in mine anyways :). Just a pragmatic admission that it is unlikely that the God of the bible exists. Ditto for all other beliefs and faiths. Very very unlikely. That doesn’t detract from the value of life, however. On the contrary, I think it increases the value of our lives, to be lived to the fullest as it is the only one we will ever get.
We are dead a lot longer than we are alive. So live this one life to the fullest.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Kozlowski
December 4, 2015 9:08 am

Ditto the last sentence. But surely yours is the definition of an agnostic. Even ‘very unlikely’ is a “don’t know” position. My point is that certainty on the issue of a spiritual realm is a dogmatic position (theist or atheist), like “the debate is over” or “the consensus is correct” when really it is in the way of a belief. Go with “don’t know” as the scientific assessment. Some argue that all over the world, independently, all peoples had this spiritual thing and there are remarkable similarities among them, ergo….. From a darwinistic perspective, why would we be the only creatures on the planet that did anything that wasn’t simply for survival. What use biologically would it have? Is being delusional a trait that would serve the biological imperatives? Is creating big buildings, music, art etc. replete with survival or selectable traits for evolution? We do an excessive amount of unnecessary stuff. Giraffe’s have long necks to reach high foliage in savanna country – it is a defining part of their anatomy and their being. They don’t draw things in the sand with their hooves, although they could. We do. A thinking atheist would soon transform himself to an Agnostic “don’t know” type.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 8:56 am

Gary,
I wonder how many atheists you have known. Your cartoonish picture of them is fundamentally wrong. Many great artists have been avowed atheists, and more still in prior centuries who couldn’t say so publicly.
Maybe it would help if you had read atheist literature or even listened to what they actually say about their beliefs and attitudes. Here is one of the most famous atheists on the distinction between agnostic and atheist. Sorry for the poor video quality:

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 9:11 am

I can see I have been digging too deeply into a subject that is really much lighter in weight.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 10:27 am

Gloateus Maximus writes: “Maybe it would help if you had read atheist literature”
No such thing can exist. An atheist is not a thing to be, it is a thing to not-be. So what is an atheist? It is unpredictable! The word describes a single lack; not a thing itself.
Perhaps you are suggesting that atheist literature is ALL literature save only god-advocating literature. But it might even be that; cannot an atheist write a story about god just as easily as she writes about a dragon or unicorn?
For there to be an affirmative atheist literature, identifiable immediately as such, it cannot be merely atheist (not-theist) but anti-theist (rather a lot of Dawkins in other words).

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 10:49 am

Michael,
It might be fair to consider Dawkins and some other militant atheists as anti-theistical, but there is also a large body of less militant atheistic literature. For instance, among recent writers, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris are often lumped together with Dawkins and Hitchens, but their less aggressive approach is a softer sell. IMO, they’re not angry, but analytical.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 9:47 am

Not much too add to Feynman:
***
“I have a friend who’s an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don’t agree with very well. He’ll hold up a flower and say “look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree. Then he says “I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing,” and I think that he’s kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is … I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there’s also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.”
― Richard Feynman
***

Beath
December 4, 2015 8:36 am

I became a Christian at university while reading physics. That was 40 years ago. Why would anyone think that “existence” can be completely defined just by what physics (science) investigates?

Reply to  Beath
December 4, 2015 11:46 am

Physics is not trying to completely define “existence”. But science is a process by which ideas that pass certain empirical tests can be verified or disregarded. Christianity is a death cult based on an obviously false myth that can at best distort any inquiry into the questions that science can be used to answer.
Islam and any of the other religions that are professed by the worlds “believers” are just as worthless in answering these questions. The only utility the have, IMHO, is to convince the credulous that they are somehow part of a universe that somehow cares about their dreary daily problems.
The universe doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you or me. If you need the revelations of ancient Neolithic goat herders to guide you through life’s choices and moral predicaments you are practicing a completely irrational, yet eminently popular, form of self-deception.
Entire cultures have been built around these obviously contradictory religions, yet people cheerfully denigrate the foolish religious delusions of adherents of other religions while tenaciously and often violently clinging to their own idiotic fables and rituals.

TheLastDemocrat
Reply to  lancifer666
December 4, 2015 1:06 pm

“But science is a process by which ideas that pass certain empirical tests can be verified or disregarded.”
Lancifer: so science can confirm truth?
That’s a new one.

December 4, 2015 8:48 am

Some may be interested in:
http://www.reasons.org/about/our-mission
They say:
RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature.
As well, Stephen Hawking has this to say:
“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?” 
― Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Werner Brozek
December 4, 2015 8:58 am

Hawking has been persuaded to be an atheist by his further study of the universe.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Werner Brozek
December 4, 2015 9:30 am

Stephen Hawking> Now this guy DOES dig deeply into the question, whereas self appointed atheists adopt the position, probably starting as a naughty intellectual thing to do in university as I did briefly. Disclaimer, I am not a member of any formalized religious group. I am a scientist (and engineer) though, and can see no reason in being sure of something that is or isn’t without evidence – such certainty is a matter of belief or faith. Being sure one way or the other seems a failing in logic. Hey, I’m happy to be in the company of Stephen Hawking, for sure.
Having eggheads discuss the differences between atheists and agnostics is of no help. They arrived at evolved forms of the original meaning of atheist (pretty starkly obvious in the word itself) precisely because of the kinds of criticisms I have elaborated on here. Celebrity atheists probably quickly effected the shift in position when debate showed them that they were really dogmatic believers. They of course couldn’t save face and abandon the ‘category’ so they clipped a few bits off agnosticism to emend a weak idea. It’s done all the time. The venerable historical idea of agnosticism needed some repositioning, too. It’s done all the time, too.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 9:42 am

Gary,
You are mistaken. Whatever connotation the term “agnostic” may have picked up since its first use in 1869, Dawkins applies correctly in its original meaning.
It was coined by “Darwin’s Bulldog”, T. H. Huxley. Twenty years later, Huxley elaborated on what he meant by “agnosticism”. He used the word in order to frame the nature of claims in terms of what is knowable and what is not. Huxley wrote, “Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the (rigorous) application of a single principle…the fundamental axiom of modern science…In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration…In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable”.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 11:50 am

Well Gloateus, you have just described by understanding of agnosticism it – it is really related to scientific principle whereas athiest is a stern religious-type belief. You show yourself to be actually an agnostic as Huxley would have understood it. Don’t be unhappy about this, it is a good thing.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 12:21 pm

Gary,
You seem to be missing the point, which is that the relationship between agnosticism, properly understood, and atheism is as I described it. All atheists are agnostics. There are some, but not many 50/50 agnostics, or 4s on Dawkins’ seven point scale, who really aren’t sure either way or just don’t care enough about religion to come to a conclusion. But there are lots of people in the 6 to 7 range, for whom continuing to go “meh” is not a rational choice. Even some in the 5-6 range might consider themselves non-militant atheists.
Atheism is not, as you and some other commenters here suppose, a religion requiring a faith-based belief. It is however a choice, based upon one’s being sufficiently convinced by the lack of evidence for a god and preponderance of evidence against the supposition that there is a god or gods, however defined, to conclude that he, she, it or they don’t exist.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 1:14 pm

Gloateus Maximus “Atheism is not, as you and some other commenters here suppose, a religion requiring a faith-based belief.”
Indeed, it requires faith-based non-belief!
There is no evidence (1) proving god, there is also no evidence proving the non-existence of god (2).
1. Plenty of evidence exists which a person may conclude, or not, that it reveals the existence of god. But what you would accept as proof another might not and if a readily available proof existed then it would be readily available to all from the beginning of human history and thus not usually perceived as anything special.
2. The only way to prove the non-existence of God is to define it in such a way that a proof is possible. Suppose you declare that “God” is a being that never allows children to die. If you observe children dying, then you have proven the non-existence of “God” — at least of that particular kind. But that’s a “straw-god”.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 12:57 pm

Gary,
In an earlier comment you used the term “scientifically agnostic.” I like it. I would guess that most scientists and engineers are more scientifically agnostic than they are believers. I personally think that scientists and engineers that accepts anything with the probability of one are just kidding themselves and severely limiting the useful scope of their work. Just because something (i.e., a ‘fact’, ‘formula’, ‘theory’, or even a ‘first principle’) has been correct in the past does not mean it will remain so in the future. Expecting otherwise defines nothing more than a personal ‘belief’, which has no place in either science or engineering.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 4, 2015 1:28 pm

Michael 2,
I like straw god.
Again, atheism is not faith-based because, whatever your experience tells you, there is no objective evidence even of a creator, let alone a deity which intervenes in history and counts falling sparrows and hairs on heads. Besides which, as noted, positing a creator explains nothing. Why worship such a vapid concept? Especially when, if omnipotent, the supposed being is sadistic beyond measure.
Your experiences convince you, but others might chalk them up to accident or some subconscious sense processing.
As science advances, there is ever less space in which the hypothetical being can hide.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 3:49 pm

Gloateus Maximus writes “atheism is not faith-based”
True for “weak atheism” of the “I really don’t know and I don’t care” variety. But it becomes faith based in the case of “strong atheism” or evangelical atheism.
I do not argue against an atheist arguing against a particular god that cannot exist and such arguments are fairly common between theists: My god exists, your god does not!
“there is no objective evidence even of a creator”
Of course there’s a creator; what is not obvious by inspection is that this creator is anthropomorphic and does not want you to eat meat on Fridays and took only 144 hours to create Life, the Universe, and Everything (see Douglas Adams for more on that theme).
“let alone a deity which intervenes in history and counts falling sparrows and hairs on heads.”
I don’t know that he doesn’t and how would anyone know? History only flows one way; whether an intervention has already altered the flow cannot be known. I have a suspicion that my history has been altered. It is also a bit of an assumption that the Supreme Being does all that. There may well be some flunky spirit that is counting my hairs as they slowly fall and another counting falling sparrows.
I’ll admit to being slightly contaminated by the movie “Time Bandits”, a comedy but contains some remarkably sharp observations.
“Besides which, as noted, positing a creator explains nothing. Why worship such a vapid concept?”
Why indeed. I’m a bit fuzzy on the whole worship thing; while I know with certainty that a god exists, it is not clear to me that anything I do makes the slightest difference to him — but doing things makes a big difference to my neighbor. So, I worship nothing in particular but give service to my neighbor and respect to God. I don’t even know how to “worship”.
“Your experiences convince you, but others might chalk them up to accident or some subconscious sense processing.”
That they do. I am open to alternate explanations of why the voice told me to change lanes and avoid a deadly head-on collision, or at another time, told me to go render assistance to a person that I had no idea needed assistance, his daughter had just been in an automobile accident.
Neither do I strictly attribute these things to a singular person “God” who is merely the supremest of a rather wide variety of things which by their sheer numbers is far more likely what you or anyone else actually encounters. Several dimensions exist such as intellect (will), power, goodness/badness. A good number of people can feel these things, and feel it objectively which is to say, I will feel something and my wife will feel it and shortly after we turn to each other and say, “did you feel that?” I didn’t imagine it (well sometimes I probably do); but two or more persons imagining the exact same thing at the same time and place is a bit unusual.
For you to believe a single word I write would indeed be “blind faith” and there’s no reason for that. I am just telling stories; who does not like a good story? But someone reading these words has the same story, and maybe a doubt, and after reading my words their doubt will be resolved, “I too had that experience!” and their faith will not be blind, for I have not imparted my story, but validated, made objectively real, their own story.

Jeff L
December 4, 2015 8:51 am

For everyone with an interest in the subject, I highly recommend you see the movie “Contact” (or read the book by Carl Sagan).
Science is belief in what can be proven.
Faith (religion) is belief in what can’t be proved (ie God).
To quote U2 :
“No one is blinder than he who will not see” based on John 9:40-41.
There are people blinded by science and there people blinded by faith; neither can see that faith isn’t science and science isn’t faith. And these people , both coming from a faith and a science background, are the ones that see a conflict between the two.

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  Jeff L
December 4, 2015 9:43 am

Everybody has their opinion, but I do not go along with the idea that science involves “belief” of any kind. I have professionally involved myself in science and engineering for 40 years, and it is all an attempt to make the most reasonable sense out of what is observed. It is a world of hypotheses and theories, all of which are understood to be, in principle, temporary…until superseded by something more effective, or by a different way of looking at something.
When I was in graduate school, I had the exhilarating experience in very small classes of joining with the professor in trying to understand the material and where it led. It was from this I obtained the idea of “the Frontier of Ignorance.” We knew things up to a certain point, and beyond that, it was all a vast sea of ignorance.
It is a modern conceit to think that we must have an explanation for everything, and so we come up with flimsy explanations to paper over the gaps where we do not have robust explanations…when the more honest approach would be to admit “we just don’t know” and keep an open mind. A closed mind is like a closed butterfly net. I don’t need to explain the analogy.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael J. Dunn
December 4, 2015 9:52 am

Michael 2,
The point of the scientific endeavor is to try to find out how nature works. Of course that requires admitting and recognizing what is not known or well explained, ie our ignorance. But that doesn’t mean that scientists shouldn’t try to understand.

Michael 2
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 11:07 am

Gloateus Maximus writes: “The point of the scientific endeavor is to try to find out how nature works.”
Why?

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Michael J. Dunn
December 4, 2015 11:23 am

1) Just to know, ie basic science.
2) To improve life, applied science.

Michael 2
Reply to  Michael J. Dunn
December 4, 2015 12:58 pm

Michael J. Dunn writes
“I do not go along with the idea that science involves belief of any kind.”
and
“It is a modern conceit to think that we must have an explanation for everything,”
So which is it? Things that are not explained (2) must necessarily then be believed (1) or not believed (1).
I suspect you believe quite a lot that you have not personally proven to be true.

December 4, 2015 8:52 am

What one labels their philosophy is their choice.
Both in their cleanest form are human paths toward understanding the spaces we inhabit.
Most religions leave lots of room for science.
And from what we can currently measure and safely infer, science has an infinity of room for GOD/Gods.
The sense of wonder, essential for good scientific speculation, is also essential for the humility to know, that we do not know.
From my perspective religion and science are one.A tool for a self deluding, pattern seeking mind to attempt to see.
It is not much, but the scientific method is the best we have come up with so far, to allow the exchange of ideas between men.
When we argue philosophy, religion our communication breakdown is accelerated by the number of undefined terms at the start of the conversation.
To attempt a scientific exchange, we must define our terms at the start.Thus limiting the conservation.
The God problem, is the same as defining “everything”.

temp
December 4, 2015 8:53 am

If you are a scientist you can not be an atheist. They are mutually exclusive. Atheism is based on a logical fallacy and thus can not be science… nor can atheists be scientists as a result.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  temp
December 4, 2015 9:02 am

Temp,
Your baseless belief will come as a surprise to the hundreds of atheist Nobel Prize winners in scientific categories. You must be confused as to both atheism and science.

temp
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 9:10 am

even a blind old squirrel can find a nut sometimes… and lets not forget that nobel prizes are not exactly science… they have been popularity contests for awhile(80+ years).

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 9:17 am

Temp,
Nobody is more skeptical of the Nobel process than I, but the vast majority of scientific Nobels have been warranted.

temp
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 9:36 am

and I bet they weren’t atheist… plus another issue is that alot of nobel prizes more so recently are pure brutal force money stuff… not really true scientist. Once again science is about following the scientific method… just because you invent or find stuff doesn’t mean you did science to do it, random events do happen.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 9:44 am

From this thread, I’ve come to see that self-styled atheists haven’t really given the meaning of their appellation much thought. Gloateus you are protesting much and not usefully criticizing some poster’s well thought out positions. You appeal to Nobel Prize winners, you inform us that the beautiful understanding of the questions by Stephen Hawking then degenerated into mundane atheism. Your atheism, and now I suspect this is a generalization, is more like a scouts badge sewed on your sleeve. Comon’ get into the subject. I thought it cool to be an atheist when a naughty university student but this melted away with a bit of thought.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
December 4, 2015 10:02 am

Gary,
I am showing you what atheists actually think rather than what you imagine they believe. Your atheist period may not be typical of the opinions of long-term atheists.