Study: Some faiths may turn to religion for science answers

From RICE UNIVERSITY

Some faiths more likely to turn to religion for answers to science

When it comes to seeking answers to questions about science, evangelical and black Protestants and Mormons are more likely than the general population to turn to religion, according to a new study by researchers from Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program, the University of Nevada-Reno and West Virginia University.

Thestudy, which is slated to appear in an upcoming edition of the journal Public Understanding of Science, is the first to measure whether people would actively consult a religious authority or source of information with a question about science, said lead researcher Elaine Howard Ecklund, the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, a professor of sociology at Rice and director of Rice’s Religion and Public Life Program.

“Our findings suggest that religion does not necessarily push individuals away from science sources, but religion might lead people to turn to religious sources in addition to scientific sources,” Ecklund said.

The study, “Scientists and Religious Leaders Compete for Cultural Authority of Science,” is based on a survey of 10,241 Americans who provided information about their confidence and interest in science, their religious characteristics and their political ideology. The sample included a wide range of people, including all religious groups as well as the nonreligious.

“People have many places to look for scientific news and information: the internet, books or documentaries by science popularizers, museums or social media,” Ecklund said. “But there is good reason to believe some look beyond scientific sources of information when questions arise about science. Some segments of the public, for example, are skeptical of the scientific community when it comes to topics like climate change, evolution or vaccines.”

Ecklund and colleagues found that the general survey population was more likely to consult a scientific source than a religious source when seeking answers to scientific questions. This was also true when the researchers looked at mainline Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians. For evangelical Protestants, black Protestants and Mormons, however, the gap between the likelihood of consulting a scientific source or a religious source was narrower.

While 16 percent of all survey respondents said they would be somewhat or very likely to consult a religious leader for answers to their science questions, this number jumps to 29 percent when just looking at evangelical Protestants or black Protestants and 25 percent when looking at Mormons. Similarly, 31 percent of evangelical Protestants, 30 percent of black Protestants and 31 percent of Mormons said they would be somewhat or very likely to consult a religious text for answers to scientific questions, compared with 18 percent of overall respondents. When asked whether they would be somewhat or very likely to consult people at their congregation about such questions, 27 percent of evangelicals, 26 percent of black Protestants and 31 percent of Mormons said yes, compared with 16 percent of overall surveyed respondents.

When asked about their views on consulting scientific sources, 37 percent of those surveyed said they would be somewhat or very likely to consult a book written by a Ph.D. scientist for answers to their questions, compared with 34 percent of evangelical Protestants, 39 percent of black Protestants and 46 percent of Mormons. And 53 percent of the general surveyed population said they would be somewhat or very likely to consult a scientific magazine, compared with 50 percent of evangelical Protestants, 52 percent of black Protestants and 66 percent of Mormons. Finally, 49 percent of all survey respondents said they would be somewhat or very likely to speak with a person working in a scientific occupation, compared with 46 percent of evangelical Protestants, 43 percent of black Protestants and 55 percent of Mormons.

The authors said the research provides helpful implications and insights for science communication.

“In order to reach the large swath of the U.S. population who are religious, scientists and science communicators should be targeting religious leaders and communities,” Ecklund said. “If religious leaders are indeed already being approached with questions about science, it’s possible they simply need the information in hand in order to translate accurate scientific information to the public or to connect religious people with scientists themselves.”

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The study’s other authors include Christopher Scheitle of West Virginia University and David Johnson of the University of Nevada at Reno.

This study was funded by the John Templeton Foundation and is available online at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0963662517718145.

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408 thoughts on “Study: Some faiths may turn to religion for science answers

  1. Study asks which religious source will people seek a guy with a PhD from a university or from a religious university/seminary rather than using a science based method.

    • Well, one should point out that 99% of science is faith based. Any book or anything one reads requires one to make an act of faith on what is contained in that book.

      And that witness and testimony from that book is past tense. So near all science is “history” based.

      One of the most interesting aspects of the GW debate is this “appeal” to authority. The reason why this comes up so much (in place of an intellectual response) is in fact that science is based on acts of faith, and requires an act of faith to accept that science.

      Hence the “common” appeal to authority is the result.

      The REAL problem is those on the left are shocked and surprised when told that science is based MOSTLY on acts of faith and appeals to authority – the same process as religion.

      • Science is most assuredly not based upon faith.

        Your claim that most people have to take what scientists say on faith is completely different from the practice of the scientific method, which is based upon doubt, not faith.

        The only belief a scientist needs is that the universe has behaved according to the same rules for the past 13.8 billion years. This conclusion is supported by all available evidence.

      • From John Barrow: “In this vein it has been suggested that if we were to define a religion to be a system of thought which contains unprovable statements, so it contains an element of faith, then Godel has taught us that not only is mathematics a religion but it is the only religion able to prove itself to be one.

        If you do not see the humor in that then you are wrapped way too tight.

      • Quite right. Science started out as a branch of religion, designed at least in part to turn lead into gold.

        Woven throughout the article is FAITH, just as you say — that if I ask a question, never mind of a PhD or a priest, that I am getting correct information and it is up to me to BELIEVE on those words.

        Now then I am sure that it depends on what KIND of science is being discussed. It is unlikely my priest knows the value of G or how to measure it but it is a fundamental in physics. On the other hand, it is unlikely that a physicist knows why humans exist, only that they do exist and has a fairly good idea how they came to exist. So does the born again evangelical Christian.

      • But keep in mind your accepting that value of G on an act of faith. You did not see the person measure that value. You were not there when the person wrote down those values. So what you accepting is an act of faith and it is a historical witness and testimony of that G value. Most people have difficulty in admitting that their science process is based on acts of faith and submitting to some authority. They doing this 99% of the time, but don’t realize and admit as such. You accepting that value of G is an act of faith on your part – it not firsthand knowledge – but witness and testimony of someone else.

      • Michael,

        Science did not begin as religion, unless you mean that study of the heavens was promoted by the needs of astrology. Science began long before the quest to turn lead into gold. Observation of nature began even before modern H. sapiens.

        But science began in ancient Greece, c. 600 BC, with the conclusion, based upon observation, that Earth is spherical. Science arose out of philosophy, not religion. Both in antiquity and during its modern revival from AD 1543, science was based upon rejecting making up stories about observations of nature or accepting authority, ie rejecting mythical, magical, supernatural religious explanations for natural, rational, physical ones.

        The rainbow isn’t God’s promise not to drown the world again, but due to the reflection, refraction and dispersion of light through water droplets in the air. Fossils aren’t the remains of biblical giants in the earth, but parts of organisms slowly, partially turned to stone over time. The sun is not YHWH or Apollo riding his flaming chariot across the sky, but a star.

        The difference in conclusions about human origins is that the physicist’s general idea of human origins is correct, unless he or she be a creationist. Similarly, the evangelical’s general idea is also right, unless he or she be a creationist. A physicist however is orders of magnitude less likely to be a creationist than is the average evangelical.

      • Albert D. Kallal October 17, 2017 at 5:08 pm

        Anyone with even a high school science education has verified the value of G for himself or herself. Certainly college physics students have done so.

        You imagine that everyone must take all scientific results on faith.

      • I’ll give you the case for the value of G is certainly more common, but not for the vast majority of constants such as the charge of an electron. So yes I do in fact claim and state that 99% of anyone’s knowledge of science is in fact based on acts of faith and not firsthand experience or knowledge. 99% of that science is accepted by an act of faith from some book or source and that source is past witness and testimony. So your response is a not a argument or case against my claim – you making acts of faith to accept witness and testimony of others in the vast majority of cases. Any data reading you accept that written down by someone else even between people doing research is accepted on a act of faith and is not first hand knowledge.

      • Albert,

        There are hundreds of millions of scientists, engineers, doctors, etc who have indeed learned science with their own hands and eyes.

        But you keep missing the key difference. Science is subject to confirmation or falsification. Religion isn’t.

        Just because most people have to accept the results of scientific inquiry doesn’t mean they take it on faith alone. They can read the evidence for the fact of evolution, for instance. They need not take it on faith.

        But for God there is no evidence. He can only be taken on faith.

        I’d have thought this distinction to be obvious.

      • Well, the evidence for evolution is poor, and spotty. There are no experiments that show creating of new genetic traits for example. And the evidence for a caused universe is overwhelming as opposed to static (always existing one). As I pointed out, the instance we discovered fusion was quite much the instant that the science community adopted the concept of a caused universe. And that is the same view of those who believe in a caused universe. So the idea that anyone who accepts a caused universe is not using an evidence based approach is silly. You assuming that the process is different for people who accept a caused universe – it’s not. There are bible pounders, but to lump everyone into that group is silly.

        I suppose you have to define what you mean by religion then. But those accepting intelligent design or the overwhelming evidence for a caused universe are using the same scientific method of evidence you note.

        And the acceptance of that science is still a act of faith and based on accepting witness and testimony of others. So the process is a appeal to some authority in most cases.

      • You keep getting everything wrong.

        The evidence for evolution is not only overwhelming, but it’s a scientific fact, ie an observation of nature. The origin of new species and genera from existing ones has been observed over and over and over again, among unicellular microbes, fungi, plants and animals.

        The genomes of organisms change constantly. Scientists can change them in the lab, just as they alter in every generation in the wild. Whole industries are based upon changing genotypes and phenotypes, to include agriculture for the past 13,000 years. Far longer than that, if you count the evolution of wolves into dogs.

        The theory of evolution is like the theory of gravity, a body of hypotheses explaining observed phenomena. Evolution is much better understood than is gravity, but both are facts of nature.

        Why do you feel competent to comment on subjects about which you clearly know so very little?

        OTOH, there is zero evidence whatsoever for a caused universe. The “science community” has not adopted this fantasy of yours due to fusion. Where on earth did you get this totally counterfactual notion. As I pointed out, fusion is well understood upon purely natural bases. No supernatural explanations are required. What’s silly is imagining ridiculously that fusion offers some kind of evidence for a caused universe.

        Intelligent design most certainly does not use the scientific method. It is a total repudiation and the very antithesis of the scientific method.

        The acceptance of science is not an act of faith. Science is based upon doubt, not faith. Ir a scientific hypothesis can’t be supported by observation and experiment, then it fails.

        Religion, OTOH, is not subject to falsification or experimental test. Any attempt to do so must needs fail. You just keep asserting the same falsehoods over and over. Anyone who wants to can look at how scientific results were reached and decide for himself or herself whether they are persuasive.

      • Gabro,

        “[T]here is zero evidence whatsoever for a caused universe.” Uhhhh rriiight. The universe, against all science and natural laws, has no cause? Okay, no faith involved there.

      • Frizzy,

        Nothing about an uncaused universe violates any laws of science. As I said, there is no evidence whatsoever that some imagined creator being made it. If you know of some, please provide it. The cosmological community will thank you.

        Imagining a supernatural creator being explains nothing, so is outside the realm of science.

      • Agree with Kallal. Science is a method by which you confirm or reject (mostly) postulates but most of your scientific knowledge is the word of the good textbook.

      • Robert,

        You miss the point that a textbook should show you how scientific results are reached. You need take nothing on faith. Anyone who wants to learn more can. All that stops you is time or desire.

        Unlike religion, in which nothing is subject to falsifiable predictions, so must be taken on faith, no matter how much time you devote to study.

      • Gabro “Unlike religion, in which nothing is subject to falsifiable predictions, so must be taken on faith, no matter how much time you devote to study.”

        Y’all seem to miss an extremely important point. A rock sits there waiting to be discovered. Fish and gods do not.

      • “The universe, against all science and natural laws, has no cause?”

        All our science and knowledge of natural laws is based on observations made within the universe. Those observations lead us to think that, when something comes into existence within the universe, (a) there was a cause, and (b) it was formed from pre-existing material.

        But there is no reason to suppose that these apply to the universe itself. We have no observations of universes coming into existence, so we have no empirical evidence, and the concept of something popping into existence without cause or pre-existing material does not seem logically incoherent. Contrary to our experience, but imaginable and not self-contradictory.

        Nihil ex nihilo is a useful rule of thumb for working inside the universe, but that is all it is.

      • RoHa October 17, 2017 at 8:35 pm

        Correct.

        Furthermore, supposing a supernatural creator adds nothing to our understanding.

        It makes more sense just to state, in the absence of evidence, that space-time has always existed, and that energy and matter expand and contract within it, producing universes, possibly with different laws and initial states than the one we inhabit. Why can’t energy and matter simply be properties of space-time?

        The God Hypothesis explains nothing, so is of no scientific use. It just gives a name to something not understood. It’s not a valid explanation of anything.

      • Michael 2 October 17, 2017 at 10:09 pm

        As with all of nature, fish must be discovered.

        Gods aren’t discovered. They are made up.

      • Gabro writes: “Gods aren’t discovered. They are made up.”

        In which case they undeniably exist. My grandmother had several, bought them in the Fiji islands. As soon as something is “made up” it exists; for if it did not exist then it hasn’t been “made up”.

        To strain at this gnat; what exactly has been made up is an idea, a concept; perhaps some representations in wood, stone or metal (or combinations thereof).

        If I were to define a Flying Spaghetti Monster, does the act of my creation suddenly make the real FSM out there beyond Alpha Centauri just disappear? Probably not. So y’all can strain at gnats forever; there be many gnats.

      • “There are hundreds of millions of scientists, engineers, doctors, etc who have indeed learned science with their own hands and eyes.”

        Very many of these same individuals are people of faith. Religious experiences are real, and can be measured in the laboratory. Thus, many people of faith have also learned it through their own experience.

  2. “Our findings suggest that religion does not necessarily push individuals away from science sources..”
    Yes it does, it relies on belief without any evidence or proof.

    • Adam Gallon October 17, 2017 at 12:17 am

      You sound like you formed an opinion without any evidence or proof. Have you talked to many religious people? The writers of this paper have. This is evidence a higher percentage of religious people read books written by a scientist with a Ph.D. than the general public:

      “When asked about their views on consulting scientific sources, 37 percent of those surveyed said they would be somewhat or very likely to consult a book written by a Ph.D. scientist for answers to their questions, compared with 34 percent of evangelical Protestants, 39 percent of black Protestants and 46 percent of Mormons.”

      SR

      • I have a BS in ChE, thus am interested in science and scientific matters. I do confess, however, that my skills in differential and integral calculus have disappeared into the mists of time. I read books about quantum mechanics but only understand a smidgeon. I do not understand computer programming, but do know how a chip is organized. As to science created out of computer programs, it would do me no good to have the program spread out before me. However…
        Richard Feynman once said that extreme claims require extreme proof. Dickering around with a massive computer program is not proof. Facts on the ground, please.

    • Except for trivial cases, it is impossible to make most decisions based only on facts and logic. The human brain has evolved to deal with that problem. link

      In a properly functioning human brain, the left hemisphere processes logic and language. The right hemisphere evaluates things based on experience and context. In other words, the right hemisphere acts like our BS detector. Facts and decisions wash back and forth between the hemispheres until a consensus is reached. Logic and facts are evaluated by experience and experience is evaluated by facts and logic.

      What happens when the right hemisphere is disabled? A person in that condition will believe anything as long as it is not self-contradictory. Such a person will underestimate the difficulty of doing a project and will usually be disappointed with the result. Relying on the left brain alone will quickly lead people astray. In fact they become unstuck from reality in a way that mimics schizophrenia.

      My own case is illustrative. I used to believe in CAGW. Then Dr. Michael Mann tried to erase the MWP and the LIA with his hockey stick. One of my hobbies is history. I knew that the MWP and LIA had a huge effect on world history.

      By itself, devoid of context, it is not possible for a layman to refute Mann’s theory. Given a historical context, it is clear that the hockey stick is complete crap. Mann can argue facts and logic ’til he’s blue in the face, his hockey stick is still crap.

      Religion and faith provide context for religious people. It is perfectly reasonable for them to evaluate things using that filter.

      Like Carl Jung, Jordan Peterson points out that religion serves an important purpose in our civilization.

      Societies that refuse to recognize both of these elements therefore doom their inhabitants to purposelessness, unhappiness, sterility, and the aforementioned dangers of nihilistic divisiveness and deceitful, oppressive totalitarian certainty. link

      • No big argument Cb, but I think you need to distinguish between religion and spirituality. I reject religion but still find inspiration from a contemplation of our existence in such an amazing universe. Just no Ju-Ju man.

      • “In a properly functioning human brain…”

        CB, years ago, when they were first attempting to locate specific functions within the human brain and assign them to the hemispheres I was taught that those locations could only be counted on for right-handed people, and that for lefty’s brains they seemed to be scattered rather randomly.

      • Joe Crawford October 17, 2017 at 7:09 am

        … lefty’s brains …

        There’s plenty of evidence that they’re not just the reverse of right handers’ brains.

        The more we learn about handedness and the workings of the brain, the more perverse the attempt to denigrate or change natural left-handers appears to be. Left-handers, or at least people who are not strongly right-handed seem, some studies have shown, to be at a cognitive and creative and even sporting advantage. Anyone watching Rafael Nadal, Gary Sobers or Alastair Cook might have worked that out already.

        According to the critic and psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist, in his fascinating book The Master and his Emissary, citing research by Marian Annett: “There are unexpectedly large numbers of left-handers among artists, athletes and ‘skilled performers of many kinds’.” Annett herself goes on to say that it is “not that there is a predominance of left-handers in talented groups, but rather that there is a shortfall in such groups of people who are strongly right-handed”.

        Usually I would post a link but somehow that didn’t work. The quote above is a result of googling: mcgilchrist “left handed”. The quote is found in a Financial Times blog post titled: “On the other hand”.

        I have read The Master and his Emissary but had forgotten the above nugget. Together with John Ralston Saul’s Voltaire’s Bastards, the book provides ample evidence that over reliance on logic has led us into a real mess.

        A sharply focused and practical example is provided by Henry Mintzberg. His critique of MBA education shows that most MBAs become expert bullshitters who can spin wonderful castles in the sky from the most scanty evidence (which they don’t understand anyway).

        Left brain thinking, which emphasizes analysis at the expense of knowledge, is a real pox on the world.

        I am not precisely anti-intellectual but I sure am picky about which intellectuals I pay attention to.

      • john harmsworth October 17, 2017 at 6:36 am

        … you need to distinguish between religion and spirituality. …

        I myself come down firmly somewhere between Zen, Daoism, and Orthodox Old Believer. :-)

      • RoHa October 17, 2017 at 8:37 pm

        … What is spirituality?

        It’s an emergent phenomenon like consciousness … unless it’s a fundamental property of matter. :-)

      • Spirituality is the awareness of the things we don’t know. Simple !
        Just as God is another word (or personalisation) for what we don’t know.

      • As noted above, the only belief upon which science is built is the conclusion that the universe obeys the same laws now as 13.8 Ga. This conclusion is warranted by all available evidence, so is not just a belief.

      • Gabro,

        “As noted above, the only belief upon which science is built is the conclusion that the universe obeys the same laws now as 13.8 Ga.” Yep, the universe started obeying the laws the moment God created it.

      • Frizzy,

        Again, there is no need whatsoever to posit a supernatural creator being. It’s an unscientific, indeed anti-scientific, non-explanation.

        To be scientific, an explanation has to be natural and testable. The God Hypothesis isn’t.

        What possible scientific argument can you adduce in favor of the God Hypothesis, and how would you make a falsifiable, testable prediction upon its basis?

        It’s hard to look scientifically beyond 13.8 Ga, although possibly not impossible, and beyond the bounds of the observable universe. But that doesn’t justify imagining a phenomenon for which there is no testable evidence.

      • Gabro,

        Of course “It’s hard to look scientifically beyond 13.8 Ga”. The universe didn’t exist before then.

        “To be scientific, an explanation has to be natural and testable.” I agree. And what is very unscientific, unnatural, and untestable, is to say that an effect (the universe) has no cause.

      • “And what is very unscientific, unnatural, and untestable, is to say that an effect (the universe) has no cause.”

        It is equally unscientific and untestable to say that it does have a cause. (Let alone that some sort of god was the cause.) This is a case in which we simply don’t know.

      • Frizzy October 17, 2017 at 8:00 pm

        I said that there was no evidence of a cause, so it is unscientific to imagine one. Nor can testable hypotheses be formulated based upon the assumption of a cause.

        I didn’t say that there was no cause, since that conjecture is likewise untestable.

        In the present state of our ability to observer and make scientific hypotheses, there is no evidence for or against a cause. But since there is no reason to assume one, the wiser course is to say we don’t know. Thus, those making that conjecture are less scientific.

      • Gabro, did you mean to say that there is no evidence of THE cause [of the universe]? Doesn’t an effect (the universe) by very definition have to have A cause?

      • “Doesn’t an effect (the universe) by very definition have to have A cause?”

        But what is it about the universe that makes you think it is an effect? You only know that something is an effect if you know that it has a cause.

      • RoHa asserts “You only know that something is an effect if you know that it has a cause.”

        It would help if you wrote in first person of your own limitations rather than imply you have knowledge of mine.

        Aristotle’s logic seems somewhat incomprehensible but I agree, I think, with his assertion that there cannot be anything that exists that was not caused to exist. That is also a fundamental principle of physics: Springs do not wind (tension) themselves. Things do not go from lower energy states to higher energy states by themselves.

        Therefore, you seem to have the logic backwards: The presence of a thing that exists, starting with yourself as the only thing you can know for sure exists (Descartes), implies the existence of a cause which often cannot be seen or known.

        Evolution is just such a thing; we do not see the cause, we see only the effect and infer the cause.

        Geology is just such a thing; we do not see the huge sand dunes millions of years ago, we see only the fossilized sand dunes covering Arizona and southern Utah and can even infer the direction of prevailing wind so very long ago.

      • Frizzy October 17, 2017 at 9:41 pm

        RoHa has already answered.

        There is no reason to assume that the universe or multiverse has a cause. Maybe it just is, possibly part of something yet more vast.

        Anything before the Big Bang, or whatever, or beyond the observable bounds of our universe is presently mostly just speculation. There are possible glimpses before and beyond, but they are to say the least controversial. To the extent speculative, thought is in the realm of metaphysics, not physics. That’s now. Who knows about the future? We might be able eventually to look for natural, physical explanations of observations before and beyond.

      • Michael 2

        “I agree, I think, with his assertion that there cannot be anything that exists that was not caused to exist. That is also a fundamental principle of physics: Springs do not wind (tension) themselves. Things do not go from lower energy states to higher energy states by themselves.”

        I have already pointed out that this principle is not a logical necessity, and, while it seems to be an empirical truth for items within the universe, we have no evidence that it applies to the universe as a whole.

        The principle that everything material thing that comes into existence is formed from pre-existing matter/energy seems to be equally well supported within the universe. This principle, too, is not a logical necessity. We have no evidence that it applies to the universe as a whole. If it does apply to the universe as a whole, it raises the intriguing question of the origin of the pre-existing cardboard, string, and sticky tape from which the universe was made.

      • RoHa writes “I have already pointed out that this principle is not a logical necessity”

        Trivially true. Logic does not care about necessities and I suspect that all logic is conditional on at least one assumption, your starting condition or conditions.

        That the entire universe came into spontaneous existence 5 seconds ago, complete with memories of having had this rather pointless conversation, is impossible to disprove.

        But it is unlikely.

        Self-creating universes is simply your preferred choice of unprovable starting condition. Self-creating universes seems a bit unlikely to me. Your mileage obviously varies.

      • “Again, there is no need whatsoever to posit a supernatural creator being. It’s an unscientific, indeed anti-scientific, non-explanation.”

        The Scientific Law of Parsimony, also referred to as Occam’s Razor is often used to strike down the anti-science unnecessary supernatural being. But just start applying them to origins of life, abiogenesis or panspermia, RNA/DNA, form ribosomes that only exist in one seemingly perfect form, etc. We observe none of this spontaneously happening under controlled conditions, it defies our experience. Any theory we may propose must be so convoluted and astronomically unlikely that Parsimony must be ejected immediately to even entertain the thought. But for some reason, it’s okay to believe although we can see through our own experimentation that the most rudimentary form of life we can observe requires 150+ distinct functions/genes, somehow that all came together spontaneously through luck and no inhibitory functions/genes came along at the same time. Because science.

      • RoHa …”this principle is not a logical necessity”

        Michael 2 “Trivially true. Logic does not care about necessities and I suspect that all logic is conditional on at least one assumption, your starting condition or conditions.”

        I suspect you don’t know very much about logic. Do you know what “logical necessity” means?

        Michael 2 “Self-creating universes is simply your preferred choice of unprovable starting condition.”

        What is I am supposed to be doing that starts from the idea of a self-creating universe? I am simply pointing out that our common assumptions cannot provide a logical reason for supposing that the universe was created. Aside from that, I have no beliefs about how the universe started, or even (Big Bang theory notwithstanding) if it did start, so I can hardly think of it as “self creating”.

        “Self-creating universes seems a bit unlikely to me.”

        So you think that the universe had a creator? Is that because your experience in the universe tells you that things have a cause for their existence? If so, does your experience also tell you that things are created from pre-existing material? And if it does, why not apply that bit of your experience as well and believe that the universe was created from pre-existing material?

        And there is the hoary old question of whether the creator was self-created or not.

      • RoHa writes “I suspect you don’t know very much about logic. Do you know what ‘logical necessity’ means?”

        I feel that my logic level is 3.

        I interpret ‘logical necessity’ in the following way: Where a thing exists but can have more than one cause, any of the causes is sufficient but may not be necessary. Where a thing exists that can have only one cause, and requires a cause, then that cause is necessary.

        “I am simply pointing out that our common assumptions cannot provide a logical reason for supposing that the universe was created.”

        The universe exists, therefore it was created. However, I suspect we use the word “created” somewhat differently. Modern English seems to imply “ex nihilo” creation, poof, now there isn’t and now there is, suddenly coming into existence from absolutely nothing. I do not use the word in that manner; I use it more synonymously with “forming” such as taking clay and forming a pot; the opposite of destruction. Following destruction you still have the matter but it is now disorganized. Creation is the opposite of destruction; it organizes matter.

        “So you think that the universe had a creator?”

        I do; but I am not strongly bound to the idea. It is one of two sufficient causes, the other being that it caused itself; but that would be as astonishing an event as having a deliberate, willful creator that chose to create a universe out of whatever substance one uses to do that sort of thing. A careful reading with less cultural input suggests that “God saw that it was good” but didn’t personally direct much. This is leveraged into part of the movie “Time Bandits” which, although being a comedy, does have some remarkable insights (in my opinion of course).

        I am familiar with quite a lot of science fiction; there’s a story by J.O. Jeppson which supposed that the other side of a black hole is a “white hole” and a universe is emerging from the other side. [“The Last Immortal”]

        “Is that because your experience in the universe tells you that things have a cause for their existence?”

        In part, yes. In other part it is the law of the conservation of matter and energy.

        “If so, does your experience also tell you that things are created from pre-existing material?”

        Yes. Matter and/or energy which appear to be interchangeable.

        “And if it does, why not apply that bit of your experience as well and believe that the universe was created from pre-existing material?”

        I can think of no reason to not imagine that the universe was created (formed) from pre-existing materials. For instance, the concept of oscillating universe presumes that the Big Bang is sort of a Big Bounce from the compression of the previous universe.

        “And there is the hoary old question of whether the creator was self-created or not.”

        Indeed. It cannot be answered objectively. Neither, in fact, can a godly claim be verified, a thing that presumes without proof that God always (or in this instance) tells the truth, or that a person declaring such words is telling the truth. The only god-claim on record pertaining to the universe is ancient and somewhat unreliable. In the beginning, the Earth was without form, and void (but its matter existed, needing only to be formed).

      • >>
        “who (what) created the creator”?
        <<

        Since the mods are allowing this thread to continue, I’ll add my two-cents worth.

        Scientifically we know that space-time was created in the Big Bang. An obvious question is “What came before the Big Bang?” This question has no meaning. Time was created in the Big Bang, so to ask what came before there was time is as meaningless as asking “What’s north of the North Pole?” The only answer in both cases is “nothing.”

        Likewise, because space is expanding, then the obvious next question is “What is space expanding into?” But like asking what happened before there was time, asking what space is expanding into is assuming there’s space outside of space. It’s another meaningless question with the only answer, “nothing.”

        Now let’s discuss the creator. For a creator to have a beginning, he, she, or it must exist within space-time. But that means the creator came into being during or after the Big Bang. It raises some interesting logical problems if the creator didn’t exist until after he, she, or it created the Universe. The creator could have self-created at the time of the Big Bang.

        It seems more logical that the creator exists apart from space-time. In that case, without time, to talk of a beginning and an end is meaningless–as meaningless as asking what came before the Big Bang, what is space expanding into, and what is north of the North Pole. So if a creator exists, then he, she, or it simply is.

        Jim

    • Adam, and that in your opinion pushes people away from science in other areas?
      Sounds like you are letting your religious views taint your thinking.

      • “Sounds like you are letting your religious views taint your thinking.”

        Obvious statement of the day. Who is exempt from this? For “religious” you can substitute any kind of world view (global warming, wealth redistribution, equality).

    • You have a numeracy problem. The answers were not exclusive. Members of each group clearly could opt for example, to consult a member of their congregation AND a book by a PhD. Mormons, for example, were MORE LIKELY (46% to 37%) than respondents in general to consult a book written by a PhD for the answer to a scientific question.

      • D.J. ==> The results about “Mormons”, which include myself (which anyone who follows my comments in the NY Times already knows), are very interesting.

        Mormons (more correctly, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), seeking answers about a science questions, when compared to the average citizen and compared to members of all other Western Religions, are MORE LIKELY to read a book by a PhD, MORE LIKELY to consult a Science Magazine and MORE LIKELY to ask a scientist.

        Non-Mormons might then find it odd that Mormons are also MORE LIKELY to ask a Religious Leader and MORE LIKELY to ask a Member of their Congregation.

        Speaking for myself, I recognize that some higher questions (as defined in the paper in question) that may appear to be Science questions are really religious/spiritual questions — the origins of life, where we came from, what happens when we die. I seek Science about questions in its realm, and religion in its realm.

        Also, speaking for myself as a Mormon, I recognize that Science has denied itself the role of answering questions that touch (or even come anywhere near) being spiritual in nature — no use asking Science those questions — Science has fire-walled itself off from all truth outside of its little playground.

        As the study recognizes, there are two major sources of knowledge, each in its own realm.

        Mormons, by the way, have a Article of Faith that says, translated, “We believe all true things” — and have no trouble accepting the observational truths that Science has discovered. Many our our past and current Church leaders have been doctors and scientists of all kinds.

        In addition, as readers here well know, I do not “believe” every and any old thing just because it was said by a “scientist” or published in a “science magazine” or even just because it is the current consensus in science field.

      • More educated Mormons are more religious, less educated Mormons are less religious. In some cases, the PhD writing the books or papers may be the religious leader of a congregation who others seek then out with questions like this.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_education

        “Studies of Mormons in the US show that Mormons with higher education attend church more regularly than less educated Mormons. Survey research indicated that 41 percent of Mormons with only elementary school education attend church regularly, compared to 76 percent of Mormon college graduates and 78 percent of Mormons who went beyond their college degrees to do graduate study attending church regularly.”

    • So does climate science. When they predicted we had 100 months to climate doomsday and it failed to materialise we all had the moral right to stop spending a penny on climate change actions. Instead we are told to believe in the new later predictions with no new reason to believe than there was in the earlier failures.
      To believe after proven failure is true faith at its most extreme.

    • Adam,

      “Yes it does, it relies on belief without any evidence or proof.”

      It seems to me that a form of deception has taken place, in terms of what it means in Biblical terms, to have ‘faith’. Never do I see it spoken of in the Book as meaning one believes without any evidence, but rather (as in everyday use), it means believing without seeing in the direct observation sense. If you believe in air, for instance, faith is required since you cannot see air . . or subatomic particles, gravity, things that occurred in the distant past, things that have not yet occurred, etc, etc.

      I have (as of about twenty years ago, in my early forties) experienced things first hand that amounted to convincing evidence that the Book is Legit, so to speak. I have nothing to show you which would/should convince you, but that does not render my Faith something that relies on belief without evidence . . and I suggest that it would be nonsensical for me to ignore what I witnessed/experienced first hand (empirical evidence) simply because others have faith that there is no God, or that Book is illegitimate, etc . .

      • JohnKnight October 17, 2017 at 11:42 am

        You have been repeatedly schooled here on Christian theology, yet you still keep making the same false assertions, just as you do despite the long, careful education you’ve been given in the sciences.

        The Bible over and over again, as pointed out by the greatest Protestant theologians, to include the founders of Lutheranism and Calvinism themselves, does state unequivocally that a believer is justified by faith alone. To require evidence of God would render faith worthless. That God must remain hidden is a key element of Protestant theology. This has been explained to you numerous times, with relevant Scripture cited.

        Luther started Protestant theology with Romans 1:17 (KJV):

        For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

        Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

        11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

        The Koine Greek word translated here as “evidence” is ὑπόστασις:

        Strong’s Concordance #5287 – ὑπόστασις “upostasi” hupostasis; gen. hupostaseos , fem. noun from huphstemi (n.f.), to place or set under. In general, that which underlies the apparent, hence, reality, essence, substance; that which is the basis of something, hence, assurance guarantee, confidence (with the ob. sense).

        In the early books of the OT, God is not only visible, but walks with men in human form, then manifests Himself through vegetation and storms, until finally “to see Him is to die”. By NT times, He intentionally hides from human view, as He must for Christian theology to work.

        Jesus performed miracles and lived among men as a man, but His Father, no. If you’ve experienced miracles which provide you evidence for the reality of God, great. But to be saved in Protestant theology, you need to accept God on blind faith alone. Under Calvin, of course, God already knows whether you will or not, so your salvation or damnation are preordained.

      • Gabro (here we go again!) says “You have been repeatedly schooled here on Christian theology”

        Ad infinitum, or nearly so; The Word, according to Gabro.

        “To require evidence of God would render faith worthless.”

        I disagree, but then, we’ve been down that road also (let’s do it again).

        To require belief in anything, with no evidence whatsoever, is just stupid. Such a person is washed to and fro by the winds of conflicting claims.

        “That God must remain hidden is a key element of Protestant theology.”

        Now we are getting somewhere; not Christian, but Protestant!

        “Under Calvin, of course, God already knows whether you will or not, so your salvation or damnation are preordained.”

        In which case there’s no point in having this conversation.

        Unless of course it is to challenge Calvin’s theories; why should they be given any more weight than yours or mine?

      • Yet again a long reply has disappeared in cyberspace. WordPress makes commenting here a frustrating waste of time.

        I’ll try again if the response doesn’t show up. I’ve learned to save comments.

      • JohnKnight October 17, 2017 at 11:42 am

        You have been repeatedly schooled here on Christian theology, yet you still keep making the same false assertions, just as you do despite the long, careful education you’ve been given in the sciences.

        The Bible over and over again, as pointed out by the greatest Protestant theologians, to include the founders of Lutheranism and Calvinism themselves, does state unequivocally that a believer is justified by faith alone. To require evidence of God would render faith worthless. That God must remain hidden is a key element of Protestant theology. This has been explained to you numerous times, with relevant Scripture cited.

        Luther started Protestant theology with Romans 1:17 (KJV):

        For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

        Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

        11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

        The Koine Greek word translated here as “evidence” is ὑπόστασις:

        Strong’s Concordance #5287 – ὑπόστασις “upostasi” hupostasis; gen. hupostaseos , fem. noun from huphstemi (n.f.), to place or set under. In general, that which underlies the apparent, hence, reality, essence, substance; that which is the basis of something, hence, assurance guarantee, confidence (with the ob. sense).

        In the early books of the OT, God is not only visible, but walks with men in human form, then manifests Himself through vegetation and storms, until finally “to see Him is to die”. By NT times, He intentionally hides from human view, as He must for Christian theology to work.

        Jesus performed miracles and lived among men as a man, but His Father, no. If you’ve experienced miracles which provide you evidence for the reality of God, great. But to be saved in Protestant theology, you need to accept God on blind faith alone. Under Calvin, of course, God already knows whether you will or not, so your salvation or damnation are preordained.

      • OK, still can’t post a response. Hope that dupes don’t later appear. If so, my apologies.

        So will keep it short.

        The Bible most certainly does state, as pointed out by Luther, Calvin and other theologians, that we are justified by faith alone. You’ve been shown the relevant passages upon which Protestantism is based, to include Romans 1:17 and Hebrews 11:1.

        If you’ve witnessed miracles which you think are evidence of God, great, but salvation is by faith alone, so to be saved, you need to believe without benefit of such evidence. Should be obvious that faith would have no value were God evident.

      • And who’s authority are you going to quote and accept what is written in that book? You have to use an authority – a self-reading and interpretation of some book really does not amount to anything here. All of Europe was Christianised without the bible. The idea that the bible is the center of the christen religion is only a recent event – and largely that of the bible pounding belt. As such it is a poor representation of the universal church that is not based on the bible nor does the universal church submit to the bible since it was their authority that decided what will and will not be included in that book.

      • Albert D. Kallal October 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        Wrong again.

        The Christian religion is based upon Bible books which were universally accepted by the first generation of Christians, ie at least three of the four now recognized Gospels and the genuine letters of Paul, which might be as few as half of them. Figures in the Early Church forged a number of “Paul’s” letters, as it switched from a persecuted cult to a state religion.

        Three hundred years after Paul’s letters and the Gospels, Church councils decided precisely which of the many books then circulating would be included in the OT and NT canons. Different denominations have made different choices, but the core is the same. The Greek Orthodox Church uses the Septuagint Greek translation for its OT (which to the Apostles was “scripture”), which differs in places from the later Hebrew and Aramaic Masoretic text.

        The Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches rely both on the Bible and church teachings for doctrine. They also both believe in apostolic succession. The other Protestant denominations rely on the Bible alone (“sola scriptura”, where scripture also includes the NT, whichever books that may be).

        You may not think that Luther, Calvin and other Protestant theologians interpreted the Bible correctly. But about a billion Protestants disagree with you. Unlike Catholics, their numbers are increasing.

      • The Anglican church lost their apostolic authority and succession a long time ago (and their hollow claims to the contrary mean nothing and are without merit). Again: all of Europe was Christianized without the bible nor even a basic ability to read, and without the printing press.

      • Albert D. Kallal October 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm

        Again, totally wrong.

        Europe was not Christianized until the conversion of Lithuania c. AD 1400, and even then much of it remained pagan. The word itself comes from the Latin for countryside. The cities were becoming Christian in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, while the country remained pagan. Even in the cities, Christianity had to compete against other cults. Having a Holy Book instead of just mysterious rites helped in this battle.

        Without the essential books of the Bible, there would have been no Christianity. That many of its early adherents couldn’t read doesn’t matter. They were taught by men and women who could do so.

        Please study the history of Christianity instead of spewing blatant falsehoods about it.

      • Albert D. Kallal October 17, 2017 at 3:04 pm

        Did you read what I said? The last major state to be Christianized was Lithuania. Turning Europe Christian was along process. It began when Paul proselytized Greece in the AD 50s and continued for at least the next 1300 years. Arguably, the process continues.

        Christianity became the state religion of the then falling Roman Empire in the AD 300s. But most of Europe still remained pagan, to include much of the Empire itself. There was even an apostate emperor.

        Some of the barbarian invaders were heretical Christians, but others were pagan. Pagan Anglo-Saxon England was rechristienized both from Ireland and Rome. Charlemagne forcibly converted the German Saxons by fire and sword around AD 800, a program of violence which continued until most of present Germany was nominally Christian.

        Russia, other Slavic lands and Scandinavia were largely nominally Christian by AD 1000, although only because their rulers converted. The people took longer.

        So Europe was converted after the Bible took its present Catholic form.

      • Gabro October 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm

        Gabro, a verse is not a passage. You should read at least the entire text of Hebrews 11 to get an understanding of the meaning of faith in God. Note particularly verse 11:

        11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

        It was her belief that God would keep His promise that was her justifying faith, not a blind faith that God existed. The word “faith” seen in Hebrews 11 is “pistis”: belief from persuasion, derived from “peitho”: convince by argument or consent to evidence. Note that in the passages containing John 14:29 and 20:30 that Jesus was willing to present evidence to enable belief, and thus faith.

        Context is also important for understanding statements made by Luther and Calvin. They were speaking to the question of whether works were also needed to obtain salvation.

        SR

      • Gabro [commenting on your post later on], when Luther said salvation is by faith alone, he did not mean believing in things without evidence. He meant salvation could not be gained by GOOD WORKS–so many Hail Marys, so many penitences, etc.–good works cannot erase past sins. Only through faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ going to the cross to expiate our sins can we be saved. There is, of course, evidence that Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried; and further evidence that he arose from the dead and was seen by hundreds of people before ascending to heaven–again, before witnesses. Those who have faith in the saving work of Christ will be saved; those who lack such faith won’t be saved. Believe me, it has nothing to do with believing without evidence, or in spite of contrary evidence. Your incorrect understanding of what Luther was writing to counteract–the belief in works-righteousness–prevents you from understanding the issue Luther raised. This month (Oct 31) is the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, when Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Castle-Kirk in Wittenberg. It would be very difficult to point out a more significant historical event.

      • So Luther become the self-appointed authority on this issue – from where did he get that authority? His statements are simply that you save yourself and don’t have to submit to some authority for that salvation. It called heresy if you wondering. And that is the basis of a new religion? Wow! What is next a king wants a divorce and to jump in the sack with another younger hot women for sex as the foundation of their religion? Oh wait that was King Henry.

      • Gabro,

        “The Bible most certainly does state, as pointed out by Luther, Calvin and other theologians, that we are justified by faith alone.”

        The question I was addressing is the notion that faith means belief without any evidence, and the “by faith alone” matter has to do with whether a person can “earn” salvation through good works, or is being granted something which is impossible to truly earn . . (That’s sort of the point of Jesus living in the flesh, in a sense, since he alone could live a life worthy of such a reward . .as I read the Book.)

        “If you’ve witnessed miracles which you think are evidence of God, great, but salvation is by faith alone, so to be saved, you need to believe without benefit of such evidence.”

        Your totally wrong, I say, and simply keep repeating your error by insisting that ‘faith’ means believing without any evidence . . without any evidence ; )

      • PS~
        Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
        (Hebrews 11:1)
        Please note the word ‘evidence’ there, which as far as I’m concerned ought to end this little myth about “blind faith” being the key somehow, to eternal Life . . or the key to believing in subatomic particles ; )

      • Michael 2 October 17, 2017 at 8:17 pm

        My statements aren’t theories. They are theology. Take it up with Luther, Calvin and other Protestant theologians.

        Roman Catholic and maybe Orthodox (I don’t know, having never studied it) theology is a mix of faith and “works”, which doesn’t mean good works, but ritual and following the teachings of the Church, whether with a biblical basis or not. Obedience is the key.

        That faith must be blind is the very essence of Protestantism. To repeat what Luther said, “To be a Christian, you must tear the eyes out of Reason.” As an Early Church Father wrote, “I believe precisely because it is absurd.”

        Calvinists, as noted, go farther, with the priesthood of all believers.

        You might think it makes no sense, but that is theology, based upon valid interpretations of biblical passages.

    • Roman Catholicism (and probably the other non-protestant and non-evangelical sects that do not restrict themselves to “sola scriptura”) has a field of study within Theology called Natural Philosophy. Natural Philosophy is a blanket term for all study of the physical world. As God = Truth is an equivalence relationship, not an IF–>Then relationship, all that is true is also of God [why the early church accepted the works of classical pre-christian scholars], so both General Relativity and the Standard Model of Particle Physics are of God, despite the complete omission of either theory from the Bible, so a catholic can appeal to religion while appealing to science. I loved that one clip from Bill Maher’s “Religulous” where he encounters the director of the Vatican Observatory in Arizona, an ordained priest with a PhD in Astrophysics, and basically suffers a page fault in unpaged memory [bluescreens] when confronted with the truth that the director feels no conflict between his religion and science.

      As a catholic, I have the same faith in verified science as any bright. I do not have faith in catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, because there are great gaping holes that strongly suggest that the hypothesis is untrue.

      • Even the Protestants who teach Sola Scriptura recognize that that teaching allows for a wide inquiry. While the Bible teaches true truth, it doesn’t teach exhaustive truth. Not by a long shot exhaustive truth. Because its main emphasis is on human morality and interactions, it has very little to say about the physical universe. Further, some of the things it says are in figures of speech to match normal human usages, not descriptions of physical reality. Therefore, the teaching of Sola Scriptura allows for wide-ranging inquiry in science.

        The next question, what do you mean by “science”?

    • No, that is not the case. The process for such acts of faith is based on reason and logic. (Unless you talking about a religion 100% based on authority).

      The process of reason and logic and supporting evidence applies equally well to religions (at least the Christion Europe ones). This is why virtually every major university in Europe was founded by Christion charters. (They rejected Pantheism). So no sun god, no moon god, no wind god. I mean why study how the wind blows if there is a wind god? So the Christion rejection of Pantheism and the concept of ex-nil creator opened the doors for the scientific process. This explains the rise of science in the west over the rest of the world). You could get in big trouble for that kind of witchcraft.

      A really great example of this is the Galileo affair. The church upheld the scientific process very well.

      The church had no official teaching that the earth was the center of the universe, and thus they were NOT and DID not convict Galileo of heresy. The courts sentence was thus very light (“house” arrest – a small slap on the wrist). So he was free to have parties, whoop it up with girls and really have fun while at home.

      Cardinal Bellameny of the court put it best when he stated flat out he would accept Galileo’s view WHEN a correct proof that would not fail under math and science scrutiny.

      Remember, Galileo was wrong and his proofs could not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

      First, Galileo could not explain why planets speed up and slowdown in orbit. In fact even grade school children today know the difference between a circle and ellipse. So Galileo observations did not support his claim of planets going around in circles (they do not). Galileo was rather insistent on this perfect circle idea.

      Next up, Galileo claimed the sun being the center of the universe – again even grade school children know this to be false. And again evidence provided was not sufficient.

      And Galileo claimed the sun is immovable and not moving. Well again we know all the objects in our solar system (including the sun) is in motion and moving.

      I can go on, but Galileo failed the scientific process. The church in fact up-held the science process.

      And as I stated, the church had no official teaching on the earth being the center, and without that official teaching they were un-able to convict Galileo of heresy on this issue – and thus the light sentence.

      So the process of how religion or science works is really much the same. (As long as that religion condemns acts of blind faith without reason).

      So science is based on act of faith and you accepting a witness and testimony from a book. It is the application of reason, logic, philosophy builds the science process, and it is the same process used by a legitimate religion.

      Science is based on acts of faith – you just not admitting that is the case.

      • You are sorely mistaken.

        GG was indeed convicted of heresy specifically for maintaining that the earth moved around the sun, contrary to Church doctrine.

        Science is not based upon faith, and religion is not based upon facts. Protestant Christianity indeed requires that God remain hidden, a tenet shared even with Catholic Scholastic philosophers, who tried wrongly to “prove” the existence of God logically.

        Developing theology of course uses logical thought, but it’s reasoning from faith in Scripture, not from factual evidence of objective reality.

        For Protestants who believe that we are saved by faith alone, God must necessarily not be in evidence, or what value does belief have? As Luther said, “To be a Christian, you must tear the eyes out of reason.” The whole point, as Early Church Father Tertullian said, is to believe the absurd.

      • No, Galileo was not convened of heresy. Read the sentence – read it a few times. Then give it to some 1st year law students and watch them fall on the floor in hysterical laugher.

        You have to READ the first words of the courts sentence:

        It reads:

        Galliano is “suspect” of.

        Now ANYTHING that follows the next 5 pages means Galileo is “suspect” of. In other words the court is saying he is a suspicious guy! Can you imagine a count handing down a sentence to a bank robber? You are suspicious of robbing a bank! Can you get ANY lamer here?

        Do you realize how silly the above is? The high court chose its words VERY carefully. As I said there was no dogma or official teaching of the church in regard to the sun being the center (thus nothing they could convent him with – only “supercars” of doing something!!!). This is why Cardinal Belemany said he was “open” to Galileo’s position if proper evidence would be provide. Now Cardinal Belemnay COULD NOT make such a statement else he would be a heretic himself if a dogma or official position on this sun being the center issue existed – it did not exist. And you can go try and find an official position on the sun issue – the church is likely one of the best documented instigation – and you have a 1000+ years of documents and proclaiming – you not that that sun deal as an official teaching nor is it a dogma and it never was.

        Cardinal Belamany was 100% open to Galileo’s position if he could provide proof. And I can 100% tell you position of dogma are NEVER NEVER up for grabs (so the courts carefully chose their words. They did NOT convict of heresy, but only being “suspect of” because that is ALL they had from a legal point of view!

        The courts use of the word “suspect of” is key here. And this is backed up by Cardinal Belmarny response – in other words he was open to change on this matter and issues of dogma are NEVER up for grabs.

        So the court sentence starts out that Galileo is “suspect of”. So he at the end of the day, no matter WHAT you read that follows the court document, it simply means he is suspicious of doing something wrong! The high court could not convict, but ONLY say he is suspicious of doing something wrong. I mean, they are standing there with Galileo’s paper – it not like they had to guess Galileo’s position on this matter!

        However since the court had no dogma or official teaching position of the church on this matter, they could ONLY say he is “suspect of” heresy. The first sentence is the KEY concept here. They did not convict him of heresy, but “being suspect” of!!

      • Albert,

        I have read it many times, to include in Latin, and taught it in history of science classes. On June 22, 1633, the 70 year-old astronomer went before the Inquisition in Rome. He wore the white shirt of a penitent to hear his sentence passed.

        Here is a good English translation of it:

        “We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in trial, and by you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgment of this Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine—which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures—that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world; and that an opinion may be held and defended as probably after it has been declared and defined to be contrary to the Holy Scripture; and that consequently you have incurred all the censures and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents.

        “From which we are content that you be absolved, provided that, first, with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, you abjure, curse, and detest before use the aforesaid errors and heresies and every other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church in the form to be prescribed by us for you. And in order that this your grave and pernicious error and transgression may not remain altogether unpunished and that you may be more cautious in the future and an example to others that they may abstain from similar delinquencies, we ordain that the book of the “Dialogues of Galileo Galilei” be prohibited by public edict.”

      • You can use the word “big” or “huge” or vehemently – but they ZERO change the use of the word suspected – everything that follows that judgement is SIMPLY then he is a suspicious guy. it is clearly “bomb bastic” to say vehemently – but it still does not change the word suspected!!!! So yes the court wanted to toss the guy under the bus – but they had no law – so they came up with that whopper! Remember, they had high integrity – so they going to toss him under the bus – but they not willing to lie to do so. That ruling means he is a suspicious guy – you can spin it anyway you want with what follows – but it stilly only a suspect of having done something wrong and is only convicted of being “suspicious” of doing something. So you being suspicious of robing a bank will result in a rather light sentence – and that was the result – (house arrest – which amounts to a near non sentence).

      • Albert,

        “Suspected” is the best available English translation of the Latin. In that language, there is no doubt that it means he’s guilty as charged. GG himself plead guilty to heresy in his abjuration (translation in British English and with period grammar):

        Sentence of the Tribunal of the Supreme Inquisition against Galileo Galilei, given the 22nd day of June of the year 1633:

        “It being the case that thou, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei, a Florentine, now aged 70, wast denounced in this Holy Office in 1615:

        “That thou heldest as true the false doctrine taught by many, that the Sun was the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the Earth moved, and had also a diurnal motion: That on this same matter thou didst hold a correspondence with certain German mathematicians….

        “That the Sun is the centre of the universe and doth not move from his place is a proposition absurd and false in philosophy, and formerly heretical; being expressly contrary to Holy Writ: That the Earth is not the centre of the universe nor immoveable, but that it moves, even with a diurnal motion, is likewise a proposition absurd and false in philosophy, and considered in theology ad minus erroneous in faith…..

        “Invoking then the Most Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of His most glorious Mother Mary, ever Virgin, for this Our definite sentence, the which sitting pro tribunali, by the counsel and opinion of the Reverent Masters of theology and doctors of both laws, Our Counsellors, we present in these writings, in the cause and causes currently before Us, between the magnificent Carlo Sinceri, doctor of both laws, procurator fiscal of this Holy Office on the one part, and thou Galileo Galilei, guilty, here present, confessed and judged, on the other part:

        “We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare, that thou, the said Galileo, by the things deduced during this trial, and by thee confessed as above, hast rendered thyself vehemently suspected of heresy by this Holy Office, that is, of having believed and held a doctrine which is false, and contrary to the Holy Scriptures, to wit: that the Sun is the centre of the universe, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the Earth moves and is not the centre of the universe: and that an opinion may be held and defended as probable after having been declared and defined as contrary to Holy Scripture; and in consequence thou hast incurred all the censures and penalties of the Sacred Canons, and other Decrees both general and particular, against such offenders imposed and promulgated. From the which We are content that thou shouldst be absolved, if, first of all, with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, thou dost before Us abjure, curse, and detest the above-mentioned errors and heresies and any other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church, after the manner that We shall require of thee.

        “And to the end that this thy grave error and transgression remain not entirely unpunished, and that thou mayst be more cautious in the future, and an example to others to abstain from and avoid similar offences,

        “We order that by a public edict the book of DIALOGUES OF GALILEO GALILEI be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms, reserving to Ourselves the faculty of moderating, changing, or taking from, all other or part of the above-mentioned pains and penalties.

        “And thus We say, pronounce, declare, order, condemn, and reserve in this and in any other better way and form which by right We can and ought.

        Ita pronunciamus nos Cardinalis infrascripti.

        F. Cardinalis de Asculo.
        G. Cardinalis Bentivolius
        D. Cardinalis de Cremona.
        A. Cardinalis S. Honuphri.
        B. Cardinalis Gypsius.
        F. Cardinalis Verospius.
        M. Cardinalis Ginettus.

        GALILEO’S ABJURATION.

        I, Galileo Galilei, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei of Florence, aged 70 years, tried personally by this court, and kneeling before You, the most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, Inquisitors-General throughout the Christian Republic against heretical depravity, having before my eyes the Most Holy Gospels, and laying on them my own hands; I swear that I have always believed, I believe now, and with God’s help I will in future believe all which the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church doth hold, preach, and teach.

        But since I, after having been admonished by this Holy Office entirely to abandon the false opinion that the Sun was the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the Earth was not the centre of the same and that it moved, and that I was neither to hold, defend, nor teach in any manner whatever, either orally or in writing, the said false doctrine; and after having received a notification that the said doctrine is contrary to Holy Writ, I did write and cause to be printed a book in which I treat of the said already condemned doctrine, and bring forward arguments of much efficacy in its favour, without arriving at any solution: I have been judged vehemently suspected of heresy, that is, of having held and believed that the Sun is the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the Earth is not the centre of the same, and that it does move.

        Nevertheless, wishing to remove from the minds of your Eminences and all faithful Christians this vehement suspicion reasonably conceived against me, I abjure with sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally all and every error and sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church. And I swear that for the future I will neither say nor assert in speaking or writing such things as may bring upon me similar suspicion; and if I know any heretic, or one suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor and Ordinary of the place in which I may be.

        I also swear and promise to adopt and observe entirely all the penances which have been or may be by this Holy Office imposed on me. And if I contravene any of these said promises, protests, or oaths, (which God forbid!) I submit myself to all the pains and penalties which by the Sacred Canons and other Decrees general and particular are against such offenders imposed and promulgated. So help me God and the Holy Gospels, which I touch with my own hands.

        I Galileo Galilei aforesaid have abjured, sworn, and promised, and hold
        myself bound as above; and in token of the truth, with my own hand have
        subscribed the present schedule of my abjuration, and have recited it word
        by word. In Rome, at the Convent della Minerva, this 22nd day of June,
        1633.

        I, GALILEO GALILEI, have abjured as above, with my own hand.

      • Albert D. Kallal October 17, 2017 at 1:44 pm

        It was such a “non-sentence” that he was condemned to life in prison, commuted to life under house arrest.

      • As I said, it not prison – it was go home and stay there. He was not put in some jail cell. It was told to go home – so he could have parities, wine, women and Christmas parties with family.

      • Gabro,

        To my mind, you illustrate quite often the use of absolutist lingo, to make your beliefs appear to be “facts” in some grand objective reality sense . .

        “even among Catholic Scholastic philosophers, who tried wrongly to “prove” the existence of God logically.”

        Tried wrongly according to whom, exactly? You? Who the heck are you to leave off the *I feel/it seems to me* on such declarations of ostensible absolute truth? Seriously, why is it OK with you for some people (you, most notably ; ) to speak as though they are God, and can just point out what is and is not so?

        “Developing theology of course uses logical thought, but it’s reasoning from faith in Scripture, not from factual evidence of objective reality.”

        Or, it uses both, as any logical person would, I feel, expect, and you are failing to grasp that folks like Isaac Newton (and a vast number of other famous scientists) were perfectly capable of integrating what they saw in Scripture with what they saw in reality-land. You speaking as though they were all segregating one from the other, endlessly, does not render it absolute truth that they were/are . . right?

        “For Protestants who believe that we are saved by faith alone, God must necessarily not be in evidence, or what value does belief have?”

        To be saved by faith alone, refers (I feel quite obviously) to the “not by works” factor of the potential “equation” of salvation, and has nothing at all to do with your implied “blind faith” alternative. Otherwise, any (like Saul/Paul for instance) who were given direct Insight into these matters would be disqualified, logically speaking, because they had been given that Insight . . right?

        To me, nobody special, it appears you are having difficulty with . . self faith, to put it in terms that perhaps you can see the relevance of . .

      • my answer would be that a religion that says you saved on acts of faith makes no sense at all. So logically one would only accept a religion as being legitimate that condemns such a position. The universal church saves you by their authority – not an act of faith or acts of faith. You can do all the good deeds you want but without some authority you have really nothing of value. This whole process has to make logical sense or it needs to be tossed out.

      • Albert,

        What part of “commuted” do you not understand?

        GG was sentenced to life in prison, but because he had friends in high places, he was let off easy.

        Even the life prison sentence was lenient for a convicted heretic. Just 33 years previously, Bruno was burnt alive for heresy.

      • Albert D. Kallal October 17, 2017 at 2:36 pm

        You’re entitled to your opinion, but the Bible clearly disagrees with you. Talk about heresy! Setting yourself up over the Word of God is not only heretical but blasphemous. Sin doesn’t get too much more grievous than that.

        Your appeal to Church authority is like Mann’s appeal to “97% of scientists”. Doesn’t work in either case.

      • But you are the one appealing to some book, but IGNORING what, and who put that book together. How can you accept what is in a book without looking at the authority that decided what will, and will not go in that book? How does that position make any logical sense? You cannot sensible submit to a book but only the authority that decided what will and will not go in that book. And worse if you have a bunch of different books with different positions, then you have a position that makes zero logical sense. Who and how is one to interpret some book, but worse on who’s authority does such a book become legitimate? Quoting some book makes little sense unless you accept the authority of who decided what will or will not be in that book.

      • Albert,

        You should study church history and the development of Christianity.

        For its first few centuries, there was no single Catholic Church. A number of different doctrines prevailed, all of which regarded the others as heretics. Even after the Council of Nicaea, heresies abounded.

        But what all the flavors of Christianity had in common were the genuine letters of Paul, maybe those attributed to Peter, Revelation and Gospels of Mark, John and Luke. Matthew is Mark, plus a bunch of stories designed to appeal to people looking for a new cult.

        Without those books, there would have been no Christian religion. Paul made Christianity as it developed, not Jesus, who was a reforming Essene Jew.

    • All people have religion; it is whatever you believe and guides your decisions where you have chosen to believe a thing without proof. That’s nearly everything. Do you believe you will see the sun rise tomorrow? Probably. Do you have proof of it? Not until it rises, or fails to rise. Each day could be the sun’s last day. Each day could be *your* last day! But you go through life on an assumption, with neither evidence nor proof, that you will still have life and a job tomorrow; and based on that you buy things you don’t need today.

      You may be surprised to know that many definitions of religion do not exclude evidence. I do not expect anyone to believe anything where there is absolutely no evidence.

      So you are proposing a straw man argument; you define religion, and then knock it down. That’s not impressive.

      • Michael,

        Lots of people have no religion and get along quite happily without one.

        Science doesn’t do “proof”, and religion certainly can’t.

        There might be some religions based upon evidence, but none springs immediately to mind.

        Science can say that the sun will “come up” tomorrow, unless the earth stops turning. Even after the sun goes red giant, the surviving planets will experience “sun rise”.

    • Sorry, but your conclusion is utterly false. There are arguments for God that are borne out of everyday experience, proof, from your own life. The difference is that scientific proofs are measurable, they are quantitative, whereas faith arguments are qualitative, but no less valid.

      • T.,

        Please state these arguments for the existence of God. The greatest philosophers in history haven’t been able to adduce any valid arguments for His existence, so yours would be a major breakthrough in intellectual history.

        You may find reasons to believe in God from your interpretation of events in your own life, but no one else is under the obligation to find them persuasive.

        Nor, as I keep pointing out, should a Protestant Christian even want “evidence” for God. The whole point to justification by faith alone lies in believing in the absence of evidence. Salvation by faith requires that faith be hard rather than easy.

        I’d have thought that this was obvious, but apparently not. I attribute it to the baleful spread of the vile blasphemy of young earth creationism.

      • Gabro,

        “The whole point to justification by faith alone lies in believing in the absence of evidence.” Where in the world are you getting that from? God is the one doing the justifying. It’s simply nonsensical to say that a Protestant Christian (or anyone for that matter) believes in God with no evidence but somehow needs to have some nebulous faith in that God to be justified (declared righteous) by that God.

        No, the whole point to justification by faith alone (that Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be who he claimed to be, i.e. the Creator God) is that there are no works that we do that add to our salvation.

      • Frizzy October 17, 2017 at 8:36 pm

        I’m getting it from the Bible, Luther, Calvin and other Protestant theologians. I’ve repeatedly cited the relevant biblical passages.

        Again I ask, with the theologians, of what value is faith if no faith be required? If there be incontrovertible evidence for the existence of God, then how can faith possibly save you? It’s not needed.

        That’s why God must remain hidden. It’s basic, elementary Protestantism, in opposition to Catholic doctrine, although, as noted, Aquinas also philosophized over the hidden God:

        https://wordandworld.luthersem.edu/content/pdfs/19-4_God_and_Evil/19-4_Paulson.pdf

        Sorry if you don’t like the theological doctrine, but it’s a cornerstone of Protestantism. And IMO the correct reading of Scripture.

      • Gabro writes “Again I ask, with the theologians, of what value is faith if no faith be required? If there be incontrovertible evidence for the existence of God, then how can faith possibly save you? It’s not needed.”

        That is largely correct. The devils know perfectly well of God, yet they are devils. Knowledge, by itself, does not save. Faith without works is dead. Sitting around “believing” in God accomplishes nothing.

        The saving triad is faith, hope and charity. These words have nuances of meaning that differ from common English usage. It speaks to obedience and personal character.

        There is nothing “blind” about any of them; no requirement to believe in something for which no evidence exists. Peter’s faith wasn’t blind or unfounded; it was informed by the holy spirit, spirit of God or something of that sort. The Second Comforter, the way out of circularity and blind, unfounded belief.

  3. Re the numbers that would seek advice from their religion. I am amazed those percentages are so high, are some people just answering like that because they want to show they are more religious than they actually are? Is religion a must bigger thing in the US than it is in the UK? I suspect that in the UK, at least for those who describe themselves as Christian, you’d have to move the decimal point one place to the left.

      • Christianity is. Arguably Islam is bigger than Christianity in the UK. but of course the real religion is cultural Marxism.

    • Is religion a must bigger thing in the US than it is in the UK?

      America was essentially populated by religious extremists who were hounded, persecuted or just laughed at in Europe. So the answer is “Yes”, unfortunately.

      I know I’m gonna offend some with this comment, but I do think it’s true, without wishing to offend anyone.

      • Jerome, A friend of mine who is from Colombia, South America made a statement years ago that I thought was profound that contradicts what you are stating, He said that in his opinion the reason that you do not have the violence and poverty in the U.S.that so many countries in South America have is that U.S. citizens practice their Christian faith and those in South America do not. Christianity teaches compassion, giving, charity responsibility. That is a great basis for the foundation of a country.

      • Nothing unfortunate or true. The founders off The U.S. were not your narrow view of Puritans or Protestants.
        The founders of the US were clearly very ecumenical and clearly separated church and state. The protestant work ethic was of great value. ( we need it back)

      • For an update on all that charity, giving and compassion, we bring you representatives of the N.A. Indian and Black peoples of America!
        Whether it’s climate or religion ( if they’re not closely related) I can’t stand hypocrisy.

      • The founders realized the more the citizens of a society can police themselves, the more liberty they may retain for themselves. The Christian churches were critical in this aspect . Though the details in their teachings varied, the fundamentals of the moral codes they postulated were the same. For example Benjamin Franklin, who more than once questioned if God was active in the world, and some say was a Diest despite the fact he was a Free Mason, had his name on the pews of eight different churches of various sects in Philadelphia indicating he was a major benefactor for each.

        The majority of the founders professed to be Christians and one only needs to learn the history of the editing of the Declaration of Independence to know that “With a firm reliance on the protection of Devine Providence…” was not in the draft that Thomas Jefferson submitted to the Congress. That phrase was added and approved by a majority vote in the Congress.

      • Jerome: Toynbee in his Study of Civilizations concluded that every civilization is built upon a religion, and as that religion fades so does the civilization. Leftists are trying to replace the Judeo-Christian backbone of our civilization with Marxism. Muslims with Islam. But it seems clear that the impact of religion has waned.
        Sorry to say, and I am a nonreligious agnostic.

      • You don’t offend me, you just amuse me with your ignorance/bias. Who was more extreme? The people who fled persecution by religious authorities, or the religious authorities who were killing them (you know, burning at the stake and other mild forms of punishment) for their religious beliefs?

        You don’t live in Europe, do you, perchance?

      • Sorry but that makes no sense. When the “religious people” who were many of the first settlers to the US went there, everybody in the UK would have identified as religious too. The US settlers were not persecuted because they were religious, but because their religious beliefs we re seen as either a problem for the established church or potentially seditious.

        Over time, the extremists largely became unextreme -as happened very quickly withe the Puritans for example. The US then embraced religious toleration far earlier than the UK or Europe.

        The US was then massively populated by Irish, Germans and Italians who were typical Catholics and Protestants of their time.

        There is no explanation in the founding of the US for why the US has far more practicing people of faith than the UK or Europe.

      • For an update on all that charity, giving and compassion, we bring you representatives of the N.A. Indian and Black peoples of America!
        Whether it’s climate or religion ( if they’re not closely related) I can’t stand hypocrisy.

        Nothing like clumping everybody together to understand life’s complexities. Effing genius comment!

      • You mean America was founded by people fleeing intolerant bigots.
        And now America is being over run by those same bigots.

      • Jer0me October 17, 2017 at 4:59 am

        Virginia was founded by Anglicans. Their charter was from King James I.

        Plymouth Plantations were indeed founded by Dissenting Puritans, but who were the extremists in that situation? The Anglican regime which drove them out of England to more tolerant Netherlands, thence to America, in order to preserve their Englishness, or the Puritans, who just wanted to be left alone?

        Massachusetts Bay Colony and the rest of New England was also founded by Puritans as well. New York was founded by Dutch Reformed Calvinists, but was highly tolerant of just about everything as long as it made money. They even had a Dutch Muslim (“Turk”) pirate, ancestor of the Vanderbilts.

        New Jersey was founded by Swedish Lutherans.

        Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers, again with royal warrant.

        Maryland was founded by Catholics, hence the name.

        The other southern colonies were, like VA, all founded by Anglicans, by royal warrant, hence the name “Carolinas”, from King Charles II, and Georgia, from King George II.

        The USA was founded by men who were predominantly Deists, about as far from being Christian extremists as possible. Some Declaration signers and Constitution framers belonged to Protestant sects which you might find extreme, but they were in a distinct minority.

      • Gabro

        If, the majority of the founders we’re Deists then why did hey add the phrase “Divine Providence” to the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, did not put that in the draft he submitted to Congress. The members had it added by majority vote. Thus the majority we’re stating their belief that God takes an active role and is not the hands off creator that is the God in Deism. BTW my in ancestor founder, George Clymer, was most certainly not a Deist.

      • BTW, Jefferson, a Virginian, grew up witnessing the evils of a state church. Virginia, unlike the other colonies, had mandated in it’s charter the Church of England as the colonies church.

      • Rah October 17, 2017 at 2:29 pm

        Apparently you don’t understand what a Deist is. He or she, as in the case of Abigail Adams, were Unitarians. That is, they believed in God Almighty, but not that the man Jesus was Himself divine. Hence the name, deism.

        The Deist founders most certainly believed in divine providence. They attributed our victory over Britain to the intervention of Almighty God.

        Jefferson even objected to the fact of extinction on religious grounds, until the evidence became too overwhelming late in his life. And even then, he saw the hand of God in the history of life on earth.

      • Rah October 17, 2017 at 2:37 pm

        The Puritan colonies required church attendance and regulated behavior, on pain of civil penalties.

        The fact that Jefferson and other Founders supported religious toleration doesn’t mean that they didn’t themselves hold deep religious convictions. Most if not all of them did. Late in his life, Franklin might have been a secret freethinker, however. In his youth, he was a Boston Puritan. Life in more tolerant Quaker PA seemed to have changed that.

      • Gabro
        It is impossible for me to argue my points effectively sitting typing on a phone in a truck stop. But your definition if Deism is not the definition that I have learned nor can I find a reference which supports your claim that Deism includes a belief in a God that is anything more than the creator. In fact Deism us defined as a belief that God does not take an active role in the fate of mankind or any other aspect of the universe.

      • RAH,

        The standard definition of deism is a theological or philosophical position which combines rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge with the conclusion that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a single creator of the universe. Seventeenth century deists might have limited God’s role to creation, but by the 18th century, many if not all, also accorded Him an interventionist role in human history, if not the physical world.

        There might still have been some deists who limited God’s action to creation, but the definition says nothing about whatever else that creator might do or not do.

        Unitarians are deists, but further believe that God intervenes in human history.

        Jefferson recognized in the Declaration not only that Nature’s God had created the world, but that He also endowed humans with natural rights. That’s an intervention in human history from the beginning.

        So as deism was conceived of in America in 1776, most Founders qualified. If they don’t, but were merely Unitarians, then it’s really just a semantic issue. They were not technically Christians, whether Unitarians or Deists or both, because they didn’t accept the divinity of Christ.

    • The United States is a self-selected population of people that fled Europe often for reasons of religion.

      • You are correct for those coming from Northern Europe. Our “modern” education system tries to ignore the importance of religion in the founding of the country. Timing is everything. As the colonies became prosperous Europeans began arriving for economic reasons. Though being a Protestant in a Catholic country or a Catholic in a Protestant country often greatly limited your economic mobility.

  4. “In order to reach the large swath of the U.S. population who are religious, scientists and science communicators should be targeting religious leaders and communities,” Ecklund said.

    So it was a “study” seeking methods to “communicate” “science”.

    Real science doesn’t need to be communicated, it is taught and stands on its own merits.

    “Science” that has to be “communicated” is generally successful at neither.

    • You got it! They seem to spend far more time, money, and effort trying to figure out how to “communicate”, read sell, human caused climate change, than they do on trying to identify and understand possible natural causes for climate change.

      • effort trying to figure out how to “communicate”, read sell, human caused climate change

        Someone has yet to convince me that PR is not the climate-obsessed entities’ number one budget expense.

        Also, if you type CAGW into Google, is the first result ‘Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)’?

        Oh, the irony.

      • “They seem to spend far more time, money, and effort trying to figure out how to “communicate”, read sell, human caused climate change,”

        They assume that those who don’t believe in human-caused climate change don’t understand the science. Perhaps it is they who don’t understand science, since they are basing their opinions about human-caused climate change on pure speculation. If they actually knew the science, they would know that nothing has been settled with regard to human-caused climate change.

    • “Science” that has to be “communicated” is generally successful at neither.

      Yep! “Science” that has to be “communicated” is generally propaganda.

    • Yes, Charles! That was my take on this article. The scientific community has a BELIEF that everyone would join them if they only communicated their message better. In reality, the better they communicate, the more the population turns away. Even the less educated know that avoiding debate, constantly appealing to the (imaginary) consensus and calling people names is not a very powerful way to argue for a position.

      The fact that the climate models are continuously wrong communicates a much stronger message than “We must be right, because we all agree that we are right!”

      • “Yes, Charles! That was my take on this article. The scientific community has a BELIEF that everyone would join them if they only communicated their message better.”

        Yes, that’s the whole impetus behind all these studies. They assume there are a lot of dumb hicks out here who need to be educated. In reality, they are the dumb hicks who claim to know something that is not in evidence.

  5. As a practicing Christian converted whilst studying engineering at university, I think there are some confused ideas here. People of all faiths and none combine inputs from multiple disciplines (law, history, science) to arrive at an understanding of the truth. It works both ways: for me science informs my understanding of biblical history, and a Christian world view provides a philosphical grounding for the practice of science.

    Oh and another thing. “Evangelical” is a theological point of view unrelated to race. Treating “evangelicals” as different from “black protestants” is a confusion of categories.

    • Totally agree on first paragraph. 2nd paragraph comment: The confusion tells me they don’t understand religious people at all.

      SR

      • Nor was it their intent. They headline their study with “religious people seek religious advice more than the general population.” Then they go on to determine, without comment, that religious people also seek scientific advice more than the general population. But they got their headline.

      • skorrent1 October 17, 2017 at 5:04 am

        It looks to me like this survey discovered that religious people are active seekers of knowledge.

        SR

    • John, Similar story for me. The claim by many is that once you become a Christian all other brain functions, logic, curiosity stops. They should actually interact with us rather than listen to what they hear about us.

  6. Why the conflict?
    The “Big Bang” theory was developed by Catholic priest and physicist Lemaitre, who corrected Einstein, no less. The Vatican owns a world class observatory with U of Arizona. The miracles at Lourdes are examined by a panel of medical experts, made up of believers and non-believers. List goes on… Be rational and save your soul. God bless!

    • Why the conflict? Because some of us think that people who take the opinion of their imaginary friend who lives in the sky into account when deciding anything are seriously deluded. And just because Lemaitre was right about some things doesn’t mean he wasn’t deluded about others.

      • “imaginary friend who lives in the sky ” includes “science”, “truth”, “university” and “state” no less than “Santa Claus”. People who think they aren’t deluded, are.
        Conflict do not arise because some “take the opinion of their imaginary friend who lives in the sky ” while others do not. Conflict arise because people try to enforce their belief (wherever it comes from, rational or not) upon other people that do not share the belief.

      • I believe in God even though I cannot prove he exists with a “court of law” level of proof. An atheist believes God does not exist even though he cannot prove God’s nonexistence with the same level of proof. Atheism is another belief system. Mocking belief by referring to God as an imaginary friend is basically an ad hominem type attack – always necessary when you don’t or can’t argue with facts

      • “Imaginary friend that lives in the sky”.

        All “progressive” thought begins and ends with mocking and insults. Just like the Warmists. They are small, ignorant people who build themselves up by knocking others down.

      • Why is it that atheists have to promote their religion by denigrating anyone who doesn’t believe as they do.
        All the while telling themselves that they are the tolerant ones.

      • People choose what they want to believe in every situation. Many of us put what we know to be right on the back burner in order to choose a path that is selfish or easy. That is true of all of us. How we rationalize it afterwards is another thing altogether.
        Know thyself.

      • …denigrating anyone who doesn’t believe as they do.
        All the while telling themselves that they are the tolerant ones.

        Sounds like Progressives to me.

      • @ CWinNY

        It would be more correct to say that atheists do not believe in God. Much like, probably, you do not believe in Zeus. (though I agree with your point about mocking)

      • “Why is it that atheists have to promote their religion by denigrating anyone who doesn’t believe as they do.”

        Atheists use the same tactics as the Climate Alarmists. This is what extremist “True Believers” do to anyone who doesn’t go along with their version of reality.

        They all think they have a lock on the “truth” but on closer examination you will see they don’t really understand the world enough to make such bold statements. In the case of atheists, they are just guessing. In the case of climate alarmists, some of them are liars, and the rest of them are dupes. Neither group can prove their case, but they speak with authority anyway.

      • I am an atheist and I don’t know why you have to be so pejorative. Oh and most Christians don’t think God “lives in the sky”.

        And if you think you are too superior to learn anything from religions, you are the one deluded.

      • MarkW October 17, 2017 at 6:27 am

        You seriously believe that religious people don’t “denigrat(e) anyone who doesn’t believe as they do”?

        Please, get real!

      • Steve Ta writes “some of us think…”

        Us? How many of you are in there?

        “their imaginary friend who lives in the sky”

        When is it EVER going to be imaginary friends in water or Hawaiian volcanoes?

        Let us (readers of this blog) examine your own religion: You said “us” so there’s a group of which you are the spokesman. You have dogmas, one of them being that your enemy can be described as “imaginary friend in the sky” (or variations thereof). You feel it a duty to preach your belief.

        “And just because Lemaitre was right about some things doesn’t mean he wasn’t deluded about others.”

        That is likely true for all humans.

    • The hypothesis of an expanding universe doesn’t arise from religious belief, despite the fact that Lemaitre was a priest. He derived it from Einstein’s equations, not Genesis.

      Of course religious believers can be scientists. But that doesn’t mean that science and religion are the same thing. They are not. By a long shot.

      • Actually men of god(s) engaged in science as a way to understand god(s), deciphering “book of nature” along with religious teaching.
        Science quest for physical laws, universal constants, etc. wouldn’t had any sense if men believed god(s) interfered at will, or if no god put no order. Science is a product of theism; monotheism.

      • We “believe” that God created the universe but does not change the rules (laws of nature) afterward , otherwise the study of physics would be of no use. So, discovering the laws of nature may be regarded as a divine assignment, the true purpose of life.

  7. Looking out to our world we have the choice of 2 windows: religious or scientific. Religion answers questions about the unknown .Religious thesis cannot be proofed, they come true by authority, repetition and consensus (which requires that heretics are silenced) Scienc is relatively new and scientific thesis become true by demonstration : logic reasoning, numerical analyses and knowledge. There is nothing wrong with religion as long as we realize through which window we are looking. Things go wrong however when we attach scientific “truth” to religious statements. Climate hysteria is the result.

    • Looking out to our world if you only have two windows, my condolences.

      I’ve got DOZENS.

      And am no nearer the Truth!

      Things go wrong when we start talking about Truth, since whatever it is, we don’t know what it is.

      The only True statement, is that we cannot ever arrive at the Truth of the world.

      We have limited models that approximate to it, and are useful. That’s all.

      • Indeed. That’s why logic and science do not pretend to reach for truth, only for consistency (which we believe is a prerequisite for truth, but, eh, that’s just a belief).

      • In fysical matters, right, there is no absolute proof. But we send people to the moon and they returned, we enters planes, elevators etc in good faith. We design bridges that do not collapse…. we generate electricity …. so there is a great deal of truth in science. However science is more: it is everything we may count, calculate, quantify… may research. So honest scientists always mention the uncertaicies and assumptions.

      • There is no truth, you must become the truth.

        I think that needs to be ended with either a “pfffft” sound of inhaling a joint, or an “om” sound from deep meditation. Either will work…

    • Choice of two windows? Are they really that separate?

      The science I was taught at the university was designed to deal only with the observable, physical universe. Religion deals with both the observable, physical universe as well as non-physical and unobservable ideas like history, justice, love, aesthetics, philosophy, whether or not there exists a spiritual realm, etc. In short, religion includes science. From history, we learn that modern, empirical science came out of ideas connected with the Protestant Reformation, and no where else were all the ideas necessary for modern empirical science combined into one place and time. Science is therefore based on religion, the two are combined.

      But is the science I was taught at the university the only definition in use today? Are there not multiple definitions in use today? Do not some of those definitions resemble religions in that one needs to believe in certain doctrines in order to be called a “scientist” and what he believes is “science”? Are you sure of your categories?

      • Just words. If it comforts you, place the science window in your religious window. I don’t care ! But remember : religious thesis cannot be proofed. (what/who created the universe, the origin of life etc.) where scientific matters can be proofed by demonstration. That’s what I mean by “complementary” Then there is the question of interaction between God and humans. Lightning and thunder are now physics, earthquakes are geology, plagues are biology. So we notice a shift in the religion-science field. But the ill-understood climate is a perfect divine speaking tube (after God was transformed to mother earth as a result of feminization)

      • David: you wrote, “religious thesis cannot be proofed”. Neither can science, apart from certain presuppositions that come from belief, i.e. religion. This gets into epistemology, which can become an endless debate that I would prefer to avoid, other than to mention that the Reformation provided for an epistemology based on the creation history recorded in Genesis that because mankind was designed to live in this physical universe, that our senses were also designed to give a trustworthy means to interact with the physical universe. Not all religions have that epistemology. That’s just one of the factors that the Reformation provided in the development of empirical, natural science.

        Then there are the questions, what constitutes as proof? What evidence is valid? Why? These and more questions as well as their answers are religious, based on faith.

        The Biblical answer to the question “What evidence is valid?” is that proofs for a God are not found in nature (other than to recognize nature’s intricate design), but in history. Therefore those who look to science and its study of nature are looking in the wrong place for that answer. That’s also why those who claim that “science disproves the existence of God” are not believed by those who follow the Bible.

        Modern empirical, natural science used to be called “natural philosophy”. “Philosophy” is merely the 50¢ synonym for “religion”. The term “natural philosophy” was a recognition that the study of nature is a subset of religion.

      • Wrong. Electricity is generated all over the world in the same way. Light behaves the same all over the universe. Gravity : same…. The models allow for very accurate predictions/calculations. The transistors in your cellphone do their work every day…. Trains run, planes fly…..So what is your point?

      • Richard,

        You were taught a load of rubbish.

        Actually, the two founders of modern science in AD 1543 were both Catholics, ie Copernicus and Vesalius. Copernicus was encouraged to publish by a Protestant student, however. He had held back for 36 years out of fear of the Church’s reaction. Kepler was a Lutheran, but Galileo was of course Catholic.

        Religion does not an cannot include science. They are two separate spheres. Science specifically rejects all supernatural explanations. It tries to explain observations of objective reality naturalistically.

      • Gabro: You forgot to mention Rheticus, one of the Wittenberg Lutherans, who was a co-author with Copernicus, and Andreas Osiander, another Lutheran who added editing changes and got the book published. ( https://www.britannica.com/biography/Nicolaus-Copernicus ).

        A book detailing how the Reformation developed modern science is “The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science” by Peter Harrison ( https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Protestantism-Rise-Natural-Science/dp/0521000963/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1508302660&sr=1-1&keywords=protestantism+and+natural+science ) Why was it that with a few exceptions, the majority of the development of modern science took place in Protestant Northern Europe, and not southern Catholic Europe, or other parts of the world? The Protestant milieu provided a fertile environment for the development and growth of science as a discipline in a way that happened nowhere else.

        A person doesn’t need to believe Reformation theology in order to use the scientific method derived from Reformation theology. Many examples exist proving that point. For example, how much was Galileo influenced by the Dutch Protestants who supplied him with the design and lenses for his telescopes?

        An ancient example of the antithesis is Archimedes. As far as we can tell, he practiced the scientific method. A major reason that he never developed a school with a following is because the religious milieu in which he lived was incompatible with scientific thinking.

      • Richard October 17, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        I did mention Rheticus, just not by name. He was the student who encouraged Copernicus to publish. Osiander did Copernicus no favors, since his forward made it sound as if Copernicus didn’t regard his model as reality, but just a hypothetical, alternative method of calculating planetary movements.

        There were at least as many important Catholic scientists in the first century (AD 1543-1642) of the Scientific Revolution as Protestants, for the simple reason that there were more Catholics.

        Besides the already mentioned Copernicus, Vesalius and Galileo, there were Clavius, Riccioli, Gassendi, Mersenne, Grimaldi and Kirchner, among others, of course. Pioneering geologist and paleontologist Steno converted from Lutheran to Catholic.

    • Religion makes up answers about the unknown. If they get it correct it is by pure coincidence, or they are using things discovered by science.

      BTW atheism cannot be a religion. What do they worship?

      Oh and I might go on to note that there are untold numbers of atheists, as one would be hard pressed to find an acolyte of Zeus, Thor, Odin, Horus, or any of the other myriad of “gods”. The rational atheist will simply go you one better. [hat tip to Hitchens]

      • rocketscientist: you wrote, “BTW atheism cannot be a religion.” Look up any good dictionary and part of the definition of “religion” is adherence to a set of beliefs. Atheism has a set of beliefs that are believed, therefore atheism is a religion. By definition.

      • Atheism is a rejection of unproven assertions regarding a belief in the existence of a supernatural being who controls and is responsible for everything.
        It is only because it contests with all the religions that it even has a name. There is no similar title for a person who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny or the Tooth Fairy.

        Not believing IS NOT A RELIGION.

        Having shared values or ideas is an ETHOS or PHILOSOPHY not a religion per se.

      • You cannot prove there is no Deity nor can I prove there is one by observation or experimentation. Thus both of us base our conclusions on faith. Atheism is a faith that there is no Deity. The SCOTUS made it pretty clear in Torcoso v. Watkins that Atheism is a religion in the view of US jurisprudence.

      • Actually, you use the SAME scientific process that we use for any proof. If I walk into a room and observe a lit candle, then by logic and reason I know the candle could not always been burning, and could not always exist. It simple logic that the candle has limited fuel.

        From the time of Plato, Aristotle etc. they taught the idea of a static universe. I mean why have some story about a created universe when it always existed? There is no need. However in the 1920 a HUGE science crises occurred. When we discovered fusion then it became clear that stars were just like that candle. They are tanks of fuel burning up their supply. The result was we had to conclude that the stars had limited lifespan and were consuming their fuel. Thus we had to conclude that the universal did NOT always exists, but was a caused one. And a cause implies intention. In other words the science community had to adopt the Cristian view of a caused universe.

        Anytime you read a book or anything on say global warming or ANY science book, you are making an act of faith to accept what is in that book. When that person looked at the scale, or the temperature, that is PAST tense. So the count of some fish, or some temperature data is PAST tense witness and testimony – and you are making an act of faith to accept that positon. And more interesting is that information is historic – past tense!

        Of course you THEN apply the Socratic method of debate and logic and reason to ferret out if such an observation is reasonable. This process is exactly what is done in regards to those believing in a caused universe – their position is not JUST an act of faith, but supporting observations like those stars with limited fuel tanks. And those stars with tanks of fuel are really no different than any other potential energy – marbles roll down a hill to a lower state, but no science experiment will show the reverse.

        Now maybe some people make a pure act of faith in say global warming, but those who apply logic and reason is the difference here. And that difference exists for those who believe in a caused universe – the scientific method is applied to this conclusion as much as any other science position one would take. Now course one can bring up crazy ideas like singlaries etc. – but then they just describing something that occurs without evidence – like a miracle.

      • Even the most famous atheist, Dawkins, admits that to be technically scientific, he’d have to classify himself as an agnostic, since there is a greater than zero chance that there might be something like the Christian God. It’s just that you can’t demonstrate conclusively that such a Thing definitely does not exist.

        Since there is also zero evidence that It does, Dawkins prefers to consider himself an atheist, while recognizing that, as a practitioner of the scientific method, he can’t 100% rule out the possibility of a Creator Deity exists. He’d just put the odds so low as to be infinitesimal.

      • Albert D. Kallal October 17, 2017 at 3:20 pm

        Fusion is readily explained scientifically, without any reference whatsoever to supernatural entities.

        It was discovered in 1929, based upon Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

        The fact of fusion is no “proof” of God. There is no scientific proof of God. And that is how God would want it, if He is as the Bible says He is.

        Science technically doesn’t do “proof” anyway. That’s for math. Scientists will sometimes colloquially talk of “proof”, but what they mean is confirmation, as opposed to falsification.

      • Not claiming it is proof. But the discovery of fusion is MOST certainly supporting evidence for a caused universe vs that of a static one (one that always existed). As I pointed out in the scientific process you gather supporting evidence. This discovery was a HUGE blow to the science community and their view of a non-caused and ever existing universe. Many a scientist went kicking and screaming in the 1920’s to their graves hanging on to a non-caused universe – they hung on since this evidence supported the Christian view of a caused universe.

      • rocketscientist asserts: “BTW atheism cannot be a religion. What do they worship?”

        Atheists each worship whatever he or she wishes to worship; same as a religious person.

        Many atheists worship a thing called Science. Not merely science, but Science capitalized. It has become a “thing” that is binary; you worship it or deny it but it is improper to approach it piecemeal.

        “there are untold numbers of atheists…”

        Do tell!

        “as one would be hard pressed to find an acolyte of Zeus, Thor, Odin, Horus”

        They are somewhat common in Iceland. You seem to be an acolyte of Hitchins.

        “The rational atheist will simply go you one better.”

        That’s nice.

      • Rocketscientist: you wrote, “Not believing IS NOT A RELIGION.” Sorry, you have a grammatical error there. The correct statement is “Believing in NOT is a religion.” You make a positive assertion in the not, that there’s not a spiritual realm.

        Not believing is agnosticism. Even agnosticism comes in two branches—merely not believing, and making the positive belief that the answer is unknowable.

        Oh yes, philosophy = religion.

      • Albert D. Kallal October 17, 2017 at 3:33 pm

        The “discovery” of fusion was not in any way, shape or form “proof” that the universe was caused.

        You keep asserting this baseless claim without any supporting evidence. Name even a single scientist who found fusion to be “proof” or supporting evidence for the unscientific proposition that something like a god created the universe.

        At the time that he and Atkinson calculated stellar thermonuclear reactions, Houtermans was a Communist, so your baseless assertion is false on its face. Their work relied on Einstein. It has nothing at all to do with a presumed, evidence-free creator.

      • “Atheists each worship whatever he or she wishes to worship”

        Which is usually nothing at all, unless you torture the word “worship” until it loses all meaning.

      • RoHa writes “Which is usually nothing at all, unless you torture the word worship until it loses all meaning.”

        All words are tortured to varying degree.

        Worship, in this context, is that which you admire, spend money and time to acquire, defend against insult, guides your decisions; any one of these or multiple.

        Many people worship “iPhone” even though better choices probably exist.

        Many people worship clothing fads even though less expensive and more durable products exist.

        Few people with Lamborgini require such a thing for their existence; they worship fast and powerful.

        I believe few people actually worship what they have been told is “God”. Church attendance has many reasons for existing and many benefits. God certainly cannot be the author of them all, in my opinion, therefore isn’t actually necessary to be present. People worship an IDEA of what they think, or have been told, is God; but many don’t even go that far. It’s just a social club.

      • “BTW atheism cannot be a religion. What do they worship?”

        I believe physical laws and constant exist. I have lots of reason to believe that, since this belief is what made lots of stuff possible (planes, GPS, computers, etc.), but i know this is just a belief, not a knowledge. I believe there are other laws still unknown, we can search fo. I believe there is a set or physical rules.
        I see no reason why this set of rules couldn’t be call “god”. It is just a matter of vocabulary, a convention of speech. Science says that their is only ONE such set of rule. this, again, is just a belief. We have no way to prove speed of light has always been the same and will always be the same; it is just that things add up quite well with this belief, so we don’t need a more complicated belief (for now?). That is, science is monotheist.
        Which leave atheist only 3 choices
        * admit the set of rule, and that it can be called god (whether he himself use the word god for that set of rules do not matter, what matters is that he acknowledge the belief of other people in this “god” is legit). Effectively, this isn’t atheism anymore, but theism.
        * denying science: no such set of rules exist. (I never met such an atheist).
        * pretend he can teach people the real sense of the word “god” (NOT the set or rules the science is looking for) because HE knows what’s that word refers to, while others (non believers in atheism) do not. This attitude has a name. Religion. What do they worship? well, they worship… god! Their worship is in the stoning of a scapegoat way rather than reverence, prayer and thanks way, but worship it is.

      • “Worship, in this context, is that which you admire, spend money and time to acquire, defend against insult, guides your decisions; any one of these or multiple.”

        So not the normal meaning of “worship” at all. So why use the word? Because you want to pretend that the atheist is actually religious.

      • RoHa writes: “So not the normal meaning of worship at all.”

        #2 To honour with extravagant love and extreme submission, as a lover; to adore; to idolize. (wiktionary; verb form)

        “So why use the word?”

        Atheists are in rebellion; not merely personally but publicly, and signal their virtue to other atheists who watch for deviations from authorized atheist dogma. So the “why” is entertainment value as you (or the person being discussed) religiously asserts non-religiousness.

        There’s not a lot of difference between theism and atheism; they have nearly identical practices: Dogmas, evangelists (Dawkins, Hitchins), websites; even an atheist temple in New York City and, apparently, London: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/25/atheists-temple_n_1231848.html

        The word is “worship” and with few exceptions it is human nature to worship something.

        “Dedicated to the idea of perspective, the black tower will scale 46 meters (150 ft), with each centimeter honoring earth’s age of 4.6 billion years, notes Wired.”

        Note the key word “honoring”. This is worship of a magic number, 4.6 billion. A decision is deliberately made to worship A NUMBER.

        “he hopes to create a network of such buildings across the U.K., according to BLOUIN ARTINFO.”

        Just like a church!

        Who is paying for it?

        “writer Alain De Botton has unveiled a Manifesto for Atheists, listing 10 virtues – or as the press has already dubbed them commandments – for the faithless.” http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21319945

        Well, there’s a good start on a new religion.

        “There is a concern among some non-believers that atheism is developing into a religion in its own right, with its own code of ethics and self-appointed high priests.”

        Duh. That’s likely how most religions started.

        “We rely on your donations to make this happen – all money donated goes to supporting the growth and development of the Sunday Assembly movement.”

        Asking for money!

        “Perhaps non-believers should decide for themselves what a temple of atheism should be.” complains Jerry Coyne, an atheist who doubts the virtue of the designer of the atheist temple. whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/a-temple-to-atheism-for-crying-out-loud/

        Atheists hurling accusations at other atheists that their atheism isn’t pure enough! That’s hilarious.

      • https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/worship

        1 Show reverence and adoration for (a deity)
        ‘the Maya built jungle pyramids to worship their gods’

        1.1 (no object) Take part in a religious ceremony.
        ‘the family worshipped at Trinity Church’

        1.2 Feel great admiration or devotion for.
        ‘she adores her sons and they worship her’

        Meaning 1.2 is not the same as meanings 1 and 1.1. To say that the atheist “feels great admiration or devotion for” something non-divine is not the same as saying that the atheist “shows reverence and adoration for” that thing in the way that the religious person “shows reverence and adoration for a deity”.

        To pretend that they are the same is the fallacy of equivocation.

    • Gabro: This subject is being flogged to death, so this response may be my last in this thread.

      The Reformation made a conscious and deliberate clean break from the neo-Platonic medieval theology, and with the neo-Aristotelian theology of the Renaissance following the lead of Thomas Aquinas.

      The first step in that was how to view the Bible, which became codified as “Sola Scriptura”. Instead of being viewed through the lens of previous “experts” whose commentaries were often viewed as authoritative as the text itself, under the Reformation the Bible was to be studied directly. That theological idea was carried over to the study of nature—go out, observe nature directly instead of through the lens of previous “experts”, the most important of which was Aristotle.

      Derived from this idea is the application of themes within the Bible. From the creation came several ideas: The physical universe is not part of God, therefore studying nature would not be a violation of God. Just as God made rules to be followed in the moral realm, so also it was expected that the physical nature that he created would have consistent rules built into it. The Greek philosophical view was based on form, the Biblical idea that the past with its actions and changes is the key to the present presented the idea that function, action, is what is to be studied, hence experimentation in science, look at how things act. An example of that is why Newton developed calculus, to give mathematical expression to function, action. Geometry came from the ancients to give expression to form. There are more that could be cited, but these should be enough to show that Reformation theology provided a unique view of nature that led to the development of natural, empirical science as a discipline.

      The method derived from that theology can be appropriated and used by people who don’t accept the theology behind the method. What I mention here is the theology behind the method.

      No other religion or philosophy had that particular combination of ideas that could lead to the development of natural, empirical science. Those religions that believe that spirits who can act randomly inhabit trees, rocks and other natural forms, have no incentive to go out to look for natural laws. Most world religions have form as their main emphasis, therefore won’t look for function. Biblical theology opposes both ideas and more, hence its view of the natural universe and its development of natural, empirical science.

      As I wrote above, this is probably my last entry in this thread.

  8. Man-made climate change faithful use themselves religious and political terms, such as, belief and consensus. That’s what Vatican turned to for answers. And also some researchers from Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program, the University of Nevada-Reno and West Virginia University now it seems. Would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic.

  9. I didn’t see the numbers being reported telling us anything at all. There was no report on how many people fell into each group, for instance.

    Also, that a smaller percentage of the general public consulted religious leaders about scientific matters than religious people did, matters not at all, because the general public doesn’t consult with religious leaders about anything.

    The findings that mattered in this survey concerned the relative percentages within each group of those willing to consult scientific papers. Similar percentages of religious people consult scientific papers as in the general public. And religious leaders are likely to read the same papers. The way to reach religious people concerning a matter of science is to publish your evidence.

    SR

  10. Any study funded by the John Templeton Foundation should be taken With more than a pinch of salt.

  11. “This study was funded by the John Templeton Foundation”. This foundation is loaded with money and seeks to fund any science related study that shows Christianity is a good light. The paper makes out that this is a new finding whereas it is actually a well researched and discussed area. For further reading in this whole area, books such as Christopher Southgate’s “God, Humanity and the Cosmos” is a good source.

    As a more general observation, ALL muslims would interpret scientific opinions in the light of the Koranic teaching, as there can be no higher authority than this in their worldview. This means they have problems with many scientific theories that have wide currency in western thought.

  12. I regret to say I don’t feel qualified to comment in this thread other than a couple of words about having (or not) religious qualifications:

    Al Gore

  13. What sort of questions are these?

    Some religions have a very ‘laid-back’ view of science. The Church of England, for instance, has no issue with Darwinian evolution – if you ask a CofE vicar about life in prehistoric times he will suggest that you speak to a palaeontologist.

    If you ask a Jehovah’s Witness, however, they will interpret the question as an attack on their religion, and explain the creation myth from Genesis.

    So SOME faiths will prefer religious answers to SOME scientific questions, depending on the particular beliefs of that religion. Which we knew anyway…

  14. The science we know today is the result of 2000 years of faith-based learning and researching.

    The origin of the universe aka the Big Bang was not proposed by Hubble but by a Belgian Jesuit scientist who sought the origin of the universe in time and space because he believed that it had a beginning instead of a timeless static condition which said that the universe had no beginning as was believed in Georges Lemaître’s days.

    From Wikipedia:

    Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître (17 July 1894 – 20 June 1966) was a Belgian Catholic Priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven. He proposed the theory of the expansion of the universe, widely misattributed to Edwin Hubble. He was the first to derive what is now known as Hubble’s law and made the first estimation of what is now called the Hubble constant, which he published in 1927, two years before Hubble’s article. Lemaître also proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe, which he called his “hypothesis of the primeval atom” or the “Cosmic Egg”.

    • Correct. The whole philosophical basis of experimental science is based on et concept of the ‘detached observer’ – the disconnected Intelligence that observes and measures without affecting what is happening.

      This idea of a realm of consciousness distinct from and having an existence separate from the material world, is a very Christian one.

      Despite our avowed materialism, we still behave as if this is so. Even though Quantum physics has pretty much ruled out the possibility. At least in terms of the material world and its observations. That is our awareness of and our observation of the material world is still an interaction with it. Pure consciousness may exist, but when it turns to look at the world,., both are sullied.

      Experience it seems, is a soft machine*.

      * I was hoping that the term was on wiki…but all I find is that dreadful rock band and references to software. A soft machine is, or was, one that bent when applying test loads to materials. So as well as measuring how much the test sample deformed, one was also seeing how much the machine deformed as well.

      What I was trying to say, is that our experience is as much a function of the consciousness that does the experiencing, as of the thing that is being experienced.

      • Leo Smith October 17, 2017 at 3:34 am

        This idea of a realm of consciousness distinct from and having an existence separate from the material world, is a very Christian one.

        HA, it is also a very scientifically factual one.

        With the exclusion of your inherited survival traits, ……. “You are what your environment nurtures you to be”.

        Human consciousness (conscious mind) has no direct connection to the material world of said human’s environment …… but is solely subservient to human subconsciousness (subconscious mind) that has several direct connections (sense organs) to the material world of said human’s environment.

        Thus said, the only difference between a pro-Christian consciousness and a pro-scientific consciousness is the manner in which said human’s subconscious mind was nurtured by his/her environment.

    • “The science we know today is the result of 2000 years of faith-based learning and researching.”

      This is a meaningless statement. Science, as we know it, has answered may of the questions that religion attempted to. Most of us don’t believe the earth is carried around daily by titans or the gods created the mortals anymore.

      Unfortunately, religious people have a harder time with science, and it’s not hard to imagine there is a connection to being taught from a young age that the scientists are wrong on creation. That is, there is “correct” science and “incorrect” science.

      Just my two cents.

      • You failed to get my point which is the following:
        Science didn’t commence today, or by atheists. Scientific knowledge is a process that commenced a long time ago when Homo Sapiens obtained his brain, and this process will never end. Scientific knowledge got a big boost by the ‘invention’ of schools and universities, the printing press and free speech, which are all a result of Europe’s millennial culture, warts and all. Everything we know and everything we have today are all a result of that culture, knowledge and technology put into practise and which is being shared for free by all nations who have benefited immensely from Europe’s vast scientific advancement. When I say Europe I mean western civilisation which includes the USA, Canada and Australia.

      • Pete October 17, 2017 at 7:04 am

        Scientific knowledge is a process that commenced a long time ago when Homo Sapiens obtained his brain, and this process will never end.

        Right you are Pete, …… and that process most probably progressed like so, to wit:

        The source of the following excerpted commentary is here

        We are what our environment nurtures us to be.

        ……… small groups of the now human population wandered off in all directions to fend for themselves. And in doing so, these now isolated groups were dependent upon their new environments to nurture them with the means to survive. As they learned new and better survival traits from their environments they became quite successful as hunter-gathers at finding sufficient food resources for their survival.

        As the population of these groups increased the need for social rules and guidance became necessary for their survival. Thus, a leader was either chosen or the strongest member of the group took control and rules of social conduct were established by proxy or by the individual leaders themselves. In the latter situation the rules of conduct could change each time a new leader took control.

        A need for religious beliefs arises.

        As the individuals within these groups became more intelligent and knowledgeable of their environment they began to question those things they were subjected to that they didn’t understand, including thunder, lightning, the seasons and their own origins. And when such questions arise in social groups of humans their leader(s) were queried for an answer to them. …………….. Therefore the leaders and/or oldest members of these isolated groups were forced to use their imagination to create acceptable “reasons” for said origins in order to appease the curiosity of the individuals in said group.

        Thus, Gods and Goddesses were thought up to “explain the unexplainable”. And the isolation of the different groups of humans resulted in differences in their imagined “reasons”, otherwise known as “religious beliefs”. Our knowledge of said religious beliefs are recorded in both the archeological and historical records of past cultural groups, of which some are the root source of most all present day Religions.

        A per say, ….. Religious belief decent with modifications, ….. from the polytheism worshipping of the past to the monotheism worshipping of the present.

        Cheers

    • Recent thinking is that the Big Bang Theory may not be correct. So much for belief! That’s why scepticism works so well.

    • Pete October 17, 2017 at 2:52 am

      Today’s science is not the result of faith-based learning. Not at all. Nor did it begin 2000 years. The first scientists were pagan Greeks, starting around 600 BC. Modern science began in AD 1543 specifically in rebellion against religious doctrine and ancient authority.

      What scientist made a discovery based upon his faith? Some claimed to be motivated to study nature by their religious beliefs, but that is far from saying that their faith showed them how to solve a particular scientific problem. Lemaitre may have claimed that he imagined an expanding universe because of his religion (although I’ve not read it), but the fact is that he derived his hypothesis from the equations of general relativity.

      • Well, to begin with, he must had faith that something could be discovered, that is, the faith that nature has some order. “order” is one of the many name of god

  15. Science as a group activity, is about forming our best approximations that attempts to express the governing principles for the mechanics of the physical universe we observe. Our best answers are neither complete nor absolute, and are often subject to group and personal interpretations.

    Religions, as a group activity, are about why people are/were on earth in the past, now and in the future. In the main religions believe they absolutely believe they know reasons why we and our universe exists and persists, and in this they often express profound articles of faith in how we should relate to others (both human and non-human), and to the universe around us, to affect the best stability for all. However religious beliefs are subject to group and personal interpretations.

    Politics, on the other hand, all too often mixes the certainties of religions with the theories of science to produce attractive nonsense by which to try and govern.

  16. There is a way to understand this, that is to my mind more sensible than making religion an enemy of science, or an opposing alternative.

    And that is to acknowledge that neither is demonstrably true, and both reflect a need to address certain life issues that are common to everyone.

    Consciousness it seems, has developed a view or model of the world as an externalised material entity, and by so doing has become effective in its relationship with it, up to and including moderate success in predicting the future. (If X, then, after a time, Y)

    Science is the purest expression of that model reduced to mathematical equations, but whose conclusions cannot be proved by examination of their internal logic, (cf Kant- Critique of pure reason) but only by comparing them with the real life that they are supposed to be a model of. Hence Karl Popper, et al.

    It is this fundamental inability to discern any truth content at all in science that is so disturbing to some philosophers, compared with its fundamental success in prediction. (one excludes climate science at this point as a science, and social science and …well you know. All the other not-sciences..)

    In short science is the minute detailed infilling of what is already and unprovable model – that of an external space time universe governed by causality and time-and-location invariant laws of Nature, and whose substance is material.

    Within that context science is effective at telling is what will happen and when, should its models be up to the task (mostly they are not) but is utterly incapable of providing any answer to the question why? or giving any moral guidance as to what we should do.

    And unfortunately into what may be termed the moral and existential vacuum of science, have come the West’s latter day religion – cultural Marxism – as well as the traditional moral arbiters of Christianity and Islam etc.

    Marxism can be seen at one level as an attempt to layer a moral dimension on a ‘world without a God’.

    I.e. In a truly Godless material universe if capitalists are enslaving the proletariat, one should rightly ask the question ‘So what? It’s just evolution in action, is it not?’ . Marxism is therefore bunk.

    And this is where I propose a thesis, that is no more demonstrably true than the material world, than the existence of God, or indeed Marxist morality.

    And that is this: For a particular grouping of models with their implied knowledge about the world to survive, the people who espouse them need to behave in certain ways. Let’s call that grouping ‘culture’.

    The problem is this: not only must the ‘culture’ respond to reality via demonstrably effective models – e.g. science, it also has to respond to reality in such a way as it becomes sustainable. That is, cultural myths, I propose, are there to regulate groups of people in order that they survive, not because there is any particular reason that they should – the Universe of Science would neither blink nor shed a tear at the total demise of the human species – but simply because in their absence, the culture fails to survive.

    Religion is about cultural survival, but then so is science..

    That is, it is not strictly necessary that Western Christian society believes in God, so long as they behave as if they do.

    If you like, God propositions are functionally effective at preserving cultures, just as scientific propositions are, and neither have any truth content whatsoever.

    The conflict arises with people who think that they do. Who crave even one unassailable totally trustworthy Fact. The essence of the brand of Fundamentalism that my ex neighbours espoused, was the utter complete and total truth contained in the Bible, and nothing else had any at all.

    It is one place to drive a pole in to define the origin of your metaphysical maps I suppose. Just like there is a pole in Greenwich defined to be longitude 0….

    What this alternative view of science religion and humanity arrives at – for me anyway – is that science destroyed the Churches monopoly on Truth, which was good, but philosophy has not caught up, and destroyed Science’s monopoly yet, and that is the reason why we have the godless and immoral spectre of cultural Marxism, or Socialism I suppose, making such a dangerously dysfunctional social regulator. Social Justice – so called – has taken over from Christian Charity and proceed to make a right buggers muddle of how to run things.

    Marx seems to have claimed at some point or other to have derived a morality from scientific principles, and science, being the epitome of the truth, as people saw it, therefore endorses his world view of social conflict. And its morality. And this trend continues today. Climate Change is an aspect of a sort of cultural Marxism, an essentially moral> position, propped up by pseudo-science.

    This is of course, like all the philosophical underpinnings of the New Left, fundamentally total gobshite. Posy pompous pseudo scientific claptrap.

    But appealing. In the same way that religion is. Science removed any reason for, or purpose in, living. Marx restored them. No more Onward Christian Soldiers, but Onward Socialist Workers! The Jihad of the Common Man! (directed by the usual Hollywood elites and featuring the usual suspects as the movements cheerleaders, and with the usual false gurus making a tidy packet on the side, selling indulgences, or solar panels as we we call them today).

    And this is why if society is to move beyond religion and false prophets like Marx, Society has to acknowledge two rather bitter pills – or at least the cognoscenti do.

    Science is no more true than religion is. It is, like religion, just a tool for survival, that works. Whether the natural laws simply exist of and through themselves or whether they express Divine Purpose from a sentient being in some arbitrary unknown dimension is totally imponderable. What is relevant to humanity is that humanity needs to know at the micro level how to behave in order that it continues. Or not if it chooses not to. Science is able to tell us how to behave if we want to achieve a specific outcome, but what it cannot do is place any ultimate value judgement on that outcome.

    And that is the vacuum filled by the three great Semitic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Old testament is part philosophy, part history and creation myth, but massively the history of kings prophets and above all laws of behaviour. Christianity is a massive shift in that moral landscape designed to deal with the status of the people of that time as conquered by the Romans, and features meekness, mildness, mutual self help and non-aggression. Very handy when you want your culture to survive against overwhelming military odds. And if course it was the Romans who took it up and promulgated it as a tool of political pacification throughout the Empire.

    I won’t talk about Islam.

    So this is, I believe, the problem the intelligent scientist has. On the one hand to realise and admit that science has no more ultimate validity (truth content) than the flying spaghetti monster, But is still the most powerful and effective tool we have in predicting the future and shaping the world of physical objects, and on the other to realise and admit that religion too has absolutely no truth content at all, but that it remains to date at least, one of the most powerful tools in shaping human thought behaviour and social mores.

    And if we reject religion, the vacuum gets filled by something even worse – Socialism. Because people need guidelines. And that is not just ‘them’ – the hoi polloi – but us, ourselves who can can conceive of it in those terms. We need a yardstick of moral behaviour, we need a purpose in our lives, and we need to feel that somehow it was all worthwhile.

    Or we have to face an existential despair and go on living despite that fact that our scientific intellects tell us that it is meaningless, purposeless, and a complete accident of history.

    Aeons ago early man seems to have recognised the need for a counter to the meaningless of it all, and the ultimate lack of purpose, and invented a tool to counteract it. That tool is called Faith. The ability to believe in that which cannot be proven, in order that the individual does not self destruct.

    We can rise above the need for faith, but only by realising that it is just the means to break a human deadlock. And break it directly by choosing to act as if there were some divine spiritual meaning in the world, instead of having to believe that that there is, And thereby discovering that this does indeed make a profound difference to life.

    There you are, all the benefits of religion with none of the drawbacks. :-)

    If I have anything to say as a concluding remark it is this. I have, for whatever reasons, spent my life in a relentless pursuit of Truth.

    That journey has taken me to the point where I have concluded that it is a quest that has no conclusion, there is a truth, but it is necessarily beyond the conscious objective mind to comprehend in its totality, and what we have to be content with is a collection of half truths and useful lies (with little means of distinguishing between them) and therefore the search for truth needs to be replaced as a criterion for value judgements between ideas, and replaced by functional effectiveness either in achieving specific objectives, or simply in promulgating the culture that believes in the,

    I don’t say a certain sort of truth doesn’t exist, but it is always relative to unprovable propositions. ‘My cat has claws’ is a truth, but only in a context of the nature of a universe that contains ‘cats’ and has some sort of social context in which ownership of another life form has meaning.

    In short in a material universe inhabited by social animals that statement has meaning, but there is no justification for saying that is what the universe actually is, as against , say, a virtual reality simulation in some pan dimensional quantum computer (which modern physics is tending towards anyway)

    Climate change is a wonderful microcosm of so many aspects of post modern intellectual life. We have people coming up against the sorts of intractable problems that Godel, Turing. Heisenberg and the like tackled last century, in that the climate itself is beyond (our current) ability to predict, and, worse, if it is as I strongly suspect, chaotic, even if we completely understood the equations governing it, still unpredictable, to all intents and purposes and worse still faced with ignorance, it has become an article of Faith instead.

    If we want to derail Climate Change the Faith, what we need to do is decouple it from Science: In short a conclusive scientific paper proving that climate cannot be predicted to a level sufficiently accurate to be of any political or social use, would destroy the whole social movement.

    That at least would stop the expensive meddling by the well meaning and the cynical.

    Then I would say that in order to circumvent the totally unpleasant effect that social Marxism – Liberalism to the US readers – has had on civilisation, we need to provide an alternative faith to the endless drivel of ‘social justice’

    And here perhaps scientists ought to say that the value of religion and its moral teachings is not contingent upon the truth content of its spiritual beliefs, just as the value of science is not dependent on the truth content of its metaphysics, either.

    Religion works, in its area of competence.. Science works in its area of competence.. Neither can be proven to be based on true premises. Neither can be shown to be demonstrably false. It is not necessary to have to believe in the truth content of either in order to derive their benefits, although people of inferior intellects seem to need to.

    • Good, thoughtful post Leo. Unfortunately, that paper has already been written by Edward Lorenz in 1963- Edward N. Lorenz (1963). Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow. He demonstrated that even a very simple system of partial differential equations could be highly dependent on the initial conditions. Even rounding errors(he found) could result in entirely different result. From that came “chaos theory”, fractals, and other applications.

      • Well rewrite it with especial emphasis on climate..

        The point is not that chaotic systems dont allow accurate prediction, it is that climate is one of those systems

    • Leo Smith October 17, 2017 at 3:16 am

      …… for me anyway – is that science destroyed the Churches monopoly on Truth, which was good, but philosophy has not caught up, and destroyed Science’s monopoly yet,

      Leo, really now, ….. why did you use the words …. science, churches and philosophy, ….. which infers three (3) different and distinct entities, …….. wherein factual reality there are only two (2), ….. science and religion.

      In actuality, philosophy is little more than a religion dressed in “drag” ….. and the only “truth” associated with it is purely accidental.

      • In actuality, philosophy is little more than a religion dressed in “drag” ….. and the only “truth” associated with it is purely accidental.

        Well since science is itself a branch of philosophy, I guess that makes you chicken little…

      • Because we are human, truth will always be relative to and determined by the human wants and needs of the individual. The endeavour to qualify the truth according to universal and mathematical principles is a desire to distance us from our selfish motives in order not to fool ourselves or harm others through our selfishness, intentional or subconcious.
        Some of us think that religion provides the moral guidance we require to not act selfishly. Some of us think that selflessness is part of our inherent commitment to our fellow beings as social animals. Both models succeed in some people some of the time and fail in nearly all people some of the time.
        There are many temptations in life. In climate science and politics we see the weaknesses of people in ambition and the desire for security and prestige, in many cases we see people who want to believe that their contributions are important, and the more vital they make them seem, the more their egos are satisfied.
        Serving personal ambition at the expense of society is nearly pathological in human terms, but also very common. It is the only explanation for most politicians or Michael Mann.

      • Leo Smith October 17, 2017 at 6:55 am

        Well since science is itself a branch of philosophy, I guess that makes you chicken little…

        Leo, was that the bestest CYA you could think up?

        Creating a new definition for a word for the sole purpose of justifying silly commentary is, IMO, a “I’m never wrong” feminine emotional attribute.

        Iffen you are still young enough to learn, …… to wit:

        philosophy – the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.

        • a particular system of philosophical thought.
        • the study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience.

    • Leo says “I won’t talk about Islam”

      Fair enough.

      I won’t talk about gravity then.

      (Only joking, Anthony)

    • Not sure why you didn’t address Islam in your analysis. 1.4 billion are Muslim, they have a far more conservative view than most Christians, Jews and others. While once upon a time they were heavy into science and mathematics the Islamists movement today claims that was one of the mistakes made in the past. Too much time was spent on such trivia instead of “bringing” Islam to the entire world.

      • did no address Islam since my post was already too long.

        But Islam is anti-science, and allows one to hold positions of logical contradictions. So when I say a legitimate religion, I mean one that does not toleration contradictions of logic and reason. If you can’t apply the scientific process and logical reason to that religion then it not a legitimate religion – it is a simple as that. So by the above criteria you have to toss out Islam.

  17. This sounds like a return to the Dark Ages. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake by the Inquisition for saying the Earth revolved around the Sun (not for any other trivial misdeed, real or imagined as some commentators previously implied). The current neuroscientists easily show that the human brain displays, in controlled and repeatable tests, a relationship between brain architecture and functionality and occult ideation. Yes, there is a difference between consulting a Scientist and a Theologian for scientific information.

    • You dont consult a priest for scientific information and you dont go to a scientist for existential solutions: When I challenged my oncologist for not providing emotional support for the dying, he said ‘we are not priests’.

      • Your oncologist was a disappointment but technically correct. If he’s no good at the emotional stuff then just as well he declined to participate. We all have a desire to help ( except sociopaths) but for some people it’s just too personal and painful so they practice distancing themselves from the emotion and focusing on the technical and scientific information. He/She probably wasn’t brave enough or emotionally resilient enough to invest themselves in your emotional needs. That’s why there’s jobs for more emotive people who can’t add.

      • Well, if you have a legitimate religion, you don’t go to a priest for that either – you go to a priest for his given authority (apostolic authority). Anything else is quite much a waste of time. If you need advice on cooking, or even martial advice, then a priest is not a solution nor suggested as such (unless it a religion without legitimate authority).

  18. Gee, how can we communicate corrupted pseudo sciency political grift to the people who keep turning away from us? We tried pushing the idea of jailing them and even rounding them up, noorimburging them, and… We have been turning their children against them. Hey, maybe the deal we struck with Pope Francis is a good way to approach it. First let’s make fun of the deplorables’ religion. I’m predicting a Trump landslide victory in 2020.The Dems just aren’t going to get it.

    Why didn’t these pathetic apologists for the cult of climate put a question in the survey on whether Albert Einstein’s theories could be trusted. That would have taken the smarmy conflation of CAGW drek with science out of the survey.

    • The Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming prophecy is just the tip of the iceberg. There is also the Pro-Choice quasi-religion. Quasi because it’s based on the twilight faith (a.k.a. penumbra) and is notoriously selective, unprincipled, and opportunistic, and is historically the rationale for a-borting millions of lives before and after birth, typically for social progress (e.g. great leaps, great societies). There is the atheistic belief in spontaneous human conception that denies human evolution, and human rights, from conception and purports a fictional state of viability. Then the progressive concept of diversity that denies individual dignity, including color diversity, sex diversity, and other political congruences (“=”). Also, discrimination between men and women on the transgender spectrum (i.e. physical and/or mental deviations from normal) including homosexuals, bisexuals, transvestites, etc. They are male or female from conception, and exhibit transgender physical and/or mental characteristics (e.g. sexual orientation). The age of [unqualified] progress. One step forward. Two steps backward.

  19. 10,241 AMERICANS were surveyed to get this report.

    And then the whole survey and its purported results in the usual arrogant scientific elitist “Climate Change” created fashion have been extended to give the appearance that the survey results are applicable to the entire race of mankind across every culture and religion and quasi religion. ie; greens , socialists right wing, anarchists and etc .

    In the usual arrogant fashion of such culturally limited and culturally ignorant individuals, it seems the authors are incapable of looking outside of America’s borders to see if other cultures react in a similar fashion to that they have claimed the way American culture reacts to such culturally driven memes on science and its interaction with religious beliefs or the converse.

    Culturally one would expect to find and no doubt would find a huge disparity amongst tribes and nations and tongues and religions on how individuals from each of these cohorts along with their national underpinning cultural outlook as well as their linguistic traits as well as their individual and widely varying personal religious beliefs or non beliefs would modify the individual’s level of belief in any specific scientific claims.

    The interpretations and the interpretative effects relating to their religious beliefs that the believers in the various religions might use to personally assess claims made by scientists are driven by both national and racial culture as well as by an almost infinite array of religious and quasi religious beliefs [ greens / socialists and etc ] driven by the varying religious and quasi religious cultures [ greens – socialists / anarchists etc again ] just as much as any actual belief in science.

  20. All the major faiths: atheism, agnosticism, and theism are prone to conflation of logical domains, and asserting “scientific” truths well outside of a limited scientific frame of reference, to the edge of the solar system, to the end of the universe, and beyond. In the present, past, and future, people of all faiths (i.e. logical domain) and religions (i.e. moral philosophy) want to… nay, need to believe, and will assert a consensus (i.e. social/political agreement) in their pursuit of wealth, pleasure, leisure, narcissistic indulgence, and other secular incentives.

  21. The Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming prophecy is just the tip of the iceberg. There is also the Pro-Choice quasi-religion. Quasi because it’s based on the twilight faith (a.k.a. penumbra) and is notoriously selective, unprincipled, and opportunistic, and is historically the rationale for a-bortion of millions of lives before and after birth, typically for social progress (e.g. great leaps, great societies, State revenue, democratic leverage). There is the atheistic belief in spontaneous human conception that denies human evolution, and human rights, from conception and purports a fictional state of viability. Then the progressive concept of diversity that denies individual dignity, including color diversity, sex diversity, and other political congruences (“=”). Also, discrimination between men and women on the t-ransgender spectrum (i.e. physical and/or mental deviations from normal) including h-omosexuals, b-isexuals, t-ransvestites, etc. They are male or female from conception, and exhibit t-ransgender physical and/or mental characteristics (e.g. sexual orientation). The age of [unqualified] progress. One step forward. Two steps backward.

  22. Interesting, WordPress doesn’t tolerate discussion of [elective] a-bortion, t-ransgenderism spectrum disorder, liberal euphemisms, quasi-religions/moral philosophies, and [unqualified] p-rogress. Or perhaps not all in the same context.

  23. On point, I have enjoyed Karl Popper’s The Logic of Scientific Discovery, James Franklin’s The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal, and am enjoying the struggle currently of George F. R. Ellis’ On the Moral Nature of the Universe.

      • Leo S, that “moral nature” thingy probably has something to do with the silly belief that humans are the only animals on earth (or in the universe) that is capable of conscious thought and abstract reasoning with established and/or defined morals within the different tribes and families.

  24. Also, some scientists (mostly CLIMATE scientists) turn to religion (the CAGW religion) for answers.

  25. The difference between science and religion can be seen in how we get space probes to another planet. Science evaluates the proper conditions needed to achieve the goal and proceeds to use those calculations which ends in success. Religion prays that some being will make it happen just the way we want it.
    When the scientific calculations turn out to be wrong there is a track record to refer back to so errors can be found and corrections made. Religion suggests a failure is due to a deity being angered.

    • Mars is an angry god. He parries many of our attempts to penetrate his armour. Sometimes when he drinks or whatever we are able to slip something past him.

    • Tom in Florida says “The difference between science and religion can be seen in how we get space probes to another planet.”

      Who is we?

      Perhaps you can provide an example of a branch or instance of religion attempting to get a space probe to another planet. Include why they would want to do that when their religion already provides the answers that the probe was sent to obtain.

      • Michael,

        What religion tells us the composition of lunar regolith, what lies under Martian soil or foretells hydrocarbon lakes on Titan?

        Thanks!

      • Did you pray for Apollo 13 to make it home safely? Millions did but is was science that did the trick.

        Religions have no idea what the probes will find. If they did it wouldn’t be a religion.

      • Tom asks “Did you pray for Apollo 13 to make it home safely?”

        No.

        “is was science that did the trick.”

        Says you. That is your religion, a thing called “science” that does things, rather than people that do things. When you anthropomorphize “science” into a Person then it has become your religion.

        “Religions have no idea what the probes will find.”

        Trivially true. People have ideas. Religions do not. Of those who have ideas, some will turn out to be correct. It would be nice to know in advance whose ideas turn out to be correct.

        You have not answered my question about which religion sent a space probe.

        “If they did it wouldn’t be a religion.”

        The No True Religion fallacy.

      • Michael 2 October 17, 2017 at 8:08 pm

        You have not answered my question about which religion sent a space probe.

        Michael, …… GETTA CLUE, …….

        Tom’s remark stating that …..

        The difference between science and religion can be seen in how we get space probes to another planet.

        …… simply pointed out that Religion or Religious beliefs were not beneficial or responsible for one (1) damn thing associated with launching successful space probes.

      • Samuel C Cogar explained: “[re: The difference between science and religion can be seen in how we get space probes to another planet.] simply pointed out that Religion or Religious beliefs were not beneficial or responsible for one (1) damn thing associated with launching successful space probes.”

        Appreciate the explanation, that the way to distinguish between science and religion is observe which thing sends out space probes. Clearly it was impossible to distinguish between these prior to launching space probes.

        I have a doubt that religious beliefs are completely absent in the space program, starting with WHY is there a space program at all? In what way has human evolution driven people to invest billions of dollars in shooting bits of metal into space?

  26. I think the reality is that religious people seek religious opinion on topics where there is no real, hard scientific evidence backed up with common sense observation, and the interpretation of that topic is debatable.

    Thus, you won’t find religious people seeking religious opinion on the existence or laws of gravity, but they will consult religious text on a theory regarding the creation of life.

    • People also seek religion when they feel they have no ability to help themselves. Of course it is much easier for those to simply prey for help than to go out and actually do it for themselves.

  27. Perhaps these jackwagons are just frustrated that people of faith have a higher moral perspective that makes it easier to spot liars like them? Historic evidence to back up their inference that people of faith are incapable of following scientific principle is about as plentiful as evidence CO2 ever controlled earth’s temperature.

    In a biography of Louis Pasteur by his son in-law:

    Absolute faith in God and in Eternity, and a conviction that the power for good given to us in this world will be continued beyond it, were feelings which pervaded his whole life; the virtues of the gospel had ever been present to him.

    Better still, Leonard Euler wrote:

    The natural law, by which our duties in our dealings are determined through the light of nature, can for good reasons be called a divine law which God has, so to speak, written on the hearts of men and has obligated men to conduct all their dealings according to its instructions.

    There are examples after examples of famous scientists driven by the miraculous perfection of Nature. The scientific discoveries they made in their quest to understand it fueled an ever increasing conviction to the idea that our universe could not possibly be the result of cosmic chance, (as atheist dullards “believe”).
    .

    • I have always marveled at people who cannot explain to me how the first reproductive system came into existence (a more sophisticated version of which came first, the chicken or the egg), without use of words like: may, could have, perhaps, possibly. Without facts, it is all conjecture and belief.

      Darwin himself wrote that without fossil evidence showing more advanced life forms prior to the “Cambrian Explosion”, his Theory of Evolution would be disproven (null hypothesis). The 40 million year extent of the Cambrian period was simply not enough time for evolution from simple life forms at the beginning to the complex life at the end of that period (see “Darwin’s Dilemma” for more thorough discussion.

      The first reproductive system (along with a system to provide the energy to reproduce) had to have been created. Either by God or Mother Nature (either here on Earth or some other location). I have yet to read or hear of the demonstration of some combination of air movement (breeze, wind, tornado, hurricane), water movement (drips, tides, waves, tsunamis, brooks, or rivers), earth movement (volcanic eruption, earthquake, meteor strike), or lightning strike or ocean floor vent that could create such complex systems simultaneously. Until then, I will (like the above cited “scientists” continue to believe in God.

      • WE know how the first reproductive system came into being. A cell split.

        Aeons later, it took a different cell to make it split, and that worked better. So it prospered as a system

        Life is simply from a material point of view a series of self reproducing cell formations.

        Hardly different from growing crystals

      • Just my opinion, I don’t believe God interceded to tweak anything after Big Bang because to believe that would be to believe that God was incapable of getting it right “the first time”. But then… what IS “the first time” to an entity likely unconstrained by time?

      • CW,

        You are way out of date.

        Fossils much older than the Cambrian have been known for about a century, although they weren’t recognized as such until the 1950s. Before then, scientists wrongly felt that organisms were too small and soft-bodied to be detected in Precambrian rocks. But then large organisms were found in them (in central England), and previous discoveries were reexamined and found also to be from rocks older than the Phanerozoic. Today there are lots and lots of fossils and impressions of Precambrian multicellular organisms, plus of course very ancient microbial fossils, such as stromatolites from 3.5 billion years ago and biochemical markers from 3.8 to 4.2 Ga.

        The details of how life first arose on earth are still under study, but each year answers emerge.

        The chemical precursors of life assemble both on earth and in space. A protocell has yet to self-assemble in the lab, but its constituent parts have already been shown to do so, to include a membrane capable of division and short sequences of both nucleic acids and amino acids (which compose proteins). A simple version of the Krebs cycle, the basis of metabolism, also occurs spontaneously in water.

        Scientists working in origin of life research predict artificial protocells within the lifetimes of most people living today. The more optimistic, like Nobel winner Jack Szostak of Harvard, have forecast five years. Others, including myself, don’t expect this result for ten or even 20 years, but in any case before the centennial of the discovery of the structure of DNA.

      • Michael,

        Native speakers of English know what the word means, and nature doesn’t fit the bill, even if you think it does. Sorry, but to imagine the universe is perfect at this point in time is flat out delusional.

        The use of perfection in science went out with Aristotle.

        If the world is perfect now, then it wasn’t a microsecond ago and won’t be in the next microsecond. It constantly changes. The longer the time frame, the more so.

        When was it perfect or when will it be so, or is it just in this instant? The universe is never the same, hence never perfect.

        Do you imagine that the human body is perfect as it is now? Then is wasn’t perfect a million years ago and won’t be a million years from now, if there still are humans then.

      • So saidith: CWinNY – October 17, 2017 at 6:04 am

        Darwin himself wrote that without fossil evidence showing more advanced life forms prior to the “Cambrian Explosion”, his Theory of Evolution would be disproven (null hypothesis).

        The 40 million year extent of the Cambrian period was simply not enough time for evolution from simple life forms at the beginning to the complex life at the end of that period (see “Darwin’s Dilemma” for more thorough discussion.

        CWinNY, the only thing you have proven via your above comment is that you are pretty much uneducated about and thus utterly ignorant concerning the Cambrian Period and/or the per se “Cambrian Explosion”.

        By the start of the Cambrian Period, simple life forms had already evolved into complex life forms …… but it was during said Cambrian Period that all of the major animal phyla evolved and which still exists today. And thus the reason that Period is referred to as the “Cambrian Explosion”.

        But you were correct when you stated that …… “The 40 million year extent of the Cambrian period was simply not enough time for evolution” of all of said major animal phyla if one limits said evolution process to …… “descent with modification” of the DNA via random gene mutations.

        But the “evolution process” during the “Cambrian Explosion” progressed at “warp speed” as a result of DNA modifications resulting from ……. Horizontal Gene Transfers between different forms or species of animals.

      • Samuel,

        There is zero evidence that the Cambrian Explosion was from HGT. Please present some evidence for this baseless conjecture of yours.

        Each year, more impressions and fossils of organisms ancestral to Cambrian phyla are found. What happened in the Cambrian is that previously small, soft-bodied forms got larger and harder, thus leaving behind more fossils.

        Normally evolutionary processes explain the Cambrian Explosion. There are explosions after all mass extinction events, the largest of which after the Cambrian occurred in the Triassic, following the end Permian extinction “Great Dying”.

        HGT does occur in multicellular organisms, but it doesn’t account for the origin of new phyla. So, unless and until you can explain precisely how this worked in the Cambrian, your assertion is simply unsupported speculation.

      • So demandith: Gabro October 19, 2017 at 10:56 am

        Samuel,

        There is zero evidence that the Cambrian Explosion was from HGT. Please present some evidence for this baseless conjecture of yours.

        Gabro, will this factual evidence, that can only be explained by HGT, be sufficient to appease your “brainwashed” beliefs that your chosen mentors forced you to believe, to wit:

        Gabro, given the FACT that you will surely disagree with the above, …….. let’s see how brilliant you really are by your presenting a BELIEVABLE explanation of the evolution of the Platypus via “descent with modification” triggered by far-and-few-between random gene mutations of the beneficial and survivable kind …….. and not the detrimental or “junk DNA” kind.

        And spare me any and all “ifs n’ maybes n’ possibilities” in your explanation.

        Gabro, prior to the Cambrian Period of 541 million years ago, the DNA of the then existing life forms had to have been quite simple in the number of different genes, base pairs, etc., etc., which would have permitted HGT to readily occur without rejection of said “foreign” DNA or causing detrimental effect to the absorbing organism.

        HGT, which was unknown until recently, …… still occurs randomly in the natural world, ……. and now days, almost every day, in bio labs in universities and other research institutions.

        Here, correct some of your misnurtured beliefs, to wit:

        The Cambrian Period

        The Cambrian Period (which lasted about 53 million years) marks an important point in the history of life on Earth; it is the time when most of the major groups of animals first appear in the fossil record. This event is sometimes called the “Cambrian Explosion,” because of the relatively short time over which this diversity of forms appears. It was once thought that Cambrian rocks contained the first and oldest fossil animals, but these are now found in the earlier Ediacaran (Vendian) strata.

        Almost every metazoan phylum with hard parts, and many that lack hard parts, made its first appearance in the Cambrian. The only modern phylum with an adequate fossil record to appear after the Cambrian was the phylum Bryozoa, which is not known before the early Ordovician. A few mineralized animal fossils, including sponge spicules and probable worm tubes, are known from the Ediacaran Period immediately preceding the Cambrian.
        Source reference: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/cambrian/cambrian.php

      • Gabro October 19, 2017 at 10:56 am

        Samuel,

        There is zero evidence that the Cambrian Explosion was from HGT. Please present some evidence for this baseless conjecture of yours.

        Gabro, will this factual evidence that can only be explained by HGT be sufficient to appease your beliefs that your chosen mentors forced you to believe, to wit:

        Gabro, given the FACT that you will surely disagree with the above, …….. let’s see how brilliant you really are by your presenting a BELIEVABLE explanation of the evolution of the Platypus via “descent with modification” triggered by far-and-few-between random gene mutations of the beneficial and survivable kind …….. and not the detrimental or “junk DNA” kind.

        Gabro, prior to the Cambrian Period of 541 million years ago, the DNA of the then existing life forms had to have been quite simple in the number of different genes, base pairs, etc., etc., which would have permitted HGT to readily occur without rejection of said “foreign” DNA or causing detrimental effect to the absorbing organism.

        HGT, which was unknown until recently, …… still occurs randomly in the natural world, ……. and now days, almost every day, in bio labs in universities and other research institutions.

        Here, correct your beliefs, to wit:

        The Cambrian Period

        The Cambrian Period (which lasted about 53 million years) marks an important point in the history of life on Earth; it is the time when most of the major groups of animals first appear in the fossil record. This event is sometimes called the “Cambrian Explosion,” because of the relatively short time over which this diversity of forms appears. It was once thought that Cambrian rocks contained the first and oldest fossil animals, but these are now found in the earlier Ediacaran (Vendian) strata.

        Almost every metazoan phylum with hard parts, and many that lack hard parts, made its first appearance in the Cambrian. The only modern phylum with an adequate fossil record to appear after the Cambrian was the phylum Bryozoa, which is not known before the early Ordovician. A few mineralized animal fossils, including sponge spicules and probable worm tubes, are known from the Ediacaran Period immediately preceding the Cambrian.
        Source reference: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/cambrian/cambrian.php

      • Gabro October 19, 2017 at 10:56 am

        Samuel,

        There is zero evidence that the Cambrian Explosion was from HGT. Please present some evidence for this baseless conjecture of yours.

        Gabro, will this factual evidence that can only be explained by HGT be sufficient to appease your beliefs that your chosen mentors forced you to believe, to wit:

        Gabro, given the FACT that you will surely disagree with the above, …….. let’s see how brilliant you really are by your presenting a BELIEVABLE explanation of the evolution of the Platypus via “descent with modification” triggered by far-and-few-between random gene mutations of the beneficial and survivable kind …….. and not the detrimental or “junk DNA” kind.

      • Gabro, prior to the Cambrian Period of 541 million years ago, the DNA of the then existing life forms had to have been quite simple in the number of different genes, base pairs, etc., etc., which would have permitted HGT to readily occur without rejection of said “foreign” DNA or causing detrimental effect to the absorbing organism.

        HGT, which was unknown until recently, …… still occurs randomly in the natural world, ……. and now days, almost every day, in bio labs in universities and other research institutions.

      • David October 20, 2017 at 6:29 am

        maybe the problem is here that we cannot envision a period of 100 million years.

        But, but, but, …. David, ……. animal life had been evolving via “descent with modification (random mutations)” for 1,000 million years before the Cambrian Explosion began, …… then all of a sudden, geologically speaking that is, ……. thousands of different phyla, genera, species, etc., evolved to procreate their “like kind”, ……… Biblically speaking that is. HA HA HA

      • And HA, …. I thought the server software had rejected my 1st two “Platypus postings” …… so I shortened it a bit and posted it a 3rd time.

    • As I pointed out, religion is no bar to science,.

      Early science simply performed a small transform so that ‘God’s will’ was transformed into ‘Natural law’

      Allowing them to study a universe saturated with Godliness and perfect in every way.

      I know many good scientists who switch between a scientific world-view for their work, and a spiritual one for their human side.,

      As I keep saying, it is the insistence that one is ‘true’ and the other is not, that causes the conflict. Since Galileo

      • In the days of one and only one “truth” you might have burned for even that simple statement. The climate literati would like to return us to the days of no dissent and no arguments. They are totalitarians. Their ideas are so weak that they know they can’t withstand critique.

    • Mike,

      Nature is obviously not “perfect”. Far from it. You need look no further than the human body to confirm this fact. Like all organisms, humans are an ad hoc patchwork of Rube Goldberg devices.

      There is no “perfect” configuration of this (or other) universes, nor of our galaxy, solar system or earth. All is constantly changing. This fact is one of the greatest, most profound discoveries of modern science.

      Nor is even the process of change itself perfect. There is no perfection in nature and no goal to its existence. It just is.

      • Gabro says “Nature is obviously not perfect.”

        It is if I say it is, and I say it is, therefore it is. Shall we discuss what the word means?

      • “There is no perfection in nature and no goal to its existence. ”

        Let’s separate two distinct aspects. One encompasses the timeless structural aspects of nature such as the various laws of physics (that we have thus far identified), physical constants or the make up of the materials. Every one of those aspects requires a precision beyond our comprehension, e.g. the exact speed of light or the gravity ‘constant’ or the kind of ‘stuff’ that makes up a lepton, etc. The other aspect is the result of everything taken together in a universe subject to time which enables motion from the flow of energy.

        As I see it, it’s all far too precise to be by chance.

        So if it was not by chance then it was conceived.

        If it was conceived then there must be a purpose.

        A universe without life would be rather boring wouldn’t it? (Like having an ant farm with no ants in it.) Therefore life was the goal of creation and it is perfect because … it worked! Life exists! (and I have almost zero belief life only exists here on this one planet or that humans represent any sort of ultimate objective – “we” have another ~3 billion years to figure things out before “we” either find a new planet or all life on earth perishes).

        “You need look no further than the human body to confirm this fact.” I cannot change your pessimism, I can only offer my perspective that life is a miraculous gift to each one of us and I am thankful for mine. But life is not just your life or my life – it is the continuation of life – generation after generation.

        Faith is at least believing God created this universe and that life was God’s purpose for creating it.
        Science is figuring out how it all works, discovering how God did it, with each discovery yielding only more questions to be answered, a seemingly endless pursuit of infinite knowledge.

      • Gabro, you keeping saying “nature is obviously not ‘perfect'” How would you define perfection? What would something have to be for it to be perfect to you? In your world does anything perfect exists inside or outside the natural world?

  28. Did this study include people who are commonly referred to a greens, greenies, or eco-whatevers? Those people are turning science related to climate/weather into a religion. They should have been included in this because if any group manifests evangelical behaviors, it is them.

  29. With all due respect, this entire thread, and the Rice study which prompted it, are silly and intellectually empty. Science and Religion are non-overlapping magisteria, to quote the late Steven Jay Gould. As I tell my (first and second year college) students, Science is a system of doubt, whilst religion is a system of belief. One cannot argue the substance of one in the terms of the other. A simple distinction, but a profound one. The word “believe” does not belong in a scientific discussion, although it is often misused there. One cannot arrive at belief through scientific reason. This is where Creationism comes adrift, as does Environmentalism, with its foundational belief on carbon dioxide catastrophism in the face of abundant published data to the contrary.

    • One cannot argue the substance of one in the terms of the other. A simple distinction, but a profound one.

      ..hence my attempts to derive a metaphysical position that describes both from a new perspective.

      I think to describe this as silly an intellectually empty is a lack of courage. The posts show that this is a topic that, rightly or wrongly impacts us all. Who do we believe in, when we dont know and cant work it out for ourselves?

      How far is science ‘true’ and how far is it just ‘what works’?

      • Religion and science are complementary. Religion answers questions about the unknown (God is another word for what we don’t know) and science is what may be quantitized, measured or counted. Some people here struggle with the truth. Science seeks truth however there is no absolute certaincy. There is good truth in electronics, mechanics, and less in biochemics (life) and the climate. So honest scientists always mention uncertaincies and assumptions. Quacks sell seeming certaincies. But I repeat : these are the two windows for our view on the world : religious and scientific. If one counts more these are subdivisions.

      • I think science is “what works”, with the endless possibility of “what works better”. Whenever we assume we are done we are only refusing to continue questioning.

    • Geologist Down The Pub, I tell young geologists that Science is a system of curiosity and introspection. I tell them other things also, and show them cow skeletons in a modern flood cycle, then dinosaur bones in the same geological setting, just 100 million years older.

    • “As I tell my (first and second year college) students, Science is a system of doubt, whilst religion is a system of belief.”

      I question both science and religion. I don’t rule anything out, and I don’t rule anything in.

      I was raised a Christian from an early age, but that doesn’t make me a True Believer. One day our preacher gave a sermon where he claimed that using musical instruments to worship God was a sin that would send you to Hell. My particular denomination believed that only the human voice was acceptable to God.

      My 10-year-old mind questioned this statement. I said to myself, How could a loving God send someone to Hell for not praising him properly? It’s the intent that is important, isn’t it? Wouldn’t a loving God understand that?

      I guess that was one of my first skeptical moments, when the “conventional wisdom” just did not ring true, and I rejected it as not being consistent with a loving God.

      That does not mean I don’t believe in God, only that I don’t necessarily accept the religious interpretations of mere men. I’ll look at the “evidence” and decide for myself.

      • “How could a loving God send someone to Hell for not praising him properly?”

        Quite right! Perhaps “loving” is overstated; it is certainly so among the Aesir. Perhaps hell is not adequately defined. Perhaps “proper” is just a particular human’s belief and doesn’t actually reflect that of God. Perhaps many gods exist. Keeping an open mind seems useful; pick something as a guide but be prepared to change course as new information becomes available.

      • “I don’t necessarily accept the religious interpretations of mere men.”

        Likewise, I do not think anyone should accept the dogma of institutionalized religion. But some people nonetheless find comfort in repeating what others did before them because they too found comfort. Such are what traditions are made of and traditions become traditions because they have enduring value to a significant number of people.

      • Religion is a firewall against fear. Without we live in permanent doubt over an unknown future, we constantly ask ourselves the purpose of life, permanently worry about “good” and “bad”… Religion is a social as well as a psychological construct….

    • Geologist,

      I tell my students the same thing. Also that if they want to do so, they can inject God into the history of the universe and life at whatever point they want, but that He is not necessary to explain any observed phenomena, and adds nothing to our understanding of the natural world.

      Religious belief serves a useful purpose, but science is rigorously natural, not supernatural.

      • Michael,

        No mileage variation on that.

        The legal definition of science, at least in the USA, is that no supernatural explanations need apply. You could look it up. I’ll make it easy:

        McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F. Supp. 1255, 1258-1264 (ED Ark. 1982)

      • Gravity is a downright mysterious and supernatural force is it not? It just exists. We have refined our understanding of how it behaves over time but no one has figured out why it or any other of the known forces exist.

      • “adds nothing to our understanding of the natural world.”

        A purely atheist viewpoint, that the world in which we live is devoid of any good purpose which then opens the door to each person rationalizing their own individual “purpose” … and their own relative definition of good and evil to achieve that purpose.

        What is wrong with telling children that God loves them?

  30. There are many sources of authority that have nothing to do with science. Considering James Hansen and Michael Mann as examples of expert authority, perhaps all sources of authority have nothing to do with science. In fact, I’m sure of it. Science does not deal with authority.

    • Science deals with authority by waiting for the old guard to die so some up-and-coming new ideas can be heard. Think continental drift, among other examples.

    • No one is an authority to me unless I have accepted them as such. When people try to clothe themselves in the mantle of expertise BEFORE telling me what they believe to be true, I automatically dial them back to the starting line as regards their expertise.
      I believe that Hansen is a loonie and Mann is a deliberate liar.
      Both are publicity hounds with massive egos
      If they want to tell me something about lying or ego driven misbehaviour, I would pay attention. Otherwise, they are dangerous to weak minds.

    • Coach,

      That’s right. Modern science began by rejecting ancient and religious authority, even if it felt the need to pay them lip service. And it has continued on that path.

      Philo,

      Not so much with “continental drift”. Once seafloor spreading was discovered, most geologists were forced to accept the reality of tectonic plates. They needed a geological mechanism to explain moving continents, just as evolution needed mechanisms, some of which were provided by Darwin, before it could be accepted.

      Now the for Bretz floods, you have a case.

  31. I like what Leo Smith said above about existential questions: Huston Smith wrote the most respected book on world [religions], in which he said all regions are responses to four basic human questions: Who am I? Who is the Other? What is Life? What is Death?
    On the other hand, it is said: “Man is the measure of all things.” True that humans go about measuring things as the first step in science (word coming from the latin “to know”).

    The boundary gray area is well illustrated by global warming/climate change, where we have some measures but not enough to distinguish between beliefs about the future being fearful or benign.

  32. Science requires more imagination than is popularly realised in order to make advances. I have no problem with scientists using religion for inspiration: The results still have to pass commonly accepted scientific standards to be taken seriously[*].

    I have read that Gauss derived much of his mathematical work from pictures and drawings, knowing that he would still have to go through standard formal mathematical proofs later in order for it to be accepted.

    [*Climate science being an apparent exception in some circles.]

    • There’s the 64 dollar question. What imaginative process do climate scientist go through in questioning the workings of the planet’s atmosphere and oceans. They seem to all arrive at the same conclusions without ever adjusting their blinkers and actually avoid certain lines of inquiry.
      The only science I know that resists interesting lines of inquiry and subdues curiosity!

    • The key is to recognize a soft separation of logical domains: science, philosophy, fantasy, and faith. The problems arise when atheists, agnostics, and theists indulge in conflation, rejection, or abstention.

  33. When rocket-scientists do their work amazing and wonderful things are discovered.

    Who in the world would have guessed that religious people are more likely than non-religious people to consult religious authority on subjects of interest?

    No doubt, the effort ends with “More study is needed”.

  34. A liberal stated to me recently that their was no such thing as objective truth–I took his advice and ignored him.

    • Post-modern progressive: There is no such thing as absolute truth!
      Other: Is that absolutely true?
      Progressive: [runs away with hands over ears]

      • Better.

        Post-modern progressive: There is no such thing as absolute truth!
        Other: Is that absolutely true?
        Progressive: Absolutely!

      • Does the set of all sets contain itself?

        The way out of that dilemma is to understand truth is relative to context, with no absolute truth statements being possible *except the statement that no absolute truth statements are possible*..

      • But that is the perspective from within the limited epistemological domain set itself. It is constrained by its own limitations.

  35. Well first, this “study” is simply a thinly-veiled Appeal to Authority (i.e. “Science”). Secondly, in many respects science, particularly in dealing with gray areas such as climate has gotten a little too big for its britches. Science used to have some humility, and not pretend that it had all the answers to everything. The danger to this is that it has allowed all manner of scoundrels and scallawags to weigh in in the name of “science”, in order to push their own agendas.

  36. This study alludes to a fundamental truth about humans: most of us need a religion of one sort or another. You can call it Christianity, or Islam, or Marxism, or Climate Change, but the great majority of people seem to need a belief than they can cling to, which in some way makes sense of the world they see around them.

    While we in the West have created a wonderfully affluent world, we have allowed a gaping spiritual void to open up in our lives. At this point I expect most people to roll their eyes upwards and say ‘he’s going all weird on us’, but think about it for a while. For most people our lives are a mad whirl of consumption, driven by storm winds of advertising. Do you have the latest and greatest smartphone? Get one today! New clothes, new cars, houses, holidays, gadgets – the list is endless. Yet at some point even the most rabid of shoppers will feel a need to ask themselves whether there is anything in life beyond the mere acquisition of material goods.

    Whether we admit it or no, we all of us have this need for reassurance of our worth, of our place in the greater scheme of things. I call this a spiritual need, although you can call it by whatever psychobabble term is currently fashionable if you wish. A generation or two ago, peoples’ spiritual needs were fulfilled fairly well by belonging to and attending a church, but most of us don’t do this anymore. Because of this unfulfilled need for reassurance, people today have a far greater propensity than in previous ages to support any cause that is skilfully sold to them.

    Climate change, whatever its merits, has been sold in a very skillful manner. Yes, it tugs our heartstrings with images of the imminent demise of cuddly little animals, yet it doesn’t seem to require any uncomfortable lifestyle changes on our part. Just sell that gas-guzzling car and buy a fuel-efficient hybrid. (But you were going to do this anyway.) Replace that inefficient old fridge with an up-to-date one (which makes your kitchen look so much better). Put most of your garbage into a recycling box (which takes perhaps an extra five minutes per week). You’re making lots of money, so the fact that taxes are constantly creeping upwards isn’t too noticeable (and if you’re not making lots of money and are being squeezed by rising taxes, the mainstream media isn’t really interested in you, when all is said and done).

    Climate change however comes with a good cop/bad cop routine. The bad cop part is that if you disagree with it in any way you will be made to feel as if you were walking through a hospital operating theatre in muddy boots. Terms such as ‘denier’ will be hurled at you, and you will be told that you are jeopardizing your grandchildren’s future. And yet, one has to wonder, if climate change and all its desolate scenarios are so self-evident, why the need to sanction dissenters in this way? Could it be that the high priests of climate change are afraid of dissent?

    Fear of dissent is usually a sign that the belief system has shaky foundations.

    • what I have found is that the average intelligent man just about accepts and uses the philosophy and science of 300 years ago. And a little idea what has happened since

      • Since in the US, at least, the fact of evolution is accepted by about half of the population, the average intelligent person is OK with science from the 19th century for starters. Throw in DNA and we get up to the mid-20th century.

      • The polls to which I referred covered biological evolution. which is about the origin of new species and higher classifications of organisms, not of life itself. That’s abiogenesis.

        But of course the whole universe undergoes evolution, ie change over time, as do the galaxies, star systems, planets and other celestial bodies within it. As indeed energy and matter have done in our universe.

  37. One issue is whether one uses S. J Gould’s talking point on religion and science being non-overlapping areas of concern seriously or not. A belief in objective reality is just that, a belief, and the sort of statement that leads to endless discussion that settles nothing.
    Nevertheless, I do have a belief in objective reality. The issue is that some people act as if they do not. Some people act as if the major goal is reconciling observations with the King James Version, or the Koran and Hadith, and they are familiar enough to merely note. Another, rather more influential group in dealing with science, are New Age neo-Marxists, for lack of a shorter term.
    They act and argue as if only the social/economic interests of the writer matter, so denouncing some inconvenient disputed bit of evidence as having been produced in the interests of Big Oil and global capitalism is not fallacious, but the only thing that truly matters. They are inconsistent in applying this standard, but are as devoted to their Cause as are adherents of conventional religions, so demands for consistency are just another tool of oppression.
    I am not stating that mind set is common, but it is influential.

    • That is not just Gould’s opinion. It has long been the very definition of science. He had his own way of putting the fact, but it has long been recognized that science and religion are separate activities.

      Scientists used to say, and some still do, that they are trying to understand the mind of God through His works rather than his Word. But it has been a long time since supernatural explanations were deemed acceptable in science.

      Gould was also a Marxist, BTW, and late his political ideology poison his “science”. But he was right about the separate realms of science and religion.

      • Science and faith, including religion/moral philosophy (e.g. individual dignity, intrinsic value), are intersecting logical domains, where the former exists in the near field (i.e. accuracy is inversely proportional to the product of time and space offsets from an established frame of reference).

    • Hmmm, that’s interesting.
      So, I would interpret that as saying that the human centered subjective truth that is presented by the neo-Marxists is really just the perspective of ONE human, not ALL humans. I think that is mostly true on all counts.
      As a basis for argument it is no different than any supposed truth that is presented by an individual with the objective of being seen as a fundamental truth.
      They often lose me when they speak of the responsibilities of man to share with his fellow man without recognizing the responsibility of all to making the best contribution possible. Today’s world seems to be full of people trying to get the maximum for nothing contributed. Climate science attracts these like flies to honey.
      The only corrective for it is to stop government from giving away money.

  38. What the secular world wants to ultimately impose is their view that science should start with a capital “S”. Said differently, “science” endeavors to define the physical cause and effect of our universe by using “facts” that are by definition bounded by that physical universe. Anything that transcends our physical universe by definition, is ignored/denied. That is, by definition God is ignored/denied by the “scientific method”. That doesn’t mean that scientists are all atheists or that religious people deny all science, but it does mean that whatever “balance” any individual chooses between their faith (or no faith) and “scientific facts” is a religious decision.

    Therefore science cannot “prove” any religious belief wrong and vice versa. To expand; if powers that transcend our physical universe do exist (God), then attempting to define the limits of those transcendent forces using only observations that are bounded by our physical universe (science) is meaningless, these transcendent forces might alter our physical observations and “fool” us (that is, give erroneous physical cause and effect observations). ‘Who’s to say’ is a religious question.

    Final thought: theoretically science can explain all physical phenomenon, and since (as bounded by our physical universe) humans are physical beings, there are “scientific explanations” for everything that everyone thinks and does. So bounded by our physical world, everything we do or think is merely a physical reaction, the same as the orbit of the planets, or why water boils at 212 degrees etc. The logical conclusion of this view would be that “free will” cannot exist. So if “free will” does exist then it must come from some transcendent power (God). And that is the fundamental difference between Science as a religious belief, and science as a tool to help us live in our physical universe.

    • When post-modern science bumps up against the boundaries of the limited epistemological domain that it has framed, it resorts to circular reasoning.

    • Science by definition deals only with the observable natural world. Of the supernatural it cannot and does not speak.

      • Well said. Genuine, original science had/has the sense to realize that; post-modern science doesn’t.

      • I Came,

        “Climate science” and other realms of post-modern science do indeed partake of faith-based reasoning, which means that they are not genuine science.

      • Gabro,

        “Science by definition deals only with the observable natural world. Of the supernatural it cannot and does not speak.”

        Of course it does IF the universe is the Creation of a God . . It’s just a word game to speak of the “natural world” as somehow above or separate from such a Being by default . . just a slight of tongue rhetorical trick, I say ; )

      • John,

        Science cannot so does not presume that the universe is the creation of God. Such a belief lies outside the realm of science, since there is no evidence for the hypothesis and it can’t make testable, falsifiable predictions.

        Thus, the God hypothesis is supernatural, or at best metaphysical, but in any case not scientific.

  39. Depends, what is your definition of science? There are at least three or four that are widely propagated, as well as many people running around preaching “science” without any real definition at all. What’s more confusing, what one definition of “science” considers as scientific, another definition disclaims it totally. So which definition of “science” are they working from?

    The same questions can be raised about the term “religion”.

    So basically, this sounds like a nothing paper.

    • There is only one valid definition of science, but CACA spewers like Mosher and Oreskes are trying to overturn the centuries old, valid definition of science so that it’s based upon “consensus” rather than time-tested method of hypothesis, prediction, observation or experiment leading to falsification or confirmation, with repeatable results.

      • Gabro: I agree that there’s only one valid definition of science, namely the definition I was taught in state universities and in secular science textbooks. However, the definition I was taught differs from yours.

        The definition I was taught is: observation, repeat observation, derive hypothesis from observing patterns in observations, test hypotheses against more observation (prediction and experimentation are part of testing). If something cannot be observed, or observed only once but not repeatedly, then science cannot study it. That doesn’t mean that it’s false, just that it’s outside the realm of scientific inquiry.

        Starting with hypothesis and prediction sounds like the medieval “science” rejected by those who founded modern natural, empirical science.

      • The reason for my comment above is that there are people, even “scientists”, running around claiming that certain teachings are scientific based on other definitions of “science”, or even no definition. Hence my question, “What do you mean by ‘science’?”

        The same is true concerning the definition of “religion”.

      • science is everything that can be quantitized, counted or measured. So this involves both knowledge (electronics, mechanics) as well as matters under investigation (climate, human immune system)
        Spirituality is the awarenes that there are things we don’t know.

      • Richard,

        You were taught incompletely, hence, wrong.

        You fail to understand what is meant by “falsification”. It means that the predictions made based upon an hypothesis must be capable of being shown false. They must also be capable of being confirmed.

  40. An Oxi-Moron statement if ever I saw one:

    “When it comes to seeking answers to questions about science, evangelical and black Protestants and Mormons are more likely than the general population to turn to religion.”

    Al

  41. “If religious leaders are indeed already being approached with questions about science, it’s possible they simply need the information in hand in order to translate accurate scientific information to the public or to connect religious people with scientists themselves.”

    Translation: Get that propaganda out there now before anyone discovers what a scam we’re running.

  42. I don’t understand why they felt they had to run “a survey of 10,241 Americans” when they could have gotten exactly the same answer from reading even the briefest biography of Galileo.

    • The Church of Galileo’s day was not anti-science. It had absorbed Earth centered cosmology and turned it into religious doctrine. I see this as similar to what the Pope is doing today concerning “climate change”.

      SR

      • Yes, it was anti-science then, as it is now, with respect to CACA.

        Science requires free inquiry and following facts where they lead. The 17th century Church did not permit Galileo or anyone else to practice the scientific method. The natural world was how it said it was. To challenge this doctrine was heresy, of which GG was guilty.

      • Religious thesis become “true” by consensus…..
        Scientific discoveries only shift the boundary between science and religion. Ask 3x WHY and nobody is able to provide an answer.

      • Organized religion runs on dogma. It isn’t above caving in to the truth when it can’t be avoided and co-opting it into dogma. They don’t care what they burn you for. It only matters that they are the arbiters of “truth”.

      • The Church did not get the Earth-centered cosmos concept from the Bible. It had accepted secular thinking, found some verses that could be misconstrued to support that idea, then acted to maintain that consensus. Yes, the Church opposed the scientific method – the concept of testing the current paradigm, as it had become the scientific establishment.

        Because most early 20th century geologists opposed Continental Drift, and astronomers of the same period supported the Steady State universe, would you call them anti-science?

        SR

      • Stevan Reddish October 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm

        Yes, the Church most certainly did get geocentrism from the Bible. But after about AD 400 to 600, it abandoned the biblical flat earth in favor of the Ptolemaic system, which at least had earth at rest at the center of the universe, like the Bible.

        Augustine urged the Church to accommodate pagan science in order to help propagate the faith. Before him, and even after, Early Church Fathers insisted on the biblical flat earth.

      • David October 17, 2017 at 11:35 am

        Science has constantly narrowed the scope for God to operate in the observable world, constantly explaining ever more phenomena which previously were attributed to the work of God.

        But it remains separate from religion, even as it forces retreat from previous faith-based doctrines within religion.

      • “The 17th century Church did not permit Galileo or anyone else to practice the scientific method.”

        The gift that keeps on giving. Galileo was not prohibited from practicing the scientific method; but then, he wasn’t practicing it. He was unable to prove his theory; others could not test it. It was the arrival of Newton’s Laws of Motion that created the foundation to eventually prove Galileo’s theories. So you see, Galileo *believed* he was correct, he had faith in his conclusion, but could not prove it. Or one might say he got lucky and turned out to be correct.

        It seems to be his arrogance that got him into trouble.

      • Michael 2 October 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm

        So wrong, yet again.

        Galileo was most certainly prohibited from practicing the scientific method, which he just as surely was practicing until ordered to stop.

        Science doesn’t “prove” theories. It tests hypotheses to see if they can be confirmed or shown false. GG’s observations of the phases of Venus showed the Ptolemaic system false and confirmed the Copernican system, without definitely “proving” it to be objectively real. As a Copernican, he showed through observations of nature that the Church was wrong and Copernicus could be and probably was right.

        Newton’s Laws of Motion did not “prove” Copernicus correct either, because Copernicus adhered to circular orbits, as did GG. What eventually showed the earth to go around the sun as a fact were observations of parallax in the 18th century and that earth rotated on its axis in the 19th century. Now we can actually observe the earth and sun from space.

        Maybe if you knew what the scientific method was, you’d understand why GG was practicing it. He was not just lucky. His observations of the moon and the Jupiter system also confirmed the Copernican theory.

        If you consider putting the beliefs of his friend the pope in the mouth of a character named Simplicio arrogant, then, yes he was. But it was his heretical support for a heliocentric system and mobile earth that caused him to be convicted of heresy.

  43. It’s too bad few humans will accept “I don’t know”
    or “No one knows” as an answer
    to questions no one has the knowledge to answer.

    All religions predict the future, and those I know a little of claim you will
    be rewarded/punished if you follow/don/t follow the “rules”.

    Climate change is a secular religion that is a substitute for traditional religions.

    With the predictions of the future, and the bad things that will happen
    to you, or the planet, if you don’t do as the leaders say, I see little difference between
    the climate change religion and traditional religions.

    They are all nonsense to me.
    But what do I know,
    I’ve been an atheist since I was old enough
    to know what the word meant.

    Claims without proof, and predictions of the future,
    are BS to me, whether from religious books or
    from modern climate “science” text books demonizing CO2.

    If you believe in a religion, and require no proof of it’s claims and predictions,
    then how can you criticize the “Climate Cult Religion” claims and predictions,
    also made without proof?

    • If you believe in a religion, and require no proof of it’s claims and predictions,
      then how can you criticize the “Climate Cult Religion” claims and predictions,
      also made without proof?

      As long as the “religion” provides the requisite “proof” (sufficient evidence is all that I need), then there is no contradiction or hypocrisy.

    • The difference is that the Climate Cultists pretend to be doing science when they are not. They are liars, and their lies have done and continue to do great harm to mankind. Furthermore, there is no inherent contradiction in belief in a higher being/God, or whatever, and science. Many great scientists were religious. The two fields of religion and science are separate. Neither one has anything to say about the other except that it exists, and rightfully so.

      • Most scientists who believe God created the universe will tell you they are studying his creation. They have much to say about science.

        Many scientists who don’t believe in God will tell you they believe the universe created itself. They have much to say about religion.

        SR

    • “If you believe in a religion”

      All people believe in a religion even if it is his own personal set of beliefs (or disbeliefs) …

      and require no proof of it’s claims and predictions,

      I believe many things; I know many things; I do not know how many things I do not know. Predictions always prove (or disprove) themselves.

      “then how can you criticize the Climate Cult Religion claims and predictions, also made without proof?”

      The activity seems to be to draw parallels rather than explain the mechanism of how exactly one goes about noticing and commenting on these similarities.

  44. Speaking as a Mormon that’s just absurd. No member of the LDS church I have ever met looks to the faith for answers to questions of science. For one thing there is absolutely no reason to do so. Scripture does not address science or argue with it in any way. Scripture is about spiritual truth not science. I accept for example the idea of creationism, but note that nowhere in scripture is the mechanism explained therefore to me evolution is simply a fact.

    • Doesn’t the LDS church teach that Jesus was once an ordinary person on some other world who achieved such a high level of spirituality that he became the father of all humans on this world? How does that teaching square with the idea of humans evolving?

      SR

      • Michael 2 October 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm

        I wasn’t sure what you were directing me to. Is this It?:

        20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them

      • Stevan Reddish “I wasn’t sure what you were directing me to. Is this It?”

        The website I posted includes the passage you quote as well as many others. Which, if any, you find meaningful is for you to decide.

        What is not at that site is a description of Jesus being an ordinary man on another planet. It is sufficiently off topic to just clarify that particular point.

      • Michael 2 October 18, 2017 at 9:38 am

        “It is sufficiently off topic to just clarify that particular point.”

        The topic of this post is related to the question of whether religious people accept scientific concepts. One person had posted that as a Mormon, he believed in evolution. Thus my question of whether Mormon teachings were compatible with evolution.

        I now see my error concerning Mormon beliefs. It was not Jesus that was once mortal, but God:

        “As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become” (Mormon prophet Lorenzo Snow, quoted in Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, 105-106)

        “Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point where He now is” (Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, 1:123)

        With that correction, the question of how Mormon teaching can allow belief in evolution still stands.

        SR

      • Stevan Reddish asks “With that correction, the question of how Mormon teaching can allow belief in evolution still stands.”

        Thank you. I suspected as much from the beginning but it can be difficult to discern whether you are just another troll smearing a religion to someone with a worthy question.

        The Mormons have decided to remain silent on evolution or essentially any scientific topic, rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, in principle. Church members are free to develop their own beliefs on scientific matters without fear of transgressing some sort of prohibition.

        Here is an Authorized (official) discussion on the topic: https://www.lds.org/new-era/2016/10/to-the-point/what-does-the-church-believe-about-evolution

        “The Church has no official position on the theory of evolution.”

        But that’s a little bit disingenuous; for it does have quite a bit to say about “man” and spirits.

        Brigham Young, second president, declared: “I don’t care if the Earth is six thousand, six million or six billion years old,” suggesting that it didn’t matter to theology (or the gospel) the age of the Earth.

        “Did dinosaurs live and die on this earth long before man came along? There have been no revelations on this question, and the scientific evidence says yes. (You can learn more about it by studying paleontology if you like, even at Church-owned schools.)”

        https://www.lds.org/new-era/2016/02/to-the-point?lang=eng

        As to God having once been a relatively ordinary man, and now is a God, that is a conclusion (not a pronouncement) drawn from Mormon scripture but can also be gleaned from the bible.

        http://biblehub.com/john/5-19.htm “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

        The logic seems pretty solid; a one-to-one correspondence between Father and Son. The Son takes no initiatives that the Father did not also take and there are also no gaps; nothing the Father did that the Son did not do. This necessarily includes having been mortal and being a redeemer. It also implies the existence of other Earths, other people, maybe they look human and maybe they don’t. This is recursive, “turtles all the way down.” There’s no point in trying to plumb that depth, trying to find the “first”.

        Where Mormons extend the logic is that you too can sit with God, not as a pet or companion animal, but as his heirs.

    • What the survey shows is that Mormons are more likely than the general population to find answers to questions about science that presumably appear to conflict with their beliefs (but may not in actuality) by questioning their religious leaders and their religious peers, and investigating their religious texts AS WELL AS going to books written by a PhD, science magazines, and people who work in scientific professions. It speaks highly of Mormons that they are open-minded and trying to understand both science and religion and resolve what they may see as conflicts rather than just leaving them as “great mysteries” that must simply be taken on faith.

      The survey also demonstrates that non-religious people are less likely than Mormons to go to scientific experts for questions about science. Interesting.

  45. I’m not religious, but I’m not at all surprised that religious people might seek advice on science matters from their religious leaders. This has probably been the case throughout history.

    There are many controversial scientific claims about medicine, food, the environment and of course, climate and the internet probably provides confusion rather than enlightenment.

    Over the last fifty years there has been a massive growth in universities and scientists. I’m sure this has coincided with much greater spread of scientific quality and competence. There is much pressure on funding and the need to get the “right” answer.

    Personally, my belief in a scientific result would depend on my assessment of a number of factors. This process would only take a few seconds but it underlines the fact that I don’t believe something just because it comes from a scientist. Perhaps it is because I am a scientist and I have a low opinion of some of them!

    • Only for topics outside (i.e. philosophy, fantasy, faith) the limited scientific domain in time and space, and scientific opportunity that infringes on the religious/moral philosophy, including individual dignity and intrinsic value throughout human evolution (e.g. from conception).

  46. Particularly in medicine, there are often life threatening decisions where there is much uncertainty. The action may be as much about faith as anything else.

  47. Whatever Mormonism is today, it started out a s a pseudo Christian cult. It’s origins were pure baloney. I shouldn’t even say that on here because this is about climate and I don’t usually twist people’s tails about their religion but B.S. is B.S.

    • Definitely off-topic so why bring it up? And if Mormons are more likely than the general population to go to scientific sources for answers about science (which is an evidence-based endeavor) how does that square with your notion that what they believe is “pure baloney?” Clearly a higher percentage of them than the general population are looking for evidence to answer their questions about science. Maybe they know something about their religion and the evidence of its origins that you don’t.

      • Mormons, as other Christians, and Jews, are advised by their faith to recognize a separation of logical domains. Paradoxically, this creates heartache for “secular” people who like to infer meaning from states and processes far outside the scientific domain, past, present, and future. It is actually to the Judeo-Christian faith’s credit, and modern people’s comfort, that they do not conflate logical domains. Also, faith (i.e. logical domain), religion/moral philosophy, and traditions are separable.

      • @nn, excellent point about separating logical domains like faith, religion/philosophy, and science; however, they frequently cross those nicely-drawn boundaries and that’s where the conflict and questions arise. For example, are experiments with cloning human embryos moral? Is fighting a war to protect your country’s existence justified when murder is immoral? If Adam was the first man (was he?) then how do you reconcile that with the theory of evolution? The results of this survey show how different groups are likely to try to resolve those conflicts.

      • “If Adam was the first man (was he?) then how do you reconcile that with the theory of evolution?”

        It is a matter of definition. Adam was the first defined man for religious purposes. That other kinds of human or hominid is inferred from the story of Cain that went east to the land of Nod to find a wife. But that’s just my take on it; it doesn’t really matter that much the price of Rice Krispies whether Adam was the first man in the traditional sense, ex-nihilo creation poof mankind now exists, or evolved at at some suitable point God intervened and converted a hominid into a “man” by imparting an endowment of language in particular. With language comes an explosive growth of knowledge because now knowledge can be preserved and transmitted.

        The unique belief of atheism is that God does not exist, cannot exist, and there cannot be even the slightest intervention or guidance of this whole process. That, to me, is as groundless a belief as an ex-nihilo magical creation it all happened yesterday and we have created memories of our own childhoods.

      • Michael,

        It’s not a matter of definition if you take the Bible literally. Genesis 2, the second of two irreconcilably contradictory creation myths in the first book of the Bible, plainly states that God Himself made a man (which is what Adam means) from dirt, then plants, then animals, then a woman.

        You’re free to interpret the literal story as you wish, of course. The proper way to interpret all the mythical and legendary parts of the Bible before it becomes quasi-historical around 800 BC is figuratively and allegorically. Literal simply is impossible, as was already recognized by Augustine around AD 400 and by Calvin around AD 1550.

      • Gabro writes “Michael, It’s not a matter of definition if you take the Bible literally.”

        That is when it matters the most.

      • Michael,

        Nope. No need for a definition when words have clear meanings, or those which can easily be discerned from context. Reading your definition into the text is not longer a literal interpretation.

      • Gabro writes “Nope. No need for a definition when words have clear meanings”

        What might we call those clear meanings?

        Definitions.

      • Gabro writes, in reply to my question which I will repeat, “It should be obvious that the Book of Mormon is a pack of lies”

        Why should I believe your claim rather than that of anyone else? This conversation has become about faith and belief; you make assertions, others make assertions. Why would I turn to you for advice?

      • Gabro, demonstrating faulty logic, asserts: “Because it’s easy for me to show you that the Book of Mormon was made up by a sc@mster.”

        Irrelevant. Even a sc@mster (I read it as “scoutmaster” initially!) can write truths such as 2+2=4. What you must do is demonstrate that the product, not the producer, is incorrect. Good luck with that!

        Character counts for a lot but is not proof of anything. Might God choose a sc@mster to start a religion and write a holy book? Who am I to say otherwise; he chose a relatively poor carpenter to start Christianity.

    • “I shouldn’t even say that on here”

      And yet you did. That is your religion! A knee-jerk reaction so powerful you are willing to spam a blog with your contempt. What makes you correct? And why should I or anyone believe you?

      • It should be obvious that the Book of Mormon is a pack of lies. Whether that fact is relevant or not is debatable. But it is obviously pure fantasy, a very bad novel, yet arguably the second most important such fictional fabrication, after the Koran.

  48. Such studies almost always are done to allow the development of propaganda strategies. Even the public release of the poll results are a political tool. In this case it would be two fold, (1) using people’s religious beliefs to embarrass them into toeing the line and (2) to feed the Left/ CAGW base by saying, “just look how stupid and ignorant these religious zealots are. It was why we can’t have anything nice.” The first I have seen used by the Endangered Species special interest crowd. They actually developed political ads in a close legislative election where Evangelicals were a major player. It back fired because of how condescending the ads were. Atheists have a real hard time telling religious folks how to interpret their religion.

  49. Interesting SPIN placed on the “data”
    According to the article, Mormons are the religious group most likely to seek information from OTHER PEOPLE IN GENERAL about science. Their religious leaders sure, but also THE MOST likely to consult a scientist, read scientific magazines, and books written by scientists with PhDs. And more likely to talk to those in the scientific field than those of their own religion.

    Seems like the title could have/should have highlighted that fact, instead of attempting to paint them in a negative light.

  50. Two jewish young man walking down the road to the synagogue suddenly came across a brand new christian church, just recently build.

    As they come closer and in amazement towards the gate, they see a sign in the gates that reads:
    “please all well come to join in, especially non christian…one hour spent in this church, the least reward for non christian is 100 dollars”

    One of the guys jumps and says he was going in, and the other starts complaining that that was no right and proper……they were no christian….

    never the less the one that wanted to get in went in and asked his friend to wait for him till he came out.

    ….One hour later the guy comes out of the church all looking cheery and happy and comes to his friend.

    And his friend seeing him happy asks him:
    “Was it really so easy to get that 100 just for an hour?”

    And his friend looks at him in amazement and responds:
    “Oh, that is the problem with all you jewish people, you so serious and sensitive about money…” :)

    And his friend shocked and confused at that answer says to his friend:
    “I guess you are not going a come to the synagogue now!”

    And the other guy responds:
    “oh….why not..if they offer to pay 100 dollars per hour…I will gladly..”

    Sorry, not meant to offend, just a kinda of a joke…..and not sure what the actual moral of such a story could be……

    cheers

  51. Science is a method that you use to check if you should believe in something. it has very limited applications to even a good scientist. Its almost useless to the majority. Reject anybody claiming to be a scientist who doesn’t appreciate this and wants you to have faith in him because of his label.

    • Belief has nothing to do with it. But of course you should never “believe” a scientist unless you can check his work and it meets the standards of the scientific method.

      The scientific method isn’t about belief. It’s about confirmation or falsification of hypotheses. You make a guess, ie hypothesis. Then you make predictions based upon that guessm which are capable of being tested and shown false. Then you test by observation of nature or by an experiment whether that prediction is confirmed or shown false. Your results must be repeatable by others. That and that alone is the scientific method.

      If the hypothesis be confirmed repeatedly over time and never shown false, then it and related confirmed hypotheses can be assembled into a theory. But science is never settled, except in cases in which former hypotheses are shown to be objectively true, such as that earth is spherical rather than flat and that it is a planet going around the sun while turning on its axis.

      • Gabro asserts “The scientific method isn’t about belief.”

        It requires belief, but it is not belief itself. One must believe a thermometer (or not). A measuring instrument of any kind can be believed; or not, but if not, why spend the money on it? Pons and Fleischmann believed they had discovered or invented cold fusion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Pons

        “except in cases in which former hypotheses are shown to be objectively true, such as that earth is spherical rather than flat and that it is a planet going around the sun while turning on its axis.”

        How shall these phenomena be shown?

      • Michael,

        Reading a thermometer is not an act of belief. It’s a measurement. You must calibrate and make sure that the instrument is working properly, but there is no belief involved.

        As noted, the only “belief” or “faith” required in science is the reasonable and tested assumption that the laws of the observable universe haven’t changed since its inception.

      • Gabro writes “Reading a thermometer is not an act of belief. It’s a measurement. You must calibrate and make sure that the instrument is working properly, but there is no belief involved.”

        That is your belief.

        You believe in the calibration. You believe your eyes when you see the dial or column of mercury.

      • Gabro writes: “the only belief or faith required in science is the reasonable and tested assumption that the laws of the observable universe haven’t changed since its inception.”

        How exactly has this assumption been tested? Inception was a very long time ago, presumably.

        In fact, it has not been tested and cannot be tested. This is a belief. One of many. Scientists believe more things, without which research would not be engaged nor proceed.

      • I remember trying to explain to young physicists why nothing, according to science, existed before the big bang. You could use all the established physics and equations you wanted to make a logical postulate but since nothing is left from before it, there was nothing before it. Believing any postulate is the same as believing in God.

      • Michael 2 October 18, 2017 at 8:27 am

        Yes, that physical laws have remained the same since near inception are tested every time our telescopes receive 13 billion year-old photons.

        Robert B October 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm

        You told the young physicists wrongly. Science does not say that nothing existed before the Big Bang. That could not possibly be more wrong.

        We don’t know what existed before the Singularity, but it consisted of hot, dense matter and energy, in Big Bang theory. The theory says nothing about what came before.

        Why did you assume and falsely teach that the theory says that nothing came before the Big Bang? Were you letting your religious beliefs influence your science instruction?

        Bad on you!

      • Gabro, revealing his Science beliefs, asserts: “Yes, that physical laws have remained the same since near inception are tested every time our telescopes receive 13 billion year-old photons.”

        I have a doubt that photons are time-stamped. Time is a product of the universe; it is not assured that time flows smoothly and continuously and without change; nor could we detect a change since the instruments themselves depend on the very thing they are trying to measure, Time itself.

        So while it is easy enough to assert that THIS photon is 13 billion years old, in fact it might be only microseconds old, having been absorbed and retransmitted zillions of times since whenever, and it may well be, and almost certainly is, that in the early universe time was faster or slower. Inasmuch as Time changes with Gravity, and Gravity was much stronger in the Young Universe, time will have had different values, so will pretty much everything else it seems to me.

      • Michael 2 October 18, 2017 at 8:24 am

        If you don’t grasp the difference between a scientific observation and a belief, then I can’t help you understand reality.

      • Gabro “then I can’t help you understand reality.”

        That is correct; and I am sorry you have mistaken my words for a request for such a thing. You are part of my observable world; if it is not real then neither are you. Utility exists in making assumptions of reality, my body, real or not, becomes hungry or tired if ignored long enough.

        Global warmists assert that the dangers of global warming are far in the future, but if to wait until then it is too late to mitigate (not too late to adapt by moving to higher ground for instance).

        Religions sometimes propose a similar approach; the consequences of bad life decisions may be in the far future (smoking cigarettes for instance) but the time to make correct decisions is sooner rather than later.

        Pascal’s Wager helps; there is no harm in my life to engage in religion and considerable potential benefit (including immediate social benefits). But if I make the wrong decision, well the badness depends on which God turns out to be “real”.

      • God is another word for what we don’t know. In religion, man work for the glory of the Lord but the future is in His hands. Translated for atheists: we do our best but are not responsable for the future. This is reasonable because we did not and cannot know the future. So, religion offers protection against doubts. However, secularisation destroyed this firewall against fears. Environmental organisations now exploit our fears with great success.

  52. Put “Life” in a test tube and analyze it.
    Get back with me when you have an hypothesis that is testable via the scientific method.
    (Bonus points for a testable hypothesis of the origin of “Life”.)

    There is a natural realm and there is a spiritual realm.
    “Science” seeks to explore and understand the natural realm. It can not know anything of what is going on in the spiritual realm OR it’s impact on the natural realm.
    My dog has a better chance of understanding the Stock Market and how it effects the food in his dog bowl.

    Just because one does not believe that “The Science is Settled” or “The Consensus” is not the Final Appeal to Authority, does not mean they are nuts or unworthy to speak on scientific matters concerning out natural realm. Many are more likely to be more honest than those who are their own highest authority.

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