Science … Faith — What’s The Answer?

This post is for an open discussion on the merits of faith vs. science as related to human existence.

On another post, one individual has indicated he believes humans are here (exist) because they were put here by a “Designer” (i.e., “God”). Others strongly disagree.

What do you think? If you’re new to the subject, I suggest you read some of the comments on the other post. If you have an opinion — whether you agree or disagree with what someone else has said — don’t hesitate! Jump right in. The more the merrier!

NOTE: Please follow the blog rules. 

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144 thoughts on “Science … Faith — What’s The Answer?

  1. To get things started, Scottie said this on the other post:

    Do you think there is a “why”? Does there have to be one? I can understand asking how. That is a question that is very interesting and has several different pathways to an answer.

    In other words, it’s clear that we DO exist … so how did we get here? Did a “Great Creator” put us here? Or are we the result of evolution? What makes you lean one way or the other … and what is the justification for your belief?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I do believe these existential questions are relevant. That we humans – at least – are even able to contemplate the wheres, whys, and hows of our origins is significant in and of itself.

      “Faith,” in this context, represents the current limits of scientific knowledge. If and when that understanding is achieved, religious faith will fade away into irrelevancy. In the meantime, I prefer the empirical pursuits of cosmology over the metaphysical musings of spirituality. Neither our observable universe, nor possibly a larger cosmos, require some intelligence or higher power for their “creation.” Such rationalizations simply reflect ignorance or are designed to support some preconceived notion in lieu of factual evidence.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The question is not useful because it is directed towards an inanimate object. Go ask a chair or a rock the same question and you’ll get the identical response: none. Anything else and you know it has to be fancifully supplied. I prefer my fancy to be the number 42.

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  3. -Mel Wild –

    What I don’t understand is how does this make me wrong?

    Because you teach/preach that your assertion that there is a designer is fact. And not only ”a” designer but one of Christian origins.

    Evolution is fact as the evidence tells us.

    Before this, we can only ”go back” so far until the phrase ”I don’t know” comes into play.

    And it comes into play for all of us.

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  4. I am on record already here that I see no reason for a deity or god. Everything has a scientific explanation or a set of working hypothesis good enough for me. For me adding a deity to what we can already explain by our own means just adds something that doesn’t need to be there. It is adding an element that has not been proven to be need. If there is not a need for it then leave it out. Hugs

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  5. Even before I was able to ask this question, the answer was presented to me: You – all of us – are created by God. We cannoy see him right now, but you will know him when you pray. Needless to say that I did so, as I was a a good and quiet son. But when I reached an age (17) that allowed me to notice that nothing happened, the time had come to say that I disliked – almost all the first biblical tales. Adam and Eve, a cruel punishment for a minor “sin”; Cain and Abel: someone killed by his only brother; Abraham: requested by God to sacrifice his son.
    Making a long story short because it is simple: I found it very easy to declare that that was not my cup of tea. I don’t remember when I asked myself how our life began, but I’m sure my first reaction must have been:
    “Right now, we don’t know. Maybe some day we will but, no hurry, in the meantime, breathe, look around you, and make the best of it!”
    .-

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    • Yes they are, JB because they use antithetical methodologies. Just because some product may align on occasion does not make them compatible methods any more than someone able to compartmentalize their thinking methods between the two makes the methods compatible. In fact, introducing the method of faith into the method of science at any point negates the scientific method entirely. This is demonstrable.

      So, yes, science and faith are mutually exclusive.

      The way around this problem is the introduction of word games around the two-meaning term ‘belief’; in religious methodology, belief is imported; in scientific methodology, belief is exported. In the former it means trust and confidence a priori; in the latter it means post hoc.

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        • No, I don’t, JB. I have earned confidence. That is opposite to faith-based confidence. Again, the difference is obvious. You don’t use faith when your life depends on it; you use science because unlike faith it works. Every time. For everybody. All the time. Faith doesn’t.

          Reality – not my faith – gives me cause to believe the physical and chemical processes are as true for you as they are for me. That’s what reality tells us. Every time. I have no say in how reality operates and any contrary beliefs I wish were the case have zero merit when reality is allowed to adjudicate them as having zero merit. That’s not a faith-based a priori position at all but a post hoc conclusion that deserves a higher level of confidence because reality tells us these forces really do remain constant.

          How do we know?

          Well, in many ways each and every day. That’s why your keyboard works to transmit your electronic signals to this host site. Your beliefs – for or against how the internet works – play no part and neither do mine. That’s why claiming that what I believe about reality and how it operates and by what mechanisms is based equivalently on faith as your religious beliefs about a divine causal agency is simply not true. My beliefs play no part in water boiling at 100C at sea level and neither do yours.

          Pretending faith is used in science is a tactic used only by religious apologists who play this word game to try to make wiggle room for antithetical ideas contrary to how we know reality operates and by what mechanisms to be seen as equivalent. They’re not. That’s why you need an exemption from reality arbitrating your faith-based beliefs about it. Nor is the confidence placed in understanding how things operate an equivalent faith-based belief to believing things work differently than how reality dictates by miraculous interventions. That why you must have faith…. because the belief IS incompatible with how we understand reality to operate.

          Incompatible methodologies.

          Liked by 7 people

    • Nonsense. Faith and evidentialism cannot coexist. If something can be believed based on evidence it cannot also be believed on faith, and yet faith is the cornerstone of all religion belief. They are antithetical. The minute evidence appears faith is cast aside in favour of evidence.

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      • Yes JZ, I raised my eyebrow at the assertion by JB that ‘Beliefs are bolstered by evidence ‘.

        Having spent years actively looking into the faith/science interchange from the perspective of a believing Christian I have a differing conclusion. I am excluding from my consideration fundamentalists who treat with scorn any science that contradicts the literal interpretation of the Bible as such people do not take science seriously.

        But coming back to the Christians who treat science with respect, there remains the problem of how to interpret the first 11 chapters of the Bible, especially the creation stories, the garden of Eden and the Noah story. In essence a Christian is forced to interpret these stories as more like metaphors or gross simplifications rather than an account of actual events.

        The reality that science requires faithful (non fundamentalist) Christians to alter the way they interpret the Bible means I cannot see how it could possibly bolster faith.

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          • This a bit thorny but if neural circuitry is physically influenced then it’s not placebo. The placebo effect is very poorly understood when so many people presume it means beliefs causes neurological effects. Placebo means self-reported improvements (also demonstrated by the nocebo effect) such as ranking pain. This does not mean there are actual physiological effects caused by a belief; what there are are self-reported improvements.

            Confusing the issue even further is the effect caused by how we think. We can train our brains to think differently and produce different results based on different ways to think about something (think meditation to slow our heart rate, lower our blood pressure, and so on). Yes, these effects are real but that means they are not placebo. Placebo means no actual physiological and chemical causal effects. Belief – like a bubble thought from some comic – alone does not produce effects, does not cause neurological changes, what causes the neurological changes is learning how to think differently, what we call ‘retraining the brain’. The brain causes effects and not the beliefs. This is an important but subtle difference when understanding the right sequence of neurological cause-and-effect.

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            • Hahaha, it is “thorny.” 😉 Those are valid points tildeb, thank you. I wouldn’t argue them because you’ve further elaborated on the dynamics of placebo/nocebo effects. 🙂

              In light of what you added, how would you define or measure the external/internal interactions of veterans who have made 1-4 combat deployments returning with PTSD, or ‘mob mentality’ during sporting events/games between opposing fans, athletes, referees, etc? In my Dec. 2016 post I shared Dr. Ted Kaptchuk’s research from the Harvard Medical School about performances of expectation. He says:

              “This new research demonstrates that the placebo effect is not necessarily elicited by patients’ conscious expectation that they are getting an active medicine, as long thought. Taking a pill in the context of a patient-clinician relationship — even if you know it’s a placebo — is a ritual that changes symptoms and probably activates regions of the brain that modulate symptoms.”

              And skipping ahead in my post, in “a related study conducted by Karin Jensen of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden has found it didn’t matter if the test participants experienced clearly visible or non-recognizable stimuli. According to further studies, they indicate that mechanisms responsible for placebo and nocebo effects can operate without conscious awareness of the triggering cues, i.e. theater. In other words, it is not what a person thinks will happen, it is what the non-conscious mind anticipates, despite any conscious thoughts. Dr. Jensen goes on to say…

              “Such a mechanism would generally be expected to be more automatic and fundamental to our behavior compared to deliberate judgments and expectations”, says Karin Jensen. “These findings can help us explain how exposure to typical clinical environments and routines can activate powerful health improvements, even when treatments are known to be ineffective.”

              Eventually my post’s primary point was the brain and its wiring are malleable by what we repeatedly tell ourselves (inline with or despite reality) and by our environment. The influences are more fluid than first thought. In other words, “it seems that not only are you what you eat, or do, or consciously think, you can also be what you believe or expect, whether it is based on anything verifiable or not, especially if thousands or millions think and perform alike and with you, or you with them, then that performance and expectation makes it feel real for that individual!” Thus, in relation to Nan’s open discussion here, whether there is a Designer or not doesn’t seem to be a critical factor for our existence. We make our own self-realities in relation to others and Nature. That said, I personally try to align with current scientific cumulative consensus based upon the “Determined” and the “To Be Determineds.” 🙂

              What are your thoughts tildeb?

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            • My thoughts are along the lines of danger to science, to the public understanding of how science works dependent on the role of evidence – by assigning to placebo what is actually neurological in the same way, say, empathy is assigned to religious belief. This is dangerous thinking when it receives misguided scientific approval.

              The danger is that the order is backwards – the direction of cause to effect mixed up with assigning an effect to a cause – and so we open a door to woo, open the door to assigning all kinds of placebo ‘concoctions’ to be powered by this backwards thinking, that placebo causes the assigned effect. And this becomes obviously problematic when we use turn to using independent evidence.

              Because evidence plays the role of linking an assigned effect to its real world cause, we look at what happens when we attribute to the placebo effect as a the cause for an assigned effect. We then encounter a very real problem linking this cause to a demonstrable effect… not because of some mysterious force we call ‘placebo’ (ie. belief) that people like Mel will insist is therefore ‘outside’ of the purview of science but because we’ve made a methodological mistake and assumed the conclusion – placebo causes this effect and we can go along with this because it has received a scientific stamp of approval.

              This is dangerous because it’s backwards.

              In the same way that, say, empathy is a neurological function that many simply assign to be a byproduct of religious belief, so too is anything that falls under the label of ‘placebo’ assigned to belief. But it’s not the belief causing the effect (and this is where the danger lies). The assigned effect belongs wholly with a neurological function. What causes that function is also neurological but is circuited through brain plasticity (like learning). Again, belief itself plays no part; the alteration is a change in neurology. Belief is like religion in the case of empathy; it is a handy label, a shortcut, a means of describing a ’cause’ for the neurological change. But this is nothing more than a terminology game. Placebo itself doesn’t cause anything but our ability to rewire our own brains does. Unquestionably.

              In the same way that someone might show a religious person demonstrating empathy doesn’t link empathy to religious belief, so too does someone showing with a beneficial effect link anything to placebo. That’s why I say this idea is a thorny one… not because effects are unknown but because of how those effects are assigned to a cause without evidence. That’s why I say it’s backwards.

              Probably the most interesting example I have found with the greatest impact on real people in real life has to do with the mirror box by Ramachandran. An amputee experiencing pain from a severed limb can be treated by the patient looking at the mirror image of the healthy, pain-free limb in place of the missing limb and then relaxing or flexing or scratching the real limb that looks to the patient like the severed limb. The psotive results have been astounding.

              Now, the patient knows full well that the mirror image is not the severed limb. They do not believe the mirror image is the severed limb.It just looks that way. So attributing the release from pain or itch or whatever to belief is absolutely misguided. There is no belief involved… and so it cannot be causal! Yet the effects are very real.

              So what’s going on?

              What is going on is that one part of the brain is itself utilizing only visual input data to ‘rewire’ the nerve receptors. There’s no woo, no magical force, no mysterious force of belief. Phantom pain doesn’t exist where there is no limb; it exists in the brain where it is very real and then is assigned to the missing limb in the same way that placebo does not exist in belief (the phantom limb) but in the brain neurocircuitry and is then assigned to the placebo.

              See what I mean? It’s a subtle difference in understanding the order of cause and effect but the difference in assignment is important when it comes to correctly identifying ‘evidence’ that really does link the two. Placebo is not real. It is not a force. It does not ’cause’ anything nor import some mysterious causal power to belief. Ever. Believing otherwise is dangerous because it is misguided and elevates whatever conclusion you want to reach to an assigned premise… as if it’s true.

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            • That is a reply tildeb I had to really think about and process. I too am fascinated by what Ramachandran’s Mirror Box shows about what sight can and cannot do to our brains. But I think I’m a bit confused about the/your differentiations. LOL 😛

              My first question or need for clarity is whether you think human actions, decisions, cognitive creations/ideas, are purely preprogrammed, organic, neurochemical blueprints we simply follow to a tee like robots, or do each of us possess freewill based on our perceptions and understanding of our environmental influences and reality? Or is it something else all together?

              The reason I’m asking this is what do you think comes first… our thought, idea, or mental expectation (placebo), or an uncontaminated, pure, preprogrammed neurochemically-based action THEN our physiological robotic response to it? Are there significant differences between human belief and expectation? Is that where I’m getting confused?

              Thanks tildeb. 🙂

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            • Well, I don’t much like your either/or because I think it frames our brains in a way that can be questioned using metaphysics (which I loathe because it doesn’t produce knowledge). So by default I guess I favour the ‘something else’.

              Nor do I like the term ‘free will’ because it comes with so much baggage. Safe to say, free will is either will that isn’t free or something free that isn’t will. And I hate going into the detail of why that is the case. It’s more like a word game.

              I prefer to come at brain processes from the front end using the best science we have. After all, that’s the method that produces knowledge. I see mind/consciousness as what the brain does, an emergent property shaped by constant neural interactions with our environments. Because our brains are bicameral, we also have constant interactions between our hemispheres and so this adds another dimension to the topic. This combination allows us to learn and alter our own neurocircuitry. That’s why I support the idea that how we think determines to a very large degree what we think. As a wise old prof once said at our commencement, education is what you have left when you’ve forgotten everything you’ve ever learned. I think we are wise to teach ourselves how to think well and in different ways and by doing so can use reality to arbitrate how good of a job we are doing in any given situation and then adjust accordingly.

              I also think we think in symbolic imagery and so thinking only within a particular language – like words – constrains our potential to think creatively, to make intuitive leaps, to see patterns and connections, to engage different parts of the brain simultaneously, to feel and emote and inject the neurochemistry of reward to enhance meaning (like humour and love). It’s a remarkable organ is our little brain and when you add the ability to project and then personify parts of our environment, creating empathy and sympathy and compassion, then trying to constrain all this with terms like ‘free will’ is quite inadequate.

              I think it matters to understand that our brains do everything. Our brain sees and not our eyes. Our brain hears and not our ears. Our brain interprets and filters constant sensory information as well as manipulates it into meaning, evaluating this meaning versus that meaning, and so on. Busy, busy, busy. Awake, asleep, stoned, unconscious. Constantly doing what the brain does.

              And we have the hubris to think we control it!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yeah, I had an intuitive feeling, an “expectation” if you will 😉 that you’d not be so comfortable with my A or B, maybe C setup. And in a context of Quantum Physics, I am not threatened by Metaphysics or the paranormal because I view it as the vast unknown waiting for us explorers to wrestle with it to better understand… in due course and time! 🙂

              But as I also suspected you replied wonderfully and I like how you reframed the topic, in particular “Because our brains are bicameral, we also have constant interactions between our hemispheres and so this adds another dimension to the topic. This combination allows us to learn and alter our own neurocircuitry.” And I would throw in there constant interactions with other brains and their cognitive processes of sensory perception, most significantly with our parents and siblings then to an extent… beyond, hopefully well beyond! And to your last two paragraphs, from my years trained and employed in the Psych/A&D (inpatient) field I witnessed firsthand and cared for schizophrenic hallucinations in patients, both auditory and visual. Those were very genuine manifestations by clinical patients — like on a theatrical stage with moving, convincing characterizations! — despite the fact or reality that I or no one else could corroborate their cerebral manifestations. And sometimes to the patients that didn’t matter! They KNEW what they knew.

              And we have the hubris to think we control it!

              In some cases, yes, very true. In other cases we can control it. One such (substandard?) example for myself is that when I am asleep and I am having a horrible, very bizarre, graphic, bloody (to myself or others) nightmare, eventually at some point when in my dream state I begin getting suspicious of the “false reality” or extraordinary whackyness of it… I can and do wake myself and stop it. Also, during my years in that field I found myself (TWICE) in a life-threatening crisis with two mentally-disturbed patients with loaded weapons. One with a hunting rifle and another with a Gloch pressed to the side of my head screaming at me. Due to my training (of the brain) and previous reconciliations about death, even violent death, in those two ‘heat of the moments’ I had no sense of fear with those two men and deescalted both situations with no one hurt.

              So this is me honestly and curiously asking… Is that not training my brain to manage certain people (dream-states or conscious) in certain situations? I’m wanting to sort and understand these differentiations.

              Thank you tildeb.

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            • Wow. That’s a load of experiences I’ve never had to deal with. But I suspect that we can connect with other people in some very interesting ways.

              One way is to be the source of activation for mirror neurons in another. I think that’s what good therapists and teachers are able to do, hat we might call charisma, an emotional connection that causes effect.

              Another aged prof used to make fun of me when I suggested that I thought our brains could overlap in quantum fields and produce a temporary neural connection. We sometimes call this intuition. (I’ve played against fine bridge players who have learned to act on this feeling and play accordingly to devastating effect on opponents). He thought that idea of an Oogity Boogity phenomena, spooky action at a distance so to speak, was very entertaining but I have an inkling that we can experience this temporary connection for ourselves… when everything in a sporting event aligns and everything goes exactly right (you can feel it coming), when the orchestra becomes one entity, when a crowd responds in unison, when team mates behave as one. An outward expression of discrete local units obeying local rules that produces such a connection could be the murmuration of flocks creating what appears to be a single entity, much like our cells operating together to give the impression of a single ‘self’. There has to be a material connection in the sense of shared space/time in fields for this arrow of time causal connection to happen but I have no clue where one might begin to track it.

              But understanding and gaining knowledge about such things requires good science to pare away the noise and get to the signal or reveal the probability of overlap. Anyway, prof, it’s something I like to think about.

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            • Ooooo, this is an excellent additional inclusion tildeb: the EPR Paradox to Quantum Entanglement or John Bell’s Non-locality! Love it. 🙂 Just that storyline of science took about 34-years and many “To Be Determined” moments. What I like most about humanity’s Science is that it is always open to scrutiny, refinement, or correction-discard by its qualified, reputable peers no matter the elapsed time. Even Sir Isaac Newton has seen his work corrected and/or refined.

              The one area of science I feel has suffered or lagged too much for too long is mental-health/illness and their management/treatments compared to the other non-cerebral non-neurological disciplines. Why is that!? Why are humans so reluctant to be intimately examined, intimately measured, intimately understood? Hahaha, I wonder! 😉 Not to get too far off topic, but one PRIME example of the lack of or severe lagging of mental-health/illness education, awareness, and societal support/adoption was the “election(?)” of our current U.S. President. Having been years in the Psych/A&D field I immediately recognized many signs and symptoms of mental-illness in the man back in the early 2000’s. Yet, as you so appropriately noted tildeb…

              …but I have an inkling that we can experience this temporary connection for ourselves… when everything in a sporting event aligns and everything goes exactly right (you can feel it coming), when the orchestra becomes one entity, when a crowd responds in unison, when team mates behave as one. An outward expression of discrete local units obeying local rules that produces such a connection could be the murmuration of flocks creating what appears to be a single entity, much like our cells operating together to give the impression of a single ‘self’.

              I liken that human social phenomena to E.O. Wilson’s and Bert Hölldobler’s Superorganism (social) organization. And I am almost in full alignment with Dr. Wilson’s belief/theory that the meaning of life/existence, as he claims, is and will be explained by Science, not philosophy or theology. I feel we cannot completely discard “philosophy” (perhaps parts of classical philosophy, yes) because there is some crossover with mental-health/illness with philosophy or cognitive psychology and neurology, but through interdisciplinary scientific collaboration humanity can feel assured that Science (as a whole, as an open sharing system) is and will continue to adequately explain our meaning of existence… as a dependent species with each other, with other Earth species and bio-ecosystems, which indeed include our solar system, Milky Way galaxy, and Universe/Multiverse and Cosmos.

              If I may Nan, here is some more context (a 9-min video) via E.O. Wilson of which I’m speaking. One profound assessment here by Dr. Wilson about the use or function of religion or religious “faith” to explain the meaning of existence/life is that all the world’s religions are in “competition” against each other — which infers cognitive bias and pollution. 😀

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            • Meaning, in my mind, always seems to require a comparison with fairly strong borders to define it. So I understand why Wilson presents human meaning as if a narrative, a story about, a progression towards. But just as we cannot determine a book’s meaning until we have the whole thing comprehended in its parts and can then reflect on all its constituent parts into forming a whole thing (with a defined beginning, middle, and end), so too do I think we cannot find the meaning of being human until we have formed the whole thing. In other words, as soon as we progress in any of the fields Wilson mentions, we still don’t – and probably never can – have the whole thing upon which to reflect and connect, and so we end up with what we do have: many partial meanings, some more profoundly important than others in the narrative.

              It has taken generations to get psychology slowly weeded away from its social constructs (I think Sociology should always be housed in academia with religion and alternative medicine – masturbatory subjects that have no real objects to study) and although this process has only just begun, even now with such little progress does it again come under the influence of regression. I think psychology is under tremendous social pressure to somehow accept what isn’t true as a foundation to its area of study, namely, identity constructs and post modern idiocy and other sociological spawn. In the same way that understanding fundamental biology is attacked when evolution is denied, so too does psychology suffer when ideological sociology is forced into it. Until this separation from the woo of Sociology is achieved, psychology will remain a fledgling and rather impotent science (usually requiring theft from other sciences to appear more than what it is).

              Not that I’m opinionated, of course… perish the thought!

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            • Until this separation from the woo of Sociology is achieved, psychology will remain a fledgling and rather impotent science (usually requiring theft from other sciences to appear more than what it is).

              Couldn’t agree more tildeb. Can’t argue the rest of your good comment. Sadly, if psychology remains a fledgling or merely a pseudo-serious complex art-form by the general public rather than a legitimate scientific discipline (in correlation to all cognitive sciences), then in my experience and background humanity will only continue confronting social incidents, domestic abuses, and/or massacres like Las Vegas or Orlando with amputated solutions, e.g. gun-laws, rather than gun-carriers and why they carry and why they slip into (temporary?) neurosis-psychosis at the expense of innocent bystanders that remarkably include young children. 😦

              “Faith” or praying or candlelight-vigils (though they assist the living only) are simply insufficient and do very little toward impactful solutions such as identifying volatile, unstable brain manifestations BEFORE they reach violent psychosis-neurosis.

              Is that reasonable tildeb or am I wishing for a Utopia, even near Utopia? :/

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            • Amputated solutions I think are the only solutions… right up until a tipping point is reached, and then there is sudden wholesale change. I think we have good evidence for this regarding significant cultural practices that are problematic… practices like religion, class, economic inequity, and so. Incremental solutions addressing bits and pieces of the problem are needed right up until the problem is recognized to be more of a problem than a solution. This seems to me to be the way Canada slowly worked through its fundamental problems common to all and then quickly shifted away from feeding the problems.

              Until psychology goes full bore science and comes down hard on those who use the title to work outside of science-based efficacy and still call it ‘psychology’, I think the area will remain untrustworthy. I mean, seriously, what are its scientific foundations? I think this is very hard to enunciate. And that’s part of the problem.

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            • You just may well be correct tildeb. Morphing “psychology” into more renamed specific disciplines might be the approach to the social stigma of mental-illness and its needed progress and funding. What is a bit disparaging (at least here in the U.S. and South) is that for more than 2-millenia religion, churches, theology, mythology(?), garner greater financial and political support than psychology. :/ But there is some hope!

              https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/what-we-know-now-how-psychological-science-has-changed-over-a-quarter-century

              https://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2014/jan/24/the-changing-face-of-psychology

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    • Leaps” are not the only way to demonstrate “faith.”

      Trying to sacrifice one of your own children (Isaac), or invading, slaughtering, and occupying a foreign land (Abraham), taking down massive fortress walls (Joshua) then killing more, willing to get pregnant at 90-years old to have an Autistic(?) child (Sarah), parting an enormous Sea to pass through on dirt/mud to the other side (Moses), or one that tops ALL acts of “faith”… a virgin getting impregnated by a spirit/God (Mary). Playing Russian roulette or birthing and caring for a child in your 90s – 100s are other very effective ways to show your “faith” to this sort of “God.”

      HAH! Yes, I’d say it is GLARINGLY clear to most sane people that Science and Biblical Faith are and SHOULD BE extremely exclusive!!! One involves tested education, intelligence, pragmatism, wisdom, the other a lot of death, deformities, homocide, and/or genocide! LOL ☠️ 🤣 (a bit of parody for a point)

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    • Theists will claim God is science, they will also claim the Bible has scientific details within its pages and that science was originally founded by the Christian church, but most of all I think they mostly believe that God has a hand in creating everything from the limitless universe down to the Mycoplasma gallicepticum, a parasitic bacterium that is thought to be the smallest known organism capable of independent growth and reproduction. Therefore, to admit Christianity is not compatible with science knocks a large part of their faith out of the ball park.

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      • Theists make zillions of crazy claims. That doesn’t negate my point that faith and science are not mutually exclusive. Everyone, including atheists, takes a leap of faith when they form beliefs.

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        • No. You are wrong.

          I think you’re not a very good thinker not because I have faith you lack the intellectual requirement but because of a large body of evidence that demonstrates very poor thinking. My belief about this is a conclusion adduced from reality and not a leap of faith assumed to be true.

          But you could change and start to demonstrate better thinking skills, in which case my adduced opinion would change right along with it. That’s not faith, JB. In fact, allowing reality to arbitrate our beliefs about it is incompatible with faith.

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    • It is impossible to separate faith from science. You cannot choose one mindset over the other. There is no science that proves science is reliable for finding truth. The scientific method is built on an assumption (faith) that nature will behave in a predictable manner. There is no guarantee of this.

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      • You are right, JB: there is no guarantee in science. That’s not a bad thing. Certainty is a bad thing. Yet that is what is required to empower faith-based beliefs.

        But there is a likelihood, which increases in probability over time and through demonstration of being reflective and descriptive of reality independent of any one of us. In fact, it is this likelihood that is modeled using the method of science, and it these successful models that we then use to demonstrate how reality is cohesive and stable. Next, we use these explanatory models to build applications, therapies, and technologies that work for everyone everywhere all the time. These products – not the method used to achieve them, aka ‘science’ – then demonstrate why confidence placed in the explanatory models is justified: because they work.

        When you say, “There is no science that proves science is reliable for finding truth,” you are playing an apologetic word game. Science is not a product, as I’ve reminded to you countless times; science is a method. So what you are really saying is that there is no method that ‘proves’ (proofs are obtainable only in an axiomatic setting and reality is not an axiomatic setting) this method is reliable.

        That statement is so wrong it’s not even wrong. And you ‘prove’ it is wrong – ‘prove’ that even you don’t believe it! – because you risk your life everyday that there really is a reliability about reality demonstrated by the products this method produces that you can rely on. Every time you use a machine, take medication, eat manufactured food, utilize electronics, you demonstrate confidence that this method does indeed ‘prove’ reliable enough for finding what’s true. Every time you leave the ground you prepare to have gravity return you and we utilize this explanatory model to build things like elevators and airplanes, pulleys and levers. You trust these materials to secure your safety. And you demonstrate confidence without even thinking about it. The list is endless. Utilizing the method of science produces so much confidence, in fact, that I doubt any of us would long survive if we doubted that all these explanatory models were not directly reflective and descriptive of our reality. And it is upon this overwhelming body of evidence that indicates why a contrary faith-based belief statement like the one you made here is such an outlier from what is the case, so far removed from even your own confidence in it that it cannot be considered rational to grant this ‘alternative’ claim any confidence at all… because it stands contrary not just to the reality we share but to how we navigate it.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. My original statement was that faith is necessary at some point to believe anything. I don’t want to sidetrack Nan’s comment section.

    (We all know you’re an atheist. We all know I’m an idiot. Doesn’t need to be reiterated.)

    The desperate need for many of the religious to assign faith to things the non-religious accept based on prior evidence and or personal experience is quite comical.
    It strongly suggests they have little faith(sic) in their own beliefs thus indicating a level of hypocrisy and disingenuity.

    When (if) the non-religious individual uses the word faith ( a word that I can say almost without any fear of contradiction I personally do not use) its meaning is – as far as I am concerned- always based on prior experience and/or evidence as already mentioned.

    Example:

    Jose Mourinho, Manchester United’s current manager, might have addressed his players and said: ”I have faith you will score against Liverpool today,” and based upon Liverpool’s dreadful form of late and the goals they have been letting in, he could be forgiven if this faith proved unfounded – as it did yesterday when the game ended goalless.

    Furthermore, the faith normally adhered to by the likes of Branyan and his ilk is always linked with his religion and invariably based on no evidence whatsoever.

    ”I have faith in the return of Jesus.”
    ”I have faith I am going to heaven”
    ”I have faith you are going to hell”
    ”My faith is so strong that if I pray hard enough I will wake up tomorrow and be genuinely funny.”

    There is no evidence to suggest there is any truth to the above statements.

    However …

    ”I have faith my wife is a good cook.”
    ”I have faith my child is quite capable of passing his/her exams with distinction.”
    ‘I have faith the seeds I have panted will produce a good crop.”
    (because as with every year I have prepared the soil, bought the best quality seeds and used top quality compost and installed a top notch irrigation system.)

    One could quite easily substitute the word faith with the word confidence, which would in fact, be a far more accurate description of what the non-religious person generally means in the first place.
    Therefor one could express the sentiment:

    ”’I am reasonably confident John Branyan will come back with an asinine comment in an attempt to further demonstrate his baseless assertion.”

    Liked by 5 people

    • I also do not use the word faith because I think the religious have hijacked it and have tried to change its meaning. They are so dammed pretentious and sure of themselves that they know without question that everything exists solely due to their god, but they are not understanding that faith is not a substitute word for “fact” and realising there are good reasons why their religions are known as faith, not fact, truth, legit or real.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sklyjd,

        They are so dammed pretentious and sure of themselves that they know without question that everything exists solely due to their god, but they are not understanding that faith is not a substitute word for “fact”…

        Although they were acute cases, myself and the staff at our Psych/A&D hospital confronted and treated/cared for many patients that were “sure of themselves that they [knew] without question that everything exists solely due to their [personal] god…” without being able (permanently? temporarily?) to distinguish the characterizations of monisms vs. pluralisms, or the values of diversity. To say it another way, their life-rulers/yardsticks were too narrow and too short. 😉 Is that always a permanent human condition?

        The degrees between sensible rationality and delusional (or worse) —
        especially when one includes temporary neurosis — are quite small and more fluid than one might realize. It was my experience that several of those patients were much more self-absorbed (fearful, paranoid, anti-social?) than realizing they are/were unequivocally a part of MORE than just self or family, but just as much social/cultural measurements. This framework does offer a litmus test of where one is positioned mentally in proportion to the size arena of reality and Nature/environment. The bigger the “arena” the better or more accurate the litmus test.

        We do not need to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the Universe.
        — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

        With that, Wikipedia says 500 – 750 million people on the planet have a god absent in their world-life view. 🤔 Fortunately, that number rises every year… I suspect due to improving high-quality, broad education! 😀

        Like

  7. Seems like I read somewhere recently that those who rely on faith have minds that rely more heavily on intuitive thinking. (Oooh look at the rainbow! It must be a sign from the dog!) Those damnable atheists like us rely more on analytical thought. (Oooh look at the rainbow! I wonder what makes it tick? Let’s find out.)

    The only place that one of those is compatible with the other is in the wild fantasy land of cognitive dissonance.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Precisely.
      When you say, “Let’s find out how rainbows work,” you need faith that such knowledge can be discovered. You assume it is not a message from the dog. You assume there is a rational explanation and that you will be able to understand it.
      Without that faith, you’d start praying to the dog to explain the miracle.

      Like

      • Aaaaaand …. here’s Branyan!
        Remember the scene in Thelma and Louise where they drive the car over the cliff? ‘Course you do …. everybody does.
        It’s because Nan is nice and you’re a dickhead, that I won’t call you a dickhead. Because everybody already
        knows your are as we all know that your one intent is to drive the ”car” over the edge of the cliff.
        Because this is what dickheads do.

        Liked by 2 people

      • “When you say, “Let’s find out how rainbows work,” you need faith that such knowledge can be discovered.”

        Errrr, no.

        It’s not that faith is required that it possible to find out. It’s that when we didn’t know, we had a go at explaining it and over time that explanation came through study and the scientific method. One doesn’t need faith that the answer will come in order to try and suss something out. One only needs curiosity and a desire to learn.

        Liked by 4 people

      • This isn’t true at all. You don’t need faith that such knowledge can be discovered. In fact it might not be discoverable or you might not know enough to give a good answer. While the ancient Chinese in about 1500 BC actually knew about double refraction as a way of creating a rainbow, they certainly didn’t know the properties of electromagnetic radiation so their answer was missing information to make it complete. The point is though that all you have to know is that there is some non-zero probability that questions we have, have an answer. That’s not faith. From essentially the moment we are born our curiosity kicks in and we start trying to explain our world through our senses. Dropping and rolling objects to see how we fall. We might come to the wrong conclusions but any child can see that their inquisitiveness can be met with some form of testing and/or observation. Not sure what that has to do with faith. And it requires no faith that you will understand it, in fact I am sure we’ve all gone looking for answers and when we found it we were more confused than when we started.

        Finally you don’t even have to assume the answer is rational. Again all you have to assume is that there is a non-zero probability that it is rational, and you can base this on the fact that as a person moving through this universe you have noticed consistency in the physical laws. Balls keep gaining speed as they roll down an incline. Honey flows slower when it gets colder. You can see these things every day. But you could go in to figuring out rainbows and find that no consistency in conditions produces rainbows and that is a possible explanation. No faith required at all. This of course would be unlikely, but faith isn’t required to assume that the explanation is rational. In fact that’s the important part of inductive reasoning. We can gather data and the conclusion follows from the data…no a priori assumptions are required.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Repeating “no faith required at all” doesn’t demonstrate the premise is true.

          This is not controversial. If you didn’t believe you could understand how nature works, you wouldn’t bother doing science. Faith is so ingrained in science that you’re taking it for granted.

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          • I didn’t humans didn’t use faith, only that it wasn’t a necessary condition.

            Again why is it a belief when we can easily observe the universe and conclude that it’s understandable in some way (even if our initial conceptions of it aren’t quite correct)? The ability to understand how nature works at least to a sufficient point for survival is what is ingrained in us. It would simply not be reasonable to think that the universe wasn’t understandable in some way given that’s exactly what we do as living creatures in order to survive.

            Liked by 1 person

            • “It would simply not be reasonable to think that the universe wasn’t understandable in some way given that’s exactly what we do as living creatures in order to survive.”

              I know this is going to upset you, but you have just articulated one of the arguments for the existence of God. I don’t want to discuss religion since this is about faith.

              To you first point, you’re still wrong. Faith is a necessary condition. Again…If you didn’t have faith that a telescope would tell you something about astronomy, you wouldn’t build a telescope. Still nothing controversial in this statement.

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            • I know this is going to upset you, but you have just articulated one of the arguments for the existence of God. I don’t want to discuss religion since this is about faith.

              I know this is going to upset you but this is one of the false arguments used to support the existence of God. What you’re not seeing as that arguments for God are logical fallacies.

              Well maybe you can define faith because you seem to define it in some special way. I don’t need faith to build a telescope, I need prior knowledge of the behavior of light and how I might shape glass to magnify things. I don’t have faith about what I can learn from it, I simply need to have things that are two small for me to see with the naked eye and want to make a device that makes things bigger. It is independent of what I might learn. It is also independent of what I see being understandable. It can be a total mystery to me and the telescope works exactly the same way. And I might build it simply because I thought it was fun to see my neighbor’s ass as extremely large.

              Liked by 1 person

            • None of your points contradict my thesis.
              Your assumption (faith) is that science will provide a solution to whatever dilemma you’re tackling.

              Why is this so difficult to admit?

              Like

            • It’s not difficult to admit at all. I have admitted on numerous occasions that faith has been a part of scientist’s work in the past, today and I am sure will be in the future. That doesn’t mean it’s a necessary condition, and that scientists always use faith.

              If I know methodical investigation has provided an answer before, I can use this as evidence that the methodology will work again in the future. Again this is a prediction based on passed information, which is different than faith. If you want call evidence based prediction as the same as faith I guess that’s your choice, but to me it’s clear that if I observe things happening and make a prediction about how the universe works based on those observations, this isn’t faith, this is a guess, and then I can practice numerous methodologies to find the answer, but I will probably choose a methodology that has been known to work, based on past history and observation. Faith doesn’t enter in to it.

              To put it more simply, I don’t have faith that science will work in solving problems, I have simply seen it work before and thus know that it is probable for it to work again. And if it doesn’t work then either I’m asking the wrong question, asking a question that is not answerable, or not answerable yet (which means I’m asking the wrong question), or the scientific method is flawed.

              Liked by 1 person

            • That has been my point all along.
              Faith is necessary to formulate a theory.
              The theory is bolstered by evidence.
              Nothing outrageous in these statements. That’s why I’m confused by all the pushback…

              Like

            • First you don’t understand what the word theory means. Perhaps you mean hypothesis. The formation of a hypothesis does not require faith, it requires a casual observation. Like, my friend is depressed and has gained a lot of weight, I wonder if these things are correlated. I’m curios to find the answer. How do I go about solving such a problem? Faith? No, I seek other studies, other investigations to find what methods might work best, perform the experiment and collect data, see whether it proves or disproves my hypothesis as to what I think might be the causal relationship between depression and weight gain based on my observation. No faith required. Please tell me how faith has been used.

              Your point, as it always is, is to assert things to be true without explaining why it is so.

              Liked by 2 people

            • You are assuming that consulting studies and doing science will answer whether or not there is a causal relationship between depression and weight gain. You have faith that you can answer this question with research.
              That’s where faith comes in. If you didn’t trust science to give you the answer, you wouldn’t bother to investigate.
              No matter which particular example you choose, this is going to hold true.
              Again…I don’t understand why I have to keep repeating this.

              Like

            • So because I can observe questions having answers, means that I’m using faith to answer questions? This is how you define faith. So I guess I can’t argue with you because apparently faith means something completely different. Well I guess you just be right, because I have lost faith in your ability to reason, and I really don’t have in any interest in figuring out why.

              Liked by 1 person

            • No.
              You cannot observe questions having answers until you do science. That’s why you do science.

              If you don’t like the word “faith”, pick another one to describe the condition of uncertainty that leads to inquiry. This term describes the confidence that you have in that inquiry process.

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      • That may not be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, but it made the top 50.

        When you have some sort of faith that knowledge can be discovered you are probably biased. Which is fine I suppose if you are religious, but in science they work hard to remove bias. Facts must be able to speak for themselves. That is why science has to show its work, repeat its work, and also why there are blind/double blind studies.

        …and what limey said.

        If religion had to adhere to a scientific discipline it wouldn’t last long. It hides behind faith. I can only hope the more we know through fact based understandings of our universe, the less we will need the mind fucking parasite of religion.

        Liked by 5 people

        • The original question was about the relationship between science and faith. You can’t insert the word “religion” in place of faith.

          “When you have some sort of faith that knowledge can be discovered you probably bias.”
          Yes.
          That bias is the reason we build microscopes and EKG machines. We assume, by faith, that we can learn things with science.

          Like

          • Faith: (OED)

            Noun

            1.complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
            2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

            In either case, JB, faith is incompatible with the method of science. There is no complete trust at any stage of science, which is why hypotheses are modeled to see how well selected evidence fits, then the model is tested to see if it fits new evidence, then the model is manipulated by introducing and then establishing pertinent variables to see if and how they affect the modeling, then both models and testing is replicated independently to test the testing – to see if there are inherited biases and prejudices and imported beliefsthat might have affected these results, and so on. There’s no complete trust at any stage; rather there is skepticism about EVERY stage, a process by which increasing likelihood through demonstrated probability is what grants – grudgingly – trust and confidence. This is the order, a method that LEADS TO confidence and trust.It is a method diametrically opposite to faith.

            You are simply rearranging faith, an a priori trust with confidence in its religious sense, to be buttressed by this post hoc scientific skepticism by arbitrarily redefining ‘faith’ to include it when it does not… by definition. You know perfectly well that your religious belief cannot be similarly supported by reality by modeling, by testing, by introducing variables, by independent second round testing, or you wouldn’t need ‘faith’ in its religious sense! You could present the evidence for your model and let reality arbitrate in its favour to produce trust and confidence. Alas! Reality is not your ally. So you know you are abusing the language and you do so intentionally to paint a false equivalency that reality does not support. That is an intentional deception you’re exercising by using a word game that abuses these terms so that you can then try to get them to mean what they do not mean. You may assume your pious intentions grants you license to be a deceiver because, hey, it’s for Jesus donchaknow, but it still breaks a commandment you say is necessary for moral authority. This hypocritical tactic by those who support and promote this kind of deceptive religious apologetics is just another example of how religion poisons everything… like your mind.

            Liked by 2 people

  8. “Everybody ought to believe something. I believe I’ll have another drink.” W.C. Fields

    While in science we do have competing theories as to how various parts of our universe are organized, in religion they have entirely different universes competing with one another!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I will speak a bit from a “Believer’s” standpoint while sometimes stepping over into the world’s or Non-believer’s point-of-view. And if I could respectfully reword your question Nan, this is how I would ask it to anyone, total strangers included…

    What are the merits of Science and/or “To Be Determined” in relation to human existence?

    As I always understood the meaning of “Faith” in my years of education, church ministry, and seminary was a simple mindset. As a former believer then, it was our/my responsibility to maintain a Christ-like witness as a pagan-to-believer or Gentile-to-Believer convert, versus born into Christian parents where you are raised and taught Scripture, theology, practicing your faith in church and out as a child to an adult. The distinction is useful because of Yeshua’s approach engaging the two groups as narrated in the gospels. Keeping this Christ-like attitude and behavior was essentially all a Believer needed in any baffling or double-bind circumstances. At those particular difficult times one’s “faith” in God’s promises would answer or make His will known: “to be determined.” It was very much a surrendering of wills and understanding (or not) of future outcomes. In other words, if you already KNOW (vaguely?) the ultimate end result, God’s promises, then like Yeshua of the Gospels, there’s no need to initiate a spectacle of things, e.g. Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. Doing so is self-glorifying and NO FAITH in your God. Believers cannot be/work both sides of the aisle (John 17:14-16)!

    Hence, since the “War is already won,” the word “Faith” should be used and KEPT only in the context of the bible, theology, private church activities, and the humble, non-violent, verbally stoic, and private individual Believer’s behavior toward all their God’s creatures and Creation, as I see it and as I was taught in those ‘converted’ years. Did I mention how critical humility is for Believers? Believers do NOT belong in the world of science, or in other terms as they believe, inside Satan’s world. Science did not originate from the Bible and it CERTAINLY did not originate in God’s 7-day creation process. Not until after the Fall did science come into existence, making it part of Satan’s realm and planet Earth. Period. So WHY do Christians continue to meddle in Satan’s mechanisms? Lack of God-based faith?

    How frequently do “Believers” have this level of Faith? Sadly, the majority of the time Christian Believers choose self-glorification and take AWAY from their God’s will and power as conveyed in their Scriptures.

    Fortunately, for all of us Non-Believers/Non-Christians we do not have to operate in such an impossible catastrophic paradigm. “To Be Determined” via science is simply just fine with us. Why? The reality (what has been determined over centuries and millenia via science) is that there is no fixed crunch-time deadline (“End Times“). Science HAS INDEED made this life less daunting, less threatening, less random, and much much more reasonable, and most importantly given us back a sense of ownership and accountability of ourselves and behavior, and our world, rather than passing off responsibility to someone else: a Proxy/Savior. The scientific paradigm nurtures much more self-esteem, self-confidence, patience, cumulative collaboration, and human kindness, as opposed to crippling fear and irresponsibility of one’s self and others.

    That’s my initial long-winded view of Faith vs. Science. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Science and faith are not mutually exclusive. Everyone employs faith, including you. Science cannot explain all of reality. Intuition, emotions, instincts, mathematics and logic cannot be proven with science but we all know these things exist. That’s faith.

      Like

      • Incorrect. You didn’t read closely everything I stated JB and think on it. I intentionally AVOID the word “faith” as much as possible for a more functional definition: “To Be Determined.” I only use the word “faith” in the context of religion — the only place I feel it belongs.

        P.S. I am not continuing this conversation with you. You’re welcome to continue with yourself. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

          • “To be determined” is a statement of prediction. You make a guess about what’s going to happen…you could be wrong. In fact most guesses are wrong and and a hypothesis doesn’t get confirmed. That’s not faith.

            Liked by 2 people

            • If you didn’t know what it meant for sure why did you respond with the statement that asserted that you did know what he meant?

              “To Be Determined” is also a statement of faith. Much as you might like to “avoid” the word faith, you can’t.

              Liked by 1 person

            • To be clear and concise with you JB, originally (weeks back) I found our dialogue (then your gradual banter) stimulating with chances of constructive exchange. I did honestly try to keep it respectful with you despite your increasing banter then inadequately explained responses or contentions — i.e. you answered in only 3-8 (give or take 1 or 2) sentences, which is NOT conducive to constructive, lucid exchanges. Asking someone well articulated questions, i.e. more than one or two, in a dignifying manner (or at least making the written effort) all throughout the dialogue goes a long way in civil discourse. But then in your fleeting frustration, you got snarly as Nan appropriately defined.

              I stopped (and will continue if necessary) “talking to you” because I saw no point in childish playground snarlyness. I think we BOTH have better things to do with our time and energy. I certainly do.

              Perhaps in the future (near future, immediate future?) this will change. I’m not opposed to the change.

              Like

            • Your self-interpretation and explanation of your commenting style is ONE (out of many) ways to check and verify your communication-language style, sure. But I’ll also leave it to the viewers, commenters here, and Nan of course, to weigh in. And to be fair, weigh in on MY commenting style too. 🙂

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            • Right. That was MY answer and explanation to MY earlier answer of “Not true.” I was intentionally making my replies as short — no, I’m sorry, “succinct” — as possible to make a point. It seems to have worked quite well. 🙂

              There are MANY ways to convey something (in writing especially!) to people JB, AND there are MANY ways to hear or read something by an audience. This varies from region to region, continent to continent and by a person’s background experiences. Furthermore, YOUR definition and use of “succinct” is not necessarily identical to all of your audience’s definition/use. This is why it is important (optional but recommended) to communicate a subject, questions, answers, in a kaleidoscope of ways… which absolutely includes further breakdowns, elaborations, and use “to say it another way” in order that more accurate understanding is taking place/achieved. This is never MORE CRITICAL than with social-media, like WordPress comments and replies/answers where rash knee-jerk reactions abound! When inside the arenas of controversy and contention/debate, this is why I am such a huge fan of questions, LOTS of questions, never enough QUESTIONS first, maybe even in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th rounds of exchanges as well BEFORE accusations or preconceived notions or snarkyness enters the fray.

              So… if I may take the liberty now to suggest to you that perhaps your comments — contentious or otherwise — and discourse should include both sufficient (lengthy?) hows and whys in a (possible) plethora of structures, words, vernacular context, etc, and less condescending and more tact and dignity shown (when deserved or unknown)… then you/we would not have so much childish playground antics. But this is your choice of course.

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            • I’ll make an effort to be more verbose. I understand now that a volume of words will emphasize not only the validity if my arguments but the weight that should be afforded them by scrutinizing intellectuals. It is easy to be misunderstood when answers are short and uncluttered. Far better to respond with a plethora of thoughts with the hopes that something I say will be inadvertently understood as true rather than risk the rejection of a singular point by virtue of its simplicity. Simple language is the language of playground antics. I see my error clearly.

              I need to work harder to be understood. And I need to gently, humbly accept the truth that when I am misunderstood it is likely due to my being wrong. Being wrong is nothing to be ashamed of and claiming that “I don’t know” will testify to my understanding that we are all limited in our ability to comprehend all history, science, philosophy and how these ideas interact with the world and reality in general despite the fact that sometimes it seems different from my point of view. Opinions are not reliable unless they are shared by many others so long as those others are not victims of group think or religious indoctrination or politically motivated. Honest is the best policy and the truth hurts sometimes but if the shoe fits I’ll wear it.

              It does feel good finally come clean. The Science and faith question has taught me so much and given me so many insights and also provided enlightenment. I’ll make efforts to try and be vigilant to make sure that I stay alert to the ever present possibility that could let falsehood slip into my worldview if I’m not paying attention or on the lookout for this contingency. Snarkyness serves no purpose. Concise snark is purposeless times two! And sarcasm is snark on steroids (figuratively speaking). Everyone benefits from the truth but sincerity matters more. When the chickens come home to roost, well… you know the rest. 😉

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            • Not true, JB. I don’t think I speak only for myself when I say you offer nothing to validate your claim that a scientist needs faith to reach a conclusion about a hypothesis/theory. To continue repeating the same thing over and over again without any substantiated reasons why you believe it is what frustrates the people who have provided detailed responses to support their claims that faith and science are not one and the same.

              Do you have SOME kind of validation to support your beliefs (other than your personal opinion)?

              Liked by 1 person

            • I keep repeating myself because people keep assigning me views that I do not hold.

              Do you not agree that we do science because we assume it will answer questions?

              Do you not agree that we trust the scientific method because evidence supports it?

              These two premises are all I’ve been suggesting.

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            • So, rather than repeating everything, why not offer reasons/evidence/theories/research why you believe as you do? To just make the general statement over and over again simply because you don’t feel the person “gets” you is a waste of time … and space.

              Yes, I tend to agree with what you asked. But this is NOT the way you’re presenting your premise. And again, WHY do you feel this way? What have you read/seen/heard that bolsters your opinion? That’s what other people are asking. Your answers so far have done nothing but reflect your personal take on the topic.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Thank you Swarn for the accurate elaboration. As I’ve mentioned to you before I really like the personal mindset of Learning to fail better! Thus, over the last 2-3 decades I am one learning SOB I tell ya! 😛

              Liked by 1 person

      • WTF? Math and logic are taken on faith? Science, too? I hate to break it to you but these are “taken” only in so far as they produce results. The minute they fail to do so, they are discarded. Ask any old theory (phlogiston, the ether, body humors, “bad air” as a cause of disease (e.g. malaria), demon caused diseases, etc.) all are gone because they didn’t work. Faith always works, but only by definition. It actually produces nothing because the promises of faith are false. Claiming that you benefit from false beliefs only describes you as being mercenary and greedy.

        Liked by 4 people

  10. Nan, I really hope and would like it if several/many other faith-followers or Believers participate in this open discussion. It would be much more helpful for everyone if we heard from more than one or two usual antagonizers. A wide broad survey represents higher degrees of accuracy and objectivity, as I’m sure you know. ❤

    If not, that's fine… or until next time. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please note my opening line of this post. That’s pretty much all I can do. Perhaps Mel will pop in (it is his Big Day, after all) later or tomorrow. I agree things would be more interesting/stimulating if others offered their viewpoint and weren’t so “stuck” in their mindset. But like I said … all I can do is write the post and invite others to participate. Perhaps you could “pray” for others to visit and contribute? Baaawaaahaaahaaa!

      Liked by 3 people

      • There really is no dispute in this regard with non-religious people. It is merely Branyan and his ilk who wish to assuage the fact that their faith is simply ”believing in something they know ain’t true” to paraphrase Twain.

        Much like the Templeton Foundation and their rather silly attempts at marrying faith and science.
        Lipstick on a pig and all that ….

        Liked by 2 people

      • LOL… pray? 😮 I know how to do relaxation-breathing meditation for myself, but as far as praying to manipulate or control OTHER entities (God or weather?) or people? HAH! That method was used way back in folklore and today is scientifically called mental-telepathy… a practice forever and at this point based strictly in theory and conjecture. 😉

        Attracting or interesting Believer visitation and contributing? I won’t hold my breath on it because of two main reasons:

        1) We, you and your blog Nan, and 71% plus of the world is ‘Satan’s playground.’ That’s very very intimidating and scary for many Believers.

        2) Those same Believers usually do not possess stoic, acute wit, and composure — similar to their Christ/Savior in the gospels — to demonstrate unwavering “faith” in their God’s abilities and will to use them intelligently in Satan’s world/arena.

        But we can still hope they won’t be so scared AND exhibit stoic respect in the face of Satan’s minions. 😛 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I found this on a blog.
    http://www.clockbackward.com/2009/06/28/does-science-contradict-christianity/

    1. Evolution Vs. Adam and Eve

    Scientists, supported by enormous amounts of evidence (including transitions in the fossil record, DNA similarities between species, experimentally induced evolution in laboratories, observed evolution of bacteria, and empirically validated prediction based in theory) argue that all life on earth evolved from microorganisms. On the other hand, according to the biblical story in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:

    a. God created plants (on the third day) prior to creating the sun and the moon (on the fourth day).

    b. God created birds (on the fifth day) prior to creating land dwelling mammals (on the sixth day).

    c. God created the first man from “dust of the ground”.

    d. God created the first woman after the first man from the first man’s rib.

    Each of these statements, when read literally, contradicts the available physical evidence, and hence is inconsistent with the scientific viewpoint.

    Liked by 4 people

    • But Ark … few Christians have ever read the bible so literally. They just skim over the words, never really thinking about them. Then, if and when they are asked, they simply give the interpretation that’s been provided by their leaders. I know I never dissected it when I was a believer. It wasn’t until I left the faith (or should I say “the church”? Certainly not the “science”) that I began to actually think about what I was reading.

      I list several examples of contradictions in my book, but I didn’t see them at all when I was “serving Christ.” A couple that stood out to me were about who killed Goliath. For anyone so inclined, see 1 Samuel 17:50 and compare it to 2 Samuel 21:19.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Agreed Ark. As far as I’m concerned, John 17:14-16 and several other passages teach Believers and Faith-followers they are NOT supposed to be utilizing mechanisms and empirical truths consisting of Satan’s realm, Earth, and humanity’s inventions and paradigms. In other words, the entire Bible, both Old Testament and New, clearly teaches/admonishes Believers-Faith-followers this mentality-behavior: separation, be apart, show elitism, segregated, binary prejudice, and so on. To say it another way, they are to make themselves so different they ARE seemingly extra-terrestrial. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • I took a quick look at the blog you linked to. Isn’t it interesting that so many of the people who commented didn’t have any kind of identifying link to a blog or personal info? IMO, incognito is a cop-out. BTW, I didn’t read them all. Too much of the same-o, same-o. Heard it all before.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Anyone reading through Branyan’s comments will quickly see he never once actually explains anything he asserts, merely makes a statement then continues to repeat it over and over. Maybe he will alter the order of words or add a different adjective here and there, but essentially the initial comment remains the same.

    I would venture that if one were to read over most of the comments he has made on his own as well as other blogs this pattern would likely have been repeated.

    I wonder if this behaviour is indicative of a form of psychosis?

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I didn’t plan to delve into this post to any degree, but after the repeated comments by JB related to “faith,” I decided to offer the following.

    JB, no matter how you try to spin it, “faith” is most often used in relation to religion. In fact, the first definition in many dictionaries runs something like this: A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny.

    Other definitions that fall in line are:

    — Complete confidence in a person or plan, etc
    — An institution to express belief in a divine power
    — Loyalty or allegiance to a cause or a person

    Now you may try and twist the definition related to “complete confidence in … a plan” to validate your claims. But as many have pointed out, NO scientist has “complete confidence” in any action they take. Based on their observations/experiences, they may have strong feelings about something, but the “confidence” level won’t be borne out until after they have run experiments.

    In other words, you are simply incorrect in your assertions that faith and science are compatible. A person may believe (accept as true, be confident about) a certain thing, but this is NOT the same as having “faith.” The word, for all intents and purposes, is DIRECTLY related to religion.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I thought personal opinion was what you were asking for?

    And if you agree with both premises, why do I need to find MORE support from other sources?

    I’m starting to think there may be some bias against me personally. 🙂

    Like

    • Certainly personal opinion enters into the discussion. But the point I’m making is several others have provided more than just “personal opinion.” They have given reasons why they believe as they do. You just make a statement and then continue to repeat it (with slight modifications) over and over.

      I can assure you there is NO bias against you personally. The only bias (if you want to call it that) is against your lack of reasoned responses.

      If all you have is “personal opinion,” then perhaps you need to qualify your comments as such.

      One other thing … if you’re going to participate in discussions on my blog that involve your religious leanings, I can guarantee you’re in for a fight … so you’d better be prepared with more than “personal opinion.” 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I see.

        I believe faith and science are compatible because many great scientists from history have been people of faith. The scientific method was developed, in part, by people who reasoned that God was orderly and creation might reflect a divine rationality.

        To date, there have been no scientific discoveries that contradict this notion.

        Like

  15. OK. I think this subject has gone as far as it’s going to go. Many of you have presented valid arguments for your POV while others have, well …

    Anyway, another day … another time. Thanks for contributing.

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