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Kerry A. Shirts

Is Mormonism And Science Compatible? Attn Bcspace

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What happensa when they don't work, or work poorly? It means that the science is correct, up to a point.

Agreed entirely! But, and here is the kicker, science progressively works on improvements and accomplishes them through time. Yes, there are indeed failures, sometimes of magnificent proportions, but these do not prove science does not work, it proves we have more work to get rid of the errors. There is no dogmatic final say so by a hierarchy in science. It is democratic and all people can be involved and test ANY OF IT in the wide open, and publish, and have peer review, and video every experiment, etc. This is why it works and why it is self correcting. No scientist can ever say with validity, "I have finally achieved the truth, God has told me my experiment is the final one, and all must now agree with me, and if you don't get the same results, you must have faith, because God has confirmed MY experiment."

No. There is no hierarchy, no authoritarian submission to dogma and doctrine. It is always open, always improving, always finding better ways. This is its pure power.

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God's job is not to "teach us the truth"- his job is to help us become the best humans we can become. THAT is his work and glory.

GRIN! Tell THAT to the prophets!

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BCSpace said:

The scriptural injunction (D&C 88:78-79 for example) to seek learning and knowledge about secular things puts the Church's stamp of approval on science. They will never be in a state of conflict.

Kerry notes:

This is fundamentally illogical to the core. Just because we are taught to learn science, does not automatically prove then that there will never be contradictions. As point of fact, Victor J. Stenger, along with many other scientists have concluded because of the knowledge we have acquired about the cosmos to this date that "the pieces of our universe fell into the places where they are, not because of a guiding hand and a grand design, but through mere accident." (Stenger, "God and the Folly of Faith," p. 193). You go right ahead and try to convince us that this IS compatible with Mormon doctrine.

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Science discovers truths because it does not use God as one of its hypotheses. It doesn't depart from God's truth, it observes, collects, sorts, arranges, and interprets data from the physical world and thus comes to truth so far as is testable and in evidence. It has fundamentally NOTHING to do with God in any manner, so it can't depart from a truth from God.

Science discovers truth *inspite* of not including God into the equation. In fact my very point you were trying to rebuttal is founded upon the fact that science does not "use God as one of its hypothesis". For example: I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my Savior. How do I know that? Simply put, God told me with His own voice. I know this is true and an absolute truth. However, there is not a single scientific test in the entire universe which can support the truth that a) Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world or b) that I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my personal Savior because God told me so. Science absolutely cannot refute either claim but it cannot support it through the scientific method.

Let's bringf this to evolution. If God used evolution to creat man. I'm fine with that. And the glory be to God. If God, and this is my personal belief, created man rapidly and suddenly. Than fine. Glory be to God. If God created man and manlike creatures, than fine, glory be to God. None of this defies the LDS Church's official position that the first human male and the first human female were created divinly and for divine purposes. ergo; LDS theology is quite compatible to evolution. Or not evolution. It doesn't matter.

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But the model tells us that we are to become the "best" humans we can be. Many see being "self-actualized" as defining what is the highest humans can become. This is not a "religious" viewpoint but a secular one, but notice how closely it follows the religious model:

http://en.wikipedia....f-actualization

I am sure one could indeed see such a person as one who is spiritually admirable, even if possibly an unbeliever.

How does one teach a child to be the "best" human? By being taught exactly what is right and wrong and making sure she does what is right, or by teaching correct principles and letting her guide herself?

Do we learn best by making mistakes, or by someone giving us all the answers and letting us figure it out for ourselves?

I submit that indeed the best way is to teach correct principles and let the child make mistakes and govern itself, to coin a phrase. ;)

So based on that, suppose we are to create a model for a god who's is himself a self-actualized ideal human- in far one who is far beyond what we presently call self-actualization (we can even pretend he is an alien if that helps!) and let us also suppose that he wants to teach others to become self-actualized as he is. After all, if we want to produce ideal humans, we need to teach ideal behavior right- that they become the best they can become, or perhaps call it "fill the measure of their creation and have joy therein"? ;)

Does he give them all the answers to the test or does he let them work it out for themselves, making mistakes and knowing good from evil, right from wrong?

I would suggest that it would be totally impossible to become "self-actualized" if indeed we never experienced any of these principles ourselves.

How do you teach a teen-ager about money? You give her advice, and make her go out and get a job and work for it, and yes, make mistakes with her own money so it hurts a little when such mistakes are made.

What you don't do is give her all the money she wants and let her do whatever she wants with your riches. That does anything but teach responsibility and self-actualization.

So why then have any faith in God and pray at all for anything? Churches have ALWAYS taught us to RELY ON GOD. I am in fundamental agreement with you on this incidentally. But where does that leave any purpose at all for God in our lives?

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Science discovers truth *inspite* of not including God into the equation. In fact my very point you were trying to rebuttal is founded upon the fact that science does not "use God as one of its hypothesis". For example: I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my Savior. How do I know that? Simply put, God told me with His own voice. I know this is true and an absolute truth. However, there is not a single scientific test in the entire universe which can support the truth that a) Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world or b) that I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my personal Savior because God told me so. Science absolutely cannot refute either claim but it cannot support it through the scientific method.

Let's bringf this to evolution. If God used evolution to creat man. I'm fine with that. And the glory be to God. If God, and this is my personal belief, created man rapidly and suddenly. Than fine. Glory be to God. If God created man and manlike creatures, than fine, glory be to God. None of this defies the LDS Church's official position that the first human male and the first human female were created divinly and for divine purposes. ergo; LDS theology is quite compatible to evolution. Or not evolution. It doesn't matter.

So 2 + 2 can equal 4. And that's fine. But 2 + 2 can equal 56.501. And you're fine with that. Such blatant contradictions ought to at least cause you to be alert to the possibility that you want your cake and eat it too, but you cannot.

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GRIN! Tell THAT to the prophets!

Well it seems to me that at least one of them actually came up with those words. I think his name was Joseph or something like that.

But of course we are all just men, some more inspired than others, bumbling through and doing our best.

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As Nibley was fond of saying, science studies the stage, whereas religion (non-speculative historical religion, anyway) is a record of the actors and the play itself. mfbukowski is exactly right in saying that it is the Neoplatonic conception of a bodiless abstraction of a God that has died. That's why Mormonism is so important: it is one of the few religions that has not been assimilated into that immaterialist view of "spirituality" which has become so common. As Robert F. Smith points out, Mormonism is opposed to supernaturalism; as Brigham Young said, there is no such thing as a miracle, except to those who do not understand (with the caveat that we are currently among those who sometimes do not understand). He also noted that our religion is just good ol' natural philosophy, and that any philosopher, so far as they had truth, are "Mormons", because "Mormonism" itself accepts truth from wherever it may come from.

So I think the problem here is the conflation of scientific and historical epistemologies. History as a discipline is not amenable to reproducible experimentation. It's not a scientific field. What history studies is the historical actors. We cannot reproduce a given God in a laboratory, specifically because Gods are historical agents. The only "evidence" for the Gods of the Divine Council are the historical witnesses -- the Messengers -- who have given us knowledge and testimonies of the other worlds.

Here's a hypothetical: in the age of exploration, a ship is marooned on an island far from the motherland. There are not enough resources for the colonists to make a return trip on their own power, but they were able to send a message back home at the last port they visited. The motherland realizes that the ship is lost, and they finally send out a rescue party. But it takes so long that in the meantime, the people shipwrecked in the colony start having kids. The kids, lacking the first-hand knowledge of the old world that their parents have, have to "take it on faith" that someone out there is coming to reconnect with them. There is no way, with their limited means, to be able to see with their own eyes that this historical story is true. There is no way to reproduce through experimentation the historical context they find themselves in. But this story can shape their lives if they believe it and take it into their hearts.

If God is not the omniscient, omnipresent abstraction that traditional Christianity has posited, then there are limits to what He and the rest of the Divine Council can do. There are worlds without number to save; a God can't be physically-present in every one of them at all times simultaneously. What a God can do is leave a message; the Word, the Gospel, the Good-Story. If a God simply shows up and teaches us the truth to one generation, then unless He stays on that world, He'd have to do the same for the next. In the meantime, other people in other worlds are not in His direct presence. So instead, He leaves us with the Plan of Salvation. That's why the Temple is so important as the Binding place; in a hierocentric state, the memory of the Old World is preserved as the central hub of the colony and is available to every succeeding generation.

Since God is a historical actor (just as every human is), there is no way to reproduce His presence in a lab unless He consents to visit one. There is no way, with our limited means here, to verify the story of the Plan of Salvation. That's why faith in things we hope for and yet cannot see is so important. We have been told that the purpose of the Gods of the Divine Council is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, and we have been similarly charged with being the Saviors of humanity lest we become as salt that has lost its savor. This means that whether the Gods exist or not, our actions should be comparable; in Mormonism, humanism is theology, which is why we should be focused on science and technology and medicine regardless of what other Intelligences who have gone before us are doing.

Think of how much progress we've made in science and medicine merely in the past three hundred years. Now recall that the universe is billions of years old. I think that gives us enough time for a more advanced Intelligence to have come to a more advanced understanding than we have here. That doesn't mean that "intelligent design" is necessary; on the contrary, Joseph Smith was adamant that God himself could not create Himself. The problem is that Intelligent Design is still drinking in from that same view of the universe as traditional Christianity. Since Mormonism says that all things are spiritual and eternal, it radically reframes the debate. There was no "first cause" God; a "designer" is not necessary for emergent phenomena. Actors simply exist. At the same time, humans are intelligent, and humans can design things, not by magically creating something from nothing, but rather by harnessing preexisting natural conditions and shaping them to fulfill our purposes.

And it's in that space between preexisting conditions and purposive causation that we find both religion and history. You can visit a preexisting tree or you can plant one; there is no way for a stranger to tell, merely by looking at a tree in a field, whether it is "there for a reason"; the stranger has no way of reproducing the historical circumstances that led to the "creation" of that particular tree, though they can generalize about how trees grow and evolve. On the other hand, someone who lives in the area can give the stranger a diary recording the day that their great-great-great-grandpa went out and planted the tree, but that doesn't prove it really happened, even if it is a plausible account which is not contradicted by available evidence.

Despite the names we've attached to separate "religion" from "humanism", the Mormon worldview rather suggests evolution and a humanistic worldview to me -- though as far as I can see, neither NeoDarwinian evolution through natural selection in a punctuated equilibrium nor "Intelligent Design" seem to account for nearly as much evidence as panspermia/Cosmic Ancestry does. Still, if God is an exalted Man, that implies a biology to me. The New Testament says Christ ate roasted fish; that seems, again, pretty biological to me. The Gods are humanlike (primates, animals), but apparently senescence has been halted in them; see Cambridge's Aubrey de Grey's biogerontology work. Worlds without number are not the immaterial abstractions of other spiritual systems; they are real places; the main stumbling block we have now is travel between them.

But all that isn't the same as having faith in the historical actors in order to give our lives here a cohesive meaning. Having faith in God is like having faith in your family and friends and neighbors and communities. We generally don't wait around until these people have consented to being experimentally verified for us. If they go on a long trip and we don't see them again until our kids are grown up, does that mean we're wrong to tell our kids stories of the Golden Age when we were all together? Does it make our kids naive or stupid to take it on faith that we really did once have contact with other historical agents that they've never seen in their lives? Do they have to fly apart like glass if it turns out that our memory is faulty and in the story we wrote down for them in our diaries we got the dates or spelling of names mixed up? Not at all. And in the meantime, both the long-separated friends and the kids are both working to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life" of humanity through further reproducible experimentation and medicine and technology.

There is no conflict with science and religion and history; the many, many places where they do not provide perfectly consistent and reconcilable pictures is simply evidence that the linguistic constructions we have used to communicate them are not perfect. But since there is no such thing as "perfection" in the sense that it is usually used, that's hardly a surprise. Insofar as we seek wisdom, we'll be corrected from time to time.

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BCSpace said:

The scriptural injunction (D&C 88:78-79 for example) to seek learning and knowledge about secular things puts the Church's stamp of approval on science. They will never be in a state of conflict.

Kerry notes:

This is fundamentally illogical to the core. Just because we are taught to learn science, does not automatically prove then that there will never be contradictions. As point of fact, Victor J. Stenger, along with many other scientists have concluded because of the knowledge we have acquired about the cosmos to this date that "the pieces of our universe fell into the places where they are, not because of a guiding hand and a grand design, but through mere accident." (Stenger, "God and the Folly of Faith," p. 193). You go right ahead and try to convince us that this IS compatible with Mormon doctrine.

Well, of course, if your version of Mormonism is evangelical and creedal, there is nothing more to be said. In such case, you have predestined the LDS faith to failure on a logical basis. But that version of Mormonism which you apparently posit is a completely phony version. One would have thought that the "Back Yard Professor" would be further along than that.

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So why then have any faith in God and pray at all for anything? Churches have ALWAYS taught us to RELY ON GOD. I am in fundamental agreement with you on this incidentally. But where does that leave any purpose at all for God in our lives?

His purpose in our lives is to guide and direct us, and BE that "ideal" in our behavior and choice. I experience him as an intelligence guiding me, helping me to make the right choices, and I feel that with great certainty. I can "pray" (meditate? ponder?) a problem and then feel as if intelligence with a "voice" pours the answer into me. It helps me decide what I need to do in virtually every situation.

How do I know that he is "real" and not just my "best self" guiding my unconscious? It really doesn't matter in a Pragmatic sense. I am certain there seems to be an intelligence which exists and speaks to my heart.

Do I "know" that is not part of me?

All I know is that when I access that force, I am happy with my choices, even when things don't turn out as I thought they would. Surprise is always there, and we never know the future. If I don't access that force, I am not happy with my choices and can have regrets.

When I do feel that feeling, I know it will all work out for the best, regardless of what happens. I feel peace inside of me, like all is right with the world and things are as they should be.

Call that what you will. It really doesn't matter what it is. If I knew for sure, it wouldn't require faith. What I call it is the Holy Ghost guiding and directing me. Regardless, I am absolutely certain that it happens.

Edited by mfbukowski

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So why then have any faith in God and pray at all for anything? Churches have ALWAYS taught us to RELY ON GOD. I am in fundamental agreement with you on this incidentally. But where does that leave any purpose at all for God in our lives?

I don't know about yours, but my Church teaches me to "Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!" We're not here so that God can change our diapers for us. We are being tested, and everything depends on what we do as individuals and as a people. We do no favors for our children if we forever cross the street with them holding their hands. At some point we are on our own, and only thus can we learn anything. Or do you believe in easy grading, Professor?

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Agreed entirely! But, and here is the kicker, science progressively works on improvements and accomplishes them through time. Yes, there are indeed failures, sometimes of magnificent proportions, but these do not prove science does not work, it proves we have more work to get rid of the errors. There is no dogmatic final say so by a hierarchy in science. It is democratic and all people can be involved and test ANY OF IT in the wide open, and publish, and have peer review, and video every experiment, etc. This is why it works and why it is self correcting. No scientist can ever say with validity, "I have finally achieved the truth, God has told me my experiment is the final one, and all must now agree with me, and if you don't get the same results, you must have faith, because God has confirmed MY experiment."

No. There is no hierarchy, no authoritarian submission to dogma and doctrine. It is always open, always improving, always finding better ways. This is its pure power.

What do you think continuous revelation, line upon line, is if not striving towards, and progressively working on, improvements?

BTW, you seem constantly to be talking about some abstract power or movement called "science." In real life, science is just as plagued by authoritarian submission to dogma; by personal ambitions or ploitics; and fears and prejudices as religion is.

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So 2 + 2 can equal 4. And that's fine. But 2 + 2 can equal 56.501. And you're fine with that. Such blatant contradictions ought to at least cause you to be alert to the possibility that you want your cake and eat it too, but you cannot.

You made no point whatsoevber. All you did was created an exaggerated example of absurdity and said i'm OK with it. I thin this is exactly what Kevin Christensen said about story telling in his #27 post:

But telling that story involves the principles of story telling: selecting plot, background, context, assignment of antagonists, protagonists, which events to mention, and which to ignore.

All you're trying to do here, it seems, is to tell a story. Good luck with that. If you want to actually explore ideas and evolve your own, let me know.

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Evolution for starters is not about design or purpose. There is no direction, no intent, and no reason, it just happens.

This is pure philosophical, if not metaphysical speculation, not science. It is scientism. Nothing in the raw observational and experimental data taken from the natural world, from the fossil record to contemporary genetics, leads in any inferentially strong way to this grand, sweeping, gnostic insight regarding the ultimate ground of evolutionary processes, which are themselves grounded in the underlying laws of nature.

In the first instance, there is no such thing as pure, unmediated, transcendental randomness. The term "random" is a linguistic placeholder we use when a phenomenon is so fantastically complex, interrelated, and dynamic that scientific observation and experiment cannot discern the cause-effect relations within those processes. We do not, and cannot, see them - quantify or classify them - and so we say something is "random."

This all implies that Kerry Shirts, or anyone else, would know what would count as evidence that God had done a substantial degree of designing, tuning, and mediating of evolutionary processes, or that, given this philosophically primitive positivest mindset, would be capable of perceiving it as such were it to be made starkly obvious.

What Kerry is calling "random" is simply that which is complex beyond empirical comprehension, and the underlying, dare I say, ontological foundations of what we perceive with our senses and through the useful but narrow and truncated prism of empirical science, may not be at all apparent if that prism and that prism alone is taken as the core perceptual lens through which we experience the universe. Perceived through that prism alone, the world appears - of course - just as that prism presents it. Those who become stranded within that perceptual reference frame will halt their eternal progression decisively in this mortal probationary state.

Edited by ShawFanX

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If religion cannot account for every single particle in the universe, then they cannot postulate God?

You haven't read Orson Pratt, apparently. He addresses this. He says that God is every particle in the universe.

Show me in any way whatsoever your thinking here is realistic. So you think science cannot preclude God? It can do so with utter ease, and without your silly tap dancing dodge. SHOW *ANY* physical evidence that God exists. THAT is how science works, through physical evidence, not faith alone when answers are not available. Science does not have to prove ANYTHING about ANY particle to demonstrate the claim that God exists is false. All it asks is one piece of undeniably evidential proof that God exists. And it has to be legitimate, not quackery. What physical evidence can you present for the world to see that proves God exists BCSpace? THAT is all science has to do, not this silliness you dream up from who knows where. ONE piece of PHYSICAL evidence that God is real. The claim God exists HAS to have proof, or it can and ought to be dismissed without evidence. Science can CERTAINLY show that the universe is made up of particles and sub atomic particles though. Science CERTAINLY can show HOW matter behaves in the Newtonian world of physics. Science CAN show the statistical probabilities of matter on the quantum level of physics. We KNOW based on physical evidence particles are real. Can God pass the same muster?

As Jesus told his disciples, they would never come to know Him until he died and let the Holy Spirit do the work. (John 16:7.)

The essential conflict between "science," as you call it, and "religion" as you call it was the conflict in the New Testament between life and the resurrection (or raising people from teh dead). The resurrection is not verifiable by science, yet it has been done and has been attested to by witnesses.

But, for the same reason the "Big Bang" essentially describes a creation event, so is God undoubtedly "science." "What is truth?"

Edited by Bob Crockett

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Kerry A. Shirts, on 20 July 2012 - 11:31 PM, said:

. . . It is seriously suspicious when a church claiming and members believing that God is in daily communication with his prophets that they don't do like Joseph Smith and ask about it, . . . I mean, it's not the Spirit of God communicating with the saints daily through prayer that all this KNOWLEDGE is coming from, . . .

------------------------------------------

Kerry A. Shirts, on July 21 2012 - 04:45 PM

Show me in any way whatsoever your thinking here is realistic. . . . SHOW *ANY* physical evidence that God exists. THAT is how science works, through physical evidence, not faith alone when answers are not available. . . . All it asks is one piece of undeniably evidential proof that God exists. And it has to be legitimate, not quackery. What physical evidence can you present for the world to see that proves God exists . . . .not this silliness you dream up from who knows where. ONE piece of PHYSICAL evidence that God is real. The claim God exists HAS to have proof, or it can and ought to be dismissed without evidence. Science can CERTAINLY show that the universe is made up of particles and sub atomic particles though. Science CERTAINLY can show HOW matter behaves in the Newtonian world of physics. Science CAN show the statistical probabilities of matter on the quantum level of physics. We KNOW based on physical evidence particles are real. Can God pass the same muster?

. . . this is NOT the best we could have were God actually interested in teaching us truth as we have been told. The easiest way for God to get the word out is not how he has been trying to for thousands of years (and we STILL think he already KNOWS what is going to happen?), since that obviously has totally FAILED, but for God to simply come and tell us all. I see no unreasonable or philosophical or social reason why God could not do so. Obviously, he simply doesn't think it is at all crucial for us to have truth about him/her/it as we think he does. Even our politicians are far and away more savvy than God is at getting the word out of what they are all about, they go on WORLD WIDE television! They make sure that the MAJORITY of people UNDERSTAND them. God obviously doesn't do this, hence all the vast confusion in the world about God. The easiest and best way for God to teach us the truth is simply to show up and teach us the truth. DUH!

Of course you are quite wrong here in a host of ways, but let me concentrate on merely one issue: Epistemology

How does science determine fact, or confirm a theory? Often it has to be done through extrapolation from known, measurable phenomena. For example, scientists cannot directly measure or understand the composition of the vast majority of whatever it is that the universe is made of, Dark Matter & Dark Energy. So how do we know they even exist? By extrapolation from known facts.

The same applies to an understanding of the existence of "God" (in the special Mormon rather than conventional sense): We cannot confirm his existence by objective means, but we can extrapolate from known science. The Book of Mormon, for example, is an artifact which is claimed through a set of preposterous circumstances to have been brought forth in 1827. So absurd are those circumstances that many people (including scientists) will not even give it the time of day. However, since it is a lengthy book with many claims made within it, it is immediately subject to scientific/scholarly testing to ascertain its true nature. If it turns out to be historically authentic, then that is a powerful indicator of the existence of the Mormon "God." If not, why bother to believe. Not a new suggestion, but a true one nevertheless.

The principle which is operative here is that the very plausibility or probability of the Book of Mormon being authentic is so remote, that it is all the more powerful in its testimony when it is shown to be probable -- since absolute proof is both unnecessary and out of the question. (cf. Bayes' Theorem).

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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Uttrerly preposterous BCSpace. IF we CANNOT account for every single particle (hey. lets throw in sub atomic particles while we are at it shall we?) then there is NO WAY to account for computers working......yet THEY DO WORK because science is CORRECT. So do we also put in your ridiculously stringent thinking to God as well then? If religion cannot account for every single particle in the universe, then they cannot postulate God? Show me in any way whatsoever your thinking here is realistic. So you think science cannot preclude God? It can do so with utter ease, and without your silly tap dancing dodge. SHOW *ANY* physical evidence that God exists. THAT is how science works, through physical evidence, not faith alone when answers are not available. Science does not have to prove ANYTHING about ANY particle to demonstrate the claim that God exists is false. All it asks is one piece of undeniably evidential proof that God exists. And it has to be legitimate, not quackery. What physical evidence can you present for the world to see that proves God exists BCSpace? THAT is all science has to do, not this silliness you dream up from who knows where. ONE piece of PHYSICAL evidence that God is real. The claim God exists HAS to have proof, or it can and ought to be dismissed without evidence. Science can CERTAINLY show that the universe is made up of particles and sub atomic particles though. Science CERTAINLY can show HOW matter behaves in the Newtonian world of physics. Science CAN show the statistical probabilities of matter on the quantum level of physics. We KNOW based on physical evidence particles are real. Can God pass the same muster?

Kerry, why are you ranting? Why all the caps? Why the appearance of a semi-unhinged fire breathing Protestant fundamentalist on the tent and sawdust trail? So have you pretty much left the Church now in a decisive manner, and are back among the apologists seeking converts to your nouveau religion?

Edited by ShawFanX

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Unfortunately, this is what can happen when science is wrenched and torn out of its proper sphere and deployed as a religion in its own right. Kerry is using the term KNOW, over and over again, in areas where the terms "believe," "theory," "hypothesis," and "evidence" would be much more appropriate. Kerry is grossly exaggerating what science is capable of doing, as well as what it has done - the many times its been dead wrong and had to be corrected, even against relentless hostility from academic and professional peers.

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Neutrality is an admission that you DON'T KNOW what to make of it.

you mean, it is one of the implications of neutrality, not the only, or even the default meaning.

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Kerry, why are you ranting? Why all the caps? Why the appearance of a semi-unhinged fire breathing Protestant fundamentalist on the tent and sawdust trail? So have you pretty much left the Church now in a decisive manner, and are back among the apologists seeking converts to your nouveau religion?

Unfortunately, this is what can happen when science is wrenched and torn out of its proper sphere and deployed as a religion in its own right. Kerry is using the term KNOW, over and over again, in areas where the terms "believe," "theory," "hypothesis," and "evidence" would be much more appropriate. Kerry is grossly exaggerating what science is capable of doing, as well as what it has done - the many times its been dead wrong and had to be corrected, even against relentless hostility from academic and professional peers.

Kerry is obviously having a bad day. Normally he is very rational and a darn nice guy. This turnabout could happen to anybody. So go easy on him, and don't run him out on a rail just yet. He'll be his old self soon.

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What do you think continuous revelation, line upon line, is if not striving towards, and progressively working on, improvements?

BTW, you seem constantly to be talking about some abstract power or movement called "science." In real life, science is just as plagued by authoritarian submission to dogma; by personal ambitions or ploitics; and fears and prejudices as religion is.

Of course it is, but that is precisely why it being PUBLIC is self correcting. There is no authoritarian hierarchy who dishes out the knowledge and proclaiming that all must follow them and obey their teachings. Yes scientists can be extremely dogmatic and authoritarian, but they cannot get away with it for long, because other scientists the world over can refute them with no fear of retribution of an eternal hell or something. It all truly does come out of the wash in spite of them wanting dogmatism. This is why scientific knowledge works so well in all areas.

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For a bit of comic relief.

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Unfortunately, this is what can happen when science is wrenched and torn out of its proper sphere and deployed as a religion in its own right. Kerry is using the term KNOW, over and over again, in areas where the terms "believe," "theory," "hypothesis," and "evidence" would be much more appropriate. Kerry is grossly exaggerating what science is capable of doing, as well as what it has done - the many times its been dead wrong and had to be corrected, even against relentless hostility from academic and professional peers.

The irony of you using science (your computer) to say science has not done as much as I have noted is indeed fascinating to me. Pray tell, do you drive a car too? Telephone, ipad or ipod? fax? In an office building? Watch television? Get information on the internet which the entire rest of the world does, and which science is literally getting rid of dictators which religion has failed to do? Wherein have I over exaggerated science accomplishments? The only reason we have an inkling of what the universe is really like is not because we read the Book of Abraham cosmology which bros Peterson, Hamblin, and Gee have shown was the ancient and incorrect geocentric view, (gee, why doesn't God ever just tell the facts correctly to man?) but because we use spectral lines in science, hence learning their chemical compositions on their surfaces, the space telescope, giving us a much clearer picture about reality than any vision ever recorded in antiquity or since. The mathematics to learn of the beginning, unfolding, and potential future of the universe, etc. The only reasons we know much about anything these days is not due to prayer, but to science. Not due to religion which keeps rehashing the ancient stuff that is so out of date none of us subscribe to the morality of those people, but to science which has opened up the entire world (literally) to knowledge. Pray tell what accomplishments have religion accomplished besides the wars, bloodshed, genocides and infantcides, and flying of airplanes into buildings recently? The comparison of accomplishment is so lopsided as to be astonishing. The only thing more astonishing is the people who obviously cannot see it for bias and fear of offending someone somewhere. I am simply giving credit where credit is obviously due.

Whenever your next close family member comes down with a serious life threatening illness, just go ahead and use your faith alone to have them healed. Talk to the church and have the congregation pray for them if you wish. Do anything you like EXCEPT use today's science. Go ahead, Show me your faith and instead of relying on science, get healed by faith. No doctors, no medicine, no pain killers. Good luck, yer gonna need it.

And what is the proper sphere of science? Gould's NOMA is obviously incorrect as many scientists have shown. Morality in the religious sphere alone? Not even true. Science can observe people and their interactions and has as much a claim to that sphere as religion ever had. Cosmos? Anytime religion starts talking about creation of space and time and material, science has that sphere also. Healing? Medicine is science's realm, not religions. Reading ancient scripture? Nope, science also belongs in that sphere. Just which spheres does science belong in.

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Kerry, why are you ranting? Why all the caps? Why the appearance of a semi-unhinged fire breathing Protestant fundamentalist on the tent and sawdust trail? So have you pretty much left the Church now in a decisive manner, and are back among the apologists seeking converts to your nouveau religion?

And thank you for the evidence once again that science has shown, mind reading is literally impossible, even for people of faith.......

I was unaware I was ranting. I apologize for any inconvenience with which this might have caused.

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Pray tell what accomplishments have religion accomplished besides the wars, bloodshed, genocides and infantcides, and flying of airplanes into buildings recently?

Writing. You use it.

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