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Posted: 28 March 2014 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I started writing a post about this, but it got too long so I made it a blog. It’s about a debate between Lawrence Krauss and William Lane Craig, in other words religion vs. science. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad that I noticed a lot of parallels between it and our recent discussion in the religions section. It’s good that we are able to have a conversation at a similar level to these two guys but a little bad that this is where the conversation is stuck.

The twenty minute opening remarks by Krauss are worth the watch. He connects the values of science to the problems of religion and why we need science to create a more moral world. I provide some commentary and some suggestions for skipping around the 2 hours of video.

http://www.winter60.blogspot.com/2014/03/burying-religion.html

Interested in your thoughts as always.

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Posted: 27 April 2014 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hmm….

From this wiki here

Science and religion generally pursue knowledge of the universe using different methodologies. Science acknowledges reason, empiricism, and evidence, while religions include revelation, faith and sacredness. Despite these differences, most scientific and technical innovations prior to the Scientific revolution were achieved by societies organized by religious traditions. Much of the scientific method was pioneered first by Islamic scholars, and later by Christians. Hinduism has historically embraced reason and empiricism, holding that science brings legitimate, but incomplete knowledge of the world. Confucian thought has held different views of science over time. Most Buddhists today view science as complementary to their beliefs.

Parallels in method:

Two physicists, Charles A. Coulson and Harold K. Schilling, both claimed that “the methods of science and religion have much in common.” Schilling asserted that both fields—science and religion—have “a threefold structure—of experience, theoretical interpretation, and practical application.” Coulson asserted that science, like religion, “advances by creative imagination” and not by “mere collecting of facts,” while stating that religion should and does “involve critical reflection on experience not unlike that which goes on in science.” Religious language and scientific language also show parallels (cf. Rhetoric of science).

Cooperative:

Scientific and theological perspectives often coexist peacefully. Christians and some Non-Christian religions have historically integrated well with scientific ideas, as in the ancient Egyptian technological mastery applied to monotheistic ends, the flourishing of logic and mathematics under Hinduism and Buddhism, and the scientific advances made by Muslim scholars during the Ottoman empire. Even many 19th-century Christian communities welcomed scientists who claimed that science was not at all concerned with discovering the ultimate nature of reality. According to Lawrence M. Principe, the Johns Hopkins University Drew Professor of the Humanities, from a historical perspective this points out that much of the current-day clashes occur between limited extremists—both religious and scientistic fundamentalists—over a very few topics, and that the movement of ideas back and forth between scientific and theological thought has been more usual.

Buddhism:

Theories of Buddhism and science have been regarded to compatible by numerous sources. Some philosophic and psychological teachings within Buddhism share commonalities with modern Western scientific and philosophic thought. For example, Buddhism encourages the impartial investigation of nature (an activity referred to as Dhamma-Vicaya in the Pali Canon)—the principal object of study being oneself. A reliance on causality. philosophical principles shared between Buddhism and science. However, Buddhism doesn’t focus on materialism.

Christianity:

As science advanced, acceptance of a literal version of the Bible became “increasingly untenable” and some in that period presented ways of interpreting scripture according to its spirit on its authority and truth. Many well-known historical figures who influenced Western science considered themselves Christian such as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Boyle, although Newton would rather fit the term “heretic”.

Islam:

According to most historians, the modern scientific method was first developed by Islamic scientists, pioneered by Ibn Al-Haytham, known to the west as “Alhazen”. Robert Briffault, in The Making of Humanity, asserts that the very existence of science, as it is understood in the modern sense, is rooted in the scientific thought and knowledge that emerged in Islamic civilizations during this time.

Jainism:

Through the ages, Jain philosophers have adamantly rejected and opposed the concept of creator and omnipotent God and this has resulted in Jainism being labeled as nastika darsana or atheist philosophy by the rival religious philosophies. The theme of non-creationism and absence of omnipotent God and divine grace runs strongly in all the philosophical dimensions of Jainism, including its cosmology, karma, moksa and its moral code of conduct. Jainism asserts a religious and virtuous life is possible without the idea of a creator god.

Perspectives from the scientific community:

Albert Einstein

Accordingly, a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance and loftiness of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation. They exist with the same necessity and matter-of-factness as he himself. In this sense religion is the age-old endeavor of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these values and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend their effect. If one conceives of religion and science according to these definitions then a conflict between them appears impossible. For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts. According to this interpretation the well-known conflicts between religion and science in the past must all be ascribed to a misapprehension of the situation which has been described

Studies on scientists’ beliefs:

Many studies have been conducted in the United States and have generally found that scientists are less likely to believe in God than are the rest of the population. Precise definitions and statistics vary, but generally about 1/3 of scientists are atheists, 1/3 agnostic, and 1/3 have some belief in God (although some might be deistic, for example)..

Also:

Two surveys on physicists, geoscientists, biologists, mathematicians, and chemists have noted that, from those specializing in these fields, physicists had lowest percentage of belief in God (29%) while chemists had highest (41%).

And:

Among members of the National Academy of Sciences, only 7.0% expressed personal belief, while 72.2% expressed disbelief and another 20.8% were agnostic concerning the existence of a personal god who answers prayer.

Conflict between science and religion?

In terms of perceptions, most social and natural scientists from 21 American elite universities did not perceive conflict between science and religion, while 36.6% did. However, in the study, scientists who had experienced limited exposure to religion tended to perceive conflict. In the same study they found that nearly one in five atheist scientists who are parents (17%) are part of religious congregations and have attended a religious service more than once in the past year. Some of the reasons for doing so are their scientific identity (wishing to expose their children to all sources of knowledge so they can make up their own minds), spousal influence, and desire for community.

Public perceptions of science:

Findings from the Pew Center note similar findings and also note that the majority of Americans (80-90%) show strong support for scientific research, agree that science makes society and individual’s lives better, and 8 in 10 Americans would be happy if their children were to become scientists. Even strict creationists tend to have very favorable views on science. A study on a national sample of US college students examined whether these students viewed the science / religion relationship as reflecting primarily conflict, collaboration, or independence. The study concluded that the majority of undergraduates in both the natural and social sciences do not see conflict between science and religion. Another finding in the study was that it is more likely for students to move away from a conflict perspective to an independence or collaboration perspective than towards a conflict view.

In the conclusion:

Cross-national studies, which have pooled data on religion and science from 1981-2001, have noted that countries with high religiosity also have stronger faith in science, while less religious countries have more skepticism of the impact of science and technology. The United States is noted there as distinctive because of greater faith in both God and scientific progress. Other research cites the National Science Foundation’s finding that America has more favorable public attitudes towards science than Europe, Russia, and Japan despite differences in levels of religiosity in these cultures.

All the bold added by me.

Surprising, isn’t it?

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Posted: 27 April 2014 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Kkwan;
I won’t get too hooked into this because I’ve covered a lot of it in the “Religion vs Science” thread and I’ve pretty well reached my conclusions. I would be interested in any actual evidence for what you’re saying, like, “Even many 19th-century Christian communities welcomed scientists who claimed that science was not at all concerned with discovering the ultimate nature of reality.” What communities? And it sounds like a conditional welcome, much like what the Pope said in the 13th century, that is, go ahead and do science, just stay away from “ultimate” reality, i.e. God.

Buddhism and Confucianism can be left out of this, since they are non-supernatural philosophies. I’m well aware of Al-Haytham and science in Baghdad. The important part of that story is how that Golden Age came to an end with Al-Ghazali.

The second half your post is all opinion, and really irrelevant to the debate. The key to your argument is “religions have historically integrated well with scientific ideas”, but that ignores that religion or some kind of myth developed with almost all early civilizations. Separating them and understanding which is cause and which is affect is almost impossible. What is traceable are laws and norms and how they were enforced and philosophies that challenged them and changed them. Show me anything that demonstrates what happened to technology as Rome fell, or as the Muslim Empire weakened and what was said and done to bring technology back.

The best you’ve got is that people who called themselves religious were part of the change. But you don’t show how the principles of those religions led to the principles of science.

Edited: a couple words were left out

[ Edited: 28 April 2014 12:09 PM by Lausten ]
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Posted: 28 April 2014 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Checking your Einstein quote for context, I read the full article. It’s a bit clunky at times because I don’t always agree with his definition of religion. Also, he had never experienced the fundamentalists like we have now and this article does not address them. If we are talking about religion as a general sense of wonder for the universe, what he says makes some sense, but that’s the problem, religion is not just the pure and beautiful reaction to being alive and sentient. Looking at his closing words:

But whoever has undergone the intense experience of successful advances made in this (scientific) domain is moved by profound reverence for the rationality made manifest in existence. By way of the understanding he achieves a far-reaching emancipation from the shackles of personal hopes and desires, and thereby attains that humble attitude of mind toward the grandeur of reason incarnate in existence, and which, in its profoundest depths, is inaccessible to man. This attitude, however, appears to me to be religious, in the highest sense of the word. And so it seems to me that science not only purifies the religious impulse of the dross of its anthropomorphism but also contributes to a religious spiritualization of our understanding of life.

The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge. In this sense I believe that the priest must become a teacher if he wishes to do justice to his lofty educational mission.

He assumes mankind is advancing toward a more enlightened society, one not based on fear and blind faith, one that strives after rational knowledge. He shows how scientific discovery leads to humility “toward the grandeur of reason”. For Einstein, religion is that which is inaccessible but can be envisioned. This approach “purifies” religion.

If religion, any religion, would recognize this need for purification, the need to shed its dogma rather than worship it, then I might accept some of your analysis. But I have looked and not found a sincere effort to do this anywhere. And when it is attempted by the leaders, it is not embraced by the followers.

[ Edited: 28 April 2014 12:44 PM by Lausten ]
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Posted: 30 April 2014 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Lausten - 27 April 2014 11:54 AM

Kkwan;
I won’t get too hooked into this because I’ve covered a lot of it in the “Religion vs Science” thread and I’ve pretty well reached my conclusions. I would be interested in any actual evidence for what you’re saying, like, “Even many 19th-century Christian communities welcomed scientists who claimed that science was not at all concerned with discovering the ultimate nature of reality.” What communities? And it sounds like a conditional welcome, much like what the Pope said in the 13th century, that is, go ahead and do science, just stay away from “ultimate” reality, i.e. God.

Without prejudice, as I am irreligious, from the wiki

here

Unlike conservative varieties of Christianity, or Orthodox Christianity (whether one speaks here of Catholicism, Protestantism, or the Eastern Churches), liberalism began with no unified set of propositional beliefs. Instead, “liberalism” from the start embraced the methodologies of Enlightenment science as the basis for interpreting the Bible, life, faith and theology. Consequently, liberal Christianity almost immediately rejected tenets of Christianity having to do with supernaturalism and divine intervention in history.

Does science have a ethical core?

It has been argued that the supposition that modern science had an ethical core was undermined by events such as WWI and WWII, where the most scientifically advanced civilizations devastated one another and carried out massive war crimes.

Interpretation of the Bible:

Liberal Christianity looks upon the Bible as a collection of narratives that explain, epitomize, or symbolize the essence and significance of Christian understanding. Thus, most liberal Christians do not regard the Bible as inerrant, but believe Scripture to be “inspired” in the same way a poem is said to be “inspired” and passed down by humans.

I am not defending Christianity, but it is a fact that not all Christians are bigots.

The second half your post is all opinion, and really irrelevant to the debate. The key to your argument is “religions have historically integrated well with scientific ideas”, but that ignores that religion or some kind of myth developed with almost all early civilizations. Separating them and understanding which is cause and which is affect is almost impossible. What is traceable are laws and norms and how they were enforced and philosophies that challenged them and changed them. Show me anything that demonstrates what happened to technology as Rome fell, or as the Muslim Empire weakened and what was said and done to bring technology back.

The best you’ve got is that people who called themselves religious were part of the change. But you don’t show how the principles of those religions led to the principles of science.

It was not my opinion as they were all quotations from the wiki. What was interesting in the wiki is that we cannot disentangle philosophy, science and religion in the historical context of any human civilization.

IOW, all three developed, evolved and interacted together, for better or for worse.

FWIW, from this wiki here

Roger Bacon:

Roger Bacon (c.1214–1294): He was an English philosopher who emphasized empiricism and has been presented as one of the earliest advocates of the modern scientific method. He joined the Franciscan Order around 1240, where he was influenced by Grosseteste. Bacon was responsible for making the concept of “laws of nature” widespread, and contributed in such areas as mechanics, geography and, most of all, optics.

William of Ockham:

William of Ockham (c.1285–c.1350): He was an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher. He is a major figure of medieval thought and was at the center of the major intellectual and political controversies of his time. Commonly known for Occam’s razor, the scientific/methodological principle of parsimony that contributed to theory choice in the scientific method, he also produced significant works on logic, physics, and theology.

Jean Buridan:

Jean Buridan (c.1300–c.1358): He was a Catholic priest and one of the most influential philosophers of the later Middle Ages. He developed the theory of impetus, which was an important step toward the modern concept of inertia.

Nicholas of Cusa:

Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464): Catholic cardinal and theologian who made contributions to the field of mathematics by developing the concepts of the infinitesimal and of relative motion. His philosophical speculations also anticipated Copernicus’ heliocentric world-view.

Nicholaus Copernicus:

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543): Catholic canon who introduced a heliocentric world view. In 1616, in connection with the Galileo affair, this work was forbidden by the Church “until corrected”. Nine sentences representing heliocentricism as certain had to be either omitted or changed. This done, the reading of the book was allowed.

Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Gottfried Leibniz, Issac Newton, Thomas Bayes, Emanuel Swedenborg, Carolus Linnaeus, Leonhard Euler, Daniel Bernoulli,
Antoine Lavoisier, Luigi Galvani, Joseph Priestley, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, Alessandro Volta,
Jean-Babtiste Lamarck, Andre Marie Ampere, John Dalton, Bernard Bolzano, George Boole, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, James Clerk maxwell, Gregor Mendel, Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann, James Prescott Joule, Heinrich Hertz, Louis Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Henri Becquerel, Georg Cantor, Lord Rayleigh, Dimitri Ergorov, Arthur Eddington, John Ambrose Flemming, Max Planck, Arthur Compton, Georges Lamaitre, Lise Meitner, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Werner Heisenberg, Wernher von Braun, Kurt Godel, Alonzo Church etc.

[ Edited: 30 April 2014 09:21 AM by kkwan ]
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Posted: 30 April 2014 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Lausten - 28 April 2014 12:38 PM

If religion, any religion, would recognize this need for purification, the need to shed its dogma rather than worship it, then I might accept some of your analysis. But I have looked and not found a sincere effort to do this anywhere. And when it is attempted by the leaders, it is not embraced by the followers.

From the same article:

Cosmic religion?

Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

Religious geniuses?

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

No definite notion of a God?

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.

Was Einstein a taoist?

From this IEP article here

Is Daoism a philosophy or a religion?

The agenda that provoked Westerners to separate philosophy and religion, dating at least to the classical Greek period of philosophy was not part of the preoccupation of Daoists. Accordingly, the question whether Daoism is a philosophy or a religion is not one we can ask without imposing a set of understandings, presuppositions, and qualifications that do not apply to Daoism. But this is not a reason to discount the importance of Daoist thought. Quite to the contrary, it may be one of the most significant ideas classical Daoism can contribute to the study of philosophy in the present age.

Fundamental concepts:

The term Dao means a road, and is often translated as “the Way.” This is because sometimes dao is used as a nominative (that is, “the dao”) and other times as a verb (i.e. daoing). Dao is the process of reality itself, the way things come together, while still transforming.

No need for human tampering of reality:

The point is that there is no need for human tampering with the flow of reality. Wu wei should be our way of life, because the dao always benefits, it does not harm (ch. 81)

And

A central theme of the Daodejing is that correlatives are the expressions of the movement of dao. Correlatives in Chinese philosophy are not opposites, mutually excluding each other. They represent the ebb and flow of the forces of reality: yin/yang, male/female; excess/defect; leading/following; active/passive. As one approaches the fullness of yin, yang begins to horizon and emerge. Its teachings on correlation often suggest to interpreters that the DDJ is filled with paradoxes. For example, ch. 22 says, “Those who are crooked will be perfected. Those who are bent will be straight. Those who are empty will be full.” While these appear paradoxical, they are probably better understood as correlational in meaning. The DDJ says, “straightforward words seem paradoxical,” implying, however, that they are not (ch. 78).

It is that simple.  LOL

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Posted: 01 May 2014 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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It was not my opinion as they were all quotations from the wiki.

If you quote things and say they support your argument, what am I to assume? You’re just listing things. I don’t know what your point is anymore. My OP was about WLC, who is not a Taoist, a Buddhist, a Liberal Christian, an Einsteinian or a religious genius. I don’t argue that religion can’t come to terms with reason and find a way to exist in a world built on modern science, I only point out that, in the vast majority of its incarnations it does not. Apparently you miss that my theme in the blog is that the important thing is underlying values, something Craig bases on the Bible and comes to some pretty abhorrent conclusions and Krauss bases on more humane principles.

You point out how religion tries to be reasonable in your own post “…liberal Christianity almost immediately rejected tenets of Christianity having to do with supernaturalism and divine intervention in history.” According to the wiki page, this started in the 18th century, but it doesn’t mention it followied a couple hundred years of Lutherans Catholics and Calvinists almost killing each other and that period from 300-1000AD from the other page you link where there were hardly any scientists, which in turn followed 500 years of Greek science that you completely ignore. You also fail to discuss the fundamentalist backlash that is directly attributed to the rise of liberal Christianity. So, whatever you point have, you have not established a basis in reality.

I agree that many people were raised in a belief system, inculcated into them as children, because their parents were ignorant through no fault of their own. Then as adults they observed an ordered universe and found they could experiment on it without having the clouds part and being thrown into hell. Thank God for that! This is evidence that the laws of the universe are consistent, not evidence for a God behind those laws. But when everybody else believes in God and they actually will throw you in a pit for not believing, you find a way to integrate the two.

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Posted: 01 May 2014 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Lausten - 01 May 2014 08:45 AM

If you quote things and say they support your argument, what am I to assume? You’re just listing things. I don’t know what your point is anymore.

The quotations were intended to illustrate the crucial point that science and religion co evolved together as they still do.

Apparently you miss that my theme in the blog is that the important thing is underlying values, something Craig bases on the Bible and comes to some pretty abhorrent conclusions and Krauss bases on more humane principles.

I did not. William Lane Craig is a Christian philosopher and theologian.

From this article

here

1. Unjustified assumption that the universe must have a beginning:

Secondly, he is assuming the universe had a beginning in the first place… He claims that atheists are crazy for proposing that the universe came ex nihilo, out of nothing. Well, they don’t! Many cosmologists are not of the opinion at all that the universe had a beginning or came out of nothing. It is possible that the universe has always been. Interestingly, if he proposes that his god is eternal, why can’t non-believers propose that the universe is eternal?

2. Fundamental flaws in the Teleological argument:

Firstly, another point with more holes that Swiss cheese. The universe isn’t ‘perfect’, at least not from the perspective of a fundamentalist (from the perspective of a pantheist or a Taoist, everything is perfect as is). If all this were designed for a specific purpose (as outlined in the Bible, Koran etc) we would expect to see a very different world. A world that was efficient and actually went to plan… If everything is a result of ‘chance’ we’d expect to see a whole lot of failed stars, solar systems, planets, and species. Guess what, we do… Most planets in the universe (perhaps all but one) lack life. And 99%+ of all Earth’s species are extinct. When we look at our universe, we don’t see this perfectly designed creation WLC speaks of. We see what we expect to see if it all ‘just happened’.

Feel free to read the rest of the article.

OTOH, from this article here

Craig’s recent defense of the Kalam argument utilizes the latest in cosmological science and the philosophy of mathematics. As Craig says, Christian philosophers once again “have a seat at the table.”

We should not underestimate him.  cheese

You point out how religion tries to be reasonable in your own post “…liberal Christianity almost immediately rejected tenets of Christianity having to do with supernaturalism and divine intervention in history.” According to the wiki page, this started in the 18th century, but it doesn’t mention it followied a couple hundred years of Lutherans Catholics and Calvinists almost killing each other and that period from 300-1000AD from the other page you link where there were hardly any scientists, which in turn followed 500 years of Greek science that you completely ignore. You also fail to discuss the fundamentalist backlash that is directly attributed to the rise of liberal Christianity. So, whatever you point have, you have not established a basis in reality.

This is the so called “dark ages”.

From the wiki here

When the term “Dark Ages” is used by historians today, therefore, it is intended to be neutral, namely, to express the idea that the events of the period often seem “dark” to us because of the paucity of historical records compared with both earlier and later times

Modern popular use:

The medieval period is frequently caricatured as supposedly a “time of ignorance and superstition” which placed “the word of religious authorities over personal experience and rational activity.” However, rationality was increasingly held in high regard as the Middle Ages progressed. The historian of science Edward Grant, writes that “If revolutionary rational thoughts were expressed [in the 18th century], they were made possible because of the long medieval tradition that established the use of reason as one of the most important of human activities”. Furthermore, David Lindberg says that, contrary to common belief, “the late medieval scholar rarely experienced the coercive power of the church and would have regarded himself as free (particularly in the natural sciences) to follow reason and observation wherever they led”.

The caricature of the period is also reflected in a number of more specific notions. For instance, a claim that was first propagated in the 19th century and is still very common in popular culture is the supposition that all people in the Middle Ages believed that the Earth was flat. This claim is mistaken. In fact, lecturers in the medieval universities commonly advanced evidence in favor of the idea that the Earth was a sphere. Lindberg and Ronald Numbers write: “There was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth’s] sphericity and even know its approximate circumference”.

Other misconceptions such as: “the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages”, “the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science”, and “the medieval Christian church suppressed the growth of natural philosophy”, are all cited by Ronald Numbers as examples of widely popular myths that still pass as historical truth, although they are not supported by current historical research. They help maintain the idea of a “Dark Age” spanning through the medieval period.

Wrt Greek science, from this wiki here

The history of science in classical antiquity encompasses both those inquiries into the workings of the universe aimed at such practical goals as establishing a reliable calendar or determining how to cure a variety of illnesses and those abstract investigations known as natural philosophy. The ancient peoples who are considered the first scientists may have thought of themselves as natural philosophers, as practitioners of a skilled profession (for example, physicians), or as followers of a religious tradition (for example, temple healers).

IOW, the Greeks were more interested in practical goals and abstract investigations aka natural philosophy.

I agree that many people were raised in a belief system, inculcated into them as children, because their parents were ignorant through no fault of their own. Then as adults they observed an ordered universe and found they could experiment on it without having the clouds part and being thrown into hell. Thank God for that! This is evidence that the laws of the universe are consistent, not evidence for a God behind those laws. But when everybody else believes in God and they actually will throw you in a pit for not believing, you find a way to integrate the two.

Exactly. This is the path to true enlightenment, sans religious nonsense.

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Posted: 02 May 2014 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The quotations were intended to illustrate the crucial point that science and religion co evolved together as they still do.

Most of what you say and quote after this does not support this point. And the pantheismunites link is broken. I think this idea of how science began is a key to the debate on the role of religion in history and in the present, but you are not contributing to it here. Your links and quotes are random and you continue to lack respect for what I’m saying. I show what a particular person says and critique it. You respond to a specific statement about how scientific inquiry was suppressed for 1,000 years with a general statement about the term “Dark Ages”. You are just boring me.

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Posted: 02 May 2014 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Kkwan wrote

Science and religion generally pursue knowledge of the universe using different methodologies.


But that’s not true. Religion does not pursue knowledge of the universe, it pursues imaginary ideas. No religion has ever discovered any knowledge about the universe. In fact, it has a history of denying the discoveries science has made, and it does so to this day.

Lois

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Posted: 02 May 2014 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Lausten - 02 May 2014 05:59 AM

The quotations were intended to illustrate the crucial point that science and religion co evolved together as they still do.

Most of what you say and quote after this does not support this point. And the pantheismunites link is broken. I think this idea of how science began is a key to the debate on the role of religion in history and in the present, but you are not contributing to it here. Your links and quotes are random and you continue to lack respect for what I’m saying. I show what a particular person says and critique it. You respond to a specific statement about how scientific inquiry was suppressed for 1,000 years with a general statement about the term “Dark Ages”. You are just boring me.

It does, but you are blind to it.

The “dark ages” during which you assert that scientific inquiry was suppressed, was not so.

Feel free to disengage if you are bored.  smile

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Posted: 02 May 2014 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Lois - 02 May 2014 06:39 AM

But that’s not true. Religion does not pursue knowledge of the universe, it pursues imaginary ideas. No religion has ever discovered any knowledge about the universe. In fact, it has a history of denying the discoveries science has made, and it does so to this day.

Imaginary ideas? Please explain.

From this wiki here

Science and religion generally pursue knowledge of the universe using different methodologies. Science acknowledges reason, empiricism, and evidence, while religions include revelation, faith and sacredness. Despite these differences, most scientific and technical innovations prior to the Scientific revolution were achieved by societies organized by religious traditions.

Conflict thesis:

While the conflict thesis remains popular for the public, it has lost favor among most contemporary historians of science.

Evolution and religious faith:

Nevertheless, the American National Academy of Sciences has written that “the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith,” a view officially endorsed by many religious denominations globally.

Q.E.D.?  cheese

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Posted: 02 May 2014 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thanks for the permission to disengage.

That is a great example of when Wikipedia fails to work. Wikipedia is great for lists of things. Sometimes it can include a well done thesis with proper references. The page you linked is not one of them. Statements like “most historians today” should get flagged and called for proper sources. But even just defining what the “conflict model” is or was or how much it was used in the past, or anything else would require too much unpacking. The page is a mish mash of commentary on other historical events, why not just work on those pages? On Andrew Dickson White’s wikipage it says his conflict thesis “remains a popular view”, why don’t the authors of this page argue that point over there? Or why don’t they argue any of the key points in his definitive work on the subject?

The answer is, because the page is lazy amateur scholarship. Kinda like saying “you are blind to it” and “not so”. Schoolyard language. Nothing even close to Q.E.D. I’ve tried to define what this thread is about and to find agreement with you for places to start a discussion. But I guess that’s not how you roll.

[ Edited: 02 May 2014 11:52 AM by Lausten ]
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Posted: 02 May 2014 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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kkwan - 02 May 2014 10:51 AM
Lois - 02 May 2014 06:39 AM

But that’s not true. Religion does not pursue knowledge of the universe, it pursues imaginary ideas. No religion has ever discovered any knowledge about the universe. In fact, it has a history of denying the discoveries science has made, and it does so to this day.

Imaginary ideas? Please explain.

From this wiki here

Science and religion generally pursue knowledge of the universe using different methodologies. Science acknowledges reason, empiricism, and evidence, while religions include revelation, faith and sacredness. Despite these differences, most scientific and technical innovations prior to the Scientific revolution were achieved by societies organized by religious traditions.

Conflict thesis:

While the conflict thesis remains popular for the public, it has lost favor among most contemporary historians of science.

Evolution and religious faith:

Nevertheless, the American National Academy of Sciences has written that “the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith,” a view officially endorsed by many religious denominations globally.

Q.E.D.?  cheese

 

Ar you claiming that god is not an imaginary idea? Where did humans get the idea there might be a god? Is there some kind of hard evidence? Miracles? Heaven? hell?  Satan? Jesus as Messiah? These are evidence-based scientific ideas that ruled the world for millennia?

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Posted: 02 May 2014 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Lausten - 02 May 2014 11:49 AM

Thanks for the permission to disengage.

That is a great example of when Wikipedia fails to work. Wikipedia is great for lists of things. Sometimes it can include a well done thesis with proper references. The page you linked is not one of them. Statements like “most historians today” should get flagged and called for proper sources. But even just defining what the “conflict model” is or was or how much it was used in the past, or anything else would require too much unpacking. The page is a mish mash of commentary on other historical events, why not just work on those pages? On Andrew Dickson White’s wikipage it says his conflict thesis “remains a popular view”, why don’t the authors of this page argue that point over there? Or why don’t they argue any of the key points in his definitive work on the subject?

The answer is, because the page is lazy amateur scholarship. Kinda like saying “you are blind to it” and “not so”. Schoolyard language. Nothing even close to Q.E.D. I’ve tried to define what this thread is about and to find agreement with you for places to start a discussion. But I guess that’s not how you roll.

Not quite so.

The wiki article on “Relationship between religion and science” is well written, even handed and comprehensive with see also,  notes, references, further reading and external links.

I left out the references to notes [number] in my quotations from the wiki, but you can find them by actually reading the wiki.

However, the wiki is definitely not “lazy amateur scholarship” if you take the trouble to read it in full, with an open mind.

Wrt the conflict thesis, from the wiki here

Contemporary views:

Contemporary scholarship does not support the Conflict Thesis in its original form. Most historians today have moved away from a conflict model, which is based mainly on two historical episodes (Galileo and Darwin) for a “complexity” model, because religious figures were on both sides of each dispute and there was no overall aim by any party involved in discrediting religion.[15] Biologist Stephen Jay Gould said: “White’s and Draper’s accounts of the actual interaction between science and religion in Western history do not differ greatly. Both tell a tale of bright progress continually sparked by science. And both develop and use the same myths to support their narrative, the flat-earth legend prominently among them”.[16] In a summary of the historiography of the Conflict Thesis, Colin Russell said that “Draper takes such liberty with history, perpetuating legends as fact that he is rightly avoided today in serious historical study. The same is nearly as true of White, though his prominent apparatus of prolific footnotes may create a misleading impression of meticulous scholarship”.[17]

In Science & Religion, Gary Ferngren proposes a complex relationship between religion and science:

  While some historians had always regarded the Draper-White thesis as oversimplifying and distorting a complex relationship, in the late twentieth century it underwent a more systematic reevaluation. The result is the growing recognition among historians of science that the relationship of religion and science has been much more positive than is sometimes thought. Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposed hostility of Christianity to new scientific theories, studies have shown that Christianity has often nurtured and encouraged scientific endeavour, while at other times the two have co-existed without either tension or attempts at harmonization. If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule.[18]

Popular, scientific, and religious views:

Science historian Ronald Numbers suggests the conflict theory lingers in a popular belief, inclusive of scientists and clerics alike, that history reflects an intrinsic and inevitable anti-intellectual conflict between (Judeo-Christian) religion and science, a misconception perpetuated by the polemics surrounding controversies like creation–evolution, stem cells, and birth control.[24] Some scholars, such as Brian Stanley and Denis Alexander propose that mass media is partly responsible for popularizing conflict theory,[25] most notably the Flat-earth myth that prior to Columbus people believed the Earth was flat.[26] David C. Lindberg and Numbers point out that “there was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge Earth’s sphericity and even know its approximate circumference”.[26][27] Numbers gives the following as mistakes arising from conflict theory that have gained widespread currency: “the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages”, “the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science”, and “the medieval Christian church suppressed the growth of the natural sciences”.[24]

Wrt Andrew Dickson White, from the wiki here

It was published in 1896!

Reception:

“No work—not even John William Draper’s best-selling History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874)—has done more than White’s to instill in the public mind a sense of the adversarial relationship between science and religion.

However:

Such judgments, however appealing they may be to foes of “scientific creationism” and other contemporary threats to established science, fly in the face of mounting evidence that White read the past through battle-scarred glasses, and that he and his imitators have distorted history to serve ideological ends of their own. Although it is not difficult to find instances of conflict and controversy in the annals of Christianity and science, recent scholarship has shown that the warfare metaphor to be neither useful or tenable in describing the relationship between science and religion.[1]

Warfare motif:

The warfare motif which was popular in the 19th century has not worn well and most historians of science and religion have moved on from this. Current attitudes range over methodological naturalism and Gould’s NOMA although the conflict is still found between creationists and scientists such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett.[3]

Gross oversimplification:

By insisting that all aspects of the history of science and religion must fit into one poorly chosen conceptual box, the ‘warfare’ view lied by gross oversimplification and led numerous scholars to overlook the large amount of historical material that just didn’t fit into that box.” [4]

Historian of science Ronald Numbers has stated, in a collection dealing with inaccuracies by made by White book and others, “Historians of science have known for years that White’s and Draper’s accounts are more propaganda than history.”[5]

Bold added by me.

IOW, in reality, there are many shades of gray between black and white.  smile

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Posted: 02 May 2014 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I am familiar with White and Draper and at one time would have agreed with you. I’m really not interested in debunking what they did in 1896. “Most historians” today agree that any history done before 1950 is suspect. I agree, their stuff was polemical. So what? There are flaws in there work. So what? There is plenty of recent work using much better methods that makes the case that the Roman empire in the 4th century was lead with a philosophy that was anti-intellectual. Technology suffered, education was virtually non-existent for centuries. If it wasn’t, you could simply name some educational institutions, some scholars, maybe a few discoveries or advancements made in the 5th or 6th century. But you can’t. So you have no case. In fact, Plato’s school was closed in that time and the library of Alexandria destroyed. Or just compare Baghdad and Córdoba during that time and on up to the end of the first millennium. Why were they doing so much better? It took me years to answer these questions because I didn’t know where to start looking. I just gave you some good hints. Come back when you’ve read a book.

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