3 of 11
3
Is science a form of faith?
Posted: 03 December 2007 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

I think most of our decisions are based on statistics. Pinker says in The Blank Slate that we are more likely to hire a female nanny, instead of a male one, because the chances that the child might be sexually abused by a female are much lower. You can believe whatever you want and know about all the scientific research done on gender, but in the end you’re most likely to pick a female nanny. I think that most of our decisions and beliefs are decided in our unconscious part of the brain – this is where the brain runs the statistics. Perhaps our consciousness is only a tool to better feed the brain to run the statistics.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2007 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4108
Joined  2006-11-28

I agree with Doug that the problem with the word “faith” is that those who use it in regard to science are using it in the sense of unquestioning blind belief in and reverence the word of others, as in religious faith. This is clearly not a part of good science, so the word doesn’t apply. And given the currency and emotional weight of the term used in this way, trying to use it as a synonym for conditional belief or trust is perilous.

George,

I haven’t read Blank Slate, but I doubt our brains are running anything like accurate statistical models or algorithms. Our decisions are so often irrational and contrary to the statistical reality that it’s hard to believe statistics underlie decision making. Most people are far more afraid of flying than driving, though they’re far more likely to die in a car than an airplane. Similarly, people generally fear the anonymous stranger when worrying about sexual abuse, when it’s more likely statistically to be a relative or familiar aduolt who does the abusing. These sort of exceptions to the rule makes me skeptical of the overall idea.

How was the book, by the way? I enjoyed Language Instinct, but I haven’t gotten around to his others.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet Blog
You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. 
Johnathan Swift

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2007 02:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14

I’m not sure Pinker goes quite that far in Blank Slate. He’s proposing why one might choose a female for a certain sort of job rather than a male, but I don’t think he’d claim we necessarily do so this way.

And Blank Slate is a wonderful book. Very thought-provoking.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2007 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2423
Joined  2007-09-03
Baloo - 03 December 2007 09:06 AM

So, quick question.  Why are we so afraid of the ‘faith’ (note: no capital “F”)?
Personally, I take most, if not all, that I know about science ‘on faith’.  I have neither the intellectual capital, nor the temporal capital to do otherwise. 

The article and responses that started this thread address this.

You are using the word ‘faith’ in two different ways, since scientific faith is continually tested by new observations and new data and invites new ideas, while religious Faith does not invite inquiry.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2007 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16
dougsmith - 03 December 2007 09:14 AM

How are you defining “faith” as versus “Faith”?

If all you mean by “faith” is “trust”, as in “trust in the capacities of the engineer to have designed the bridge properly”, then clearly, there’s nothing wrong with it. But that’s not the sort of faith regularly extolled in religious contexts. It is also the sort of faith/trust that is based at least partly on evidence.

Hi Doug,

I think Nathan Myhrvold does a good job of explaining the difference between ‘Faith’ and ‘faith’, and even concedes that science includes trust like faith in a number of areas.

[quote author=“NATHAN_MYHRVOLD”] Like many bad arguments, it is based on some kernels of truth, and that is worth examining. Small elements of faith do crop into science generally, and physics in particular.

A priori, there is no reason to believe that the universe has simple laws of physics. The entire endeavor of physics is based on the belief—Paul would say faith—that:

  (a) The universe is governed by a set of laws. (b) We humans can figure them out.

On an individual basis, each physicist also has a third form of faith:

  (c) That through my own hunches, guesses and hard work,  I can figure out some aspect of physical law.

Every discovery or invention is an unproven hunch or guess. You have to have faith in your own abilities, and your work, to move forward. But that is not capital “F” Faith of religion—it is the pragmatic working assumption that it is worth believing in yourself.  Frankly, proposition (c) is far more important to a working scientist than (a) or (b). Any rational scientist with a bounded ego has to conclude that he or she is likely to be weak link in the chain. There may be a physical law, but are you going to be the one to understand it? Or, to be more mundane, will your funding grant be approved so you can even ask?

I think Paul is correct when he says that physicists have faith that (a)—(c) are true. It didn’t have to be this way. The great physicist and Nobel Prize winner Eugene Wigner wrote a brilliant essay on this many years ago entitled “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences”.

So I will concede that every physicist has (implicitly at least) faith that these propositions hold, else why waste your time doing physics? However, Paul conveniently overlooks the fact that time and time again, both propositions have indeed proven to be true! Furthermore, they are put to the test repeatedly by a process in which they can fail. A working physicist assumes that (a) and (b) hold because there is a 500 year history of propositions and tests. The net result is what we know about physics, which describes the world very well indeed.

dougsmith - 03 December 2007 09:14 AM

Free speech, equality, et al. are moral concepts, and as such do not stem solely from science. There is something of an is/ought gap, after all. But that’s not to say we have “faith” or “trust” that free speech is justified. Indeed, I don’t even know what that would mean in this context. One does not “trust” in one’s moral beliefs, one simply believes them. Or if one is particularly diligent, one can attempt to go back to first principles (utilitarian, Kantian, Aristotelian, what have you) and derive them.

So let’s start with

dougsmith - 03 December 2007 09:14 AM

One does not “trust” in one’s moral beliefs, one simply believes them. Or if one is particularly diligent, one can attempt to go back to first principles (utilitarian, Kantian, Aristotelian, what have you) and derive them.

So, help me out, how is Blind Moral Belief better than Blind Faith?  And, how is this not an argument from personal conviction?

Additionally, how is the cognitive process of hearing one’s parents or a teacher preach about the importance of Free Speech, and then pondering this and coming to the conclusion that you agree with the principle and then accepting the principle, different than the cognitive process of hearing one’s parents or a teacher preach about the importance of “thou shalt not kill”, and then pondering this and coming to the conclusion that you agree with the principle and then accepting the principle?

Second, how is the cognitive process of ‘deriving’ something from utilitarian, Kantian, Aristotelian beliefs, different from cognitive process of ‘deriving’ them from Moses, Paul or Joseph Smith, or some mixture of the these and many other sources?  How does one escape from the ‘turtles stacked upon turtles’ rational when using moral philosophy to derive moral philosophy? 

If science is about finding truth from experiential data, either we have to conclude that the scientific method doesn’t apply to some of the most important decisions that a person must make, or we need to find ways to collect the experiential data to test beliefs like ‘Free Speech’.  Personally, I’m ok with not testing this, which is why I’m also ok with a degree of moral pluralism, in fact a moral pluralism were my neighbors derive their beliefs from what source they may.  While this may seem risky, it is most likely my faith in the goodness of people that keeps me from getting too worried with others deriving their own beliefs from their own sources.  That said, this is another area that scares most religiously inclined people, as they often believe that scientifically inclined groups are going to require them to show ‘proof of belief’.  Is this not the intended message of Russell’s Teapot?  And, yet, who has taken the time to derive their own beliefs in Free Speech, or Human Equality, or non-discrimination based on race/gender/class/sexual orientation, etc, etc that would stand up to the Russell’s Teapot.  At the end of the day, most people whip out an ‘argument from personal conviction’, which I’m ok with this as long as you allow the other people in the room to whip out theirs, and thus moral pluralism is born, and the need for societal consensus building across belief systems is necessitated. 

That said, it seems we spend 10x+ the time tearing down other people’s beliefs, than we do building bridges across areas of common belief, if for no other reason than because we rarely admit our own personal convictions.

-baloo

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2007 10:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16
erasmusinfinity - 03 December 2007 09:41 AM
Baloo - 03 December 2007 09:06 AM

question 1) Is your belief in Free Speech ‘faith-based’ or ‘science-based’?

Not faith.  Empathy and compassion coupled with a recognition of the need for human cooperation as a means toward mutual fulfillment.  Informed by a rational and scientific approach to the world.

Baloo - 03 December 2007 09:06 AM

question 2) Is your belief in ‘Human Equality’ faith-based or science-based?

Not faith.  Empathy and compassion coupled with a recognition of the need for human cooperation as a means toward mutual fulfillment.  Informed by a rational and scientific approach to the world.

Baloo - 03 December 2007 09:06 AM

question 3) Is your belief that people should not be discriminated against based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity faith-based or science-based?

Not faith.  Empathy and compassion coupled with a recognition of the need for human cooperation as a means toward mutual fulfillment.  Informed by a rational and scientific approach to the world.

Baloo - 03 December 2007 09:06 AM

question 4) Is your desire to avoid global warming, faith-based or science-based? (note: understanding that global warming is a scientific reality, are the effects that you want to avoid by avoiding global warming also science, or are they faith based?)

Not faith.  Empathy and compassion coupled with a recognition of the need for human cooperation as a means toward mutual fulfillment.  Informed by a rational and scientific approach to the world.

Baloo - 03 December 2007 09:06 AM

question 5) Is your belief in Morality faith-based or science-based’? What about principles like altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility?

Not faith.  Empathy and compassion coupled with a recognition of the need for human cooperation as a means toward mutual fulfillment.  Informed by a rational and scientific approach to the world.

I’m sensing a pattern here….
Maybe you could walk us through the rational you use to base your belief in one of these?

-baloo

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2007 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16
George - 03 December 2007 10:30 AM

I think most of our decisions are based on statistics. Pinker says in The Blank Slate that we are more likely to hire a female nanny, instead of a male one, because the chances that the child might be sexually abused by a female are much lower. You can believe whatever you want and know about all the scientific research done on gender, but in the end you’re most likely to pick a female nanny. I think that most of our decisions and beliefs are decided in our unconscious part of the brain – this is where the brain runs the statistics. Perhaps our consciousness is only a tool to better feed the brain to run the statistics.

Hi George,

Another good book to read about the functions of the brain is ‘On Intelligence’ by jeff hawkins.  The brain does use what is termed Hierarchical Temporal Memory to classify, predict and do causality calculations in an attempt to deduct the probability that what we think is what we think it is.  One note, the brain has a number of specializations, and while we don’t do multiplication very well, a very young child can recognized words, objects, terrain, emotions, faces, etc at speeds faster and more accurate than any computer on the planet.  The calculations used to predict that the light waves you are seeing is a reflection of your mother’s face, is as statical a probability calculation as any made.  Its just too bad we can’t do this for actual computational math.

That said, I think the reason that we have Laws to ensure that people are not discriminated against based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is because people are so often discriminated against. 

Again I’m not sure how scientifically we came to the concussion that discrimination was immoral.  I know personally, I take these on faith, in that if I don’t discriminate in this way, I can hope that others don’t do so back to me.  Is this irrational, maybe.  That said, I doubt that there is any set of experiential data that has been scientifically analyzed in such a way as to justify what I do as anything much beyond blind faith in the ideals of the system.

-baloo

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2007 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16
mckenzievmd - 03 December 2007 02:34 PM

I agree with Doug that the problem with the word “faith” is that those who use it in regard to science are using it in the sense of unquestioning blind belief in and reverence the word of others, as in religious faith. This is clearly not a part of good science, so the word doesn’t apply. And given the currency and emotional weight of the term used in this way, trying to use it as a synonym for conditional belief or trust is perilous.

Hi Brennen,

I’m not sure I agree that religion is founded on unquestioning blind belief.  Any casual overview of the evolution of religion suggests that there are far more branches within the the major religions than we tend to acknowledge, and that the vast majority of these branches originate as a result of people asking questions.  Its the process of asking questions, looking for answers that are unavailable, rejecting previously held premises, and proselyting those answers to others that is the basis for every chapter of the evolutionary trek.  And, its hardly done.  The questions are still being asked, and the answers sought, and the splintering happening. 

There is hardly a better documented example of cultural evolution outside of religious changes that have happened over the centuries.  Also, their fear of the wrong question being asked is less founded in ‘blind belief’ as it is experience over the years as to the community stress caused by splinter groups.  Often times these groups had the same effect on local religious communities that the ‘Green Party’ has had on the Democratic Party.  While ideologically they are still pretty close, there have been more than a few that have accused the Green Party being responsible for Democratic Party loses.

All said, how does saying that we don’t believe in faith do anything more than totally confuse people that use the word to designate ‘belief in things they don’t totally understand’.  I think most people interpret that we have no use for such a word because we claim to lack any belief in topics that we don’t fully understand, which is anything but true, at least in my case.

-baloo

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2007 12:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16
Jackson - 03 December 2007 08:44 PM
Baloo - 03 December 2007 09:06 AM

So, quick question.  Why are we so afraid of the ‘faith’ (note: no capital “F”)?
Personally, I take most, if not all, that I know about science ‘on faith’.  I have neither the intellectual capital, nor the temporal capital to do otherwise. 

The article and responses that started this thread address this.

You are using the word ‘faith’ in two different ways, since scientific faith is continually tested by new observations and new data and invites new ideas, while religious Faith does not invite inquiry.

Oh, ok, so we called ‘technical foul’ on the original article for using the word ‘faith’ in a scientific context.  Ok, so, where are all these technicalities written down?  How where they derived?  How where they authenticated?  Was there some sort of vote to ban the use of the word ‘faith’ in scientific context that I missed?  Its too bad he didn’t know the rule, because if he’d used a phrase like ‘unfounded trust’, or ‘yet to be derived belief’ it would may have been an interesting article.

-baloo

ps: hope I didn’t commit any technical infractions, as it would be interesting to hear how you derive your belief in Free Speech (or any of the other above topics) in a rational and scientifically verifiable context.

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2007 04:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2423
Joined  2007-09-03
Baloo - 04 December 2007 12:01 AM
Jackson - 03 December 2007 08:44 PM

You are using the word ‘faith’ in two different ways, since scientific faith is continually tested by new observations and new data and invites new ideas, while religious Faith does not invite inquiry.

Oh, ok, so we called ‘technical foul’ on the original article for using the word ‘faith’ in a scientific context.  Ok, so, where are all these technicalities written down?  How where they derived?  How where they authenticated?  Was there some sort of vote to ban the use of the word ‘faith’ in scientific context that I missed?  Its too bad he didn’t know the rule, because if he’d used a phrase like ‘unfounded trust’, or ‘yet to be derived belief’ it would may have been an interesting article.

-baloo

ps: hope I didn’t commit any technical infractions, as it would be interesting to hear how you derive your belief in Free Speech (or any of the other above topics) in a rational and scientifically verifiable context.

Sorry—OK—

Thanks for your post keep them coming. The point you raised is considered valid by many people (i.e. NY Times article that started this thread).  It apparently is still waiting for an adequate rebuttal.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2007 05:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1214
Joined  2007-09-21

[quote author=“erasmusinfinity”]Not faith.  Empathy and compassion coupled with a recognition of the need for human cooperation as a means toward mutual fulfillment.  Informed by a rational and scientific approach to the world.

[quote author=“Baloo”]Maybe you could walk us through the rational you use to base your belief in one of these?

I’m not really sure what you mean in reference to my “belief,” but I thought that my response about “faith” was rather complete.  I feel empathy and compassion toward others and I recognize that humans need to cooperate in order to achieve shared fulfillment.  I feel better about myself and my place in society and the world when I live up to my feelings and fulfill my pragmatic intentions.  What more needs be said?

Perhaps you could clarify what faith has to do with this.  I don’t think that you have really demonstrated a connection between faith and good ethical decision making.  I’m not even sure what you mean by “faith,” because the way you used it in reference to your rhetorical questions seems at odds with the way that religious faith is generally described.  Do you really not feel empathy or compassion toward others without placing a deliberate emotional investment somewhere?  Do you really not see usefulness in working cooperatively with others?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2007 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
Baloo - 03 December 2007 10:22 PM

I think Nathan Myhrvold does a good job of explaining the difference between ‘Faith’ and ‘faith’, and even concedes that science includes trust like faith in a number of areas.

I don’t see Myhrvold making that distinction in the quote you provide. And I disagree with his take on the “elements of faith” in physics. The results of physics give us reason to believe that there are laws of nature. These reasons to believe are defeasible; they are inferences to the best explanation of the phenomena we see around us. I’ve already answered the rest of what he said here ...

Baloo - 03 December 2007 10:22 PM

So, help me out, how is Blind Moral Belief better than Blind Faith?  And, how is this not an argument from personal conviction?

Who ever said that moral belief was “blind”?

Baloo - 03 December 2007 10:22 PM

Second, how is the cognitive process of ‘deriving’ something from utilitarian, Kantian, Aristotelian beliefs, different from cognitive process of ‘deriving’ them from Moses, Paul or Joseph Smith, or some mixture of the these and many other sources?  How does one escape from the ‘turtles stacked upon turtles’ rational when using moral philosophy to derive moral philosophy? 

Well, there are two issues here. When we are dealing with factual claims, the distinction is quite clear. Moses, Paul and Joseph Smith were factually in error about much of what they claimed. Or at the very least we have no reason to believe a large part of their stories. (Indeed, we have no reason to believe Moses wrote much of what is attributed to him, and much reason for believing Joseph Smith was a liar about the creation of his so called holy books). The problem with faith (or “Faith”) when it comes to factual claims is that more often than not it is used to sweep aside evidence that shows those beliefs to be in error. And this is just an example of willful ignorance of the truth. As such it should be condemned.

As to questions about ethical claims, you are asking about “metaethics”: where is the ground of our ethical beliefs? Clearly they cannot be grounded in commands. The mere fact that someone—even someone very powerful, like God—claims that it’s OK to do X and bad to do Y is of no relevance whatever. We have known this since Plato’s Euthyphro argument. That means that insofar as ethics can be grounded on anything, it must be grounded on something quite different from someone’s say-so.

The further question, then, is what this other ground could be for our ethical claims. This is a very interesting question to ask, but it’s one that comes up just as much for the theist and religious believer as it does for the non-religious or atheistic person.

But if you want to get into a lengthy digression about metaethics, I’m not sure this is the thread to do it in.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2007 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
mckenzievmd - 03 December 2007 02:34 PM

George,

I haven’t read Blank Slate, but I doubt our brains are running anything like accurate statistical models or algorithms. Our decisions are so often irrational and contrary to the statistical reality that it’s hard to believe statistics underlie decision making. Most people are far more afraid of flying than driving, though they’re far more likely to die in a car than an airplane. Similarly, people generally fear the anonymous stranger when worrying about sexual abuse, when it’s more likely statistically to be a relative or familiar aduolt who does the abusing. These sort of exceptions to the rule makes me skeptical of the overall idea.

How was the book, by the way? I enjoyed Language Instinct, but I haven’t gotten around to his others.

Brennen,

I believe the statistical models run by our brain are probably as accurate as anything else that evolution has ever produced. They are not perfect. Why should they? Of course the fear of flying is irrational, but that only shows you that the fear is produced in our unconsciousness. The reason why people are afraid of flying, for example, probably exists because we haven’t been able to fly for the past many millions of years. We are already born with many of the factors that will decide what we should be afraid of. The same probably applies to the sex abuse. We fear strangers more that our relatives (even though it’s more likely to be the relative who does the abusing) because encountering a stranger in the past was usually a matter of life and death. Even though a family member was more likely to abuse you, it must have been preferible to be raped as opposed to being murdered by a stranger.


BTW, I enjoyed Pinker’s Blank Slate very much. (Doug recommended it.) I am sure you would also find it very interesting, Brennen. Read this:

“If we were blank slates, and if society ever did eliminate discrimination, the poorest could be said to deserve their station because they must have chosen to do less with their standard-issue talents. But if people differ in talents, people might find themselves in poverty in a nonprejudiced society even if they applied themselves to the fullest. That is an injustice that, a Rawlsian would argue, ought to be rectified, and it would be overlooked if we didn’t recognized that people differ in their abilities.” (The Blank Slate, S. Pinker)

[ Edited: 04 December 2007 09:05 AM by George ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2007 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
Baloo - 03 December 2007 11:06 PM

Again I’m not sure how scientifically we came to the concussion that discrimination was immoral.

Baloo,

I think we decided that discrimination was immoral because it’s more convenient for us. Science cannot tell us what is moral or immoral. Science does tell us though, that people are different; perhaps this is the reason why we should not discriminate against each other: because we are all different! (Read the quote by Pinker I included in my previous response to Brennen.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2007 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4108
Joined  2006-11-28

George,

I’m not saying we don’t make decisions based on how our brains evolved to view the natural world. We certainly do. I think this is qualitatively different from rational and accurate statitsical analysis, though. Prejudices and fears are heuristically useful, especially when no better source of information is available, but they are often statistically inaccurate, that’s my point.


Baloo,
You are demonstrating my point by showing how questioning, when it happens, is dangerous to religion and generally taboo because a religion cannot withstand it without splintering. Questioning, however, is the essence of science and the method requires and thrives on it. So while not all believers are unquestioning in their faith, faith as applied to religion is the valuing of unquestioning belief and the proscription of questioning. This is not what science does, so I think the use of the word is misleading.

I don’t think faith as used in a religious context means primarily “belief in something not totally understood” or “provisional belief based on the currently best available evidence,” as you imply. I think it means belief, and the effort made to believe, in that which is either undemonstrable in any way or knowable only through revelation rather than evidence. Again, qualitatively different from the use of the word in science.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet Blog
You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. 
Johnathan Swift

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 11
3