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53 minutes ago, CMR said:

The problem with Dawkins's answer was that he never actually answered the question, but in my opinion a better question for Dawkins would be: If you're an atheist, then why do you care?

True enough. Then again, exactly what kind of an answer is there to that question in such a context other than, "Well, then I guess I'd be wrong". But his was to point out that the question itself is a bit presumptuous and poorly-defined.

As to "why would an atheist care", I can only presume based on what I understand of Dawkins and his world view, but I imagine his answer would rest along the notion of wanting to understand "why" people believe what they do and hoping to prompt them to think critically about those beliefs. Another famous saying of Dawkins' (which he has put slightly differently on many separate occasions) is that he cares about "what is true, whether or not that truth is convenient or comforting". He's a scientist (an evolutionary biologist) and takes his dedication to the scientific method and critical thinking seriously. And as a public advocate for science, he cares about seeking that truth not just for himself but for the greater population. In short, he would probably say he "cares" because he hopes that sharing these ideas might encourage people to better themselves through education. But that's just my guess.

Edited by Webhead123
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I'm a very religious guy (Roman Catholic if anyone's curious). And while I don't like to come off as imposing my beliefs on others, I have a few points that I think most people could benefit from hear

People take religion too personally. I never found an issue bring religious and never had it negatively impact my life. It sucks when I hear ppl struggling with living a normal life and having faith.

My grandfather was a pastor in the ‘80s and ‘90s up until the day he died. He always preached about loving one another, and was a follower of the teachings of Jesus. As a child I was interested i

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56 minutes ago, Webhead123 said:

. Another famous saying of Dawkins' (which he has put slightly differently on many separate occasions) is that he cares about "what is true, whether or not that truth is convenient or comforting". He's a scientist (an evolutionary biologist) and takes his dedication to the scientific method and critical thinking seriously. And as a public advocate for science, he cares about seeking that truth not just for himself but for the greater population. In short, he would probably say he "cares" because he hopes that sharing these ideas might encourage people to better themselves through education. But that's just my guess.

As I remember from my studies, the scientific method involves, more or less, the following steps:

1. A Question 

2. Hypothesis (an educated guess or a theory)

3. An experimental procedure

4. Analysis of the results (did the experiments affirm your guess or disprove it?)

Truths discovered through the Scientific method should produce reproducible results that constantly re-affirm the truth proposed by the theory, proving it to be true.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of experiments can an evolutionary biologist perform to prove evolution? It would seem to me that any experiments would have to be ongoing for many generations (longer than a single human lifetime) in order to produce any convincing evidence. Maybe in a controlled environment with many iterations of the lifecycle of a particular species we can witness minor adaptations, but would those adaptations really add up to something as significant as an arm transforming into a wing or two legs joining to become a fin.. It’s impossible to say, because the number of iterations required to make significant evolutionary change would make the experiments prohibitively long. 
 

So (correct me if I’m wrong) as far as I’m aware, there are no reproducible experiments to affirm the truth in evolutionary theory, that is why evolutionary theory will remain as a theory.
 

Evolutionary theory makes observations about biology in nature and attempts to explain these observations using analogical evidence (we can observe minor adaptations, we can presume they will eventually add up to major adaptations). But that’s not definitive evidence. 
 

To play devils advocate here (or maybe Gods advocate in this case😜) is this not just the same as trying to affirm the ideas purported by religions. Religion is also using many different forms of indirect evidence to attempt to validate ideas in the religion. The only difference is that evolutionary theory has earned more credibility due to consensus of the scientific community that thinks it sounds like a good explanation.. but substance-wise I don’t see much difference between the approach evolution theory takes from the religious approach. One just happens to be more popular with one group, the other happens to be more popular with another group.

Edited by phart010
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25 minutes ago, phart010 said:

...Just out of curiosity, what kind of experiments can an evolutionary biologist perform to prove evolution?...

...So (correct me if I’m wrong) as far as I’m aware, there are no reproducible experiments to affirm the truth in evolutionary theory, that is why evolutionary theory will remain as a theory...

I may be a science-enthusiast but I'm just a layman. I can't say that I know (beyond small snippets of knowledge I've acquired here and there) precisely how evolutionary biology is formed as a discipline or how its studies are conducted. Color me ignorant in such matters.

There's also a very common misnomer of the word "theory" in the modern vernacular, specifically as it applies to science. While in more casual usage, "theory" is often used to refer to an idea which is still speculative or conjectural, a "Theory" in science refers to a related group of propositions that have been repeatedly tested and verified. This doesn't mean that a Theory never changes or has elements of itself later disproven but in order to achieve the distinction of being called a "Scientific Theory", an idea must have already survived rigorous, peer-reviewed testing. Before that, it is perhaps more accurately referred to as a "hypothesis".

Just a pet-peeve of mine when people misinterpret the use of the term "theory" when talking about scientific study. 🙂

Edited by Webhead123
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9 hours ago, Pikkon said:

You summed it up pretty good Webhead123,a lot of people don't get that a scientific theory is vastly different than the everyday use of the word theory.

 

 

 

 

 

Point taken. Even so, a prominent theories like Newton’s laws of motion, those relating to electricity, fluid motions, thermodynamics and even more speculative physics theories like relativity, gravity, and so on on can be objectively put to test through experimentation using measurement devices and reproducible results can be achieved that validate the accuracy of these theories. And we can utilize these types of theories to achieve things in our everyday life.

I don’t see the same level of objectivity or even the possibility of measuring to the same level of objectivity in all sciences though. I am just wanting to point out that not all sciences are equal, some do require a leap of faith. With that being the case, why do they not extend the same level of “easy treatment” to religious explanations?

You can have two parallel explanations for the same phenomena in physics and as the theories become further developed they begin to understand how they are actually in agreement and can find some reconciliation between the two competing theories. But when religious claims are made, they are not always given the same fair treatment, the default position tends to be to discard anything that has any tint of religion in it without much consideration.

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1 hour ago, phart010 said:

But when religious claims are made, they are not always given the same fair treatment, the default position tends to be to discard anything that has any tint of religion in it without much consideration.

I agree that not all sciences are the same and that's a great point. There is definitely a difference between biology evolving over millions of years and how an object falls to the ground. Both help our understand but the latter is much more rigid with out current understanding and applicable to every day life. I think religious claims being quickly disregarded is somewhat fair treatment even when science can't fill in all the blanks in regards to life and evolving as a society.  Religion often gives very simple explanations for very complex issues which is becoming less accepted as our scientific knowledge as a species increases. Even if science results in more questions than answers, I still see that as progress rather than giving an overly simplified solution for peace of mind.

Edited by Andy_Bogomil
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8 hours ago, Andy_Bogomil said:

I agree that not all sciences are the same and that's a great point. There is definitely a difference between biology evolving over millions of years and how an object falls to the ground. Both help our understand but the latter is much more rigid with out current understanding and applicable to every day life. I think religious claims being quickly disregarded is somewhat fair treatment even when science can't fill in all the blanks in regards to life and evolving as a society.  Religion often gives very simple explanations for very complex issues which is becoming less accepted as our scientific knowledge as a species increases. Even if science results in more questions than answers, I still see that as progress rather than giving an overly simplified solution for peace of mind.

The trouble is that there is very often a socio-intellectual atmosphere about religion that wants to say, "Don't question. If you want to find the truth, you must believe." In contrast, the socio-intellectual atmosphere of most scientific study is "Don't settle for belief. If you want to find the truth, you must question everything."

This is a generalization, of course.

Edited by Webhead123
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10 hours ago, phart010 said:

Point taken. Even so, a prominent theories like Newton’s laws of motion, those relating to electricity, fluid motions, thermodynamics and even more speculative physics theories like relativity, gravity, and so on on can be objectively put to test through experimentation using measurement devices and reproducible results can be achieved that validate the accuracy of these theories. And we can utilize these types of theories to achieve things in our everyday life.

I don’t see the same level of objectivity or even the possibility of measuring to the same level of objectivity in all sciences though. I am just wanting to point out that not all sciences are equal, some do require a leap of faith. With that being the case, why do they not extend the same level of “easy treatment” to religious explanations?

You can have two parallel explanations for the same phenomena in physics and as the theories become further developed they begin to understand how they are actually in agreement and can find some reconciliation between the two competing theories. But when religious claims are made, they are not always given the same fair treatment, the default position tends to be to discard anything that has any tint of religion in it without much consideration.

What scientific theory requires a leap a faith?

In science there's nothing higher than a theory and as for religious claims there have been many study's but once you apply the scientific method it always falls apart,like prayer or said miracles.

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7 hours ago, Pikkon said:

What scientific theory requires a leap a faith?

In science there's nothing higher than a theory and as for religious claims there have been many study's but once you apply the scientific method it always falls apart,like prayer or said miracles.

Well I’m not personally a subscriber to simulation theory, but I find science buffs are better able to relate to through this paradigm.

What if we are living in a simulation and prayer is the way of messaging an appeal to the “Grand Moderator” for exceptional treatment that may at times break the normal rules of the simulation?

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