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BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement

DMcG 04 Nov 18 - 09:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Nov 18 - 10:14 AM
robomatic 04 Nov 18 - 03:29 PM
Senoufou 04 Nov 18 - 04:02 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 18 - 04:17 PM
Iains 04 Nov 18 - 04:22 PM
Iains 04 Nov 18 - 04:49 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 18 - 05:46 PM
Jack Campin 04 Nov 18 - 05:55 PM
robomatic 04 Nov 18 - 06:01 PM
DMcG 04 Nov 18 - 06:09 PM
robomatic 04 Nov 18 - 06:47 PM
Donuel 04 Nov 18 - 07:15 PM
Donuel 04 Nov 18 - 08:19 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Nov 18 - 08:23 PM
Donuel 04 Nov 18 - 08:43 PM
Donuel 04 Nov 18 - 08:45 PM
Joe Offer 04 Nov 18 - 10:14 PM
DMcG 05 Nov 18 - 02:17 AM
Senoufou 05 Nov 18 - 03:42 AM
DMcG 05 Nov 18 - 03:51 AM
Senoufou 05 Nov 18 - 04:09 AM
Iains 05 Nov 18 - 04:19 AM
Senoufou 05 Nov 18 - 04:37 AM
DMcG 05 Nov 18 - 04:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 Nov 18 - 04:41 AM
Iains 05 Nov 18 - 04:54 AM
Iains 05 Nov 18 - 05:22 AM
robomatic 05 Nov 18 - 06:48 AM
Iains 05 Nov 18 - 07:08 AM
Donuel 05 Nov 18 - 08:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Nov 18 - 09:36 AM
Senoufou 05 Nov 18 - 09:38 AM
DMcG 05 Nov 18 - 10:55 AM
DMcG 05 Nov 18 - 11:08 AM
DMcG 05 Nov 18 - 11:50 AM
Donuel 05 Nov 18 - 05:29 PM
DMcG 05 Nov 18 - 05:37 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Nov 18 - 07:18 PM
Donuel 05 Nov 18 - 08:14 PM
robomatic 05 Nov 18 - 09:40 PM
Iains 06 Nov 18 - 04:50 AM
Donuel 06 Nov 18 - 06:27 AM
DMcG 06 Nov 18 - 07:19 AM
DMcG 06 Nov 18 - 07:37 AM
Senoufou 06 Nov 18 - 08:25 AM
DMcG 06 Nov 18 - 08:31 AM
robomatic 06 Nov 18 - 08:51 AM
Iains 06 Nov 18 - 01:40 PM
robomatic 06 Nov 18 - 07:54 PM

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Subject: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 09:16 AM

I fear this thread may go toxic almost immediately, so if that happens would a mod close it or delete it as they think fit?


I went to a seminar yesterday entitled 'Science versus Religion?' on the relationship between them. It was a highly educated audience - I could guess 90% at least one degree, 50% with more - and a mixture of disciplines, though, based on conversation, primarily maths & physics on both sides. I would guess slightly more people had a religious background, but there were very many who had not.

Brian Cox was the keynote speaker.

What made the event especially enjoyable was how these people profoundly disagreed with each other, yet could still see some merits in other opinions and hence treated everyone with respect whatever their stance. I would summarise most people's approach as "I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,/But here I am to speak what I do know". Brian, for example, was one of several people referencing the Reverend Monsignor Georges Lemaitre, who also cropped up when discussing the 19c 'conflict theory' between science and religion, pointing out that things are far from as neat as that theory would suggest (Georges is by no means the only example of people active in both the religious and scientific domains.)

Other topics included what problems would arise for religion if we encountered intelligent extra terrestrial life (probably via radio signal thousand or millions of years old!), ethical considerations of AI, how our growing understanding of evolutionary psychology affects our understanding of the term 'free will' - which is a secular question as well as a religious one, medicine and extending life, and a number of others I could not attend because workshops ran concurrently.

The audience was self selecting, but it shows for a subgroup of people who are religiously inclined, religion is not so much about providing an answer to be accepted and left at that, but an on-going questioning of what that means in practice, and whether 'my' understanding is adequate to the demands placed upon it.

But overall, a very useful set of talks, and an exemplar of how to disagree by presenting your case rather attempting to attacking your opponent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 10:14 AM

I worked on a master's degree in Environmental Ethics a couple of decades ago. It's part of the religious studies/philosophy department at that university. The current standoff between science and religion wasn't always the case. For a very long time they worked hand-in-hand, or at least live-and-let-live. Lemaître is a good example of that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 03:29 PM

SRS, please characterize "the current standoff". Both science and religion are rather large spheres of endeavor.

My favorite definition of religion is "the awe in which we hold our ignorance." Science is a set of behaviors that attempt to consistently dispel ignorance. It does not mean there is no awe, but it intensifies awe to actually feel one has a grasp on understanding.

Also what do you mean by "for a 'very' long time they worked hand-in-hand."? Galileo, Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley may beg to differ, Gregor Mendel notwithstanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 04:02 PM

I'm so jealous DMcG, as this interests me profoundly. I would have loved to attend that symposium.

I've really enjoyed Cox's series called Human Universe, which deals with how we came into being and our place in the Universe. He also covered the possibility of other forms of intelligent life somewhere in Space.

I think mutual respect and civility are essential to any discussion about Religion or Science, where they meet and where they disagree, and how each side copes with/adjusts to new discoveries of Time and Space.

I wonder if a key word might be Humility? After all, there must be much we don't yet know or quite understand, and arrogance, unshakeable certainty or a disparaging attitude will not get us further forward in our knowledge of the Universe.

Please ignore the following :-



I fancy Brian Cox like anything. He's second only to Sir David Attenborough in my admiration. (very old lady blushes)


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 04:17 PM

I agree with robomatic here. Generally, I think that a standoff is largely illusory. Science to me is a day-to-day thing, a never-ending quest for getting closer to truth, though, deliciously, never getting there. Science gives us our machines, our computers, our fabrics, our communication, our computers and a whole load of trouble. Most importantly, a way of looking at everything. Religion gives people a thing that I personally ceased to understand quite a long time ago, but in general religious belief doesn't impede science. There are millions of cutting-edge scientists who are fervent believers, yet their beliefs don't impede their enquiry. My penny-in-the-slot explanation for that is that religious belief is perfectly capable of being compartmentalised. Not set aside, but put on the back burner so that science can proceed without impediment. I can give you an argument any day as to why religious belief is daft, irrational and frequently controlling and damaging. But it also gives a lot of people a lot of comfort. Don't ask me why, but I kind of think I know. In the past, less so in the present, ideology has tried to impede science. Hence Galileo, Darwin and Mendel. But Newton was not only one of the greatest scientists who ever lived, but he also believed in magic and was a religious zealot. These days, I'll just stand there, arms akimbo with a stern stare, confronting anyone who makes assertions that fly in the face of the self-evident, thinking (especially in my field) of evolution-deniers and young-earth creationists. I'd cheerfully kick the soapbox away from under them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Iains
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 04:22 PM

I wonder if a key word might be Humility?
Arrogance has sent science down many dark alleys and caused religion to kill untold millions. Humility accepts that we do not understand everything and that science has neither proved or disproved the existence of a God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Iains
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 04:49 PM

The Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin Geologist and Paleontologist
said:         "We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey."

If we are spiritual beings on a human journey it rather turns the conventional paradigm on its head and adds many layers of complexity in determining both what religion is and what part science plays in it.

Makes my head hurt thinking about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 05:46 PM

Now there was a man who was totally up his own botty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 05:55 PM

The Scottish theologian Thomas Torrance made something of a career of asking awkward questions of his own profession out of what science had developed. One rather sticky one for Christians is how many Incarnations there would have to be in a cosmos that evolved intelligent creatures (presumably with souls that needed saving) in more than one location in space-time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 06:01 PM

Iains took my very next post from my little fingers: "Humility". I'm a big fan of the Big H. For those both scientific, religious, (and mods).

I often think of the Oliver Cromwell quote: "I beseech thee by the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." Though Cromwell the person is not necessarily my image of humility.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 06:09 PM

Indeed, that one was discussed. The session on extra terrestrial intelligent life was pretty much 45 minutes of difficult questions to think about. The goal of the session was to make us think, not provide answers (glib or otherwise.)

Even so, there were huge sections there was not time to go into. In most discussions (SF and otherwise) we recognise intelligence though the use of technology, but that is a very human-centric method. I think if we encountered alien intelligence we are very likely simply not to recognise it. It took us long enough to recognise behaviours in some animals and birds as showing intelligence, after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 06:47 PM

I think we have some excellent go-tos of what alien intelligence 'might' be like in that there is intelligence all over this planet if one looks for it with an open mind.

I have just finished and recommend "The Soul of an Octopus" by Sy Montgomery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 07:15 PM

Who has got an hour to spend nowadays? But if you do lets lok back 13,000 years or 50,000 years before Christ.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-T1ZYL1VYY


(nothing to do with Aliens)


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 08:19 PM

The founding fathers of my nation had an open mind to the many worlds theory. Knowing about 42,300 and equinoxes is not all our ancestors left in stone. If we want to speak to our ascendants 13,000 years from now, let us leave it in stainless steel or titanium.


Impact risk is higher than we thought. My intent is not meant to scare but we have had close shaves 5 years in row now. A kilometer or two of rock at 32,000 mph woud ruin our ra and make th people left to start over like children.

On opposite sides of the globe we have similar carvings. Even the details of what they hold in their left hand is the same. Advanced civilizations drowned from an impact 12,500 years ago. We see it at Globi Zep Tepi and structures thousands of years older.

So are we to expect Aliens to contact us in the future?
What I have seen, researched with Hynek, heard and felt are remarkable but not incontravertible truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 08:23 PM

Don't be naive, robo - the current science denial movement needs no introduction from me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 08:43 PM

Then there are deniers within the science community like gradualists against catastrophe, still.

Carl Sagan in his book Contact addressed terrorism by religionists against ET intelligence but
I think it was overstated.









I think the two subjects Could be integrated to the satisfaction of both communities










I think







i


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 08:45 PM

just hope if they land they won't say
'take me to your leader'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 10:14 PM

I like to think that when Space Aliens come, they will avoid cliches like "take me to your leader," and references to Roswell and Area 51. I'm hoping they will be more enlightened and sophisticated than we are....


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 02:17 AM

One thing I have been mulling over since the seminar is the question of morality. I need to start with an apparent diversion, but I hope it makes sense by the end.

Biologically, there are basically two main strategies to leaving descendants. The first, (e.g. mammalian and avian) is to have a very small number of offspring and spend a lot of effort nurturing them and the second (many fish and insects, all vegetation as far as I know) is to have a very large number of offspring and little or no nurturing.

I see big obstacles to the second approach developing any kind of technology because I don't see how information can be passed between generations easily in that approach, but I accept that could just be lack of imagination on my part, so let assume an intelligence capable of technology can develop under that reproductive style. I say this not because technology is essential to intelligent life, but because the only approaches we have been able to think of for detecting alien life so far - again as far as I am aware - rely on them having technology. Either that they visit us, which needs them to have technology we don't have, or they developed a means to send information via the electromagnetic spectrum far enough in the past for it to reach us when our technology is capable of detecting it.

Which brings us to moral systems. At the heart of ours is a protection of life: directly with prohibitions of murder, or indirectly with prohibitions of theft for example. But a creature with a different approach to descendants could, I suggest, put a completely different valuation on life and so have a well developed system of morality utterly different to our own.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 03:42 AM

Cox touched on this in his programme. He pointed out that a life form needs a long time (millions of years) to evolve and develop enough intelligence to advance in knowledge and produce sophisticated technology.

He showed many planets that may have supported life but only comparatively briefly, and any development would have been cut short by earthquakes, volcanoes, radiation, catastrophic asteroids etc. Whereas Earth seems to have been fortunate to have remained relatively stable so that humans could evolve and achieve some level of 'civilisation'.

If one considers other worlds with vastly different life forms which cultivate 'other' moralities, it leads one on to the question, 'If God exists, how does He view this rich variety of moral compasses, and where are we on the scale of Godly/religious/moral systems?'

This is where one wonders (as mentioned above) if an Incarnation (as subscribed to by Christians) in many forms has occurred elsewhere in the Universe. And it reduces us a bit as not quite so exclusive and important as we once thought.

The only conclusion we can reach is that 'we just don't know'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 03:51 AM

One problem with Steve's suggestion that people who are scientists and religious put religion on the back burner so it does not impede the science is that many report otherwise. We all know the limitations of self reporting, but some of the panel worked at CERN and said their religious understanding actively helped them, rather than "not impeding" them. And that makes sense to me: we are immensely complex beings and who knows where inspiration comes from? I can self report an occasion where I was stuck on a particular mathematical cul-de-sac and was inspired to the way out via the song "The Keach in the Creel". Anything and everything can be grist to the inspirational mill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:09 AM

Personally, I feel that if God exists and is the Creator of everything, then He would have no problem with our need to learn and understand all aspects of Science.
In fact, our advancing knowledge might do much to save Earth from disaster (eg pollution, disease eradication, environmental issues, over-population).
Science to me is Truth and Wisdom. That's not incompatible with God at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Iains
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:19 AM

Did the universe organise itself, or was it directed?


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:37 AM

I think that's the essence of the whole debate Iains. But whichever is correct, we can still learn about and explore it. Knowledge is vital.

The pitfalls occur when religious folk resent provable scientific theories/discoveries which contradict the Bible or other holy writings, and take stringent steps to suppress them.

Or when scientists get angry and mock or persecute religious views as misguided/incorrect/primitive.

Despite believing in God myself, I tend to support the Scientific side on this one. But never with insults, spite or a lack of respect for 'the other side'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:39 AM

People will always disagree on that one, Iains. And this still disagree when you get into deep questions about precisely what constitutes being directed.

For my part, I would rather focus on how each discipline can benefit from and bring benefit to the other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:41 AM

The next spiritual being that walks in here saying he's on a human journey - is getting a knee in the cobblers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Iains
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 04:54 AM

If he/she is traveling, they may be a tad hard to catch. If not traveling are they visible?


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Iains
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 05:22 AM

If you study the history of science, both scientific and religeous dogma have frustrated original ideas and held back the march of progress. The Chinese, Greeks and Romans had no problem with a belief in meteorites,
The French Academy of Sciences had the generally accepted opinion "Stones do not fall from Heaven" therefore this "could not happen." In 1803 they finally woke up. Heliocentrim replace geocentrism as a theory in 1543. The Church again was behind the curve. Wegener was laughed at,
plate tectonics is now accepted. Only since the shoemaker -levy impacts
has the realisation dawned that catastrophism can, and has, happened.
The sudbury nickel deposit is courtesy of an impact, as are other mineral deposits around the world..
   Without the impediment of dogma how much further would the world have evolved. Alternative energy sources, harmony among religions, more understanding of who and what we are.... the list goeson.
Is the PC world we now inhabit subject to the new dogma.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: robomatic
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 06:48 AM

Every so often I watch the 1951 version of "The Day The Earth Stood Still". I think it has held up extremely well for a Sci-Fi flick with a message. A story as simple and profound as the Garden of Eve story or the Christmas story, aimed at a new age and era. And a message not yet completely absorbed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Iains
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 07:08 AM

robomatic I have been reading an account of how the US scientific community attacked Velikovsky when Worlds in Collision was published. They took no prisoners.
New York Daily News editorialized against them.

"If we might presume to offer the scientific brotherhood a tip, it would be to get busy trying to disprove Velikovsky with facts and figures and lay off trying to promote boycotts aimed at his book."

Organized science, however, was so unable to heed this advice that, more than a year later, mathematician J. S. Miller explained in Harper's why he had switched to Velikovsky's side.

"The glaring paucity and the barren weakness of explicit criticism . . . have impressed me. There have been vitriolic and abusive utterances filled with fever but amazingly bare of fact."

Very reminiscent of the BS of Mudcat in fact.
Makes me wonder how much Climate change is impacted by the same pack mentality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 08:44 AM

DMcG Reproduction has many alternatives to what is found on Earth. I can think of more possibilities for Red dwarf solar systems with no impact threats and longer lasting stable conditions. Beings there would have no need for predatory malevolence so morality would be different.

The concept of ubiquitous life in the universe is already 'baked into' most religions I can think of. Jesus; My father has many mansions, Hindu; Bhgadivita, Ancient Egyptian ; Horus and Ossirus , ugh Mormons...

It will take about one generation for man to 'get used to it'

Example you did not have a flying saucer in your garage but if they are invented your children would see it as totally normal.

Teasing the public about ET life is destructive divisive and cruel but abject obvious truth would be an entirely different matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 09:36 AM

people who are scientists and religious put religion on the back burner so it does not impede the science is that many report otherwise. I think what you have here are zealots reporting (wishful thinking) that scientists have doubts about science.

Religion isn't just a way of believing. For others it is a way of living, of moving through the day in a society with friends and family. We do xmas every year even though no one in the family believes in a god, christian or anything else. We enjoy the company of friends and family and the participation in gift giving, a good meal, and comraderie. And since most of the stores and businesses are closed anyway, that's a good day to do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 09:38 AM

My husband and I were discussing this thread this morning, and we both agreed that we feel very awestruck when we contemplate the Universe as portrayed in Cox's excellent TV programmes, and also after experiencing the Dynamic Earth centre in Edinburgh, and the superb film called 'We Are Astronomers' which they project on to the dome. The latter had us absolutely stunned.

We have different religions, yet we both have trouble imagining other life forms on other solar systems, although obviously we accept this is possible and even probable.

Muslims have quite a history of scientific thought and philosophy over the centuries.
Both of us are extremely interested in scientific discoveries and manage to 'run' Religion' and 'Science' in our heads without coming up against any conflict.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 10:55 AM

As do I, though perhaps not entirely without conflict. But when I find a conflict I generally suspect I have misunderstood one side, or the other, or both. And, up to now, that has been so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 11:08 AM

We have concentrated on extra terrestrial light a bit, so by way of light relief I will just note a throw away remark of Brian Cox's. He showed a little video of the Worlds largest vacuum chamber and they had repeated the experiment of dropping a cannon ball and a feather to show they fell at the same rate without air resistance. Which of course the did. Brian then said all scientists watching broke out into applause "which is odd: you do not applaud laws of physics!".

There was something interesting there psychologically. Pity there was not the time to explore it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 11:50 AM

Third post in a row, but I think this was the best joke of the event.   It was from a member of the audience.

It is a bit depressing that the need for star to be as it is, for a planet to be in the Goldilocks zone, the long and tentative first steps to life, the millions upon millions of combinations of pairs of multicellular organisms, of evolutionary changes of almost unimaginable time, and the almost chance meetings of one human male with a female was the exact and unique sequence needed to lead up to Boris Johnson.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 05:29 PM

That joke was a smile but no laugh. So you are surprised by exemplary disagreement?


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 05:37 PM

I am afraid I do find people disagreeing with each other without resorting to personal attacks is getting to be a surprise.

The joke is a good example of a variety of bathos, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 07:18 PM

There is unavoidable conflict between science at the philosophical level, though not generally at the everyday level. That's what I was trying to say. Working scientists can cheerily get on without bringing their religious beliefs into the fray. They can develop the drugs, the vaccines, the hardware and software, they can do the engineering in all the fields, yet go to Mass of a Sunday and see no conflict. But at the philosophical level the conflict is unalloyed. Science is all about unending enquiry, informed always by evidence and scepticism, and never accepting proof. Religious belief leads to the teaching of certainties, in extreme cases requiring you to accept them without demur, and this staunches the natural curiosity that leads to that never-ending enquiry. You may delude yourself into thinking that theological enquiry is just as valid, but if that's what you think you're living in a bubble that doesn't admit real evidence. You look to the stars in the heavens and say, what more do you need. Well to me that will never do. Explanations for the origin of everything that require the intelligent mind to eschew evidence and take on board explanations that themselves can't be explained, not ever, because of their concerted dismissal of the laws of physics, are irrational. Not that irrationality doesn't have its place. We're not Mr Spocks and some of us even support Liverpool FC. That's life the human way. No black, no white!


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 08:14 PM

Starting with your first sentence I find the opposite is true due to status quo pressures and peer acceptance. Second: Science is a Philosophy.
Science is not based on 'never accepting proof'. Or maybe you meant the opposite again. The rest is obvious and ends with a cute sci fi homage.
If I were to grade your essay I would give it a C and your construction an A-.

You have editorialized about my writing so I now respond.

I write in idea packets (that can be expanded upon) but you are not saying what you think you are saying in my view. On the surface perimeter you do say it well, but its fluffy. Or are you having a go?


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: robomatic
Date: 05 Nov 18 - 09:40 PM

Iaians:

Funny you should bring up Velikovsky. My father was an honest-to-God real scientist and he was on the side of the scientific community on that one. Because "Worlds in Collision" was not science. It was no different than 'revealed truth' i.e. a new chapter of the bible or an astrological tract. It was attacked because it was being represented as a valid scientific theory which it was not. It was the equivalent of representing Creationism as Creation 'Science' which it is not, or putting it on a debating par with Darwinian evolution.

To quote Richard Feynman (who was in high school with my mother) "I know how hard it is to know something." [Cripes I'm beginning to sound like Donuel!]

Now, on the off chance that you confused Velikovsky's book with my reference to "The Day The Earth Stood Still", they are entirely different. "The Day The Earth Stood Still" is a science fiction movie based on an earlier short story called "Return of the Master." In the movie an alien of very human appearance lands a space ship in Washington D.C. and demands to talk to all of Earth's leaders. He is greeted with fear and hostility but he has a robot companion, "Gort" by name, who has the potential to be a Galactic enforcer. How the human appearing "Klaatu" can convince humans of his identity and importance, and what happens is a piece of good story-telling, yet a very simple tale as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Iains
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 04:50 AM

Robomatic you could be responded to on many levels, but I will try to be very brief.
1)Conventional geology adheres to the priciple of Uniformitarianism whereas Velikovsky advocated catastrophism. The extinction of the dinosaurs was a catastrophe, as was the formation of the Witswaterand by the Vredefort impact crater. There are roughly 170 major impact structures recognised and in the deep ocean no one knows.
The science is overwhelming that catastrophes do occur. The presence of craters, nano diamonds and the shocked quartz varieties of coesite and stishovite supports the view impacts were responsible.
So on that score Velikovsky was ahead of his time. He was ridiculed for both the events and the causative agent. It seems meteorites were responsible, not planets(I hesitate to be too emphatic about that because smug certainty can be later disproved)

2)Hamlets Mill, An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge and Its Transmission Through Myth by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend ,is a nonfiction work of history and comparative mythology, particularly the subfield of archaeoastronomy
It is also a very thought provoking book. A partial summary would say that it makes the case that Ancient man had a fixation on the Heavens, and especially the Zodiac. Certain numbers concerning periodicity crop up in many myths worldwide and are repeated in architecture of ancient sites.. Why would so much time be wasted tracking precession. Why so many stories about world ages. Did they know something about periodicity that we do not? After all the oort cloud can slingshot nasty surprises into potential earth crossing orbits.
3)Alexander Thom an Oxford engineering professor was ridiculed for insisting sites such as Stonehenge were laid out with high precision, by use of a megalithic yard. The precision is accepted(now) but the megalithic yard is still disputed.
4)Conventional archeology seems very straitjacketed and unable to accept new Ideas. For me it was beautifully summed up by the BBC program Timeteam. Each time an object was found that they could not explain it was automatically labelled a ritual object.
5)People such as Velikovsky, Von Daniken and Graham Hancock are vital.
They challenge the existing paradigm and make all manner of embarrassing challenges. That is healthy. Unfortunately peer pressure makes cowards and funding can make science political.
Science from the left field, not surprisingly, is very sinister and academics automatically reject it, often without even studying the supporting evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 06:27 AM

Well heck robo my mom only went to high school with Dick Van Dyke :^/

Even a blind Vielikovsky can find a truffle now and then.
Our early solar system was chaotic but I doubt within the span of modern humans and folklore.
The other debate back then was about an open or closed universe.

Your posts are hitting home runs. :^O


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 07:19 AM

Religious belief leads to the teaching of certainties, in extreme cases requiring you to accept them without demur, and this staunches the natural curiosity that leads to that never-ending enquiry. You may delude yourself into thinking that theological enquiry is just as valid, but if that's what you think you're living in a bubble that doesn't admit real evidence. You look to the stars in the heavens and say, what more do you need. Well to me that will never do

Remember at this symposium we are talking about research scientists at CERN who happen also to be religious. I don't think I am going out on too much of a limb to suggest they have that view of science as well and unlikely to look at the stars and say what more do you need.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 07:37 AM

For those interested The Wikipedia article on the thesis that religion and science are in conflict is worth reading, since it covers the historical origins and subsequent developments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Senoufou
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 08:25 AM

I've had a brief look at that Wikipedia article DMcG, and assume that by 'religion' they are restricting their study to the Christian religion, and its various conflicts against heresy.

I feel one must also consider Islam, since it has a rather different attitude to scientific research and learning.

For example, the ancient University of Cairo, Al-Azhar was founded in 975AD, and therein Philosophy was studied, and later Astronomy, even Chemistry, Zoology and of course Mathematics. Many Muslims developed a love of Mathematics and Science and were encouraged to do so, not threatened with accusations of apostasy or heresy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: DMcG
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 08:31 AM

Oh, I entirely agree, Sen. I think it focuses on Christianity purely because that was Draper and co's main environment. A proper study should not be be restricted European-Christian matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: robomatic
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 08:51 AM

Iains: I apologize for mis spelling your name before:

I fully endorse the argument that scientists can be every bit as dogmatic and resistant to new and good ideas as any other band of purported truth seekers. And science and scientists are continually perverted by those in power. (I'm currently reading an interesting book called "The man who stalked Einstein") There is nothing wrong with researching anthropological evidence, myths, historical records and coordinating them with known astronomical events. That don't make Velikovsky and his ilk science. Check out the Wikipedia entry on his book.

Many years ago my brother was going over his math homework with our father who was objecting to his reasoning. "But," my bro said, "I got the right answer!" Dad wrote down:
2=3
3=2
_____
5=5

and said: "There! I got the right answer!" Dad had continual problems getting his work published due to just this kind of resistance to differing ideas.

But new ideas are like the radiation that alters our genetic material. Most of them are not getting us there. For every Galileo or Newton there are many more Alex Jones. Used to be to disseminate new ideas you needed a publisher (or a mimeo machine, 'member those?). Now all you need is 'access' to the web.

Real scientists were aghast that Velikovsky got to a reputable publisher. More recently a doctor got to a reputable British journal and linked vaccinations to autism. He has since been debunked but the perverted science has got to every level of authorityh in the land, White House included.


I don't expect to convert you. And I don't think you are unintelligent. I think at this point we might agree though that this stuff matters.


I return to humility. My father pretty much idolized Sir Isaac Newton, as do I. But if you know much about Sir Isaac, you know that while being one of the great all time geniuses, he also spent a great deal of time and effort on occult studies

There used to be a room at The Babson Institute near Boston devoted to Newton and his works. I'm not sure the material is still actually there but there is a collection of 'Newtonia'
associated with Sir Isaac that I think included some of the lesser known aspects of this man. And they claim to have a scion of the Newton Apple Tree growing there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: Iains
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 01:40 PM

Donuel Our early solar system was chaotic but I doubt within the span of modern humans and folklore.
There is a body of thought that would beg to differ.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_event (I do not like using Wiki but it gives a very rapid overview. check the holocene events.


https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b&ei=_szhW6OZK6qCgAanhLLgDA&q=holocene+meteorite+impacts+scientific+papers&oq=holoc

Robomatic Velikovsky may have been a maverick, but not everything he postulated was entirely away with the fairies.I can appreciate your point of view but would suspect you might be guilty of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. This could be unfortunate because when their speciality is challenged many "scientists" have closed minds and tunnel vision. They also do not like their preconceived view of the world shaken and are far too resistant to change. In short they possess an arrogance and air of superiority arising from foundations of sand, because many know more and more about less and less. Increasingly teams of varied specialists are required to make any headway.
For example:A brief review of the literature on climate change shows a vast number of different specialities contributing. As you rightly show, Newton practised alchemy-does that mean we should disregard his contributions and have burned him as a witch/wizard? I am sure Einstein and Tesla probably had feet of clay, but no rationalperson would attempt to belittle their accomplishments(Einstein and Velikovsky actually met and communicated with each other)
I am still very curious why ancient man had a preoccupation with precession and calculating ages. The detail carried down the generations was far more than that needed to calculate the correct date to plant the cabbages.
"500 doors and 40 there are I ween, in Valhalla's walls; 800 fighters through each door fare, when to the war with the Wolf they go. "( 540 X 800 = 432,000)

In Babylonia, the ancient scribe Berossus wrote that mythical kings ruled before the Great Flood for a total 432,000 years.

In India, the Rigvida contains exactly 432,000 syllables. And although the calculation has created some confusion of late, the Vedic Kali Yuga (representing the current world age) is said to be comprised of 432,000 years.

On the other side of the globe, Mayan calendar units reprise the same precessional figures. For example: 1 tun (an astronomical year) = 360 days; 6 tuns = 2,160 days; 1 katun = 7200 days, 6 katuns = 43,200. The standard Mayan base of 20 (ours is 10) is arrived at by dividing 43,200 by 2,160.

72 years = the time it takes for the stars to shift 1 degree

30 degrees = one astrological age (a different zodiac constellation rises with the Sun every 2,160 years)

12 = the total number of zodiac signs or astrological ages. 12 times 2,160 = 25,920 years, or one full precession cycle

360 degrees = 12 X 30 degrees, or one full circuit through the zodiac constellations

Is the above merely simple mythology or are we missing something significant about these spans of time?


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Subject: RE: BS: Symposium: Exemplary disagreement
From: robomatic
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 07:54 PM

24 beers in a case;
24 hours in a day. . .
coincidence?


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