YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

The Church of Science - Dhamma Wheel

The Church of Science

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
Buckwheat
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

The Church of Science

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:56 pm

I have a great deal of respect (even reverence) for the scientific method and it's ability to glean wonderful insight into the physical world. However, I also respect the limited domain of what science can and can not say about experience and life in general.

I have friends, wonderful people, who seem to think science is the end all be all, supplemented only by a vague sense of wanting to "be a good person". They seem to take the conclusions of science as gospel, even in areas where the science still seems a bit shaky. They then extrapolate theories out to broad philosophical frameworks and take these concepts to be Reality.

My question: Is it possible that science could be considered a form of religion, or become so in the future? The problem I see with this possibility is that it would go unnoticed due to science being considered the opposite of a religion, based on FACTS and therefore RIGHT. Two words that often facilitate the propagation of suffering.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: The Church of Science

Postby daverupa » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:24 pm

"The first thing to say, here, is that it is exceedingly difficult to characterize these phenomena. First, consider science: what exactly is science? How can we characterize it? What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for a given inquiry or theory or claim to be scientific, a part of science? This is far from easy to say."


vitellius
Posts: 190
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: The Church of Science

Postby vitellius » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:09 pm


Guinness
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:26 am
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Guinness » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:32 am

I've had similar 'debates' with my younger brother: he is very pro-science, in that he believes that everything science tells us is fact. He says that science proves that Earth and all beings are created through 'big bang' phenomena and that we are purely existing. When we die, we die and thats it. Its very black and white to him. It is not a religion, or a way of life; it is a fact.

Ok, I can buy some of that, but where does spiritual energy come from? Why do I have a feeling of wanting to be a good person, and do good things?

If I ask him who defined and developed science [i.e. "us"], then he takes a very "are you stupid?" attitude. He thinks that science has always existed and its us that is discovering that; not developing or defining. Its almost as if he thinks we are randomly programmed robots who should not question, but obey the law of science. [I exaggerate to make a point].

Again, I don't necessarily disagree, but I think he is only finding part answers through his unwillingness to accept that there may be, just may be, be spiritual phenomena at work as well, that guides us to find scientific answers/questions.

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Ben » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:54 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
manas
Posts: 2251
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Church of Science

Postby manas » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:56 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Dan74 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:08 am

_/|\_

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Ben » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:19 am

Hi Dan,
Yes, I believe that exists as well. There are plenty of, if you like, "lay" enthusiasts of science; some of whom had/have a little bit of knowledge and an uncritical enthusiasm.
But my observation is that its a different to the discipline of science and the vast majority of those who are actively engaged in scientific enquiry.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Librarian
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:55 pm

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Librarian » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:28 pm

May I suggest this article Taking Science on Faith by Paul Davies published in NYT. Here the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/opini ... wanted=all
I found this article interesting, I don't know if read it

User avatar
Alexei
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:51 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Alexei » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:28 pm


Buckwheat
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:26 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

User avatar
Alexei
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:51 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Alexei » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:09 pm


User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Church of Science

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:40 pm


User avatar
Ytrog
Posts: 693
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: The Netherlands, near Arnhem
Contact:

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Ytrog » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:49 pm

There seem to be some emergent property of pattern recognition and and memory in artificial neural networks, so to me the idea of the mind being an emergent property (though more sophisticated) of the brain doesn't seem so strange.

Buckwheat
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:41 pm

If I had to choose, I would say the mind and brain interact dynamically. But that is beside the point. My professor had no proof of the mind being an emergent property of the brain, yet very boldly declared it to be the case. Isn't that a leap of faith? And it seems scientists make those leaps all the time to answer questions that are outside the domain of the scientific method. It seems to be motivated by insecurity with the unknown.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

User avatar
Ytrog
Posts: 693
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: The Netherlands, near Arnhem
Contact:

Re: The Church of Science

Postby Ytrog » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:00 pm

Maybe to help the discussion here. This is a big principle of science: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

May it help people to distinguish science from non-science. :candle:

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Church of Science

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:38 am

Thanks Ytrog,

Karl Popper spent a number years in New Zealand (thanks to the Nazis) and is credited with persuading the establishment here that it was important that our universities be more research oriented (Iocal PhD's were very uncommon back then).

However, as noted in that Wikipedia article, professional philosophers of science have moved on a bit since Popper. Being too simplistic about falsifiability would lead to the classification of a lot of cosmology, geology and biology as "not science". Not that (as I've said) it would have any impact on the science itself...

:anjali:
Mike


Return to “Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 20 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine