Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Science, God & Robert Sawyer

Stephen Jay Gould called science and religion "nonoverlapping magisteria," insisting that some things are properly matters of science and others are only considered as questions of faith. Archie Bunker did say one thing that SF-author Robert Sawyer agrees with: "You want to know what faith is? Faith is when you believe something nobody in their right mind would believe — that's what faith is!"

So Gould's dichotomy, filtered by Bunker's definition, leaves us with an untenable position: some questions are best answered by science, and other questions can only be addressed if you're willing to consider the irrational.

Sawyer flat-out rejects that. He's convinced that science is the only legitimate way of knowing. Not received wisdom from putative holy texts. Not mystical insight. Science.

Read more:

Did God do it?

Let us indulge intentional circularity.

Being a product of the biases which favored my emergence,
I choose to align my interior biases with those exterior biases,
for the sake of completeness, correct perspective,and maximum self-realization.

Indulging my primate imprinting to pattern behavior on that of pack elders, I knowingly commit a monkeyism in choosing awe towards phenomena which have resulted in me.

In the midst of the elevated dopamine regime induced by awe,I once again critically extrapolate from pure science, but with far greater power than when not so pumped.

When seen in this way, one might say that even if it's not God, I gain greatest vision from genuinely approaching it as if it were.
Didn't promote my post yet?
O.K., here's a nice addendum:

It is a symbiotic whole, science and religion being two contituents of human outreach.
Historically, bereft of a dataset, all science was religion, at least until
stonehenge and other star position almanacs were laid out physically,
at which point the science, now having data, could break free.

European mind studies in the 1980's tested subjects presented with
chaotic visual input in a sensory deprivation regime, in what can only be termed
a hyper-Rorshach confrontation, and discovered each new unintelligible
assault on our senses is run through a series of "best fit" fables,
each taking less than 1/10 of a second in our inner visualization center,
and when a fable fits with pre-established belief, it is imposed over
the chaotic data, granting comfortable mastery to the victim,
in less than half a second.

So biologically, the mind understands reality by trying out lies, until one works.
You might have seen this phenom at work yourself, as I did,
when driving at night, seeing an object up ahead morph from a deer
to a person, to a rusted highway sign in less than 1/2 a second.
(it was a highway sign).

So fable is first, and science (or method) a mere outgrowth,
and cultural overlay.

It is no accident that religious ritual prefigures science lab procedures,
they are actually one and the same, the first working on
pure fable, no data, and the latter working on concensus fable
(hypothesis) and then gathering data.

So do not tell us that science without a hypothesis is anything
but delusion, because that is what it is.
Gather what data, when, why, for what proof?
The fable is integral, and a hypothesis is, by definition, unproven.
Hypothesis therefore has an identity relation with fable.

Now on to your straw man religion.
Your straw man religion sucks, is worthless, is disproven,
is a waste of time, and holds everybody back.
But not because it is religion,
but instead because it is strawman religion.

Your fable-producing right brain empowers your analytic lefto,
and a lefto without righto quickly lapses into depression, madness & suicide.
So only give up the enforced fables of youth,
not your own found fables, because your newfound life fables,
your wisdom, your hope, your intuition fuel and power
all your best hypotheses, and therefore ipso facto:
all your science.
Calculating God by Robert Sawyer is definitely a fun read with many of the arguements for an intelligent creator of the universe argued from the unusual viewpoint of aliens that believe in God. The aliens don't impute omniscience or omnipotence to their god, however, it/he/she is just a really good engineer who has been around for a long time. All of the scientific arguements for a universe designed to support life can be found in the book in a easily readable form.
My apologies

I meant "constituents"

not "contituents"

I type very carelessly.
I just spent the day reading how hard Stephen Jay Gould scrambled to discredit Teilhard de Chardin about his supposed complicity in the Piltdown Man forgery.

This Gould guy is (wuz) a twisted sister!

I couldnt disagree more on his statement - my path to faith was not through blindness but through rational and pragmatic assessments of the evidence - I wouldnt make a blind decision on this sort of matter because I am a scientist
If you flat out reject considering the irrational as Gould does, just where does Einstein's special theory, quantum theory, & string theory fit in?

These are all science & special & quantum theory have never been proven wrong. There is nothing stranger & more irrational than quantum theory. And it has given us virtually everything in the modern technological world.

There is an abundance of the "irrational" in our every day lives. If no one ever considered the irrational, where would science & medicine be?

Some of us are just not smart enough to understand where this guy is coming from.

I realize he is talking about science as opposed to religion, & I have nothing to do with organized religion. But quantum theory, especially, opened doors to new universes of thought, not the least of which was laying a groundwork for spirituality.

Some of us needed something other than blind faith & science provided that for me. Hows that for coming in the back door?
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