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  1. #71
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that no God Delusion-thumping Dawkinsites have posted yet.

  2. #72
    Senior Member bedeviled1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    This question doesn't make much sense. You're better off just asking a general question about the relationship between science and religion.

    The validity or non-validity of the Mayan calendar has little to do with NASA. The Mayan calendar is simply the measurement of time used by the Mayans, and IIRC has been calculated by astronomers to be rather accurate. NASA could comment on the accuracy of the Mayan calendar, but that doesn't really say much either. All that really happened on December 21 is a new cycle in the calendar begun. The whole doomsday notion is largely a gross misinterpretation of a hypothetical interpretation given by a scholar in the 1960s which has since been thoroughly challenged and refuted by many Mayan scholars since.

    Now in the last few years, many doomsayers were trying to conjure up different ideas of how the end of the world would come: from Planet X, to massive solar flares, magnetic pole shifets, etc. NASA can and has thoroughly debunked those theories as not being remotely possible or not that much of a big deal. NASA does have competence to comment on such issues. This is not the same as predicting the future per se, and certainly not in the sense in regards to religious prophecies and eschatology.
    NASA released a video confirming and reassuring people that the world will Not end anytime soon. Saying that NASA is not compenent to comment on such issues is an answer to the thread. many people over thousands of years have put their trust in such issues in the Bible. Seemed like a reasonable question to a current issue to me but, thanks
    "May you live all the days of your life"

  3. #73
    Senior Member bedeviled1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    it's probably not as clear-cut as you think -- for example, a lot of the early archaeological "proof" (in the first half of the 20th century was actually handled in reverse... people were assuming the Bible was true and using it to interpret the artifacts being uncovered. There's a lot of argument over what "proof" there is in the last 70 years, to confirm any of the Biblical record. People agree there was a Jesus, but we don't have a lot of outside corroboration over details of Jesus' life, for example, except that he was put to death by the Romans. There have been some HUGE questions raised about the reign of David and the Biblical account from that time and earlier.



    I don't think anyone is asking you to "put your trust completely in the hands of scientists." You can trust the process, though. Even when there have been wrong assumptions on the part of human beings about how things work in the world, these things are constantly being challenged, corrected, and revised. So you never know if something is 100% accurate, but you can at least trust that if something is wrong and more information is uncovered, the idea is going to be revised eventually. Religion is a different process -- you start with the answers ("here is what is true") and then you have faith in it regardless of evidence, although perhaps you can assume you misunderstood a tenet of the faith if you seem to be REALLY wrong for a long period of time.



    Maybe this brief overview will be helpful. For example, GPS is a technology that depends on quantum mechanics to work. A lot of modern tech functions because of the implementation of quantum principles. So sorry, it's being used everywhere and people ARE making lots of money on it. You can trust it works at least as far as technology is working today.

    http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2...body-should-k/
    I was thinking its probably more clear cut than anyone thinks but getting to the answer is the problem.
    And I think that putting your trust completely in scientists is exactly what is expected of me. If not then what else?
    "May you live all the days of your life"

  4. #74
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    No they can't.

    Science can only guess at what will happen tomorrow as they have no control over it and no direct knowledge of the future.
    Educated guess. There is a world of difference between a guess and an educated guess. Science doesn't shoot from the hip.

    Science can make educated hypotheses about the future. It looks at current systems and can project the continuation of how those systems will function into the future. The more variables there are, and the more chaotic or subjective those variables, then the more uncertain their predictions become, but they can still propose some degree of certainty.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  5. #75
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedeviled1 View Post
    I was thinking its probably more clear cut than anyone thinks but getting to the answer is the problem.
    And I think that putting your trust completely in scientists is exactly what is expected of me. If not then what else?
    Why be worried about what's expected of you?

    I think that would be an unrealistic expectation anyway. You don't completely trust any human in the way you're saying.

    It's just good to have a sense of knowing when the scientist is probably not wrong.

    Do you trust everything that a scientist says? No. Some of them are whack.

    You trust what makes sense and has been corroborated.

  6. #76
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    they can still propose some degree of certainty.
    We can predict with certainty with quantum mechanics.

    We have tried to falsify quantum mechanics from the beginning. And every year our measurements get better and better. And so far quantum mechanics has shown to be 100% correct. It is mind bogglingly accurate - accurate beyond our imagination.

  7. #77

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    I don't think the word "science" is terribly helpful in these sorts of debates. Like others who posted, I don't believe there is a dichotomy--We rely on science for certain things, and religion for others. The right tool for the job, so to speak.

    There are certain situations call for reliance on our worldly faculties. Things like "where is this bus going to stop?" "Where do I need to go to catch this ball?" Science is an extension and amplification of these faculties. On the questions like "will the sun rise tomorrow?", or "will the earth stop rotating?", I think we are well within the province of the worldly faculties of a modern society.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  8. #78
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I think most end times "obsessives" probably think their lives are meaningless in one way or another (not that they are), and they want to be "special" by thinking they're part of "The End". It gives them a sense of importance. "Out of all the millions of years humans have been on earth, I've been selected to witness something of such mindblowing, cosmic importance as the complete destruction of the Universe!" It's kind of the same thing elitist scenesters go through.. a need to be connected to something greater than yourself. "Oh, I went to a party and met this or that band member. I'm so special." Same thing, just replace "band member" with the "Apocalypse". At the end of the day, it revolves around ego. The believer's ego, but especially the various preachers and cult leaders' egos who are so sure that "this will be the date" and that they've somehow tapped into the hidden secrets of space, time, the Almighty, and everything in between. It's all about ego. And both science and religion will tell you that ego is something that needs to be toned down. That's the answer we really need. NASA would suggest the scientific method to aid you stripping ego out your decision making process. And the Bible will tell you "blessed are the meek". Same difference (ok, not really.. but whatever. Good luck).

    I want to be connected to something great too, but that "greatness" would be some sense of progress or exploration. I don't know why people find stories of "the end" or destruction so appealing. I always liked stories of pioneers or adventure. Be it the Wild West or early ship explorers or fantasy. Humankind is just an infant, barely scratching the surface of what the universe has to offer. If I could just connect to that somehow, that's good enough for me. The idea of everyone dying before we even get started pisses me off.

  9. #79
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @KDude

    We're all connected to something great just by being. Why anyone would want to see that destroyed is beyond me.

  10. #80
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    @KDude

    We're all connected to something great just by being. Why anyone would want to see that destroyed is beyond me.
    You're right. That's even more to the point, I suppose.

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