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God vs Science

Discussion in 'Religion and Lighthearted Discussion' started by Lifer, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, "Let me explain the problem science has with religion." The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.
    "You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"
    "Yes sir," the student says.
    "So you believe in God?"
    "Absolutely."
    "Is God good?"
    "Sure! God's good."
    "Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"
    "Yes."
    "Are you good or evil?"
    "The Bible says I'm evil."
    The professor grins knowingly. "Aha! The Bible!" He considers for a moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?"
    "Yes sir, I would."
    "So you're good...!"
    "I wouldn't say that."
    "But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."
    The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"
    The student remains silent.
    "No, you can't, can you?" the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.
    "Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?"
    "Er...yes," the student says.
    "Is Satan good?"
    The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No."
    "Then where does Satan come from?"
    The student falters. "From God"
    "That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?"
    "Yes, sir."
    "Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?"
    "Yes."
    "So who created evil?" The professor continued, "If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil."
    Again, the student has no answer. "Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?"
    The student squirms on his feet. "Yes."
    "So who created them?"
    The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. "Who created them?" There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. "Tell me," he continues onto another student. "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"
    The student's voice betrays him and cracks. "Yes, professor, I do."
    The old man stops pacing. "Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?"
    "No sir. I've never seen Him."
    "Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"
    "No, sir, I have not."
    "Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?"
    "No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."
    "Yet you still believe in him?"
    "Yes."
    "According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?"
    "Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith."
    "Yes, faith," the professor repeats. "And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith."
    The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. "Professor, is there such thing as heat?"
    "Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."
    "And is there such a thing as cold?"
    "Yes, son, there's cold too."
    "No sir, there isn't."
    The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. "You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees."</ I>
    "Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."
    Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.
    "What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?"
    "Yes," the professor replies without hesitation. "What is night if it isn't darkness?"
    "You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word."
    "In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?"
    The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. "So what point are you making, young man?"
    "Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed."
    The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. "Flawed? Can you explain how?"
    "You are working on the premise of duality," the student explains. "You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought."
    "It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it."
    "Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?"
    "If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do."
    "Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"
    The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.
    "Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?"
    The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.
    "To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean."
    The student looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out into laughter.
    "Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir."
    "So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?"
    Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.
    Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. "I guess you'll have to take them on faith."
    "Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life," the student continues. "Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?"
    Now uncertain, the professor responds, "Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."
    To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."
    The professor sat down.
  2. costpet

    costpet Rookie

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    One of the arguments here is that you can't see evolution working. Well, you know that many people get a flu shot every year. Why is that? Once you get a shot, it's good for life. That's the way vaccines work. However, you have to get a new one every year because the flu virus changes. It EVOLVES into something slightly different. Last year's shot doesn't work for the new virus. That's evolution on a very short time scale.
    On a longer time scale, we can dig up fossils of creatures that do not exist anymoe. They are extinct. But their genes are in many modern day creatures. The enviornment changed, so they had to change. Take the Saber Toothed tiger. None of them around anymore, but there are modern day tigers in the jungle. Or Mammoths. They're gone, but we see their descendents in the elephant. And on and on it goes. Creatures adapt to their new enviroment or die out completely. That's the way evolution works. Haven't seen a dino walking around lately, but I've seen their bones. Lots of them. So I know they existed and dies out. They couldn't adapt. Same with humans. There are bones of long ago ancesters that are now extinct. They lived on earth for millions of years and are now gone. We are their legacy. We evolved from them.

    Here's a nice little fact. Our human ancesters evolved in Africa. East Africa to be exact. Around the Equator. Now, if you're running around the Equator naked, as they did, you had better have some protection for your skin. Light skin doesn't work. You would burn up. So, they had to have dark skin to protect themselves from the sun. Like modern day Africans. In other words, we all started out Black. All of us.
  3. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why the re-run, Lifer? You have posted this before.
  4. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    Lifer I really liked the post,but there is one flaw that I picked up on. During the industrial revolution in England the primary fuel source was coal, the skys over Manchester and Birmingham were filled with black smoke,everything was covered in soot.

    At the same time there were large numbers of white mothes,and being white they stood out agains the black around them and were easy pray. Within a year the mothes changed their color to black. And I mean color not that they were covered in soot.
    At the collage I work at a biology teacher took an average Gray squirrel and through genetic engineering changed the color from gray to black. If you go into the city of Westfield mass. you'll see black squirrels every where. The moth story is an ex. of evolution in a short time frame. If the moths hadn't changed color they wouldn't have survived.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  5. PatsFanInVa

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    The storytelling is, of course, meant to come to rest at the proposition that the professor is a dolt, and the polite young student is wise beyond his years (naturally - he's the good guy.) It's interesting that the professor is such easy prey for rhetorical "tours de force" as the student's recognition of cold as a heat sink, and darkness as a paucity of visual spectrum radiation. Of course, it is necessary for the story that the professor be something of a dullard.

    Luckily, nobody in the least acquainted with even the rudiments of science would take seriously the little fable, and that being the case, it will remain as it is, circulated as the e-mailable "ultimate answer" to empiricism for teeming dozens of religiously fervent but otherwise undereducated easy marks.

    Nice story though. Good writing, bad science.

    PFnV
  6. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    When I read the story it was interesting I wanted to see where it went. I enjoyed reading it,it held my attention. But like you said,and I quote " Nice story though. Good writing, bad science".
  7. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    Why? other than your take that the professor in your view was portrayed as a "dolt"? Thats interesting to me, in that, so often in these stories or in arguements, the person of faith is portrayed as a "dolt" and that is roundly accepted. You express dismissal based only on your offense at such a slight and go on only to offer a "luckily, nobody in the least acquainted....." defense, which offers no substance and is in reality another "the person of faith is a dolt" example.

    once again, faith and the theory of evolution do not have to be incompatable.
    And not all that advocate openess to the possibility of a Creator are against Evolution. Many people of Faith believe in the theory of Evolution. Evolution explains how life has evolved. But it doesnt explain how life began.

    Surely, people of intelligence can have that discussion without resorting to fearful insults when that question is brought up.
  8. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    science doesn't have to utilize fictitious anecdotal dialog in order to make a case for something.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  9. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    its not fictitious if you cant disprove it.

    hey, you arent trying to use your 'muscular intellecture'* on me, are you? :)

    *special thanks to NE Patriot for that one.
  10. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    This statement is false on two levels:

    1) I never said the point was fiction, I said the dialog was; which it is.

    2) You've just stated a fairly basic logical fallacy. Prove to me there isn't an invisible teapot circuling Pluto. If you can't disprove it it's not fictitious.

    Actually I believe it's my "mAscular Intellecture," and yesI'm taking it out for a spin.;)
  11. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    right...right...Mascular. not muscular, im going to have to google that one.
  12. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    But if you have FAITH that there is a teapot circuling Pluto and you had hundreds of eyewitnesses ( ok, say we had the technology to send astronauts to Pluto just for, lack of a better word, arguements sake) who put their life on the line to swear that there was a teapot, and generations before that, there were hundreds of prophesies on record that there would be a teapot going around Pluto at exactly the same time that it was predicted
    then the people who had faith that there was indeed a teapot circuling Pluto would not all be whackjobs.

    So far, there has not been a book produced making so many predictions about the teapot, there hasnt been hundreds of people who saw the teapot, and these same people didnt have such faith in the reality of the teapot that they would all accept grisly deaths rather than take back their teapot story so in this case I dont feel there is the same weight of responsibility to disprove the theory.
  13. PatsFanInVa

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    What if the book supposedly saying there is an invisible teapot circling pluto also said in another spot that there is not an invisible teapot circling pluto?

    And what if, with this literal certainty of internal contradiction within said Book Of The Teapot, others interpreted away the inconsistency?

    And what if this recurs not once, not twice, but numerous times within the Book of the Invisible Teapot? And what if these apologists freely employ interpretive devices to explain away the impossibility of literal consistency in The Book of the Invisible Teapot?

    And what if the vaunted eyewitnesses are most often shown to exist through the very Book of the Invisible Teapot they purport to prove the veracity of? And what if, even if they exist, outside the Book of the Invisible Teapot, they say things like "well, it's actually a coffeepot, and it's Mars"?

    And what if there are a dozen Books of the Invisible Teapot (Gospel of the Teabag), of which we choose four canonical Gospels of the Teabag, and they are not even consistent with each other?

    Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    The point of the exercise is to establish:

    1) You cannot prove the consistency of the Book of the Invisible Teapot through the Book of the Invisible Teapot.

    2) The Book of the Invisible Teapot must be 100% accurate in its predictions, at face value, without recourse to eisegesis ("reading into"), for the claim of 100% predictive accuract to be worth a damn.

    3) Any internal inconsistency -- at face value, and without apologetics -- invalidates said Book's claim of 100% accuracy.

    If apologetics are necessary, then we have devolved into a subject realm of interpretation, and are no longer Book-of-the-Teapot-believing Teapot Plutonians, no matter how loudly we shout that we are.

    Now, I do not begrudge anybody their faith or belief in the invisible teapot orbiting pluto. But if the above conditions aren't met, I'd be a fool to join them in their belief system, unless of course I were very lonely, or if they promised me eternal pleasure for believing in the teapot and eternal pain for not believing -- and, if I had no intellectual integrity to lose.

    Now bear in mind, as accurate as the Teapot analogy is for your faith, Lifer, I believe it is just that accurate for my own. I personally can not believe in biblical literalism. I don't think a 100% consistent and accurate work would need apologetics to fix the seams. It doesn't take much to crack such a brittle facade.

    However I do believe in some other unproveable propositions, and I think those who do not believe similarly either from early training, or from their own spiritual search, would be nuts to believe as I do because I tell them to, or repeat a little emailed story about how skeptics are really the dum dums and believers are really the smartypants.

    There's nothing wrong, to me, about believing. It's a personal choice. If you or I choose to believe in the Invisible Teapot, it may give us great joy and invest our lives with great meaning to do so.

    But I personally feel this joy and meaning are impoverished by attempts to foist them on others, because we inevitably become shills for a belief system rather than believers who can ask questions, refine or change their beliefs, and realize the Teapot is the same, but they themselves have grown. Of course others differ with me on this.

    Eh well. A lot of rambling.

    Interesting as always,

    PFnV
  14. wistahpatsfan

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    That's a logical double-negative...a neat linguistic trick. I always thought that it was a standard of debate that you cannot prove a negative. Your use of the term "not fictitious" is a negative. It's the same as saying "It's true if you can't disprove it", which is ludicrous. I could say that I'm God, and no one could ever disprove it. That doesn't mean that I'm not a mental case. I suppose if you want to re-invent the game, make new rules, we could go by that.
  15. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    If there was an award for the coolest sounding religion, it would definitely go to "zoroastrian":D

    By the way, PFinVa, you seem more agnostic than denominational, would you say you're agnostic in belief and Zoroastrian in tradition?
  16. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    its not ludricrous if one has faith. You can never prove faith, you either have it or your dont. I cant prove you are a good husband and father but I believe that you are based on what I do know and cannot prove. I have faith in it.

    Thats why these days I'm learning to argue less and state what I believe more, because as a saying that I heard recently goes, nobody ever came to Faith because they lost the arguement.

    But neither one of us is ludricrous. We just have different beliefs.
  17. wistahpatsfan

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    #75 Jersey

    DAMN!
    You got me there.:mad:
    You're no fun, Lifer!
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  18. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    I know, do you miss Fog telling you that you are a horrible person, or whatever insults he likes to throw?


    WHERE is he?? Im worried about him! :(
  19. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Re-education camp in Beliz with Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez and Danny Ortega.
  20. PatsFanInVa

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    LOL I hope you're not serious -- at some point I mentioned Zoroastrians, having to do with the Muslims in India refusing to bury the dead terrorists... but that was a joke.

    At any rate: I am not agnostic. I believe in God, sometimes (rarely) because I feel it affirmed by a je ne sais quois at a certain moment. More often than not, for me, belief is a struggle, and I choose to maintain belief in the absence of good proof that would convince a skeptic, as well as the absence of a heart full of easy faith. It's just a choice.

    I can not make a case for it to you or anybody else and have no interest in doing so. I do get disgusted in these perpetual displays of easy faith in what I see as demonstrably false premises, regarding literalism and the mechanics of salvation and theology.

    So: if one believes that belief is a matter of choice, does that make one agnostic? I don't think so, but that's a definitional quibble.

    PFnV
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