reply to post by Cuervo
Thanks for your responsive answer, which I find sympathetic in many ways.
Before getting to the possibility of a constructive religion/science dialogue, there are some hurdles to pass.
Who are talking to who (e.g. position, competence). While I do not have any university hard-science education, I often find myself in situations on
ATS, where I practically have to 'educate' theists on the simplests elements in a science/religion debate. There are people this time and day, who
still don't know the difference between an assumption (often based on 'gut' feelings/inner messages) and an axiom.
Who have no idea of scientific/logic systematic methodology per se, but believe it to be some haphazard result of arbitrarily chosen ways of putting
Who have never heard the word epistemology (a potentially 'sound' meeting-place for religion/science), but accuse me of un-necessary intellectualism,
when I bring it up.
Who can't or won't read a dictionary, a statistics or the self-definitions of the systems they often (mis)use.
That the same people, from this background of deep ignorance, often claim a certain degree of competence is something I find rather annoying, as it
only can result in playground "is, isn't, is" repetitions and eventually sarcasm or worse.
Obviously "communication is only possible between equals" as Hagbard Celine (from R.A.Wilson's 'Illuminatus' trilogy put it). But with that there's a
risk of elitism, society and its knowledge shouldn't be run by 'specialists'.
The next hurdle is that of change in respectively science and religion.
Science can be considered without or with philosophical implications (ofcourse specifically epistemology).
I can, on the simple condition of sticking to the 'territory it sets out to make a map of' not see any reason for newtonian science to change much.
For all I care, it can even use reductionist materialism as a method. It's still functional and covers a considerable part of practical existence. But
it's important, that it doesn't exceed its own authority, as the victorian scientists sometimes did (by defining away what they didn't accept). I
guess, that the passive 'faith'-sciencefollowers amongst the non-scientifically educated part of mankind still live in that tradition (which was still
alive and well in my youth).
The empirical element in this kind of science is legitimate and useful.
The other kind of science, needing philosophical support (at least for some time in the future), is getting increasingly abstract, using much
conceptualized tools and methods, and has sadly lagged somewhat with formulating a systematic methodology suitable for recent experiments. Personally
I believe, that it will take a considerable time before such a systematic methodology is developed, what with Einstein's twin-paradox, the double-slit
experiment, the seemingly inconsistency between micro- and macro-cosmic models, 11 dimensions in string-theory and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle
resulting in 'observer-created' models.
There are 'camps' amongst the 'new' scientists, supporting this or that of the potential theories on the new vistas, but hopefully being scientists at
core, few will ascribe to the hijacking efforts made by all kinds of students of the paranormal, anomalies, the supernatural, the extra-mundane or by
various religious groups.
I have on a few occasions followed up claims to the purpose of supporting such hijacking-efforts of real science (it occurs regularly here on ATS,
when creationists present their own weird pseudo-science) and the field is a disgrace. When this falsification isn't done by laymen just repeating
mumbo-jumbo they incompetently parrot, there's a growing group of con-men, who rather cynically give themselves fabricated 'authority' (e.g. by
getting a 'degree' from a diploma-mill). Some of them actually getting a 'name' amongst the faithful.
Well Cuervo, this post is already too long (and the change in religion must wait), so I'll just conclude by summarizing the whole situation to my less
optimistic attitude: There's a whole MESS to clear up, before a general dialogue between science and religion can take place (a very few specialists
are doing it already, but far beyond public interest and understanding).
No-one except the fanatic, who puts answers before facts, can gain anything on premature 'conclusions' in an area, where even the originators (real
scientists) still search for safe ground.
edit on 14-5-2011 by bogomil because: syntax