Here it is.

Science is faith

I think it *is* true that all science is faith. Science is essentially a collection of models that have not been disproved thus far; it is an iterative game. Science tries to deliver models/theories that allow us to predict what we see in the world - past, present and future - and thus every model, on some level, is accepted on faith. This is our accepted truth, until we find something wrong with it.

Where religion differs from science is that religion does not necessarily need any sort of validation - a web of ideas with a dose of personal conviction is all that is required. Religions can undergo ethical evolution over time, but elements that do not intrude into present reality - such as heaven and hell - tend to go the distance.

In science, ideas can be offered and long-established concepts can be challenged and change is possible. Change in science is not always easy, of course, and it often exhibits the same inertia that is oft demonstrated by religions. Einstein found it difficult to swallow the non-deterministic model being put forward to describe quantum phenomena. Light has had its time being described as particles, as waves, as particles and now as something else altogether.

I feel that muppet's argument is that at the limits of the human experience, there is very little that can be done to disprove even the most extravagant theories. This is the heaven and hell of science; areas that do not intrude upon the present reality. The collection of evidence to support or destroy such theories is nigh-on impossible.

At this point, once again it is down to faith as to whether you feel the scientific community polices itself well enough so that it can distinguish clearly between areas that are can be scrutinized and those that are impossible to challenge, so that fables are not entertained as science.

(My own faith in the process is actually bolstered by debacles such as the case of Jan Hendrick Schon - attempts to cheat the process do not last.)

My 2 pennies. Spend them wisely.
Permalink Joel Goodwin 
August 9th, 2005
I was always taught that science was the language used to describe what happens in the world.

I was also taught that religion (folk tales, superstition) was developed by "primitive man" to describe the world around him.

We're genetically wired to attempt to explain the world around us, and set up dogmatic positions about our explanations. Whether we call them science - with a complex set of rule about what is acceptable and what is not, or religion - with an equally complex set of rules about what is acceptable and what is not probably matters little in terms of the motivation for setting up each.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 9th, 2005
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