Categorized | Science and Tech

Religious Timelines VS Science

Posted on 28 December 2010 by Thraxxus

There is this age old debate that we are all aware of between the realities of Religion VS those of Science. Many a heated discussion has arisen from this, as well as several religious based convictions and subsequent murders of many scientists, that have all lead nowhere. The concept that something that lacks concrete scientific evidence can have all doubts cast aside through the use of one word has always amused me. Faith.

I always felt that word to be a bit of a cop out until I heard this argument that amazed me with its simplicity. Does your father love you? Of COURSE! How do you know? Tragically the answer here is actually the word faith.

Faith aside some scientists recently announced that they found the remains (OLDEST EVER FOUND WOOT – maybe) of a human – Teeth to be precise. It turns out that they think that the remains are 400,000 years old – which would mean that humans – or at least our ancestors – were around 400,000 years ago. What does this number have to do with religion? Well in years past I have spoken to several theologians and was told by them that the world was no more that 15,000 years old, carbon dating was the great lie, and dinosaurs never actually existed – the bones being put here on Earth as  a test of faith by god.

Yeah I know.

So the problem of Faith presents itself in a different format. If the bones are found to be 400,000 years old via Carbon dating, but many people don’t have faith in carbon dating, then really what does it matter? See the problem here comes into play regarding faith. Let’s go to dictionary.com.

Faith

  1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability
  2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that thehypothesis would be substantiated by fact

Note that Faith is merely the belief in something. It does not have to be about religion. But wait.. what is religion?

Religion

6. something one believes in and follows devotedly

Note the use of the word BELIEVES in that definition. Yes, Science does fall into that category. Granted many scientists would argue otherwise, going so far as to call those who don’t believe in what is called empirical evidence and being morons, however they are wrong. They believe in the idea of empirical evidence and thus accept it as being proof of something – the challenge is many other people don’t or rather may not accept a particular piece as being empirical evidence at all – but rather heresy. In fact this actually happens within the scientific community on a regular basis – take a look at the vaccine argument if you need an example.

This leaves us back where we started. If these scientists really discovered 400,000 year old bones but only the scientific community believes them then was their find really Earth shattering? The crux of the problem really comes down to perspective – if mine deems that what you are saying is bunk, then to me it is bunk, regardless of the facts.

31 Comments For This Post

  1. Kenfu Says:

    at least with my science religion, I don’t have to pay a 10% tithe 🙂

  2. Thraxxus Says:

    Personally I prefer Science – as nice as the idea is that there is someone out there that cares about me I just find it difficult to believe.

  3. ZAMan Says:

    I think you’ll find that the “young earth” folks today are mostly fundamentalists of the American modern evangelical sort. The belief that the earth is around 6000 years old is a fairly recent one to emerge and largely a cultural reaction against the implications of various theories of origins that sprang up from Darwin’s observations. If you step outside America and/or the past century or two of American fundamentalism, I think you’d be hard pressed to find much testimony to this idea, and the ones who did, I’d be hesitant to call theologians for the most part.

    I am a Christian, and I don’t believe in such a claim for the earth’s age, nor does my pastor, nor did the man who started my denomination in 1930. Nor did St. Augustine in the fourth century. It’s a very recent phenomenon among a very slim group of people when you consider Christianity over the course of both history and throughout the world.

    I’m also unsure of the historical veracity of the claim of “subsequent murders of many scientists.”

    Leaving that aside, the point about faith is a valid one. Unfortunately, all epistemic systems ultimately verify themselves, becoming a “faith commitment” of a sort, like you said. Ultimately, people will believe what they want to believe using a standard that they have set up for themselves.

  4. Thraxxus Says:

    Well said – i wasn’t trying to include all people of faith – I am sorry if it came across that way.

    Giordano Bruno is an example of a scientist killed by the Catholic church – turns out the Catholic Church is the one that has done the most killing on this level.

  5. ZAMan Says:

    I sometimes feel like I have to make that point from time to time just because the morons you rightly pointed out are also the loudest. It’s why I’ve helped fight a long battle to get the Flying Spaghetti Monster theory of creation taught in public schools.

  6. Caravaggio Says:

    Cutting through the philosophical minutae for a moment… how can any thinking adult focus upon and make an observable choice as to designate the tooth fairy completely fake and within the same synaptic channel be willing to denigrate (and sometimes even kill) another human over the “truth” inspired by faith in a guy with a flowing white beard who sits on a cloud?

    Now it is important to state that I am for religion and the covenants of faith required of a religion because it acts as a socio-psychological buffer with people and their behavior. Lest we forget that man-made religion remains a form of law invented to prevent the lower classes from rising up and over-throwing governments and generally causing the meltdown of society.

    It amazes me the amount of raw angered emotions that are unleashed at homosexuality while if one looks approximately 125 pages from “no man shall rest with another man” you’ll discover that it is biblically-acceptable to sell your daughter into slavery if she back-talks you or stone your wife to death for even causally looking at another man. As a proud husband to a great wife and father to that of a brilliant daughter, I’m rather inflammed that a public forum can’t be held over what is really in the bible. Why is homo = very bad and selling your daughter = ummm… let’s not talk about the scripture like that. If I was a woman, I’d have no choice but to be an atheist and tell you men to shove it. Shit, the book my culture promotes basically says women are property.

    As I’ve stated numerous times on this blog, it is a tragedy that my spaceship ran out of fuel 4 decades ago and now I’m stuck with “you people”.

    2011 = 7 billion assholes on this little blue marble, 3rd rock from the sun. Fuckin’-A Great.

  7. Thraxxus Says:

    Caravaggio – I lolled. Thanks I needed that, truly.
    Sonny Hollywood would probably approve of your analysis.

  8. ZAMan Says:

    Wait, wait, wait. Hold the phone.

    What’s this about the tooth fairy?

  9. SonnyHollywood Says:

    billions of galaxies. trilions of suns and planets in any and all directions. Sure, in time, we may aquire for ourselves most of the answers pertaining to our existance. But who or what? “never”

  10. Kenfu Says:

    totally agree with Caravaggio….

    I’m not against religion – it is needed as a moral baseline for the majority of human populace. Even then it fails. Greed/Lust win in the end.

    In the end….Believe what you want but don’t force it on me 🙂

  11. Caravaggio Says:

    @SonnyHollywood… agreed.
    @ Thrax and Kenfu… danke/agreed

    @ZAMan – I’m starting a new faith called Tooth-Fairynism. Non-believers are at risk of having their teeth involuntarily extracted during their slumber. And deciduous teeth of children are considered the most holy artifact available to humankind.

    All bow to the Central Incisor! Can I get an “AMEN” for this primary Molar? I feel the love. I feel it. Now everyone throw up your hands while I do the Eddie Murphy/Coming to America impression of Randy Watson, Lead Singer of Sexual Chocolate, dancing to the performance of “Greatest Love of All”.

  12. ZAMan Says:

    I hope the holy texts are carved into elephant tusks, because that would be very cool, and I don’t think anybody else is doing that.

    So, I have a question. We have absolutely no evidence for the existence of Socrates. The only thing we have are Plato’s claims of things he said. There are no extra-Platonic sources that corroborate Socrates’ existence, much less that he ever said any of the things attributed to him.

    My question is: does the claim “Socrates exists” have the same epistemic status as “The tooth fairy exists,” and if not, why not?

  13. Thraxxus Says:

    You are totally right actually. It amazes me that people are so quick to believe one thing and not another when they are basically equal.

    JESUS EXISTED AND WAS THE SON OF GOD!!! (a guy that the four major historians of the time, that he reportedly lived during, had never made a reference to his existence)

    What about Mohammed?

    MOHAMMED IS FAKE!! (A guy that has numerous historical references including dates, places, etc.)

    Go figure.

  14. ZAMan Says:

    In a sense, that’s kind of what I’m getting at, and it fits the point in your article. People are pretty selective about what counts as evidence.

  15. Thraxxus Says:

    Caravaggio and I go around about that all the time. Paraphrasing – his chief point of frustration in the discussion is people dismissing what he considers facts of a scientific nature.

    I argue that those facts change – example – world flat and now round. It is what is BELIEVED to be true at the time. Yes there are those that do crap like “blablablag I can’t hear you !!” and they should all be crucified.. oh wait.

    >.<

  16. Caravaggio Says:

    i’ve no problem with epistemic status, tooth fairy farts, or a socratic mental douche.

    the “idea” of socrates never caused a war. the “rules” for following socrates never forced an entire gender into second class citizenry.

    to cut to the chase… no one has ever killed anyone else because they challenged the thought that socrates really existed.

    in fact, most people cannot explain their “beliefs” without having to infect me with the visual display of with their vacuous cognitive process of transferring the summarized mental concept of their core spiritual system (defined as “whatever I find relevant to me as the believer at this particular time”) by way of a loose correspondence between to disparate entities. hell this is the core logic behind my authoring the new, growing faith of tooth fairynism. note: my multi-leveled semantic ploy was meant to stun (cause i’m an asshole) and then force a laugh (cause it made the reader dun’ thunk a bit).

    zaman… you tossing my magic back at me, huh?!

    i do give you points for selecting socrates as it is rather different from the normal effluence offered to me to “consider”… however, socrates was a semi-pious prick (meaning he was on your team) and he is now (presumably) dead. from the failed brainwashing attempts of my youth, i recall jesus (please pronounce with a spanish accent) having been arisen. so in the end i’m left pontificating about the potential non-existence of a dead guy who is theoretically dead in relation to another dead guy who is no longer dead (theoretically?).

    in sum, i would rather carjack a vw bug driven by a nun than suffer the process of explaining the philosophical imprint attempted with my example of tooth-fairynism beyond its caveman-like sophomoric presentation.

    allow me to put it to you this way: either you worship at the alter of the mini winged one or you are damned to the 9th layer of dental cleaning.

    anyway, my christian beliefs are mainly because my grammy was a super sweet lady who loved baby jesus and said i must walk a spiritual journey with him as well. so when you talk about jesus that way, you are really screwing around with my mental concept of grammy … and i’ll cut you for that, caravaggio, you mutherfucka!

    p.s.; @ thrax… you’ve scared the shit out of me via your sentence about mohammed. there is now a jihad with your name on it.

  17. Thraxxus Says:

    I was actually defending Islam in this half way totally retarded pathetic fashion. Chances are someone is on their way to my office right now to remove my infidel shaped head.

    That said Tooth Fairies are real and they make great porn films. Oh wait.

  18. ZAMan Says:

    I did laugh! And then I asked what the qualitative difference was between believing in the tooth fairy and believing in Socrates was, because I think the discussion is interesting even above and beyond my newfound affections for Toothism.

    Sure, people have done horrible things in the name of religion that (to my knowledge) haven’t been done in the name of Socrates, and various claims have been made about religious figures that haven’t been made about Socrates. That’s indisputable.

    But what I was curious about was whether or not we had better grounds for believing in Socrates than the Tooth Fairy, because I would venture a guess that most readers believe in Socrates, but don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy. Pretty much exactly like the example you used above with theists.

    So, I was just wondering what makes intelligent adults disbelieve the Tooth Fairy exists but believe that Socrates existed, because in terms of actual evidence, the only difference is that one of those entities had someone claim to be their student.

  19. Thraxxus Says:

    Both Me and Dwayne Johnson are Tooth Fairies in training.

  20. ZAMan Says:

    The Rock is a stone cold toof farizy, yo.

  21. Thraxxus Says:

    Yes, yes he is. Thus we are now on the same footing as Socrates, and yet people still believe in him more.

    CRAZINESS

  22. ZAMan Says:

    I believe in Socrates more than I believe in Dwayne Johnson. A former pro wrestler in a ballerina outfit? What kind of ludicrous claim is that?

  23. Caravaggio Says:

    hmmm… i’d say the tooth fairy is concretely anchored with the cultural normative categorization of “make-believe” which has been conveyed as such across our culture for generations. now socrates is thoroughly anchored in something typically considered “not make-believe” as a meme (or knowledge artifact) for quite sometime now as well.

    for the extent of written history, the primary religions have enjoyed a similar categorization as to that of socrates. therefore i was constructing an ironic comparison between what has been culturally indicated as pure fiction with something that the majority of humans on this planet think/believe is non-fiction. the philosophical basis for determining the value of cultural normative categorizations is interesting but well beyond my original intent as i was playing the part of asshole by assuming that all current cultural normative categorizations were equally valid for my semi-rancorous example.

    my reasoning for wanting to remain rather “elemental” here is because the basis of your chosen line of questioning will lead to a comprehensive effort required on my part leaning heavily on phenomenological research at the semantics/pragmatics intersection to dispel the inevitable flippant retort of “so whats truth from untruth”.

    in summation, i offer this to all philosophical theologians out there. open both hands. shit in one. and ask gawd to place his nuts in the other. now… which hand is actually holding something? oh, you don’t “believe” it? well then rub the only hand with something in it upon your face. still unsure? place two fingers from that hand in your mouth. the taste you are experiencing now is called the truth. this is your truth – however upsetting it may be.

    the cold hard fact is you are carbon in transition. when it is “lights-out” time you will not get wings (or horns). you will not get to go to some kick-ass family reunion beyond some pearly gates with a park bench made of gold. you will not get to sit down and have a picnic on a cloud with old uncle harvey even though that guy was funny as hell. your carbon will be recycled and put to use within the ecosystem supporting another all-seeing, all-knowing shit inhabiting this fubar’d planet.

    let us not be tempted to go any further down this particular rabbit hole, silly rabbit or i’ll start my webcam for all to witness me open an artery for entertainment.

    b-t-w: the “gawd’s balls in my hand” is actually how one becomes pope.

    [geez… that caravaggio is really a prick]

  24. ZAMan Says:

    Oh yeah? Well, so’s a mother!

  25. Caravaggio Says:

    damn… now who can argue that point?!?!

    (zaman = good sport)

    merry new year’s and thanks for saving me from opening an artery.

  26. Kenfu Says:

    thought your webcam video was going to be you demonstrating the “truth” with gawd’s balls in one hand and shit in the other – that would be funny!

  27. Caravaggio Says:

    @Kenfu… the balls/shit thing will be on the cover of next year’s christmas card. i just added you to my mailing list.

  28. Caravaggio Says:

    oh… wanted to share this:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/the_science_vs_creationism_deb.php?utm_source=mostactive&utm_medium=link

    (one might have to copy and paste into a new browser window)

  29. Thraxxus Says:

    I have seen that before and it made me lol. How dare he interject scientific data into her statement of religious stupidity?!?!?

    the cretin!

  30. ZAMan Says:

    I’ll see your idiot creationist and raise you one comedian pondering the existence of God.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eKOyI6l03Q

  31. Caravaggio Says:

    @zaman… good post. “the hazard of guessing”… norm the comedian has it right.

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