Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Kurieuo
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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#31

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:40 am

Morny wrote:Not sure why God playing dice with the universe might be a problem though.
Sure, this is a theological question. Here is my logic.

God as the logically necessary being, means God is the source of all existence.
As the source of all existence, anything that exists does so because God as the source sustains such into existence.
That would go for every single atom in the universe bouncing around as well as creatures and the greater universe.
Therefore, the only kind of randomity that could be had is through what I'd term an "apparent randomity".

Now I could leave it there and just wait for your questions. But, to give a more extended explanation.

In our world, God sets in place a stable world (instead of world full of chaos) which is held together by natural laws He sustains. Given God would be the source of all existence, on a foundational level EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS is running on God. God keeps the fabric of our world and how it runs continually existing. So we experience everything running on laws in a rather stable and even predictable manner because it is running on God.

Now although results based upon physical laws and the like are predictable, some results might appear to be quite random. In actuality what appears to be a random roll of the dice, the dice and rolling is actually sustained by God in existence every which way. God allows natural laws to play out as though a dice is being rolled, but all the while God is actually turning the dice to land on the numbers they do. They land on the numbers they do according to the "randomiser rules" created which God continually upholds (i.e., natural laws) and keeps in play. Nothing in the world happens without God's sustaining such. Therefore nothing is truly random.

As a final comment, the above reasoning is dependent upon God as the logically necessary being. If you understand how we theologians get to that, then everything else follows. So if you wish to debate the above, then I see you need to attack God as the logically necessary being i.e., the foundational something which has always existed upon which everything that exists is founded upon.
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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#32

Post by Morny » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:40 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
Morny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Morny wrote:After almost 100 years of evidence from active experimentation, we still seem to be faced with unavoidable and intrinsic randomness at the foundational quantum level. So, believing that "there is truly nothing random", is a curious notion.
I'm not sure anything could ever be said to be random, without first knowing which philosophy is true.
No one can be sure of anything. But not giving provisional assent to nearly a century of scientific evidence for foundational randomness seems more like uneasiness about stepping on a potential slippery slope.
What is this scientific evidence for foundational randomness?
Every physical observation, except for those relating to gravity, involves quantum interactions at the sub-atomic ("foundational") level. And each quantum measurement obeys a probability distribution, but without any way to predict which way the quantum dice will land.
Gregory Chaitin wrote:God not only plays dice in physics, but even in pure mathematics, in logic, in the world of pure reason. Sometimes mathematical truth is completely random and has no structure or pattern that we will ever be able to understand.

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#33

Post by Morny » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:46 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
Morny wrote:Not sure why God playing dice with the universe might be a problem though.
Sure, this is a theological question. Here is my logic.

God as the logically necessary being, means God is the source of all existence.[...]
"Saturday Night Live", 1978 skit: How can I be a millionaire? [...] First, get a million dollars.

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#34

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:28 pm

Morny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Morny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Morny wrote:After almost 100 years of evidence from active experimentation, we still seem to be faced with unavoidable and intrinsic randomness at the foundational quantum level. So, believing that "there is truly nothing random", is a curious notion.
I'm not sure anything could ever be said to be random, without first knowing which philosophy is true.
No one can be sure of anything. But not giving provisional assent to nearly a century of scientific evidence for foundational randomness seems more like uneasiness about stepping on a potential slippery slope.
What is this scientific evidence for foundational randomness?
Every physical observation, except for those relating to gravity, involves quantum interactions at the sub-atomic ("foundational") level. And each quantum measurement obeys a probability distribution, but without any way to predict which way the quantum dice will land.
Probability distribution is not precise, but merely describes boundaries.
Such shows some predictability. To be truly random there must not be such limits.
And indeed, we must know whether or not beneath it all there is some intelligence holding it all in existence.

For me the mathematical formulas describe to a degree the "randomizers" God created in our world.
These laws are held together into existence to run as stable set of laws which are somewhat predictable by us.
Such are dependant upon something other, something more foundational keeping the rules running, or no dice would exist and could be rolled. I believe it is God that they're founded on as I described more fully previously.

There is no way for us to truly know via science alone, whether we a dealing to "true randomity" or merely "apparent randomity". Again, if God exists holding it all together, then what we have are only "apparent" random outcomes within the defined limits setup in natural laws.

To add into this discussion, we also have scientific observations such as those in the double-slit experiment. The outcomes result specifically from the interaction between observer and the outcome on the object being observed. The result is dependant upon observation, which kind of shows that if something is being watched/measured than an intelligence who is measuring is influencing the outcome rather than a purely random outcome.

Here's a thought. Just a thought. If at the quantum level, science has demonstrated that observation is required for something to happen, then what of our fuller universe and indeed even ourselves which bubble up from the quantum level? It seems to me that science gives us an argument for an overarching observer. By extension, such might very possibly holding everything into existence at the most foundational levels. If true, then as I previously reasoned, we only have an apparent randomity.
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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#35

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:37 am

Morny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Morny wrote:Not sure why God playing dice with the universe might be a problem though.
Sure, this is a theological question. Here is my logic.

God as the logically necessary being, means God is the source of all existence.[...]
"Saturday Night Live", 1978 skit: How can I be a millionaire? [...] First, get a million dollars.
If I understand the implications of your skit quote then I kind of expected you such sentiments, that you would not just accept God as the logical necessary being. Which is why I said all my reasoning for "apparent randomity" was premised upon such being the case. You also were making a theological statement/asking a theology question after all re: God and rolling the dice.

Nonetheless, you too believe in a "God" of sorts, and I'm sure you'll heavily resist any such insinuations. What do I mean by this?

That Foundational Something (FS) upon which everything else that exists came from,
such is this "logical necessity" of which I speak of that is required for all other "non-foundational" things to exist right?
The difference between you and I regarding this FS is that you minus sentience from the mix, you believe such to be entirely unintelligent.
So then, unlike me you don't have a logically necessary "being", but rather a logical necessity "something".
I'd say you believe in the simplest conception of God minus intelligence, as so you don't call such God.

An unintelligent FS certainly doesn't make sense of immaterial realities we embrace such as love, morality, justice and fairness. A growing number of great thinkers and practitioners of reasons (aka philosophers) on both sides have pointed out the problems for purely Physicalist constructions of reality to explain consciousness, intentionality and the like. Thomas Nagel perhaps the most prominent Atheistic philosopher.

Certainly makes a lot of sense to me, that consciousness and intelligence be added to the mix of attributes assigned to this Foundational Something. Hence God in a most simple and minimal form (shaved off from any additional Christian or theological thoughts) fits the bill required for everything we see and experience or hold to be true.
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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#36

Post by Storyteller » Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:57 am

The slit experiment. Am I right in thinking that it was claimed that these atoms only acted as they did because they were being observed?

If so, then doesn`t that, at least, point to the possibilty of God. God is the observer?
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#37

Post by Morny » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:45 am

Kurieuo wrote: Probability distribution is not precise, but merely describes boundaries.
Quantum probability distributions are spectacularly accurate at describing the accumulated behavior of many observations.
Kurieuo wrote: Such shows some predictability.
The accumulated behavior of many observations is spectacularly predictable. The result of each observation is random/unpredictable.
Kurieuo wrote: And indeed, we must know whether or not beneath it all there is some intelligence holding it all in existence.
Everyone wants to know that. Duh. In the meantime, we're stuck with what nature actually does in our experiments, viz., random quantum events. Without experimental evidence, simply speculating on, or wishing for, our favorite explanation doesn't advance science.
Kurieuo wrote: To add into this discussion, we also have scientific observations such as those in the double-slit experiment.
The double-slit experiment hurts, not helps, your argument. Regardless of whether the experimenter measures the photon's passing at the slits or at the background screen, the individual measurements are random.

Moreover, the double slit experiment shows that trying to peek at the cause of the interference pattern by measuring the photons passing through one or both slits, destroys the interference pattern. Very curious!

As Hawking is fond of saying about such curiosities, "Not only does God play dice with the Universe, he throws the dice where we cannot see them!"
Kurieuo wrote: If at the quantum level, science has demonstrated that observation is required for something to happen, then [...]
Another strange notion.

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#38

Post by Morny » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:06 am

Storyteller wrote:The slit experiment. Am I right in thinking that it was claimed that these atoms only acted as they did because they were being observed?
If I understand your question correctly, we have no reason to think that the double-slit photons (or electrons) would behave differently, if we weren't observing. E.g., the interference pattern on the background screen would still form. Some people (but few scientists) have this sort of "New Age" idea that human conscious observations "create" reality.
Storyteller wrote:If so, then doesn`t that, at least, point to the possibilty of God. God is the observer?
Possible -- yes. Testable -- difficult.

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#39

Post by Philip » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:06 am

I love it how when NOWWHERE Is there a rational explanation for random things, uncaused, not previously physically existing, immediately popping into existence, taking up previously non-existing space, already fully designed with massively complicated functionality, each with massively complex systems and interacting with each other as if one cohesive machine, propelleled along by incredible power. Now, one can call that randomness and "hiding the dice" all day long, as what occurred and continues to is anything but random. Nowhere in our universe do we see random things acting with great precision or successive actions that grow evermore sophisticated.

Non-theists don't like the hard limits of the true definition of randomness, because it refutes what has occurred, what is observed everywhere, and what has always been observed. And so, their solution - change the definition and possible stated parameters of the definition of "randomness." One cannot say randomness has structure and is perfectly fine-tuned, as Einstein's universe clock is anything but. We don't observe this at the macro level or the micro. As the laws of the universe are but observations of how things work - and as we have no reason to believe they might have changed (except for young earth proponents that like to say the speed of light has changed since the universe began) - what we see are precise mechanics in physics, chemistry, etc. In fact, if randomness ruled, we could not expect to understand things from the scientific method. If randomness EVER ruled, why not also NOW? Why wouldn't how things work - and how they've ALWAYS worked and been wired - not ever change, IF randomness could explain either the universe's history or it's present functionality. That things do change is a given. As is HOW things change obey laws of behavior forever consistent.

The belief in randomness' ability to produce unfathomable complexity is not a scientific one. Nor is stating that, "The dice are hidden." This is belief in unknown metaphysics - or rather, in an infinite number of non-binary possibilities :D . Just don't call it observable or proven science, as even Hawking admits its mechanisms and causes are "hidden." And yet, is certainly not hidden to theologians!

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#40

Post by Morny » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:55 pm

Philip wrote: [... rambling rant about nature's randomness, ending with ...]
Nowhere in our universe do we see random things acting with great precision or successive actions that grow evermore sophisticated.
Everywhere in our universe do we see random things acting with great precision or successive actions that grow evermore sophisticated.

Quantum theory specifies probability rules for individual random interactions among quarks, electrons, etc. Some of those rules specify the likelihood for finding electrons at specific points about nuclei. A different number of protons in the nucleus gives different shapes for the surrounding electron "clouds". Different electron "shapes" means different chemical properties.

And more elements means ever more complex chemistry.

Adding sunlight and radioactivity, which also come from individual random quantum interactions obeying probability rules, cooks our elements into ever more complex molecules.

And we're just getting started!

You already know what comes next. Life starts, and ever more complicated life arises, until one day a species becomes intelligent enough to figure out much of what happened over the previous 13.8 billion years.

Takes your breath away, doesn't it?
Yet others say, "Nuh, uh!"

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#41

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:37 pm

Morny wrote:You already know what comes next. Life starts, and ever more complicated life arises, until one day a species becomes intelligent enough to figure out much of what happened over the previous 13.8 billion years.

Takes your breath away, doesn't it?
Yet others say, "Nuh, uh!"
:) Yes, well... that's one story I can largely agree with as stated based upon our existing knowledge.
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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#42

Post by Storyteller » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:26 am

Morny wrote:
Storyteller wrote:The slit experiment. Am I right in thinking that it was claimed that these atoms only acted as they did because they were being observed?
If I understand your question correctly, we have no reason to think that the double-slit photons (or electrons) would behave differently, if we weren't observing. E.g., the interference pattern on the background screen would still form. Some people (but few scientists) have this sort of "New Age" idea that human conscious observations "create" reality.
Storyteller wrote:If so, then doesn`t that, at least, point to the possibilty of God. God is the observer?
Possible -- yes. Testable -- difficult.
My knowledge of science is even less than Scripture (and that`s saying something!)
It took me literally weeks to figure out Schrodinger`s cat. Alive and dead, at the same time? It is both till you look. Confused the hell outta me, still does really.

What puzzles me about science is why it seems to be at odds with a Creator. Why is that? If God was proved scientifically, wouldn`t that be a good thing?


For me, the sheer complexity of physics, especially quantum physics suggests an intelligence behind it all. I freely admit that science is not my strong point, at all. Most of it just goes straight over my head. I read a lot, or try to, but there is so much that I just do not understand. Atoms blinking into existence then out of it again. A lot of what I read I find myself going How is that possible? I take it as fact because it can, and is, proved. But what if it couldn`t be? Wouldn`t change the fact that it happens to be true would it? Could the same not be said about God? That He is true, we just can`t prove it scientifically?
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#43

Post by Morny » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:52 am

Storyteller wrote: It took me literally weeks to figure out Schrodinger`s cat. Alive and dead, at the same time? It is both till you look. Confused the hell outta me, still does really.
For someone who claims poor science knowledge, you ask great questions.

Schrodinger's Cat is a sensationalized thought experiment that the press likes to use, and is more "New Age" than physics.

A better/simpler example is to think of a single polarized (up or down) photon traveling from point A to point B.

Until you measure the polarization at point B, you cannot meaningfully say where the photon has been or that the photon is polarized either up or down! At the risk of using another "New Age" explanation, your measurement at point B forces the photon finally decide whether to become polarized up or down.
Storyteller wrote: What puzzles me about science is why it seems to be at odds with a Creator. Why is that? If God was proved scientifically, wouldn`t that be a good thing?
Yes.
(and to mis-paraphrase from Gandi) I'm for the idea of God.

But because science only provides evidence for provisional support of theories, science cannot "prove" anything. And even assuming incorrectly that science could prove something, who would listen?

As I've said many times here, I don't think science and a Creator are at odds. If someone thinks otherwise, I'm pretty sure that their idea of either science or a Creator is incorrect.
Storyteller wrote: For me, the sheer complexity of physics, especially quantum physics suggests an intelligence behind it all.
An age-old and appealing argument.

May I submit to you that physics is actually far simpler than you might believe. The standard joke is that physicists' goal is to put all the equations describing the universe onto the front of one T-shirt.

For example, the main equation for General Relativity (mass curves space-time and space-time curves mass) is "merely":

G_uv + L g_uv = (8 Pi G / c^4) T_uv

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#44

Post by Storyteller » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:01 am

Morny wrote:
Storyteller wrote: It took me literally weeks to figure out Schrodinger`s cat. Alive and dead, at the same time? It is both till you look. Confused the hell outta me, still does really.
For someone who claims poor science knowledge, you ask great questions.
:oops:
Morny wrote:Schrodinger's Cat is a sensationalized thought experiment that the press likes to use, and is more "New Age" than physics.

A better/simpler example is to think of a single polarized (up or down) photon traveling from point A to point B.

Until you measure the polarization at point B, you cannot meaningfully say where the photon has been or that the photon is polarized either up or down! At the risk of using another "New Age" explanation, your measurement at point B forces the photon finally decide whether to become polarized up or down.
See? Another so simple sounding explanation that just fries my mind the more I consider it :oops: :ebiggrin:
Storyteller wrote: What puzzles me about science is why it seems to be at odds with a Creator. Why is that? If God was proved scientifically, wouldn`t that be a good thing?
Morny wrote:Yes.
(and to mis-paraphrase from Gandi) I'm for the idea of God.

But because science only provides evidence for provisional support of theories, science cannot "prove" anything. And even assuming incorrectly that science could prove something, who would listen?

As I've said many times here, I don't think science and a Creator are at odds. If someone thinks otherwise, I'm pretty sure that their idea of either science or a Creator is incorrect.
Yet, you`re not a Christian? Do you believe in God at all?
Storyteller wrote: For me, the sheer complexity of physics, especially quantum physics suggests an intelligence behind it all.
Morny wrote:An age-old and appealing argument.

May I submit to you that physics is actually far simpler than you might believe.
You haven`t met me yet! :mrgreen: Physics, simple? The standard joke is that physicists' goal is to put all the equations describing the universe onto the front of one T-shirt.
Morny wrote:For example, the main equation for General Relativity (mass curves space-time and space-time curves mass) is "merely":

G_uv + L g_uv = (8 Pi G / c^4) T_uv
See? I`m lost! mass curves space time and space time curves mass? Okay, let`s see if I get this. Mass curves space and time by causing space and time to allow for it? How does space time curve mass?
And that equation is just a series of letters and stuff, I can`t decipher it. G-uv is General Relativity I assume? I assume all the letters say the same thing as mass curves space time and space time curves mass but how?

I live in a world of words, I am a literature kind of person, numbers, symbols and equations completely mystify me.

Going back to quantum physics possibly suggesting the existence of God. I will have to look this up as I am going from memory but wasn`t there an experiment that proved that two individual atoms, or maybe the same one, "knows" where the other is and was demonstarted by something like the atom(s) acting in precisely the same way at exactly the same time? How do they "know"? Wouldn`t that suggest some kind of intelligence?
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Why is there a conflict between religion and science?

#45

Post by Philip » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:16 am

Morny: May I submit to you that physics is actually far simpler than you might believe.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Brilliant!

Yeah, so simple it makes one's head swim: http://www.reasons.org/articles/the-met ... -mechanics
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