Debate:Is all religion incompatible with science?

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Good read. TheoryOfPractice (talk) 15:45, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm with PZ Myers on this one. New Atheists FTW! - Clepper
These individuals are a disgrace to the name of science. Darwin had it right in that quote at the end of the article. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:25, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't call them a disgrace. The "New Atheist" approach definitely won't win, though. It's the Darwin approach, "gradual illumination of men's minds", that will actually work. Confrontation is great for keeping people on both sides of the issue motivated, and since the religious outnumber the science advocates, confrontation seems to favor the religious. One of several reasons that I reject the label "atheist" is that it makes talking to and understanding religious people much easier. If they've already branded you as their enemy, their instincts will tell them to fight rather than listen. OneForLogic 16:35, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
People who try to drag science into ideological battles that really have nothing to do with science at all, no matter if the scientists are personally in agreement with them or not, are simply trying to exploit the credentials of scientists for their own cause. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:43, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
People who bar scientific inquiry into ideological battles are simply trying to exploit barriers that don't exist. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 17:07, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
There is quite a definite barrier between science and speculative philosophy, and philosophers-of-science have given us quite a good characterization of this barrier. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:27, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh the philosophers of science say so? Gee, I guess that settles it... Exploit the credentials of scientists much? — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 17:33, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
(1) I dislike this fact, but most philosophers-of-science are not scientists. (2) I think the characterization in question is good without regard to who made it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:35, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Whatever makes you feel good... which is exactly what I think is root of the problem. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 17:40, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
When what is at stake in those ideological battles IS science, it makes no sense to say "we should leave science out of this." TheoryOfPractice (talk) 17:28, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it does; similarly, the State is not allowed to be dragged into a battle on behalf of secularism, though it be secular and secularism is at stake in the battle. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:33, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Chill out, guys. Whether you accept NOMA or not, abuses pretty clearly happen on all sides, by scientists, philosophers, religious fanatics, all of them. Oh, and just in case anyone was curious, I'm deliberately not logging in because my employer uses a keylogger and I don't want them to have my password. OneForlogic 17:43, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I'd say that a clash between the worldviews of science and religion is pretty much inevitable.--BobNot Jim 17:49, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Insofar that some religions make factual claims contradicting scientific findings, that is true. However, the aim of the New Atheists appears to be to attack any religion that is not atheism for being "unscientific." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:55, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
All religions make claims unsupported by scientific findings, which is why all religions are unscientific. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 17:59, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
No one except an evidentialist YEC would state otherwise. By "unscientific" the New Atheists mean that such religions are incompatible with science, which involves making factual claims contradicting scientific findings. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:03, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Are you implying that you have scientific findings which evidence the compatibility of science and religion? — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:05, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

(UI)The new atheists are less concerned, as I see it, that religions are unscientific, than that they are destructive to society in general. They can be as unscientific as they want, but when they start passing laws based on those views, there's a problem. Z3rotalk 18:08, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

(EC) I am saying that there are plenty of religions that make no claims that are in any way testable by science, which means that these religions are fully compatible with science. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:10, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't accept that claims wholly unsupported by science are compatible with science. Scientific compatibility necessitates scientific evidence. Obviously, we're operating with different conceptions of what "science" is. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:13, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I think we're getting down to a philosophical debate on what value we should attribute to claims that cannot yet be tested by science. Trent and I started a bit of a discussion on the merits of logical positivism (basically, the notion that not-currently-testable claims have no value) way back when I first started my account here and never really finished it. Debate:Logical positivism, anyone? OneForlogic 18:19, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
(EC) How is, to take an example, pantheism incompatible with science? How can you find out, using science, that the universe is not God? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:21, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
(EC) I think you're just being unscientific in asking me for a negative proof. I'd note that under your definition, Last Thursdayism is completely compatible with science. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:29, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
It should be noted that the general rejection of Last Thursdayism by mainstream scientists is far more a practical decision than anything else. This, too, might one day be testable. OneForlogic 18:33, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I think you're just being unscientific in asking me for a negative proof. I am trying to demonstrate that pantheism and the scientific models can be true at the same time, which is what the word "compatible" means. As to Last Thursdayism, it is also entirely compatible with all scientific observations, and can never be falsified, though philosophers have given us compelling reasons to disregard it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:39, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, pantheism and scientific models can be true at the same time, but without any evidence to believe so, it's unscientific. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:47, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Certainly pantheism is unscientific. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:50, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Barring evidence to the contrary, yes. That's what I've been saying. If you have nothing, it can't be science. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:54, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
My complaint is that the New Atheists are incorrectly conflating the terms "unscientific" and "incompatible with science." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:57, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I feel that the conflation is correct. We're hinging on the definition of "compatibility"...semantic debates are no fun :( — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:02, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

(UNINDENT) Webster's dictionary: "compatible": "capable of existing together in harmony; esp., compatible theories." Theories (as distinct from their promoters) can exist together in harmony so long as they do not contradict each other. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:07, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

And I see unsupported assertions as being contrary to (i.e. contradicting) science. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:11, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
You know, I've never really understood this. Why is it necessary to state it to the world ("(UNINDENT)") when you unindent the thread? I always just do it without any declaration. OneForlogic 19:15, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Webster's dictionary: "science": "the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance...", which I think excludes neutrality...but I hate this argument by definition shite. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:18, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
(EC2) No, no, they just impugn the unsupported assertion that "there is nothing beyond what we obtain from reason and observation." An assertion that, you seem to think, is incompatible with science. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:19, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely not. That's a ludicrous straw man. I never said that there is nothing beyond what we can obtain from reason and observation. I said that what we cannot obtain from reason and observation is not science. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:23, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
No. You said that what we cannot obtain from reason and observation is incompatible with science. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:27, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
No. Combined with my admission of conflation, that'd make that a 'yes'. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:31, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I will quote you now: "I see unsupported assertions as being contrary to (i.e. contradicting) science." If all unsupported assertions contradict science, then science must hold to the statement that no unsupported assertions are true. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:39, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Hopefully what is below will help you understand how much of a mis-characterization that is... — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:42, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Let's say pantheism is true. We don't know it's true, but it is, although we have no evidence for it whatsoever. That's a given. I would still argue that not only is pantheism unscientific, but pantheism is still incompatible with science because there is no "knowledge" to speak of, only ignorance. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:35, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Would you still hold to that statement if "pantheism" were replaced in it with "atheism"? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:46, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Under your definition of "atheism" (which I think is close to strong atheism?), yes. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:49, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Go and shout that "atheism is incompatible with science" (whether that atheism be strong or weak) among any circle of people who are not creationists. See how far you get. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:54, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Honestly, I think most people harbor the same misconceptions you do, so I think I'd get pretty far, right? — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:57, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, I think I'd like that back. (My) atheism is not really compatible with science because it's not really anything. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:12, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

EZ edit button[edit]

I hedge my description of logical positivism with terms like "yet" and "currently" because I'm not sure how we're supposed to know whether or not some claim like that might be testable in the future. With a proper definition of "God" (or "god") and a sufficient understanding of the fundamental structure of the universe (see quantum field theory ((what!? no article on QFT?)) vs. string theory) it seems plausible to me that it might one day be possible to test such a claim, even if it isn't possible now. OneForlogic 18:25, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

The so-called "New Atheists" are like the black civil-rights leaders or the early feminists - they need to make a noise to get the issue taken seriously. They often got up peoples' noses but without them nothing would have happened. Some people may not like Dawkins, Hitchens & Harris but without them the NOMA appeasers would get swept aside. Religionists are only too quick to insert their agenda into the public policy arena and secular organisations need to be on their guard to stop their wedge strategies. And let us not forget that Dawkins is not just a de facto atheist he is also a defender of reason against the woo charlatans. Finally - ATHEISM IS NOT A FUCKIN' RELIGION! Some may think that certain atheists may adopt similar approaches to fundamentalist religionists but that is because they are just people and not because they are atheist. Redchuck.gif Генгисmarauding 18:30, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
(EC) The pseudoscientific bunk aside, there are true statements that can never be deduced from reason and observation; this we know. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:35, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Considering things like that, we have to remember that it is possible to be completely neutral to a claim (neither accepting nor rejecting it). This is my default state on pretty much everything. I think there may be a subtle creep of false dichotomy in this discussion: an assumption that everyone must either accept or reject every claim. OneForlogic 18:41, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I was actually becoming worried about the same thing. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:42, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I also think neutrality is quite a viable option, though it leaves a person ripe to be assailed by a fanatic who thinks that neutrality means rejection. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:47, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I think it leaves a person ripe to be assailed by a fanatic who thinks neutrality means they are being scientific in acceptance. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:49, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Should we then be neutral on fairies and goblins as well as the existence of God?--BobNot Jim 19:01, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
There are plenty of people who are neutral on all three. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:03, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Neutrality gets attacked unfortunately often from all sides. Fanatics of all kinds tend to adopt a "either you're with us or you're against us" mentality that makes neutrals as much the enemy as the opposite side. OneForlogic 19:12, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
While agnosticism is a very defensible position to take, it is not the same as neutrality - at least as I understand it. I would say that neutrality suggests a 50/50 position. Agnosticism, I would suggest, does not. One can be agnostic because one is not completely sure - but one can be 99.9 percent sure. This is the case with invisible unicorns and fairies. My certainty of the non-existence of invisible unicorns is as close as possible to 100%. But I am not neutral on the issue.--BobNot Jim 19:18, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

This kind of hair-splitting is why I try to avoid using the term "agnostic" and do not accept it as a valid label for myself. When I say that I am neutral to a claim, I am not discussing or intending to suggest anything about any levels of certainty or uncertainty. I use the term to mean that I have no reason to reject the claim and no reason to accept it, so I do neither. OneForlogic 19:52, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

To respond to the title of the debate[edit]

To respond to what I see is now the title of what has become a debate page: could anybody tell me some beliefs which could only be held as a consequence of religious thought and which are 100% compatible with scientific explanations? Perhaps there are some, and in such a case the answer to the question, as posed, would be, "no".--BobNot Jim 20:09, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

You mean like (from a scientific viewpoint) "Right for the wrong reasons"? Interesting... — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:20, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
How about the idea that beings can be deified by the act of worship and thereafter act upon the world in conformance with natural law? That is right out of religious thought but does not contradict any Naturalistic Presuppositions either. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:28, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't that conflict with methodological naturalism at some point?--BobNot Jim 20:42, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
No, since the supernatural entities act in conformance with natural law, it is irrelevant to any scientific question whether or not they exist, as the observable events would be the same whether they existed or not. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:50, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
But if they are both "defied" and "act on the world" then they have acted. And consequently I can't see how you can say, "the observable events would be the same whether they existed or not". Their (possibly supernatural) actions will have changed observable events.--BobNot Jim 21:01, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Not necessarily. Consider, for the sake of argument, a spinning wheel mounted on an axle reaching through a wall, which is attached to an engine on the other side. You can see the wheel spinning, but can in no wise observe the engine. Now if a man came up on the other side of the wall, and started turning the wheel at exactly the same speed, you would observe nothing to indicate that the engine was no longer at work, but the man would instead be acting upon the wheel. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:31, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
OK, but I'm not quite sure what this proves. I was presumably unaware before of the motive force and I am still unaware of the motive force. (Or I was previously aware and I'm now mistaken.) I am aware however of the fact that an action is taking place. But so what? I'm sorry to say that I'm not sure what you are driving at. There is a real-world activity here and methodological naturalism automatically puts a supernatural explanation beyond the pale. It's not scientific by definition.--BobNot Jim 21:38, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
The point is that science only measures, and only can measure, the proverbial turning of the wheel, hence it is irrelevant to science whether it is being turned by a man or a machine, provided that they turn it in the same way. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 14:39, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes ... and so?--BobNot Jim 16:23, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not even sure I believe that there is such a thing as a belief "which could only be held as a consequence of religious thought". I would imagine that one could arrive at pretty much any crazy belief any human has ever come up with a variety of ways, and I would further imagine that not all of those ways would involve "religious thought". I'm also not sure that the title of the debate as written is even a useful question to answer, though, and I'm not interested in arguing about exactly what "religious thought" means or anything like that. I think that it's entirely possible to arrive at a true claim through faulty reasoning, as Neveruse suggested. OneForLogic 20:38, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I think this debate, in part, goes back to exactly what is science, and what is a scientific statement. "The sky is blue", would that be considered a scientific statement? First, I think scientific statements and religious ideas must be defined, lest everyone talk past each other. Z3rotalk 20:40, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I'd say that all religions must, at some level, have a supernatural element. Science explicitly eschews supernatural elements.--BobNot Jim 20:44, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
It would be possible to create a religion that didn't. The pseudo-worship of Eris, for example, basically precludes any real beliefs. One could easily start a religion around science and rationality (The French Revolution kind of tried...) but the trouble is that establishing a religion causes ossification of the current situation.
If you were to start a "religion" around Einstein, it might start off with the best of intentions but would quickly be taken over by the equivalent of teh Assfly.
My sister and her husband are both devout Christians (much as I hate to admit it) but they're both of the sane wing of the group, and are absolutely horrified by what CP has to offer as "Christian" teaching.
The truth is that belief is like the irrational numbers: you can divide it and divide it as much as you want and create a schism about even the most trivial points. SuspectedReplicant (talk) 21:43, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not sure that a religion without supernatural elements would be a religion. No Gods, no worship of those gods, no religious explanation for the origin of the world, no afterlife. One could certainly create a philosophy which included (for some reason) rituals which aped religious ones, but that wouldn't make it a religion.
But the point is moot anyway. Existing religions have these magic, supernatural elements and that surely puts them in conflict with science which, by it's nature, does not recognise them.--BobNot Jim 07:11, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
This seems obvious to me: religion is based on supernatural explanations of the natural world, ergo it is not scientific Silvermute (talk) 09:07, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Magic is often conceived of as operating according to natural law; for example, you curse someone and later he gets injured in a car accident and much argument must be placed as to how correlation does not equal causation before people will accept that the curse was not the cause of the accident.
But if you are invoking Gods or demons for assistance when performing magic, and these Gods or demons actually exist to carry out the deed, it is very likely that they can see into the future, and know well ahead of time that you are going to invoke them, and can prepare for it, so to speak. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 14:39, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Correlation does not equal causation unless you're talking about gods who are real but whose existence cannot be tested. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 14:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Anything that requires preconceptions, be they supernatural or otherwise cannot be scientific. Religions impose ideas which will affect the view of the scientist and make any deductions suspect. Not saying that other, non religious, ideas don't do the same of course, but religions certainly do. I am eating Toast& honeychat 15:10, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

What do you call methodological naturalism, if not a preconception? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:12, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
A preconception. Your point is? I am eating Toast& honeychat 15:17, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Uh, methodological naturalism is fairly scientific... Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:36, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Dunno about that (iggerant, that's me) however anything that goes beyond making deductions or creating hypotheses from evidence isn't science almost by definition. So anything that imposes preconceptions, however reasonable, should be eschewed. I am eating Toast& honeychat 15:45, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
For chrissakes will someone please just validate LX's world view for him??? I feel like this is a never ending quest. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 15:48, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
ListenerXwiki, anyone? I am eating Toast& honeychat 15:55, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
If I wanted a Wiki with another world-view, I should go edit the pagan Wiki. I feel quite comfortable here. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:26, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
(EC) I am not disputing that methodological naturalism does not meet the criteria of a "scientific theory." However, it is the basis for science, and I am surprised that there is talk of "eschewing" it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:57, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Methodological naturalism is part of the scientific method. It makes an assumption that there are no supernatural explanations. It is an important tool for the scientist but, more importantly, it is one of the reasons why supernatural explanations are automatically eliminated from scientific explanations. For all that it is an assumption, but one that is necessary for science to function. It should also be noted that it differs from philosophical naturalism: the explicit belief - rather than the working assumption - that there are no supernatural causes. However the very fact that is is necessary to assume methodological naturalism seems, to me at least, to show why magic and science are incompatible.--BobNot Jim 16:21, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Magic, natural law and science[edit]

You've mentioned magic and natural law a couple of times Listener. Could you explain:

  • What you mean by "natural law".
  • If, or how, you think that this is compatible with science.

'Cause I'm afraid that I've still not got your point.--BobNot Jim 16:08, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Natural law is the law by which the universe operates, and which we approximate through the natural sciences (physics, etc.) My position, again, is that science is only concerned with the how of this law, and all other questions concerning it are instead within the purview of philosophy, which is why we have philosophers-of-science. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:26, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
But what's the connection to magic which you seemed to be making above?--BobNot Jim 16:29, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I was noting that some magic is said to operate in accordance with natural law. The Harry Potter whiz-bang style of magic definitely does not match that criterion, but the laws of physics are not violated if someone is cursed into a car accident. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:32, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Very well. Do you believe that natural law can be influenced by magic?--BobNot Jim 16:36, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
If it is, scientists have incorporated the effects of magic as part of the laws of physics by now. Many things previously attributed solely to magic now have natural explanations as well, such as the effects of entheogens, but this natural explanation is one of how it works rather than a judgment of whether it is magic or not. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:50, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
So Listener, if I'm not putting too many words into your mouth, you seem to be saying that there are presently things which we would call "magic" which will someday be "science". Is that correct?--BobNot Jim 17:12, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."Arthur C. Clarke I am eating Toast& honeychat 17:26, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Cool. But I think he was talking about a different type of "magic" - "technological magic" if you will. But let's go with it. Could you or Listener give me an example of something which is today regarded as "magic" but which you think will at some point be "science".--BobNot Jim 17:31, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
(EC) What Arthur C. Clarke said. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:32, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Bob, I was saying that phenomena termed as "magic" get scientific explanations, rather than turn from "magic" into "science." Electricity has been labeled as magic even after its natural explanations were worked out, though those be incomplete. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:36, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
(EC)So, you think that A C Clarke could have been thinking about some witch doctor cursing somebody else?--BobNot Jim 17:39, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
No, but he was illustrating the principle of the thing. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:41, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
"the laws of physics are not violated if someone is cursed into a car accident" maybe in a very narrow view, but in a broader sense, they are broken. Your curse has to have natural ramifications which would have been otherwise avoided. The curse itself would have to change something physical. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 17:02, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
If the curse was thrown, the curse was thrown, and to speak of what would have happened if the curse had not been thrown is to speak of an entirely hypothetical situation. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:32, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
One man's magic is another man's engineering, Heinlein stated. Of course, he paraphrased Clarke, which was stated above by Toast. And, in case we ever do come across an advanced civilization or something currently unobtainable [Faster-than-light propulsion, for example], to many people it would appear to be 'magic' until we could quantify how it works. A prime example is the old story about an amazon tribesman, or similarly isolated person, seeing a t.v. or an airplane. All very real and non-magical to us, but to him it is pure sorcery. It is not to say that such things are impossible, but that we simply haven't found which rules to bend to get them working yet. -- CodyH (talk) 17:34, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but we're not talking about technological magic and advanced civilisations. We're talking about somebody being cursed into a car crash.--BobNot Jim 17:41, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Like I said earlier, correlation implies causation when you want it to and whatever else is necessary for reconciliation of your religion and science. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 17:56, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
No, it does not. It can never be properly proven whether or not magic had a hand in any event, and anyone claiming otherwise needs to be treated with extreme caution. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:06, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
No (I just like to start out with that like a dick). Assuming magic actually happens presumes your curse did something that wouldn't have happened without it. This means your curse did something to the physical world, which is a violation of natural law. I don't think it's any sort of dissonance, I think you're fucking insane. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:17, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I repeat that what would have happened had the curse not been thrown is a hypothetical situation. To consider it is to consider a world not bound by natural law, since at the point the curse was thrown, the magician's brain was in such a configuration as not to allow for the curse not being thrown at that point.
This is why one cannot use science to study that sort of magic; it does not adapt itself well to controlled scientific trials. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:40, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
It's a hypothetical situation either way. If I could get you to shut the fuck about about Odinism by simply citing the hypothetical nature of your concepts, I would. Why you think that's an option is beyond me (aside, if it is an option, PLEASE let me know). I repeat: if the curse works, it does something to the physical world. This breaks natural law. But you are totally a scientist and your religion is way compatible with science. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Under the assumption that a certain spell has been cast, any talk of a world in which the spell was not cast is pure conjecture, for the same reason that the argument from fine tuning is bogus: any alternate world may be "impossible." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:27, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I would suggest that the connotation of the term "magic" may have clouded the issue in this section. There also might still be differing opinions on the subtleties of what is and is not included in the set of "natural laws", what their significance is, and what "following natural laws" really means. To scientifically understand the physical mechanisms of curses (to extend the example you all keep using, although I don't think it's a very good one, mostly because of connotation again), one would have to figure out how to repeat a curse under slightly different conditions and study the results. A good "theory of curses" would be able to explain the results in situations in which the curse was not actually "thrown", hypothetical or not. I'm not completely sure I understand why this notion that the no curse situation is hypothetical is such a sticking point (for one, I completely agree that all of this discussion of curses is hypothetical). Are some or all of you assuming that curses cannot be repeated reliably in the way I just suggested? This would make studying them difficult, though not impossible. I also don't understand Neveruse's argument about breaking natural law. As I type this, I'm "[doing] something to the physical world", but I'm clearly not breaking any natural laws. Clarifying some of these things might help get us all on the same page. OneForLogic 19:02, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Cursing could certainly be tested scientifically. People could be cursed under different circumstances. Double blind cursing could probably be thought up in some way. But, you know what, I've got this sort of feeling that we wouldn't find that much. Still I agree that would would need to do the experiment first.--BobNot Jim 19:12, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Further to this, I've suggested that we carry out our own cursing survey in the saloon bar.--BobNot Jim 19:26, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
With LX being the one seeking to validate these ideas, it doesn't make sense to do this as he will not accept any conceivable test. All I know is that Odinism is a rational belief system which is completely compatible with science. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:20, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

This is an awesome site[edit]

Innit? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:17, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

NO. WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 05:27, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. OneForLogic 14:33, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

energy physics and the Divine attributes[edit]

Before I can highlight the physics I need to share with you a new piece of epistemology that advances physics;

Inductions solely derived from observations are called scientific facts.

Well, you can use inductions as premises in a deduction. For a deduction; the truth value of the premises transfers to the conclusion.

If the inductions are scientific facts, used as premises in a deduction, then the conclusion is a scientific fact.

now on to the physics;

energy is eternal

proof; ∑E = Ek+Ep

Scientific Fact (1); Conservation of energy; energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

energy cannot be created

ergo by time reversal symmetry it is a scientific fact that energy never was created

ergo energy cannot be created, never was created, energy exists and yet cannot be destroyed,

ergo it is a scientific fact that energy is eternal. Q.E.D.

energy is omnipresent

proof; E = (ω h)/2

Scientific Fact (2); Vacuum energy or zero point energy; there is an amount of energy equal to (hв‹…П‰)/2 in every single point in space.

ergo it is a scientific fact that energy is everywhere present Q.E.D.

eternal and omnipresent energy is all-power-full

proof; P = ∫ ∇ E dv

Scientific Fact (3); Power is the transformation of energy over space and time.

All expressions of power are transformations of energy

ergo it is a scientific fact that eternal and omnipresent energy [S1 & S2] is all-power-full Q.E.D.

eternal and omnipresent energy is self-causal


Scientific Corollary (1); Every cause involves energy and every effect involves energy [S3]

ergo it is a scientific fact that eternal and omnipresent energy [S1 & S2] is self-causal or teleological Q.E.D.

eternal and omnipresent energy is self-descriptive

proof; S = -kBTr(ρ ln ρ)

Scientific Fact (4); Entropy is equal to the minimum amount of information needed (number of yes/no questions that need to be answered) in order to fully specify the microstate, given that we know the macrostate.

Describing is the act of making informational distinctions; in this case, collapsing the superposition creates information; endomorphic self-description.

ergo it is a scientific fact that eternal and omnipresent energy [S1 & S2] is self-descriptive. Q.E.D.

It is a scientific fact that the Divine exists.

Proof--It is a scientific fact that energy is eternal and omnipresent [S1 & S2]. It is a scientific fact that eternal and omnipresent energy is all-power-full, self-causal, and self-descriptive [S3, Sc1, & S4]. Eternal, omnipresent, all-power-full, self-causal, self-descriptive energy has the same properties as the Divine. By virtue of the identity of indiscernibles eternal, omnipresent, all-power-full, self-causal, self-descriptive energy is the Divine. Ergo it is a scientific fact that the Divine exists. Q.E.D.

resolved paradox of omnipotence

If the Divine could or did destroy itself, it would not be eternal, in other words, it would not be Divine. Power is defined as the transformation of energy, not the destruction of energy. The inability to destroy itself does not contradict being all-power-full. Therefore the Divine cannot destroy itself.

To create and to lift both involve the transformation of energy. The Divine is an infinite energy and a rock which has finite form cannot exist in an infinite substantial state. Therefore the Divine cannot create a rock that it cannot lift.

Therefore the Divine is natural.

Note; Resolving the omnipotence paradox as a scientific fact demonstrates the scientific proof has increased or clarified our understanding of the Divine.

resolved paradox of physical-spiritual

Define "physical";

By physical, does one mean 3-space local realism at no greater than the speed of light?

such that the following are non-physical (spiritual?);

(1) any spacial dimensions higher than 3

(2) non-locality and quantum entanglement

(3) superluminal speed and negative refractive index

Or by "physical" does one equivocate to mean "natural"?

The Divine is natural.

Since many people look up to Einstein with respects to science (and besides he expresses the idea quite well); I won't feel wrong in quoting him in this regards;

"the most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true science. If there is any such concept as a God, it is a subtle spirit, not an image of a man that so many have fixed in their minds. In essence, my religion consists of a humble admiration for this illimitable superior spirit that reveals itself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds"

Let me put this in argument form; IF we understand "science as the study of the Divine", then as an act of religious devotion we want to study God or learn more about God all the more; such powerful emotions provoking productivity and innovation no doubt evolve or advance the field!

Since this is the most practical framework to understand the notion of God and of science; God does indeed exist! Q.E.D. Note; this is using constructivist epistemology from the perspective of pragmatism

Selfreasoning4all (talk) 22:02, 23 July 2014 (UTC)