Author Topic: "Sometimes science must give way to religion" - Dafuq am I reading?  (Read 4200 times)

Offline Daneel

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I'm embarrassed that this article was published in Nature:
Sometimes science must give way to religion.

IMHO, this is pure bullkalamari. The sense of wonder that religion can provide has nothing to do with science. If you want wonder, look into poetry, literature and even some parts of philosophy; science is about discovering the mysteries of the universe.
Of course, science be a firm basis for meaning and can be extremely poetic for some people (like me :D) but it's not a prerequisite; it's not it's function.
The LHC was not built to give "sense of the subatomic world that its scientists say it revealed", it was built to discover things. That doesn't mean that it doesn't give it, provided you know the significance of the place (which is also also true for lots of religious buildings) or that there aren't other awesome artistic expressions based upon it.

Offline LukeSouthan

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Re: "Sometimes science must give way to religion" - Dafuq am I reading?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 12:13:59 PM »
He sounds like a stoned 18 year old gap year kid who's just gone abroad for the first time and is trying to be poetic to pull a Spanish girl but is too geeky to pull it off.

Offline Maerin

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Re: "Sometimes science must give way to religion" - Dafuq am I reading?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 12:38:27 PM »
Science and religion are not mutually exclusive. You can believe in evolution and in a higher power, you just need to make the cognitive leap that the stories in the book are just that. Stories, there to explain things that they didnt understand, science is that exploration of understanding. The basic morals and even the idea of a greater power or even something that designed a universe dont have to be cast aside. The religious people just have to figure out that if there is a diety, it gave them a mind and the powers of logic. use them.
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Offline Lynx Cat

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Re: "Sometimes science must give way to religion" - Dafuq am I reading?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 01:50:14 PM »
I've got no problem with religion and with people using it as part of their understanding of the world, despite being an atheist, and I also recognize the important societal and psychological aspects of religions... but still, I'll have to agree with Luke on this one. Perfectly said, in fact. The guy's all over the place, pulling all sorts of weird analogies and comparisons that have nothing to do with anything. What the hell is that whole discussion about molasses vs. milk? That somehow "molasses" is the scientific view, as opposed to (Hindu) religion's "milk"? Does he actually believe scientists literally consider the Higgs field to be a sea of literal molasses? Some people...
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Offline bn

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Re: "Sometimes science must give way to religion" - Dafuq am I reading?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2012, 05:37:19 PM »
reading article.
writing comments as i read... paragraph by paragram
  • oh hi dude
  • yeah. lots of people who understand the higgs only through new york times articles have a lot to say on the subject. that sure is something that happens a lot. *cough*
  • I have visited the ankor temple complex. it's wonderful, but i took them to be more tragic than not. an elegy to the finiteness of human's physical endeavor.
  • I wouldn't describe the enterprise of science as being the endeavor of replacing religion in our society. I'd say that it was (maybe not intentionally) stripping the robes of "knowledge of fundamental truth" which religion often garbs itself in. often these robes, I'd say, involve knowledge of the physical world... and sometimes they gain a lot of respectability from this appearance of knowledge. but the political ramifications of the claims a religion makes are not the domain of science.
  • you're a jerk for this comparison. and not a jerk like the titular steve martin character from the movie you watched in cambodia either. this is the main problem with people who don't listen to my podcast. they don't understand things with subtle enough metaphors.
  • uuuuuhhghhhh. listen. a lot of things come out of that milk, and i've only read a FEW CHAPTERS of the mahabarata. why are you comparing hindus with physicists?! why not compare goats and dogs? they both have four legs 
  • Interestingly enough, you don't get a very important point. the higgs is very important to everyone the same way ankor wat is important to everyone. not that everyone on earth can understand it, or walk through it in person: but just knowing that it is there, and that it an achievement accomplished by a bunch of apes, by OUR bunch of apes, is amazing and wonderful. they are both and important part of our heritage.
  • ugh. ankor wat is big and rocky, but it's not all that impressive. like, a millenium after the fall of rome, they hadn't discovered arches yet. the pyramids don't have any real internal structure either. they're made of porous rock in some places to let the rain through, and that's neat. but more importantly, the ankor complex was a bunch of propaganda. the CROMkings of the ankor empire built little microcosms of the hindu version of mount olympos in order to demonstrate their CROMhood to their empire. so it's SUPPOSED to be awe inspiring. that's its only job. It's done well, but... to put it in your terms. future archeologists comign across the ruins of CERN would be like digging up the library of alexandria or something. MUCH BIGGER and MORE IMPORTANT than ankor wat.
  • I believe that religion is a type of cultural technology, and so it should not be thrown out along with its crappy  explanations for the physical world. perhaps we should not take its claims of absolute veracity and total knowledge as seriously as some of its adherents thing we aught to.
  • again. angkor wat isn't supposed to make you wonder. its supposed to REMIND you of the ABSOLUTE TRUTH of the structure of the hindu metaphysical system, and then suggest to you that maybe the emperor was actually Vishnu. it's making a very concrete statement about the physical world, a statement which is literally false.

that was pretty bad. It kind of reminds me of this article I read the other day about dudes who explain things.
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Offline LukeSouthan

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Re: "Sometimes science must give way to religion" - Dafuq am I reading?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2012, 05:40:52 PM »
ugh. ankor wat is big and rocky, but it's not all that impressive. like, a millenium after the fall of rome, they hadn't discovered arches yet.

That is one of the most brilliant things I have ever read. If i ever visit there and that is not in the tour guide, complaints will be written.

Offline bn

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Re: "Sometimes science must give way to religion" - Dafuq am I reading?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2012, 05:43:12 PM »
Science and religion are not mutually exclusive. You can believe in evolution and in a higher power, you just need to make the cognitive leap that the stories in the book are just that. Stories, there to explain things that they didnt understand,

Oh yeah,
and the stories can be useful in different ways.
sometimes they can teach us to acknowledge the needs of the society beyond ourselves,
or teach us to endure hardship,
or remind us that occasionally revolutionary change occurs,
or even work as a shorthand for teaching us concrete skills,
or work as a kind of history for the tribe.

I mean, it's not perfect, but it's not all bad either.
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Offline bn

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Re: "Sometimes science must give way to religion" - Dafuq am I reading?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2012, 05:49:20 PM »

That is one of the most brilliant things I have ever read. If i ever visit there and that is not in the tour guide, complaints will be written.

It gets mentioned a lot.
there are a LOT of pillars in the structures you can walk through.
they're really close together too.
and that's the explanation for it.

that isn't to say that ankor wat isn't totally awesome.
i visited it after reading the ramayana, and it was just totally mindblowing.

all these temple complexes are set to mirror the hindu metaphysical world (I'm pretty sure that the hindus think of it as purely metaphysical.)
there's a sacred mountain at the center,
surrounded by concentric structures. ... ... I should probably be consulting wikipedia.

anyway, so the ankor complexes often have these central structures and then concentric buildings. long halways which surround them. and then these are often  filled with huuugge murals carved in bas relief.

oh, it's really a wonder.
also, it's full of cute little pre-school urchin children who try to get your money by giving you tours.
i <3 cambodia.

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