[FoRK] A Bayesian framework for faith vs. non-faith
James Tauber <
jtauber at jtauber.com
> on >
Sun Nov 19 18:04:59 PST 2006
This anthropomorphizing of science needs to be unpacked a bit. Are
you describing how scientists themselves work on their own field, how
they view other fields or how non-scientists of a particular
"scientific" mindset operate?
In my experience, most people, whether they would be described as
having a scientific or faith-based mindset, are mostly operating at
the level of a trust network. Most people reinforce (or even create)
their beliefs by thinking "oh, it must be true because some
scientist / theologian much smarter than I thinks it".
Amongst the general population, I don't think this is any less true
of science than religion.
Once you get to the scientists themselves, there's a difference
between their own field and others. I think the trust network is
still applying to fields outside their own (although perhaps with
more discernment). There are very few scientific endeavours anymore
where you can check everything yourself.
For me, the big difference between science and faith is that science
is about empirically adequate models. If your model is adequate,
you're done. Truth is not the objective (and, indeed, can't be)
Or put another way, if it was revealed tomorrow that the universe was
created last Thursday, evolution would still be an excellent model of
the observable facts.
On 20/11/2006, at 3:03 AM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> Science, on the other hand, rejects (to the greatest extent
> possible) such arbitrary, subjective priors, and thus yields
> conclusions with greater reliability. It further admits a
> willingness to discard any axioms or priors if they are revealed to
> be of this arbitrary nature --- i.e., it is a meta-method of
> reasoning, rather than a body of beliefs or a method of reasoning
> per se --- a flexibility NOT shared by faith-based modalities.
More information about the FoRK