[FoRK] flatlanders discussing the 3rd dimension

Strata R. Chalup < strata at virtual.net > on > Mon Nov 20 16:23:37 PST 2006

The science-oriented person believes in evolution because he or she sees proof 
of its actions on the world, historically and on an ongoing basis.

The faith-oriented person believes in $deity for the same reasons.

What the faith-oriented person takes as miraculous, the science-oriented person 
explains via laws of probability and physics.

Why can't the universe be both, just the way light acts in some ways as a 
particle and in some ways as a wave?

I really don't understand why it's so important to so many people to invalidate 
the other viewpoint, either science or faith, and insist that the world is only 
one way.

There are plenty of sci-fi/fantasy stories where there is a real $deity who 
created a frame, something $evil got into it accidentally, and $deity can't 
reach in directly to remove $evil or $deity will break the frame and end the 
universe as the protagonists know it.   That's one possible model for the 
elegance of the physical laws, including evolution, and the existence of a 
compassionate $deity.

I mean, c'mon, what kind of $deity would set up a universe full of physics and 
biology and then freeze it?!  Why can't evolution be a divine mechanism for 
emergent behavior on the part of a really rockin' creation?

And if there is no $deity, wouldn't the ultimate evolution be to create one?  So 
there will be one eventually, if the universe goes on long enough and sentients 
master spacetime physics as well as biology and consciousness.  Remember AC 
Clarke, and his technology indistinguishable from magic?

So, I ask both the science and the faith oriented folks, what would it mean TO 
YOU PERSONALLY if the other viewpoint were true?  For the faith folks, if there 
were no $deity.  For the science folks, if science were true but the rules had 
been set up by a $deity.

I suspect here is where we'll get to the heart of why some folks are so 
passionate about their leanings.  Because the thought of a universe that works 
differently is so deeply negative and/or scary to them that they MUST believe 
the universe matches their preference.  Others may simply find that they 
function better and/or are happier with a certain belief.  Still others don't 
care all that much but can't let anyone else be 'right', so they frame it as 
either-or, instead of inclusive.


Russell Turpin wrote:

> "Dr. Ernie Prabhakar" <drernie at radicalcentrism.org>:
>> Sure, we can have *confidence* in our assumptions if we've seen them 
>> proved true _within_ our realm of experience, but to extrapolate 
>> beyond them is *always* an act of faith..
> It's an act of faith only if one asserts or believes as knowledge
> what isn't. There's no reason to do that. It's true that we
> continually act on partial knowledge, in the face of all sorts of
> possibilities that might thwart our plans. That's not a
> philosophical problem, but just a fact of life. It becomes a
> philosophical problem only when one tries to pretend otherwise.
>> .. science never gets "proof"  that we have the "one right" answer, we 
>> just invent hypotheses that explain the facts better than anything 
>> that precedes them..
> Good.
>> The short answer (which even if trite is still true) is that I  
>> believe in Christianity for the same reason I believe in science: 
>> though deeply flawed, both work much better -- for a longer period of 
>> time -- than any of the other alternatives that have been tried.
> What facts does the Christian god explain?
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Strata R Chalup [KF6NBZ]                         strata "@" virtual.net
Virtual.Net Inc                                  http://www.virtual.net/
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