The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Commenter Question Answered

This is a question I got in the comments of my last post and as I answered it I figured it would make a good next entry here. First in italics and abbreviated is the question followed by my answer, such as it is, in regular font.

"...Take science way back in time...to the 'Start of all life'...Who made the matter? Who made those first molecules? And if they weren't made where did they come from? How can something just start from nothing?...The problem is with all beliefs, one can't explain God always existing and having such power and on the other hand, science can't explain something like matter creating itself all on its own even though, it didn't exist before he started to create itself...Faith is the starting point for science...They say,,,I can't explain it but I believe it....how would you answer? Explain the start of all life."


"Explain the start of all life..." Wow, that's a biggie for a Tuesday evening. I'll be as honest as I can here - Firstly, I don't think science is faith, nor is it based on faith. The main difference between science and religion that I see is that science is comfortable with saying, "we don't know that yet." Religion has a huge problem saying it.

Imagine you don't know the words to a song. You listen and listen, but you just can't make them out. Obviously the singer is saying something, but you don't know what it is. Hell, you don't even know if it's English.

You can do two things here: either admit you don't know the words and maybe you'll find out someday what's being said (or maybe not) OR you can make up words and sing along with your made up lyrics as if they were the actual words.

Science says, "I don't know the words. Maybe they're English and maybe they're not, heck, maybe they're just jibberish and I'm wasting my time trying to figure it out - but the fun is in trying to solve the mystery." Religion says, "I know exactly what's being said and you all should say exactly what we say", even though they really aren't sure. Sometimes they'll even kill you if you say different words or try to get other people to admit they don't know what's being said. That's the difference I see.

At base level it really comes down to the Scientific Method. Observation leads to hypothesis leads to experiment leads to results leads to interpretation leads to conclusion leads to comparison with original hypothesis for confirmation or rejection. Religions start with a conclusion (God did it) and then all observations are filtered through this pre-determined conclusion so that the experiments are biased and the interpretation is skewed. There can't be an "I don't know" answer.

Science equals comfort in uncertainty. It's a great place to be and you learn so much more with such an open mind. Does science say "God doesn't exist"? No, but we haven't seen any evidence that leads to that conclusion yet, therefore we revert to Laplace's famous line to Napolean, "I have no need for that hypothesis."

3 Barbaric Yawps:

At 4/10/06 9:00 am, Blogger Paul said...

"I have no need for that hypothesis."

I love that. I'm going to write it down this very minute.

 
At 4/10/06 9:45 pm, Blogger Bruce said...

Science equals comfort in uncertainty.

It's amazing how believers need an answer to their questions "right now" and are willing to make one up if they have to. It's like if they can't produce an answer, then their lives will become meaningless, which I think says a lot more about them than their religion.

I'm perfectly fine not knowing for sure how life first came about on this planet. Actually, now that I think about it, I would think that Christians would have no problem with this concept either, because every time I ask them how God came to be, they usually can't answer either.

 
At 6/10/06 10:01 am, Anonymous Tina said...

If anyone is particularly interested in knowning more about science, it's not too hard to go to wikipedia or talk origins or anything like that. The trouble is, most creationists don't bother trying to learn anything new, just repeating something they heard somewhere. It's about attitude. I want to know about something, I look it up, I don't make it up. When I was a kid I knew another kid who thought people were made of sand, like it says in the bible. He literally thought this. We were like 12 years old- it was the first time my jaw hit the floor with amazement at someone else's ignorance.

 

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