More food for thought: Reflections

Oct 2012
3,841
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Louisville, Ky
#2
"The first step toward mutual respect between theists and atheists should be the recognition that most people on earth are surrounded by material structure and by spiritual superstructure. People investigating these aspects of our environment are scientists and theologians. Methods of validation of claims made by theologians are very different from those used by scientists. God is not a material entity, and attempts to refute God's existence by performing scientific experiments are not appropriate. The same is true for attempts to refute scientific claims, such as the age of the earth, on the basis of disagreements with holy books.

Theology, by the way, is like mathematics, not science. Mathematicians start with axioms (initially accepted truths) and use logical derivation to justify consecutive claims, called theorems. Once proven, a theorem cannot be rejected, unless a logical error is found in the derivation. Science is very different. Here, claims are justified, in the final analysis, by experimental observations, not by pure logic. A scientific claim becomes valid after it is confirmed in reproducible experiments. Furthermore, scientific validations are always tentative; scientists know that future experiments might result in rejection, or partial rejection, of what has already been accepted. Scientific truth is not claimed to be eternal." That is my interpretation of Gould's ideas."


I rather like this as it is a well thought out evaluation of this situation.
 

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