Author Topic: Science or the Bible  (Read 1641 times)

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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Science or the Bible
« on: May 17, 2012, 04:52:55 PM »
Okay I have been confined to the Shelter.  Whether I like it or not, it was proably the best decision.  I dunno why I didn't just stay here to begin with.  So I am willing to give it a try.

So I would like to discuss the subject of this thread.  It seems some athiests contend that since science has learned so much about the universe and the world around us that all of this knowledge somehow takes away any evidence there might have been that God exists.

I do not understand this argument.  Because we theorize there was a Big Bang then this means God does not exist?  I do not understnd.  At what point does science and creation conflict?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Traveler

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Re: Science or the Bible
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 05:09:20 PM »
The point that I think people are trying to make is that the bible has turned out to be incorrect in many of its statements about how reality works. I'm not a biblical scholar, so I'm afraid I'm not the one to give very specific examples. But, for instance, the bible claims that the world was created in 6 days and then he rested. We now know that the universe took a very, very long time to evolve to its current point.

The big bang is an interesting point, because some "liberal" christians will merely say that god caused the big bang, and that it was god's kick start to the universe. That the creation story in the bible is metaphorical, and not to be taken literally. These same people might claim that 1 day is defined differently in the bible. But how can one have a day, if the sun hasn't yet been created? A day is one circle 'round the sun. Basically, one would have to redefine an awful lot of things to make the bible make any sense at all.

I'll try to dig this up, but there's also a lovely graph of biblical contradictions. People who say the bible is the inerrent word of god seem to miss the fact that there are hundreds of places in which the bible contradicts itself. Let me go look for the graph ...

Edited to add: graph ...  http://www.project-reason.org/gallery3/image/105/
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 05:11:16 PM by Traveler »
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Science or the Bible
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 06:05:06 PM »
bm
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Science or the Bible
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 06:24:07 PM »
I think that, if you mean you question as worded, that perhaps there is a misunderstanding. As an atheist, I contend that there is no evidence that God exists. Science didn't necessarily take it away.

Belief in God was used, in primitive times, when people limited in knowledge needed an explanation for things. They didn't have one, so they made one up and called it "god". Don't know why there is lightning? The gods are doing it. Don't know why there are earthquakes? The gods are responsible. At some point, people in some regions whittled it down to just one God.

Now that we have explanations for these kinds of things, the old explanation of "God did it" is no longer necessary. In fact, the old explanation didn't have any value at all, because it gave no actual insight as to how these phenomena occur. So, it is in that sense that I say science has not taken away any evidence of God.

If you are talking more generally about science disproving religion, it is a matter of the founding stories of faith, such as the Christian faith. We have quite solid evidence that the Genesis, Flood, and Exodus stories are entirely fictional. Even Israeli archaeologists have admitted this, and those stories are even more important to the Jewish community than the Christian community. There is also no evidence for the events in the New testament. particularly the miraculous events and the resurrection.

Science gives us explanations for things that work. Science helps us identify explanations that don't work, and refine things so that the explanation fits what we actually know. Whereas the Bible says exactly what it says and is not subject to correction (since it's believers assume it to be free of error to begin with). Yet the Bible says things that we just know aren't true like insects having 4 legs, or pi=3, and the earth is a circle. If the Bible was written or inspired by an all powerful, all knowing God, it wouldn't have gotten those (and other things) wrong.

The creation story described in the Bible gets absolutely nothing right as what we actually know about the formation of the universe and our solar system. Maybe the believer could say "Well couldn't God be responsible for the Big bang?" to which I would respond that if that were the case, he is a terrible author, since he totally describes everything wrong in his perfect and inerrant book, and further that since that book is the book being used to justify the belief in the existence of this God in the first place, that it is not valid evidence for a Big bang using God. If the Bible started out “In the beginning, God said “Let there be the Big Bang!” and there was the Big Bang.....”  it would be impressive, but it doesn't, and since it is supposed to be divinely revealed wisdom, is not subject to such a revision.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline jetson

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Re: Science or the Bible
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 07:05:41 AM »
Science is a path to knowledge and better understanding of things.  And using the scientific method, it is self-correcting, which means that when a hypothesis does not meet the standards of evidence, or if it is falsified by experiment or other facts and evidence, then it is discarded and replaced with the best explanation.

Keep in mind that the best explanation may indeed still be incorrect.  However, with the scientific method, each and every point are up for experiment and falsification by anyone who cares to do the work.  This is brilliant when you think about it.  Let the evidence speak for itself, and let everyone make their case.  The hard work and scrutinization of the worlds greatest minds, and hardest workers, will prevail.

On the other hand, who wrote the Bible?  Who chose the final books and letters contained within the Bible?  What facts are contained within the Bible that can be used today to better understand how things work, or how we came to exist?  What happens to people who don't follow the Bible when they challenge what it claims?  Shall I continue, or does this point out the problems?

In the end, the Bible is a collection of writings from a time when humans were unaware of so many things.  Things like the planet earth, the third planet from the sun.  They could see the moon, but the Biblical explanation of the moon is demonstrably silly.  These people could not explain lightning, they had no idea about the true cause of disease, and they thought that gods were running the show.  They were in a long line of humans who were ignorant about the world around them, and thus made up their best explanation by creating yet another god.  They were smart enough to shed the many gods before, and created a new one that made more sense to them. 

Science is not something that needs to be worshiped or revered in a dogmatic way.  It is a tool that we use to move forward in our understanding of many questions.  It is not a religion, nor is it here to falsify the many gods that humans have invented over time.  Science is just science, and it is wrong more than it is right, which is perfect in the grand scheme.  But when it is used to help us stay healthy, live longer lives, improve our lives, and generally explain what is going on around us, it is perfectly brilliant.  For some, it hurts to think about how science is replacing ignorance from the past.  That is sad because there is nothing more awesome than gaining fresh new understandings that help us move forward as an intelligent species.

I love science.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Science or the Bible
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 05:47:59 PM »
I do not understand this argument.  Because we theorize there was a Big Bang then this means God does not exist?  I do not understnd.  At what point does science and creation conflict?
As I understand it, Stephen Hawkings made a statement that the current state of scientific knowledge is such that mankind now knows so much about the universe, its development and functioning that gods are not needed to explain anything. This indeed does start from the Big Bang.

This then would leave only the Big Bang to be explained. I say this as nothing that any holy book says  about the universe, its development and functioning is true unless it agrees unambiguously with science.

If that is the case, then all holy books can be disregarded as far as the advancement of mankind is concerned and the gods within their pages vanish.

Based upon what holy books say about natural events after creation - plagues, droughts, earthquakes, storms, floods, etc., we can say they are wrong.

If they are all wrong, why should the statement made by those books about a god who brought a universes into existence be considered true?

Consider a person who tells you about his life. It is a fascinating story filled with adventure, riches, adversity and many wonderful places. However, you later find proof that he has consistently lied. You go back to him. You remonstrate with him. He says,

"I'm sorry, I let my imagination carry me away. Everything was indeed a lie. Did I ever tell you about how I was born a Prince of the House of Hapsburg and am entitled to the Throne of Hungary?"

Are you going to accept this? Or do you fear that he has lapsed into his old ways?

Gods are what we do not, as yet, know. They are ignorance. The origin of the Big Bang is unknown. Gods fit in here because we do not know. There are those who worship that ignorance. There are others who try to discover the answer.

So yes, "Because we theorize there was a Big Bang then this means God does not exist." is not quite true, it is simply the billions of years thereafter that make gods fictitious.

So, what seems more likely, some undetectable, immortal invisible, all-knowing, etc., being, who looks like us, flicking his fingers or some tremendous reaction of a form of energy?

Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Science or the Bible
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 07:35:54 PM »
I agree that science teaches us a lot.  But it does not tell us everything.  Oh, and I want to say that I don't think humans look like God.  I think God's image means that man is capable of reflecting godly qualities such as love, justice, and wisdom.

How the big bang occured is one thing science has not told us, but that is not all.  Science tells us how things work but not why they work or what made them begin to work.  We know how gravity works, but we don't know why gravity works, aside from the laws of physics.  But why do these laws work?  Where did they come from?  Why do they work the way they do?

Science does not teach us about love, justice, wisdom, conscience or other similar things and these things are no less important or real.  It only teaches us about what is physical and tangible.  No one doubts that wisdom exists but science cannot prove it exists or even define what it is.  Is it such a large leap to catagorize a god under these things, something that science cannot define but yet exists.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Science or the Bible
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 10:32:56 PM »
Science does not teach us about love, justice, wisdom, conscience or other similar things and these things are no less important or real. 
These are taught in psychology and sociology which also are sciences.
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Science or the Bible
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 07:58:22 PM »
Quote from: Jst
Science tells us how things work but not why they work or what made them begin to work.  We know how gravity works, but we don't know why gravity works, aside from the laws of physics.  But why do these laws work?  Where did they come from?  Why do they work the way they do?

Surprised I didn't catch this sooner.

The way I see it, 'why' is a very human concept. We're always looking for meanings in things. It's how we work, but the universe doesn't 'care' why. And we may never know the meaning of life, if such a thing exists. I think the important thing, if anything, it to give life meaning. Everything doesn't have to be weighed for meaning on a divine level, but rather, what it means to us as a species, as people, as individuals. Why do I exist? It's not really a mystery, it's because my parents conceived and raised me. Why? Because they wanted children to love and take care of.

But always asking the purpose can be just an endless journey of questions, even if you reach God, there's another 'why?' to ask and that's, "why does God exist?" Generally people say, it is unknown or even a part of his plan. But that is no different than assuming the 'reason' the universe exists and all that it's in it is unknown. None of that matters because what matters is a lot closer to home - does science tell you how you should feel or think? No, but morality & way of life doesn't require science to instruct you because science is about the objective, whilst morality and way of life is very subjective and the non-religious have a wealth of reasons to follow a sense of morality.

Yes, there will always be unanswered questions, but we're a finite species, we can't understand everything. Generally I'm not one to fill gaps in my knowledge with unsubstantiated statements, for me, "God did it" counts.
“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” - Miyamoto Musashi
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