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Switch to Forum Live View The Conservative Anti-Intellectual Ideology
2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 8:25AM #21
REteach
Posts: 14,221

Apr 5, 2012 -- 12:56AM, solfeggio wrote:


There is always conflict between science and religion. 


Science deals with material realities, whereas religions occupy themselves with intangible issues. 


In other words, religions are based on faith and personal experiences which cannot be objectively verified, but science rejects statements not supported by facts.



I think your own words make it clear there does not have to be a conflict.  Just because some religious people find science to conflict with their belief systems does not mean all religious people feel that way.

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 10:04AM #22
vra
Posts: 6,395

I have to go along with Solf here because there is always going to be a friction between religion and science if both are taken seriously.  Let me give just one example.


What ultimately caused the Big Bang?  If one is a firm believer in any of the Abrahamic religions, the answer is going to be "God".  But what objectively-derived evidence do we have of that?  The reality is that we don't have any.  If one was to ask a Hindu or Buddhist scholar, they will say that a "cosmic consciousness" (different terminology may be used) was always present and everything is a by-product of that.  Again, what evidence do we have that this is correct?  Again, the answer is none.


Cosmologist Leonard Susskind says that a fairly recent poll indicates that 92% of all cosmologists are either atheists or agnostics (the latter is by far the largest in number), and that even the theists he knows are hardly conventional.


The approaches of religion and science are very different.  I think we all recognize that religion is mostly based on faith, and faith by definition needs no objectively-derived evidence to support it.  OTOH, science is based on evidence whereas faith is considered to be a possible threat simply because it can easily introduce bias that may interfere with objectivity. 


If one believes in religion and science, there's going to be a problem eventually if both are taken seriously.  As one who was brought up in a fundamentalist Protestant church learning about the "evils" of evolution, my scientific drift resulted in conflict even back when I was in junior high school, with the end result having me leave the church about 8 years later. 


In science, we work with evidence, but that is not the approach taken in religion, and the two really aren't that compatible if both are taken completely seriously, and sooner or later one or both is/are going to be sharply questioned with, at best, resulting in a rather uneasy compromise.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 10:30AM #23
arielg
Posts: 9,116

There is no conflict.  Science studies the world "out there".  Religion studies the world "in here"


When both worlds become one and the same, there is understanding.


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2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 11:33AM #24
vra
Posts: 6,395

Apr 5, 2012 -- 10:30AM, arielg wrote:


There is no conflict.  Science studies the world "out there".  Religion studies the world "in here"


When both worlds become one and the same, there is understanding.






Both deal with the "in here", and what caused our universe is just one of many examples that could be used, so let me pick another: is there a heaven, reincarnation/rebirth, nirvana, or moksha?  Since these deal with what happens to us after we die, that is very much a "in here" item as it doesn't deal directly with "spirituality" but deals with what happens to us.


Or how about the question as to whether Jesus rose from the dead and is now "sitting on the right hand of the Father"?  Since that deals with an event that maybe did or maybe didn't happen, that also is an "in here" item, so how does one deal with that in regards to objective historical evidence? [even though there's a tendency for many to see "history" and "science" as not being the same, they actually are interrelated to a limited extent and use much the same process in regards to trying to be objective and avoiding biases] 


Again, the entire approach with religion is that it is not based on objectively-derived evidence whereas that's anathema to any objective scientific approach.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 11:54AM #25
drawout
Posts: 5,909

Until about a hundred years ago fundamentalism did not exist. Back in Jesus time everyone understood that the Torah was symbolic. Philosophers like Philo of Alexandria studied Plato and used the same allegorical methods the Greeks used to understand their mythology. This was called Hellenism.


www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7535...


things evolved after Anseloms ontological arguments, www.netplaces.com/world-religions/eviden...


Later we had the age of rationalism www.victorclaveau.com/htm_html/Church%20...


 Luther came along and explained that Faith itself was a miracle and not connected to logic at all. Thats my kind of faith BTW,received in a flash with no thinking involved.


This new fundamentalism is a form of brainwashing where faith is a rational decision based on facts. The followers must be kept isolated from outside information. All contrary info must be labelled as coming from evil demonic forces,like Democrats and College professors etc. This is used to coerce the uneducated poor into voting against their own interests.

'When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.' - Mark Twain
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 2:00PM #26
mindis1
Posts: 7,509

Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:05PM, vra wrote:


Apr 4, 2012 -- 3:57PM, mindis1 wrote:


Apr 4, 2012 -- 3:47PM, vra wrote:


Apr 4, 2012 -- 3:16PM, mindis1 wrote:


Apr 2, 2012 -- 5:01PM, vra wrote:


The data here is really not new at all as studies that I saw back in the '60's and since pretty much saying the same thing.  



Well, the data that are the subject of Gauchat’s study, from the General Social Surveys from 1974 to 2010, do indicate a change in the opinions expressed (at least using Gauchat’s method of analysis). Specifically, in the earliest surveys, people self-identifying as “conservative” or Republican expressed the highest degree of confidence in “the people running the institutions” of “the Scientific Community,” compared to people identifying as “moderate”/”independent” and “liberal” or Democrat. There is no significant difference in the answers to the question asked between “conservatives”/Republicans and “liberals”/Democrats until well into the 1990s; and “moderates”/”independents” show no difference with "conservatives"/Republicans after 1998. See Figure 1:  www.asanet.org/images/journals/docs/pdf/...So, if one were to use these data to conclude something derogatory about self-identifying “conservatives”/Republicans today, then certainly one needs to conclude the same derogatory thing about “moderates”/”independents” and “liberals”/Democrats throughout most of the period of these surveys. Does one conclude from these data that “conservatives” have an “anti-intellectual ideology,” as the thread title claims? Then an “anti-intellectual ideology” is what “moderates” and “liberals” have had throughout most of the period from 1974 to 2010.


The thing is that the question asked really has nothing to do with a person’s degree of “intellectualness” or beliefs about “science” or conclusions drawn using the scientific method. The question concerns a person’s “confidence” in “the people running the institutions” that are claimed to represent “the Scientific Community”. Indeed, expressing blind faith in public personalities is, to my mind, about as far from expressing something akin to a scientific attitude as one can get. Gauchat doesn’t say who were “the people running the institutions” that were asked about. I might not express “confidence” in the people that were asked about. Who are the people “running the institutions” that supposedly represent “the Scientific Community” today? Name names. Who are the people “running the institutions” of “the Scientific Community” whom you have a high degree of confidence in?


The other biggie problem is that Gauchat really had to assault the numbers in order to get a statistically significant group-specific change over time. His first two methods for specifying the time variable did not yield a statistically significant change over time among the groups. He doesn’t bother to give any detail of the method he eventually used to get a statistically significant group-change result. His only statistical test seems to be a determination that the time variable was auto-correlated.



The fact of the matter is that there has without any doubt whatsoever been global warming over the last century that has been verified by hard data (actual measurments and not estimates), and the researchers are 90-95% certain that it is mostly due to higher levels or CO2 in our atmosphere.



I am sure that someone who abides by the principles of the scientific method would not just throw out “facts” or “statistics” that s/he cannot substantiate. On the basis of what evidence did “the researchers” arrive at this 90-95% certainty that “global warming over the last century. . .is mostly due to higher levels of CO2 in our atmosphere”? Can you link to this evidence that provokes such terrific certainty?


When you say that “global warming over the last century . . . has been verified by hard data (actual measurements and not estimates),” are you claiming that what the IPCC calls data that have been “adjusted” for “inhomogeneities” are “hard data” or “estimates”?  


If it were true that data that have not been “adjusted” for “inhomogeneities” demonstrate “global warming,” then why does the IPCC only use data that have been “adjusted” for “inhomogeneities”?


Let’s look at some of the raw, “unadjusted” data of the Global Historic Climate Network (GHCN). See Figure 4 here:  wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/08/the-smoki... Why doesn’t that smoothed red line show warming from 1880 to 2000? I think Australia has been part of the globe for the past 120 years.


More importantly, how do you explain why that smoothed red line doesn’t at least track the ever-increasing atmospheric CO2 levels of the 20th century?





There's nothing in the above worth responding to other than this short response largely because the data is out there through reputable scientific sites like NASA, Scientific American, the National Academy of the Sciences, the Rio Conference, etc.  



I believe the reason you have not answered any of my questions is because you cannot substantiate what you've claimed, which is in direct contrast to someone who abides by the principles of the scientific method.  Obviously there is nothing "unworthy" about responding to the questions I asked.   




Well, even the evidence you're supplying with the above statement suggests to me that you are so willing to jump to any conclusion that suits your fancy.  Secondly, a blog, such as you posted above, is not peer-reviewed and certainly not a recognized scientific source.  Thirdly, believe in what you want, but I have no interest in arguing with blogs and other politically-motivated nonsense, so I'd much rather discuss science with those who actually are willing to deal with science. 



Vra, the reason you are unable to provide evidence to substantiate your claims is because there is no evidence that substantiate your claims, and, in fact, as shown by the GHCN data that I linked to, your claim about increased global averaged temperature being shown by “hard data . . .not estimates” is unequivocally false (despite the fact that the global averaged temperature has probably increased during the past century).  


The reason you are apparently unconcerned about evidence to substantiate your claims is because you have done precisely what Solfeggio accuses “conservatives” of doing in the OP: confusing science with political agendas. Solfeggio does it too on several issues, the subject topic being one of them, which is why she did the same “anti-intellectual” thing that you did: not bothering to read the paper that OP article is about.


The fact is that in court cases that involve technical scientific issues, attorneys conducting voir dire do not try to weed out potential jurors who identify as “conservative”/Republican or (even worse, according to Gauchat’s graph) as “moderate”/”independent”. But in cases that require a certain minimum of scientific literacy, attorneys do consider a potential juror’s level of general education.




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2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 2:03PM #27
mindis1
Posts: 7,509

Apr 5, 2012 -- 12:56AM, solfeggio wrote:


There is always conflict between science and religion. 



The following are the seven principles that are “affirmed and promoted” by the Unitarian Universalist Association. It is the closest thing to a creed or doctrine that the UUA has:


* The inherent worth and dignity of every person;


* Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;


* Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;


* A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;


* The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;


* The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;


* Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.


www.uua.org/beliefs/principles/index.sht...


What is the conflict with the scientific method in any of these principles?


 


Science deals with material realities the mathematical nature of empirical reality




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2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 4:41PM #28
vra
Posts: 6,395

Apr 5, 2012 -- 11:54AM, drawout wrote:


Until about a hundred years ago fundamentalism did not exist. Back in Jesus time everyone understood that the Torah was symbolic. Philosophers like Philo of Alexandria studied Plato and used the same allegorical methods the Greeks used to understand their mythology. This was called Hellenism.


www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7535...


 




In Judaism, the evidence points to an evolution of thought about Torah, whereas 1st Temple Jews thought of it more in terms of history but 2nd Temple and later Jews thought of it more in terms of scripture.  What appears to have precipitated that was the Babylonian exile and the destruction of the 1st Temple whereas there was a gradual shift to relying more on the teachings as found  in Torah since there were no longer any animal and grain sacrifices. 


Much the same evolution took place during the 2nd Temple period with the Tanakh beyond Torah, and at the time of Jesus, which is late 2nd Temple, the Tanakh is being quoted as scripture. 


However, we traditionally have not been literalists, so there was always a look for "the meaning behind the words".  However, at no time was all that's found in Torah and Tanakh ever been viewed as being strictly allegorical.


As far as I can tell, this does not disagree with what you wrote above, but I thought some clarification of how we traditionally have looked at it was in order. 

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 5:24PM #29
arielg
Posts: 9,116

    Apr 5, 2012 -- 11:30AM, arielg wrote:


    There is no conflict.  Science studies the world "out there".  Religion studies the world "in here"
When both worlds become one and the same, there is understanding.




Both deal with the "in here", ...



Studying the world of the atom or the universe or how plants grow, does not necessarily bring understanding about who or what we are or why we live.



...and what caused our universe is just one of many examples that could be used, so let me pick another: is there a heaven, reincarnation/rebirth, nirvana, or moksha?



These are spiritual states, "in here". Not objective, out there.



... Since these deal with what happens to us after we die, that is very much a "in here" item as it doesn't deal directly with "spirituality" but deals with what happens to us.



These things do not deal with what happens to us after we die.  That is th exoteric understanding.  The esoteric, real meaning, is that it refers to  the death of the ego, the illusion of separateness,  which may happen while the body is still alive .



Or how about the question as to whether Jesus rose from the dead and is now "sitting on the right hand of the Father"?  Since that deals with an event that maybe did or maybe didn't happen, that also is an "in here" item,



Again, these are  happenings of  the spiritual world, in here, not historical facts ,  out there.



..so how does one deal with that in regards to objective historical evidence?



Historical evidence is completely meaningless for the science of in here. It makes no difference whatsoever for the understanding of ourselves, in here. It is just an accumulation of past experiences lived by other people.



[even though there's a tendency for many to see "history" and "science" as not being the same, they actually are interrelated to a limited extent and use much the same process in regards to trying to be objective and avoiding biases]



The in here world is not objective.  Theres are no biases.



Again, the entire approach with religion is that it is not based on objectively-derived evidence whereas that's anathema to any objective scientific approach.



You said it.  It deals with the in here world, as opposed to the objective out there world.
At a certain point of understanding, there is no division, no here and there. But as long as we live in duality, they are very different things.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 5:49PM #30
vra
Posts: 6,395

Anyhow, back to the topic relating to the OP.


Here's a poll conducted by Gallup:


PRINCETON, NJ -- The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life... Independents and Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe in the theory of evolution. But even among non-Republicans there appears to be a significant minority who doubt that evolution adequately explains where humans came from... -- see the charts here: www.gallup.com/poll/27847/majority-repub...


And this is from the Public Religion Research Institute:


A majority (57%) of Americans believe that humans and other living things have evolved over time, compared to 38% who say that humans and other living things have existed in their present form since creation.

  • More than 6-in-10 political independents (61%) and Democrats (64%) affirm a belief in evolution, compared to 45% of Republicans and 43% of Americans who identify with the Tea Party. -- publicreligion.org/research/2011/09/clim...

Also, a NYT poll taken of Iowa Republicans found that only 21% were aware that there's been global warming.


Even though the issue of evolution is only one aspect of science, we have generally seen an antithesis with a great many Republicans towards what science is telling, although the Democrats certainly don't have too much to brag about themselves.


One final thing: I'm a scientist, and any charge that I have put politics ahead of my science is nothing more than sheer nonsense and strictly a fabrication of someone's imagination as I've been involved in science for over 45 years now. 


 

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