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  • Creationism/Spirituality vs. Science, Is there a Middle Ground?

    For lack of a better title that will suffice. I have observed a number of threads dealing with varying issues that correctly or not, intertwine the aspects of science as purists would know it vs. the spiritual/theological interpretation on how the universe/s came about. And in most cases it results in arguments, distortions or outright crap being slung where none is required.

    I hence then propose we attempt civility in the main and offer your arguments pro or con vs. the title and defend and commend or condemn at your leisure.

    Mr. Mountain Man, for example, elucidated a fine position here: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...=80924&page=18

    post # 261.


    Now obviously not all will agree and I do not in part.

    Hence, NTL believe it or not, state that my position is nearly the same. Except that I maintain that a 'higher power' to borrow an old term, was the initiator of the process and if so inclined, based on my appreciation and understanding of his/her power, is still capable of interaction when they choose.

    For if I believe in the omnipotence and omnipresent of the being, then I submit, I too believe, that any aspect of science remains his/hers to create and subsequently allow to develope (note the keen way in which I've allowed for a certain level of Darwinism).

    What proofs to I have of his or her's existence. Absolutely none that can be encompassed by the Scientific method. I'll say that again: NONE.

    Hence what is my proof short of that? My faith. Which is not necessarily in opposition to science. For before a scientific law becomes just that, for example, a theory is produced and then thru observation of like results it becomes accepted. (Layman's version there) ( I am a Social Scientist after all) And my acceptance of faith has been established, rightly or wrongly, in the acceptance, recognition and interaction; of like millions who believe in variants of the same. Hence it has become a Law for me, as for another,it might be emminently reasonable to accept a scientific law.

    Hence I can observe a certain continuity in the development of stars for example and I can draw a certain conclusion on the accepted version of the interaction of physics, gravity and chemistry and indeed am satisfied. So it is with faith.

    But in the end, to be objective, hopefully, I must still ask myself who created gravity and thermo-astro physical, abilities to perform the functions?

    I find it hard to believe that simply, out of chaos, there appeared reason and order so to speak. But I've said enough for now and cordially invite you to opine as you will.

    Thanks to Mr.Mountain Man for encouragement on this thread and hopefully we can enjoy and learn something new and better appreciate the positions of atheists-agnostics and spiritualists as they might interact in the fascinating world of Science.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Thunder Dome; 23 Mar 10, 19:30.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Thunder Dome View Post
    For lack of a better title that will suffice. I have observed a number of threads dealing with varying issues that correctly or not, intertwine the aspects of science as purists would know it vs. the spiritual/theological interpretation on how the universe/s came about. And in most cases it results in arguments, distortions or outright crap being slung where none is required.

    I hence then propose we attempt civility in the main and offer your arguments pro or con vs. the title and defend and commend or condemn at your leisure.

    Mr. Mountain Man, for example, elucidated a fine position here: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...=80924&page=18

    post # 261.


    Now obviously not all will agree and I do not in part.

    Hence, NTL believe it or not, state that my position is nearly the same. Except that I maintain that a 'higher power' to borrow an old term, was the initiator of the process and if so inclined, based on my appreciation and understanding of his/her power, is still capable of interaction when they choose.

    For if I believe in the omnipotence and omnipresent of the being, then I submit, I too believe, that any aspect of science remains his/hers to create and subsequently allow to develope (note the keen way in which I've allowed for a certain level of Darwinism).

    What proofs to I have of his or her's existence. Absolutely none that can be encompassed by the Scientific method. I'll say that again: NONE.

    Hence what is my proof short of that? My faith. Which is not necessarily in opposition to science. For before a scientific law becomes just that, for example, a theory is produced and then thru observation of like results it becomes accepted. (Layman's version there) ( I am a Social Scientist after all) And my acceptance of faith has been established, rightly or wrongly, in the acceptance, recognition and interaction; of like millions who believe in variants of the same. Hence it has become a Law for me, as for another,it might be emminently reasonable to accept a scientific law.

    Hence I can observe a certain continuity in the development of stars for example and I can draw a certain conclusion on the accepted version of the interaction of physics, gravity and chemistry and indeed am satisfied. So it is with faith.

    But in the end, to be objective, hopefully, I must still ask myself who created gravity and thermo-astro physical, abilities to perform the functions?

    I find it hard to believe that simply, out of chaos, there appeared reason and order so to speak. But I've said enough for now and cordially invite you to opine as you will.

    Thanks to Mr.Mountain Man for encouragement on this thread and hopefully we can enjoy and learn something new and better appreciate the positions of atheists-agnostics and spiritualists as they might interact in the fascinating world of Science.

    Thanks.
    Mr. Mountain Man, for example, elucidated a fine position here: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...=80924&page=18

    post # 261.
    The link is not working.
    And you have said a lot of words, making your position on this matter somewhat unclear. From my POV(not many words needed) their are only 2 positions. The Act of Creation,as written in the Book of Genesis, is either believed or it is not. I believe.
    Last edited by At ease; 23 Mar 10, 20:52.
    "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
    "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

    "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
    — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

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    • #3
      It has been my experience in the Creationism/ID/Evolution debate that any comment, notion, or idea advanced which may allow for even the possibility of God in the design will be severely and harshly dealt with. The purist are, after all, nothing if not consistent.

      Comment


      • #4
        One is based on dogma and superstition, the other on the scientific method. Willful ignorance vs. inquiry. It's a no-brainer for me.
        "Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way." - Christopher Hitchens

        Comment


        • #5
          "Creationism/Spirituality vs. Science, Is there a Middle Ground?"

          There's not really a middle ground... But there is an area of science from which a unified Theory of Everything (TOE) will one day emerge: Physical Cosmology...
          God or a multiverse?

          Does modern cosmology force us to choose between a creator and a system of parallel universes?

          Mark Vernon guardian.co.uk,
          Monday 8 December 2008

          Is there a God or a multiverse? Does modern cosmology force us to choose? Is it the case that the apparent fine-tuning of constants and forces to make the universe just right for life means there is either a need for a "tuner" or else a cosmos in which every possible variation of these constants and forces exists somewhere?

          This choice has provoked anxious comment in the pages of this week's New Scientist. It follows an article in Discover magazine, in which science writer Tim Folger quoted cosmologist Bernard Carr: "If you don't want God, you'd better have a multiverse."

          [...]

          Roughly, though, one idea would be that "observers" are creating the universe, or to put it another way, the universe emerges with observation. In the early stages of the universe, before human observers, it might be that the interactions of subatomic particles would function as observations, since they in some weak sense "recognise" one another in their interactions. Over the aeons, conscious observers finally emerge. In the future, perhaps some even more subtle notion of observation will come about and human consciousness itself will come to be seen as but part of the story...

          LINK
          If "the universe emerges with observation" (AKA Top-Down Cosmology) and that turns out to be the explanation for the fine-tuning of the Universe...All of the mythologies and spirituality could have been drawn together from our subatomic consciousness.

          The discussion is far more than just the observed "nuts and bolts" of evolutionary biology. Evolution of species has to begin with the evolution of the Universe. Right now all of the competing hypotheses are having to find a way to explain the "fine-tuning" of the Universe. The Universe behaves as if it was designed to produce life... As Freeman Dyson said, "It's as if the universe was expecting us." Or as Paul Davies said, “There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all.... It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe.... The impression of design is overwhelming... The laws [of physics] ... seem to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design…. The universe must have a purpose.”

          Whether or not the "fine-tuning" or "design" is the result of an infinite number of universes in a multiverse (Multiverse), or a universal innate consciousness (Top-Down Cosmology), or an external designer (God or some mischievous child of the Q Continuum)...The evidence of design is right there in the laws of physics and mathematics.

          Biologists don't get to pretend that such evidence doesn't exist. Any theory of evolution has to take into account all of the theories and hypotheses that supersede it in Tegmark's "family tree" of science...

          Last edited by The Doctor; 23 Mar 10, 23:16.
          Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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          • #6
            It appears that the more complex the mathematics, the more spiritual it becomes imo. Imaginary numbers, such as the square root of -1. Dimensions beyond 3 (okay I can except space-time as the 4th) are a bit silly imo. I would suggest that we are the shadow or reflection of something greater, perhaps a universe that has one more dimension than we do. However, I do like this Horizon program about life, the universe and everything

            Part 1



            Parts 2 to 5 here
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHzU3...eature=related
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVfw1...eature=related
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-mLF...eature=related
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRRBz9b6mvA&feature=fvw
            How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
            Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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            • #7
              Something for both camps.

              Evolution is the product, Creation is the system that makes it. They are not separated but part of the whole.

              With this there is no argument left, except for true non believers.
              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

              you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

              Comment


              • #8
                In response to the thread title ONLY

                "Creationism/Spirituality vs. Science, Is there a Middle Ground?"

                Nope. That is a firm no, an unflinching no.

                One side is unwilling to find proof, the other side is only interested in a specific form of proof.

                Neither side has any use for a 'middle ground' as to accept anything other than an absolute victory is to admit their position is flawed. Neither side's argument would survive even the slightest straying from total victory.

                Myself, I know the answer won't please either. There's too many pieces of the puzzle yet missing.

                But I am on the side of science, mainly because while they are occasionally wrong on some details, they are not afraid to dump the errors when forced into the light.

                Religion was forced into the light a long time ago, and they annoy me with their insistence on pulling the shades all the time and preferring to maintain the dark.
                Life is change. Built models for decades.
                Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                I didn't for a long time either.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Religion and science are attempting to answer the same questions, they are simply looking at those questions through two different windows, so to speak.

                  In les brains post I see a hint of the typical atheist sneer. If only those stupid god-people would go away and stop questioning their enlightened betters. Maybe that isn't what you meant, but it is how I interpret the comment.

                  As for this:

                  "Neither side's argument would survive even the slightest straying from total victory."

                  In essence I agree. I certainly think this is how many on both sides of the question view the discourse, thus my comment earlier concerning the "debate". This mentality especially permeates the majority of those who discuss this on the web, in that anyone who post a question concerning evolution must include the qualifier that they are not promoting creationism, otherwise the immediate knee-jerk assumption will be made that they are.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Posted by Half Pint John:

                    "Evolution is the product, Creation is the system that makes it. They are not separated but part of the whole."


                    Evolutionist (term used for sake of brevity) would disagree. After insulting your very being for even suggesting such a thing, they would probably "correct" your statement to read:

                    The diversity of life is the product, Evolution is the system that makes it. You stupid god-person.

                    Note that I am not attempting to label you at all, I am only pointing out the typical response you would get.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I see your atheist sneer and repost with a 'beats the arrogance of thinking the universe was made just so 'I' a minor life form on a minor planet in a minor galaxy could come to know how great an unproven imaginary being was'.

                      Surprisingly, my main beef with religion, is I am just not that full of my own self importance

                      I'm kinda hoping for reincarnation though, I didn't like this go around too much.
                      Life is change. Built models for decades.
                      Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                      I didn't for a long time either.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Martok View Post
                        Posted by Half Pint John:

                        "Evolution is the product, Creation is the system that makes it. They are not separated but part of the whole."


                        Evolutionist (term used for sake of brevity) would disagree. After insulting your very being for even suggesting such a thing, they would probably "correct" your statement to read:

                        The diversity of life is the product, Evolution is the system that makes it. You stupid god-person.

                        Note that I am not attempting to label you at all, I am only pointing out the typical response you would get.
                        Perhaps, but not entirely.

                        If I would be forced to pick between the two then it would be evolutionist. I just cannot buy into Creation as a total concept. I'm very comfortable with my description. The how and what. Neither side can prove the other is wrong. Neitehr side can prove that they are right. I guess that is why I consider myself to be a centerist althought SLIGHTLY left of center.

                        I confess to being a GOD pereson, but not a Christ person. NO they are not one and the same, but that isn't the topic.
                        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The hope for this thread was to get past the religion vs non-region aspect and try to take a look at the questions and paradoxes surrounding the creation of everything, specifically the entire cosmos. This was my understanding when talking it over with TD, but he is free to correct me at any point as it is his thread.

                          I'm not at my "best" this morning, so I will keep it brief and try to keep it intelligible by posting just a few thoughts on the subject.

                          1. Man has a built-in need to simply the unimaginable and incomprehensible. This, to me, is one of the primary reasons behind any religion, arising as they did from the minds of primitive peoples unable to grasp the enormous complexities of stars, planets, galaxies, universes and the Cosmos itself, let alone the size and scope of their own world or their place in it. That inability to grasp the whole continues to this day. It's just too much for us to comprehend as a whole, the numbers to large and therefore meaningless in any context.

                          2. One of the laws of physics states simply that matter can neither be created nor destroyed - it can only be "transformed"; therefore, the principle paradox is where the incomprehensible amount of matter came from needed to create the cosmos from an alleged single source - aka the Big Bang Theory. You can't get something from nothing.

                          3. If, in fact, you begin with "nothing", it negates any outside influence - i.e., creationism - because there exists no place for anything else to exist while influencing events. If you want to postulate an alternate universe or dimension for a super-being or deity to exist in while creating our owncosmos, fine - you then have to figure out where that plane came from and the dimensional plane before that. Eventually, you will realize that you have run out of places to be while creating other places to be. Everything has to start from something, somewhere.

                          4. The deity Thoery doesn't old up, given the immense scope of the cosmos, let alone our universe in which lies our galaxy in which lies our solar system, stranded way out on the spiral arm near the Great Rift. Earth is Redneck Central for our galaxy, not the kind of place a deity would be expected to "create" anything. This is what gives rise to the Petri Dish, Ant Colony, Botany Bay, Cargo Cult, von Daniken and other theories about how we came to be. We are perfectly situated to be a galactic isolation zone, reinforced by the unexplained diversity of humanity and the fact that we are clearly not matched to this planet despite some 4.5 million years of evolution.

                          5. Focusing briefly on Earth, humans are not the original life form, nor is there evidence to suggest that we evolved from Original Man. That line stops at Neanderthal and no credible explanation has yet emerged for the transition to CroMagnon Man as the precursor to Homo saps. This is a serious challenge to any creationist theory. If there really was a "god" and he created Man in his image, "Man" was Neanderthal and died out a long time ago, so who are we and where did we come from? Forget the Bible or any modern religion, because that only accounts for 6,000 years our of 4.5 billion, and that is proven fact.

                          6. Man's obsessive-compulsive need for tidy explanations and a reason to exist overshadows the other contending possibility - there isn't any reason for any of it - the whole thing is nothing more than a random event on a cosmic scale. From the cosmos down to us, it's all a random accident and we are simply scrambling desperately to justify something that cannot be justified because it simply is. From this desperate need of ours arises both science and religion - we just have to know.

                          7. The only known purpose for any life is to create more life. Humans in that respect are no different from the most basic life forms. We have no grand and glorious purpose at all. We are just here, and the only instructions hard-wired into us are to survive and reproduce without purpose or direction or goal. Religion is therefore seen as Man's attempt to come up with reasons, purposes and goals of his own due to his inability to accept being an infinitesimal accident that amounts to literally nothing on the cosmic scale. Science is the same effort from a different perspective - by amassing knowledge, we will eventually find the key to understanding. We think too much; therefore we must justify our own existence to ourselves, and religion is a primary way to do that, leading to Creationism and all that follows. We cannot accept that what we see is all there is, and we are headed nowhere except to die; therefore, we struggle against the night using whatever tools we can come up with.

                          That is my initial offering to this discussion. I hope that responders can stay civil and on track, despite the pettiness and internecine bickering that has dominated the discussion so far. I am presenting religion and science as two possibilities in our struggle to find a meaning and a purpose, not as contenders for supremacy. Science only tells us a tiny fraction of what happened, but not how or why.

                          If someone wants to postulate the deity concept, I can only hope they will use logic and intellect rather than dogma and rote recitations, because religion does not contain the required answer, either. It merely opens up more and more difficult questions, although they are very intriguing questions.

                          Step outside of yourself for this one, and try to think beyond everything that you think you know. Try to think on the cosmic scale, and let's enjoy ourselves for once.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The problem here is that we are being told that we are being divided into 2 camps. I would contend that is NOT the case. There are many camps, but there are certain individuals who would choose to simply divide us like that. Why? I guess because it makes arguing easier because you only have to establish the arguments from 2 directions. Thus, like a good game of chess, you can see the other side's predictable answer 3 moves ahead of time & prepare as such so you can gloat & preen about being the one to "win" the point or debate as a whole.

                            The problem is, it doesn't work that way. As in the political sphere, these things are not set in black & white. You can chose to LOOK at it that way, but it doesn't mean that is the way it is. Life, and people in particular, are far more complex than simple black & white. There are all the colors in the rainbow & a couple of shades of gray. In the political sphere, people want to ask if you are Republican or Democrat......not realizing that many folks have some conservative ideas & some liberal. The reason for the growing number of people who chose "Independent" is because they don't want the stigma of being associated with everything that falls under the umbrella of being a "Democrat" or a "Republican".

                            Cut to this debate. To throw people into 2 groups-scientists & creationists, is pigeonholing a lot of folks. Take creationists for example. The majority of the folks who would argue for the creationist side of things would be considered religious. To be more specific, Christians. Yet all Christians do not believe the same things. Just interpreting the main focus of our religion, the Bible, is vastly different from each denomination & sect. If we have splintered into dozens of groups based off the Bible, imagine how many differ on things outside of it. A great example of this would be the Young Earth vs. Old Earth folks. There are Creationists who would believe in an Earth that is 6,000 years old. There are also Creationists who believe in a 5 Billion year old Earth. I don't really see how you can lump the two of these folks into the same group. The Old Earth folks would seem to be the group that would most likely fall into the "middle ground" that you talk about. There are many folks in this group who would say, "Sure the Earth is as old as the majority of scientists would say it is......the question about what started life is unanswered by science-why couldn't God have started the process off?"

                            As in all debates, it is the extremists on both sides that cause the most amount of anger & frustration. That frustration often causes folks on BOTH sides of the argument to start roping all people of the various groups into 2 camps. At Ease's post is an example of this:
                            From my POV(not many words needed) their are only 2 positions. The Act of Creation,as written in the Book of Genesis, is either believed or it is not. I believe.
                            Well, that is an easy way to simplify it, just as saying that there are 2 positions on abortion-those who believe in the sanctity of life & those that don't. The problem is, this simplifies things too much. It leaves no room for a gray area & there are plenty of people who fall into that gray area. Too many times the extremists on both sides will resort to name calling. Some will call all creationists "dumb" or scientists "cold & calculating".

                            I grew up as a Christian. I went to college & really fell away from that & went to a much more scientific mindset. After I was married & had kids, I went back to church with my family & currently attend our church regularly. Yet there is always a part of me that goes back to the scientific mindset. I find things in the Bible that I question & it upsets people when I ask questions. There is a conflict inside of me that runs back & forth between faith & science. I am one of those people who can find a middle ground because I feel I have one foot in each camp. I have many friends who feel the same way & we have discussions & get-togethers that never devolve into the shouting matches I see here. Keeping a civil tone & an air of respect is important in any discussion-whether it is religion, science, sports, history, or politics.
                            The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Good start, but you bogged down when you began accusing other people of being extremists and "sorting people, but frowned to offer your own, obviously differing point of view. Unless you are trolling, I can think of no good reason to approach this discussion in thaty fashion.

                              We are not here to attack the beliefs of others, but to present our own...so where is your presentation of your belief or theory? You speak of alternatives but offer nothing.

                              Currently most people hold to one of the two views, but the invitation was to think out of the box and to open up. That means getting rid of the old animosities and staying civil to one another.

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