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Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.

July 12 2010 at 2:25 AM
Arthur Dent  (Login ArtieDent)

 
I pulled out this quote earlier and it inspired a train of thought.

I knew you'd want to hear it.

I have previously commented on how I understand science and theism to be philosophically antithetical. That quote tends to encapsulate how the different "disciplines" go about collecting their truths.

central to science is the concept of observing a system, formulating a hypothesis about what is in fact happening and then testing that hypothesis in as many ways as possible trying to prove it wrong. A christian might call it "mocking your own hypothesis". Invite your peers to prove it wrong, try in as many ways as possible to disprove it, and if you cant.... then you can scientifically call it a truth, subject to someone else finding someway to disprove it down the track.

So all scientific facts are contingent on someone disproving it. Einstein did that to Newtons laws of motion, to his credit. Newton would have been pleased.

Scientists revel in myths dispelled and truth revealed even if it shoots their ideas down in flames.


Theism works the other way. You come up with a theory, ie Jehovah created the earth in 6 days, the bible is literally true. Then you look for all the evidence that tends to collaborate this hypothesis (faith is just a hypothesis after all?)

You talk to like minded people who agree with you, you listen to testimonies, you read the book in detail trying to find things that sound right. You revel in the mysteries, dismiss the contradictions, try to convince others that your hypothesis is better than theirs. You count the hits, ignore the misses, call people who dont agree liars, mockers and trolls. You look for the positive evidence and keep it, you avoid anything that puts questions to your hypothesis or threatens it in any way. In short, you put a castle around your hypothesis and try to defend it against all comers. Most of all you avoid doubting your belief yourself because only in that way can your belief ever be revealed as false.

Most of all you tell yourself that man cannot reveal the truth themselves, they are incapable. The silent and invisible friend is wiser than all those doubters who are looking for ways to prove him scientifically wrong. He is beyond that.

but in the end, there is only the scientific way of doubting until all avenues of doubt are dispelled, or the theistic way of forcing oneself to believe and demonising doubt until one can no longer conceive of flaws in your hypothesis.

The theistic method equally proves all gods to be true, all 14000 of them, which is logically not the case, whereas the scientific method says "there is no reason to believe this or that god is true." hence something approaching an atheistic point of view.

Now wonder creationists want to replace science with creationism in US science classes. one proves a god, one does not. But it is not a scientific proof.


anyway, so that is why I ask the questions I do. All valid, all according to any truth that I hold. For the record, in scientific fashion, I dont outright dispell the notion of magical/supernatural gods, in normal scientific fashion I conclude that there is insufficient evidence to support the idea that a god is likely. Its just a contingent conclusion, subject to any future development.

 
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