Why do scientists believe in science?

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  • #3949

    I am the guy who invented ‘non-beliefism‘.

    Ever wonder why scientists believe in science?

    The *FACTS*:
    (1)
    Belief definition: “To accept as true, especially absent evidence”.
    (Google belief definition source)

    (2)
    Belief tends to facilitate that beings ignore evidence, on the boundary of confirmation bias:
    (Cognitive paper on belief)

    (3)
    “Belief memories” are typically false:
    (Neuroscience paper on belief)

    Belief is observed to oppose science by definition/research. (i.e. belief lowly concerns evidence, while science highly concerns evidence)

    SO, WHY DO SCIENTISTS (EXCEPT Neil Degrasse Tyson…) BELIEVE IN SCIENCE (especially when Science is true regardless of belief)?

    #3954
    Profile photo of Unseen
    Unseen
    Participant

    1. As with the notion “theory,” “belief” is subject to a special definition when it comes to science. It is a so-called “term of art” in that regard. Unlike faith-based belief, as in religion, scientists belief consists in trusting the best explanation based on empirical evidence and proofs in terms of repeatable experiments or observations.

    2. Scientists do not ignore evidence or we’d still believe today what we believed in the Dark Ages. That the Earth is flat and the center of the universe and that disease is caused by bad humours or demonic forces.

    3. Given what I’ve said above, this point is moot.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Profile photo of Unseen Unseen.
    #3956

    1. As with the notion “theory,” “belief” is subject to a special definition when it comes to science. It is a so-called “term of art” in that regard. Unlike faith-based belief, as in religion, scientists belief consists in trusting the best explanation based on empirical evidence and proofs in terms of repeatable experiments or observations.

    2. Scientists do not ignore evidence or we’d still believe today what we believed in the Dark Ages. That the Earth is flat and the center of the universe and that disease is caused by bad humours or demonic forces.

    3. Given what I’ve said above, this point is moot.

    That there is scientific theory, or scientific belief, does not suddenly remove that belief especially concerns non-evidence, and does not remove that even scientists (although they operate in a manner that constitutes high evidence concern) are subject to belief’s neglectful design.

     

     

    FOOTNOTE:

    Newton believed that some region of science was only calculable by God, and avoided said work. That work was later solved by an atheist, Laplace.

    #3958

    Footnote correction:

    Old:

    Newton believed that some region of science was only calculable by God, and avoided said work. That work was later solved by an atheist, Laplace.

    New:

    Newton believed in absolute time (See wikipedia data), blocking him from considering a more workable theory.

     

    That old text above was contained in a very old text file of mine.

    #3963
    Profile photo of Unseen
    Unseen
    Participant

    We’ve moved past Newton, though, haven’t we, which demonstrates that science doesn’t let current belief keep it from advancing.

    Are you going somewhere with this?

    #3966

    We’ve moved past Newton, though, haven’t we, which demonstrates that science doesn’t let current belief keep it from advancing. Are you going somewhere with this?

    That we have “moved past” Newton, does not suddenly warrant that science could not advance at a better pace.

    There is unavoidable evidence that belief facilitates that beings may bound their intellect, in sub-optimal ways.

    #3993
    Profile photo of Unseen
    Unseen
    Participant

    There is unavoidable evidence that belief facilitates that beings may bound their intellect, in sub-optimal ways.

    If it’s so unavoidable, there should be plenty of examples. I’m waiting.

    All conscious acts are based on beliefs. Not having beliefs would mean not acting at all.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Profile photo of Unseen Unseen.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Profile photo of Unseen Unseen.
    #3996
    Profile photo of Dang Martin
    Dang Martin
    Participant

    Is there proof that scientists “believe” in science, with belief meaning the same for them as it does with religion?

    I suspect that the question is flawed.

    Scientific theory is not belief.

    Someone once asked me if I “believed in Evolution.” No, I do not, for it is scientific theory, it does not require belief, and it remains scientifically accurate and relevant regardless of belief. Indeed, I do NOT believe in Evolution. I do, however, accept it as scientific fact.

    #4045

    If it’s so unavoidable, there should be plenty of examples. I’m waiting.

    (1)

    Part A

    An example is presented here (See the question at the end of the thread’s OP below, for clarity):

    Genius Edward Witten, could he help intensify artificial intelligence research?

     

    Part B

    Also, many scientists are theists, that believe in matters of science, with respect to religious claims, where religious stuff clearly contrast evidence.

     

     

     

     

    Unseen wrote:

    All conscious acts are based on beliefs. Not having beliefs would mean not acting at all.

    (2)

    The very concept of belief (by definition and research) persists such that it permits subjects to lowly concern evidence. (Contrasting critical thinking/science)

    There is already evidence that conscious acts can occur absent belief. (Eg: The conscious act of atheism, where subjects lack belief in X)

    #4048

    Is there proof that scientists “believe” in science, with belief meaning the same for them as it does with religion?

    Yes.

    Notably, although scientists tend to highly concern evidence, scientists are also subject to especially that flavour of belief that ignores evidence.

    Part A

    An example is presented here (See the question at the end of the thread’s OP below, for clarity):

    Genius Edward Witten, could he help intensify artificial intelligence research?

     

    Part B

    Also, many scientists are theists, that believe in matters of science, with respect to religious claims, where religious stuff clearly contrast evidence.

     

     

     

    Dang Martin wrote:

    I suspect that the question is flawed. Scientific theory is not belief.

    Yes, science is not a belief. By definition/research, belief, unlike science, is a paradigm that permits low concern for evidence.

    #4052

    From Chapter 6 of The Necessity of Atheism, by Dr. D.M. Brooks 1933 (free distribution).

    Science, then, commands our respect, not on the basis that it’s

    present assumptions and deductions are absolutely and for all time

    true, but on the ground that its method is for all time true–the

    method of discovery, the method of observation, research,

    experimentation, comparison, examination, testing, analysis and

    synthesis.

    MAYNARD SHIPLEY, “The War on Modern Science.”

    In the bare three and one-half centuries since modern science

    began, the churches had conducted an unremitting crusade against it.

    That much of this crusade had turned into a rear-guard action was

    due less to the weakness of the defenders of the faith than to the

    invulnerability of their non-resistant victim.

    HORACE M. KALLEN, “Why Religion?”

     

    Some sixty years ago in the “Dogmatic Constitution of the Catholic

    Faith,” the Church stated, “But never can reason be rendered capable of

    thoroughly understanding mysteries as it does those truths which form

    its proper subject. We, therefore, pronounce false every assertion which

    is contrary to the enlightened truth of faith…. Hence, all the

    Christian faithful are not only forbidden to defend as legitimate

    conclusions of science those opinions which are known to be contrary to

    the doctrine of faith, especially when condemned by the Church, but are

    rather absolutely bound to hold them for errors wearing the deceitful

    appearance of truth. Let him be anathema….

     

    “Who shall say that human sciences ought to be pursued in such a spirit

    of freedom that one may be allowed to hold true their assertions even

    when opposed to revealed doctrine.”

     

    Can anything stronger be said to discourage research, investigation,

    experiment, and retard progress? And only sixty years ago! It is but the

    restatement of what the Church has uttered so many times and for so

    long–that all knowledge, material as well as spiritual, is to be found

    in the Bible as interpreted by the Church. It was this myth which had

    stultified the mind of man for 1500 years (during the period in which

    the Church was dominant); it was this that had killed the urge to search

    and seek for the truth, which is the goal of all science, the means by

    which humanity is set on the road to progress. This was the damnable

    precept foisted on the minds of men which enslaved them throughout the

    ages, and from which we are just emerging. This was the precept that

    plunged the world into the Dark Ages, and retarded the advance of

    mankind for centuries.

     

    This is the reason that it is utterly impossible for the intellectually

    honest scientist, and for that matter any individual, to reconcile

    science with religion. On the one hand, that of religion, we have the

    forces of intolerance, superstition, and the endeavor to besmirch,

    repress, and ridicule every advance favorable to mankind; to cloak with

    meaningless words obsolete rites, to stand in the way of human progress,

    because it does not permit men to think boldly and logically. Science,

    on the other hand, does not hesitate to tear down old conceptions, and

    has only one motive, the ultimate truth. Religion has the purpose of

    keeping the masses in the narrow and false path of only accepted

    doctrines. The true scientist is the man with the open mind, one who

    will discard the worthless and accept only the proven good. The

    religionist closes his mind to all facts which he is unwilling to

    believe, everything which will endanger his creed. Religion teaches the

    individual to place all hope, all desire, in a problematical hereafter.

    The stay on earth is so short compared to the everlasting life to come,

    that of what interest is this life; all things are vain. The misery, the

    suffering, of his fellow men leave him cold; he can only think of living

    in the light of his narrow creed so that he may gain his future reward.

    How well this philosophy has fitted in with the schemes of the select

    few for the control of the many!

     

    Truth to the scientific mind is something provisional, a hypothesis that

    for the present moment best conforms to the recognized tests. It is an

    evolving conception in a constantly changing universe. It is not that

    science has attained true conclusions; not that the evidence at hand

    must remain immutable; but that the scientific method of analyzing and

    formulating assumptions on the basis of discovery, on ascertained facts,

    is a superior method to the closed “infallible” method of “revelation.”

    These assumptions, based upon the known facts, lead to a working

    hypothesis which in turn develops into a theory. If the theory is

    adopted it must account for the facts known. But the theory is not held

    as final, it is always changed or abandoned if necessary to conform to

    the new discovered data. Science welcomes the critical attitude that

    leads to the refinement of its theories. There may be today various

    theories held by scientists in which they are mistaken, but the question

    of the _method_ by which they arrive at conclusions can no longer be

    under consideration with regard to its validity.

     

    To the scientific mind, knowledge is something to be arrived at by study

    and research. To the religionist, knowledge is something that is

    contained in an infallible and supernatural statement or insight.

    Religion exalts the transcendental; science manipulates only the

    material. To the consistent religionist, his belief, as such, determine

    the fact; to the scientist it is the evidence that establishes the fact.

    To the religionist truth is something that is unchanging, that is fixed,

    final, and heretical to question. Confronted with a constantly changing

    universe, he would delude himself that his inner convictions give him a

    finality concerning his evolving environment. It is therefore not so

    much Science that the religionist is fighting, but the _scientific

    method_. This scientific method of approach, he rightly perceives, has

    so pervaded our mode of thinking that it is the subtle and most

    disintegrating force that is shattering the religious foundations.

     

    Dr. James T. Shotwell, speaking of the scientific method, concludes,

    “But whatever strictures philosophy may pass upon the _conclusions_ of

    science, as merely relative and provisional, there is no clearer fact in

    the history of thought, that its _attitudes_ and _methods_ have been at

    opposite poles from those of religion. It does no good to blink the

    fact, established as it is by the most positive proofs of history and

    psychology. Science has made headway by attempting to eliminate mystery

    so far as it can. Religion, on the other hand, has stressed mystery and

    accepted it in its own terms. Science is the product of bold adventure,

    pushing into the realm of the mysterious to interpret its phenomena in

    terms of the investigator; religion enters this same realm to give

    itself up to the emotional reactions. Science is the embodiment of the

    sense of control, religion yields the control to that power which moves

    in the shadow of the woods by night, and the glory of the morning

    hills….

     

    “Science does not justify by faith, but by works. It is the living

    denial of that age-long acceptance which we accord to the mystery–as

    such. It renounces authority, cuts athwart custom, violates the sacred,

    rejects the myths. It adjusts itself to the process of change whose

    creative impulse it itself supplies. Not _semper idem_ but _semper

    alterum_ is the keynote of science. Each discovery of something new

    involves the discarding of something old. Above all, it progresses by

    doubting rather than by believing.” (_James T. Shotwell: “The Religious

    Revolution of To-day.”_)

     

    _There has never been an advance in science of widespread importance

    which in some manner or other endangered some mouldy religious concept,

    that the Church has not bitterly opposed; an advance which in time has

    proven of inestimable benefit for all mankind. A glance at the history

    of human progress will reveal scores of such instances._

     

    The two rival divisions of the Christian Church, Protestant and

    Catholic, have always been in accord on one point, that is, to tolerate

    no science except such as they considered to be agreeable to the

    Scriptures. It was the decree of the Lateran Council of 1515 that

    ordered that no books should be printed but such as had been inspected

    by the ecclesiastical censors, under pain of excommunication and fine.

     

    It is easily understood that having declared the Bible to contain all

    knowledge both scientific and spiritual, and then passing a decree

    ordering no books to be printed which did not agree on all points with

    the Church’s interpretation of the Bible, the Church was in absolute

    control of all thought, both written and spoken.

     

    It was to no advantage for the scholar to investigate any new fields,

    for all knowledge which was possible for the mind to discover had

    already been revealed in the Scriptures. Thus declared the Church. We

    understand why it was that Copernicus did not permit his book to be

    published until he was dying. We understand also that when Galileo and

    Bruno had the courage of their convictions, and gave voice to their

    beliefs, they were persecuted. Galileo was made to recant a discovery

    that the youngest of children now takes for granted. Bruno was burnt at

    the stake.

     

    We know that astronomy was at a standstill under Church domination,

    chemistry was forbidden, and the study of natural philosophy was

    contradicted; while anthropology, which showed on what mythical

    foundations the story of the fall of man rests, was squelched. The

    attitude of the Church on geography was hostile to the truth, as witness

    the persecutions of those who dared to venture that the earth was round.

    Botany, mathematics, and geometry, as well as the natural sciences,

    slumbered. Geology, which proved that the earth was more than 6000 years

    old, was anathematized; archeologists had the greatest difficulty to

    expound the truth concerning the antiquity of the human race. In purely

    civil matters, the clergy opposed fire and marine insurance on the

    ground that it was a tempting of Providence. Life insurance was regarded

    as an act of interference with the consequence of God’s will. Medicine

    met the most strenuous of opposition.

     

    It is impossible in this short study to analyze the specific forms of

    retardation which the Church exhibited to all of these branches of

    learning, whose only endeavor it was to search for the truth, to state

    the facts, and to alleviate and make more bearable man’s sojourn on this

    earth. However, a few of the many instances of retardation on the part

    of the Church will be pointed out.

     

    #4055
    Profile photo of Unseen
    Unseen
    Participant

    “An example is presented here (See the question at the end of the thread’s OP below, for clarity):”

    I’m not arguing with the Edward Witten, I’m arguing with you. If  you find his argument compelling, you must understand it. What is your understanding of what he is saying? (BTW, I have no idea whether or not he deserves to be called a “genius,” but being one doesn’t mean he’s never wrong. We now know that Einstein was wrong about a few things.)

    I wrote: “All conscious acts are based on beliefs. Not having beliefs would mean not acting at all.”

    You replied: “There is already evidence that conscious acts can occur absent belief. (Eg: The conscious act of atheism, where subjects lack belief in X).”

    In what sense of the word “act” is atheism an “act”? If I’m an atheist, that’s a label/descriptor not an action.

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by Profile photo of Unseen Unseen.
    #4057
    Profile photo of Dang Martin
    Dang Martin
    Participant

    This morning, I plugged in my blender. It’s a machine that was created using a combination of artistry, engineering, and science. Beyond the machine, was the electricity that is generated and delivered using scientific principles.

    When I tried to use the blender, it did not work.

    My initial thought was that maybe the motor was burned out, or maybe the socket wasn’t functioning, or maybe a fuse was blown.

    But then I stopped and REALLY thought about it. What if I didn’t BELIEVE enough in science? What if I was lacking the FAITH required for all of this science to work.

    So I closed my eyes and believed really, really hard. Then, I tried again.

    Now my blender is working. What a miracle.

    #4080

    “An example is presented here (See the question at the end of the thread’s OP below, for clarity):” I’m not arguing with the Edward Witten, I’m arguing with you. If you find his argument compelling, you must understand it. What is your understanding of what he is saying? (BTW, I have no idea whether or not he deserves to be called a “genius,” but being one doesn’t mean he’s never wrong. We now know that Einstein was wrong about a few things.) I wrote: “All conscious acts are based on beliefs. Not having beliefs would mean not acting at all.” You replied: “There is already evidence that conscious acts can occur absent belief. (Eg: The conscious act of atheism, where subjects lack belief in X).” In what sense of the word “act” is atheism an “act”? If I’m an atheist, that’s a label/descriptor not an action.

    Yes, atheism is unavoidably, the act of rejecting belief in X…

    #4090
    Profile photo of Tom Sarbeck
    Tom Sarbeck
    Participant

    A noun (atheism) is unavoidably a verb (the act of rejecting….)?
    Fascinating.

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