The New "Religion Vs Science" Thread

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Mark Force

Trad climber
Ashland, Oregon
Dec 7, 2017 - 10:32am PT
I don't have time for a longer reply now.

You guys don't get it. I am a lover of science. I am against having science being f*#ked by doing it badly. The foremost way this is done is by worship of the methods without being clear about what they do and don't do and by overextrapolating the data and interpetation and inserting meaning.

In that way the science gets gamed into a type of religion. Trust in the processes ends up becoming faith in the methods.

One example of science being used to answer a problem inappropriately is the idea of colonizing other planets. I love science fiction and TNG is one of the best series ever. The scientific hurdles are interesting intellectual riddles to solve. Advocates in their zeal tend to overlook the economics. When the economics are considered it kills the deal. Reason indicates focusing the sciences on sustainable agriculture, manufacture, and energy production, storage, and transmission. Oh, yeah, that's not sexy. Science isn't about being sexy - it's about observing as closely as possible to what is. It should be ever evolving as our systems for observation and interpretation improve. Science is what it is and is undermined when it is made more of than it is.

My point is that worhip of science degrades science.
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 7, 2017 - 01:05pm PT
Not true. The earliest burials discovered are complete with grave gear indicating a belief in something beyond the forms of sensibility an idea at the heart of all religions.

Superstitions are not the same as religions.


Cooperation and the Evolution of Hunter-Gatherer Societies:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02036-8


Abstract

Storytelling is a human universal. From gathering around the camp-fire telling tales of ancestors to watching the latest television box-set, humans are inveterate producers and consumers of stories. Despite its ubiquity, little attention has been given to understanding the function and evolution of storytelling. Here we explore the impact of storytelling on hunter-gatherer cooperative behaviour and the individual-level fitness benefits to being a skilled storyteller. Stories told by the Agta, a Filipino hunter-gatherer population, convey messages relevant to coordinating behaviour in a foraging ecology, such as cooperation, sex equality and egalitarianism. These themes are present in narratives from other foraging societies. We also show that the presence of good storytellers is associated with increased cooperation. In return, skilled storytellers are preferred social partners and have greater reproductive success, providing a pathway by which group-beneficial behaviours, such as storytelling, can evolve via individual-level selection. We conclude that one of the adaptive functions of storytelling among hunter gatherers may be to organise cooperation.

Introduction

Cooperation is a central problem in biology1, 2. This is especially true in humans given the range of extensive cooperation observed, including food sharing3, 4, allocare5, 6 and political coalitions7. Adaptive explanations for cooperation—broadly defined as a behaviour which evolved to benefit others8—often focus on the ‘free-rider problem’; that is, explaining how a behaviour which decreases fitness (at least in the short-term) can be evolutionarily advantageous. Many solutions to this problem have been proposed, such as kin selection9, reciprocal cooperation10, costly signalling11 and indirect reciprocity12, among others. However, even in situations where cooperation would be the best strategy for all involved, cooperation may not occur due to ‘problems of coordination’. Under these circumstances, cooperation is not hindered by the potential for free-riding, but rather by a lack of common knowledge over the behaviour of others13, 14. Meta-knowledge is therefore required to solve these problems of coordination. In other words, it is not enough to know how to act in a given situation; individuals need to know that others also know how to act. While language is undoubtedly essential as a medium of communication for coordination15, here we propose that storytelling in particular may have played an essential role in the evolution of human cooperation by broadcasting social and cooperative norms to coordinate group behaviour (see also refs. 16, 17).

Storytelling is a human universal18 which occurs spontaneously in childhood19, while cross-cultural phylogenetic analyses have shown that folk stories may be highly conserved20. The universal presence and antiquity of storytelling indicates that it may be an important human adaptation21,22,23,24. Hunter-gatherer societies have strong oral storytelling traditions dictating social behaviour regarding marriage, interactions with in-laws, food sharing, hunting norms and taboos25,26,27. These stories appear to coordinate group behaviour and facilitate cooperation by providing individuals with social information about the norms, rules and expectations in a given society15, 28, 29. It has recently been argued that religion with high-gods is a form of fictional story that helped in the expansion of large-scale human cooperation30. However, moralistic high-gods cannot be the original form of norm-enforcing fiction in human societies, as phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that they only emerged after increased political complexity associated with agricultural expansion31. Furthermore, hunter-gatherers display widespread cooperation (such as camp-wide food sharing, rituals for conflict resolution and long-term cooperation with unrelated individuals), and, despite being inveterate storytellers25, 29, mostly lack the belief in moralistic high-gods32. Although others have proposed that storytelling was an important step in human evolution16, 21,22,23,24, this hypothesis remains largely untested using real-world empirical data. For these reasons, we decided to analyse the content and functions of storytelling in a hunter-gatherer population (the Agta).

Here we show that: (i) Agta stories convey messages of cooperation, sex equality and social egalitarianism; (ii) stories from other hunter-gatherer societies also appear designed to coordinate social behaviour and promote cooperation; (iii) individuals from camps with a greater proportion of skilled storytellers are more cooperative; (iv) skilled storytellers are preferred social partners and more likely to be cooperated with and (v) skilled storytellers possess greater reproductive success. We conclude that storytelling may perform an adaptive function by organising cooperative systems in hunter-gatherer societies. These results also provide a pathway by which group-beneficial behaviours, such as storytelling, can evolve via individual-level selection.


Emphasis (in bold) mine.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Dec 7, 2017 - 01:38pm PT
Superstitions are not the same as religions.


What you call superstitions are rightly called mythologies and they are both the mother of the arts as well as the foundation of all religion. Even Neanderthal burials exhibit grave gear. One can read these mythologies as metaphors or make the gross error of many of those in science and read them as literal descriptions that are false.

Religion is any cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations, that relate humanity to the supernatural or transcendental. Religions relate humanity to what anthropologist Clifford Geertz has referred to as a cosmic "order of existence".[1] However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.[2][3]
sycorax

Boulder climber
Yoknapatawpha County
Dec 7, 2017 - 01:54pm PT
Franz Kafka said, "A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us."
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:00pm PT
Yeah, tell it to the mother of a dying child: "don't worry dear just think of all the bacteria that won't go to bed hungry tonight."

If the mother wants to comfort her child with a bit of the opiate of the masses that’s fine; no more harm than Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. But I think it would be better if the mother herself were not addicted.

In early hierarchical civilizations religion grew to become something that could hold a very large cooperational group together, encourage farmers to grow surplus crops, and to complete large-scale projects such as irrigation systems or protective walls. But within these hierarchies the rulers and priests used the religions to control the surplus crops and justify their positions at the top and everyone else’s brutal existence at the bottom. For those at the bottom of the hierarchy, the religion at best was a comforting lie.

The early religions had many gods, and when one civilization conquered another the gods were often incorporated or merged. With the onset of monotheism came the holy wars, where people started killing each other not just for their resources but for their beliefs.

A religious delusion may give an individual comfort, but on a societal scale it continues to reinforce the comfortable position of those at the top of the hierarchy.

Organized religion and unrestrained capitalism are the greatest impediments to achieving an egalitarian society.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:22pm PT

If the mother wants to comfort her child with a bit of the opiate of the masses that’s fine

You're too kind. Maybe you're right and anybody that can't accept the hard and "certain" realities generated by science, well that's just tough luck. Sounds egalitarian to me.
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:30pm PT
I’ve used this one before on a political thread:

What do Paul Roehl and a gay scarecrow have in common?




























Neither can resist a Straw Man.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:36pm PT
Ha. Your humor is every bit as sophisticated as your argument. Nice.
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:42pm PT
And your sarcasm is as dull as your reasoning.




High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:49pm PT
This was awesome. The Left has a serious autogenic morbidity at its core.
If you don't know what's been happening in our college and university settings, particularly at liberal arts colleges, you should research it and try to pick up the plot.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpFUvfAvKs4

Lindsay Shepard was terrific. A liberal hero! Where are the others?!!

It IS such a time commitment though, to stay abreast of all these goings on. But you can bet your last dollar that they affect our politics, incl our national politics.

There is a multitude of reasons Trump gained the presidency. One of these reasons is the nutty far left, some of which is represented by these Social Justice Warriors (sjw) taking ground on mostly liberal arts colleges. Stay informed.

I'm no longer sure what's WORSE for the health and future of American politics: the religious right or the sjw left.

...

Liberals Need to Take Their Fingers Out of Their Ears...
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/opinion/liberals-conservatives-trump.html
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:53pm PT
And your sarcasm is as dull as your reasoning.

Actually i was just using my irony. I save the sarcasm for the good stuff.
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:57pm PT
At least I have been making the best arguments I can with my crude and feeble intellect.

Your empty mocking rhetoric may make you feel sophisticated, but where’s the argument?

You're too kind. Maybe you're right and anybody that can't accept the hard and "certain" realities generated by science, well that's just tough luck. Sounds egalitarian to me.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Dec 7, 2017 - 03:02pm PT

Your empty mocking rhetoric may make you feel sophisticated, but where’s the argument?

Yes, it does. My point would be that the certainty of science is no certainty at all in regard to what the universe is or even what we are and for someone to assume that certainty at the expense of religious thought and practice as some kind of opiate or artifice of placation oversteps the limits of science into the realm of scientism.

HFCS - I couldn't agree more with that last post and what Lindsay has to say.
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 7, 2017 - 04:57pm PT
Where do I say anything about accepting the hard and “certain” realities generated by science?

I never said this nor implied it. This is poor reading comprehension or a strawman.


I personally hope more people can accept that reality is uncertain; that on a cosmic scale our lives are meaningless; that science is nothing more than a tool to propel our combined, ever imperfect knowledge—of what is most probable—further, most accurately, and with the least waste; and that one should find meaning within oneself through experiences, interactions, conduct and introspection.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Dec 7, 2017 - 05:07pm PT
Like it, Lennox!
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Dec 7, 2017 - 05:25pm PT

Where do I say anything about accepting the hard and “certain” realities generated by science?

How's about here.

Any claim that cannot be scientifically examined for its verifiability or falsifiability becomes less probable as it becomes more specific or complex.


Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 7, 2017 - 05:31pm PT
Probability is not certainty.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Dec 7, 2017 - 05:37pm PT
Probability is not certainty.

No, but verifiability is.
sycorax

Boulder climber
Yoknapatawpha County
Dec 7, 2017 - 05:52pm PT
"Organized religion and unrestrained capitalism are the greatest impediments to achieving an egalitarian society."

Wrong. Sexism is, you lab-coated sausage.
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 7, 2017 - 06:05pm PT
I can’t do anything about the way the meanings or definitions of some words have evolved, nor the sloppy way some words are defined.

The etymology of “to prove” is to test something. To verify means to prove the truth of something. What is truth? The only thing I consider 100% true is that “something is.” Anything other than that has a probability of 99.999_ or less.

So for me, verifiability means some evidence or reproducibility that may indicate greater probability.
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