Sunday, August 19, 2007

cogito ergo . . uhm.. What?

Der Doctor is in Da House! Or he was on this topic back in his school daze 'tany rate, at which time he chose to take to task teh Science, as well as its more (IMO) obfuscatory opposite in the arena of Explanations, Religion. It seems that the good Dr. Zaius has a bit of a problem with how both of them utilize the Unknown as a source of their surety.

Hmmm... Perhaps a wee example is in order.
95% of what is around you is unobservable by any form of scientific instrumentation, according to science. Our model of the universe only accounts for 5% of what we can observe with any instrument known to man.

It is not a matter of some unseen force might be possible in your mind or imagination - it is a matter of some unseen force must exist, or science itself is talking through its hat.

This substance could be anything; we don't know what it is. This would mean that it is entirely possible that a vast portion of the universe may be made of large quantities of invisible Cheez Whiz - Or to use a phrase that might have a bit more irony, according to the Big Bang Theory, it is possible that at this moment that we are surrounded by "invisible pink unicorns."
Well, say I in my atheistical indignation. Poppeycock! Balderdash!! Gibbering Ginormities!!! You're misapprehending what it means to be seen! Science can undoubtedly be utilized to observe the unobservable. It just needs, for soothe, to utilize that most imaginative of unimaginary artifacts of existence; Mathematics. With numbers, which can never lie (though paradoxes might they multiply,) one, or any, and eventually many, an otherwise unobservant assayer of the modes and forms of empirical reality (errm, toi et moi, et al who would for that matter) may decipher and discern at both the most microscopic and creatively cosmic of levels that which is both true and sound and inevitably to be found to be the whole, wide, vast and sure expanse of All Reality.

We just ain't gonna do it before Tea*

And yet, I am just a softy. {sigh} There's little, . . hell, who am I trying to kid? . . There's no chance of me using said tool on my own. When it comes to math, I'm quite illiteratively, all thumbs. None the, others can, have, and will do so further in the future, and folks such as I are generally able to follow along. At least we are when given respect for our intellectual limitations, rather than the abusive utilization of those same which the Religionists must employ in order to survive despite their delusional, though often sublimely beautiful, drivel. That's simply part of the nature of teh Science. It takes Training, and dedication, but not even a scintilla of teh Faith is required. (Though, for folks in need, such a thing has inarguably proven helpful in getting us through some rather tight spots. Again, at least IMO.)

Whilst scientists, like Shamans and Witches and Priests (oh my!), are merely human and, thus, subject to each their own quirks of personality in the exposition of what they've experienced relativistically as individuals, the by laws of Science have evolved in gross opposition to the essential elements of Religion.

Religion says that no knowledge is new. Well, if it is, then it supports (somehow, don't know. we'll work that out later) the previous Gospels (Edicts, Prophecies, What have yous) which were laid down and set forth in the Past. If it contradicts what has been established, then it is wrong. (Even if we change our minds later, and forget to tell you, but instead just act like we'd always known and had said this all along.)

Science says that knowledge is available, if we, or any sentient beings, can develop the methods and tools necessary to ascertain it.

The most fundamentally hallowed proposition of Religion is that Truth® has been revealed in the past.

The most elementally important tenet of Science is there is always more to know.

Ahhh, well. As I commented on the good Dr. Zaius' site, "There is no God. Science doesn't say so. I do... " The ellipsistical is, as I hope I've established in this rather manic** rant, essentially unimportant. But if you got a kick out of reading my rejoinder to the Doc's post, then I highly recommend clicking on over to read this post's impetus.

And, regardless of disagreements, whether well-writ or poorly, I do gladly say "Thanks Doc!" for giving me blog fodder for a drizzly Sunday afternoon.

* Eh, I think I've a British reader or two left "in da house". (Alright. Enough of that phrase. Promise.)

** I used to be fairly certain of it when I'd say that I'm not manic-depressive. Just madly so. Que sera, sera, eh. I've always heard that the manic phase was, despites its desperate after-effects, a state of high creativity. Maybe assuming such proportions to my situation will help to me gettin' my lazy arse to writing more stuff and more frequently. Please, don't to be counting on it. Hmmm, or ag'in it, for that matter.

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8 comments:

  1. "Truth®..... always more to know."

    i think that sums up what i feel, regardless of religion vs. science. i've been brought up in a religious home and do practice, but also was trained/brainwashed to absorb and process info in a scientific manner. in the end, i believe there is a force (whatever it may be) that is responsible for our existence... i call it God. and science attempts to study and understand phenomena in our universe. but in the end, many things we perceive (and don't perceive... as mentioned in the post) are not always meant to be understood, defined, etc. faith is an easy way to cop-out to things we just don't understand.

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  2. i believe there is a force (whatever it may be) that is responsible for our existence...

    I agree. 4 of them, actually. I just think there are abundant reasons not to call any of or all of them together, God. Weighted word, that. Means something different to everyone, with no conceivable way to coordinate all those defs comprehensibly.

    In Science, you get the same differences of perspective, but with a distinct and replicatable means of approaching the answers.

    To me, the decision is as simple as asking whether one would rather have their pancreas removed by any one of 10s of thousands of Doctors who have all learned the same tried and tested method for removal (though they'd, granted, each have their own style) or by someone who has nothing but the claims of them self and their followers?

    Again, I admire the uniquity :-) of which Religion not only admits, but depends. I just have no use, personally, for the fairy tales used to explain things best explained by experimenting, observing, thinking and repeating.

    Eventually, and unless our species destroys itself before evolving onward, we'll use Science to figure It All Out. I mean, beyond 42, of course!

    Again with that not bloody likely before a terribly long time has passed. Like maybe a couple more centuries would be my best guess.

    Seriously, the only reason I even go on about such debatery is because I have yet to see a reason to think that there is ANYTHING which is "not meant" to be understood or defined. More to the point, there is nothing which IS "meant" to be so. Yet everything Can Be, and doing so carefully and conscientiously is always better than gettin' bit in the arse for not doing so.

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  3. i agree, we have a lot to learn and to explain, and in time we will do so. and, as i mentioned my science education, i believe in the scientific process for answers and solutions. pardon for sounding like a douche, but what do you mean by 'beyond 42'?

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  4. Raffi wrote:

    i believe there is a force (whatever it may be) that is responsible for our existence...

    To which MB wrote:

    I agree. 4 of them, actually. I just think there are abundant reasons not to call any of or all of them together, God.

    I agree with this, except I would bump your force count up to 6 - I like to include supply and demand. Natch. ;-)

    That was an excellent post, MB. I tend to observe the null hypothesis where there's no evidence for the existence of other forces. However, where goalposts are continually shifted I don't think that science is ever going to make much headway on these other forces that religiosos keep telling us about.

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  5. ... but what do you mean by 'beyond 42'?

    lol! No worries, bro! Pardon me for being a bit of a geek. 42, according to Douglas Adams' gargantuan, fictional* computer, "Deep Thought", is the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything.

    And, seriously, sorry if I came off a bit o' teh snark on that one. I think I'm still to be in the Religion Seriously Sucks mode for a while yet. Surely it'll pass, but still I'd like to chill at least a bit when talk 'bout such stuff with folks I truly do dig and respect. The fact, as I see it, that religion has caused Far More Pain & Destruction than it's engendered wonders and joy AND that it is currently "enjoying" a resurgence as a political tool in this country doesn't make it easier.

    Just remembering that PEOPLE are More Important than ideas does that.

    Thanks, Dikkii. I needed that!

    Though I did think "Supply" was part of the Strong Force, whereas Demand was coupled to teh Weak.

    Or maybe that was vice-a-versa and the big "L" of Liberality is just showing. Hmmm... {-;

    * Or, as an extremely devout Religii might say in an effort to sound "scientific", "hypothetical computer". :-D

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  6. Though I did think "Supply" was part of the Strong Force, whereas Demand was coupled to teh Weak.

    Or maybe that was vice-a-versa and the big "L" of Liberality is just showing. Hmmm... {-;


    I think that you might have been right the first time. Well said.

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  7. Thank you for the link! Let me merely add that if I was was watching an invisible movie with no audio, I don't really think it would matter to me an awful lot if it was and episode of PBS' "Nova" or the Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club". Both would be equally satisfying.

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  8. But what if it was re-runs of Dallas?

    Or the Brady Bunch!

    (I hope you know that I know. Ya know? I mean, you know, what you mean. Eh?)

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