Elaine Howard Ecklund has a new paper out, building on her survey of scientists’ views on religion, research she reported in a book last year, and in a series of papers over the last few years. In this paper (press release for those of you who haven’t got access to the journal), she looks specifically at how scientists perceive the relationship between science and religion.

As she reported in the book, 15% of scientists she and her colleagues interviewed reported seeing an inherent conflict between science and religion. Another 15% saw no conflict at all, while the remaining 70% saw some conflict sometimes, but not an inherent conflict.

You may have noticed that many of the loudest scientific voices on the topic of science and religion tend to fall into that first 15%, who see conflict everywhere. Ecklund’s account (co-authored with Jerry Park and Katherine Sorrell) squares with my own sense of these folks’ attitudes:

the group of natural and social scientists who saw religion and science as irreconcilably in conflict saw religion in direct opposition to their work as scientists. On an institutional level, science and religion were utterly incompatible epistemologically, and on a personal level, these scientists could not embrace religion because it ran counter to their ways of understanding truth. In most cases, these scientists had a restricted, fundamentalist notion of religion. Scientists who adopted a conflict perspective tended to see science in an ideal-typical Mertonian form (Merton 1973), rather than having a particular version of science related to their specific discipline. Indeed, as with religion, we found no broad differences between the natural and social scientists in terms of views on science. Those who adhered to an unwavering conflict position held religion under the light of science, and religion failed. In addition, beyond just seeing science as attached to empiricism, these respondents saw empirical knowledge as the only true kind of knowledge.

Among those who see no conflict, she found two groups. One adopted some version of Stephen Jay Gould’s non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), holding science and religion to be so conceptually distinct as to be unable to interact. These folks were generally not religious themselves:

For these individuals there is a barrier erected between the two; science and religion are not in conflict because religion is outside of and—according to many in this group—generally “irrelevant to” science. Religion and science were separate, with science being a far superior form of knowledge than religion. In this way, these respondents were somewhat similar to those who fell in the “always in conflict” category because they saw science and religion as separate and inherently different. Yet, we placed them in the “no conflict” category because they came to a different conclusion about the connection between science and religion. Rather than perceiving a battle between the two, which science will inevitably win, as it disproves religious dogma through further scientific discovery, these respondents often saw science and religion more as nonoverlapping magisteria (Gould 1997). They were so irrelevant to one another that they were not even in conflict. Those who espouse the idea of nonoverlapping magisteria view religion and science as inherently dealing in two different kinds of truth, with science grounded in empirical truth and religion in meaning. They therefore had a hands-off approach to religion.

While I think most scholars working on science/religion issues pooh-pooh NOMA, Gould’s essays on the topic may be the only texts on science/religion issues that these scientists have read. Unlike the first group, Gould’s approach clicked for these folks. I recognize a lot of myself in that account, especially in regarding religion as personally irrelevant, though not in the emphasis placed in Gould’s views.

The other group of scientists in this “no conflict” 15% (Ecklund doesn’t report the relative sizes of these groups) tend to be religious, and see an interplay between science and religion across a “porous border”:

those who are religious and who view religion and science as without conflict often have a fairly uniform way of understanding the connection between the two; both religion and science are important forms of knowledge, able to bring broader understanding to valuable questions but cannot be completely compartmentalized. Individuals professing this view were generally religious but came from a broad range of religious perspectives, including traditional Catholics as well as Unitarians. While those who thought that religion and science were always in conflict or those who saw science and religion as nonoverlapping magisteria sometimes saw science as limitless, respondents who did not discern a conflict because they saw science and religion as equal sources of knowledge generally posited limits to scientific understanding, limits that religion (and particularly certain forms of it) had the ability to illuminate.

Regular readers will know that I have some sympathy for this view, as well. While I don’t personally get any benefit from religion, I know other people who do find personally relevant insights in their religious practice, and many see their scientific and religious work as mutually beneficial, each informing and deepening the other.

But for all that, if I had been interviewed, I’d have placed myself in her 70% who see no inherent conflict, but recognize the potential for conflict. I know that some people choose to set science and religion at odds, either from the perspective of setting science above religion as with the small minority of scientists Ecklund described above, or the sizable and influential chunks of religious communities who choose to reject scientific findings that they see conflicting with their religious teachings. This includes creationists, advocates of some forms of alternative medicine, and thus not just traditional religions like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism, but new age groups of various sorts. I know too many religious people who don’t create such conflicts to claim that such conflict is inherent, but I also know too many people who do see that conflict to claim that it’s nonexistent or idiosyncratic.

Very much paralleling my own sense of the dynamic, Ecklund writes:

those who indicated that religion was sometimes in conflict with science generally had in mind a particular kind of religion (and religious people and institutions) that conflicted with science and a particular kind of religion that didn’t. In comparison, the group who thought that religion and science were always in conflict had a very restricted notion of religion as being uniformly fundamentalist forms of Christianity. Hence, that first group only defined religion in those terms. Instead, the group who thought that religion and science were sometimes in conflict had a more nuanced and context-dependent notion of religion.

The interviewees used distinct clusters of descriptors for different sorts of religion, and “These descriptors emerged in positive and negative clusters, which the respondents often labeled as characteristics of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ religion.” The distinctions are fairly predictable: evangelical and fundamentalist religions (the terms were apparently used interchangeably) were bad, while Buddhism stood out as a “good” religion. Good religions were adaptable, worked from principles rather than commands or dogma. Good religion operates within its domain, while bad religion intrudes into other fields, especially (since she was talking to scientists) into science.

Ecklund’s paper focuses mainly on how scientists locate the boundaries of those domains. While philosophers have been struggling off and on with the demarcation problem (how is science defined), Ecklund’s approach is to let the scientists speak for themselves. A biologist who describes himself as spiritual but not religious explains how he sees the conflict playing out:

If you’re talking about organized political movements, if they’re associated with some organized religion, then there’s obviously conflict. …I wouldn’t generalize other than that. …for some people, it might be that they feel conflict but some do not see any conflict at all between having a spiritual life and a science … I guess in my idea of spiritual life there’s nothing that isn’t in my idea of scientific life.

Scientists like this use an expansive definition of “spirituality” to sweep in the good aspects of religion, the matters of personal inspiration and connectedness and openness to novelty, and exclude the bad aspects, the authoritarianism and rigidity and dogma. As Ecklund says, “ideas of religion are informing spirituality, giving [these] scientists an alternative language to talk about scientific discovery. For others too, spirituality not only flows from science but flows into science, providing actual scientific insight.”

Other scientists, rather than redefining religion, simply referred to their scientific colleagues who are religious. While the scientists who Ecklund found employing this method were often not religious themselves, they would point to examples of religious scientists (including Ken Miller, Francis Collins, and a website on radiometric dating by Keith Miller) to show the possibility of non-conflicting approaches to science and religion. These scientists especially seemed to find those examples useful in talking about science and religion with students or nonscientists with concerns about science and religion.

Many of the scientists seem not to have thought much about these issues until confronted by events like the convergence of creationist events in 2005 (when the surveys were conducted), and were using “intentional talk,” seeking public discussions (in their classrooms or in other public venues) to explore this issue, recognizing that it was necessary to engage these issues to be effective teachers, scientists, and indeed citizens. Ecklund finds “as debates over intelligent design and stem cell research have taken on a moral tone, scientists have found themselves compelled to respond in innovative ways when dealing with science and religion. Unlike some respondents who simply chose to ignore the broader debates about science occurring in other societal sectors, respondents who used intentional talk as a strategy to discuss the relationship between science and religion addressed the controversies surrounding their profession.”

Most encouragingly, she reports: “Our findings suggest that scientists who are willing to be pushed by such public debates to actually engage students can find productive areas of dialogue that only serve to increase the cultural authority of science.”

While Ecklund, Park, and Sorrell express surprise at some of the ways their conversations went, the results match my own experience of conversations on the blogs and at universities across the country. The analysis provides a useful taxonomy of scientists and their approaches to religion, and provides useful data for the often-heated conversations that this topic generates.

(Pre-emptive reply: Yes, the research was funded in part by the Templeton Foundation, and no, I don’t care. Even if Templeton were as bad as some folks claim – and there’s little if any evidence to sustain those charges – no one has alleged or given reason to suspect that Templeton interferes in how researchers conduct their studies or report their results. Feel free to pick apart the methods and the logic used to reach conclusions, but I’ll regard comments of the form “this is funded by Templeton and therefore suspect” as the rankest trolling, and will respond accordingly.)

Comments

  1. #1 Obambo
    September 22, 2011

    Yes, i have to put myself to the 70%, aswell. And i can understand those who always see a conflict rather then those who don’t see conflicts at all.

  2. #2 Philip Gray
    September 22, 2011

    I favor the evidenced based view of religion. It has promised mankind morality for thousands of years and historically failed to provide morality for thousands of years. Are we so short sighted that we ignore the evidence of the past in favor of what we want to believe?
    If it can’t make us better people then what exactly is it good for?

  3. #3 TB
    September 22, 2011

    Interesting article in Nature

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110831/full/477023a.html

    Reading it, you have philosophers trying to tell scientists that they’re being too narrow in the interpretation of their findings, but the scientists don’t seem to listen.

    And, by the way, a good job by Nature taking on the topic.

  4. #4 Rob Knop
    September 22, 2011

    Phillip: you don’t back up your assertion with any evidence, and you can’t without cherry-picking. Your assertion is that religion has led only to bad moral choices. It’s trivial to find examples to back this up. But you can also find many examples of religion leading people to good moral choices. I’ll just mention one: churches were instrumental in the running of the Underground Railroad during the USA’s slave years. As with most any other human endeavor, the results of religion has been mixed. Anybody who says otherwise is suffering under dogmatic views of the topic.

  5. #5 pough
    September 22, 2011

    You may have noticed that many of the loudest scientific voices on the topic of science and religion tend to fall into that first 15%, who see conflict everywhere.

    Why would anyone who thinks there’s no problem bother to talk about it? Of course the people in the group who see a problem talk about the problem that they see. And do they really see conflict everywhere?

  6. #6 Philip Gray
    September 22, 2011

    Rob,
    I really believe you missed my point. Let me make myself clear.
    Anyone can “cherry pick” what religions actually say for both immoral and moral reasons.
    So, if anyone can cherry pick religions to suit their morals then the morality of religion is arbitrary.
    If it can’t make us better people then what exactly is it good for? Anyone please answer the question.

  7. #7 TB
    September 22, 2011

    Philip, I don’t follow your logic. People can cherry pick anything, including scientific results.
    But it doesn’t automatically follow that something can’t do what it purports to do.

  8. #8 Wazza
    September 22, 2011

    See, here’s where I find the problem: ask people about their opinions, and you find that the people who see an inherent conflict are talking about the worst case, the people who see no conflict talk about the best case, the people who see some conflict talk about both… but in all cases, this study is looking at the concrete social interactions.

    That’s not where science and religion are really conflicting.

    Where they’re conflicting is at the most basic level that one is based on reality, and one is not. Which is which depends on whether your view is based in a scientific reality, or a reality as defined by some guy a long time ago; do you believe your own senses (after compensating for all detectable biases), or what is written? If you want it to be both, cognitive dissonance is a requirement.

  9. #9 Wazza
    September 22, 2011

    Oh, and guys: Phillip is talking about religion’s status as the root of morality and trying to explain that essentially different religious groups form shorthand for moral positions ultimately derived from other sources. Thus you could remove religion from the equation and people would adopt the same moral positions.

    Of course, most people aren’t into religion for the morality, though I’m not sure what it might mean to say that religion is grounded in meaning. Does meaning have any worth if it’s not derived from or connected to what it claims to make sense of?

  10. #10 TB
    September 22, 2011

    “Where they’re conflicting is at the most basic level that one is based on reality, and one is not.”

    Actually, at the most basic level you have to make an assumption that all there is is the natural world, that because we haven’t found anything outside the natural world then there isn’t anything outside the natural world to discover.

    Which is a reasonable assumption to hold, but it’s still an assumption that can’t be yet be proven by science and is only one out a set of reasonable assumptions that can be held.

    As far as your take on religion as the root of all morality, in a practical sense it is for a large number of individuals. And if you click through to that Nature story I linked to above, it touches on the results of an experiment regarding cheating that’s not conclusive, but certainly interesting in terms of how people behave if they think there is no higher moral power.

  11. #11 bill
    September 22, 2011

    “People can cherry pick anything, including scientific results.”

    You mean experimental results and yes, people do that. That is why we use the scientific method, where rule number 1 is NO CHERRY PICKING. If you don’t understand that you don’t know how science is done.

    I’ve seen many a student and more than a few scientists crash and burn for cherry picking!

  12. #12 bill
    September 22, 2011

    TB

    The article discussed in the nature commentary is about free will, not a higher moral power.

  13. #13 TB
    September 22, 2011

    Bill, I understand how science is done. That’s not what we’re talking about.

    I also know that – as long as no law is broken – for the average person there’s no punishment for cherry picking the scientific results that suit your personal desires. Want that second piece of chocolate? Sure, go ahead, there’s science that says chocolate is good for you.

    They’re not running an experiment in a lab or answering questions on a test, they’re making decisions in their everyday life. That’s the context that Philip was using, and I maintain that if his measure were true then we’d need to throw out science as well – which I certainly don’t advocate.

    We don’t decide what science is based on the consensus of the general public for obvious reasons. Why apply that standard to religion?

  14. #14 Ben Frost
    September 22, 2011

    TB, can you show a significant positive correlation between morality and religious belief across history?

    If not, then the experiment of history does not support the “religious belief produces moral behaviour” hypothesis.

  15. #15 She
    September 22, 2011

    Daniel 1:4

  16. #16 TB
    September 22, 2011

    Bill: I didn’t say higher moral power, I said higher power which I admit wasn’t very clear. By that I meant some quality regarding our conscience that’s more than determinism. Didn’t you read about Kathleen Vohs’ experiment? The article was about free will, but the experiment had moral implications.

  17. #17 TB
    September 22, 2011

    Ben Frost, that’s an interesting question. Perhaps you could point me to the historic records that show all the people who didn’t do terrible things. You know, like all the names of people who didn’t murder someone.
    I mean, you must have asked the question with the knowledge that such records exist so we could go back and see what moral system all those people were raised under.
    No?
    Well, we don’t need those kinds of historic records and we don’t need to buy into an arbitrary measurement – like whether a significant margin of positive examples exist – for us to know whether religious belief produces moral behavior. There are enough examples in history and now for us to say that it can. Just because many fail to live up to the morals their belief system espouses doesn’t mean that’s true for everyone.
    I don’t need to go into the ordinary people we probably both know who give money and time to causes like homelessness and hunger because they feel a religious calling. I also don’t have to go into the high profile televangelists who claim to represent the highest moral ideals while pocketing money and cheating on their wife. One doesn’t cancel out the other.
    I believe most religions – at least the ones I’m familiar with – actually acknowledge in some way how difficult it is to live up to the ideals they espouse. I don’t understand why anyone would be surprised to find that’s accurate,

  18. #18 csrster
    September 23, 2011

    It’s hard to do surveys of dead people but I would have thought that any dispassionate analysis of current societies would show that the most religious societies are generally the least moral – the most discriminatory, the greatest economic inequalities etc. Of course if you weight those results by population then China turns things upside down, and if you redefine “religion” to include communism then that inverts the result again. Ain’t this fun?

  19. #19 Meryem Psychic
    September 23, 2011

    In my view religion is itself a science in its own-self. All one needs to do is try understanding it not from the viewpoint of greedy religious leaders but from the true sense of what religion really say about.

  20. #20 Bob the builder
    September 23, 2011

    The study of nature and my religion, has more than 15% conflict. Some examples would be a 500 ft wooden boat that can survive on high water. A six day earth creation and the order in which it happens. Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing slavery without a trace. Human conception without parents. Raising from the dead. Floating up to the sky. Nature tells us something totally different and that’s not only a conflict, but a problem,

  21. #21 Wow
    September 23, 2011

    “these scientists could not embrace religion because it ran counter to their ways of understanding truth. In most cases, these scientists had a restricted, fundamentalist notion of religion.”

    Query: How can these scientists have a restricted fundamentalist notion of religion? Surely it’s that the fundamentalist in religions are what these scientists see.

    Do you agree that there ARE religious people out there who WILL NOT let science be?

    Now, on to whether science and religion are compatible.

    Answer: NO.

    You see, science asks “What makes that go?” then looks for an answer that works. And other people will ask something different and find out if that answer works better. And so science moves on.

    Religion says “God did it. Stop looking”.

    As far as science is concerned, Religion is a killer of science. You are NOT ALLOWED to check when religion gives an answer.

    See, for example, the religious explanation of disease and ill health: demons infesting you. Because this is supernatural, you shall not question it. Demons exist, full stop. And they have the power to make you ill. The bible says.

  22. #22 Wow
    September 23, 2011

    “they would point to examples of religious scientists (including Ken Miller, Francis Collins, and a website on radiometric dating by Keith Miller) to show the possibility of non-conflicting approaches to science and religion.”

    You will note, however, that they did not use their religion to get the science.

    Yet (and see Roy Spencer for an example of this), when they find that science and their faith are in conflict, when they refuse to drop their faith in this area, they do not do science and invariably get the wrong answer.

    Rather confusing to me, since if God made the earth 6000 years ago, but made it look like 4.3 billion years old, then he’s obviously trying to tell you something, yet these people who believe a God who could do that if he wanted, refuse to believe he wants them to work on the assumption that the earth is 4.3 billion years old.

    To that extent, religion and science are orthogonal.

    It’s the continuation of religion and the results of faith that are anti-science. If they truly believed in NOMA, they’d never come into disagreement since nothing they look at can ever be answered with “god did it”.

    Yet they do.

  23. #23 Wow
    September 23, 2011

    > Phillip: you don’t back up your assertion with any evidence

    So why do we still have so much suffering and where the most religious are still perpetrating moral outrages on a regular basis?

    The evidence of a lack of morality is there in your tabloid newspaper every day.

    The evidence of religion existing is available by a quick visit to your local church.

    The evidence of religion stating that religion teaches morals is available at your local sunday service each week.

    If this is not evidence enough for you, I don’t know what is.

  24. #24 Ender
    September 27, 2011

    “If this is not evidence enough for you, I don’t know what is.”

    Then you don’t understand that Correlation does not equal Causation, nor how evidence works.

    Given those hindrances it’s obvious how you’ve come to the ‘conclusions’ you have.

    But your obvious idiocy is demonstrable:

    Wow pontificated stupidly: Religion says “God did it. Stop looking”.

    As far as science is concerned, Religion is a killer of science. You are NOT ALLOWED to check when religion gives an answer.

    See, for example, the religious explanation of disease and ill health: demons infesting you. Because this is supernatural, you shall not question it. Demons exist, full stop. And they have the power to make you ill. The bible says.

    Where does religion say “God did it, stop looking”? Which religions? All religions?

    For example, see the religious explanation of disease: Germ theory. Developed, supported and refined by religious people. None of whom were forbidden to do their research.

    If religion really is a science stopper I’m sure you’ll be able to quickly provide me with a list of the top ten scientific investigations that have been stopped in the last 10 years using the rule: “God did it. Stop looking”

    Nope?

    I’ll generously extend that to fifty years. Still stuck?

    I guess your assertion about religion has been found to be unsupported by the evidence. :D

  25. #25 Ender
    September 27, 2011

    Well shit, I fucked up my tags. Wow’s quote goes from the italics to “….The bible says.”, from then on it’s me.

  26. #26 Anthony McCarthy
    September 29, 2011

    While those who thought that religion and science were always in conflict or those who saw science and religion as nonoverlapping magisteria sometimes saw science as limitless

    This belief in science is common among fans of science who don’t know much about science, it’s pretty astonishing that any scientist could hold it. Science is a formal method of narrowing down what is considered to ONLY those things which can be sufficently observered, and quantified, analyzed and reviewed scientifically, it is inherently a limited activity. It is limited by intention for the purpose of enhanced reliability of what is asserted as being supported as science.

    In the past five or so years the belief that science can do more than it can within the limits that scientists impose on themselves is blatantly superstitious. And that superstition is widespread, throughout Western culture. Its competing superstition, that religious texts and dogmas measure up to the reliability of science is, perhaps, somewhat more understandable among those who are even more ignorant of science.

    Most compelling of all, though, is the incomprehensibility of these distinctions among the fans of science. It makes you wonder how they can apply limits they don’t understand are there to start with.

  27. #27 Sam
    October 3, 2011

    I personally don’t think that scientists should be labeled within a category showing a percent of how much conflict they see with science. I think it all depends on what religion the scientist practices, how invested into their religion that they are, and how they think their religion relates to science. For that matter these aspects of religion are a personal matter and should not be of concern to fellow scientists. As long as a scientist remains professional and performs accurate and impressive work, then there is no need to even question their views on religion. A scientist shouldn’t be classified based on their religious conflicts with science but instead on how they perform and what they have accomplished.

  28. #28 Wow
    October 27, 2011

    > Then you don’t understand that Correlation does not equal Causation

    You don’t understand what correlation is, ender.

    We have religious people committing moral atrocities. Therefore religion isn’t causing moral actions.

    The fact that ostriches don’t fly is supported by the observation that they don’t fly. This isn’t a correlation. This is an observation.

    Likewise religion isn’t changing morality. It’s an observation, not a correlation.

  29. #29 Wow
    October 27, 2011

    “In the past five or so years the belief that science can do more than it can within the limits that scientists impose on themselves is blatantly superstitious. ”

    Got any evidence of this in the Real World ™? Or is that your blatant superstition coming into view..?

  30. #30 Ender
    October 28, 2011

    Wow, correlation definition to help you:

    “Correlation is a statistical measurement of the relationship between two variables. Possible correlations range from +1 to –1. A zero correlation indicates that there is no relationship between the variables. A correlation of –1 indicates a perfect negative correlation, meaning that as one variable goes up, the other goes down. A correlation of +1 indicates a perfect positive correlation, meaning that both variables move in the same direction together.”

    Here’s a hint, in case you don’t know anything about science (I kid, it’s not just in case; you obviously don’t know anything about science) – Correlation does not = Causation. If two things are correlated one is not necessarily causing the other.

    “We have religious people committing moral atrocities. Therefore religion isn’t causing moral actions.”

    This is fucking retarded. Are you a dribbling moron?

    The correct form of what you could have said is: “We have religious people committing moral atrocities. Therefore religion isn’t [preventing all im]moral actions.”

    You see the difference? Or are you so unbelievably stupid that you cannot comprehend it?

    “Likewise religion isn’t changing morality. It’s an observation, not a correlation.”

    No it isn’t. To make that kind of observation you’d need to know what their morality was before religion/would have been without religion.

    It’s also a stupid and incoherent view that contradicts both the view of you and many other New Atheists that religion is in fact affecting morality negatively.

    If you can’t be bothered to make sure you aren’t contradicting yourself what’s the point of talking to you? You’re just vomiting incoherence over your keyboard.

    You’re an embarrassment to thinking Atheists.

  31. #31 Wow
    October 28, 2011

    “Correlation is a statistical measurement of the relationship between two variables.”

    Yup, that’s what correlation means.

    However: when the statement is that religion is the source of morals, there is no correlation assumed when you point out the fact that the religious are committing moral outrages.

    When someone claims that all swans are white, pointing out a black swan and saying “you’re wrong” is not a claim of correlation.

    The closest it gets is a claim that there IS NO CORRELATION.

    Like I said, I know what correlation means.

    You apparently know what Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V means.

  32. #32 Wow
    October 28, 2011

    “”We have religious people committing moral atrocities. Therefore religion isn’t causing moral actions.”

    This is fucking retarded. Are you a dribbling moron?”

    Yes, you are a dribbling moron.

    Other than saying “this is retarded”, what is retarded about that?

    These people have religion. They’re not moral. Therefore the religion isn’t making them moral.

    It is NOT “Therefore religion isn’t [preventing all im]moral actions.” because that would be the case if religious people were moral and irreligious people were immoral.

    But no, in this case, religious people are immoral.

    Religion isn’t doing squat about morality except insist it’s the font of all morality. Which is the dribbling moron statement.

    “To make that kind of observation you’d need to know what their morality was before religion/would have been without religion”

    We know. 1000 years ago it was that women were chattel, that god caused kings to be and that anyone who believed the wrong god had to be burned alive.

    Somehow this isn’t moral any more. Even though the religion remains the same.

    Something else must have been causing morality.

    Choice.

  33. #33 Ender
    October 28, 2011

    If your rhetoric is so paltry as to consider “I know you are but what am I” a clever retort, then it seems even my low estimate of your intelligence was an overshoot.

    You may know what correlation means but you appear incapable of applying it in a scientific manner. Logic: 1, You: 0

    What’s retarded? For starters:

    “We have religious people committing moral atrocities. Therefore religion isn’t causing moral actions.” does not equal “These people have religion. They’re not moral. Therefore the religion isn’t making them moral.”

    The first is what you originally said, and is not logical.
    The latter is apparently what you meant. However it is an example of the Perfect World fallacy as it would only be correct if you said:

    “”These people have religion. They’re not moral. Therefore the religion isn’t making them perfectly moral.”

    Otherwise you haven’t eliminated the possibility that:

    “These people have religion. They’re not moral. Religion is making them more moral than they would have been.”

    This is elementary logic.

    FFS you incompetent hack:

    “It is NOT “Therefore religion isn’t [preventing all im]moral actions.” because that would be the case if religious people were moral and irreligious people were immoral.”

    No it fucking wouldn’t you inbred moron.

    “Religion is not preventing all immoral actions” is a factual statement that is true about the world.

    Only a complete drongo, a child with foetal alcohol syndrome, a foetid inverted caecum would believe that this implies that “religious people were moral and irreligious people were immoral”

    Look at the logic:

    P1: “Religion is not preventing all immoral actions”
    C1: “Therefore religious people are moral and irreligious people are immoral”

    What part of C1 follows from P1? Remember you proposed that this was the correct conclusion, not me.

    It doesn’t follow, it wasn’t what I was saying, and you’re half as bright as the stupidest gnat I’ve ever met, you halfwit.

  34. #34 Ender
    October 28, 2011

    p.s. We are DONE professionally.

  35. #35 Wow
    October 28, 2011

    Nope, it was an illustration of how pointless your pissy comment was, ender.

    “You may know what correlation means but you appear incapable of applying it in a scientific manner.”

    Nope, you don’t apply correlation to a situation where you disprove the statement of “all swans are white” with evidence of a black swan.

    I’m not applying correlation to this “religion is morality” either. I’m pointing out the fact that it demonstrably DOES NOT. People who CHOOSE the religion are still choosing immoral acts.

    “These people have religion. They’re not moral. Religion is making them more moral than they would have been.”

    Nope, that would require correlation.

    Got any data to correlate?

    No?

    Ah, well, come back when you have some EVIDENCE, godboy.

    “No it fucking wouldn’t you inbred moron.”

    Yes it fucking would, you altar-boy-assrapist.

    People don’t get their morality from their religion, they choose their morality. Unless you have data PROVING otherwise, that null hypothesis is correct.

    And such proof would have to prove why 1000 years ago burning women alive was morally acceptable by christians who would now be aghast at the idea of doing so.

    Their religion didn’t chose their morality, they chose their morality.

    In many cases, the religion is used as a smokescreen to hide their immorality. “God told me in a dream”, etc.

  36. #36 Wow
    October 28, 2011

    “Religion is not preventing all immoral actions” is a factual statement that is true about the world.”

    It’s also congruent with religion has nothing to do with morality.

    “Look at the logic:

    P1: “Religion is not preventing all immoral actions”
    C1: “Therefore religious people are moral and irreligious people are immoral””

    Yes, if I look at that logic, they don’t follow.

    However:

    P1: Religion has nothing to do with morality
    C1: Religious people are no more moral than irrelgious people

    I never proposed P1. YOU proposed P1. I proposed “Religion has nothing to do with morality”. I also never proposed your C1, you did that. In fact when people like you INSIST that religion is the source of morality, you’re saying that the irreligous, having no religion to tell them how to be moral, are immoral.

  37. #37 Ender
    October 28, 2011

    C1 is a direct quote from you, you liar.

  38. #38 Ender
    October 28, 2011

    “In fact when people like you INSIST that religion is the source of morality, you’re saying that the irreligous, having no religion to tell them how to be moral, are immoral.

    Where did I insist that you liar?

  39. #39 Ender
    October 28, 2011

    p.s. I know it’s too much to expect a dribbling cretin such as yourself to understand a simple concept but I did not propose that:

    “These people have religion. They’re not moral. Religion is making them more moral than they would have been.”

    Otherwise I would need to evidence that (I see you have learned how evidence worked since we last spoke… well done)

    I merely pointed out that you had failed to eliminate that as a possibility therefore your statement was stupid.

    p.s. the altarboy was your dad and he was great.

  40. #40 Stu
    October 28, 2011

    p.s. the altarboy was your dad and he was great.

    PS. You are sick in the head. Seek professional help.

  41. #41 Ender
    October 31, 2011

    @Stu – oh I’m sorry, does my turning around his insult upset you? Maybe you should go and complain to the person who first wrote it. Or is it just when it’s used twice that upsets you?

  42. #42 Wow
    October 31, 2011

    “PS. You are sick in the head. Seek professional help.”

    Too true.

    It isn’t that religion makes you sick in the head, but that being sick in the head like ender helps you swallow religion. Among other things.

  43. #43 Wow
    October 31, 2011

    “37

    C1 is a direct quote from you, you liar.

    Posted by: Ender | October 28, 2011 9:48 AM”

    OK, which post?

    I see it only twice. Your post:

    #33 Posted by: Ender | October 28, 2011 9:23 AM

    And my post quoting your #33.

    I guess you’re ready to read whatever you need to see, whether it exists or not, all you need is “Faith” that it is so, and this is enough to convince you.

  44. #44 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    Wow post 32: “because that would be the case if religious people were moral and irreligious people were immoral.”

    Me quoting you: “C1: Therefore religious people are moral and irreligious people are immoral”

    Look like you’re lying again.

  45. #45 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    “It isn’t that religion makes you sick in the head, but that being sick in the head like ender helps you swallow religion. Among other things.”

    A homophobic insult? I’d be surprised, but you are the one who brought up child-rape lightly, so I guess you have no moral standards.

  46. #46 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    No, a fact: there are many cases of the ultra-religious sodomising young boys. If only because altar boys are all they ever interact with.

    “Look like you’re lying again.”

    Which post did you quote me with “C1: Therefore religious people are moral and irreligious people are immoral” – you’re unable to because it doesn’t exist.

    Lying for jeebus again, bumboy?

  47. #47 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    (When it comes to insults. I’m sure you’re a lovely person in every other respect)

  48. #48 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    Maybe I’m not, you’re getting more and more homophobic as you continue… perhaps this is going to spiral out of control and get really ugly, maybe you’ll flame out.

    I’m black as well as gay, do you have any extra insults to add? Or are you ok with PoC? Is it only gay people you revile?

  49. #49 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Nope, not homophobic.

    Acknowledging that a fact has taken place that happens to include gay underage sex is no more homophobic than acknowledging that some politician committed adultery with their femaile secretary is heterophobic.

    But you haven’t got anything other than proclaiming I’m lying. You’ve been unable to explain where your theories come from. You’ve only been able to assert with string faith in the face of contrary evidence.

    Where were you quoting me? I posted where you’d said it. Date and post number. But you haven’t been able to assert your blind faith that I did say it.

    Since you happily invent fairytales elsewhere, the theory that you’re making another one up is pretty damn strong.

    And leave the altar boys alone. You’ll go blind.

  50. #50 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Oh, you’d better reread 32. “It is NOT (your proposition)…”. Missed that out, didn’t you. P1 wasn’t mine, it was yours.

    PS you seem so concerned about accusations of male-on-male rape. Why is this such a problem for you? Homophobic are we?

  51. #51 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Se we have rear-Ender saying that *I’m* wrong because a proposition he made up is illogical…

    What I said:

    “We have religious people committing moral atrocities. Therefore religion isn’t causing moral actions.”

    What rear-ender said I ought to say:

    “We have religious people committing moral atrocities. Therefore religion isn’t [preventing all im]moral actions.”

    But how can a religion prevent immoral actions of non-believers?

    It can’t. Therefore it IS NOT “Therefore religion isn’t [preventing all im]moral actions.” because it cannot affect non believers without continual immediate proof of the faith being fact (i.e. Holy Lightning Bolt or Giant Astral Foot Stomp, or whatever).

    It’s that religion has nothing to do with causing morality.

    Choice does.

    But he’ll wail about something completely irrelevant because there’s nothing for this altar-boy-bumming idiot to do.

  52. #52 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    Nope, we have Ender saying you’re a nasty homophobic troll with an odd-obsession with anal sex.

    I’d reply to your inane ‘arguments’ but what would be the point – I’ve already refuted your nonsense above and as they say, argue with a pig and you get covered in homophobia.

    Can’t tempt you with some racism to go with your homophobia? I know being black doesn’t involve any anal sex necessarily so it may not fall into your area of ‘interest’/bigotry but who knows, I didn’t realise how much you hated gay people until these last posts either.

  53. #53 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    No, we have rear-Ender STATING that I’m a homophobe. However, we have no evidence of this.

    You’ve replied to my posts, but not refuted.

    You haven’t managed to explain why your assertions were arrived at. All you have is Blind Faith. The same blind faith that allowed so many boys to be molested because a priest would NEVER do that because they’re men of god.

    Religion has nothing to do with creating morality.

    NOTHING.

    As evidenced by religious people being immoral by their own precepts.

    E.g. Rear-Ender.

  54. #54 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    Wow said: you …assrapist
    … bumboy

    Ender said: “I’m black as well as gay, do you have any extra insults to add?”

    Wow said: … rear-Ender
    …rear-ender
    …bumming idiot
    …E.g. Rear-Ender

    Lol, yeah. Not homophobic at all ;)

  55. #55 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Rear-Ender, I’m insulting you. This doesn’t require homophobia.

    But you have to hide behind something, don’t you, just like you hide behind religion.

    Religion has NOTHING to do with morality.

    The reverse could very easily be the case, but the source of morality: human choices, in a human society.

    Meanwhile, rear-ender continues to blather on about something completely irrelevant because he loves his religion so much, despite it hating him.

  56. #56 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    Yep, there is nothing homophobic in your choice of insults.

    Men who have sex with men are just disgusting right? That’s why you think it would offend me to be called Rear-Ender?

    Nothing wrong with a bit of rear-ending my homophobic little pal.

  57. #57 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    No, there’s nothing homophobic about my choice of insults. Glad you agree.

    Just like if I used your blind faith in a sky fairy to insult you isn’t religiophobic or christophobic.

    But you’d try to make it so. You have nothing other than “he’s being a meanie!!!”. Answer the questions, bender.

    Because you’re scared with the stark reality of having to be responsible for your own actions.

    Freedom is scary.

    So much nicer to feel that morality is force on you by your faith. As long as you have faith, nothing you can do can be immoral… No responsibility is so much nicer to believe.

  58. #58 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    PS Rear-Ender: “the altarboy was your dad and he was great.

    I guess it’s OK to make “homophobic statements” if you’re a raging bender, hmm? Just wrong for anyone else.

  59. #59 Raging Bee
    November 1, 2011

    Anthony blithered thusly:

    Science is a formal method of narrowing down what is considered to ONLY those things which can be sufficently observered, and quantified, analyzed and reviewed scientifically, it is inherently a limited activity.

    Yeah, but this “limited activity” has been consistently expanding, not only its own limits, but the limits of what people generally can do with the knowledge that science provides.

    And what has religion done for us in the same span of history? All we’ve got from that lot are dogmatism, rigid rules that refuse to change except under longstanding pressure from reality (as described by science), and sometimes a flat rejection of all forms of rational inquiry. Now THERE’S a “limited activity.”

    In the past five or so years the belief that science can do more than it can within the limits that scientists impose on themselves is blatantly superstitious.

    Really? Can you quote ANY scientists stating “blatantly superstitious” opinions about what science can do? Probably not, because like most religious obscurantists, you’re just making up accusations to validate your own prejudice.

  60. #60 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    I guess it’s OK to make “homophobic statements” if you’re a raging bender, hmm? Just wrong for anyone else.

    Nothing homophobic about fucking your dad. He warned me about you actually, “My boy’s a wrong un’” he said, “homophobic you know, don’t admit you’re gay anywhere near him”

    Wow said “you’re a raging bender”
    Wow said “I’m not homophobic

    ;)

  61. #61 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Aawww, see! Rear ender LOVES “homphobic” jokes!

    But still unable to come with anything other than gay jokes.

    Sad, innit.

    (PS still unable to understand what homophobia is? Hint: it’s not slagging off a godbothering rear-ender called “Ender”, it’s hating people because they’re gay. I have no problem with gay people. I have a problem with your stupidity)

  62. #62 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    @Raging Bee, I haven’t scrolled up to read Anthony’s comments but :

    Anthony: “Science is a formal method of narrowing down what is considered to ONLY those things which can be sufficently observered, and quantified, analyzed and reviewed scientifically, it is inherently a limited activity.

    Raging Bee: Yeah, but this “limited activity” has been consistently expanding, not only its own limits, but the limits of what people generally can do with the knowledge that science provides.

    Not the limits that Anthony is talking about: Science is still limited to – ‘ONLY those things which can be sufficently observered, and quantified, analyzed and reviewed scientifically’ and it is still an ‘inherently a limited activity’ – it’s just that more things can be sufficiently observed – the definition of science hasn’t changed nor has its scope enlarged.

  63. #63 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    Yeah… you have no problem with gay people… you just hate stupid people… yet all your insults are that I’m gay and that’s terrible, and none of them about my intelligence.

    Your fig leaf is insufficient to hide your bigotry.

  64. #64 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Ah, again we have the persecution complex. I have no problem with gay people because they’re gay.

    My problem with you is your idiocy.

    You just happen to be a turd-burgler. Which makes for handy insulting, but isn’t the cause.

    But I guess godbotherers don’t feel right unless they’re being persecuted for who they are rather than what they’re doing.

    After all, those priests were found banging altar boys because they were christian, not because they were molesting boys!!!

    None of which has anything to do with science and religion, just the persecution complex that makes christians see everything that they don’t like as being against their religion, not their actions.

  65. #65 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    “yet all your insults are that I’m gay and that’s terrible”

    Where did that “and that’s terrible” come from?

    Your own mind.

    I’m insulting you, a gay person. I’ve got no problem with you banging other men. And priests have accepted a faith that says being gay is wrong and agreed to laws saying that underage sex is rape (and their religion agrees rape is wrong).

    It’s you who hate gays.

  66. #66 Raging Bee
    November 1, 2011

    Ender: My point was that Anthony — thinly disguised religious obscurantist that he is — is trying to trot out the old religious BS about how science is so horribly “limited” because it only concerns itself with materialist stuff and totally can’t comprehend the awesome transcendent truths that religion offers. It’s a nugget of fact twisted and blatantly misrepresented to support a lie. (Also, did you notice he never cited any specific exmples of “superstitious” claims about science?)

  67. #67 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    Who’s being oppressed? I’m enjoying you condemning yourself with your own words.

    Well go on then Wow insult me in the same way using my race instead of my sexuality, you coward.

    If you’re not saying being gay is bad then you’ll be able to use similar race related insults that don’t say being black is bad… …right?

    No, you won’t and you can’t because you’re a homophobic coward who thinks that ‘bumboy’ is an insult that isn’t homophobic but is too cowardly to call me ‘darkie’

    You’re a coward, a bigot and a homophobe, and the evidence is there above us.

  68. #68 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    @Raging Bee:

    Sorry, you may be right, but I didn’t scroll up to the start of your argument. I can’t comment on the superstitious claim either, except to say that an unsupported claim is as good as no claim at all.

    He may try to twist it to use that argument in a way that is invalid, but the argument itself is sound and true.

  69. #69 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Nobody is being oppressed. You’re claiming you are, but it doesn’t exist.

    What also doesn’t exist is anything relevant in your posts since, well, your first post at #24.

    Proclaiming, denunciation, playing the victim card and a complete absence of rationality. You’re certainly acting the preacher.

    Pity you don’t have anything worthwhile to say anywhere on this thread.

  70. #70 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Also the fact that you can’t get over being called an uphill gardener is why I continue to insult you with these terms.

  71. #71 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    No, I believe the quote went Ender said: “Who’s being oppressed?”
    Because I’m not. I’m watching an idiot flame out and reveal his bigotry for the world.

    I am terribly insulted by your homophobia, indeed I’m on the fainting couch already, but you know what would really shock me?? Something that would rile me up no end? Some racism….

    Come on you know you want to… I’m a [what] turdburgler?…

    Go on… I’m a [darkie] turdburgler, aren’t I?

    You can do it, you just have to tell yourself “I’m not being homophobic or racist… he totally deserves it!”

    Come on, you’re not a coward right?

  72. #72 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    Wow said: you …assrapist… bumboy

    Ender said: “I’m black as well as gay, do you have any extra insults to add?”

    Wow said: “… rear-Ender…rear-ender…bumming idiot…E.g. Rear-Ender… rear-Ender… Rear-Ender… raging bender… turdburgler… uphill gardener

    Wow said: I’m not homophobic… honest!

    Wow said: I’m insulting you, a gay person. I’ve got no problem with you banging other men

    No… and you don’t have a problem with me being black, which is why you’ve been saying…

    Wow said: you …black rapist… blackboy

    Ender said: “I’m gay as well as black, do you have any extra insults to add?”

    Wow said: “… black-Ender…black-ender…darkie idiot…E.g. Black-Ender… Black-Ender… Black-Ender… raging negro… blackburglar… tribal voodoo gardener

    Wow said: I’m not racist… honest!

    …. Oh, no wait, you don’t. Because you know you’re being homophobic, and you are scared of being seen as racist.

    So are you going to prove you aren’t being homophobic by moving on to race, or can we conclude you’re a homophobe but not a racist?

  73. #73 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Yup. You’re right: I’ve insulted you with all those insults.

    You’ve not shown that this is homophobia.

    You’ve not had anything substantive to say since you joined this thread.

    So please go get bummed to death.

  74. #74 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    “No, I believe the quote went Ender said: “Who’s being oppressed?””

    I believe that was the question too. Wow then responded with “Nobody is being oppressed”.

    The statement then continued “you’re claiming you are”.

    Rear-Ender then didn’t disclaim this, therefore rearender agrees this is the case.

    Wow now thinks that this is agreement between ender and wow: ender is acting the drama queen.

    Rather appropriately.

  75. #75 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    If it’s not homophobia… as you say above: “You’ve not shown it’s homophobia”… then do the same with race…

    or are you a lying coward?

  76. #76 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    If rear-ender wants to get on topic for the first time on this thread, feel free.

    But continuing to insist that bashing you is homophobia is just your self obsession (as demonstrated many times before) running amuck.

    Religion is not a source for morality, religion hates science. Science and the religious are not the problem. Science and the religion is.

    Care to discuss something on topic?

  77. #77 Ender
    November 1, 2011

    Wow post 74: “Wow then responded with “Nobody is being oppressed”. The statement then continued “you’re claiming you are”. Rear-Ender then didn’t disclaim this

    It’s deny, not disclaim you ha’pennyworth twit.

    Ender, post 71: “Because I’m not. [being oppressed]“

    Oh look! A disclaimer! You liar.

    That’s like the tenth time I’ve shown you were lying on this thread. I’ve shown that you’re homophobic, but too cowardly to “prove that you aren’t” by doing the same with race.

    So you’re a multiple time liar, homophobe, coward, but not a racist.

    That’s a pretty embarrassing record. Do you think the Brights will still want you in their club?

  78. #78 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    Want to get on topic for once?

  79. #79 Wow
    November 1, 2011

    PS you’re claiming that I’m hating on you because you’re gay. That’s where you’re claiming you’re being oppressed. Religious nuts always claim oppression, they’re only happy when they can say they’re being oppressed.

    You know, having to accept gay men in their B&B business. Not being allowed to indoctrinate everyone in their religious nuttery. And you being hated not because you’re an idiot religious nutcase lunatic, but because you’re gay.

    THAT is where you’re claiming oppression.

    But maybe you don’t know why you say the things you do, you just respond to the dogwhistles of your religious masters.

  80. #80 Josh Rosenau
    November 1, 2011

    Ender, Wow: I unpublished a stream of childish, inappropriate, and off-topic comments. I don’t want to see anything like that from either of you in the future. Play nice.

  81. #81 Wow
    November 2, 2011

    I keep trying to get the idiot back on topic, but he’s insistent that I prove I’m not racist.

    But no, he had to continue.

    Science kills religion. Religion says “We don’t know. God did it”. Science says “We don’t know, let’s find out. Oh, God didn’t do it after all” and then religion dies.

    Doesn’t kill faith.

    Just religion.

    Science and people who ascribe to “a religion” don’t have a problem with each other because these people have faith more than they have religion.

    But there are people who have religion and they have it so hard that their religion == their selves. THESE people cannot handle science killing their religion, and they cannot handle faith without THEIR religion.

    It is these people who have a problem with science.

    Science doesn’t have a problem with religion, any more than the waves have a problem with the cliffs on a seashore. But science like the waves knock down the cliffs, even if someone is REALLY unhappy with it. But most people, as it were, live inshore and don’t mind the waves or the cliffs and are willing to let the waves roll on.

  82. #82 Ender
    November 2, 2011

    My bad. I started it by being unprovokedly rude to Wow (it shut him up last time, but apparently Gnu methods don’t always work), and he finished it with a homophobic rant.

    @Wow – why would I bother going back on topic when you don’t have the logical aptitude to understand your mistakes?

    You’ll find your ‘ideas’ dispensed with handily in the posts above that were not deleted.

  83. #83 Wow
    November 2, 2011

    No, it wasn’t homophobic. Hate the sinner, not the sin is my motto.

    Care to point out where my ideas were dispensed with? You dispensed with them, but that doesn’t make then incorrect, just that you deny them. This is no argument, merely a continued repetition of a contrary statement.

    E.g.

    “Where does religion say “God did it, stop looking”?”

    Uhm, when it says that god created the heaven and earth. That’s “God did it”. Then when it says you shall not question the word of our lord, that’s the “stop looking”.

  84. #84 Ender
    November 2, 2011

    As I said Wow – you do not have the logical aptitude to know when an idea is incorrect – so how could I ever show you where they’ve been dispensed with?

    For example,

    “you shall not question the word of our lord” is not equivalent to “stop looking”

    That’s very simple. It would only be equivalent if the Word of the Lord was “Stop looking” because then you wouldn’t be allowed to question it.

    But there is no possible way I could communicate this to you. I could lay it out logically, I could reference the exact quotes in the Bible and show you that there is no command to “stop looking” anywhere… but you would not listen.

    So I ask you… what am I meant to do? It doesn’t seem possible to show you where you are mistaken. It doesn’t seem possible to insult you into giving up.

  85. #85 Wow
    November 2, 2011

    And yet another assertion from self-gratification from Ender.

    For example,

    “you shall not question the word of our lord” is not equivalent to “stop looking””

    Yes it is. If the bible says god did that, then you can’t look into seeing what did do it.

    “That’s very simple. It would only be equivalent if the Word of the L
    Lord was “Stop looking””

    No, that would make it identical. Not equivalent.

    “But there is no possible way I could communicate this to you”

    Yes. This is correct.

    Why is it that your inability to have a coherent thought is my problem?

    “It doesn’t seem possible to show you where you are mistaken.”

    Not for you, agreed. Maybe it’s because you’re a hopeless incompetent.

  86. #86 Wow
    November 2, 2011

    More cases of “Stop asking questions” is where the bible says what you should do to those teaching other than the Bible’s truth:

    http://www.openbible.info/topics/heresy

    2 John 1:10 ESV
    If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,

    Galatians 1:7 ESV
    Not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

    Acts 16:23 ESV
    And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.

    1 Samuel 15:23 ESV
    For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

    But almost every single religion asks that you do not question the religion.

  87. #87 Ender
    November 2, 2011

    Ender: “you shall not question the word of our lord” is not equivalent to “stop looking””

    Wow: Yes it is. If the bible says god did that, then you can’t look into seeing what did do it.

    Nope, you can’t test “what did do it” at all, that’s just a logical/scientific truth.

    However even as a religious person you are allowed to find out “how it happened”. i.e. they are allowed to keep looking

    Do you see how you are wrong now?

  88. #88 Wow
    November 2, 2011

    “Nope, you can’t test “what did do it” at all”

    Sorry? Lightning, for example. God does his smiting with it.

    Turns out, he doesn’t actually do lightning. It’s all a charge buildup.

    And thunder isn’t the gods fighting, it’s the result of superheated air as the lightning passes through it cooling, causing sound pressure waves.

    Yes, you can test “what did do it” quite fine.

    Do you see how you are wrong?

    “However even as a religious person you are allowed to find out “how it happened””

    And get excomunicated for doing it.

    Do you see how you are wrong?

  89. #89 Ender
    November 3, 2011

    Turns out, he doesn’t actually do lightning.

    How do you know? What experiment determined that he doesn’t do lightning?

    It’s all a charge buildup.

    Exactly. That’s how God makes lightning. Investigated – you should note this – by a religious person.

    Yes, you can test “what did do it” quite fine.

    No you can’t. You can test proximate testable causes. If you believe otherwise then name me a single test which determines “Did God cause this?”

    Ender: “However even as a religious person you are allowed to find out “how it happened””
    Wow: And get excomunicated for doing it.

    Interesting… only one religion excommunicates people… and they are the guys who did most of this research… and they weren’t excommunicated.

    How do you square your claims with this reality? If they were “forbidden” and would have been “excommunicated” how do you explain the fact that they openly did it, and then weren’t excommunicated?

    Your claims have no basis in reality. They do not reflect the scriptures as the believers read them, so you’re talking about an idiosyncratic interpretation that no one believes, and therefore cannot condemn any real religion or believers.

  90. #90 Wow
    November 3, 2011

    “How do you know?”

    Because lightning is the discharge of a built up static charge in the atmosphere.

    NOBODY makes lightning.

    “It’s all a charge buildup.

    Exactly. That’s how God makes lightning.”

    Hmm, yes, your selective cognition is in the way. Given your head is up your arse, this makes it quite crowded in there.

    So, when he makes this lightning and smites, how does he aim? Or does he not aim and just lets it strike people for shits and giggles?

    “Your claims have no basis in reality”

    Says the braindead moron who says that god makes lightning by letting charge build up in clouds…

    You’re a pointless idiot, ender.

    What. A. Fuckwit.

  91. #91 Wow, God
    November 4, 2011

    Ender, you believe that God creates lightning by letting static charges build up to arcing potentials in thunderstorm clouds.

    I let static charges build up to arcing potentials in thunderstorm clouds.

    Therefore I create lightning by letting static charges build up to arcing potentials in thunderstorm clouds.

    Therefore I am God.

    Gosh.

    You may sing Hosannas in My name now.

  92. #92 Anthony McCarthy
    November 7, 2011

    Gee, I didn’t know this was still going on.

    Raging Bee is clearly trolling my comments through the blogs, misrepresenting as she goes. Ah, well, getting stalked is one of the prices of posting blog comments.

    Someone on the science blogs should start a blog themed “Science, what it is and what it isn’t”. That is if they know, themselves, to start with. So many with science credentials seem not to these days.

  93. #93 Wow
    November 7, 2011

    Actually, it looked pretty accurate. And it wasn’t going on for three days ’til you resurrected it.

    You claimed “In the past five or so years the belief that science can do more than it can within the limits that scientists impose on themselves is blatantly superstitious”

    Yet you never gave an example of this happening. You also haven’t explained whether anything exists outside that limit and to what extent you can claim such limit.

    Read up on Russel’s Teapot.

    Just because there’s no evidence against, doesn’t mean it exists.

  94. #94 Anthony McCarthy
    November 7, 2011

    Wow, I read Russell before your parents were in puberty.

    I could have mentioned that the repertoire of neo-atheism consists of a limited number of tactics that are matched to a situation more randomly than could be done with a card shuffle.

    The believe that science is a method able to deal with all phenomena or proposals is as obvious a sign that the person holding it is entirely ignorant of science as someone holding the belief that Genesis is a science paper.

  95. #95 Wow
    November 8, 2011

    Really? So you were either a child prodigy or you’re 85+ years old.

    I suspect you’re lying again, Anthony.

  96. #96 Wow
    November 8, 2011

    “The believe that science is a method able to deal with all phenomena or proposals is as obvious a sign that the person holding it is entirely ignorant of science”

    And you haven’t yet actually given an example of this happening.

    PS define “phenomena”, because if it impacts reliably on this universe, science CAN cover it. If it can’t reliably impact on this universe, then how can you call it “a phenomena”, since “a hallucination” would be just as applicable.

    PS when religion says it answers the why, science answers the how, in what sense DOES religion answer the why? It has no better a scorecard on that than does science, yet religion claims it is the source of answers of why.

    And this doesn’t get a peep out of you.

  97. #97 Anthony McCarthy
    November 8, 2011

    Wow, you are a neo-atheist chatterbox program.

    Science cannot address even common phenomena unless it is able to collect sufficient data of sufficient quality to subject it to the methods of science. That’s not overcome by trying to provoke quibbles about the meaning of the term “phenomena”. Any problems with that term are certain to lead to ambiguities that would only lead to other limitations of the reliability of science.

  98. #98 Wow
    November 9, 2011

    “Science cannot address even common phenomena”

    Such as what?

    This is why you’re a new-age woomancer nut. You haven’t yet managed to define any common phenomenon that science couldn’t look at, and you haven’t managed to provide a case where science has said it does.

    “That’s not overcome by trying to provoke quibbles about the meaning of the term “phenomena””

    But if you can’t define phenomena, then how do you know you’ve had one?

    What you can’t overcome is that you don’t know of any examples, but this is devastating to your new-age xtian fervour.

  99. #99 Anthony McCarthy
    November 9, 2011

    “Science cannot address even common phenomena”

    Such as what?Wow

    Such as I stated in the comment you cut off:

    Science cannot address even common phenomena unless it is able to collect sufficient data of sufficient quality to subject it to the methods of science. That’s not overcome by trying to provoke quibbles about the meaning of the term “phenomena”. Any problems with that term are certain to lead to ambiguities that would only lead to other limitations of the reliability of science.

    This exchange shows how the typical blog atheist operates, they distort what’s said in refutation of them, quite frequently by cutting essential parts of the refutation out, as we can see here, even chopping up sentences.

    The new atheism is a shallow, bigoted intellectual fad that is based in intentional and habitual dishonesty. It is certainly incompatible with the frank honesty separated from personal preference that is essential for doing science. That it has gotten so many of its major figures from the behavioral “sciences”, which depend on pretending that corners aren’t cut and that assertions aren’t supported is no big surprise. Real science doesn’t owe them any courtesies as they bail out from their original professional activities as the holes that were always in those lead to their scows sinking.

  100. #100 Wow
    November 9, 2011

    “Science cannot address even common phenomena unless it is able to collect sufficient data ”

    If it doesn’t produce data, then how can it be a common phenomenon?

    That you have for the fifth time been unable to provide any evidence of your assertion about science but kept it to hand-waving and “these aren’t the droids I’m looking for” Jedi postings is why your new-age xtianity is completely vacuous and without merit.

  101. #101 Anthony McCarthy
    November 9, 2011

    Wow, just as an example, it is presently believed that the majority of the universe consists of dark matter and energy which is virtually unknown.

    If what I said is unknown to you, I’d guess that, to you, most of life and just about all of science has the same status that dark matter does.

    I don’t talk adolescent. As with Raging Bee, your assumption that I’m talking about Christianity in these comments only opens up yet another area to a full display of your ignorance.

  102. #102 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    > it is presently believed that the majority of the universe consists of dark matter and energy which is virtually unknown.

    OK.

    So?

    This isn’t a phenomena that isn’t able to have enough data collected for.

    Gravitational attraction of a galaxy is what the data collected for dark matter is.

    There’s plenty of that.

    For dark energy, it’s the lack of reduction of the redshift with distance.

    That’s plenty of data too.

    So this doesn’t seem to be anything of a problem, by your very own definition of phenomena that science can’t investigate.

    It does rather appear you have no clue what dark matter is, nor dark energy, neither do you know any science. All you know is enough to be dumb about it.

    Go to “Starts With A Bang” on scienceblogs.

    And try learning something.