Atheism and Science - Is There a Relation?, part 1

FYI: this post has been moved here.


  1. Mariano wrote the following: One of the most ubiquitously employed atheist talking point is to basically use the word “atheism” and “science” in the same sentence

    If this is ubiquitous, as you say, you should have no problem finding me 10 sentences in which atheists use these two words in the same sentence as a "talking point". Please present them here, and I will change the following opinion:

    You lie, and nowhere else have I seen such clear cut evidence of it as in the above sentence. THEISTS do this, not atheists, and to base an entire entry upon your fallacy is dishonest. Your God, if he's watching you, is taking note.

  2. Describe to me the actions that I must take to remove the rose-colored glasses and see beyond the material. I have no ability to force myself to believe something, but I am completely willing to seek out experiences that will change my beliefs. Please tell me what to do and how I can be confident that the beliefs I generate through this method are more likely to be true than false.

    If you can't do that, then your analogy fails, and my "blinders" are filtering out literally nothing.

  3. IRT my first post (and Mariano's blog entry), atheists largely do value scientific inquiry over faith in epistemological terms. However, I've rarely seen one equate science and atheism, and certainly not as a "talking point".

    Theists, on the other hand, DO equate the two quite frequently:







  4. Fissure will you believe in the supernatural if Dr Manhattan were to step out of the screen literally and split himself to a thousand versions of himself before you in public before a crowd?

    Just curious

  5. dguest,

    No, I would not. Should I? I would say that an unexplained event occurred that may or may not have a natural explanation. To conclude that it was supernatural, I'd have to be confident that a natural explanation will likely never be found. On what basis could I make such a strong claim?

    If people throughout history jumped to the conclusion that every newly experienced phenomenon would never be explained by natural laws, then they would have been wrong a lot.

    To be clear, I don't hold the position that everything will eventually be explained by natural laws. I just hold the position that I know of no basis to assert that an event will never be explained by natural laws. As far as I can tell, "the supernatural" and "the unexplained" are sets that cannot be differentiated by any known method. That is why I inquired about the method in my first comment.

  6. Mariano:
    Logically, you are correct on this point: a materialistic process has no way of determining if non-material things exist... but neither does a non-materialistic process.

    You see, insofar as humans use materialistic thought to figure anything out, they can only verify or be sure of anything through material means. There may very well be a non-materialistic world out there (heaven, hell, angels, demons, etc), but there may not.

    And there is no way of knowing if there is or is not, given our inherent nature. Therefore the default position should be to not accept the claim that there is. That is not the same as positing that "there is not," however.

    One more thing. You say:

    "'Maybe not—but it is the best.' That is fine, but science is the best only at doing what it was intelligently designed to do—within parameters, no further and nothing more."

    Remind me again how you know that there is anything else beyond those parameters?

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  8. Personally, I can't wait until biologists can prove alchem... I mean... macro evolution. No more having to cast about for shadowy powers via conservative or detrimental mechanisms (natural selection, mutation)...

    Dammit, if only Dawkins hadn't let the cat out of the bag and admitted that the entire process is something that "happened a long time ago; you wouldn't expect to see today"...

    But never fear, agnostic acolytes! We know and are assured [pray towards Harvard and the skull of Lucy while reciting this] that there is something else working in biology beyond our current observable parameters!...

    (Well, not the god thing - that's an uncomfortable "unobservable". But faceless and indifferent
    "Natural Causes" [capitalized] operating in the faceless and indifferent "Universe" (caps again)... yes, it must be that).

    Never fear! We'll find it! 150 additional more years of research and "interpreting" fossils, all in honor of Saint Charles the Agnostic! And, uh... multi-millions worth in additional (*cough*) federal grants...

    But never fear! The keys of the Universe are given to those who can find (and repeat!) the secret of turning random amino acids into DNA! Or, lead into gold. Whichever one we can do first...

    ...Hmm, maybe "repeat" and "do" are too stringent of a requirement for our hypothesis - that would demand that we actually example macro evolution in a scientific way instead of in the fancies of our imagination (or textbooks). Hmm, that is a problem.... Ah, I know: Let's just replace "repeat" with "interpret" - or even better yet, with "artist rendering of [insert lungfish here]". That should supply the evidence!

    And if not... well... We'll just say that evolution did it, in a galax... er, time... far far away. On top of that, we'll add that the process involves singularities (that sounds scientific enough), and that will be the end of it. Case Closed. Period. Exclamation point, even.

    And why not? Seems to have worked for the past 150 years with academics and National Geographic subscribers.

  9. All,
    Thank you for your comments.

    Indeed, God is watching me and He will judge me.
    Do you know what a lie is?

    I suppose that you could begin by considering the information at this link.


  10. Mariano:

    Unfortunately, your series that you linked to does not adequately answer the questions that have been posed here. In the very first essay in the series alone (which is the one you linked to), it is clear that the secularist/ materialist side wins the back-and-forth in the comments section (barring any special argumentative tricks up the theistics' sleeves that were kept hidden and unused).

    In any case, my question remains: you say that materialistic science cannot logically reckon with a non-materialist world that lies beyond the material world... how do you know there is such a world?

    a[La Idea Que No Tiene Evidencia],

  11. I can consult a dictionary to find that information (ie. definition of "lie"). I suggest you actually do this, as you seem to think the definition does not apply to your actions here.

  12. AWA:

    Thats a lovely way of putting it I have to say. Your sarcasm makes an enlightening read! Cheers!

    All: I am slightly disapointed in this whole post. Personally I fail to see why each side takes science on as a positive or a negative to religion. I thought the Dark Ages were over? Can't we please just get along?

    I personally find nothing in all of science that has shown me God doesn't exist. Nor have I found anything in science telling me he does. All in all I'm gonna leave it to professional scientists (not those like the Discovery Insititute or Richard Dawkins) without a bone to pick. I just wish everyone else would do the same.

    Ah well cheers!

    signed: "that anonymous troll" ;)

  13. Oh and a shout out to secularist10:

    I forget which post on here we were having our discussion on. That and I lost the link to your blog. I'd be delighted if you could give me the link again!

    signed "that anonymous troll" ;)

  14. Anonymous Troll,
    Just click on my name--it's already linked. Or just in case that doesn't work, it's http://www.100treatises.wordpress.com

    My most recent post argues that religion leads to moral relativism. Very apropos.

    And while there is technically no conflict per se between god and science (of course), the main issue I think is the different approaches to knowledge/ the truth in religion versus science--one based on skepticism and objective evidence, the other based on faith and subjective experience.

  15. Until it's proved scientifically that in order to believe something it should be verified scientifically, I ain't gunna do it.

  16. Secularist10

    Thank you kindly. Though I still see no conflict from information only one dreamed up for each side to fit to their own views.

    signed "that anonymous troll" ;)

  17. @bossmanham

    You're right that strict empiricism is a self-defeater, and that is why no one is a strict empiricist.

    I think you'll find this video relevant and worth your time:

    Particularly, from 3 minutes onward.


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  19. Bossmanham wrote the following: Until it's proved scientifically that in order to believe something it should be verified scientifically, I ain't gunna do it.

    I don't think anyone would say that empirical proof should precede belief. It's nice when you can get it, but it's hardly a prerequisite (or even "proper").

    On the other hand, it's very important to note (and be honest about) when such belief occurs without empirical proof. This willingness to pretend that the proof exists, despite the obvious fact that it does not, it what keeps me clashing with theists.

    The minute someone tells me "I believe this even though I can't prove it", I'm very happy to accept that belief and move onto another topic.

    EDIT: previous post deleted and replaced with this one to correct spelling