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Fundamentalism and science

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Fundamentalism and science
Post by n7axw   » Tue May 18, 2021 5:32 pm

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This is a subject that I have been thinking about since Daryl brought it up a while back. I wasn't prepared to deal with it at the time but given that we seem to be dormant right now it seems a good time to introduce the subject.

Fundamentalism is at heart a rejection of modernity. It matters not what religion we are talking about. You can have Islamic fundamentalism which I am not familiar with, but which we see in extremist forms in the news.

Then you have fundamentalism in various forms expressed in Catholicism. Think of the attempts to reintroduce Latin as the language for the mass. Or think of how the Catholic Curch treated its humanists or people like Copernicus and Galileo. The Counter-reformation can be seen as a Catholic fundamentalist movement with its harsh emphasis on returning "heretics" to the "true faith." I suspect that virtually all of the world's religions have their own expressions of the same thing...people who want the clock to turn backwards rather than forward.

What I am most thoroughly familiar with is American protestant fundamentalism. This was at the time a reaction to the scientific method being applied to the Bible. Those 19th century scientists were often not particularly careful with what they were doing or showing any awareness of the limitations of their methods. Soon rumors started floating out to mainline churches about scholars denying the virgin birth of Christ, the resurrection, and other doctrines cherished by Christians going all the way back to the apostles. Then seminarians freshly minted as pastors started showing up as in these congregations parroting the same thing. It was like lighting a very short fuse that would set off a huge explosion.

It started off in the first decade of the 20th century as the very conservative faculty of Princeton seminary published a list of doctrines that must be upheld, including the infallibility of Scripture, the humanity and deity of Christ, six day creation, etc.

Before long, seminary faculties were being sacked, liberal pastors being dismissed from their congregations. The ensuing uproar lasted over 20 years as mainline protestant denominations lost 30-40 percent of their members who migrated over to freshly minted fundamentalist and Pentecostal congregations.

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Fundamentalism and science
Post by n7axw   » Tue May 18, 2021 7:27 pm

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I think we have enough introduction to get into the main thing--Fundamentalism v science. During the past 100+ years we have a whole series of hot button issues. Think of the Scopes trial in which Clarence Dorrel (sp???) and William Jennings Bryan debated evolution v. six day creation, the debate amongst protestants as to how infallible or "inerrant" the Bible is, abortion. Now we have climate change denial, the anti-vaxers, etc.

The thing is, to outsiders, this makes no sense. Moderns accept the validity of science. In my own view, not to do so is less than honest. But for the fundamentalist science has been the enemy for a long time. Is lack of education the issue here? Partly. People tend to use God as an explanation for things they don't understand. Back in sem we called that the God of the gaps. When science cheerfully happens by and explains what was not understood what happens to God? What happens to God when the gap disappears? One thing that happens is that a whole world view gets upended, creating some very resentful people. Who are the scientists to attack God???!!

Along with science, side by side with it, there is an issue with culture. Over 50 years ago a man name Alvin Toeffler published a book named "Future Shock." Here he predicted a time when due to mobility and isolation of many Americans fron extended family and other previously stable institutions the dominant variant in our culture would be change. People would lose the ability to function competently as they tried vainly to scramble back to an idyllic, largely mythical past. Here think Jerry Falwell's moral majority. Or the megachurches prosperity gospel along with the promise to champion traditional values. Toeffler has been an unerring prophet. We have witnessed the fulfillment of what he predicted sinse that time. Further, the is no end in sight... which leaves the fundamentalist high and dry.

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Fundamentalism and science
Post by Imaginos1892   » Wed May 26, 2021 1:52 am

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Science is a method and a process for figuring out how the universe works. Science is a tool for finding facts, and determining how those facts are related. Like any tool, it can do great damage when misused.

And science is being grievously misused.

Politics perverts science. Scientists are rewarded not for finding and reporting the truth, but for telling those in charge of doling out the money whatever they want to hear. Play the approved tune and you get government grants, you get consulting fees, you get published. Make the wrong waves, and you don’t. Such measures do not produce good science, or good scientists.

Far too many of today's self-proclaimed 'scientists' do not even understand the most fundamental principle of science: When reality fails to conform to your theories, it's not the universe that's wrong.

Pretending that your theories are unquestionable Ultimate Truths, denying inconvenient facts, and silencing people who disagree with you, is not science. A dishonest scientist is a failure and a fraud. A theory which can't withstand criticism is worthless. We must always question what we think we know.
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Re: Fundamentalism and science
Post by Joat42   » Wed May 26, 2021 6:49 am

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Imaginos1892 wrote:Politics perverts science. Scientists are rewarded not for finding and reporting the truth, but for telling those in charge of doling out the money whatever they want to hear. Play the approved tune and you get government grants, you get consulting fees, you get published. Make the wrong waves, and you don’t. Such measures do not produce good science, or good scientists.

Far too many of today's self-proclaimed 'scientists' do not even understand the most fundamental principle of science: When reality fails to conform to your theories, it's not the universe that's wrong.

Most scientist are actually employed by private entities that expect results they can make money off. Fudging the science means you lose your job.

With that said, there's some truth in what you say but it's mostly related to those having a tenure and the "funding game" they have to play.

The politicization of science on the scale we see today is a direct result of the severe polarization of politics we have, which begs the question: Why do some political groups want to suppress scientific findings that has a majority consensus?

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Re: Fundamentalism and science
Post by The E   » Wed May 26, 2021 7:34 am

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Imaginos1892 wrote:Science is a method and a process for figuring out how the universe works. Science is a tool for finding facts, and determining how those facts are related. Like any tool, it can do great damage when misused.

And science is being grievously misused.


yup, it sure is. Just look at all those people denying that climate change is a problem that we created ourselves.

Or people trying to argue that capitalism is a good idea that benefits everyone!

Politics perverts science. Scientists are rewarded not for finding and reporting the truth, but for telling those in charge of doling out the money whatever they want to hear. Play the approved tune and you get government grants, you get consulting fees, you get published. Make the wrong waves, and you don’t. Such measures do not produce good science, or good scientists.


Indeed. Just look at the oil industry pumping billions into "studies" that show that climate change isn't a problem.

Far too many of today's self-proclaimed 'scientists' do not even understand the most fundamental principle of science: When reality fails to conform to your theories, it's not the universe that's wrong.


Fully agree. When scientists try to undermine the scientific consensus of other fields because they've been paid to do so, or because their religion compels them to decry evolution or to deny that trans people exist, or when "Economists" think that they don't need empiric data because their theories are so correct that nothing could contradict the fundamental soundness of capitalism, bad things happen.

Somehow though, I am pretty certain that that's not what you are referring to.

Pretending that your theories are unquestionable Ultimate Truths, denying inconvenient facts, and silencing people who disagree with you, is not science. A dishonest scientist is a failure and a fraud. A theory which can't withstand criticism is worthless. We must always question what we think we know.


Aye, just look at the systematic suppression of studies of universal basic income.

Man, it's so unusual to see an Imaginos post that isn't complete bollocks?
I'm pretty sure it's only because Imaginos wisely chose to omit anything specific in his complaints; I would imagine that the things I think of when he says "those in power suppress inconvenient truths" aren't the same things he thinks of...
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Re: Fundamentalism and science
Post by Daryl   » Thu May 27, 2021 3:46 am

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Generally just the same gun for hire mindset, but in some cases the same individuals involved.
Those who championed big tobacco moved on to pollution (with the Exxon Valdez incident being prominent), now it's climate change.
Where I live, coal exports are an important part of our economy, and our current PM (before he was in that position) took a lump of coal into Parliament to taunt the opposition by showing that it hadn't struck him dead.
I have a theory that the two groups most resistant to modern science are those in the US Fly Over States and our Australian regional areas. Any time there is an online news article on topics like climate change, the semiliterate and scientifically ignorant comments mount. I admit to going on to those comments pages to be amazed and to make fun of them. Unfortunately they often just don't get it, some even missing broad sarcasm and seeing it as support.
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Re: Fundamentalism and science
Post by gcomeau   » Thu May 27, 2021 10:01 am

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Daryl wrote:Where I live, coal exports are an important part of our economy, and our current PM (before he was in that position) took a lump of coal into Parliament to taunt the opposition by showing that it hadn't struck him dead.
I have a theory that the two groups most resistant to modern science are those in the US Fly Over States and our Australian regional areas.


Bible Belt.

They're not resistant to science, they're actively hostile to it. I've lost count of how many times I've heard that some scientist or another was a tool of Satan from those morons.
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Re: Fundamentalism and science
Post by n7axw   » Thu May 27, 2021 2:20 pm

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gcomeau wrote:
Daryl wrote:Where I live, coal exports are an important part of our economy, and our current PM (before he was in that position) took a lump of coal into Parliament to taunt the opposition by showing that it hadn't struck him dead.
I have a theory that the two groups most resistant to modern science are those in the US Fly Over States and our Australian regional areas.


Bible Belt.

They're not resistant to science, they're actively hostile to it. I've lost count of how many times I've heard that some scientist or another was a tool of Satan from those morons.


Toeffler and the God of the gaps... What do you do when the world is changing around you in incomprensible ways? Find something to grab on to and hold on tight...

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Fundamentalism and science
Post by cthia   » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:59 am

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gcomeau wrote:
Daryl wrote:Where I live, coal exports are an important part of our economy, and our current PM (before he was in that position) took a lump of coal into Parliament to taunt the opposition by showing that it hadn't struck him dead.
I have a theory that the two groups most resistant to modern science are those in the US Fly Over States and our Australian regional areas.


Bible Belt.

They're not resistant to science, they're actively hostile to it. I've lost count of how many times I've heard that some scientist or another was a tool of Satan from those morons.

All Christians are NOT anti-science when it is obvious that science is a viable discipline, although we do dislike the breed of scientist who try to use - or think- science disproves or will ever disprove the idea or existence of a deity.

Also, all scientists are NOT anti-God. Many scientists are Christians. We are aware that science will never disprove that there is a God, and that science actually supports the existence of a God at most every turn. There has never been a single nail that science can drive into the existence of a God. Scientists used three nails once. It didn't work.

What I dislike about certain scientists is their close minded attitudes simply because faith cannot be explained. Some scientists will never understand that some things simply cannot be explained simply by science.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Fundamentalism and science
Post by Joat42   » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:59 pm

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cthia wrote:What I dislike about certain scientists is their close minded attitudes simply because faith cannot be explained.

It can, some people have genes (VMAT2) that predisposes them to be spiritual, aka believing in things that has no factual basis if framed in a certain way which can elicit feelings of being connected to something larger or the universe (transpersonal identification). It's speculated that this is the result of generations of genetic selection due to increased survivability of groups that had better cohesion, aka listen to the shaman trying to make sense of the world and you'll feel better that it was some spirit-god who took your child away to serve it and not the harsh reality of subsistence living that made it sick due to malnourishment.

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