LJWorld.com weblogs Science Becoming Religion
Science Becoming a Religion
Empirical science and religion differ in some fundamental ways. Scientists look for questions to ask. Priests (preachers, rabbis, etc) just provide answers. Science has theories that are subject to change. In 1896, physicists believed that atoms were the smallest particles of matter. A year latter J.J. Thomson overturned this theory by reporting his discovery that atoms were actually comprised of smaller charged particles he called "protons", "electrons" and "neutrons". Later research demonstrated that Thomson's particles were comprised of even smaller particles. Religion has truths that are to be accepted without question. Those who question these truths may be treated as heretics. Real scientists encourage questions. They even ask questions about established theories including aspects of the Theory of Relativity and try to find ways these theories might be wrong. Stephan Hawking demonstrated what a real scientist does when he suggested he had been wrong when he suggested that information cannot escape from a black hole. Physicists have a model of the atom they are satisfied with, but that hasn't stopped them from checking to see if they might have missed something. They are currently colliding heavy nuclei to test the model.Religion gets its truths from prophets or deities. Science has to do things the hard way by conducting repeated observations and experiments. Science cannot verify theories about physical processes that cannot be examined. Some people who call themselves scientists want science to become a substitute for religion, or at least function more like a religion.. Some believe that science can provide an explanation for events in the distant past that is so accurate it cannot be questioned. Such a claim is illogical because insufficient information is available. For example, those who talk about greenhouse gases state they can precisely determine past temperatures by examining tree rings or ice cores. The width of tree rings depends upon availability of water and the amount of time temperatures are within the range the tree can grow in, not average temperatures. The religious fanatics of the greenhouse gas religion have been accused of practicing censorship of those who disagree with their doctrine. The subject of the origin of the universe and life on earth has traditionally been the province of religion. All the popular theories originated in religion. The idea that "all of creation" came from explosion of what modern scientists call a black hole comes from the Secrets of Enoch which may be the original source of the Genesis account. http://almightywind.com/enoch/enochsecret.html The idea of humans being related to apes comes from the ancient Tibetan religion. http://www.tibetan-buddhism.com/North American and other beliefs suggest one species could change to another form.Science can only deal effectively with the present. It cannot observe or manipulate the distant past to verify theories. The subject of the origin of the universe and life on earth is interesting and scientific studies of the present might provide useful information, but science cannot provide a definitive answer to the question of how the universe or biological life came to exist. Science can only say what might have happened.