Fundamentalists are hypocrites
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07-11-2013, 01:51 PM
Fundamentalists are hypocrites
This is going to be a rant, and I'm sorry. I'm just getting a little irritated.

I lurk the forums a lot, and I lurk the internet, partially because I don't have time to post much (I"m a full-time student, work full time, and am recently engaged) and it takes time to come up with a post that actually says something that is coherent. But this is something that is just grating on me.

I'm not an anti-theist, not really. I believe that too strong a faith IS toxic, but I won't push people away from a middle of the road faith. My mother is still devoutly Catholic, and sends two of my sibling to Catholic schools where they get good educations in science in math. It looks like one of my siblings who is in said school might follow as a scientist or engineer. They all laugh when I mention those fundamentalists who claim the earth is six thousand years old and have been really understanding about my atheism. As such it is not religion itself I criticize, but literal biblical creation and fundamentalist faith.

Here I've been noting some of the arguments that the fundamentalists are using. And the monumental back flips they do in order to back up their assertions. They claim THEIR scientific evidence backs up their worldview that the earth is young. That the earth is the center of the universe. That the creatures all came into being in the form they have now. And at first I simply was miffed that they refused to see the simple facts. I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they actually believed this. Now I"m more irritated.

If I want to launch a rocket, I have to assume certain things. I have to assume the gravitational constant, I have to take into account the rotation of the earth, I have to calculate fuel consumption as a function of both changing mass and changing time. If I want a rocket to reach escape velocity and explore the rest of the universe I have to understand gravitational potential energy curves, the curvature of space and of time, I have to understand the location of the planets in order to maximize velocity. Bottom line: You WOULD NOT WANT a rocket scientist who did not believe in the curve of space and time, because the rocket would not be able to escape the solar system. You would not want one who did not believe the earth was rotating, because it would not be able to achieve orbit. By the same token you would not want someone doing research on new medicines not to believe in the stable and predictable decay of atomic isotopes. You would not want a doctor who did not believe that species change over time in order to adapt to their environment (ie: bacteria who are becoming immune to antibiotics). You would not want a CEO of any major corporation to believe that the world was going to end in less than 50 years.

If you believe ANY of these things the math SIMPLY DOESN'T WORK. I'm a math person. In order for me to accept something, the math has to be there. Our model of the universe is accepted because the math works. All the fundamentalists have to say is that if their theories are right their qualitative observations about the present world can be accepted. I don't care about qualitative observations, the math DOES NOT WORK.

What irritates me is that it's the knowledge and the equations working that allows for the existence of many of the things we need in this world. Electronics? The movement of subatomic particles creating electric fields over a set time. X Rays on soft tissue? Made possible by the short half-life of certain compounds that light up on X-rays. What this says to me is "it's ok if you are immoral unbelievers, so long as we get something out of it."

This is immensely hypocritical. They RELY upon the knowledge that they reject. They cannot function without it. Indeed, they would not want our services if we did not believe as we do since we could not do what we do in order to give them their services. But they damn us for the very view that makes those services possible. And THAT is what irritates me. Either we are told to do what we do while abandoning everything that makes it possible, or we are told that we should continue but that we are going to hell for it.
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07-11-2013, 02:01 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2013 02:07 PM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: Fundamentalists are hypocrites
(07-11-2013 01:51 PM)natachan Wrote:  If you believe ANY of these things the math SIMPLY DOESN'T WORK. I'm a math person. In order for me to accept something, the math has to be there. Our model of the universe is accepted because the math works.

Well you shouldn't accept the current model of the universe because the math doesn't work. Our model falls apart at temperatures greater than or equal to the planck temperature. The math actually tells us our model is wrong. Now despite being wrong it still gives us useful and correct predictions in most circumstances.....but so did epicycles of old.

Scientist do "back flips" all the time to support their world view. Einstein is a good example. He posited hidden variables because he couldn't accept a quantum mechanical universe. He posited a cosmological constant because it was necessary to maintain a static universe....GR and SR alone lead to a collapsing universe.
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07-11-2013, 02:06 PM
RE: Fundamentalists are hypocrites
"Fundamentalists are hypocrites"

Yes, maybe. But we're saved.

...A pastor greets his neighbor and invited him to visit his church, just down the block from their homes. "That place is full of hypocrites!" exclaims the neighbor.

"We have room for one more if you want to visit," drawls the pastor.
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07-11-2013, 02:08 PM
RE: Fundamentalists are hypocrites
(07-11-2013 02:01 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(07-11-2013 01:51 PM)natachan Wrote:  If you believe ANY of these things the math SIMPLY DOESN'T WORK. I'm a math person. In order for me to accept something, the math has to be there. Our model of the universe is accepted because the math works.

Well you shouldn't accept the current model of the universe because the math doesn't work. Our model falls apart at temperatures greater than or equal to the planck temperature. The math actually tells us our model is wrong. Now despite being wrong it still gives us useful and correct predictions in most circumstances.....but so did epicycles of old.

No, the epicycles did not give accurate results. As observations were refined, that model broke down.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-11-2013, 02:18 PM
RE: Fundamentalists are hypocrites
(07-11-2013 02:08 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(07-11-2013 02:01 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Well you shouldn't accept the current model of the universe because the math doesn't work. Our model falls apart at temperatures greater than or equal to the planck temperature. The math actually tells us our model is wrong. Now despite being wrong it still gives us useful and correct predictions in most circumstances.....but so did epicycles of old.

No, the epicycles did not give accurate results. As observations were refined, that model broke down.

Guess what, GR doesn't always give accurate results either. It fails to describe the center of a black hole for instance. Its a flawed model....like epicycles. But its all we got so we use it.
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07-11-2013, 02:20 PM
RE: Fundamentalists are hypocrites
(07-11-2013 02:18 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(07-11-2013 02:08 PM)Chas Wrote:  No, the epicycles did not give accurate results. As observations were refined, that model broke down.

Guess what, GR doesn't always give accurate results either. It fails to describe the center of a black hole for instance.

Please describe the epicycles of a black hole. Consider

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-11-2013, 02:23 PM
RE: Fundamentalists are hypocrites
(07-11-2013 02:20 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(07-11-2013 02:18 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Guess what, GR doesn't always give accurate results either. It fails to describe the center of a black hole for instance.

Please describe the epicycles of a black hole. Consider

Stop being so irritating by asking stupid questions. Epicycles are an example of a flawed model that gave useable results. GR gives useable results too even though it is flawed. The OP claimed he could not accept something if the math didn't work. Well in our current model of the universe, the math sometime works...and sometimes it don't.
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07-11-2013, 02:25 PM
RE: Fundamentalists are hypocrites
Quote:Well you shouldn't accept the current model of the universe because the math doesn't work. Our model falls apart at temperatures greater than or equal to the planck temperature. The math actually tells us our model is wrong. Now despite being wrong it still gives us useful and correct predictions in most circumstances.....but so did epicycles of old.
Heywood, you fail, again.

The thing that makes science so beautiful, is that as new information is discovered, old ideas evolve based on this. If someday we find that gravity behaves differently in another area of the universe, we would not just throw out the theory of gravity. Instead, we would modify it based on these new observations. You error in saying 'despite it being wrong.' It is not wrong, just simply has not fully been understood.
We will never 'discover' that evolution(or gravity,etc.) was wrong--the observations and data surrounding it are immense. We may find new mechanisms about the process, and modify our ideas based on that.


Creationists will not change their ideas based on new evidence. They try to punch holes in scientific discoveries and say "ahh! ya see, it's 99% true, not 100%, so it must be god. Science is fail."

Creationists like to bring up times that science has been wrong. Science never claimed to be infallible. Sometimes flaws are found, which don't denigrate the sciences, but actually make them stronger.
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07-11-2013, 02:30 PM
RE: Fundamentalists are hypocrites
(07-11-2013 02:06 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  "Fundamentalists are hypocrites"

Yes, maybe. But we're saved.

...A pastor greets his neighbor and invited him to visit his church, just down the block from their homes. "That place is full of hypocrites!" exclaims the neighbor.

"We have room for one more if you want to visit," drawls the pastor.

Saved...from what?Huh

Saved from logical thinking? I would agree.
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07-11-2013, 02:40 PM
RE: Fundamentalists are hypocrites
(07-11-2013 02:23 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(07-11-2013 02:20 PM)Chas Wrote:  Please describe the epicycles of a black hole. Consider

Stop being so irritating by asking stupid questions. Epicycles are an example of a flawed model that gave useable results. GR gives useable results too even though it is flawed. The OP claimed he could not accept something if the math didn't work. Well in our current model of the universe, the math sometime works...and sometimes it don't.

The mathematical model works up to its defined limits.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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