Is religion the original primitive science?
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04-06-2013, 08:22 AM
RE: Is religion the original primitive science?
(03-06-2013 11:10 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I hate to disagree with you because I don't entirely disagree with you (another "yes and no" answer I suppose), but what I'm saying is that there wasn't "no possible mechanism for testing"... we had our senses. The brain is very good at picking up on patterns (and even sees them when they aren't there, which is why I brought up superstition), and so we had a *somewhat* reliable tool for gaining explanations.
Well - then we're not disagreeing at all, really.

Quote:But keep in mind, along with the narrow range of things that we had explanations for was a narrow range of things that we needed explanations for. Have you heard the phrase "the more you know, the more you learn that you don't know"? We didn't understand biology, chemistry, physics, etc. and most of the questions about these areas would require a level of knowledge to even know what questions needed answering. And it still does.

And then there are the questions that one knew to ask. "Where does lightning come from?" says primitive man. Anyone can observe that lightning attends storms, even if you can't directly see the positive and negative charges that drive lightning to occur, so even back then one could say from observation "storms cause lightning". Nobody ever observed a god throwing lightning, so it was silly to ever come to that conclusion. He may have wanted an explanation for why lightning occurs, but that question suggests an answer about intention (thus the answer of religion). There never was intention behind lightning, and only the foolish ever demanded to understand intention behind seemingly random acts. As Michael Shermer puts it, man looked for "agenticity" behind every act, and that search for an intentional agent was a negative bi-product of skills needed for survival, not a real need that had to be answered. I still stand critical of ancient men who created gods to answer questions that couldn't be answered... any question that requires "god did it" for an answer is a question that didn't need to be asked.

"Storms cause lightning" isn't universally true, though... I don't think anybody ever actually imagined a giant sky-man literally throwing lightning bolts; give our predecessors some credit! Perhaps the problem is the variable definition of 'why' (the difference between 'by what means and under what conditions' and 'for what purpose'). The former is science and the latter teleology... I don't think it's foolish to try to find intention; I think it's that we sometimes hate things entirely beyond our control. I think it comes from not liking to have no answer (even to a question that "doesn't need to be asked"). The other part of not knowing is that you don't know what you don't know; it's hard to tell your answer's insufficient, when you're question was already so.

Saying God(s) caused lightning is really ascribing it to "a powerful unknown force". Well, electromagnetism would be much the same thing...

It's allowing such an explanation to fossilize into immutable doctrine that's the real problem. Given the regularity with which that occurred you could say religious explanations were nothing but trouble. I wouldn't even disagree.

But despite all that - I really can't fault 'em for trying.
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04-06-2013, 04:15 PM
RE: Is religion the original primitive science?
Fire is a symbol linked to Satan and hell.
Satan personally instructed a tribe in Africa to use wood and flints in a very unholy ritual.
This same ritual was used to create certain tools that made other tools and so on.
Sadly, the fire ritual was handed down by Moses' evil blacksmith son.
In order to distract and cleanse minds from this ritual, God demanded fire be used his way instead.
This is why God must be in schools. He doesn't want children to learn about the unholy ritual of Satan!
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04-06-2013, 04:29 PM
Is religion the original primitive science?
So when a guy thousands of years ago uses his observations and uses other people's explanations of an event, then uses logic with all the info he has available, that is science. Was the result scientific? No. Was the methodological process scientific? Yes. Which is why logic and reason when being used can still have false results.

One can imagine a thousand years from now people laughing at the idea of a mathematical formula being used to symbolize a black hole like we view people using a god to symbolize life or animals.
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04-06-2013, 04:41 PM
RE: Is religion the original primitive science?
(04-06-2013 04:29 PM)I and I Wrote:  So when a guy thousands of years ago uses his observations and uses other people's explanations of an event, then uses logic with all the info he has available, that is science. Was the result scientific? No. Was the methodological process scientific? Yes. Which is why logic and reason when being used can still have false results.

One can imagine a thousand years from now people laughing at the idea of a mathematical formula being used to symbolize a black hole like we view people using a god to symbolize life or animals.

That's the point. To make mistakes and try things out.

The reason why we use logic, and science is because it appears to be less wrong than other methods tried thus far.

However if somebody figures out a way to reason perfectly, or discover truths about the world perfectly, we'll move in that direction.

Else we would miss out.

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04-06-2013, 06:59 PM
RE: Is religion the original primitive science?
(04-06-2013 04:29 PM)I and I Wrote:  So when a guy thousands of years ago uses his observations and uses other people's explanations of an event, then uses logic with all the info he has available, that is science. Was the result scientific? No. Was the methodological process scientific? Yes. Which is why logic and reason when being used can still have false results.

One can imagine a thousand years from now people laughing at the idea of a mathematical formula being used to symbolize a black hole like we view people using a god to symbolize life or animals.

Perhaps you're referring to someone like Eratosthenes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

Was the result scientific ? Yes it was.
He showed the way in which he derived his calculations for the circumference of the Earth. It wasn't entirely accurate, but given that he did this from Egypt right around 250 BC, it was a remarkable feat for it's time.

You use the word false when referring to results, when inaccurate is really a more accurate description. Eratosthenes calculations are not precise but they are useful.

Imagine this. Let's say you have a problem and you want to calculate the parabolic trajectory of this word equation.

A hawk flying at an altitude of 195m drops it prey. The equation of the parabolic trajectory of the prey is
Y = 196 - (x^2)/39
Y is its height above the ground and x is horizontal distance traveled in meters. Calculate the distance traveled by the prey from the time its dropped until it hits the ground.

You can use an equation that isn't exactly accurate and still have a useful tool for determining an approximate area of where the prey landed.
As time goes on and the laws of physics are better understood, new equations come up with more accurate results. Some may even give the results within a thousandth of meter and still not be exactly right.

Your wording would say that all of these formulas are giving WRONG answers that are FALSE and yet they are all useful enough so that you can find what you are looking for, if you are looking for prey dropped from 195 meters by a hawk or from a plane dropping supplies to those that need it.

Does this make sense to you ?
I'm trying to explain as best I can that even though science can create inaccurate answers, those answers are still in the ballpark and if it's in the ballpark at center field 99% of the time, then the game is ON.

If all of your answers were foul balls in all kinds of weird directions and all kinds of distances and heights that never matched up, then you have problems.

I really hope the baseball analogy works. Maybe I should have used a soccer (football) reference.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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05-06-2013, 04:41 AM
Is religion the original primitive science?
(04-06-2013 06:59 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  
(04-06-2013 04:29 PM)I and I Wrote:  So when a guy thousands of years ago uses his observations and uses other people's explanations of an event, then uses logic with all the info he has available, that is science. Was the result scientific? No. Was the methodological process scientific? Yes. Which is why logic and reason when being used can still have false results.

One can imagine a thousand years from now people laughing at the idea of a mathematical formula being used to symbolize a black hole like we view people using a god to symbolize life or animals.

Perhaps you're referring to someone like Eratosthenes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

Was the result scientific ? Yes it was.
He showed the way in which he derived his calculations for the circumference of the Earth. It wasn't entirely accurate, but given that he did this from Egypt right around 250 BC, it was a remarkable feat for it's time.

You use the word false when referring to results, when inaccurate is really a more accurate description. Eratosthenes calculations are not precise but they are useful.

Imagine this. Let's say you have a problem and you want to calculate the parabolic trajectory of this word equation.

A hawk flying at an altitude of 195m drops it prey. The equation of the parabolic trajectory of the prey is
Y = 196 - (x^2)/39
Y is its height above the ground and x is horizontal distance traveled in meters. Calculate the distance traveled by the prey from the time its dropped until it hits the ground.

You can use an equation that isn't exactly accurate and still have a useful tool for determining an approximate area of where the prey landed.
As time goes on and the laws of physics are better understood, new equations come up with more accurate results. Some may even give the results within a thousandth of meter and still not be exactly right.

Your wording would say that all of these formulas are giving WRONG answers that are FALSE and yet they are all useful enough so that you can find what you are looking for, if you are looking for prey dropped from 195 meters by a hawk or from a plane dropping supplies to those that need it.

Does this make sense to you ?
I'm trying to explain as best I can that even though science can create inaccurate answers, those answers are still in the ballpark and if it's in the ballpark at center field 99% of the time, then the game is ON.

If all of your answers were foul balls in all kinds of weird directions and all kinds of distances and heights that never matched up, then you have problems.

I really hope the baseball analogy works. Maybe I should have used a soccer (football) reference.

It's ironic that some of the pioneers in geometry, mathematics and study of the motion of the planets was done by old very religious societies. As I explained before, science and religion are very similar in methodology, and in the past the two were not viewed as two separate fields of study.
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05-06-2013, 05:51 AM
RE: Is religion the original primitive science?
(05-06-2013 04:41 AM)I and I Wrote:  
(04-06-2013 06:59 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Perhaps you're referring to someone like Eratosthenes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

Was the result scientific ? Yes it was.
He showed the way in which he derived his calculations for the circumference of the Earth. It wasn't entirely accurate, but given that he did this from Egypt right around 250 BC, it was a remarkable feat for it's time.

You use the word false when referring to results, when inaccurate is really a more accurate description. Eratosthenes calculations are not precise but they are useful.

Imagine this. Let's say you have a problem and you want to calculate the parabolic trajectory of this word equation.

A hawk flying at an altitude of 195m drops it prey. The equation of the parabolic trajectory of the prey is
Y = 196 - (x^2)/39
Y is its height above the ground and x is horizontal distance traveled in meters. Calculate the distance traveled by the prey from the time its dropped until it hits the ground.

You can use an equation that isn't exactly accurate and still have a useful tool for determining an approximate area of where the prey landed.
As time goes on and the laws of physics are better understood, new equations come up with more accurate results. Some may even give the results within a thousandth of meter and still not be exactly right.

Your wording would say that all of these formulas are giving WRONG answers that are FALSE and yet they are all useful enough so that you can find what you are looking for, if you are looking for prey dropped from 195 meters by a hawk or from a plane dropping supplies to those that need it.

Does this make sense to you ?
I'm trying to explain as best I can that even though science can create inaccurate answers, those answers are still in the ballpark and if it's in the ballpark at center field 99% of the time, then the game is ON.

If all of your answers were foul balls in all kinds of weird directions and all kinds of distances and heights that never matched up, then you have problems.

I really hope the baseball analogy works. Maybe I should have used a soccer (football) reference.

It's ironic that some of the pioneers in geometry, mathematics and study of the motion of the planets was done by old very religious societies. As I explained before, science and religion are very similar in methodology, and in the past the two were not viewed as two separate fields of study.

Science and religion are not at all similar in methodology.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-06-2013, 06:54 AM
RE: Is religion the original primitive science?
(04-06-2013 04:29 PM)I and I Wrote:  So when a guy thousands of years ago uses his observations and uses other people's explanations of an event, then uses logic with all the info he has available, that is science. Was the result scientific? No. Was the methodological process scientific? Yes.
Actually, if you want to be technical, the result was scientific, it was just wrong.
Science has to do with how you go about gathering and testing information, not whether or not the conclusion is correct.

Imagine 2000 years ago, there's 2 people on opposite sides of the planet.
The first one spends his nights and days watching the sun, moon, and stars move across our sky. After a few weeks of observing this, and realizing that the ground he's on isn't moving (only not moving relative to him, unbeknownst to him) he comes to the conclusion that all these objects in the sky are moving around the ground he's on.

The second finds a holy book which declares that the earth is not the center of the universe and that it is moving around the sun. The book is said to have been inspired by <insert deity here>, so it must be true. So he goes about gathering evidence to support this idea.

Those examples are minimalistic of course.

The second guy, while right, was not doing science. He just got lucky with the answer. And because the "answer" came from his holy book, it can't be changed. So any evidence to the contrary must be wrong.
The first guy, while wrong, was doing science. And if he keeps up his observations and study of the stars, he'll eventually start to see things that "aren't right" with the first conclusion he came to. And if he starts to adopt that new information and alters his current model, then he's really doing science. Wink

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05-06-2013, 07:27 AM
RE: Is religion the original primitive science?
Yabut. One cannot talk to Chas about this topic. Tongue

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05-06-2013, 07:57 AM
RE: Is religion the original primitive science?
(05-06-2013 07:27 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Yabut. One cannot talk to Chas about this topic. Tongue

Shut yer pie hole. Angry

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