My Physics Book is Encouraging Religious Beliefs
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
02-09-2013, 12:08 AM
RE: My Physics Book is Encouraging Religious Beliefs
. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . ,.-‘”. . . . . . . . . .``~.,
. . . . . . . .. . . . . .,.-”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .“-.,
. . . . .. . . . . . ..,/. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ”:,
. . . . . . . .. .,?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .\,
. . . . . . . . . /. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,}
. . . . . . . . ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:`^`.}
. . . . . . . ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:”. . . ./
. . . . . . .?. . . __. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :`. . . ./
. . . . . . . /__.(. . .“~-,_. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:`. . . .. ./
. . . . . . /(_. . ”~,_. . . ..“~,_. . . . . . . . . .,:`. . . . _/
. . . .. .{.._$;_. . .”=,_. . . .“-,_. . . ,.-~-,}, .~”; /. .. .}
. . .. . .((. . .*~_. . . .”=-._. . .“;,,./`. . /” . . . ./. .. ../
. . . .. . .\`~,. . ..“~.,. . . . . . . . . ..`. . .}. . . . . . ../
. . . . . .(. ..`=-,,. . . .`. . . . . . . . . . . ..(. . . ;_,,-”
. . . . . ../.`~,. . ..`-.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..\. . /\
. . . . . . \`~.*-,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..|,./.....\,__
,,_. . . . . }.>-._\. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .|. . . . . . ..`=~-,
. .. `=~-,_\_. . . `\,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .\
. . . . . . . . . .`=~-,,.\,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .\
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . `:,, . . . . . . . . . . . . . `\. . . . . . ..__
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .`=-,. . . . . . . . . .,%`>--==``
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _\. . . . . ._,-%. . . ..`


That is all.Tongue

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dark Light's post
02-09-2013, 12:48 PM
RE: My Physics Book is Encouraging Religious Beliefs
Page 1:

Quote:"Learning about nature's rules is relevant with a capital R!"

... oh, this is promising. I wonder how English teachers feel about telling students to capitalize words in the middle of the sentence. (Or German teachers about capitlizing adjectives.)

Page 2:

Quote:"Before the advent of Islam, Arab nations developed mathematics..."

.... NERD RAGE POWERS ACTIVATE!

Mathematics developed around the world as a practical tool connected to other purposes, such as surveying, architecture, or trade. Its main development as the theoretical discipline we know today happened in in ancient Greece, but China had its own parallel development, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that other cultures also had them. (LOVE how everything outside the Abrahamic territories merits only a single sentence.) During the European Dark Ages, the Greek tradition was kept alive in the Middle East, and considerable development was made in mathematics AFTER the rise of Islam. (Then Islamic fundamentalism came along and, as usual, fundamentalism ruined everything.) It's almost like they feel that crediting a Muslim for algebra would cause the Texas Board of Education to reject their textbook.

...

...

...

[/NERD RAGE POWERS]

Page 3:

... it would be nice if someone were to explain the principle of rooting belief in the observable, peer review, or scientific skepticism. I get what they're saying with "no cookbook" but they could at least explain the value of each element. If you're working without a cookbook, it becomes very important to know that yeast is there to make the bread rise. Similarly, if you're going to tell the students, "hey, these rules don't always count," you should at least give some hints about when and in what ways it's acceptable to break them, and when and how it isn't.

Page 4:

Oooh, they define theory! That'll be useful for the 5 minutes it takes the students to forget it!

Quote: In fields of study where right and wrong are not so easily established, the pressure to be honest is considerably less.

Which applies to... um... let me think... it's on the tip of my tongue...

Page 5:

Quote:Assertions without evidence are unscientific and can be dismissed without evidence.

Don't you just hate that when you've got something on the tip of your tongue and it won't come out? I HATES IT!

Okay, it looks like they're laying the groundwork for skepticism I was complaining about. A bit short on the underlying philosophy, but hey, it's a high school text, not a college one.

Quote:So we should not be surprised that the name Einstein, like that of Jesus or any other highly respected person, is cited often by charlatans who wish to bring respect to themselves and their points of view.

..... SO many places I can go with this! But all in all, it's better to have it there than not.

Page 6:

Quote:Science deals only with hypotheses that are testable. It's domain is therefore restricted to the observable natural world. Although scientific methods can be used to debunk various paranormal claims, they have no way of accounting for testimonies involving the supernatural.

I'd say ONLY involving the supernatural. Claims that are a mix of natural in supernatural elements can have their natural elements addressed by science. But that's a quibble. Continuing on with that same quote...

Quote:The term supernatural literally means "above nature". Science works within nature, not above it. Likewise, science is unable to answer philosophical questions, such as "What is the purpose of life?" or religious questions, such as "What is the nature of the human spirit?" Though these questions are valied and may have great importance to us, they rely on subjective personal experience and do not lead to testable hypotheses. They lie outside the realm of science.

I put this whole quote here because some hay was made of it earlier. I actually have no complaint with this, coming right on the heels of talking about falsifiability and tests. The only thing I'd wish is that it would go on to explain how these things outside the realm of science have an unknowable nature, because not being able to confirm them against observation can lead multiple honest inquirers to differing results. It's one thing to explain that science requires testability, but I wish they'd explain WHY testability is important.

Page 7:

This page is what the OP was talking about and is extremely cringe-inducing. However, being fair-minded, I can interpret it in a manner that isn't so awful.

Quote:Science, for example, leads to useful technological innovations, while religion provides a foothold for many social services.

.... yeahbut, you can't get the technological innovation without science... oh whatever...

Quote:While scientific truth is a matter of public scrutiny, religion is a deeply personal matter.
Ha! Tell that to anyone who's had to run for public office!

.... let's seee... some jibber-jabber about how the dual wave-particle nature of light is a metaphor for science and religion cohabitating... yeah, that's pretty hard to justify.

Quote:Unless one has a shallow understanding of either or both [religion and science], there is no contradiction in being religious in one's belief system and being scientific in one's understanding of the natural world.

This is because the capacity for religion to adapt or compromise on doctrines that are no longer defensible is boundless. There are no principles that cannot ultimately be jettisoned when science proves them wrong, so a proper understanding of both is that it is never necessary for them to contradict. (Of course, "can" adapt and "will" adapt are different things, but not acknowledging the "can" is, indeed, a shallow understanding of religion.)

All in all, it's a pretty ugly page. I can see its value in "converting" anti-science fundamentalists, and I don't know any way to do that which wouldn't be ugly, but still. UGLY.

Page 8:
Quote:Which of the following activities involves the utmost human expression of passion, talent, and intelligence? (a) painting and sculpture (b) literature © music (d) religion (e) science.

What is your answer?

(f) This question is unscientific, as you just spent three pages explaining to me.

Their answer: All of the above. ... there are no words.

Page 11: Review questions and exercises.

Quote:Psychological comfort is a benefit of having solid answers to religious questions.

... wait, what? Even if that solid answer is "you're going to burn forever in hell if you even get a boner for the girl sitting next to you in class"?

Okay. Overall, the book's on the right track. Page 7 was painful, but I can see potential benign motives for it. I didn't read in much ENCOURAGEMENT for religion, so much as a bend-over-backwards attempt to talk about religion's relationship with science without condemnation. But I can see how encouragement can be read into what was said.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: